Have you ever just, you know, forgotten to eat? Maybe you get really busy and can’t take a break. Maybe you look up at the clock and it’s suddenly mid-afternoon. Or maybe hunger just sneaks up on you, and before you realize it you’re in a foul mood and can’t understand why.
I’ve had issues with low blood sugar since I was a kid. I’m not sure if it’s full-blown hypoglycemia (it’s never been diagnosed), but if I go too long without food I start to get shaky and somewhat cranky. I’ve tried to keep an eye on it, watching out for symptoms as they start to appear so I can nip them in the bud.
The problem is that recently I’ve changed jobs, and while my new job is requiring a lot less physical energy, it’s more than traded that for mental effort. Unfortunately, burning energy through that much mental activity isn’t as readily noticeable (at least not for me), so I’ve been going longer than I should without refueling. Compound that with the fact that I haven’t been very “hungry” because I’m not really exerting myself physically, and you have a recipe for a bad day.
The funny thing is, this sort of thing has happened to me before, like when I started grad school. I’ve never been a big eater, so when I started grad school I packed the same amount of food as I did for my A/V tech job. Long story short, it was woefully inadequate; I was out of food and starving long before the end of the day, just through the simple act of thinking more.
Looking back, it makes a lot of sense. Thinking takes energy, just like any activity. If that energy isn’t there, the body is going to fall back on reserves. My problem (well, one of them) is I don’t have much in the way of reserves. And work has kept me engaged enough that I don’t notice myself getting hungry until it’s far too late.
And that’s often the real problem. By the time I notice there’s an issue, I’m already in a bad mood and don’t know why. This of course makes me less likely to remember what the issue is, let alone how to solve it. Luckily my girlfriend has had similar problems in the past, so if I’m not on the ball she often is. I just feel bad having to put her (or anyone else) through my Grumpy Cat phase; it’s not fun to be grumpy, so I can’t imagine it’s fun to deal with someone who is, either.