Weight matters: journal thoughts about hunger.

…little servings of thoughts coming to you…

Dear friend,

Have you ever explored your hunger? Journaling can be an effective way to get to the heart of the issue as it helps one become aware of your hunger (hungers): you can ask questions like: when do I get hungry, why, what does it feel like, and does each hunger feel the same? This is more or less some of my journalled thoughts from my journal about my hunger. It shows some of my exploration of what hunger means to me.

….I became afraid of feeling hunger. I would panic and think I was going to faint, have a sugar low, get angry (hangry) and shake. It reminded me of when I was a teenager. At that stage of my life I weighed 49 kg and had semi starved myself to keep that weight. Often I would eat nothing for breakfast, an apple for  lunch and then come home from school, burst through the door ready to “kill” I was in such a mood from being “hangry”. I would then eat too much, land up feeling guilty and vow to be better the next day. I didn’t like myself. In actual fact I think I hated myself if I am honest. It was a damaging cycle of rigid rules, breaking the rules, feeling bad, feeling angry with myself, feeling shame, asking for forgiveness, promising myself I would do better… next time.  This was my cyclic relationships with food and myself when I was a young girl.

Once I had my children and had put on weight, I accepted my new weight for a while. In the long run I was afraid to live that old cycle and feel like that again. In my mind dieting seemed like that was the only way. I felt like it was a punishment. One part of me felt like I actually deserved to feel like this but another part of me was crying out in protest.

Then I began to put on more weight and I had to find another way. I began to get in touch with myself and embrace my feelings. I understood that eating too much was my flaw and I understood that it was okay to not eat as much as I used to. I was learning a new norm. It wasn’t starvation and it wasn’t gorging. The new norm was balance. I used a smaller plate. I learnt what a portion looked like for me. Observing my habits helped me change my habits too.

When I did feel hunger I began to realize nothing terrible was about to happened. I learnt what hunger felt like. I learnt what being too full felt like and I began to feel the nuanced feelings of all the states in-between: like when my tummy was empty but I was not hungry. When it was just full enough, I could stop eating. I also realized I didn’t need to eat for “just in case” I didn’t ever get food again. I understood that it this was an unconscious lie based on a primal fear of not having enough. I learnt what it felt like when my tummy was having a reaction to food that was not agreeable to my constitution. Most of all I am learning that all is well even if I am a bit hungry but if I get too hungry I can eat. I will not get punished for breaking some secret law.  

I had to make an agreement with myself that I could be a Hard Punisher like I used be but that I would try not to be that Punisher. I also had to agree to build a new trust relationship with myself. I learnt how to sense when my tummy told me that I was a little hungry and I could embrace the feeling with compassion and interest because it was telling me that my body is about to start burning my own internal fuel – my fat reserves. That’s something to rejoice in. That’s what I ultimately wanted. I realized that I feared what I was wanting. It feels ironic thinking about it. I feel content and at peace at last. Knowing my body is working well and is part of my weight loss plan. This is a delicate balancing act and I often fall off this balance. It means practicing patience and kindness with myself all the time. I think once one has had an eating disorder or struggled with unhealthy eating patterns one has to be on one’s guard all the time. It feels unfortunate that this is my work, it feels painful at times, it is not an easy road and I have to be vigilant almost all the time.

I see and feel it as a sacred act. It is a positive way of looking after my body and ensuring health. I am not punishing my body or depriving it of the nutrient it needs. By eating nutrient rich “clean food” I am looking after my body and taking care of it. I am loving my body. This is one of my callings: to love and care for myself. If I look at it in this positive light I get much better results from myself than when I become the Hard Punisher….

On a deeper level: Making friends with your hungers.

It helps me to ask: what do you hunger after? I try to show an interest, become aware and decide how to meet my needs in a different way other than running to food each time I think I am hungry. There are several reasons why we feel hunger like thirst, discomfort from gas, and emotions to name a few. I am focusing on the last so things like boredom, dissatisfaction, loneliness, anger, not being heard and over-excitement, to name a few.

What do I hunger after?

…An interesting life. Enjoy nature. To express my thoughts and ideas creatively. To express myself in relationships. I am looking for reliability and dependability from myself, friends and family. I need empathy and understanding…

Companionship

  • To love
  • be loved
  •  connect
  •  be seen
  •  regarded
  •  Valued
  •  Acknowledged
  •  Heard
  •  honesty

To be independent

  • Alone
  • not judged
  • not disturbed
  • not pressurized

connection

  • To be at one
  • in tune with
  •  connected
  • To be inspired
  • to inspire

Variety

  • Tasting life
  • Experiencing life as cool and calm in quietness
  • cleansing the emotional palate of life’s flavor
  • Textures of life
  • Heat and fiery intense flavor of life
  • Sweet swirly melting creamy heavenly life  

How do these deeper yearnings impact on our physical hunger? Do we just think they impact us? Do they tell us something about us? I use hunger as an opportunity to ponder on how I am living my life and what I truly need from life, others and myself.

