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Losing v. Shedding

Friday, June 14, 2019

Last weekend was the 15-year anniversary of my father's death. I'd been feeling particularly down without knowing why, and then I realized it was the cycle of grief. Though we butted heads until I was an adult and "proved myself" in his eyes, by the end, we had a sweet relationship, and I miss him.

It got me thinking about loss, and wondering why we use the verb "lose" in the context of losing weight. Pretty much all the other losses I can think of come with grief, fear, anxiety... But perhaps that's the answer: We want to be happy over our accomplishment when we work hard to shed weight, but the process comes with mixed emotions. Who will I be if not the funny fat girl? How do I deal with people (especially men) looking at me differently? Am I ready to live this new-and-improved life?????

I was thin and fit from childhood through my mid-30's, when childbearing and depression over my marriage breaking up put me in a binging tailspin. I realize that losing weight now not only means getting back to my former healthier self, but grieving all the years I lost to self-consciousness and unhappiness. And, honestly, it means grieving the safety and comfort of giving in and giving up, hiding in big clothes in my house.

Word choice is so important. I think I'm ready to transition from losing to shedding.
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