We were talking about Middle Monster tonight after Upwards Basketball practice (first of the season), and it got me to thinking about something that relates both to dieting and to writing.
What makes Middle Monster so exciting to watch on the court is her hunger for the ball. We joke that she’d bring the ball out for the opposing team if they’d let her. She wants the ball so bad she’ll risk life and limb to get it. She’s fairly short-to-average height, so she’s not going to light up any coach’s eyes in that regard, but her HEART is miles and miles long. She burns with excitement and fire.
Meanwhile, Princess is 5’6″ (taller than me at 12 years old) and still growing. She has the ability to be a power house under the basket because she’s so strong and tall, although she won’t set any speed records. However, she doesn’t have that burning desire to get the ball. She could out leap anyone under the basket to rebound — but she doesn’t.
She’s more lackadaisical on the court. She wants to play, wants to participate, but it’s not the same as that hunger Middle has.
Now think about that with dieting. One of the hardest things I personally struggle with is the feeling of hunger at night. I try not to eat within 2-3 hours of bed, and if I do, it’s an apple nuked in the microwave with a little coconut oil, cinnamon, Splenda, and 1/4 c. oatmeal. It’s so yummy it’s like dessert.
But tonight I was busy and I didn’t have time to even think about eating a snack until 9 PM. We had Subway tonight (because of practice) and that salad didn’t last me too long. I’m hungry, darn it, and I want to eat!
A lot of us have never really known real hunger. I’m not comparing normal healthy hunger I’m feeling to kids going to bed with empty stomachs because there’s no food in the cupboard. That breaks my heart. But a little hunger can be a good thing.
It’s uncomfortable, though. My first instinct is to feed it so it’ll go away. But I felt really thin today, an illusion because I need to lose a lot yet — but I felt good. I want to see a nice number on the scale tomorrow, and I’m not really that hungry. I had dinner and snacks earlier. I got almost all of my healthy guidelines (missed the oil unless there was some in the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki I put on my salad at Subway).
I don’t need to eat, but I feel itchy, twitchy, nervous. I want to go go go – to the kitchen. Grrr. So I’m drinking water instead and plan to go to bed soon to avoid temptation.
But hunger isn’t a bad thing at all. It makes me stop and think about my choices. It makes me think about tomorrow and how good breakfast will taste. It makes me feel leaner, which also inspires me to work out. In that regard, hunger is a very good thing.
NaNoWriMo makes me hungry for words. Signing a new contract makes me hungry for a new one. Checking my Amazon ratings makes me want to get more books listed. More opportunities to get noticed, found, or discovered by someone new. HUNGER.
It’s never ending. It can be annoying. I’ll never be satisfied in writing – I’ll always want another book, another great review, another wonderful reader letter. And oh, if Santa is reading, I’d like an agent to come knocking on my door too. My hunger drives me to get up at 5 AM or stay up until midnight even when I have to work. To write when my wrists hurt. To open my file and keep going even if I got a bad review.
I’m too driven by my hunger to let anything stop me.
What’s your hunger? Do you feed it like a flame? Can it ever be satisfied? Do you ever sit back and savor that feeling and think about all that it will drive you to accomplish?