Years ago, I was hungry for nourishment. Mostly that was because of my yo-yo dieting, which left me famished and unsatisfied and sad. (This is probably a good place to mention my favorite phrase: bland boneless, skinless chicken with grilled veggies.)

I was also hungry for a “hot” body.

Or so I thought. By all accounts, I wanted a slimmer, more muscular silhouette.

If you would’ve asked me during my college years what I wanted – what I thought would’ve eased the pain – my answer would’ve been: thin.

But that’s not true. That’s not even accurate at all.

In actuality, I was hungry for confidence, happiness, fulfillment, hobbies and an exciting life – all things I thought being thin would bring.

It didn’t, of course.

So many of us confuse what we want.

Somehow it gets hidden, stomped on by the splashy, flashy things, the quick-fix things we think will turn our lives around. The things that seem to matter. The things we think symbolize our desires.

We use losing weight as some gift that will deliver a variety of treasures (namely, attractiveness, acceptance, body love and happiness).

We use the scale and clothing size to validate our worth. We use losing weight as a barometer for our health.

We use food for comfort when we really want a hug, when we want to cry or when we can’t begin to access those painful emotions.

We think bigger biceps, tighter thighs and a whittled-down waist are the ultimate nourishment.

But when we stop, when we pause, when we put down the shoulds of society and look within, what are we truly hungry for?

What are you truly, madly, deeply hungry for?

Are you hungry for passion in your life? A greater purpose? An adventure? A fun getaway?

Are you hungry for peace with your body? For self-love? For genuine connection with someone else? For a better job? For  self-compassion?

Have you found that wanting to be thin has masked your other desires or goals? What are you over-the-moon hungry for?

Please share your thoughts in the comments.

* This post was inspired by writing by Maya Stein, whose poetry is breathtaking.

P.S., I’ve finally updated my Blogroll, so check out the many amazing blogs to your left (on the homepage)!