Reflections from a Mirror

By , SparkPeople Blogger
By Nina Shildeck, NINALEE35

As I stepped out of the shower this morning, I glanced in the mirror. I usually don’t do that. I guess it was my frame of mind today. Pensive, primed to take some positive steps, ready for some new beginnings. Ready to go out and conquer the world!

Well, I was shocked by what I saw! There, staring back at me was this big body with folds of skin hanging in the front beneath a large abdomen and hips sticking out in the rear. My first reaction? "I hate this body!"

But you know what? The more I think about it, the more I realize that I really love this body. It isn't a food magnet. It didn't scarf up a single bite against my will. It handles the food I put in it without complaining, even when I overload it. Whatever its problems, I caused it. It didn't do a thing all by itself. And this body walks wherever I ask it to, thinks for me, and talks for me. It has two good arms and hands to handle work or hug a child, and it has two feet to take me wherever I want to go, it has a heart that just never quits.

I realize I need to treat it better. It is my friend! Would I abuse a friend? I don't think so! Would I deliberately make a friend sick at Thanksgiving? I don’t think so! Then why do it to myself? Why not feed my friend—my body—enough to be comfortable and then not punish it with overload?

I knew I needed to do something! I joined Spark People. With their help, I am learning appropriate eating habits, the importance of exercise – maybe I really should say the importance of letting my friend—my body—move as it was intended to do, It wasn’t built with all these “hinges” we call shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles just to sit in a recliner and vegetate. It was built to move, to wiggle, to walk or dance.

Why not use it to enhance the joys of life? Why not walk down a country lane and admire the scenery, the birds, the flowers. Or enjoy a walk through the neighborhood? Why not let the child within us out once in awhile. Why not play? Children seem to never sit still. Why not drop our inhibitions and “dance” with the mop, or make a game of bending to pick up things. Or play hide-and-seek with the dust bunnies?

Why not let this body loose to do the things it was intended to do? And what will that benefit us? After all, aren’t we all too busy to play games? But think of the physical benefits of having a slender, supple body, of sleeping well at night, of being able to play with our children, or hug a grandchild. And think of the emotional benefits. “I look good. I feel good. I can do the things I want to do. I can be free to reach my full potential.

I'm glad I saw myself in the mirror this morning. It really made me stop and think!

At 74 years young, Nina is a published author who's making her life better through weight loss and better health. She lives in New Mexico with her husband of 36 years.

Instead of berating yourself, love yourself! Share one reason why you love your body!

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I'm going to save this so I can read it again and again. Thank you for a very insightful blog. Report
really inspirational blog
i love my face and am working on allowing the rest of my body to be in tip top shape
j~ Report
I find that i accept my body as is... little more to love in some places than others but just like aging, its a natural part of life. The rest is all in my head. Stay positive ppl! Report
I love my hair ;) Everything else, I'm working on it! Beautiful blog. Report

I am thankful for the way it lets me walk all over enjoying the fresh air. Report
my body's okay but I know my body's limit. Report
I love that my body rewards my hard work by making me look and feel better and that it does it SLOWLY - my reminder that I need to keep going to see progress! Report
I love my body because it usually does whatever I tell it to in spite of my advancing years. Report
I love the way you've framed loving your body and treating it like you would a dear friend. Thanks for sharing! Report
I was always the last one on my list to think about, my family always came fist. It took sparkpeople and a lot of soul searching to realize that I needed to come first and treat myself the way I treat others. I am half way through my goal, and reading this blog is a wonderful reminder of how we need to treat ourselves, it is all up hill from here. Wonderful story. Report
An inspirational read. Thank -you. Report
I love my thighs. They are very strong. Report
I love my body because I love clothes and shopping would lose all of its meaning without a body to put them on. Report
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It's so true; I found myself reflecting the same when I reached the 300 lb mark and realized that if I wanted to live a long healthy life to enjoy with my grandchildren that I was going to have to treat my body better by exercising it and feeding it a healthier diet. Thanks again. Report
Thanks for sharing your perspective on the reflection in the mirror. It was very inspiring. Most of the time I get caught up on my appearance and failed to remember that my body functions just the way it suppose to, that is superb. I have little or no health conditions to be concerned about. Overall, other than the desire to be at a healthy weight I have a lot to be grateful for. Thank you again for sharing your insight. Report
Reading this has done me the world of good. I found it really inspiring. Report
I love my body and whenever I look in the mirror, there's always something that can be fixed. Until then, I'm working out, eating healthy and enjoying life! The better we take care of ourselves, the longer we can live to enjoy it as well as our loved ones! Life is too short not to enjoy it! Report
wonderful , wonderful thoughts so reflect on !
I love you my body... I WILL take better care of you !
Wow! what a reflective story....all my life since i've gained an excessive amount of weight i've never had a full length mirror ; now is the time in order to learn to love me and start doing what is necessary to show the love starting from the inside out. thanks Report
I pray daily "teach me to love my body and to care for it from this day forth." Report
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I've felt like that many times, but then I think of my sister who had a massive stroke at 45 yrs old, and now 17 yrs later, in a nursing home.
I Thank God for my body & all I am able to do at 63 this month!! ~Life is Good~ Report
After years and years (well pretty much my whole life so far) of HATING my body and doing some pretty awful things to it, I do now appreciate my body and actually feel sorry for it. I should thank it for putting up with me all these years and not doing to me what I have done to it. So here I say it, "Thanks beautiful body of mine! Trying to return the love...." Report
I am often amazed but how much damage we can do to our bodies and how often it just repairs itself and keeps going. It wants us to live! Report
I hate my body so much. Scrawny, anorexic twig. I can't look in mirrors or shop windows. I walk with my head down. Report
Thank you for this lovely message! My body and I are going for a walk on a beautiful spring evening now. Report
You are so right. I love my body.
Thanks Report
I love my body because it is resilient and it does so much for me. I am grateful everyday to have a body that can do all of the wonderful things that it does. Report
new perspective... thanks... it all starts with the right mindset. then the body changes come later. Report
Thanks for sharing. Report
One thing I love about my body is that it is fairly proportionate! I've got equal curves everywhere ;D
Just need to tone 'em up!

