Avoiding Mirrors: A Poor Reflection of Me & My Weight

1SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
8/10/2011 10:00 AM   :  47 comments   :  9,928 Views

I've been living like a vampire lately--preferring the dark and avoiding mirrors at all costs because I know it would just kill me to see how far I've let myself go!
 
OK, so vampires supposedly have no reflection at all. What I see in the mirror is a poor reflection on me and my excess weight.
 
When I am not writing for a living, I earn a few extra bucks umpiring girls softball games and the occasional boys Little League game. This past Saturday, while dressing in my protective gear at the ball field I caught a quick glimpse of myself in my car window.
 
Man, let me tell you, I almost cried foul and threw myself out of the game!
 
I got fat... real fat, I'm ashamed to say. I know I shouldn't feel this way. Instead, I should get my head on straight, develop a plan of action for diet and fitness and start taking it one day at a time.
 
It seems that lately I've developed an appetite for destruction. In fact, I just gobbled the three remaining slices of a supreme-style pan pizza – and it's only 10 a.m. on a Tuesday!
 
I tell myself it's OK to eat heavy so early because I rise at 5 a.m. and don't eat breakfast. From 5:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. I fuel up on coffee while I write non-stop for a client.
 
By then, I am starving, of course. And when you're "starving" you tend to make poor food choices – well, at least I do!
 
So what is Mr. Bad Food gonna do? I have battled weight  for much of my adult life, but I've never been this heavy before.
 
I mean, it's so bad that I walk into my bathroom and do my best to not gaze into the mirror. Oh, I will look at my face while brushing teeth or shaving. But I simply cannot bear to catch a full-body glimpse before or after a shower.
 
It's time to own up to my situation – and to take the steps I know have worked for me in the past. Perhaps you care to join me. If so...
 
Step 1: Make a commitment!
 
This may sound silly but the best way to get started (after putting down the knife and fork) is to grab a pen and a piece of paper and start writing a new healthy lifestyle manifesto.
 
You don't need to go crazy here and write a book. A few straightforward lines about making a commitment and sticking with it will do. Then sign it and post it where you can see it often – the fridge door, the pantry door, your bathroom mirror.
 
Step 2: Take inventory of the fridge, pantry and cupboards!
 
 
After 12 years of writing about health and nutrition, I know what foods should be readily available – and what foods need to get the old heave-ho. If you can't bear to toss out perfectly good food, donate it to your local food pantry.
 
Now, go shopping and stock up on the good stuff – fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc.
 
Step 3: Make time for exercise!
 
Eating well is a great first step for feeling better, looking better and lowering your risk of a number of nasty health issues. But it really is important to find time for daily exercise. This doesn't have to mean spending hours at the gym.
 
You can find plenty of fun ways to burn calories and tone up. So you think you can dance? Well, get dancing! Got a bike? Get pedaling! A few games of basketball will heat up your metabolism while you have a ball. A brisk walk around the park or neighborhood will work, too – especially for those of us who've been pretty sedentary for quite some time.
 
There are plenty of fast and effective at-home workouts. (10 minutes is all you need to start!) I've found the best time for me to work out is first thing in the morning. There's far less chance I'll blow it off if I do it right after crawling out of bed.
 
Step 4: Pick a number... any number!
 
What I mean here is to simply a pick a number for the weight you feel comfortable carrying – the weight that your doctor will commend you for reaching. Don't become a daily scale watcher, but do weigh yourself once a week or so. When you see your ideal weight creeping in the wrong direction, get moving. (Or Measure Progress Without the Scale)
 
Also, know that slip happens. An occasional slip won't wreck your diet and make you gain weight, so shake them off and don't beat yourself up afterward.
 
They say it takes two weeks for something to become a habit. So, let's spend the next two weeks developing healthy habits.
 
I feel a need to confess that I will not be starting my plan today or tomorrow. I am the sort of guy who needs to start on a healthier lifestyle on a Monday morning.
 
