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The Woman in the Mirror

Friday, August 02, 2013

I was reading a fellow Sparker's blog the other day. If you are curious which one it is, here is the Linky:


She talks about an article she read, Linky here:


These posts cycle back to what I blogged about earlier - how being skinny doesn't make life wonderful, how it's not about the number on the scale but your health.

A year ago, I hated photos. I avoided the camera like mad. About the only way I'd let myself be photographed was from the neck up - as if that could 100% conceal the fact I was overweight.

But the bigger problem was that I couldn't see how beautiful I was. People were kind enough to tell me all the time how pretty I was - but I didn't believe it. I liked my hair (when it wasn't a mess, like my hair tends to be) and my green eyes and that was about it. I didn't like anything else, between the soles of my feet and the top of my head.

Would I have ever gone to my friend and said, "Whoa, what thunder thighs you have!"? Would I have ever said, "Beached whale, 100 miles inland!" to a loved one? Would I have told a complete stranger that her face looked bloated? Of course not! Because these people are more than just their weight - they are wonderful, unique beings, with sound minds and big hearts. They aren't a number on a scale or a size in pants or even a waist measurement.

So why was it OK for me to do that? Why could I not face the image in the mirror? Why could I not admit that I looked fine?

Today, I did something drastic. I was in a coffee shop, doing my coffee run, and I had to use the ladies' restroom. As I stood in the mirror to wash my hands, I looked at my image. And instead of running through the list of faults I could find, I instead went something like this:

"Your hair looks so CUTE today! You did a great job of styling it."

"That shirt fits nicely on you!"

"What a wonderful smile you have!"

"Your eyes are so green today!"

"I love the way these jeans look on me! I feel so sexy and beautiful!"

Any time my mind was tempted to wander to the parts I wasn't proud of myself, I bounced back with another compliment, another thing about my body I liked. I refused to entertain the thoughts that told me I wasn't perfect. I refused to acknowledge that I was anything less than amazing.

I am amazing, whether I am a size 20 or a size 10 or a size 4. My self-confidence and pride are slowly becoming unhinged from my weight. And yes, while it is important to be a healthy weight (note HEALTHY not "skinny" or "socially acceptable" weight), it is also important to have a health body image. Because a healthy body image won't automatically come to you once you get skinny. No matter what your size, you'll be able to find SOMETHING that doesn't fit with your "ideal". But if you aren't looking for that ideal past "I'm healthy and alive and me", then it won't matter anymore that the woman in the mirror isn't perfect - she's you and that's all that matters.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    This post reminded me of a song by Alanis Morissette:

    That I would be good, even if I did nothing
    That I would be good, even if I got the thumbs down
    That I would be good, if I got and stayed sick
    That I would be good, even if I gained ten pounds

    That I would be fine, even if I went bankrupt
    That I would be good if I lost my hair and my youth
    That I would be great if I was no longer queen
    That I would be grand if I was not all knowing

    That I would be loved, even when I numb myself
    That I would be good, even when I am overwhelmed
    That I would be loved, even when I was fuming
    That I would be good, even if I was clingy

    That I would be good, even if I lost sanity
    That I would be good, whether with or without you

    It's a sad song, I know, but I also see a certain sweetness. Must be because it always reminded me of that warm feeling of self-worth that my mom tried to pass onto me since I was a little girl.

    My self-esteem was pretty low a couple of years ago, I was ~40 lbs overweight (18kg), and I started going to therapy. One of the exercises I had to do (I felt truly silly so I haven't told anyone about them!), was to stand in front of a mirror every single day, and say nice things to myself. I had to do this for about one or two months. I had to force myself to be kind to myself. I thought it was so weird (was scared to death that my roommate would hear me talking to myself on the bathroom! LOL). But I did feel a difference. I do feel it now.

    This was a great reminder to keep doing it, thank you!
    1683 days ago
    Your outside is now matching the beautiful soul you have within. Being proud of your spirit is a great milestone! emoticon
    1684 days ago
    I love this blog. So true! Thank you for sharing.
    1688 days ago
    I've gotten some genuinely nice comments lately from my co-workers. That woman in the mirror isn't so kind, though. Funny, I hear her saying great stuff to other people. Maybe it's time to have a talk with her....
    1689 days ago
    emoticon And thank you for sharing!
    1689 days ago
  • LEWILL1982
    Fabulous! I work through this every day. I also created a 100 day challenge for myself to find something I liked about myself everyday to turn it around. It is hard to do but will make life so much more pleasurable. Very well written and congratulations for looking and being fabulous!
    1689 days ago
    WooHoo for looking for what you like about yourself.

    Now, I hear the more you practice that, the better you like yourself and your appearance. Keep up the good work, beautiful Carolyn!
    1689 days ago
    1689 days ago
  • KJACOBS1111
    1689 days ago
  • WILDKAT781
    1689 days ago
    Yup, being thin doesn't on it's own make life wonderful. It does however, make it somewhat easier to buy clothes....somewhat.

    There is more to being a person than body size, intelligence, compassion, etc.
    1689 days ago
  • CHERYLA2012
    Y-e-s ... sparking the flame from the inside out and allowing ourselves to recognize all the wonderful things we actually are is so important and healing!
    1689 days ago
    1689 days ago
    Thank you for sharing
    1690 days ago
    Wonderful attitude! You are so much on the right track for a great, healthy life and body.

    1690 days ago
  • MTAL203
    Love your attitude - I think I'll go talk to myself in the mirror! Can't hurt! Thank you.
    1690 days ago
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