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04 December 2013 @ 05:50 pm
The Emptiness of Affirmation  
Note: This entry is at least partially about weight.

As you may or may not know, I signed up for LoseIt almost two years ago now (and if you use it, you should friend me!), and have tracked everything I've eaten with obsessive devotion since then. Admittedly I combine obsessively writing everything down with not really caring if I have to pick some food that's close enough, since it's not like it's possible to accurately estimate calories anyway unless you're weighing everything with a food scale, and who wants to do that? The vague approach works for me, though, so I keep at it even if it's only close enough.

[Pictoral evidence of said success]

Hey, if eagles can post selfies, I'm entitled. :p

Anyway, I do have some friends who use LoseIt too, but I am by far the most active one among us. On the Lose It forums, they have a monthly thread for people to introduce themselves, friend other members of the community because statistically people who lose weight together tend to lose more weight than those who go at it alone, and otherwise make connections, and I figured I'd post there even though I'd been a member for a while, met and exceeded all my weight loss goals, and mostly continue using the program out of obsessive habit. So I made a quick post explaining that, and within a day, I had something like a dozen people friend me. Woo!

And what's I've discovered since then is that I find it all incredibly inane. Every time someone posts a weight loss, no matter how small, people come in with congratulatory messages. When they post a weight gain, they come in with reassurances that it's a temporary setback. When they post a badge, regardless of whether it's a milestone like exercising three times a week for a year, or something fluff like becoming friends with three people, the congrats flow in. And it all just turns into meaningless noise.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that I don't get any meaning out of it. After all, softlykarou will sometimes tell me something nice that someone we know has said about me, and my first response is often to dismiss it because the person doesn't really know much about me, because they've only ever interacted with softlykarou and me together at parties or social functions and never talked to me one-on-one or whatever other justification I can use to dismiss it, and that's from people that I've met in person. I suppose it is partially self-doubt, but I do tend to equivocate a lot when other people ask me for advice unless I'm directly familiar with the situation they're asking about, so some of it is extending that onto other people.

I don't get many comments myself, because I only comment on things that seem important--milestone badges, major weight losses for people with explicit goals, that kind of thing--and maybe because I've only been friends (well, "friends") with these people for a couple weeks, so it's not like it's a constant stream of meaninglessness to me. It's more of an experiment I tried that turned out a failure. And probably ties into why my Twitter account is protected and I post on LJ instead of migrating to Tumblr. I'm happy in my walled garden, and while I don't mind waving over the gate occasionally, I'd rather not move out to the front yard.
 
 
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