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Scratching That Itch


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I hear discussions of "hunger" vs "appetite" as if one were legitimate and the other bad. Actually both are good. Hunger means it's time to eat, appetite means you will really enjoy it. I think we are talking about something else.

There are times when I just want to eat, like there is an Itch going from my mouth, down my throat and into my stomach. The only way to scratch it is to eat. But like all itches, scratching makes it itch more. Remember when your mother told you not to scratch a rash, it will just make it worse? If only she knew. And then there is the back itch, where it starts in one place, and when you can find someone to scratch it, it moves to another place, then another. It's like starting with pretzels and ending with cookies.

Is that hunger? Obviously not. Is it appetite? Actually no. That junk is enjoyable, but not satisfying. Alas, there is no calamine lotion to alleviate The Itch. When I have The Itch, it is never for fine food. Whoever snuck downstairs at night to gorge on Beef Wellington. Only junk can scratch it, and the quantities involved would make me feel worse that the Itch that started it.

But unlike poison ivy, which takes a good week to go away, The Itch goes away in about 20 minutes most times if I follow Mom's advice and just don't scratch. I'll sip on coffee or go for a walk. Or both. Travel mugs are a blessing. Anything to hang on because I KNOW The Itch will fade and disappear.

I am very active and when I sit down to a meal it is with an appetite, whetted by the smells of preparation. I bless my appetite because it is what allows me to enjoy my meals, look forward to my meals, relish every bite. I think it's time to stop deriding appetite.

And find ways not to scratch The Itch.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
FLASHJUSTFLASH 2/5/2013 7:45PM

    twenty minutes, huh? I'm going to have to start setting the timer!

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BLUE42DOWN 1/30/2013 7:24PM

    What a great way to express this!

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MANDELOVICH 1/30/2013 11:52AM

    I would love to feel so confident about my ability to not scratch the itch and to wait the 20 minutes for the itch to pass. I was there, this summer, and it was amazing. I lost weight I hadn't been able to lose and was sure I'd never scratch the itch again. But then major crises occurred in my life and the itch came back so strong that I started scratching. Months later and 13 pounds up, I am still scratching it. I'd love to have your strength, resolve, and ability to transform so permanently!

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FISHINGLADY66 1/26/2013 10:11PM

    emoticon Very well said.

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TOMWAMP 1/25/2013 9:14AM

    i get the itch when I get home from work(around midnight) So I have a snack planned for that time. but I really have to keep from scratching or i will be itching all over. Great analogy here. helps to think about it this way. Thanks

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JOANNS4 1/24/2013 9:41PM

    So true and you said it so well. You always inspire me to do better.

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CELIAMINER 1/24/2013 3:00PM

    Really itching today. The fact that I can trace the source of the itch to really crappy job stress today doesn't make it go away, and I've just chomped the last of my gum.

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ZEEDRA 1/24/2013 10:24AM

    Nell: thank you once again. Hitting the itch on the head!
I wrote a long response but then I figured: what's the point? You say it all and it's up to whom these messages are aimed to get our acts together.
But, I also understand from your many years of commitment that "we" includes "you". One big happy family!
Thanks for not giving up!

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NASFKAB 1/24/2013 5:00AM

  thanks for sharing beautifully put

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MEDDYPEDDY 1/24/2013 2:08AM

    Interesting perspective I will try to regard my cravings as "Itches" and see if that helps...

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MNNICE 1/23/2013 10:37PM

    What an understandable way of putting it! Your "itch" is my "binge monster" exactly! I will work on not scratching the itch and not letting the binge monster lure me into the poison ivy!

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SUZYMOBILE 1/23/2013 10:09PM

    What insight! Of course, I've been ravenous lately, and it's not the Itch. I've been literally starving at every mealtime, and it feels good to satisfy it.

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123ELAINE456 1/23/2013 8:07PM

  Awesome Blog!!! God Bless You and Have a Super Great Day. Take Care.

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WATERMELLEN 1/23/2013 8:06PM

    Terrific blog, thanks for distinguishing so clearly among hunger (good); appetite (also good); and THE ITCH (to be ignored). Love your analogy about scratching . . . and welcome the insight that unlike poison ivy itch, food itch will disappear in 20 minutes. Yay coffee and travel mugs!!

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CARRAND 1/23/2013 7:15PM

    Great blog. Sometimes drinking a glass of water gives me time to not scratch my itch for junk foods.

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EVER-HOPEFUL 1/23/2013 5:12PM

    weather you believe it or not your blog made me want to scratch especially my back,lol.hope you manage to quell all your itches before you go to scratch it. emoticon

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LOVESTOWALK49 1/23/2013 5:02PM

    I used to overeat vegetables as a teen. I can eat lots of salad. I think it can count as gorging if one eats to the point of feeling sick. That's hard to do on salad or broccoli. It isn't hard to do on a heavy protein base meal like Beef Wellington. I've never had Beef Wellington, but I've overate restaurant food to the point of vomiting a number of times in my life. I often crave leftovers from restaurants or the dinner I made the night before.

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BROOKLYN_BORN 1/23/2013 4:50PM

    Great blog.Gorging on beef wellington! LOL I never overate my broccoli either.

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PEPPYPATTI 1/23/2013 3:48PM

    Yes it is very easy to compare the two. I find I have drink a cup of tea, my cravings go away.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANGIEN9 1/23/2013 3:32PM

    Sounds good. I never would have thought of it!! emoticon

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KAYYVAUGHN 1/23/2013 3:18PM

    That makes so much sense. I'll need to remember that.

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DAUGHTEROFTWIN 1/23/2013 2:47PM

    What a great analogy! You so accurately describe the Itch. Now, for a little self control on my part!!

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HHB4181 1/23/2013 2:39PM

    great blog!

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TAMMY5707 1/23/2013 1:46PM

    You did a great job of putting this itch into words.

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MANDELOVICH 1/23/2013 1:21PM

    It's so great that you are able to wait out the itch and not scratch. Whenever I'm able to do that I'm always happier, but lately I find it hard to do. Thus my weight gain :(

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