The Hunger Game

In my travels this past weekend, as per usual I made some really great food choices, and some not so good choices.  What bothers me the most, whether at home or traveling, is when I eat to an over-full feeling.  It doesn’t matter if it is healthy food choices or junk food choices.  Feeling over-full makes me uncomfortable on a number of levels.  So I was thinking  about this a lot.

In addition, I had downloaded the sample of this book.  Jen Hatmaker is a very funny Christian blogger (don’t know if she was a blogger before she was an author) who decided to take seven areas of excess and trim them down for seven months.  The first area was food.  Oh my gosh!  Is it possible that someone so fit and trim could possibly think about food even more than I do?

So between reading that book and having plenty of time to think while driving, it made me think could I make a commitment to NOT eat EVER unless I was hungry?  Well, not ever.  Could I do it for a month?  Would I become a famous blogger and get a book and movie deal out of it?  What would be the benefit of this?

As I thought about it, I liked the idea that the benefit would be two-fold.  First, I would get back in touch with my hunger, and might learn how much good food I need to be satiated. The truth is, I eat LOTS of times when I am not hungry.  Actually, most of the time I eat I am not very hungry.  And the second benefit would be that every time I was hungry I would think a bit about the problem of world hunger, and maybe pray a bit, and maybe I might even think of some creative ways I can help with this problem.  It seems embarrassing that I say I am concerned about world hunger and yet I am seldom hungry myself.

The rules would be simple:

  1. You can’t eat until you are truly hungry.  Not that fake hunger that happens sometimes.  So if you feel hungry, you have to wait 20 minutes to one hour before you can eat.  Spend that 20 minutes to an hour thinking about those less fortunate than yourself, and say a prayer for them.
  2. Make an effort to eat slowly.  That way you will be able to recognize when you are getting full–avoiding being overfull!
  3. You don’t have to count calories.  There is no particular diet plan.  Just the same mostly whole food healthy choices that you are used to.  And a few treats.
  4. And no getting on the scale during the month (a bad number tends to make me give up, and a good number tends to make me want to celebrate with you-know-what.)
  5. Weight loss is not the main goal.  However, it would be a much desired side effect.  That will depend entirely upon your food choices when you get hungry.
  6. Try your hardest to NOT eat in the middle of the night.  Even though you truly think you are hungry.  Go back to bed!

So I’ve tried it for two days.  Because its embarrassing to put something out there and FAIL AGAIN.  But if you don’t put it out there, there’s practically zero chance that you will succeed.  I felt this way about Weight Watchers the first couple of weeks I went.  Didn’t think there was much chance I would stick with it.  But a glimmer of hope.

It was not easy to wait until I was hungry.  But, as Jerry Seinfeld pointed out, another appetite is always on the way.  So when I started to get anxious, I remembered that eventually I would get hungry and I would get to eat again!  Gah!  Talk about first world problems.

Well, this will be an interesting experiment.  Please feel free to join me, or to just voice your opinion or your experiences.  I imagine I will be talking about this frequently in the days to come.

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8 thoughts on “The Hunger Game

  1. I could have written most of this blog myself. I think you and I are a lot alike when it comes to food feelings. I guess that’s why I love that you’re doing this and hope that you will blog about your experiences and how you’re feeling often throughout the process. And, I wish you well. I wish you success!

  2. Consider weighing in more often, to make corrections in your choices and to reverse and gains quickly. Just my 2 cents.

    Also I found I that if I did not choose trigger foods al together , that I could manage my hunger feelings better, and I had more true hunger and less false signals.

    My hunger signals contine to be some what messed up, even in weight Maintnenance some times. I applaud you for working on this aspect of weight maintnence. This was/is a tough one for me still. Totally worth exploring. Good luck. Karen P

  3. I have a friend who used to set the timer for 20 minutes every time she had a food thought. And at the end of that twenty minutes, she would decide if she really needed it (whatever it was that day). This was food outside of meal time. And this was not an over weight person. She was someone who just had to watch it in order not to become an over weight person.

    I eat at meal time. That is what works for me. I got in this habit once I understood insulin resistance and realized that if I ate bits and bites all day, I was producing insulin all day.

  4. I know what you mean, about disliking that FULL feeling, even when it comes from healthy food. Too much is too much. I think this is a great experiment – if nothing more, than just to kind of reset yourself. I’m going to mix up my lunches a bit – that meal seems to be the one where I’m too full afterward most often.

    Good luck, and please – write about this often, as I am very interested in seeing how you feel throughout the experiment!

  5. I love this, especially the “eat slowly” part. More and more I think that is the true key…adding to it, don’t eat when I’m stressed, if I’m always stressed, it’s time to dig deeper! Stress does some crazy stuff to our bodies, and when it comes to food, stress makes it harder for our bodies to get the optimal nutrition!

  6. I’ve actually read this book and will be interested in your impressions of all the chapters, not just the one on food. More than anything, I like it when a book challenges me (as this one has you) to first of all THINK and then formulate some sort of action based on the thinking. And I like that your action didn’t just focus on you, but on how you could impact the world around you in some way. But no surprise there, that’s just who you are!!

  7. That full feeling – I am with you, yuck! It is sometimes a fine line to cross over, though, and I struggle with that when I get snacky.

    I am eager to hear how this goes for you!

  8. I think this is a great experiment and it will be interesting to see how it goes for you. I love the part about praying for the truly hungry people in the world – nice touch!

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