Seeing the Real Me
Saturday, June 12, 2010
I've been really obese for a really long time. As a consequence, I am not a fan of mirrors. In fact, I spent years rarely looking into mirrors other than to make sure the hair wasn't going crazy or to inspect an age spot. Recently, a couple of things have happened to change that. No, I'm not thrilled at the wonderful changes in my body. Going from 324 to 301 doesn't really show much. Feels great but the mirror just doesn't believe you quite yet. First, my little granddaughter swiped my camera and took a few pictures of Gramma and Grampa. AAAAHHHH! Who is that ENORMOUS woman?! I was really out of touch with what I actually looked like. At first, it just depressed me to even think about those pictures much less look at them... or into a mirror. But I resisted the impulse to just delete them.
That was about 5 or 6 months ago. The second thing that happened was more recent. I've started a new class since my PT ended to keep up the flexibility and strength work. The room is completely surrounded in mirrors. Even the support posts in the center of the room are covered in mirrors. Much of this class is spent in a chair with resistance bands as it is designed for people post injury, with arthritis etc. I look into that mirror now. I tried to avoid it at first but not anymore. I look. I really look. I look at how I spill over the sides of that little chair. I look at those giant floppy wings that appear when I raise my arms. I look for a couple of reasons.
First, I don't want to live in denial anymore. Not looking or acknowledging just how out of shape I am doesn't (contrary to my dearest wish) make it not so. If I don't acknowledge the seriousness of the situation I might be tempted to ease up on myself and just be happy that I am able to perform everyday tasks for myself again. No way. When I exercise, and especially when I swim, I FEEL like a completely different woman than the one in the mirror. I feel my bones and muscles working together in the beautiful way God intended. I actually feel the lean tissue I am developing underneath. It's hard to explain but the thing is... I know that the world still sees that Natalie in the mirror but I don't always feel her. That is great but I can't forget that she is there cuz folks, she has to GO. Ex number of months from now when I have lost 60 or 80 lbs and I look in the mirror I don't want to think, "Hey, isn't that what I looked like 8 months ago? It's what I FELT like 8 months ago." I want to look into that mirror one day and realize, WOW, I don't spill over the edges of my chair anymore! I don't have ginormous floppy wings covering those triceps anymore. How discouraging would that be? I want to live in reality and enjoy the changes that are coming in my reality. Every little bit, every little second. And when I finally see the woman I am beginning to feel emerging I want to be there to welcome her.