Dinner is done. The food is put away. I’ve had enough. ……but I want more. There is just ‘something missing’ from my meal, and I can’t put my finger on it. Nothing specific sounds good, but nothing really doesn‘t sound good either.
So, to help assure myself that this sensation is not just me, but is a human phenomenon, I turn to my loving husband, Matt, and say “do you ever have the feeling of being physically full, but just ‘want’ for something more?”.
His deadpan face stares back at me. “No”. Nose crinkles and eyebrows forrough as though he’s examining a foreign object.
I stare back. “Liar”.
Am I too bold to say that men and women just connect food and mood differently? I know with absolute FACT, fact I’ tell you, that Matt has indeed experience what I was just feeling….but to him it’s such an non-issue in his world that it jogs no memory. He doesn’t begin cataloging what he eats and how much he eats in his mind after a day of not feeling satisfied with food. He might just say to himself, “hmm.. I’d like some PB M&M’s – I think I’ll go get some”. End of story.
The opposite is true of women (gross overstatement, I know). We have bizarre, irrational judgemental thoughts about our bodies, what it means when we want food and aren’t hungry and what emotions may be driving us to just want to put foods in our mouth. It can become a full time job just to manage those thoughts and feelings, right ladies?
I swear, sometimes I wish I was a man. Never has my husband questioned his confidence because he felt ‘fat’ in his dress shirt and slacks (or that he’s made the connection with). Even when weight issues and food issues sneak their way into the man’s life (and oh yes, those pot bellies don’t just show up with age fellas – that takes some effort too), they just don’t seem to spend as much mental energy on them. Is this better or worse?
Flip side: as a woman with food ‘issues’, these same issues that rule my brain at times are also a beautiful way for me to check in with how I feel. When I want to eat for no reason I can say to myself… ‘hmm, what is the deeper need here?’ and then I can go to fill THAT need, not the hand to mouth need. Better or worse?
Maybe there is no better or worse, only different. Maybe I can learn from Matt and his cavaliar approach to his body and diet. And maybe he can learn from me – that the ‘coincidence’ of eating a super giant burrito after a stressful day is more than a pattern of convenience and might be a place to start uncovering those newfangled sensations called ‘feelings’.
Okay, I feel better now. Maybe what I was hungry for was just to connect with my blog.