Hunger versus Distraction versus Habit

These past weeks I’ve been trying to pay attention to not only what I’m hungry for, but if I am actually hungry. Or am I in the habit of eating now? Or just looking for a distraction. And it is maddening how hard it is to know!

If I think too directly about eating, at any point, no matter how recently I’ve eaten, I swear I feel hungry. But that can’t be. And often times when I want to eat I’m just looking for a distraction. A distraction scrolling though my phone might feed if I weren’t trying to avoid my phone at work. Or a conversation with someone near me might quench the need, but I shouldn’t talk. I should just stay focused, but I can’t, and lunch is a good excuse.

I’ve also found as lunchtime nears, I think about eating. Am I eating my lunch or cheating? No! Not cheating. It’s not cheating to eat what you’re hungry for. So many things to unwind, every single day. And habits are the worst. Whether it’s remembering I’m not eating terribly one last time, or eating some great food because I think I want it because it’s forbidden, or simply eating because it’s lunchtime. Whatever lunchtime is. When people get up from their desks and go to lunch alone, or with friends, or simply to the microwave. They get a break! It’s time!

But mostly, when I am hungry, am I always hungry? Is this real hunger? Now I’ve thought so much I’m over-thinking. I’m encouraging myself to consider the lunch I’ve brought. Do I need to go out? Or just want a break? Does something actually sound good? Or does eating always sound good?

How do I lift all of these heavy, tangled up layers off one at a time? Or All at once and I tangle them? Can I cut them apart? Or do I need to somehow figure out how to get them back the way they once were? Were they ever even piled up correctly to begin with? Or have they always been tangled and they’re not meant to be sorted? And, instead, I’m meant to figure out the trick is to not overthink, to not be perfect, and to not try to determine the answers to all of these questions? But if I don’t answer these questions, where do I go next?

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