What Does Having A Full Bladder Have In Common With Being Hungry?
Having worked with hundreds of people struggling with their weight, something that comes up time and time again is a fear of being hungry.
People tell me they associate hunger with weight gain and therefore either consciously or unconsciously they have learnt to ignore their feelings of hunger until they do not recognise the signals, or, they white knuckle it until it usually backfires and makes them feel out of control around food.
Here is the trouble with both of these strategies. Hunger is a sign that you need fuel. It is an amazingly clever sign, one that is there to help keep us alive, and when we deny its existence we are playing with a double-edged sword that will create havoc with our internal and external functioning.
The analogy of needing to "empty your bladder" is helpful to think about. Your bladder is telling you that it is full. At first it may be a little bit uncomfortable but you are ok you can hold on. So you ignore it for a little while longer. Then the feelings get more intense and you still try to ignore it because you are busy or there is no bathroom around. Then what happens? Eventually it becomes so urgent you are at risk of wetting your pants.
So why on earth am I talking about pants wetting in an article about hunger?
If you ignore something long enough, there is a consequence, be it a physical symptom or an emotional one. To use a popular saying: " What you resist will persist".
It is the same with hunger. If you ignore it, you run the risk of getting so hungry, that next time you are close to food you may eat very quickly or you may over eat and become uncomfortably full. If this pattern is repeated over time it becomes dysfunctional and can lead to binging and often a cycle of binging and restricting.
So what does hunger feel like other than a rumbling tummy?
Perhaps you have felt some of the symptoms below but have not made the connection that you might actually be hungry.
Some of the ways hunger manifests itself that you may not recognize are: feeling dizzy, grumpy ie (hangry), headachy, poor concentration, weak, fading eyesight, irrational, fatigue, nausea and or a general malaise.
So how can you break this cycle?
Firstly it is important to recognize this might be a pattern for you. Then slowly but surely, and with professional help if needed, learn to embrace and make friends with your hunger. Learn how to identify what it feels like and to honor this feeling. This will help you on many levels. Not only will it help with long-term weight management, you will be able to make rational calm decisions around food because you will not be "too hungry" and you will be less likely to over eat.
It can have a profound affect on your mood and energy levels when you tune into your body rather than tune out of what it is telling you. So next time you have an urge to "wee" think of how clever our body is if we listen to what it is telling us and you may well save yourself a lot of discomfort.
Ginette Lenham(C) 2018
News for July /August 2018
I now have a Bupa health Care provider number and also if you work for the Australian police force you can now claim my services through your own work place health care fund. I also have a Medibank provider number for those with top cover.
For those of you who are new to my website and blogs I offer Counselling, Psychotherapy and Coaching for all life's worries and concerns as well as weight management support.
I am super excited to inform you that both my weight management groups and the Binge Eating Groups are soon to have a lovely new home. Stay tuned for the new address and upcoming dates and details by subscribing to the blog on my website. For those who have not already signed up I would love you to do so as this is the best way to receive ongoing updates and information about groups, articles, locations, events and blogs. To sign up go to the home page on my website and head to the very bottom of the page and press "subscribe to our blog" which is a blue button.Perhaps share the site with your friends and colleagues if you think they may be interested.
I also have a very special announcement to make at the end of August early September, which I can't wait to share with you all, so do stay tuned.
My very best wishes