Thank you for posting's a good way to think. Why hate my body when it's capable of so much? It carries my soul... I shouldn't dislike it! :) Report
I love the fact that my body is almost perfectly proportioned. Unfortunately, right now, all parts are equally over-weight. As I am beginning to lose weight, it is coming off all over - so I am still well-proportioned. Once I reach my goal weight, I will look damn good! Report
I love my body because both my mind and my body are strong Report
I love my body because...I can walk for such a long time, and see so many beautiful things along the way. Report
Thank you for sharing this wonderful perspective!! It was the little reminder or should I say push I needed today!!! Thank you so much!!!

I am learning to love my body now! There are things that need to change, but that will come with time, healthy eating and exercise!! I am working towards it. I have an hourglass figure - when I tell people what I weigh they can't believe it. I guess I stay proportioned when I gain it :-} That could be a good thing!!

Anyway, forgive my rambling :-} Thank you again for the wonderful blog!! and the reminder to treat my "best friend" better!! Report
A wonderful way to view or change your mindset towards this lifestyle change. It's really easy to feel like we are somehow depriving ourselves when we don't indulge in foods that are not that great for us (but taste really good!). If we think about the mind and the body as partners and friends, it makes it a bit easier to do good things for both. I am going to try and remember that on the tough days............ Report
thank you so very much for this Report
What a great perspective. I'll think of it each time I look in the mirror.
I love that I feel my muscles strenghtening, even if they can't be seen yet. Report
Thanks for Sharing! It is a great persective to have about my body.

i love my body as it has that hour glass shape, right now it's a little hidden, but i'm working on bring it back out!
What an absolutely fabulous perspective on bodies! Your blog has definitely made me think differently about my body. I hope I can remind myself every day of this message so that I will be more careful about how I treat myself. Report
What an excellent blog!! I feel so inspired. This isn't about our weight, it's about our life! Yes we can and will remove the extra weight using all the fine tools here at Spark People, and in the end (no pun intended) we have to do it ourselves....but in the meantime our bodies deserve love and care. Thanks so much! Report
Great blog. Great insight! Thank you for opening eyes that see but reject that which is seen. I will accept my body for what it is and work to make it better. I will go through my day working with my friend, my body. Thank you Report
its so true,me too i feel the same.... Report
Fantastic blog! I had a similar incident and I thank God every day for my body. I have 2 good arms and hands with which to hug my loved ones, i have 2 good eyes with which to see ALL God's beauty on this earth, I have 2 good ears to hear the sounds of a warm summer night or a crisp spring morning. I now have a body that is able to help those in need and constantly does just that. Take care and God Bless. Report
Funny, this must be a timely topic that lots of us are thinking about! I blogged about this at the end of March, as I was inspired by how I felt about my body after a great workout, and was a little dismayed by a question I saw on a popular survey about "the part of your body you hate most". It got me thinking about how I love my entire body (yes, even the injuries!) and all it has done for me, right down to a cellular level.

Good to read another positive take on our amazing bodies! Report
In reading some of the responses, I am reading that not many are actually answering the question: What is 1 reason you love your body? While, I was inspired by this blog, I wanted to answer the question....

This body of mine has been a Type 1 diabetic since the age of 4 (21 years this year), it has come very close to dying on more than just 1 occasion.... It is blind and it is a bit bumpy and lumpy from untold numbers of insulin injections. It isn't as strong as I'd like or as skinny or as firm, but it is getting there! One main reason I love this body is that like my spirit, it hasn't given up! We are still here and doing what is good for us! Report
A great commentary - and so inspiring. I can't think of one good thing about my body - yet...... but i have lots to think about now! Report
This is a fantastic blog.
I love this post. Thanks for sharing, it totally makes my look at my body differently. Report
"Share one reason why you love your body!"

I love the feeling of hitting the hay after a day where I had a good, thorough workout, my limbs are humming with pleasant fatigue, and I know I will become one with my bed! One of the best feelings in the world! Report
I have saved this so I can return to it often. Since I've gained all this weight and flab, I HATE my image -- thx for reminding me that it's MY fault that this image is not what I'm used to OR what I want Report
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