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Shame shame shame

Reading dieters' blogs leaves me with the impression that nothing bad ever, ever happened as a result of losing weight. It's all good, all the time, right? Rah rah zis-boom-bah, go team!

(NOTE: I'm only referring to reasonable, intentional weight loss attained through moderate calorie restriction and good exercise. Just so we're clear.)

But it's not. There are difficulties. At least, there are for me.

Having overcome some of the initial weight-loss hurdles now, I'm noticing something that I haven't seen any dieting cheerleader mention: shame.

I'm not a big believer in psychology--I'm not even sure there's such a thing as "mind"--so this is talky-meat using psych terms for want of accurate biological ones. I feel physically vulnerable. I want to hide. I'm assailed by intrusive head-voices reminding me of past failures, and when I shut them up, the horror-movies start.

Seriously, I'm riding my bike down a quiet side street and involuntarily envisioning being run over by a bus--with all the details. This is not normal, intelligent, risk-aversive awareness here. This is crazy.

And when I manage to shake those images off, I find myself having attacks of vagueness. I brought groceries home on Monday night and completely forgot to put them away till this morning (yeah, that salmon was a big waste...)

All of these things are familiar symptoms of shame. I know them very, very well. It's just that I haven't been troubled by them much for the past couple of years.

So I'm developing a metaphor. Again, I don't believe this is literally, physically what happens, but it's all I've got: it's as if my history is bound up in my fat, and as layers melt away, I'm reliving the bad things that I put the fat on to buffer myself from.

No, I've never been hit by a bus. That's just a stand-in for general traumatic shame, horror, helplessness and damage at the hands of careless others.

Maybe I'm unusual in this. Maybe I'm hypersensitive to these particular nuances. Maybe I'm full of shit. I don't know. But if anyone else ever had this kind of reaction to fat-loss, it's no wonder they rush to regain it.

It's not life-threatening. It's not even diet-threatening (so far). But it's not nothing either, so I thought I'd write it down.

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