adjective -grier, -griest
(jocular) irritable as a result of feeling hungry
blend of hungry and angry
If you have ever shown up to the gym for a class malnourished after a long day at work, or hurried to a morning workout after skipping breakfast, so hungry that it makes you irritable if not damn angry then this blog is in honor of you. Hungry anger, “hanger” or the state of being “hangry,” has become quite the colloquialism. Hanger (henceforth not in quotation marks because that’s how legit the term and state it refers to has become, even though my computer keeps fucking autocorrecting it) is viscerally relatable to anyone who has experienced it, or even more likely (and potentially scarring), been around someone in a state of hanger (be it friend, girlfriend, boyfriend, co-worker, gym classmate, homeless man on the corner – actually, that’s probably “schizophreni-anger”). Like the Snickers ads say, “You’re not you when you’re hungry” – it’s like you become a different person, a bizarro asshole version of yourself that no one wants to be around but they placate for some unknown reason anyway. Those who know its effects on the individual and loved ones around them can attest that hanger has recently become as serious a problem as texting and driving or any eating disorder ever portrayed in an after school special. But don’t blame yourself when you become hangry, you are a victim of hanger because you have a busy, important life and don’t have time to concern yourself with eating, so let your hangry flag fly and be everyone else’s problem.
You Are A Special Snowflake
A lot of people might think they too have busy, important lives but implicit to your hanger is that you have a busier, more important life than those who have time to feed themselves properly like a self-sufficient, human adult. I would say acceptance and acknowledgement would be the first stages of dealing with hanger, but when you are hangry you will always already be the first to admit it and then announce to everyone around you just how “starving” you are and exactly how little you have eaten that day; therefore, quite logically, it follows that you are now no longer responsible for your own behavior or performance level. And there’s nothing you can do about it (except, well, eat fucking something), you are helpless to the throes of hanger and people need to deal with that and be sensitive to your special situation. They have time to eat or are perfectly capable of making time in their busy schedules, whereas your inability to put things in your mouth, chew and swallow at intervals over the course of a day is justified by your comparative uniqueness and singular value. It’s like people who grow up with the rigors of everyday life like everyone else then become rich and famous and have personal assistants so they suddenly, eccentrically can’t drive anymore (“just can’t”) or have to have a room temperature Arnold Palmer in hand at all times or they will throw a temper tantrum. Like so, for some reason, the transgressions of the hangry are condoned and sympathized with, if not coddled and enabled.
Fuel vs. Food
Sometimes food is just fuel, or simply nutrition (gotta get your macros, bro) – but as a special person it’s your imperative to always savor what you’re eating and never settle for something merely adequate or utilitarian. This isn’t Sparta or some space mission, this is Los Angeles, America where food and its representation defines who you are in myriad ways. You are entitled to enjoy every meal to the fullest (and so is your dog), and every fucking morsel should reflect positively on or improve your life in some incremental way, or at least be photogenic and post-worthy – it’s called a news “feed” for a reason, because everyone on it should know your meals are enthralling. Plus how boring would it be or how would it reflect on your public persona if you simply just made sure to have healthy meals, responsible snacks, and proper nutrition in regards to your workouts and hypoglycemic balance? See those fitness people who actually get results from their workouts with their stupid blender bottles, protein powders, and BCAAS…Fuck those people with their smug gains and sated stomachs. You don’t eat, you dine. You’re the uncompromised hero waiting for a table at that chic new brunch spot in a snaking line of Perestroikan bread line proportions who keeps going up to the poor hostess and asking “how much longer?” because “we’re starving” in your hangriest voice, even though you passed two grocery stores on the way there and are surrounded by several neighboring, but less cool restaurants. You’re the one on vacation with your family, when routine is broken, bending the whole group to your finicky eating whims, shooting down all of their food suggestions until EVERYONE is just as hangry as you. (And if you happen to have an allergy, that’s definitely everyone else’s business and you should announce your allergy and how it effects you as often as possible, because people are very interested in that. You might even make a new friend with an allergy in common. Allergy buddies commiserate with the best of them, like recently divorced women and CrossFit people. Or if you have a special dietary restriction for any reason whatsoever then it behooves you to let it define you and dominate every dinner table conversation because that’s probably one of the only compelling things you have to share about yourself.)
A la Carte Blanche
The fact that you’re caught on an empty stomach being a burdensome prick to your friends and peers simply because you failed to do some basic human shit just means that you’re special, and your assholery will be tolerated and chalked up to idiosyncrasy. (Or the people around you will just hate you under their breath and behind your back, in which case you won’t know so who cares, “just do you.”) Your failure to feed yourself, your hanger, gives you carte blanche to behave and act out with self imposed and perpetuating impunity in any frustrated way you see fit.
You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Hangry
So, when you show up to the gym for your spin class in a hunger fueled rage like some District 12’er in “The Hunger Games,” make sure all your classmates, and especially your instructor, know beforehand that you only had half a yogurt and “some of” a soyrizo breakfast burrito to eat today…or else they might just think you’re being a dickhead. Nevermind that you’re doing yourself a disservice and making your workout that much less beneficial without proper nutrition for energy, lean muscle growth, and metabolic health (essentially wasting your hard effort and own time). Now you have both an excuse for lackluster effort and a bad attitude, as well as something to complain about as though it’s not 100% in your control. God forbid you focus on the things in our lives that aren’t in our individual control (like systemic income inequality, campaign finance, or ‘Mercury in Retrograde’), because that would be really fucking depressing and might actually address some real problems. No one actually wants that. No, let us invent entirely avoidable problems like first world hanger, and make it about ourselves in a self-fulfilling prophecy of poor performance and general shittiness.
Basic Bitching (editor’s note: not to be confused with “basic bitch”, although the two can co-exist in certain people)
Being hangry, unlike a serious injury or chronic pain, is a special creative opportunity entirely of your own making to sabotage your workouts, job performance, interpersonal relationships, and well being, replete with drawing attention to yourself by complaining about it. Not to mention you would have nothing to talk about or “share” if you just put a Luna bar in fucking purse before you left the house. Yes, you could buffer any risk of hanger and properly fuel your body with incredibly convenient protein shakes and nutritious, energizing snacks but that takes like, very minimal planning ahead and more importantly, it’s not fun and it gives you nothing to bitch about. Eating is so ‘Basic.’ You have to just quietly go about your day not feeling like depleted shit so you have no stomach or headaches and body fatigue to corroborate how unhappy you already are.
War of Nutrition
Now your most suboptimal workout is over, you’ve probably lost some muscle mass and actually slowed your metabolism as your body cannibalizes itself; your hanger has turned into a light-headed delirium, all your classmates at the gym are placating you with faux concern, and there’s just one thing left to do: go gorge yourself on a binge of slutty, impulsively bought trash food that you would never have indulged yourself with if you hadn’t gotten hangry in the first place.
Sorry if this blog was kind of dickish or rude, I just haven’t eaten much today.
– Anthony Ristow, F5 Muay Thai Instructor and Hangry Police Captain
(Editor’s note: Please come to class properly fueled, positive and ready to kick butt. Thank you.)