Do you remember the first time you experienced real hunger? I grew up in a home that had plenty of food and access to it was a priority. I remember on family trips, my Mom would pack sandwiches and snacks, and we would pull over at a rest stop to eat at a picnic table on the side of the interstate. To this day, ham sandwiches taste the best when eaten outside. Many memories of my childhood include food, and I feel fortunate to say that hunger has no part in my reel.
Perhaps I was a young adult the first time I truly felt hunger; living on my own and responsible for what I bought, cooked and ate each day. I do remember enjoying the sensation, the growling belly with the hollow feeling of emptiness, and then pushing through it until a second, bigger wave came on. By that point I knew specifically what my body wanted and would make every effort to have exactly that. Few things are better in life than finding the food that will truly satisfy your hunger.
Nutrition experts tell us that it is best to eat several small meals through the day to avoid the highs and lows that come from indulging. I can totally understand this theory, but I believe it is meant for those who are physically active and intentionally choosing small, healthy portions throughout the day. I think this has become an excuse for the masses to eat all day, rarely tapping in to the true rhythms of our bodies.
What if we allowed ourselves to get hungry more often? I know that I often insulate myself from the feeling, mindlessly eating to stave off discomfort. What if we ate just enough at mealtime to be truly hungry again in a few hours? There is an element of trust involved, but I’m not even sure who we need to trust in this day and age. Most of us have access to food within a couple of miles of wherever we spend most of our time. Maybe we need to trust ourselves with some of our truest feelings.
This is not a campaign to feed the hungry. It may be a campaign to get hungry.