When Is Hunger Really Hunger?

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This is a dangerous time in any new regime, the bit where you are over the initial excitement of starting and you are just doing it. It’ s all too easy to give up at this point or let it all just slide but I cannot do that as I have no more alternatives to fall back on. I have to train myself to eat consciously and only when I am truly hungry, it really shouldn’t be that hard … should it?
I have been struggling in the past week or so to remember to really think about the nature of my hunger before I eat. Am I really hungry? Is it an emotional hunger that I am feeling? Am I feeling stressed, anxious or just bored and looking for a displacement activity? Maybe I’ m not hungry at all, maybe what I am feeling is thirst.
I’ m pretty sure that my problem is winter! It is so cold and miserable outside and all I want to do is stay indoors and keep warm. Being cold makes me feel tired and hungry. I have also had a few personal ups and downs in the past two weeks so maybe emotional hunger is playing its part too.
I find it harder at this time of the year to focus and stay strong and any setbacks seem to affect me more than at other times of the year. I wonder whether we put too much pressure on ourselves in the modern world to continue in the depths of winter to do all the things that we do in the spring and summer.
Historically as a species we would have spent the cold winter months indoors and keeping ourselves warm and as well fed as possible. Now we are expected to get up in the dark, rush off to work, fit in a run or a session at the gym, come home make dinner, do the chores etc., etc., etc. Spending time to think about the nature of hunger and to eat consciously seems, at times, like a luxury I can ill afford.
Having said all that I will make this work for me and if that means going back to the beginning and looking at the rules and understanding why they are there then so be it. They are not difficult and the very reason that I find them particularly difficult to stick to in times of stress or upset indicate that my hunger just might be emotional after all.


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