Today, I’m thrilled to publish a beautiful guest post by Sui from cynosure. On her blog, Sui writes about love, growth, presence, eating and body image. As she says, “I share my journey to help you on yours.”
What I love about her piece is that it has a very powerful and positive message. Very sadly, in our society, hunger is a dirty word or something to be feared. Hunger, we’re taught, is what sabotages dieting. It’s what keeps us from losing weight. It’s a slippery slope to excess pounds and deep dissatisfaction.
How many of us have wished that we didn’t get hungry, that we didn’t have (healthy) appetites?
Below, Sui explores hunger and eloquently explains why it’s actually a necessary, healthy and wonderful thing.
I spent so many years of my life running away from my hunger when I had an eating disorder.
Or perhaps, instead of running away from it, I plunged into it. I plunged into the experience of hunger by denying it.
When I ignored my hunger, I ignored my needs. And not just my bodily needs– for nourishment, for sleep, for tender loving care, for gentleness and ease– but the needs of my heart. For love. For presence. For joy. And my need for space — space to let myself feel the sadness, the uncertainty, and even, sometimes, the misery.
When I ignored my hunger, I didn’t just ignore my stomach rumbling, my body needing food. When I ignored my hunger, I was ignoring my hunger for life.
My hunger to be truly alive, to truly inhabit this life with this body, to truly taste every delicious morsel and moment of this human experience.
When I denied my physical hunger, I was denying my spiritual and emotional hungers.
I was denying my heart hungers.
As I recovered from my eating disorder, I began to love hunger. I know what you might be thinking– that sounds like a dangerous thought, especially for someone whose downfall came in the form of starving, binging, and purging– dysfunctional relationships with hunger and feeling too much hunger.
But my love for hunger is different from wanting to be hungry. (In fact, I think that the very reason I inflicted starvation on myself was because I wanted to ignore just how much hunger for life I had and how powerless I felt because I wasn’t truly living, wasn’t nourishing myself at all.)
My appreciation of hunger is only possible now because I allow myself to feel it; I respect it; and, I do my best to mindfully nourish it.
I’m grateful for my hunger, because it reminds me that life is a cycle, and we never stop, we never stand still– we’re always going, changing, falling, getting back up– and that we always need nourishment along the way.
I’m grateful for my hunger, because it serves as a reminder that after all these years and after all that abuse, my body hasn’t failed me; in fact, it’s definitely more reliable to me than the other way around.
I’m grateful for my hunger, because it tells me over and over again: You are human. You have needs that you have to nourish. Take care of yourself.
And I like hunger, because it’s a signal, a clear-cut message: it means now, I can dig in!
I’m grateful to Sui for sharing her stunning post here on Weightless! Here’s how you can connect with Sui and her writing:
P.S., Stay tuned this week for a little giveaway to celebrate my two-year anniversary writing Weightless!
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Last reviewed: 31 Mar 2014