My stomach is a needy little bitch. Every hour, like clockwork, her desperate cries for a nosh are like whines inside a minivan: Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? But I noticed that when I’m away from home, the hourly clock doesn’t strike. This revelation told me that maybe it was more than grouchy gastric juice at work. Maybe my mind was the bitch.
So I started meditating, thinking mindfulness would lead to stomach fullness. I would ask myself if I’m really hungry or is it just an emotional need to indulge my digestive system. But eventually I became so mindful, my mind started asking my stomach all kinds of nosy questions. For instance:
Mind: Are you really hungry?
Stomach: Mind your own beeswax. When you read something, do I ask you if it’s something you really need to know?
Mind: Did you know there are hungry people all over the world who don’t have the option to eat every hour?
Stomach: There are a lot of illiterate people, too. Maybe you shouldn’t read so much.
Mind: Did you know that in 2020, there won’t be enough food to feed everyone on the planet?
Stomach: Then I better fill up now while I have the chance.
Soon, I realized my mindfulness needed to be more mindless. Since it was clear I needed a tutor to learn how to stop thinking, I went to different meditation classes and downloaded different apps to learn how to turn off my brain. There was MM (Mindful Meditation), TM (Transcendental Meditation) and TMI (no meditation). But worrying about "going under" just made it harder to go under. Maybe I need Viagra for my void because at $15 a session, I want my void to go all hour long.
I'm thinking there should be an app for extracurricular noshing called Mindful Meditation for the Midsection. Hell, I could write the script in my head while I’m trying to go under.
You are feeling full.
That grumbling sound is all in your entitled little head.
That jittery feeling is from the organic, fair-trade, shade-grown double espresso.
It’s been 60 whole minutes since you chewed. Boo effin’ hoo!
Lately I’ve been wondering if the fact that I’m not as hungry when I leave home is actually real. Could that jittery feeling I associate with hunger actually be an endocrine disruptor from a toxic chemical or allergen in my environment? Endocrine disruptors can be found in cleaning products, paints, carpets, cosmetics, personal care items, pesticides, air pollution, etc. They can make you feel hungry when the hunger hormone, ghrelin is released by endocrine cells in the stomach’s lining that stimulates the appetite. And at home, my nose runs a lot, yet it stops when I leave. But there are so many things in our environment that interact with each other, it may be impossible to know what's making me feel the need to nosh.
Whether it's my stomach, my mind or my hormones, I figure meditation can't hurt. But at this rate, by the time I get to my happy place, it'll have condos and a strip mall. In the meantime, I better get to work on that app. it’s been an hour since I’ve eaten, and I’m famished.