The Skinny – Amy Brunell

Hunger is a funny thing. We tend to think that it’s all physical, but it’s not. I know some of you are thinking right now, “What is she thinking about? Of course hunger is physical.” But hunger for many of us is deeply rooted into feelings of having or being enough. And the fact is that we often don’t feel that we have enough or that we are enough, so hence we are hungry.

It’s not just psychological. Unfortunately for me, I believe I have what I’ll call “psychic hunger” and it manifests itself as actual hunger. I feel hungry most of the time. And I’m probably not hungry much of the time. My hunger signals are exacerbated by my stress levels which for me often signal a “hunger” response.

Hunger is our life force. We need the instinct and drive of hunger to survive. Overweight people like me misunderstand our hunger. We don’t view it as a gift or a right. We view it as an obstacle for being thin. I used to pray to God when I was 14 years old to just take away my hunger. Then I would be okay. I just wanted this deep pain I felt as hunger to be taken away. If I wasn’t ever hungry, I wouldn’t have to eat and if I didn’t have to eat, I would be thin and if I was thin, well then I would get the desires of my heart.

I’m a grown up now. I don’t pray for my hunger to go away, but it still feels like an obstacle. One of my current challenges is that I can’t seem to eat the few calories (or Points) that I need to lose weight. I can maintain my weight with what I eat, but losing seems elusive to me. I can’t eat so little. I’m hungry.

Some people have actually turned off their hunger signals. I used to know a very thin woman who didn’t enjoy eating and would complain, “It’s lunch already? I feel like I just ate!” I knew she was an Alien.

Other people I know don’t feel hunger and then eat large amounts of food when they finally eat. Scientists concur that even though some people don’t feel hunger, the body is hungry and so when they finally eat, the body seems to need too much food for satiety. This is why so many food programs encourage small multiple meals throughout the day.

I believe the root of my “psychic” hunger is that I have to accept there are things I want that I’m never going to get. We can all say that. And we all know that. But knowing and ACCEPTING that fact are two different things. Coming into my 49th year with my life turning out differently than I had wanted, well that’s one large pill to swallow and it doesn’t curb my appetite so to speak.

I’ve done so much therapy, body work, meditation, etc trying to accept things as they are. I’ve been successful accepting many things and even being grateful for the blessings I have in my life. But then there is this weight issue. It’s hard to be grateful for that. I know there is something blocking my way, something I’m not truly accepting… that I’m fighting. I’m not in flow with something in my heart and why do I say this? Because my outside me is telling me that my inside me is not in balance. Frankly I’m a walking billboard for someone out of balance. My size gives me away.

So hungry I remain. Hunger is my teacher. It’s trying to show me something about myself, which is why my hunger feels like “psychic” hunger. It’s a need-based hunger. It’s accepting and allowing my life to be as it is-not how I wish it wasn’t.

Anyone have a pill for that?

www.culvercitysymphony.org

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