View Full Version : What's with my need to always be FULL?
05-15-2006, 03:00 PM
So, to date most of my postings have been pretty straightforward questions about raw food prep how-tos, etc. but today I've decided to step forward with a question more emotional in nature. I think I've resisted posting about this stuff because I fear no one will respond!
But anyway. Like a lot of people (in the world, on this board, etc) I have emotional issues with food. I've struggled with eating disorders, and really am coming to believe that raw foods is what I've been looking for. I've been eating high raw for over a month now and feel pretty good (though I've definitely not been super-strict about it). One of my HUGE ISSUES is that...I'm afraid of feeling hungry. I'm almost certain this is a throwback to when I was sixteen and quite anorexic--under 500 calories was a "good" day for me. I was pretty much a mess. Somehow, with a loving family and therapy, I pulled myself out it and spent my college years largely happy with how I looked, and with a stable weight/minimal food obsessions. It seemed like I was fine. But over the past two years after graduating from college, my life has yet again become focused on weight and body image. I've put on some weight since then (not a lot--perhaps 15 pounds, enough to make me go up a size) and have gone through some pretty dark days with respect to how I handle food in my life.
It's like, I always need to be full. I can't deal with the sensation of a growling stomach, or any amount of discomfort relating to hunger. However, I really, REALLY want to shrink the size of my stomach, start doing some short juice fasts, and really refocus my eating patterns so I can eat minimally and lose some weight. I know that on raw we can all eat abundantly and all that, but I kind of want to just start from scratch. I don't even know how much sense this makes...or what advice I'm really looking for. Perhaps it's just a vent because today I came home, not even really hungry and ate a blender full of chocolate walnut "mousse." Now I feel sick. *Sigh*. Another day in the life of someone with food issues.
05-15-2006, 03:43 PM
I don't have any advice, but I can commiserate since I think I have a related problem - I'm not so much afraid of my stomach growling as I am of low blood sugar, and I think I've come to associate tiredness with low blood sugar with hunger. So I think I need to eat when I'm tired, which means I'm constantly snacking.
05-15-2006, 04:23 PM
I don't have any advice either, but I'd like to say that I'm in the same situation. I think you articulated how I've been feeling and I'd like to say thank you. It's as if I don't want to go down that anorexic path or memories so I won't allow myself to feel the growling hungry. When I do feel that the anorexic thoughts start shooting off in my head. I will say that raw foods have recovered me from bulimia though, completely (at least so far).
05-15-2006, 04:43 PM
I too fear the growl....I obsess and obsess and I know it's the need to feel full that's at the crux of all of it...I'm sure a doctor of some type would say that I'm compensating for an absense in my life somewhere or whatnot, but who knows? Sorry I have no suggestions, but we're all together in this!
05-15-2006, 04:58 PM
The most obvious answer is that it's a different need that's looking to be satisfied, a nonphysical hunger that needs filling -- kinda like what SecretHeart wrote -- and I do think that figuring that out is valuable. Depending on the way we choose to explore that kind of self-knowledge, it can take an investment of time.
In the meantime, though, I find it helpful to keep HALT in mind. It's a way of doing a quick check on ourselves, a way of understanding what's going on at the moment. It's a useful tool in recovery of all sorts -- it's explained a bit at
I'm glad you brought this up - it's a really valid question and a reality for many of us. Becoming aware of it is sooo important. Yay for you in knowing that this is going on!
05-15-2006, 05:28 PM
You guys responded! My fear has been alleviated. It makes me feel a ton better to at least know that other people feel the same. I obviously knew that, but sometimes you just need to hear it, particularly after a bad day.
dreamrawalwz, that's exactly it--or at least part of it. I never, ever want to be the way I was when I was literally starving to death. I did so much horrible damage to my body and was like a walking zombie. I've struggled with binging and purging as well, much longer than my struggle with simply not eating. I agree, raw has helped immensely with that--it helps with the guilt.
SecretHeart and RawTruth--yes...yes....yes. I like to consider myself quite self-aware, and I know there are some huge voids in my life right now. Like I had mentioned, during college my food issues were at a minimum, and I believe it was because I was so entirely immersed in academics and all goals associated with that (double majoring, studying abroad, writing my honors thesis, etc.) and was just so BUSY. A book that really touches on all these issues and I highly recommend to anyone struggling with these issues is "Appetites" by Caroline Knapp. She was (passed away several years ago, only in her fortys) an anorexic and alcoholic. The book talks about "appetite" both in the literal and metaphorical sense, and she basically makes the point that when so many areas of a woman's life are unfulfilled (career-wise, love-wise, etc) they turn to any one of many outlets (eating, drinking, shopping, sex, etc.). That's a very crude summary but I sooo recommend it. So essentially, for me, I'm in this very hard transitional state (graduated from college, going to grad school eventually but in the interim just trying to find a job I can stand for more than a year and make a decent living off of). I have a ton of idle time on my hands and am bored a lot. I know I need to keep busy, and do my best. But gosh can it be hard.
So thanks again guys...hearing the empathy means so much.
05-15-2006, 05:42 PM
It's so good to hear this discussed. I also know all too well that fly-into-panic response to a growling stomach. It's gotten a lot less persistent since I've started eating raw (I think because my body is satisfied and nourished, even when my stomach is empty), but I still occasionally have rough spots. I'm giving it time - I have faith that, aided with good raw foods and increased self-awareness, this will heal itself.
05-15-2006, 07:11 PM
I definitely have emotional issues with food. For me, I know I use it to numb myself to my emotions. When I feel emotions that I don't like, rather than just dealing with them and feeling them, I rush to food to comfort and numb me. I eat whenever I can find an excuse to do so and I even hope I'll get hungry so I can have a justifiable excuse for eating!
05-15-2006, 08:45 PM
Hey Onesmartcookie.. I like your name!
I can relate to your post quite a bit. I too have a fear of being hungry. For whatever detox reason I used to get awful stomach aches if I would skip a meal, and feel really irritable and ill. So I would eat a lot whether I was hungry or not. Now that i'm raw, I find I can go longer without food and not feel ill, and yet the fear remains.
I think also I obsess more about my food because I have less exciting things going on in my life. I've been taking a year off from college and living at home, with very little to occupy my time. Soo I think about my meals, plan my meals, go grocery shopping, go through elaborate prep.. obsessing. I've been trying to focus more on other things and keep busy, but it is a struggle.
I wish you the best, and you can trust someone is ALWAYS here to respond whether we can relate or not, so thanks for posting.
you can feel free to email me if you want.
take care :) ~Sunshine
05-15-2006, 09:01 PM
wow I know exactly what you mean, onesmartcookie. I can especially what you said dreamrawalwz and also what you said sunshine9. I know just what you mean with the whole fear of being hungry sort of thing, its not a fear of hunger itself, more a fear of what (literally) starving brought into my life...and as was mentioned not wanting to go down that road again. Tonight my mom tried to force me to eat salmon. I remained calm the entire time and just munched away on my veggies and nuts and changed the subject (which I had to do multiple times before she finally dropped it) *sighs* wow I got off topic. sorry. Any way just wanted to say I can relate. its so hard for me because I never got to do a cleansing fast or anything and don't have that option since that would be seen as some means for me to starve and lose more weight and I'm trying to gain so the doctor said to stuff myself. and then often its like stuff myself, ok and then I really really stuff myself to death and can't seem to stop and then feel so sick. bleh. Thanks for posting this onesmartcookie, and I wish you peace with food :)
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