Distinguish between hunger, desire and cravings.
I'm reading Eat. Pray. Love. and I am in the India section right now. More on this later. Love this book. Anyway, the author writes about going through life vaguely hungry and that phrase struck a resounding chord with me. Going through life vaguely hungry. Vaguely hungry. Hungry - or at least that's what I named the sensation because I always applied food to make it go away.
Beck's instruction for the day involves trying to come to realize and recognize why you want to eat. Has it been several hours since you last ate and your stomach is empty and rumbly? Would just about any food do? That, dear friends, is hunger. How often do we really experience hunger?
Is your stomach reasonably comfortable? Do you just feel like eating? Beck names this desire.
Do you have a strong urge for a particular food? A yearning in your mouth, throat or body (chest!)? Bingo! Folks, we have a winner! This is a craving - and this is where all my maladaptive eating starts. I am vaguely hungry and my chest is hollow. So perhaps this is one of the keystone skills for me to learn - hunger doesn't start in my chest and if it's not a hunger problem, then applying food to it is not the answer.