It’s all in your head, or so “they” say, but I’ll be honest. It’s kinda true.
I’m currently trying to listen to my hunger ques and in so doing, I find that I’ve been conditioned to “think” I’m hungry when I’m probably not. Like when it’s noon, boom, I think “hey it’s lunch time….time to eat” but am I really hungry or is it just because it’s lunchtime? This has been a hard learning curve for me. Or maybe it’s just become more glaringly obvious I don’t know, either way, I’m in the midst of trying to eat every 3 hours and assess, am I really hungry?
In all honesty, I never really stopped and thought about hunger or head hunger and it really didn’t hit me until shortly after surgery. Head hunger was a term I first heard in the bariatric support groups. It’s this idea that we aren’t really physically hungry, rather we mentally think we are hungry. It’s really the weirdest thing and hard for bariatric people. Mostly, I think, and I can only speak for me, but I was used to eating mass quanties of food as often and as frequently as I wanted. Then boom….bariatric surgery and suddenly you physically can’t eat the quantity you were used to, in fact, this was probably my biggest reason for having bariatric surgery. I knew that the amount of food I was eating was out of control, hence my food addiction. But just because you have surgery doesn’t mean you are cured. But what it does do is shines a very bright spotlight on the problem. In my case, it was overeating for emotional gain.
So this journey has been difficult in so many ways, of course physically, but I will tell anyone that for me, the biggest challenge has been and will continue to be, mental.
Since I work out as heavily as I do, I’ve adopted an “eat every 3 hours schedule” which puts me at eating about 5 meals a day, starting at 4am and ending at 5pm. So far it works for me, but I’m finding that I am excessively hungry in the morning until about noon, then, eh not so much. Except today…..
Today I thought I was hungry about an 1 ½ after I ate lunch and I probably was little bit, BUT I ended up having more peanut butter than I originally planned. Peanut butter tends to be a trigger food for me and where in the past I wouldn’t recognize it as such, today it became obvious. So this happening was actually a blessing in disguise because it caused me to take a step back and evaluate, was I hungry? Was I justifying? What was my motivation? At the end of the day, I wasn’t hungry, I was bored.
Head hunger strikes again……
So I’m slowly learning what my food triggers are, so far I know that boredom, sadness, loneliness are the top 3 and when I forget to guard against them, they bite with a vengeance. So I MUST guard against head hunger, especially in these particular emotions.