One of the things that I feared when I started my health journey was the emergence of Angry Hungry Bob. This is a person who was squelched very well under the weight of my previous diet ways. Eating less meant his ugly head could rear up again.
Angry Hungry Bob (or Angry Hungry Dad), is what my wife and children have dubbed me in the past. It is the state I get in when I am ravenously hungry (or even mildly peckish). It is characterized by irritability, shortness with people around me, and sometimes even outright anger. He pops up when my blood sugar is low.
You know those Snickers commercials where they show people who aren’t themselves when they are hungry? Maybe you look at those commercials and see them as just a bit of marketing, with no real substance, a way to get you to eat a Snickers bar. By the way, have I mentioned how yummy Snickers bars are? Or, how REALLY yummy King Size Kit Kats are? Oops…I digressed there for a minute.
Anyway, those Snicker’s commercials, at least for me, are true. When I am hungry I change. My fuse gets shorter, and things around me that don’t normally bother me do, and things that do bother me get magnified.
This phenomenon isn’t new for me. I can remember and incident back when I was losing weight in 2000. It was Saturday, and we were cleaning house. All 6 of us were engaged in one chore or another. I was running the vacuum cleaner in the family room. Quick aside, I am allergic to dust, so running the vacuum cleaner is rarely a good idea for me. On this particular day I had skipped breakfast, and house cleaning was delaying lunch. I was not in a very good mood. In the middle of my ranting, vacuum pushing state, my daughter tapped me on the shoulder and handed me an apple. She told me I really needed to eat that apple.
I did, and my mood and mindset improved in minutes. We finished cleaning, had lunch and had a nice day.
The fear of Angry Hungry Bob is real. I worry that if I am always hungry, or if I am extremely hungry at any time, my fuse will be shorter and I will end up seeing things differently than if I was of a full tummy.
I have decided to wage the battle against AHB by strategically snacking. On Weight Watchers there are certain foods that have zero points. Primarily these are fresh fruits and vegetables. By keeping them on hand I can quickly grab something that will take the edge off my hunger, and my mood, without sacrificing points or blowing up my diet.
The key here is making the right choice. Choosing an apple, orange, handful of carrot sticks or some celery is better than a huge bowl of nuts, a peanut butter sandwich, potato chips or pretzels (all things I would have chosen previously). I am not saying I will never choose those snacks, but I do want to reduce them dramatically, and eliminate them from being the go-to snack when AHB is lurking.
There is no magic here. All of my new go-to snacks also have calories, but they have few enough calories, when combined with other things, that they do not throw me off track. It is true that eating them to extreme could make me stop losing weight, or even gain, but as I once said to someone sitting next to me at a Weight Watchers meeting, “I didn’t get this way from binging on carrots.”
So far AHB hasn’t been a problem. I have managed to be mildly hungry, without being ravenously so. And, when I feel that tinge creeping in, I reach for a healthy snack. Keeping AHB at bay is a key for me. If I do not, then I run the risk of falling back into old habits.