I find posting about some of the problems I have and have had very satisfying and cleansing. I know that I have an addiction to food and just because I had my stomach removed doesnt make everything all well and good now. As a matter of fact, having bariatric surgery actually complicates the bad habits that I have put upon myself over the years.
Eating when you are not actually hungry is a problem. If you eat when you are bored, happy, sad, mad, excited, or nervous, YOU have a problem. I always used food, usually decadent food, as a crutch, which I'm sure that many of you who read this blog also have done. Some people do drugs, some people drink alcohol, others go to God, I have always gone to food. And because of that I have a hard time figuring out if I am actually hungry or not.
Head hunger is when you take your emotions, whatever they are, and your brain reads them as if you are hungry when in fact, you are not. Even though I have lost a ton of weight, I still struggle with not knowing if what I am feeling is actual hunger or if its just a symptom of an emotion that I am having.
I don't actually know that it feels like to be hungry. As with most overweight people I do a lot of grazing during the day so therefore, I couldn't possibly actually BE hungry, right? And like I said before, what exactly does "hunger" feel like anyway?
According to Wikipedia - Physical Hunger is:
The physical sensation of hunger is related to contractions of the stomach muscles. These contractions—sometimes called hunger pangs once they become severe—are believed to be triggered by high concentrations of the ghrelin hormone. The hormones Peptide YY and Leptin can have an opposite effect on the appetite, causing the sensation of being full. Ghrelin can be released if blood sugar levels get low—a condition that can result from long periods without eating. Stomach contractions from hunger can be especially severe and painful in children and young adults.Hunger pangs can be made worse by irregular meals. People who can't afford to eat more than once a day sometimes refuse one-off additional meals, because if they don't eat at around the same time on the next days, they may suffer extra severe hunger pangs. Older people may feel less violent stomach contractions when they get hungry, but still suffer the secondary effects resulting from low food intake: these include weakness, irritability and decreased concentration. Prolonged lack of adequate nutrition also causes increased susceptibility to disease and reduced ability for the body to self heal.
The truth is, if you eat every 2 or 3 hours, chances are, you are not hungry. If you have a number of snacks a day, you are not hungry. If you just put things in your mouth without thinking about it, you are not hungry. I know, I have never, or at least as far back as I can remember, ever have physical contractions in my stomach telling me I'm hungry. I would love for just once, to know what that feeling is.
On the flip side of not knowing what the feeling of hunger is, I also did not know what the feeling of "full" felt like. Of course, I do not have that problem anymore, but there have been occasions that I have eaten too much and that just makes me throw up now. Before I had bariatric surgery though, I had no idea what it felt like to actually be sated.
I believe these are a two for one problem with people that are overweight. Not knowing if you are hungry and not knowing that you are full is just a recipe for disaster or at the very least, a lot of weight gain.
In ending, if you do not keep these two monsters, Hunger and being Sated in check, you will never ever keep your weight in check. The constant grazing or binge eating will always catch up to you, even if you have had your stomach removed.