Learn to Decode Your Body’s Hunger Language

Do you go all day without eating, perhaps only drinking coffee, only to gorge yourself on anything that doesn’t move once you get home?

Do you virtuously dine on cardboard-tasting, calorie-controlled, low-fat, low-carb meals for a period of time, ultimately leading you to binge on all those foods you deprived yourself of?

Trying to be “good,” do you say NO to the luscious chocolate lava cake, just to go home and mindlessly consume two or three pints of Ben and Jerry’s?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you’re well acquainted with Ravenous.

Ravenous is a scary-looking, dark, furry creature with huge, dagger-like teeth.  It’s mean, ornery, and moody, with a mind of its own and is about the size of the King Kong with an appetite to match. While masquerading as your best friend, it comes out and takes over… pretty much anytime it feels like it, rendering you helpless and powerless to cater to whatever it desires.  Residing “within,” Ravenous has access to all your “weaknesses” and will use them against you.  Since it is very possessive, it won’t allow you to have any other friends, isolating you and making you feel that its friendship is all you need to feel complete, loved, and fulfilled. 

Starving, depriving, and disrespecting your body ensures you a relationship with Ravenous.  In fact, it can easily lead to an “inner marriage,” though a dysfunctional one.  However, according to many, they say, “At least I’m not alone.”  At first, being with Ravenous feels so good, but after a very short time, you realize you made a big mistake by accepting its friendship. You discover that a friendship with Ravenous destines you to a life of highs and lows…Colossal  Drama.  Ravenous can easily lure you in, but when you least expect it, you’ll get caught in the web of its abusive nature.  Once lured in, this dispassionate being will emotionally rip you to shreds and reduce your self-esteem to dust.  Cleverly, Ravenous is the Master of Bait and Switch, resulting in a lifetime of misery. That said, some stay unhappily engaged in unhealthy relationships forever, loathing themselves along the way. There are choices, however.  And just so you know, Ravenous is most threatened by Mindfulness.

In fact, Ravenous is the Number One Enemy of Mindfulness.

Mindfulness, on the other hand, is a gentle, caring, intuitive, and compassionate soul who neither needs nor wants to control or own you.  Mindfulness simply wants to be your friend for life and love and accept you just as you are. Mindfulness wants to guide you in the most loving, nurturing, and healthy ways.  This sensitive being has the capacity to be your soul mate from within, only wanting to help you to make peace with food and your body so you can be content and live your life fully. Mindfulness is a kind, wise, and patient coach who will train you in the practice of listening to and trusting your body, skills that Ravenous has no knowledge of nor capacity for.  With Mindfulness as your friend, you will have someone devoted to helping you even when you inadvertently (or purposely), encounter Ravenous at a party or out with friends at a restaurant. 

Under Mindfulness’ tutelage, you will grow and change in ways you never imagined were possible.  In fact, being friends with Mindfulness will enable you to feel comfortable in your own skin and provide you with the clarity to make healthy, thoughtful life decisions as well as to learn how to nourish your body, mind, and spirit.  Just know that being with Mindfulness is a process that requires some energy and effort, since the relationship has to develop slowly in order to truly “know” one another.  A relationship with Mindfulness is not a “contextual friendship,” one that will fade once you move cities or change jobs; but a true friendship that will last a lifetime.

In learning to decode the hunger language of your body, I’m going to let you in on the secret: Ravenous is trilingual and speaks in Starve, Deprive, and Stuff.  It’s an easy language to acquire but due to its ease, there’s no positive personal growth that comes from knowing it.  Those who speak these languages appear unhappy and internally tortured.   

Conversely, Mindfulness speaks only one language but it is the World’s Expert in it…Attunement.  Learning to speak in Attunement takes time, concentration, and patience but it is well worth your tenacity. Once learned, you will understand the language of true, physical hunger and of inner satisfaction.  Look at it as a two for one gift. 

Those mastering Attunement also learn to hear their own voices so they can nourish and nurture themselves and live according to what is healthiest for their bodies and souls.  Learning the language of Attunement from Mindfulness frees them from the grip of Ravenous so they can discover what is truly fulfilling and what gives their lives meaning.

To me, it’s a no-brainerMindfulness seems clearly to be the better choice.  Even if at first Mindfulness appears not to be your type of friend, be open-minded and listen to its loving, nurturing voice within.

You may be surprised that Attunement is easier for you to pick up than you think.