Working with the appetite, not against it

Amongst the numerous lessons and insights I have gained through my coaching certification at the institute, one of the main takeaways was related to my approach and relationship with the appetite.

Like many people living in our modern culture, in particular women, I was also taught since early age that “eating a lot”, “always eating”, “always being hungry” or “always thinking about food” are rather shameful and disgraceful things to say about one. If a friend or a family member told you that you are always eating or eating too much, it is always said in more of a negative context.

Interesting enough, my eating psychology journey has allowed me to look further and deeper that the basic judgement that we hear on a daily basis. Fortunately enough, my teacher has allowed me to perceive and understand appetite much broader than the world teaches us.

Essentially, our appetite is life. Somehow, people still oversee this fact. Please read this again – our appetite is our life. What does this mean? It means that without appetite, we are either dead or severely sick. Just our breath or heartbeat indicate that the body is functioning, our appetite also shows that our body, organs and all the functions happening internally and externally are up and running. It means our bodies are utilising energy to live a life and complete all the daily tasks that we do. That is why having an appetite means having a life.

However, why is it that we don’t deny ourselves basic body functions such as the urge to breathe or go to the toilet, but when it comes to having an appetite for dinner, lunch or breakfast, we feel ashamed if we have the need to eat the whole plateful? It is because society had taught us to work against our appetite.

It seems that the world around us has consistently been repeating that we ought to suppress the appetite, and not acknowledge or listen to it. Where has this led to? It led us to a world full of body image disorders, eating disorders with highest mortality rates out of all psychological disorders, and not to mention millions of souls silently suffering on a daily basis due to being out of touch with their hunger cues, and due to that experiencing various physical, psychological and emotional challenges.

So with this article, I challenge you to take a moment and appreciate your appetite, for a change. It is because of your appetite that you have grown from a small helpless, fluffy baby into the grown adult that you are today. So next time you feel hungry, instead of being upset about that and thinking everything you eat will stick to your belly, try to think about the fact that your appetite is serving you – it is guiding you to consume the best possible fuel to obtain the best energy.

Did your car ever squeak and cry when it was low and fuel? No wonder! Your body silently does the same when you deny its natural appetite – it slows down the metabolism, increases cortisol and excretes nutrients, and that is the last thing you would want it to do. Instead, acknowledge, appreciate and embrace your appetite!

After going through certain mind-body challenges on my own, I got very curious about exploring and understanding this relationship further. Upon completing a degree in psychology and this coaching course, I greatly helped myself, and now I feel like it’s the perfect time to help others as well! I also had significant experience working in the corporate environment, and greatly understand the mind-body challenges that it may trigger, so I would love to speak to anyone fighting those battles!