Several nights ago, I was lying in bed and placed my hand on the upper abdominal area. I didn't think about what I was doing, but I was shocked to find that I could feel the entire lower ridge of my rib cage. It has been a very long time since I could feel these bones from any position. I will hasten to add that I'm still very fat and it's only my disproportionate upper body loss and the prone position I was in that allowed me to feel my ribs at this time and weight.
There are many women who are losing weight who are absolutely thrilled when they discover their bones emerging under their skin. Some of them have an almost pornographic fascination with fondling their newly palpable collar and pelvic bone ridges. More of my bone structure is starting to emerge and it's pretty much something I'm indifferent to. In fact, my tailbone is actually causing me difficulty because it's becoming more uncomfortable to sit as the padding on my posterior thins, so this whole bone thing isn't exactly part of the scenic wonder I enjoy on what many people refer to as the "weight loss journey".
Seeing and feeling my bones isn't something about weight loss that I have found particularly meaningful, but suddenly discovering that I could feel my rib cage had a strange emotional impact on me, and it wasn't a good one. I had a strong feeling of vulnerability and exposure. It was probably more shocking to discover my rib cage area because this is where my heart and lungs are located, and the sense that they were so much nearer to the surface made me feel uncomfortable, as if they would now be easier to reach and harm.
A lot of people reject the psychological notion that people gain weight as a physical or emotional shield. The reason they feel that way is that it seems too abstract. After all, being fat doesn't really protect you from being hurt. Several nights ago, I had an experience which was profound and palpable which told me that weight very much can feel like added protection from harm. That doesn't mean that I'm going to stop trying to reduce my weight, but I think there is value in being aware of what I'm losing along with layers of padding. I'm losing something that made me feel protected and secure on some level, and I'm going to have to find a way to compensate for that loss. If I don't face this aspect, I'll be more inclined to regain weight in the future.
As an aside, this sudden ability to feel my rib cage inspired me to weigh myself prematurely. I weighed myself last 16 days before this incident and weighed 260 lbs. I thought that this change was odd and sudden, but my weight was 255 at the time of this incident so there actually was no sudden drop precipitating the ability to feel my rib cage.
I note this in part because I feel grateful that my weight loss is so relatively steady, linear, and has gone "as expected". That is, I continue to lose about 2 lbs. a week, which is pretty much what my goal is until I approach 200 lbs. (at which point, I expect it to drop closer to 1 lb. per week). I'm grateful that my body has been so cooperative, especially when I read so frequently that others have far less fortune.