Much love, Morag.

19 thoughts on “Weight matters: journal thoughts about hunger.

  1. This is a very deep articles. The amount of self assessment and her realization on your part is impressive and commendable. I’ve learned a new lesson from you, to observe my hungers to better understand myself.

    I hunger for a balanced and improved mind, body and spirit. I’ve been feeding my mind positivity for several years now. Reading more and striving to learning new things. This has had a downside since I don’t settle easily and discovered a problem with indecision on my part which is or was fear based. I’ve been exercising for several years now, doing calisthenics, some yoga, occasional runs and cycling I’ve seen my body transform and The effects it has on building discipline and faith in oneself is amazing. The hunger for Spirituality led me to be mire orayerful and learning to pay. I learnt the importance of emotions and feelings. Visualization and building on faith through believing. I enjoy time alone and look forward to meditations now. I learnt that spirituality in a way is ‘when you close your eyes, theres peace, when you open your eyes the dominant thought is how can you serve and offer value to others.

    In general, I hunger for a peaceful family and healthy relationship with those around me, I hunger for a deeper understanding of self, improved health, financial security to mention a few.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow thank you for sharing so openly and deeply too. It is beautiful to ponder on one’s hungers… So many are spiritual and others are emotional… And all are important… What makes us who we are too. What’s wonderful is that we are also ever changing and growing and our hunger can shift, just like how we hunger after different flavors too. Sometimes indecision is because we fear making large impactful changes that will effect oneself and others… Then this is a time to get all the facts and make a head decision… It takes time… And also sometimes you have wait for the right time. Sometimes smaller decisions are tricky because there’s a choice between good, better and best. And we don’t always know which one to choose. St Ignatius has a way of explaining that problem. If you have velvet in your hands it feels soft and good, but only when you rub it one way then the other can you detect the grain of the pile. One direction is better than the other but we have to let our heart feel which way is best. He suggests imagining living with one choice for a few days then imagine living with the other choice. Each time you observe how you feel about this ‘choice’ and then you can make up your mind at the end.
      I know for me I used not know which toothpaste to buy and then buy both… That’s a very minor decision but ones I find hard to navigate is when it involves what others want to do because I am very empathic and feel the other person’s mind very quickly and I used to have a habit of wanting to please them. Now I am learning that this when I have to tell the person I will let them know later (so that I can have time to discern what I truly want or need)
      I suppose that all ties in with hungers… Hungering to make others happy VS looking after one’s self… Hunger to have wisdom to make the right decisions. Thank you for your comment it has been delightful to share.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Welcome and thank you for the response. Its very encouraging and expounds perfectly on the topic. True, we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves when it comes to making decisions. Change is always difficult and many times needs time to adjust and grow into it even if its on decision.

        I relate to what you say about empathy. I’ve had similar challenges that reflected in My life from childhood to when grown. Been told too many times that I’m too soft synonym to empathetic In this case but I’ve been learning to put myself first. I understood the concept of self development just recently. That we can’t pour from an empty cup and we can only give what we have. So by giving to ourselves the necessary values such as love, trust, hope, joy and peace, we are able to share the same

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Morag.

    This is a very thought provoking article and I can imagine it being used a springboard for a meditation.

    Thank you so much again for sharing your heart and soul.

    Much love,
    Su

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A wonderful post and such a great read, Morag. I completely agree with you when we are young we can cope up with our weight, but as we get married and have children our whole life changes but as time moves ahead and if we take care of ourselves then we can surely learn what to eat and how to control our weight. Thank you for your awesome share.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A beautiful article. The way you manage your hunger and weight is appreciable. I had read somewhere that stress makes one eat more, and gets more fat accumulated. In normal situations, a person can and should find out what is his or her real or ideal appetite. Thanks for sharing this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes for sure, I agree… Hopefully stress can be contracted with more healthy methods, but the most important thing is find the ideal appetite. That is what I am learning at this point. Thank you for reading and commenting. Your comments are always appreciated. 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “When I did feel hunger I began to realize nothing terrible was about to happen.”
    This is SO important! I needed to feel the difference between being peckish, and being hungry. It’s okay to feel peckish. It’s not okay to go into starving as I’ll bonk. But peckish – that’s okay. For me. Great article. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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