Your Hungry Mind

Americans seem to be obsessed with dieting. Of course, we know that diets work in the short term, say 1-2 years. But the long term, (5 years is the gold standard for research), diets only work for 3% of the general population.

People concentrate so heavily on the correct amount of carbs, proteins, fiber, and fats. It can take the enjoyment out of eating and living.

Geneen Roth said, “For every diet, there is an equal and opposite binge.” Meaning, restriction leads to overeating.

Normal eaters overeat from time to time. Remember The Golden Girls and their monthly cheesecake gossip sessions?

But, compulsive overeating and binge eating are not a result of loving food too much. Usually, there is an emptiness that is not being filled. That is what is meant by a hungry mind.

When you want to use food in a destructive way, ask yourself, “What would I be feeling if I chose not to eat in this moment?” Sometimes you’ll be able to figure out what is going on. And other times, well, you will eat. You can tell yourself, “I look forward to the day when I can feel my feelings, until then I will give myself compassion.” You may not mean it the first 10 times, and that’s okay.

For me, I had a lack of joy in my life. Food was my only joy. I’m beginning to find other joys, to make food not glitter as much. My joy includes splashing at the pool, walking outside around the lake, yoga, writing, connecting with people on an intimate level.

Where do you find joy?

I blogged about feeding the Seven Hungers here.


About eatingasapathtoyoga

Learning to savor food, yoga, & life.
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8 Responses to Your Hungry Mind

  1. Maggie Graham says:

    I love this intention of seeking joy in places beyond food. I’m in a book group for Mindful Eating by Jan Chozen Bays, and she talks about the 7 kinds of hunger, including heart hunger and eye hunger. This week’s assignment is to notice what nourishes my eye hunger. It’s enlightening to put my attention on this question.

  2. cjh002 says:

    I love Genene Roth’s books. I think she is super insightful when it comes to filling voids with unhealthy coping mechanisms and I am glad you are finding alternative ways to do that! I find job in nature, spending time with my husband, reading, and dance. Happy friday!

  3. Shannon says:

    Wow, I am so there right now. I am trying to work on making food less important but I still focus on it so much. It’s a good perspective shift to think about filling that space with something joyful instead of just trying to keep it empty of food.

  4. Kate says:

    Ha! I could have sworn that those gals were having cheesecake every night! But it could very well have been monthly just like Jessica Fletcher didn’t always find a dead body when she traveled.

    ….or did she?

    A lack of joy was present in my life for as long as I remembered. Even when I did have joy my thoughts always went to “This won’t last. Soon something will be taking this away from you.” It was amazing how steadily my weight started dropping when I kicked my ex to the curb. Who knew that being happy led to binging less.

  5. Debbish says:

    Have some some Geneen Roth books as well. As you know I’m a dieter / binger so completely understand what you’re saying here. As well as the fact that ‘normal’ eaters ‘overeat’ from time to time as well. I guess I’d like to just be like that. Someone who occasionally has a too-big dinner or cake for breakfast or too-much chocolate. (Rather than being obsessed with food and dieting etc.)

    I think I still suffer from a lack of joy in my life. Sometimes I stop and think, “When does the fun start?!” But of course only I can make those changes.

    I ‘may’ get a chance soon to dive into the unknown and I’m hoping that it will bring me some of the joy and fulfilment I’ve been looking for.


  6. Kara says:

    I totally agree with Geneen Roth in that restriction leads to overeating/bingeing.

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