Hunger and eating Essay
Hunger and eating
I remember a recent situation that involved my feeling of being in distress. This involved two reports that were due in two separate classes on the same day. One class required a written report and the other class was expecting an oral report. In addition, I had to run a couple of personal errands around town, including trips to the grocery and the pharmacy for my regular supply of items for the week. During that time that required full strategic management of my spare time when I was not in class, my car started making strange noises that was probably sending me a hint that it was time for me to visit the nearest car shop.
To top that, my computer was also not cooperating with me, it would freeze every time I would open several windows and would take longer than usual to boot and reboot. In order for me to avoid freaking out over these multiple unforeseen and uncontrollable situations, I would run to the nearest cafeteria or coffee shop and grab a cup of coffee or a can of soda, and even match this with a bagel or a roll. I actually did not feeling any hunger pangs during those frequent trips to food stalls, but I need the chance to be able to “run away” from my problems for a while.
That gave me the notion of freedom, in the sense that I could do something that I was not really expected to. At the same time, the motion of nursing on a cup of coffee or a can of soda kept my mind off thinking of the impending doom that awaits me in the classroom, when I turn in my haphazardly written report or when I start talking in front of my class to present my oral report. In addition, my short breaks from the reality that I have too much on my plate provided me a chance to temporarily forget, or on a more serious tone, deny that I was experiencing problems that could affect my performance in the coming few days.
Another reason why I would drank and ate more frequently during stressful situations is that I also thought that most of my time will be consumed by running around town and trying to resolve technical issues of my car and computer. In addition, I would also need time to sit down, read, write and prepare for the two reports that are due soon. My short frequent visits to the cafeteria, fast food restaurants and vending machines would provide me assurance that I will not feel hungry while I work on my multiple tasks.
So I was eating just to let my body know that I can not feel hungry later because I will be very busy working on multiple tasks. My recent behavior during that stressful time typifies several motivational theories that are associated with hunger and eating. I knew that my body will need nourishment sometime during the day for simple biological reasons, but I decided to feed myself or eat even when I was not hungry because I wanted to get the activity of eating a meal over with, so I had more time to work on my tasks. Eating right at that moment would also provide me a chance to concentrate on my two reports for a longer duration of time.
Such mindset is based on a cognitive motivational approach to eating. There are also times when I would munch on a donut during study sessions with my classmates. I wasn’t really hungry at that time (Herman and Polivy, 1984), but I felt that I should eat with them so that I could fit into the group. We were all studying and reviewing our notes and textbooks, hence I felt like I belonged to the group. And since all of them are eating donuts that were brought in by a fellow classmate, I thought that it was the right thing to join in and act the way the rest of the group was acting.
It is interesting to look back at those recent events when I always had either a cup or a can of some drink in my hand. The drink also served as a safety blanket for me (Schachter, 1971), a constant reminder that things are still near-normal because I could still go around will a drink, even if I really knew that I should have been literally running around to finish all my tasks. I think that after this essay, I will have a better control of my behavior, even if there are so many expectations from me in class and at home. I now understand that there are several motivating reasons that set an individual to eat.
I am glad that I have not gained a significant amount of weight after that recent event (Jequier and Tappy, 1999; Weisell, 2002), and I think I am now ready for face the next difficult school week. References Herman, CP and Polivy, J (1984): A boundary model for the regulation of eating. In: Stunkard AJ and Stellar E, eds. Eating and Its Disorders.
New York: Raven Press. Jequier, E and Tappy L (1999): Regulation of body weight in humans. Physiol. Rev. 99(2):451-80. Schachter, S. (1971): Emotion, Obesity, and Crime. New York: Academic Press. Weisell, RC (2002): Body mass index as an indicator of obesity. Asia Pac. J. Clin. Nutr. 11:S681-S684.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 19 April 2017
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