5 Different Kinds of Hunger

5 Different Kinds of Hunger

Cookie JarAnn knew she was experiencing some health problems as a result of being seriously overweight. She had very little energy, her knees hurt all the time, her menstrual cycle was messed up, and her cholesterol level was dangerously high. She knew she needed to lose weight – and the first step was changing how she ate. But she was finding it very difficult. She sat on the exam table and told me, “I’m an emotional eater. It’s the way I handle stress.”

The good news is that Ann realizes there is a difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger. Feeding emotional hunger with physical food may lessen the “Feed me!” screaming in your brain, but that only lasts a little while. When the underlying need has not been met, the mental demand for “food” only gets louder once again.

My friend Kathrine Lee likes to say, “It’s not what you’re eating: it’s what’s eating you!” Understanding – and meeting – the different needs we have with appropriate “nourishment” will make a huge difference in our health and happiness.

For the many of us who reach for food to quiet any hunger we feel, it may take some thinking and self-study to truly understand what our body and mind is really asking for. Here are some different kinds of hunger we can misinterpret as a need for food:

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Faster, Higher, Stronger: Your Gold-Medal Run

Faster, Higher, Stronger: Your Gold-Medal Run

The 2012 Olympic Games in London have just come to an end. For these two weeks every two years I spend more time watching sports on TV than probably the entire two years between them. I love watching a gold-medal run.

Names like Michael Phelps, Usian Bolt, Gabby Douglas, Missy Franklin, Oscar Pistorius, and others are now household words around the world. There’s something about the Olympic Games that draws us in.

There is such drama packed into those two weeks that little else can rival – the exhilaration of winning, the agony of defeat, and the sometimes heroic achievement of some athletes just to make it to London.

I love the intensity of the Olympic Games. I love seeing people who have pushed themselves to the limit, overcome great obstacles, and kept going even through periods of “failure” to reach their dream.

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Looking For Love: Radical Intimacy

Looking For Love: Radical Intimacy

Remember the movie Urban Cowboy, and one of its hit songs “Lookin’ for Love” (Johnny Lee)? Bud and Sissy are “lookin’ for love in all the wrong places,” and get so hurt in the process.

But don’t we all. We get wound up in knots looking for a kind of love we believe must be there, but somehow can’t quite seem to find.

Two people getting married naturally believe things are going to be perfect from that day on. And then they too often become disillusioned when things get difficult.

The intimacy of marriage can be scary, and it can also be incredibly healing. That’s how marriage was intended to be: for two people broken in different ways, going through life with each other CAN bring healing to our brokenness. It’s one of God’s best methods of helping us become what He knows we can be.

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Red, Yellow, Green: The Relationship Traffic Light

Red, Yellow, Green: The Relationship Traffic Light

When I was in elementary school we sometimes played the game of “Red Light, Green Light.” One of us would be “it,” and call out the signals to the rest of us lined up at the starting line. You could move as fast as you wanted when the “light” was green, but if you took even one step after the “light” turned red you had to return to the starting line and start over. The first one to reach the finish line without moving on red was rewarded with being the next “it.”

I doubt elementary students today play “Red Light, Green Light” during recess any longer. It was a simple game, and with sophisticated playground equipment and sports programs in place now they have more entertaining things to do.

But we as adults still play “Red Light, Green Light” in our relationships. And the stakes are so much higher than they were in childhood!

Think of the other people you know. I would guess you could quite easily tell who is giving out a “green light,” indicating

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