Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Martha Tries Hunger

Both my parents come from poverty.

My dad was raised in rural Georgia, the son of a saw sharpener, and hunting for food wasn't rare.

My mom grew up in war-torn Vietnam. My dad has a story he sometimes tells - how the first time he brought her to a grocery store, she tried to stockpile the rice because she didn't believe it would be there the next day.

They've both known hunger. Real hunger. Not the wimpy kind I'm about to talk about.

Given my obsession with apocalyptic scenarios there's a part of me that thinks - what if? What if food is gone, tomorrow? What if I can't find something to eat? Could I survive hunger? Would it break me?

I've gone days without eating before. Sometimes while fasting for religious reasons. Sometimes because I've gotten too busy to eat. Sometimes because it's just something to do.

Don't get me wrong, I eat often, I eat lots, and I eat well. I'm not in any danger of anorexia. I don't have glamorized ideas about our world's hunger problem. Sometimes I just like...not eating.

It's weird what gets to you when you go hungry.

It's not so much the sensation of hunger. The gnawing at your ribs. Or the cramping in your gut. Although it's not pleasant, trust me. Sometimes you're so hungry you can't sleep and sometimes you can't think about anything else but making that pain go away.

But it's really the lack of socialization that gets to me first. So much of what I do with my friends surrounds food. In the end, what breaks me is hunger, not for nutrition, but for companionship.

Who knew I was so needy? :)

3 comments:

Lisa Hughey said...

So true. This is sort of how I feel about wine and cocktails. I like the social aspect of drinking. :)

and as a pet peeve...one of the things that seriously bugs me about all the nutrition experts is this idea that we should eat regular meals EVEN IF WE AREN'T HUNGRY. I don't get it. If I'm not hungry I don't eat.

Mysti said...

Lisa, the idea behind that is to keep your blood sugar levels even--so you don't get so hungry that you eat too much, which means your blood sugar will crash and you'll get crazy hungry and perpetuate the cycle. If you don't have a problem with overeating, you can ignore this piece of advice. They keep track of people who have taken off 50 or more pounds and kept them off for 2 or more years, and the common themes are: tracking what they eat, exercising every day, eating breakfast, and I forget the rest. It doesn't mean you have to do all those things to stay at a healthy weight. Just statistics :)

Martha, I've been having to go to dinners, even organize them, while not eating. It's a bit odd at first, but I turn it into an ice-breaker. You'd be amazed what people don't notice. And I'm with you--I miss people much more than food!

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