There is so Much Tension in Being Hungry
Last week a client and I were reflecting on how different her body feels now vs when she was chronically dieting. There were the obvious changes such as weight stabilization, food freedom, and no longer binging as a result of deprivation, but what she said about hunger really struck me. She said, ‘there was so much tension in being hungry.’
Being chronically hungry is traumatic for the body. Not only does being hungry all the time wreck digestion, but creates a sense of tension throughout your whole body: rigidity, stress, anxiety, physical and emotional strain. Dieting/disordered eating makes this feeling seem ‘normal’ over time and applauds the ‘willpower’ to hold yourself in such a state. The brain doesn’t forget that feeling and will do everything it can to make sure you don’t have to endure that total body misery again. Which is why often the drive and urge to eat can feel so strong that it becomes compulsive and chaotic. The brain and stomach also experience a disconnect, and hunger/fullness cues become confusing and unreliable. No wonder body trust feels so foreign to most people who are chronically hungry (aka dieting or suffering from an eating disorder).
Honoring hunger consistently with enough satisfying food provides our entire body with calmness, peace, and contentedness. I invite you to feel the difference in your body.