Hunger Games is not just a popular book and movie trilogy. Hunger games are what many of us resort to in order to manage, suppress, control, or otherwise manipulate our appetite.
Many of us act as if hunger is the enemy when, in fact, hunger is a natural and instinctive response that serves a very important purpose – to keep us alive.
Especially when we’re trying to lose weight, we can see hunger as the culprit that leads us into temptation and tests our willpower. But if we can look at hunger as our friend, a helpful reminder to replenish our resources on a regular basis, we may begin to give it the respect it deserves.
Where we often get into trouble with hunger is where we get into trouble with most things; when we’re not paying attention.
If we ignore our hunger until we’re ravenous, it’s easy to grab anything and everything in sight, regardless of its nutrient value. We might mindlessly demolish a bag of Doritos or eat an entire bag of Oreos, but our body knows better. We may feel bloated and beat up ourselves up with guilt, but if the body has not has received the required nutrients, it will not be satiated. Consequently, we’ll keep scrounging for food.
For some, eating becomes a necessary evil in the midst of a busy life. We have so many decisions to make day after day, it’s easy to go unconscious in the eating area. With so many rules and restrictions about what we should and shouldn’t eat, it’s tempting to grab what’s fast and cheap.
But here’s the thing. In order to feel satisfied by the foods we eat we need to notice the color, the taste, the texture, the smell, and the environment. Quickly and unconsciously consuming something without giving ourselves time to register these sensations robs us of little luxuries to be found in food. Any foodie can confirm this.
Feeding yourself quality, nutrient dense foods is a profoundly nourishing way to support yourself. Running on empty is not. Would you regularly put just a few gallons of low quality fuel into your car expect it to run optimally for a long distance?
Hunger is a sign that we’re alive. How lucky for us that we’re alive at a time when food is plentiful and the choices are abundant.
During my detox I got in touch with what it’s like to be hungry. When I missed some of my favorite foods, I wondered what it would be like to feel hungry all the time. What would it be like to not know where my next meal is coming from or not have the means to buy groceries?
Those questions snapped me right out of my self-imposed pity party over not getting to eat the foods that are not that great for me to eat anyway. It was ironic that I was eating arguably the cleanest diet I had ever eaten and somehow felt deprived because junk foods were off limits.
This, of course, lead me to question all the things I hunger for. Some of them are good for me. Like wanting to be a better blogger or coach or facilitator. Others, like watching bad tv and eating Buster Bars, not so much.
I invite you to notice your hunger. What games do you play around your appetite, not just for food but for life? How to you express or suppress your hunger?
I’d love for you to share if you dare in the comments below.