Is This Like Childbirth?

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I have heard that the human body simply cannot remember what pain feels like. If this is so, it’s one of the most sensible safe-guards to our psyche that I’ve ever encountered. I mean, we remember that something was painful, but we don’t remember just how excruciating the pain really was. I have heard this is why siblings exist. I myself have never given birth to a child, so I have no room to render an opinion – but I have had a kidney stone and I’ve heard there is some similarity, and I will say that I was horizontal and screaming in pain, so at least there is that surface sameness.

But you know, even though I remember that it was both excruciating and scary – I was a teenager, at home alone, not knowing what my body was doing or why I was suddenly in rush-to-the-emergency-room grade pain – I can’t for the life of me actually recall what it felt like. I remember what region of my body was hurting, and how after a while it just felt like everything hurt, but I don’t remember the pain itself.

I think dieting might be at the base of that same tree.

I am considering having a sibling of the diet that almost drove me nuts last year. Partially I’m considering this because I don’t actually recall how emotionally painful it was to not eat something I was craving, or how the exact experience of every fiber of my body voting for revolution after I had to eat the same things too often. Partially I’m considering this because the silly thing actually did work – I lost 30 of the 110 pounds I needed to, and I kept it off. I’m sort of considering going back and doing another thirty, and getting it down to just 50 pounds to go – which I will work on, perhaps in 2014.

I see some pros and cons to this:

On the Pro Side,

  • I have a much greater degree of honesty with myself about emotional eating and that, really, this potato skin isn’t, if you will, my salvation, even though my ego argues otherwise.
  • I’m in a much better state of  health at the present time. I have a taste for food that is actually good for me and conducive to maintaining a healthy weight. Of course, I also have a taste for fried food, but hey, I had that before. But I also have a habit of reasonable and consistent exercise that I could build on, but already do without angst.
  • So, to summarize the above, I’m already doing about half the things the diet requires me to do. I don’t have to expend emotional energy on trying to master them, because I’m already there – I can spend that emotional energy on cooking a wider variety of things to eat during the restricted periods, which I don’t like having to do when I’m tired.
  • It may be that some colleagues are also going to try this particular diet out, so there will at least be misery in company and we can do Theological Reflection on it. Church!Geek Bonus :)
  • When I take a philosophical turn, I consider the fact that I’m quite a different person than I was when I started this diet at the beginning of last year, and I wonder what my experience will be with it this time around… I suspect it will provide me with great fodder to practice forgiveness.
  • And mostly – I’ll be another 30 pounds lighter and there is nothing wrong with that, let me tell you.

On the Con Side,

  • It’s just going to suck. It’ll suck less at home, where my husband is happily humming away on his own restricted diet (how he does it with such equanimity is something I should like to learn from him). It’ll be easy enough when I can eat from home, bringing lunches and occasionally dinners to work and brown bag meetings. It’s going to suck something fierce when I eat out for any reason, or when food is ordered in for any reason, which always seems to happen more often than I count on. Why? Because when I smell the french fries, I would really like to have some, too. And when my meal comes with a whole bunch of things I can’t eat, I really want to eat them anyway.

So there you go. I have about one serving of granola left, and then after that… I think I’m going to do it. Pray for me.


  1. Good luck. And agreed in terms of it being roughest when one is unable to eat in the safety/comfort of their own dietary choices. Blech. I’m pulling for you! And congrats in keeping the weight off from last year!

    • Thanks. :) When I consider my surface rationale for stopping the diet, and what I blogged about at the time, all of those things were true… but predominantly it just sucked so much I couldn’t continue anymore. And so I discussed it with Michael at the time and decided on this preliminary course of action – go ahead and do the steps to consolidate the weight I had already lost, work on maintaining the positive life-habit changes, and then if at some point in the future I wanted to go lose more, I could do that, no harm, no foul. And my weight has bounced around a little bit, but that has mostly been water retention, or a crazy carb festival, and then lost again a day or two later.

      And sure, I’d really like to lose the next 80 pounds all at once. But I’m not clear that I can, and certainly I didn’t put them on all at once. So if it takes me another three or four years, going on this diet, and then stabilizing my gains? Especially while I very slowly ramp up the amount of movement and exercise that is habitual? Why not? I’m in this for the long haul, after all.

      Also, I’m learning to change only one thing at a time, if at all possible. So, of all the things that need work in my life, this is the one thing I’m going to try to change for the next few months.

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