Tangled appetites

My formerly-a-nutritionist-friend was right on the money when she said The Shape I’m In would require daily maintenance. Not that I doubted her; she’s the kind of scientist I’m accustomed to and only speaks verifiable truths in her field(s) of expertise. So I’ve stood on the scale nightly even after the Half-Plate Project wrapped last year, back when I was “finished.”

It doesn’t work like that. Work like being “finished,” that is.

Over the year I’ve kept my nightly logbook and watched the number vibrate around. It was vibrating at a, we’ll say, heavier pitch than I would prefer, but okay. I kept my eyes open, and the pitch got lighter. Surprisingly, a few pounds wandered away in August while I was in Alaska. And I wasn’t getting especially hungry (which I think I mentioned when I first noticed it).

NOT SO MUCH this fall. This fall’s appetites bear little relation to the summer’s. I am getting ravenously hungry, and normal-plates are not carrying me through to the next meal. I’ve experimented with upping my portion size so that it will go the distance… upping a liiiiiitle… but I know I don’t have any wiggle room there. As my data collection indicates!


The other night, at our class break, my stomach was grinding enough that I opted for a chocolate bar rather than try to ignore its whines for the hours I had remaining before the safety of my bed. Ate it up—not that fast, c’mon!—and waited for it to kick in.
Waited until I got back home and fell asleep, in fact.

This afternoon I again got tired of the hunger-grind and grabbed a snack-sized snack. And waited for it to kick in. And it—again—did not.

This may be a helpful, if bitterly disappointing, realization: whatever this hunger is about, snacks don’t alter it.


I have a poem where I grapple with my craving for viennoiserie in the face of boredom. My favorite moment in it is where I connect up ‘metaphorical hungers’ and ’empty calories’; it has a symmetry that delights me.

But I don’t have any ideas about what I’m hungry for this time.

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