Viewpoints on hunger



In _The Hair Of Harold Roux_, probably the best novel about writing ever published, Thomas Williams offers a striking metaphor, maybe even a parable, for how a story is born. He envisions a dark plain with a small fire burning on it. One by one, people come out of the dark to warm themselves. Each one brings a little fuel, and eventually the small fire becomes a blaze with the characters standing around it, their faces brightly lit and each beautiful in their own way.   -Stephen King
In the wake of gaining 15lb on my antianxiety/insomnia meds (I’ve never been this fat in my life),  I’ve shifted my attitude about hunger.

Hunger is very like pain. A physical sensation that- like pain- can be acknowledged, then ignored, and moved past. I’m really good at pushing through physical pain.

In past dieting attempts, I would eat when the hunger got bad enough- not because I was really giving in to the hunger, but because I was afraid that I would get too tired, muzzy-headed (especially at work or in the car), or nauseous to function. (If I get hungry enough, I get nauseous, and I hate that…) I was particularly anxious that if I didn’t eat decently before BJJ class, I would not be able to perform.

I’m big on the line between pain vs incapacity in MA….. the same line can be applied here. As I acknowledge and dismiss the hunger, I can say to myself,  “I’m going to be really alert now for signs of actual incapacity- ie, muzzy-headedness, nausea, or inability to focus on what needs to be focused on- at which point, I *will* eat.” And that incapacity will be very rapidly reversed with a little food.

I’m also back to those mouse-portions. I’ve noted in the past that it really only takes a disconcertingly tiny amount of food- like 1/3 of a cup- to satisfy my hunger.  My freezer is now stuffed with individual mouse-portions of several different ready-to-go meals.

In the past I’ve tried to do a lot of substitutions- diet pop for regular, fruit and butterless popcorn for candy snacks, that sort of thing. I still feel that substitutions are a great tactic and will continue to use them, but really I have developed a bad habit of just constantly putting things in my mouth, and I need to simply stop putting things in my mouth. Unless it’s the rim of a water glass.

I had 3 Dr Peppers yesterday, but only one the day before, and one the day before that. Very minimal snacking. My assistant brought in banana bread- it was sitting there yesterday and the day before, and I didn’t have a single bite. Snacking on bad things at work has been a particular trouble spot for me, and I need to face that head-on and be strong enough to resist that break-room table.

I’ve lost 6lb so far. I am really determined to get back down to my normal walking-around weight, at least (130-132).  If I can’t get down there, I will consult the doc about changing my meds. But I’m going to try this first.  I have decreased the dosage of my insomnia med because of the persistant nightmares, and now can usually get tolerable sleep on only 1 pill instead of the 3 it was taking before. That may help. I don’t know which of the 2 meds is causing the weight gain, but both of them have that listed among their side effects. At first I was really pissed off and resentful, blaming the meds- and I still am, to some degree- but I quickly saw that that attitude was just facilitating a “screw it” sort of attitude that none of this was my fault and could not be helped, and that is another of my pitfalls- failure to take personal responsibility. Instead I am trying to view the meds as bestowing the vauable superpower of being able to survive on next-to-no food. Embrace that instead of fighting it. It is a good zombie-apocalypse tool.

If I get to 130 and decide to go down to my tournament weight, which is my ideal weight (124), so be it.

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