Around 4:00pm this afternoon, I got hungry.
Over the past 2 years or so, I’ve developed a distorted relationship with food, and as a by-product, a distorted relationship with hunger. I love feeling hungry because I’ve taught my brain to respond with “this feeling means we’re doing the right thing (avoiding food)” but I also hate it because it’s only a matter of time before I “fail (eat something).” Hunger has become my best friend but my worst enemy.
Hunger and satiety are constantly coming and going. Constantly trading off with one another. As much as I want to, I can’t bottle up one of these feelings. I can’t maintain a feeling of satiety in order to keep myself away from food. I can’t maintain a feeling of hunger to trigger positive self-perception. This is because hunger and satiety are cues from my body not indications of my value or worth.
By about 4:05pm I realized that I had a choice that was merely physical. I could nourish my body or I could engage in a war with myself. I could eat something healthy and satiating, something that would give my body the calories and nutrients it needs, or I could scold myself for having these caloric needs.
So I had one of these.
And a scoop of this.
And I moved on, satiated and happy because at the end of the day, and — even more — at the end of my life, it won’t matter how many days I hung onto my hunger and deprived my body. My hunger is not a gold star, it’s not a prize or a reward. It’s a signal that my body needs something.
Today I listened to my body and I want to remember forever how free it makes me feel.