Now please know, I am not endorsing deliberate starvation by any stretch of the imagination; this is a once-a-year fast that I do in observance of my religion on the holiest day of the year.
A day (24 hrs, sundown to sundown) of fasting showed me that the human body is a complicated thing, and I think in a way, it helped reset my hunger queues; helped teach me what true hunger is.
Though my tummy gurgled (“squiggled” as I call it) during services around noon, I didn’t actually feel real, genuine, pit-in-my-belly hunger until about 6 p.m.
Then hunger came on pretty full-force, but I still needed to wait another two hours til sundown before I could eat/drink.
It made me realize that a lot of the time, when I say “I’m so hungry” I’m really not.
And being unable to eat kept me away from mindlessly munching in the kitchen, something I am 100% guilty of. Some people snack on the couch. Not us. Sometimes we just stand in the kitchen chatting, mindlessly munching.
Last night my husband had class — so I had no noshing companion.
When it came time to break the fast (a little before 8) I was ready, but actually didn’t end up eating everything on my plate — a first!
I am glad I had the opportunity to “feel” hunger. All the years of Weight Watchers taught me to never go hungry, to be prepared with a snack if a craving occurs, etc.
Ask anyone who knows me in real life and they’d probably tell you I usually have a Fuji apple, a nut butter packet, or almonds in my purse at any given moment.
While I see a point to this on road trips/day trips … I’m realizing now that is a very pre-emptive (and unncessary) stance. It’s ok to be a little hungry.
Once again, I certainly don’t recommend fasting to feel hunger. But there are tons of moments where I’ve reached for food out of boredom or anxiety or sadness or joy in the past … and when I couldn’t yesterday … I was ok.
I didn’t “die” of hunger. I allowed myself to sit with it, feel it … and then when it was time to eat and drink again, it felt … well, divine.
How about you? Do you ever fear being hungry? Did dieting give you that mindset? Have you ever fasted for medical or religious purposes? How did it make you feel?