Marcia's Blog is a lifestyle change and dieting blog written by a beloved and respected nutritionist/weight loss counselor/lecturer Marcia Bodenstein. She has helped thousands of kosher consumers achieve and maintain weight loss.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hi friends. I hope your week was good, healthy and productive - looking at your comments I see that it was. I had the unique (?) opportunity to be on jury duty last week; it was yet another chance to see how we use food. If you've ever been there you know it is just a lot of waiting around. When I got there at 8:45AM I entered a room where about 80 people were sitting and waiting - I counted 39 of them eating!! We were told that about once every hour 12 of us would be called by name and those 12 would be directed to another room to be interviewed for a case. The others, if your name was not called, were free to go downstairs, "get something to eat" and return. So every hour there was a mass exodus to the food concession. We were not allowed cell phones, video games, BUT FOOD WAS OK. After lunch (where I assumed folks actually ate lunch) most people came back with a bag of snacks - MORE FOOD. Amazing, but no longer a surprise to me, how food is so central in our lives. We use it as an activity when we're bored, quick energy, a tranquilizer, a friend - and we give it the power to do what it cant possibly do - MAKE US FEEL BETTER. I call it the "oranges in the hardware store theory" - the answer is not in the food. The other phenomenon that I observed is the number of people who are overweight (again, not a surprise) and the kinds of foods they ate - chips, cakes, sandwiches. The "thin ones" were eating fruits and salads, and those who I suspect were N.T.'s were on their computers or reading.
It is so hard to ferret out the signals - what is hunger, and what isn't. Hunger is what is created by the stomach - it's empty, it's been about 3 hours since the last meal, and I would be satisfied with a nice bowl of veg soup or a salad, or a fruit. Appetite is created by LIFE. It's the big black hole left there by uncomfortable feelings. It comes on "all of a sudden" (true hunger builds gradually), and there is NO WAY that a salad, soup or a fruit is going to satisfy this. THAT IS NOT HUNGER!!! You see, the stomach has no idea what you ate - carrots or carrot cake - it only knows if it's empty or full. SO - Jury duty is not hunger, mother-in-law is not hunger, financial difficulties is not hunger, children issues is not hunger, weather, vacations, illness, economy, who will be the next president - all NOT HUNGER. The problem is that it FEELS LIKE HUNGER...the signals seem the same. So the work is to discern what is HUNGER and what is EMPTINESS. Food will only take care of one of those.....right?

3 comments:

LOVETOEAT said...

Is Shabbos hunger? It's Monday night and I am still thinking about what happend Shabbos. After a perfect Week #1 I messed it up on Shabbos really bad. The only good thing I can say is that I got back on to Week #2 first thing Sunday morning and I'm still holding on tight!!

bottomless pit said...

I have "fake" hunger often. I rarely let myself feel real hunger. When I am drinking lots, chewing well and slow. Smaller amounts satiate my hunger. Sometimes I want/need to keep the motion of hand to mouth going. I think that I block out thoughts/feelings this way.

lovetoeat said...

I have that hand to mouth motion going on when I'm sitting with company at the table- I don't think it's for burying emotions I think it's rather BAD HABITS - but the question is how can I break it? I know the answer is to sip seltzer, munch on carrots or keep talking. It works sometimes, but I need it to work more often.