Streams

Cravings Switcheroo

Friday, July 08, 2011

WNYC
A spoonful a day keeps the boredom/fear/anxiety at bay. Or does it? (Amy Eddings/WNYC)

I am on Day 20 of my 21-Day detox under the Clean Program.  I'm almost done, but I feel like I'm just starting. I realize I haven't allowed myself to learn about why I eat when I eat.

I've snacked a lot during this cleanse. I've always packed some nuts or fruit or steamed broccoli along with my lunches. Today, as I was buying cashew butter and organic brown rice cakes to bring to work, I asked myself, "Why?"

Because I'm afraid of being hungry, came my response.

Really?  

I thought about that for a bit.

Last September, my husband and I went to a tennis camp that had us out on the courts for five hours.  My legs were like stone by the end of the day. I was exhausted and sweaty and completely and utterly exhilarated. And I was HUNGRY. Food never tasted as good as it did then.  

Hunger in this context felt right and natural. It wasn't scary. It was just a signal that I needed to nourish myself.  

The hunger that I'm afraid of, that I dip into the cashew butter jar for, is head hunger. Boredom. Anxiety. And, especially, pressure. I find when I'm on deadline, the first thing I think about is food. It delays the work of writing or making a phone call or doing research. I am afraid of experiencing fear and I translate that into "hunger," so I don't have to face it.

I want to explore this a bit more, so I'm going to extend my cleanse (my husband is two weeks behind me and I also want to continue supporting him and doing this as a team).  And I'm going to get rid of the cashew butter and brown rice cakes I just stashed at my desk. I'm going to go without snacks, fly solo, take off the training wheels and really allow myself the gift of hunger.

I'm actually looking forward to it.

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