What does “hungry” mean?

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The concept of eating when you are hungry and stopping when full always made sense to me, if it was only that easy! I tried for years to wait for the hunger and eat moderately. At times I could wait until my stomach felt empty but then I usually overate or totally binged. The truth was, feeling hungry was scary for me. With a less than full stomach came anxiety. I believed that I needed a full stomach to ground me and to fill the emptiness in my gut. For years, “hungry” meant empty, vulnerable, alone and weak. No wonder I felt anxiety waiting for hunger!

What I discovered when I got pregnant with my first child was a reminder of what I had forgotten. My gut is where God lives. It’s where the still small voice comes from when my head is quiet enough to listen. Positive energy is flowing through my body at all times. The same creative intelligence that beats my heart with no thought from my mind is sending me a hunger signal from my stomach when it needs food. “Hungry” is a natural message from a Higher Power telling me when to eat.

I like using the hunger/full scale. A “0” is ravenous and a “10” is painfully stuffed. I never let myself get to a “0”. I have sincere respect for my body and like to feed it when it needs food. And I still love to eat! I like to eat at a “2” or “3” which means I don’t feel food in my stomach from the last time I ate. I like to stop eating around a “6” or “7” which means I’m satisfied but my stomach is not full. (I still feel like playing!) Since I started changing my beliefs about hunger, I welcome it. Whenever I feel energy move, hear a growl, or feel more space in my stomach, I’m reminded of the perfect organizing power of the divine inside my body.

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