Note: Learn more about the Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating program here or at www.amihungry.com.
I’ve recently caught glimpses of shows on the Cooking Channel, and I can’t help noticing (and being bothered by) their catch phrase: “Stay hungry.” On the one hand, I appreciate the idea that if you’re going to cook and eat something, you should be hungry. It’s the “stay” part that troubles me. Shows about food often make people think they’re hungry when they’re really not. So when the Cooking Channel exhorts me to “stay hungry”, do they want me to actually be hungry, or just feel like eating? If the former, if they actually want people to be hungry all the time, that’s just wrong. I’ve had days like that, and it’s miserable. I fantasize about food, and in the days when I was on “diets”, I thought almost constantly about when and what I could eat next. It distracted me from paying attention to my experience at that moment and made me food-obsessed. This is what happens to people when they’re starving, whether of their own choice (through diets) or externally imposed. Why would I want to encourage that for other people? If, on the other hand, the Cooking Channel is promoting the idea of feeling like eating all the time, whether or not you’re actually hungry – well, that’s where a lot of the population already is, and you can see how well that’s working. And as any regular readers of this blog will know, that’s the complete antithesis of the Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating program. But what about a different interpretation altogether? After all, they don’t actually tell us what to stay hungry for. Given that, if I see that logo again, I’ll consider it as encouragement to stay hungry, but not necessarily for food. Rather, hungry for life, and for things that are meaningful and important to me. Sometimes that may be food, or cooking, but sometimes I may be hungry for hugs, or time to myself, or fun. That version, I can live with.