Hanger

I’ve been forced to learn a lot about calories, hunger, and hormones lately.

Technical biological stuff aside, the brain’s connection to the rest of the body via energy is really fascinating. Hormones tell the brain whether to signal hunger or satiety.

Since starting at Enara, I haven’t felt hungry in that hangry way. My meals keep me fairly full for most of the day. But do I enjoy the food? Not especially. Everything is beginning to taste so bland. And diets don’t seem to incorporate ethnic foods, so I have no idea if saag paneer is good/bad for me, or whether a banh mi will wreak havoc on my blood sugar. (Not that I expect a Filipino diet; that does not compute.)

It’s the cravings that are proving toughest for me to manage.

I want chocolate chip cookies.

I want a burger.

My kingdom for a burrito.

Today, I had a breakfast of two scrambled eggs on a low carb tortilla with guacamole and salsa. Not bad.

Lunch was a bowl of brown rice with sauteed chicken with mushrooms. Also not bad. But perhaps not enough.

I am craving something really carby right now though. Like some kind of pastry, with a cup of coffee. I settled for a slice of toasted bread.

I don’t need the pastry; I’m pretty sure my body knows I don’t need this excess, but I want it nonetheless. Giving myself what I want activates some kind of pleasure in my brain, which makes me feel good for a brief period.

Am I addicted to bad food? Is that why my body craves it? Am I really just a glutton?

I know I’m an emotional eater. I eat to comfort myself, and as I’m often feeling low or drained in some emotional way, cravings have a way of getting the better of me. Perhaps I look forward to meals the way I should look forward to hanging out with people. Food gives me energy though; people tend to drain me.

I don’t like thinking of food as my enemy. It shouldn’t be but it’s starting to feel like it, especially if I need to eat less of what I crave. I’ve been fairly mindful of what I’ve been eating lately, yet the cravings persist after a few weeks. I hope it gets better over time. I want my meals to feel satisfying again.

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