I log a fair amount of air miles, which means I'm in airports a lot…sometimes, it seems, I spend more hours in airports than I do in the air.
My frequent flyer behavior also means I spend a lot of time wandering around looking at bad food choices.
At O'Hare, aside from Rick Bayless' Tortas Frescas, the options are largely limited and decidedly dismal. And yet, if my flight is delayed or I otherwise have time to kill, I make those bad choices.
I don't usually enjoy my decisions. I feel bad afterwards. And because so many of those options are high calorie, I end up building my my belly, pointlessly.
So why do I do this?
Because, like many of us, I have a fear of being hungry.
I mean, what if my flight is delayed and I'm stuck on a flight that serves nothing more than Cheetos and water?
Horrors. Unspeakable. I shake with fear.
Even if I'm not actually hungry at the moment, I buy and consume bad food because I fear the very thought of being hungry. Case in point, the beet salad at the O'Hare Hilton (pictured), where I was stuck due to delays.
Beet salad sounds like a healthy choice, right? Not really. In the picture, note the glistening brown mass in the lower left corner. That's a big chunk of brickle-type candy. There were several other beetle-sized clumps of candy on the plate. Abhorrent. I ate it all, and I wasn't even hungry.
This irrational fear of having an empty stomach for minutes or, god forbid, a whole hour or so, fills me with anxiety. That's what compels me to make bad dining decisions.
So I'm taking a stand against myself. I'm committing to not giving into fear and eating food I don't like, especially when I'm not hungry, even though hunger is such an irrationally frightful option to an overfed American such like me.
No doubt this is a First World problem, but I live in the First World, so I unabashedly accept this as my problem. I admit that I fear being hungry for no damn reason. And in 2014, I'm going to work hard to resist my inclination to give into that fear…and eat when, you know, I don't really need to.