Friday, April 27, 2012

Hunger Games a Weight Loss Tool?

Dear Diary...

This week, I finally finished reading the first Hunger Games book.  If you haven't read it or seen the movie, I will refrain from giving away important information that will spoil either for you.  I haven't seen the movie, yet, it's on my to-do list for next weekend.

Common available knowledge will have you already know that the premise of the first book is about 24 kids that are called to fight each other to the death, until one comes out victorious.  Yes.  I said kids.  Fighting to the death.

There's a lot of controversy surrounding this book.  It's advertised as a teen-read, which has raised a lot of alarm among parents and teachers in regards to the barbaric story line.  Being that there was controversy - I had to read it.  Plus, I also heard that it's a FANTASTIC trilogy - so that made me want to read it, too.

I finished the first book in a matter of two days.  It really is a fantastic read.  I just didn't want to put it down - and found myself reading it while at work, and any spare moment I had.  Although, I will say that yes, there are some disturbing parts to the story that often made me question why I kept reading the book.  There are even a few parts that made me tear up and get knots in my stomach - something that has only ever happened when Dumbledore was killed in the Harry Potter series.  But this was worse.

If you feel like I have now spoiled Harry Potter for you - well, sorry, but there is a statute of limitations on how long I can keep information like that to myself.  The book and the movie in which that event happens has been out for years... so, you should have read it/ seen the movie by now.

Anywho, back to Hunger Games.  Something happened to me while reading this book that is hard to explain.  Well, it's not hard to explain - but maybe hard to understand.

This week, I have done a fantastic job at keeping to my clean eating.  I mean absolutely fantastic.  I've been eating tons of veggies.  I find myself craving fruits instead of chocolate or sugar.  I've been diligent on sticking with whole grains, lean meats, and checking labels to make sure I'm not being tricked in to eating stuff I shouldn't.  There has been no mindless eating.  I've been very aware of when I'm eating, how much I'm eating, and only eating when I'm supposed to (according to my meal plans).  I could sit here and say that I've done all this because I'm just awesome like that - and when I set my mind to something, I do it.  But, you all know me well enough by now to know the truth in that - am I right?  No.  There has been something else that has been aiding my efforts, causing me to be so mindful.  So, what is it that has been such an aid to me this week?  The book.  Hunger Games.

Again, not to spoil anything, but the book has many kids that come from places where food is the point where many starve to death.  Hello, it's called "The Hunger Games".  In order to survive, kids have to go out and hunt for their food.  They celebrate at being able to eat fruits or veggies or freshly killed meat.  Cheese on a piece of bread is a feast. 

While I was reading, I found myself feeling guilty at the thought of being able to go to my fridge and eat whatever I wanted.  Yes, I know the story is fake.  I'm not that stupid.  But, reading about kids starving to death pulled at my heart strings.  How could I sit there and eat something that wasn't good for me, when I knew that imaginary kids were starving to death and then having to kill each other?  The book really started getting in my head.

While reading, I found myself craving the foods that they were eating.  Having some grapes with a piece of cheese was a treat.  Enjoying some cottage cheese tasted amazing.  Limiting and rationing the food I took to work started happening.  I didn't have to eat all my lunch, I could save some of it.  Crazy, weird things were happening to me.  Crazy, weird, good things.

So, what can I take from all of this?  A) I'm completely nuts and get way too involved in the books I'm reading.  B) I'm so desperate to find something to help me eat well, that I'm pulling my reading materials in as a floatation device.  C)  The Hunger Games is a book written to make people feel bad about their wealth and plethora of food, and to be more mindful and grateful of what they have. 

It could be any of those.  It could be all of them.  All I know is that while reading that book, I found a new appreciation for the food I had available to me, and was a lot more mindful at what I ate and how much I ate of it.  There's absolutely no harm in that!  Am I right?

While the book is fantasy, the harsh truth is that there are thousands and thousands of kids in this world living a similar lifestyle to these fantasy characters.  While I sit here and complain about how fat I am and how I can't stop eating junk food, there are kids starving to death, trying to find any scrap of food they can get their hands on just to survive.  Those kids would literally give their right arm to have some fresh fruit, veg, bread, and cheese.  Forget candy or chocolate or chips or cookies.  Some kids have never even heard of those things.  It's about survival to them.  What sustenance can they get their hands on that will help them stay alive?

Yes, some may believe that the book is barbaric and something children shouldn't be exposed to - but there are some very important lessons to be learned by reading the book.  I know that I've found myself with a completely different outlook on my eating behaviors and patterns.  The book has somehow plucked me out of the mindset of eating because I love to eat to, and shoved me in to the reality that I only need to eat to survive.  I should be grateful for what I have.  I shouldn't abuse it.  You never know, maybe, just maybe, the less I eat - the more that will be available to those that need it.  Probably a unrealistic way to look at it - but if it works for me.. I'm going to go with it.

So, if you haven't read the book and are struggling with your weight - I suggest you read it.  Read it and soak up the fantasy that's being laid out before you.  Think about those characters.  Lose yourself in the book - and forget the junk food.  There's definitely more to that story than meets the eye - if you allow it.

I'm going to keep reading the last two books.  I have to.  They are really that good.  And, they may be just what I've been needing to help me even more with my weight loss. 

Till next time.  ;)



  1. I also just finished The Hunger Games and also loved it!!!!!!!! I was seriously disturbed at the beginning of 'The Games' and wasn't sure if I was going to be able to keep reading. But a friend told me to push through and I'm so glad I did!!!! It's the most enthralled I've been in a book since the Twilight Saga!

    Hey, I think it's great if reading about starving children is helping you become more mindful of the way you eat. We should always eat our food with gratitude because there are so many in this world who do not have what we do. So if this helps you break off some of the emotional connection you have with food, awesome! That's not to say we can't ever enjoy food again, but maybe we just need to be more mindful about what warrents a food 'celebration.' For example, my cousin had a baby shower a couple of weeks ago. I thought about having a piece of cake. And then I realized: it was HER shower, HER cake, HER celebration - it had nothing to do with me. I wasn't celebrating the birth of this baby by symbolically eating the cake. It helped me say NO!

    I'm glad you are having a great week with your eatin!! :) I just started the second book but I am falling asleep while reading it every night so it's taking me longer to get through it. Oh and I never read Harry Potter but it's on my never ending list of things to do and read.

  2. I know what you mean. The book didn't affect me in such a dramitic sence as it did to you but I did start buying more fresh ingerdients. For the first time I even went and got fresh mozzarella that I've been using for salads and snacks instead of chips.


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