The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Hunger.... Hangry?



I do a fair amount of thinking during my running.  Hell, I think a lot.... all the damn day.  But, I think (ha, pun intended) that my thinking is better while I am running.  This is because, the running tires me out to a degree.... and I *think* this helps me to NOT be as prone to "brooding and/or ruminating" over things that bother me.  Do not get me wrong, I can and still do sometimes brood/ruminate while running, but it is far, far less often than at other times.  

After listening to Mass today, and after praying the Rosary, I started to think about "hunger".  And, I am of the belief that either:

a)  I do not have a normal/usual sensation of hunger


b) My definition of what a sensation of hunger IS..... is incorrect


I very nearly never "feel" a sense of hunger in terms of what I *think* hunger is supposed to feel like. I always imagine feeling hungry should evoke thoughts of wanting food, of desiring food, of wanting to search for food.... and I always imagine the feeling of hunger would be something I would feel both in my mind and in my stomach and it would feel like a NEED.

But, really, I do not feel that.  

I LOVE TO EAT!  I really like eating!  I eat a lot every day!  

Hell, I used to weigh damn near 300 pounds (near 136 kg/near 21.5 stone).  But, I did not eat out of what I thought would be "hunger"... I ate because I liked the flavors, I liked the tastes/textures. I ate because it was fun.   

Now, I weigh 161 pounds (~73 kg/~11.5 stone).  My BMI is absolutely dead center of normal.  And, I still do not eat out of what I thought would be "hunger".... I eat because I like the flavors, I like the tastes/textures.  I eat because it is fun.  

I have occasionally been in situations where I was not able to eat for extended periods of time.  In the more recent past, there has been a time where I did not eat any food for ~36-40 hours.  I actually did this purposefully to a) see if I would develop what I would think is a feeling of "hunger", b) I wanted to see what my blood glucose was (my wife had been switched to a new style of monitoring device and had a few inserts left for the prior one).  

In this experiment of sorts, when I ate, I had a modest/typical/normal rise in blood glucose for a little bit after eating, but it very quickly reverted to normal (I do not have diabetes).  But during my fast, as my glucose level eventually began to drop below normal..... I never felt "hungry".  It seems like I SHOULD have felt hungry.  Eventually, though, when my blood glucose dropped ENOUGH, I began to feel grumpy and grouchy.... but NOT how I believed HUNGER should feel.  There is a slang expression for feeling irritable when hungry..... it is "HANGRY".  

I GUESS the feelings I had at the end (grumpy/grouchy) probably were an indication of being "hangry"..... but.... logically.... it seems I SHOULD HAVE felt HUNGRY before I went into "hangry."

So, it seems that either I do not a) ever feel hungry, or b) my understanding of what it should feel like when hungry... is off the mark for some reason.  If I do not really experience the feelings of being hungry.... this MIGHT be a partial explanation on how I ended up damn near 300 pounds for a while. Most of my adult life since high school, I hovered around 230 pounds ( ~105 kg/ ~16.5 stone) and was that weight for lots and lots of years.  I weighed about 300 for perhaps 5 years.  For the last 15 years, I have been in the normal BMI range.  

It is just odd to think about.  Though, I still love to eat!  What is YOUR definition of hunger?  Perhaps I am just defining the feeling incorrectly?     

* * * * * 

  • Rousted myself out of bed and hit the trails at 4:45am again.  Hoofed out 10.3 miles again (~16.5km).  It felt good.  No fog this morning, and the sun itself appeared HUGE and a most vivid, beautiful, DEEP orange color as it arose part way through my run. 
  • "Big -voiced" (professorial voiced) through two more new classes this morning.  They were fun.... although my voice was tired.  
  • I have been carrying around a pipe filled with Iwan Ries "Three Star Blue" today.  It is NOT lit, even though it is VERY tempting to consider doing so.  My trusty Zippo IS in my pocket.  But, with the intensity yesterday of those very captivating thoughts and memories of that blissfully indescribable bowlful... that I did fully indulge in while in Chicago all those months ago.... I felt called to and needed to have at least a tiny bit of that sublime flavor.  So, I am drawing on the stem of the pipe filled with unburnt "Three Star Blue" and do get an extremely slight taste of the flavor of the intact leaf.  It is the best I can figure out to do at the moment.  
  • My wife and I are going to swim this afternoon (if no one vomits in the pool before we get there 😉).  I look very forward to that whole-body cooling sensation and sense of relaxation.  It is the most wonderful feeling at the end of the workday (well, other than a pipe on the drive home in my truck... but that isn't in the cards).     



Blogger Margaret said...

Hope you'll get to swim! Sometimes my stomach growls but it's rare that I actually feel hungry. I do hate the sensation of being full which has helped me immeasurably. I've never been unpleasantly full, even at Thanksgiving where I eat a normal sized meal.

Tuesday, 29 August, 2023  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

You certainly delved into that topic. 😁

Probably most of us are similar to you most of the time. But I have a hiatal hernia, so I can seem to feel hungry when I guess that I am not really hungry but having a gnawing sort of sensation. My stomach does better with something in it.

Wednesday, 30 August, 2023  
Blogger jenny_o said...

I don't know if you see comments on older posts or not, but I will leave one on this topic anyhow because it's quite interesting to me. I definitely have a feeling of hunger and need when I haven't eaten for a few hours. Sometimes it becomes so intense (if I cannot for some reason eat when my stomach prompts me to) that I start to feel nauseated. If I continue to be without food, I will develop a feeling of tightness around my temples, not a headache but like an iron band. My mother used to be like this as well. Growing up with her, I remember her often saying she was so hungry she felt sick. I never experienced it myself until I was in my twenties, though. Perhaps related or perhaps unrelated, I developed gestational diabetes when pregnant with our first child. I was very tiny and slim, might even have been called underweight. I had to give myself insulin injections for the last couple of months of my pregnancy. My health returned to normal after delivery. No GD with second child. A glucose tolerance test after delivery of our first child yielded what the specialist said was a "wonky" result - not pre-diabetes, just a somewhat abnormal reaction to the glucose load.

It does seem strange to read that you have never felt hungry, even after protracted fasting. I wonder if your stomach is just less sensitive to the sensation than other folks' stomachs are. People have differing ranges of sensitivity to many other things such as tickling and pain, so maybe the internal organs can be more or less sensitive as well.

Monday, 04 September, 2023  

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