Hurley, Lost, and food
If you are a fan of the television show Lost you know Hurley has his food battles. Even if you are not a viewer of Lost, the character of Hurley can teach us something about food.
There are many scenes in Lost that also involve food or beverage in some way. From an early scene where Kate and Sawyer play a drinking game to more recently Jack bringing home a pizza and not finding his son at home.
But food is most significant for one character, Hurley Reyes. Hurley, who is overweight and struggles with food, won the lottery. Before he won the lottery he worked at Mr. Cluck’s Chicken. After winning, he bought the franchise.
All the characters in Lost have issues with their fathers in one way or another. Hurley, seems to have coped with his absent father and his lack of confidence by eating.
When something is a challenge for us, it will find us no matter where we go. So Hurley finds himself on an island without much food. A great chance to change his perspective about food and lose some weight, right? Only the characters find a large stash of canned, preserved, and boxed food left behind by a scientific research group called the Dharma Initiative. Not only is Hurley overwhelmed but he is the one put in charge of doing a food inventory, safeguarding the food, and eventually distributing it equally among the survivors.
It becomes too much for him and he decides to blow up all the food with dynamite. Another character talks him out of this plan and instead he tells Jack (the leader) that the food should be distributed all at once among the survivors instead of trying to save it.
While Hurley does seem to gain some confidence from the experience, later we find out that he is hoarding and binging on food. He and another character decide to destroy the secret food stash to be literally and symbolically free of it. Then they are told that more food has been found. So, Hurley still has more food challenges to come.
At one point, Hurley tells Sawyer (a character often quick to violence) that if he ate more comfort food maybe he wouldn’t go around killing so many people. Hurley’s advice is a clear indicator that he uses food to make himself feel ok.
Eventually, Hurley hurls a Hot Pocket at Benjamin Linus, a character Hurley does not trust. A hot pocket might seem like a strange weapon, but for the first time he acted. From that moment on Hurley starts to change. He tackles things more head on; he’s less afraid.
So what’s your hot pocket? How is it holding you back? And what can you do about it?