Hungry Hungry Emily

“But moooommmmm, I’m SO hungry.”

“You’re fine. You are not going to die of starvation.”

This is a conversation I’ve had countless times with my son and it got me thinking. If he’s not going to starve from not eating for a couple of hours, what makes me think I will? Yesterday I was sitting at work and the second I felt hungry I turned into a crazy person — I have to find something to eat, what am I going to eat, I don’t have a snack, OH MY GOD I am going to starve!

You know when you hear about people having an out-of-body experience? I had the same thing. Except instead of seeing the white light, I saw myself in the Hungry Hungry Hippos game (you remember it, the hippos have to gobble up the marbles). It was quite the vision.

HHH-blog

Of course, I wasn’t going to starve. It was 10:45. I had eaten breakfast only a little while earlier (although, granted, maybe not enough) and was going to eat lunch a little while later. But instinctively, as soon as I felt hungry, I was ready to eat. But I didn’t. I had to consciously think about it and said out loud (albeit quietly since I was in my cube), “You can eat lunch after 11:30. Until then, you’ll just have to deal.” So I drank a cup of water and for the next 45 minutes thought about how hungry I was. Then I got caught up with something and missed my 11:30 time. I didn’t even notice until it was 12:30. Hmmm.

Here’s the thing, and this is just my opinion so feel free to disagree. I think when you are trying to lose weight, it’s OK to feel hungry. If losing weight is largely due to a decrease in food consumption (or calorie consumption, whatever) then don’t you have to be hungry for it to work? For me, part of this journey is not just the realizations but accepting them as well.

So there will be times that I will be hungry. I know there’s a meal coming somewhere behind so I don’t need to panic and I don’t need to start eating whatever I can find. I can be hungry and not turn into a raging lunatic. There will be times that I will be hungry and times that I feel full.

Sometimes I’ll choose to eat and sometimes I’ll choose not to. Whatever the case, I need to be in charge. Food is not the boss of me!

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