So, come Monday, I'll be off and running (or maybe walking on my garage treadmill is more like it). 
 
Until we eat again, stay healthy my friends!
 
Do you believe that Mr. Bad Food can do it? Will he commit this time? What is he doing right (and wrong) this time?
 


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Comments

  • 47
    Great blog and I read it at the perfect time. Today is the day of starting mindful eating! Exercise isn't a problem so focusing on this for the New Year. Thank you and have a wonderful 2012 with good, strong healthy habits. - 12/31/2011   5:41:15 PM
  • 46
    It's so easy to put off today what you can do on Monday morning. Don't wait start right now. Drink all of your water and start tracking your nutrition today. At least it will make you aware of what you are eating and maybe that will jar you into action. - 8/31/2011   9:31:53 PM
  • 45
    I can relate! I've been avoiding mirrors and wearing baggy sweatshirts and larger clothes because I can't stand how I look or feel, and am too chicken to stand up to it! Today is a new day, and I'm going to try to take steps in the right direction to get back on the healthy path and make good choices -- starting with owning up and wearing clothes that fit me, not hide me (even if they're a size bigger than I'd like)! - 8/16/2011   9:48:44 AM
  • VANANDEL
    44
    The only thing I see Mr. Bad Food doing wrong is not starting right away. If you wrote this on a Tuesday and you won't start until Monday, then it's 5-6 days of possibly poor eating and missed opportunities to get exercise. Since this is now Sunday, the day before you begin, I hope you are excited about your new journey and I wish you all the best! Maybe we can follow your journey like we did with The Slowest Loser! - 8/14/2011   11:29:33 PM
  • 43
    Thank you. I sooooo hate the mirror. I try to avoid it at all costs. Some day...the mirror will become my friend again. We can do this! - 8/14/2011   11:29:52 AM
  • HOLCHASE
    42
    You Can do it - 8/14/2011   9:44:27 AM
  • 41
    Thanks for sharing your story! I can relate to avoiding mirrors and I also avoid having my picture taken. We can be heathy...let's do it now!
    - 8/14/2011   9:07:39 AM
  • 40
    Sad thing is I don't think of 3 pieces of pizza as much. - 8/13/2011   8:15:37 PM
  • 39
    Love yourself. You are going to be okay.
    I now look in the mirror when I work out. It is not a pretty picture. But it is better than it was a year ago. There are many fit people at my gym and it used to bother me to see my image (okay==it still does).
    But now I can SEE the changes. It started with tighter arms and triceps because of the weight lifting. There have been lots of LITTLE things like that and it keeps me going. This is the only body I own. It's the only one I control. So I LOOK--and I see improvement and am learning to be proud of myself. No beating myself up over the past--just look forward. And be consistent. - 8/13/2011   5:19:50 PM
  • 38
    Thanks for posting this. Obviously many of us here can relate and it's always good to know that someone else can! - 8/13/2011   8:37:04 AM
  • SHARIRUN
    37
    Dear Mr. Bad Food...
    I think all of us here at Spark people see some of ourselves in your blog this morning. I surely relate to many of your "bad" habits relating to fod, mirrors and weight loss. I have found that many of the tools you describe are very uselful
    May I encourage you not to wait until "Monday," there will always be something in the way and if you have the motivation today it is beneficial to begin while the motivation is active. Good luck on your journey. Face the mirror and keep on blogging! - 8/12/2011   8:32:39 AM
