How to know if you’re hungry

Are you hungry for an apple? If you’re not hungry for an apple you’re not hungry–you’re probably just bored.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat anyways. On Friday night I was full after dinner. Then I ate cereal. Then I ate ice cream cake. I noticed I wasn’t hungry, and then I ate anyways.

It was important that I noticed though, because noticing is what breaks the habit of eating out of boredom. I like Jack Kornfield’s reflection on boredom in his book, A Path With Heart:

“Usually we are afraid of boredom and will do anything to avoid it. So we go to the refrigerator, pick up the phone, watch TV, read a novel, busy ourselves constantly in an attempt to escape our loneliness, our emptiness, our boredom. When we are without awareness, it has a great power over us and we can never be at rest. Yet we need not let boredom run our lives this way. What is boredom when it is experienced in itself? Have we every really stopped to look at it? Boredom comes from lack of attention. With it we also find restlessness, discouragement, and judgment. We get bored because we don’t like what is happening or because we feel empty or lost. In naming it, we can acknowledge boredom and let it be a state to explore.” (p. 92).

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