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Today nekouken and I started on the South Beach diet.

I'm not a dieter. I don't believe in the dieting lifestyle. I have changed my eating habits in the past (the best one was when I learned to want water instead of whatever the hell I used to drink... mm, water!) but I've officially dieted only once before. Three years ago now (!) I started South Beach, because it was and is one of the few diets I've seen that appears, from everything I know, to be both scientifically and psychologically sensible.

My goal is to alter my diabetic blood chemistry. I've done this to some extent with dietary change and with the help of meds, but there's more that can be done, and it seems clear that it will require a firmer structure than I have been able to build independently. Since, based on the level of drug support I require, I still have some pancreatic function, it may be possible for me to alter my inner workings to the point where meds are no longer required. I might not be able to make it happen, but if there's any chance of it, it's now. Diabetes is a disease that plagues the elderly, so even if I succeed, it will surely only be a matter of time before age puts me back where I am now. Not only that, but I live with it just fine - it's hardly been ruinous to my life - and yet, I would be thrilled to be free of this daily regimen for even a short time. I won't blame myself if it doesn't work to that extent (I've done all the blaming that will be done on the subject), in either case it will benefit me, so on that front, there's no downside. I'll be monitoring myself closely to make sure I don't go anywhere dangerous, but in eight months I've not once seen myself approach hypoglycemia (it's possible I have missed it, but my blood sugar regularly runs to the high end of normal, and the few times I've been lightheaded, testing showed it was not low), so I'm less worried about that than I might be.

Weight loss is nekouken's goal, and based on my prior experience, it is going to happen here. For me, it will be a side effect, and I have mixed feelings about it. There's a whole laundry list of things that make me feel good, bad or ambivalent, but the thing that seems most uncertain to me is how much of my identity hangs on my appearance.

The dietary changes I've made up to this point have already led to some weight loss, but I can't yet see it in my own face. Others can, and that's really kind of strange to me (though I suppose it's just one of a whole series of observational skills that can be tuned to different levels, just like the fact that I notice haircuts even when no one else sees the change), but in any case, that won't always be true. Eventually I won't just be detecting that clothing fits me differently, I actually won't look the same any more. My body isn't perfect, but I've never hated it, either (I can't really even comprehend that), and I'm comfortable in my skin. What if my form changes enough that it doesn't feel like me any more? What if the features I like become things I don't? What does one DO when that happens, not through accident or trauma but as a result of conscious choices?

My concerns go farther out than myself, too. I don't know how much my appearance has influenced the way the world treats me, and I might find out in ways I would rather not, even if only on the most basic and observable level: I might be attractive to new people; I might NOT be attractive to people who are attracted to me now. Stipulating that the only ones worth caring about are drawn on multiple levels, even so, I can only just manage to deal with the volume of interest of any kind that I receive right now, and that took some doing. I don't know how I will handle it if I move enough closer to mainstream to garner a higher volume of attention, anywhere along the scale from jerks to be fended off to wonderful people to adore. Where would I find the energy to handle an increase?

This is a silly thing to fret about, I know - TALK about your first world problems! - but this is where my head is.

Maybe I could get an eyepatch or a prosthetic nose, so no one notices the weight loss!
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