Thursday, May 15, 2008

Momisms and Hunger

"We're leaving soon. Do you have to go to the bathroom?", my mother to me and my sister when we were young.
"No, Mom".
"Go anyway. Just in case. Try. Because you won't have a chance to go again for a while."
Sound familiar? That's just one of the typical admonitions from my mother to us every time we got ready to leave the house.
Here are two other typical remarks from my mother's litany of warnings:
"I'm cold. Wear a jacket."
"Eat something now or you might get hungry later."
So now as an adult they all sound kind of ridiculous to me. It's not necessary to eek out a drop of urine just because you're leaving the house. If someone else is cold, it doesn't mean that I'm going to be cold. And filling up on food when you're not hungry to stave off hunger at a later time really doesn't work.
I rarely wait until I'm "hungry" to eat. I know what hunger feels like. Funny thing is that when I'm hungry, I always say "I'm starving". Obviously that's a gross exaggeration! But hunger does feel that way to me. Like I'm going to die if I don't scarf down some major calories immediately. I usually eat after a few hours-hunger signs or not. Habit. Time to eat. Thoughts of food. See food, want food. Those are eating motivators for me. And I just don't like feeling hungry so I try to head it off at the pass!
I am not an emotional eater. Unless you count celebratory eating as emotional eating. Good grade on a test? Time for ice cream. Check arrives in the mail? Time for fried chicken. Birthday? You name it, I'll eat it. Mother's Day? Permission to indulge.
Sadness? Really no effect on my eating. I don't lose my appetite nor do I sit in the dark corners of the closet downing candy bars. I'm not a gorger. I just like to eat really good food. Too much of it. And sometimes when I'm not hungry.
Dieting has taught me to pay attention to my hunger. Since grabbing whatever at the first signs of an empty belly is no longer allowed, I've come to sense the stages of hunger. I've also noticed that sometimes I'm really thirsty and not hungry! That means that calorie free water (what a concept!) can satisfy the feelings I used to satisfy with food. Revelations. That's part of what dieting is doing for me-creating personal revelations.
I will admit that I attempt to pee before I leave the house-even if it's going to be a short trip to some place with adequate bathroom facilities. I do take a jacket with me even if there's only a very slight chance that I might need it. And I always pack food. You never know when you might get hungry!
So I guess my mother rubbed off on me. Even if I don't like to admit it much. And my kids? Are they following in my footsteps???

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