The other day I found myself standing at the refrigerator thinking I was hungry even though I had eaten only an hour or so earlier. How could I be hungry?
Sometimes what we call being 'hungry' is really feeling 'not full' and there's a difference I'd like to explore with you.
If, when you sit down to a meal and you eat until you can’t eat any more, the sensation of being full, or overly full, may be the indicator you use to tell yourself you're done eating. You don't feel nourished or satisfied - just full.
That's how I ate for many years and it still shows up periodically. If you can relate to eating until you are overly full, then you may also be able to relate to the notion of feeling not full. It's a feeling that shows up as being hungry when in fact your body is still processing your most recent meal.
If you find yourself snacking to "top off" when you’re feeling not full, your body can't use the food. Yet you want more. Why?
You might think this way of being isn't serving you, but wait - maybe it is.
Our relationship with food gives us information about our relationship with life. What is your relationship with food trying to tell you?
When you find yourself wanting to eat because you no longer feel physically full, perhaps what you’re really searching for is an emotional/spiritual sense of fullness and you’re using food as a substitute. Ask yourself: Am I feeling stressed? Am I allowing myself to process life? What am I avoiding in my life? Am I living in the present moment? What am I truly hungry for?
Maybe it's not food that you're in need of, but rather an activity, relationship, or community. Perhaps what you're sensing is a soulful yearning.
When I find myself wanting to eat when I'm not full, I ask myself these questions, especially "Am I living in the present moment?" My body, in it's infinite wisdom, is letting me know that I'm searching for something more in life, something that can't be found with more food, but it's using the sensation of feeling not full to get my attention.
I'm not talking about denying food. What I am talking about is allowing hunger to reveal itself as a guide. If we, you and me, are keeping ourselves full with food, eating the minute we are not full, then where's the zest for life? How are we finding nourishment and satisfaction? Allowing ourselves to be truly hungry for food and for life is important. We have to make room for both.
In love and light,
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