  • SAMSTRIKE
    36
    I used to avoid mirrors, but the pictures... OMG! Those were the worst to me, in the mirror was like "ok, I look.. not bad" , but then watching pictures of me was like "OMG! Who's that girl? It's this how I look?". Not anymore! So, good luck to you! I'm sure you'll do it!! - 8/12/2011   12:53:39 AM
  • ALLIB22
    35
    good luck on your journey - 8/11/2011   10:57:45 PM
  • RAZZY_SUNFLOWER
    34
    Reading this blog really reached me... Ive never been one of those people who were like " I never thought anyone felt the same way as me ", Ive always known i wasn't alone with all this stuff but for some reason I felt this way about this particular blog...
    It bothers me to see my reflection and what hurts even more is when I take a picture and see what I really look like now... Especially since I've always been the girl that carries her camera everywhere she goes, so needless to say, I take a lot less pictures than I usto...
    Good for you for getting started. I'm with you on this one!
    Goodluck!! - 8/11/2011   10:56:25 PM
  • 33
    Thank you so much for the post. I have come to realise that I too avoid the mirror. It's time for things to change!
    Marilyn - 8/11/2011   10:51:09 PM
  • REMIAM
    32
    Greetings Mr. Bad Food!
    You've been a favorite writer of mine for a long time and now I'm happy to find your wit, humor, and wisdom on SparkPeople. I'm looking forward to reading more of you here in the future.
    Eating breakfast has helped my progress tremendously. Now I can look at myself squarely in the mirror and observe that the picture is finally beginning to change. I recommend it for you, too. Best wishes from a fan!
    - 8/11/2011   11:26:38 AM
  • 31
    I avoided mirrors for years, too--decades, really! I'm cheering for you, but I think you should reevaluate your priorities--if it's a "start Monday" thing today, it can be too easy to "start next Monday because today Monday is too busy." That's just my experience. I lost 30 lbs, gained it back plus some, then had more than 2 years of Mondays before I woke up one Thursday with my heart pounding as my resting heart rate and decided to take control--I could live every day is if it were my last, or live every day as if it were my first, but I definitely didn't want to keep living for tomorrow anymore! Best of luck, John! - 8/11/2011   10:47:55 AM
  • YELLOW_VOLKSTER
    30
    In my mind, I still look and feel like I did in my 20s - early 30s. But when I accidentally get a view of myself in a mirror (I, too, avoid looking in mirrors and store windows at all costs!!), I think "Oh my gosh!! At 230+ lbs, I really do look VERY fat and out-of-shape! And this is what my students and others are seeing! What are they thinking??!!" I think I could be a more effective instructor if I lost even 50 lbs or so because every semester I think I have to disprove the students' misconceptions of incompetency that seem to go with the "obese persona". I am definitely NOT incompetent at my job, but it takes several weeks for that notion to clear their head and they can see me for who I really am. And in my mind, I AM that thin person, too! Except that the mirror doesn't lie. I'm sending the wrong message. I'm starting today to change things! The fall semester begins on Monday, and I'll fight the "fat, incompetent persona" one last time! - 8/11/2011   10:00:09 AM
  • GMAGEE
    29
    Thanks for a very honest and very funny blog, Mr. Bad Food.

