"How do you deal with the HUNGER?! I could never do that, I'd be so hungry."
That is the comment I get most often when I tell people that I'm competing in figure.
I used to be afraid of hunger, in a way. Even when I was following a LeanGains protocol, I would down liters of water and cup after cup of coffee to prevent my stomach from growling. I would eat my last meal as late as possible so that maybe I'd be less hungry in the morning. (Aside: that never worked. I get hungry for the first time at 10am no matter what.)
Even when I was anorexic in high school I dreaded hunger: I drank 6 to 10 bottles of zero-calorie carbonated water a day. (Oh, and four cups of green tea and 2-4 cans of diet soda.)
Since starting prep, I have, of course, been hungry occasionally. I've had cravings in which I can't indulge; I've been jealous of Max's giant bagels and peanut butter. Surprisingly (?), the hunger and cravings have not killed me.
I think hunger is such an unpleasant emotion for me because I associate it with other things: loneliness, disappointment in myself, anxiety, sadness.
I don't know how to fix those associations, but I do know that every single time I refuse to give into emotional eating, I become stronger. I know that every time I force myself to deal with those hidden emotions head-on, I bring myself a little closer to becoming the person I want to be one day.