Wednesday, June 2, 2010
When I was a teenager, my dad and step-mom joined Weight Watchers because they both felt that they needed to lose some weight. And they did. But that's not the point. I remember my dad telling me that he liked feeling hungry because it told him that he was doing a good job. And I thought long and hard about that. It was the first time I imagined what I had always considered to be a negative feeling as a potentially positive one.
This idea has expanded for me over the years. I had a pretty turbulent childhood and consequently have felt many emotions that I would consider negative. At the same time, now that I have some years, and therapy, and perspective under my belt- I can see how these things had a very positive impact on me. In fact, it is the very struggle that I've experienced that made me as strong as I am today. Without it, I am sure I would not be the person I am.
I have this theory about the world these days. It seems like we avoid any "negative" emotion at all costs. We go out of our way to keep from having to experience these feelings that don't necessarily feel good. And we go to extreme measures to keep our loved ones (especially children) from possibly experiencing them. And it is this very avoidance that ends up costing us more than we realize.
In an effort to avoid being hungry physically, I've kept myself from feeding so many other "hungers". I've known for YEARS that I would need to lose a significant amount of weight to have a healthy pregnancy. My Dr. was willing to help me get pregnant, but I thought it would be selfish to put my child's health at any possible risk. Not to mention that I would be putting myself at risk as well. And while I've made some attempts in the past two years, I've never been in this fight whole-heartedly.
And it's not just about babies.
I've said it a million times before. Even though I'm not looking to be super thin, I also don't want my weight to be a lifetime struggle. I want to develop a healthy relationship with food. I don't want to be in love with it. I don't want to be in my 70's and still freaking out about 10 pounds and forever wishing I were thinner. And yes, that's based on a real person in my life. I want to be living!
So, as I sit here and my tummy rumbles, I am grateful. Hunger is my friend and a reminder that I'm doing something right. It doesn't hurt, but it's a little uncomfortable... But not nearly as uncomfortable as trying to squeeze into clothes, feeling eyes on me everywhere I go, trying to fit into booths at restaurants, swollen ankles... You get the picture.
How has hunger helped you?