    'Course you can do it. Just don't give up when the scale hasn't budged and the pizzeria calling to you is only a couple blocks away. 'Making time' for exercise is still a challenge for me, something I was thinking about this morning just before I read your blog. It was a good reminder to me. Thanks!

    And stay away from mirrors for the time being. - 8/11/2011   9:57:56 AM
  • GRAMMYJO6
    28
    Mirror Mirror on the wall who is that fat person looking at me, thats what I ask myself all the time. Until I learn to accept the person staring back at me will I be able to change. so why wait till Monday start today or the person in the mirror will still be there. I too have the battle and I am trying and will conquer this battle. So I will join you and break this mirror image that I see and finally find the pretty face everyone else sees but I will add the healthy body to go with it. - 8/11/2011   9:26:07 AM
  • 27
    I think photos make me look a lot heavier than mirrors. I'll get dressed and look in the mirror and think I look OK, and then when I see a photo it makes me look heavier, so then I wonder which view it is that others see? - 8/11/2011   8:50:45 AM
  • SHER143
    26
    Wow... this really sounds familiar. It wasn't until I saw my reflection in a window (grocery store, no less!) that it hit home that I needed to "get real" about my weight. It was shocking to see but at least it got me on the right road once and for all. Thanks for a great blog. - 8/11/2011   8:46:49 AM
  • 25
    Very good suggestions. Sometimes when I catch sight of myself in a mirror or a window it ruins my whole day. I look worse than I think. And the sight causes feelings of disgust. - 8/11/2011   6:29:37 AM
  • 24
    thanks for nice blog - 8/11/2011   3:01:22 AM
  • 23
    You are right - you don't find time, you make it. I have that quote on my bathroom mirror! - 8/10/2011   11:51:58 PM
  • 22
    You can do it! I had a "mirror moment" while at a diner. I saw my profile and thought "How old and puffy my face looks!" I lost about 35 pounds before I found Sparkpeople, and I'm happy for the increased motivation I'm getting. - 8/10/2011   7:14:24 PM
  • 21
    I've always had a full-length mirror on the back of the bathroom door, so I've looked in the mirror even when I was an awful 214# & started Sparks. - 8/10/2011   6:46:02 PM
  • 20
    Mirrors ARE Better than Scales in my opininon. The Mirror Never Lies..! - 8/10/2011   5:46:52 PM
  • 19
    even if I don't like what's in the mirror - I'm sure to count my non-scale victories (didn't take a piece of candy, worked out longer, clothes are looser) - 8/10/2011   5:06:20 PM
  • 18
    Thank you for the blog. I do not like what I see in the mirror. - 8/10/2011   4:24:46 PM
  • 17
    No one can relate to the fear of mirror like i can... I haven't owned a full length mirror in 2 years. Until recently I was putting on my makeup in a dimly lit bathroom so I couldn't even see the second chin I was actively growing. Now that I'm eating better and exercising I can look at myself in the mirror and even allow people to take my picture (not an option before), but I am working up the courage to get the full length!

    Hang in there and work on your plan one day at a time. You can make a week, month, year commitment, but go with the flow and only focus on ONE day at a time. If I think about how in the hell I am going to lose 35 pounds by June '12 it's overwhelming... but I can handle making a pack not to bing today and to exercise. If I make it, awesome. If not, well there's always tomorrow.

    We're all rooting for you! - 8/10/2011   3:12:48 PM
  • 16
    Thank you for this! I can TOTALLY relate to the avoidance of the full-body mirror. But *SP will help us change our perspective as we change our habits for the better! - 8/10/2011   2:16:02 PM
  • 15
    Today is my "Monday". Today, I accidentally saw the mirror with me in it. TODAY IS MY MONDAY!

    ....and ALL of us, Mr. Bad Food and me included, CAN DO THIS. - 8/10/2011   1:26:10 PM
  • 14
    I fully understand where you are at John - I got back on the horse this past Monday and am determined!!!! - 8/10/2011   1:10:05 PM
  • 13
    I also began, my healthy lifestyle (hate the word diet), I didn't like what I saw so I'm changing it! Big thing I can tell u PORTION SIZE. The first week was hard cause my stomach was use to being filed to capacity, I always felt hungry. now that its a normal size I actually feel full when eating smaller amounts and don't forget it you will have withdrawal symptoms from food. Goodluck - 8/10/2011   1:03:02 PM
  • 12
    I believe he can do it if he really wants to ... that seems to be the key ... wanting it enough to commit and stick to it. Do it! You'll be so happy you did! - 8/10/2011   12:52:02 PM
  • 11
    "I got fat... real fat, I'm ashamed to say. I know I shouldn't feel this way."

