My Best Friend and Worst Enemy

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. 

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And a scoop of this.

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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.