Eating to fulfill hunger is not really something I can comprehend. I have never eaten because I felt hungry and I've never stopped eating because I've felt full. That's quite the revelation, isn't it? And quite the confession. I eat because I feel like it and because I can. I eat because it tastes good. I have a sweet tooth for days and I love spicy flavorful foods. I eat with my family a few times a week. It's our time to catch up. I eat with my friends. Again, we catch up or we celebrate something or we do it just because. Food is the center of much of my life. There isn't much thought behind it at all. It just is what it is.
Even three days into the Live Below the Line challenge, I eat when it's time to eat, not to hush my grumbling stomach. And I dread the white corn tortillas. I am mad at them in fact for not tasting like fluffy white bread or an asiago bagel from Panera or ANYTHING ELSE THAT DOESN'T TASTE like a white corn tortilla. I think that because I have been so fortunate to eat what I want when I want that I am not grateful for the little bit that I have this week. Today, I barely choked down half of my lunch. I couldn't eat it any more. I would rather go without than eat another corn tortilla.
It is safe to say that on day three, I've learned to manage being hungry. It didn't take long to figure out that the busier I am, then less hungry I am, which explains why moms I know are always saying things like "I forgot to eat all day!" I have NEVER had an instance in my life when I've FORGOTTEN to eat. Can't imagine it. (Reminds me of friends I have who say "I didn't even know I got paid last week." Well, then you have TOO MUCH MONEY. But that's a blog for another time.) While I've learned to control the hunger, I have yet to grasp the idea of eating for nourishment or fulfilment. I don't know that a week will do that for me. And I don't know that I could do this longer than a week at a time because I am exhausted. I have very little energy.
There is a profound sadness that accompanies this experience. I do not completely understand what life is like for a woman living below the line every day but I am starting to get a sense of how helplessness can impact the choices you make and how you live out your days.
This week, I have very little food. I lack energy. It would have been easy for me to stay in bed today rather than going to work. I have lost six pounds in two days. I can stand to lose probably another fifty pounds but a women much smaller than me would probably really be struggling at this point.
Perhaps by Friday, the corn tortilla and I will have made up. And that may only be because I've had my fill of Ramen noodles and eggs.