Can't you see the 'hunger within'?
If diets were the solution to overeating, there wouldn’t be a problem! Can’t you see the ‘hunger within’?
There are many more issues to do with being overweight than just the physical weight itself and how to lose it. Despite this however, we still rush to learn more about diets, food facts, shakes and pills. The colourful adverts for these products invite us to 'optimise our eating' and become healthy. All we have to do is stick to the plan.
And we DO stick to the plan. Especially at the beginning of a new year, but only for so long. Then we wait for another new year, another Monday, another summer or whatever the trigger might be to face the challenge of our weight.
“The truth is, it is not about the weight, it’s not even about food...” (Geneen Roth). It’s about our ‘hungry hearts', about the ‘hunger within’!
Each of us has a hunger deep within us that no one can see. And I am wondering what yours looks like?
Like an abandoned toddler lying somewhere in an empty cold space? Or a horrible, never satisfied angry beast? Or simply like a brick wall that needs to be maintained in order to protect what’s behind?
Disordered eating feels like you are constantly trying to feed yourself, even if your already full. We do this in the hope that it will calm us and help us deal with our unfulfilled souls. But it doesn’t, and so our bodies get bigger and bigger.
Look at obesity from yet another angle. Look at the ‘hunger within’ and educate ourselves on how hungry hearts can be fed. Only then will sticking to the plan become fruitful and lasting.
Because “it is also not, not about the weight” (Geneen Roth); it can’t be argued that being overweight is physically challenging; the reality of obesity and its physical consequences must not be denied.
If we are not eating to satisfy hunger, then why are we eating?
The bottom line, whether we weigh 160 kilograms or 70 kilograms, is that when we eat when we are not hungry, we are using food as a drug to help us cope with heartache, illness, loss, grief, emptiness, loneliness or relationship issues.
Conscious eating, I think, is the way forward; but conscious of what? Calories, carbs or no carbs, points and sins, fat and sugar content? We need to be conscious of our ‘hunger within’; why am I eating at any particular time? Am I truly hungry? And if not, what am I trying to feed?
It’s about coming to a place where we feed our bodies when we are hungry with whatever we wisely choose, but only until we are physically satisfied. It is also about getting to a place where we look after our souls, feeding them with ‘soul food’ (no Big Mac has ever entered a soul yet).
Eating is a natural, healthy and pleasurable activity when it’s done to satisfy hunger.
Talking and listening, feeling and allowing, being aware and mindful - in other words, counselling is a way forward. Becoming aware and mindful of the reasons why we eat when we are not hungry is the first step out of that slavery. Creative methods used in an accepting space help to visualise that hunger in our hearts. And then, we can attend to it appropriately; not with food but with ‘real stuff’ for our hearts.
Together we can move towards positive, lasting change!
Related articles from our experts
- An overview on eating disorders by Mick Green
Mick Green MBACP, FDAP, BA (Hons), PGDip12th July, 2017
- Working therapeutically with obesity
Rochelle Craig MSc, FDAP Accred. / food addiction/compulsive overeating5th July, 2017
- Seeking counselling after sexual violence
Nicola Griffiths BACP Dip in Counselling BA Hons in Social Studies30th June, 2017
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