    But why not? Probably not for everyone, but when I am disappointed in myself it gives me the kick in the pants that I need to recommit. It motivates me to "my head on straight, develop a plan of action for diet and fitness and start taking it one day at a time." - 8/10/2011   12:51:47 PM
  • 10
    What a great blog post. It is hard to look in the mirror when you know you won't like what you see. It sounds like you have a good plan and some motivation to go along with it. I also commend you for setting reasonable goals (ie. starting with walking instead of running). If you feel like you can't start new goals until a Monday, maybe you can use the rest of this week to practice your goals before actually tracking them. That way you don't let yourself get further behind (or eat all the things you tell yourself you won't be having starting on Monday). I know that's how I started and it made it seem easier to make the full changes starting the following week. Best of luck in your journey. You can do it! - 8/10/2011   12:51:19 PM
  • 9
    Thank you for sharing and I do believe you have the tools to do it, don't put off something for tomorrow if you can do it today. Don't put yourself down and if you mess up don't fall back, pick yourself up and start again. We all have setbacks just remember keep moving forward and you will do it. - 8/10/2011   12:13:32 PM
  • 8
    You have to stop putting yourself down for starters. Give yourself a big hug and tell yourself you love yourself and deserve to live a long, full life. Don't put it off-tomorrow never comes. Write down all the reasons you can think of of why it is important for you to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle. What are the pros and cons. Then tape your reasons on your closet door. You are not alone, and you are not your body. Accept yourself where you are now, and begin your journey. Best of luck, I know you can do it!! - 8/10/2011   12:05:07 PM
  • 7
    You have all the tools both from experience and your knowledge of food--now that you have the motivation and commitment, you can definitely do this! I write for a living, too, and understand the power of getting your goals and decisions on paper. You are already on the right path now; all you have to do is keep going. Hang in there and have fun with it! - 8/10/2011   11:19:34 AM
  • 6
    You have all the right tools for the job! The most important one being your game plan. And remember, an occaisional foul ball does not put you out of the rest of the game!!! Just gives you time to refocus!!! Good luck! - 8/10/2011   10:34:23 AM
  • 5
    I know just what you mean, only when I walk past a mirror or a reflective window when I am out shopping say, and I catch a glimpse of myself, I will think hey who is that fat woman? And then the awful realiztion that OMG it's me... I feel like a skinny person trapped in a fat person's body, and I want out! I know what I should and shouldn't be doing, but under times of emotional stress I will sabotage myself by eating all the bad-for-you junk that I should be avoiding, and then adopt that Monday morning attitude you describe. So that treat turns into a whole treat day, and treat day turns into a whole treat weekend, and that weekend stretches out long past Monday and who wants to start a diet on a Wednesday or a Thursday, so I tell myself starting next Monday I will do better. I am so tired of it. That's how all this extra weight got here, over years, and it won't come off overnight. But it *will* come off. It sounds like you know what you need to do but just need some encouragement to put your money where your word processor is. For what it's worth, I think you can do it. In fact you have a better shot than many people because you are pre-armed with lots of info, there is no learning curve at the grocery store while you stand there reading labels. You already know all this, you just need to put your plan into action. Good luck to you! - 8/10/2011   10:29:09 AM
  • ASHNICKL0VE
    4
    Thank you sooo much for this!! this means alot to me because I too have issues w/ the mirror, becoming depressed and spiraling out of control! And i do admit! congrats on your courage and I hope you are able to meet your goals! I AM RIGHT THERE W/ U!! =] - 8/10/2011   10:25:02 AM
  • 3
    Great BLOG . YOU CAN DO THIS . - 8/10/2011   10:23:57 AM
  • 2
    Great blog. I know this will sound sexist, but it's interesting to read a MAN'S perspective on how looks affect how they feel! This is something typically associated with women but glad to see that YOU had the courage (yup . . . courage) to write about how it affects you as a man, too. I think that's important for everyone to understand. - 8/10/2011   10:20:34 AM
  • 1
    Thanks for this blog post. I too avoid the full length mirror. I don't like seeing the person I've become. But I AM making changes and the scale IS moving in the right direction this week! With the help of Sparkpeople we CAN do this! - 8/10/2011   10:07:41 AM

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