Monday, September 26, 2005

Oh, My Shrinking Wattle, Part IV: The Big Empty

211 lb.s I've been stuck here for nearly a month. It's irritating.

This morning, I am not hungry, but I do want to be more full. My belly seems a little too flat when I see it in the mirror (I'm forever looking at myself out of the corner of my eye.) My gut feels spacious inside, hollow. My bowels are un-cramped, not over-full with waste, as they get when I eat too much. In other words, there is too much empty space in me, as if my insides were a series of unfurnished rooms, which I have the urge to make homey and comfortable by filling them with over-stuffed reading chairs and long couches. Their emptiness makes me anxious.

But, I am not hungry. It's taken a lot for me to recognize the difference between true hunger and the anxiety of perceived emptiness. It's a humbling distinction, one that the mind of a food addict--or any kind of addict--does not recognize. The addict with an undisciplined mind does not even care about making this distinction, and so he is lost. But, the addict with a mind that never quite loses it's discipline--because his will to live fully won't let him--does see the difference between real hunger and perceived emptiness and is tortured by it, until one day he suddenly believes he can act on that difference, and does.

My goal weight is 205 lb.s, which means I want to get to 202 lb.s, to allow for the regular fluctuations and tides of my body's processes as they hold in the extra sludges or sluice them out according to activity level, changes in diet, diurnal rhythms, etcetera. If I keep in mind the difference between real and imagined hunger, I might stand a chance of getting there.

Here's a funny thing: during the ten minutes or so during which I've been writing this post that empty feeling has dissipated. Any connection, you think?

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