'I shouldn’t be hungry.'
Have you ever said those words to yourself?
I have plenty of times. Actually, it’s a pretty common line I use.
You too may have said those words, maybe in your head, or maybe out loud.
We’ll eat lunch only to find bellies rumbling a few hours later. We groan and say, in an exasperated tone, the words ‘I shouldn’t be hungry right now!’
But I've found that telling myself that I shouldn’t be hungry while I rummage through the fridge trying to find a healthy snack is not only damaging but it’s dangerous.
There is so much guilt and shame around the topic of food.
There is so much self-consciousness concerning our hunger.
The fact of the matter is that, regardless of whether we ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ be, we’re going to find ourselves hungry!
There’s a lot more here I realize. There’s the whole consuming empty calories deal, not eating a well balanced diet with appropriate portions of carbs, protein, and fat. But I don’t want to dive into all of that.
Taking our personal responsibility into account, by being mindful and diligent to eat a healthy and well balanced diet, who are we to say whether we should or shouldn’t be hungry?
Our bodies do so many wonderful and amazing things for us day in and day out. Our bodies are continually, regenerating, producing and acclimating to change. So much of our physiology of autonomic. We ought to give our bodies a lot more credit than we do.
If our bodies could verbally talk to us, I imagine when they hear us say ‘I shouldn’t be hungry’ they’d come back and say ‘oh yeah? Do you have any idea what all I’ve been doing today?!’
Aside from the just physicality of hunger, it produces more and compounds any shame or guilt we may feel about our bodies when tell ourselves that we shouldn’t be hungry.
It’s not like it’s a piece of cake to maintain a healthy body image or a healthy lifestyle. Many of us are cognizant of being healthy; we make choices, practice discipline and moderation.
Sure, there are times when we overindulge a little and think there’s no way we’ll be hungry until next week. But lo and behold, a few hours later we start to feel that subtle twinge of hunger.
We feel guilt simply because we feel the need to eat.
Hunger is normal. Yet we still feel shame for feeling something that is normal.
There are thousands of images and messages that instantaneously heap on shame in this area of our lives in particular. Our voices to our own selves don’t have to contribute to the pandemonium.
Instead of telling ourselves we ‘shouldn’t be hungry’ lets take care of ourselves, be kind to ourselves, and be thankful for all the amazing things our bodies do.
So tomorrow when we both have likely eaten enough turkey and pumpkin pie to last us until next thanksgiving and we feel our bellies slowly growing hungry again later in the evening, lets not say those 4 words to ourselves.