i push myself as long as is possible. i resist. i refuse. i ask myself over and over again, “why am i hungry?” at some point i determined that being hungry required something of me; i didn’t just get to be hungry i created a relationship with food that maintained that i get what i deserve/i get what i am worthy of receiving/i get what i have earned – no more…no less. my relationship with food, at the core, is about three issues: control over my life, relationships, and worth/self-worth.
Journal Entry November 13, 2013 7:58 p.m.
i resent that my stomach is growling and rumbling loudly. the noise is loud enough to disrupt my sleep. my body and mind battle silently over eating or not eating. it is difficult for me to eat when i do not believe i have earned the right to be hungry. what have i done to be hungry? when i am going through one of these cycles it often takes hours before i give in and eat. at the point that i decide to eat i have reminded myself that i am worthy of eating no matter what i did or did not do. i have reminded myself that what i am doing to myself is rejecting God’s love for me. i have reminded myself that i know better. finally, i have a little something to eat. i only eat enough to quiet the noise and just enough to not be guilty. i cannot afford to add to the weight(s) i am trying to lose.
i learned at an early age that hunger pains are not easily satisfied. my denying myself satisfaction is also a survival tactic. attempts to control my hunger or limit my hunger is also my attempt to control other things for which i am often hungry. however, those other things i cannot open the fridge or cabinet to get. those other things, i cannot just grab and go. those other things cannot be easily purchased or prepared. so maybe, just maybe, if i can manage this hunger for food i can manage the other hungers.
i do not recall ever going to bed hungry or a lack of food in my home growing up. i do remember that seconds were not an option. for me that was a difficult reality to stomach. prior to moving to live with my dad in Baltimore, i lived with my mother, great-grandmother and mother. there was four of us versus the family of eight i became a part of in Baltimore. at night once in bed i often cried over the matter of no seconds. after a period of time the need or desire for seconds went away. i learned how not to be hungry for more than what was on my plate. that same skill i applied to all my other hungers.
i stopped being hungry or at least i tried to stop being hungry for more than what was on my plate, hungry for space, hungry for attention, hungry for love, hungry for affection, hungry for me. i silenced my hunger. i denied my hunger. i pushed my hunger down, way down to the bottom. i accepted there was not enough for me and that there would likely never be enough for me. i accepted what i was given. i learned to deal with the pain and frustration of being hungry. i understood that hunger pains were not easily satisfied.
eventually my stomach will quiet. my stomach knows that sometimes i win. i remember quickly how not to be hungry. if i can manage this hunger, i certainly can manage the other hungers even if for just for a short while. the waves of hunger will pass. today i ate. though the food was not satisfying in taste, it pacified my hunger.