Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mirror Image

I decided to hijack my own blog. I'm taking over Dress for Success. Why? Because it's my blog and I can do what I want.

Really though, its because sometimes I want to share more of me and less of the how to. Sometimes I just want to have an honest discussion about something. And today's discussion would be what I see when I stand in front of the mirror.

I see lumps and bumps and flaps of skin. Sags here, old stretch marks there. I see flaws that can be tucked, squished, or camouflaged by a well made pair of jeans. I'm absolutely positive that if anyone saw me in the buff, they would run screaming.

Mirror Mirror on the Wall, who's the fairest of them all? I can say unequivocally that I have never once thought it was me. Not when I was fat, not now that I'm un-fat.

In the rational part of my head I know that I'm ok being exactly who I am. But the emotional part of my head feels differently. I've lost 75 pounds. My pant size has shrunk from 16/18 to 4/6. The evidence all points to the fact that I should be happy and ecstatic with how I look. And maybe half the time I am. But the other half, including in front of the mirror, I still wish I was different. There will always be something that can be smaller, tighter, and um... higher.

The problem is absolutely not with my body, it's in my brain. And even though I have made great strides in my life, it takes a long time to overcome 30 years of bad self-imagery.  I always had a number in my head. And if only I could reach that number on the scale, then I would be happy. Pretty.

In case you haven't guessed, there is no magic number. How often have we heard celebrity stories of plastic surgery gone awry? They had something nipped or sculpted, hoping to feel better, but they are still the same person underneath. If we feel unworthy, it has a lot less to do with the outside, than what we are feeling on the inside. Even supermodels look in the mirror and cringe.

I don't have the answer. I just wanted to share, because this is something that I still struggle with. And you know what, it's ok to struggle. The word indicates a fight. I'm fighting to feel better about my body and myself as a person. It's not a fight I'm going to win in the gym by toning up to 2% body fat. It will be a battle of wills to retrain the way I think about beauty and worth.

Today it starts with looking in the mirror and finding one thing I absolutely love. It's my collarbone. I'm not going to let my eyes or thoughts wander any further down.

Baby steps. It's a process.


  1. I had twins 8 months ago, and ever since giving birth (and lets be honest, for the 7 months before that) every time I look in the mirror I groan. I was never where I wanted to be weight-wise, health-wise, or fitness-wise, but since giving birth I feel like I am flabby, saggy, and just plain icky. And sometimes I get the feeling I feel that way more because of how I perceive myself than because I actually look awful.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing and congrats on your little ones. I agree, our perception is most often our worst enemy. Funny how can be meaner and crueler to ourselves than any bully



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