3 In wellness

an insatiable hunger, part one.


[photo credit]

As we begin this new year, I can’t help but wonder how many girls out there have vowed to stick to a new diet in 2011. We’ve probably all been there–I know I have.

She lived it up during the holidays and ate whatever she wanted. She ate the sweets in the office or around the house with temporary joy, only to feel sad and guilty later because she was dissatisfied with her body and she felt responsible. She often ate much more than she was hungry for because she knew in the back of her mind that her diet would start soon and she wouldn’t get to eat like that for much longer. She lives by the hope of a new body, achieved by her control over her diet. Starting this month, she will start to become a newer, better, smarter, more organized, higher paid, and most importantly, thinner version of herself. Except it’s all a lie, and in the back of her mind, she knows that’s the truth.

I confess, I’ve been that girl I just described. I’ve felt stuck in a body that didn’t feel like my own–one that I’d abused and punished through poor eating habits and refusal to listen to my hunger. I’ve tried the diets, and I’ve yearned for a different body. Yet no matter what my body looked like–no matter how healthy or unhealthy it looked to others–I never felt whole, never felt full, never felt like a better version of myself.

Dieting often reflects a deeper hunger than physiological need. It reveals an insatiable hunger to be someone different than we are. Whether or not it produces the hoped-for physical results, it’s only a bandaid to cover up deeper issues. We associate “better” with “thinner,” but we’re always disappointed to discover that it’s not true. Like any other addiction, dieting lures us in with it’s promises and leaves us wanting. Dieting never satisfies.

Have you ever been or are you that girl I described? What kept you or keeps you clinging to the hope that being thinner will make you better?

P.S. You can read part two here.

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Kim
    January 5, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    great post Nat! this is definitely something to be wary of when starting any healthy-eating plan. i also liked allie’s post the other day about seeking God and uncovering true motives. it’s one thing to try to keep energized and stay healthy, it’s another thing to obsess over it.

  • Reply
    Allie Marie Smith
    January 5, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    So true…

    “Dieting often reflects a deeper hunger than physiological need. It reveals an insatiable hunger to be someone different than we are.”

    I know this probably sounds cliche, but I really do think seeing beautiful photographs everywhere of THIN beautiful women make me believe the fantasy that thin equals better. But I think if we saw more beautiful photographs of beautiful HEALTHY women of normal weight range more of us might accept our curves. Slowly we are seeing more curvy and healthy-sized women in the media, but we still have a long ways to go!

  • Reply
    Natalie
    January 6, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Thanks Allie and Kim! I agree with both of you, healthy is always better than (and often not equal to) thin. Grace should always be part of our eating and exercise habits, as well as our self-image.

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