Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May 26: Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall

When you are overweight, you become an expert at dodging reflective surfaces.  Like the most secretive vampire, who does not want to be exposed by his lack of reflection, perhaps if I dodge the mirrors and the big store windows, I won't have to see how big I really am.

I also have a particular hatred for having my picture taken.  I honestly have spent time thinking about where some horrid side view photo of me eating popcorn at the park with my daughter might end up. 

When faced with my reflection, either in film, a plate glass window, or the bathroom mirror, I have to face the reality of what I have let happen to my body.  God didn't give me a body scarred with cellulite and padded with rolls and bulges.  I took a healthy, fit masterpiece, and added all of those things myself.

Over the past few years, my glances at the mirror have been rudimentary - making sure no fat roll was horribly highlighted by the shirt I was wearing, putting on my makeup, fixing my hair and focusing only on that, not on my body.

Today I had a long day of job hunting.  I was pleased that I fit into my size 12 dress pants.  But when I checked in the mirror for those horrible rolls of back fat that poke out from under my bra band, I did a double take.  They weren't there.

I decided that my bedroom lighting wasn't bright enough to find the flaws, so I relocated to the bathroom, where the mirror was bigger and the light was brighter.  I looked at the mirror and someone different looked back at me.

The person in the mirror wasn't a fat person.

I stared and she stared back.  I turned, as did the woman in the mirror.  I checked her out from every single angle. The woman in the mirror was a woman of average size. She was not slim but she wasn't fat either.  I couldn't believe it was me.

So I took a picture.  Pictures always show you how things really are.  Pictures show you that you have deluded yourself when you got dressed in the morning and thought something looked good.  I loaded it into the computer and the same, average sized person peered out, frozen in my computer screen.

Here is a photo from 7 months ago, a month before I started my diet plan.  Beside it is the photo I took today in the mirror of my bathroom.

It's like an identity crisis, noticing this.  Little things have happened lately, like noticing my pants were too big in the waist.  Or taking in a couple of dresses to the fitting room, only to find out they are both too big.  I feel happy, yet peculiar, about this. 

How does an average person behave?  A heavy person tries to slink around and be unnoticed - at least this one does.  A fat girl doesn't turn her head when guys whistle, because she knows it's not for her.  What does an average woman do? 

Can I now go into those intimidating stores where I couldn't fit into anything before, causing me to slink out  in humiliation?  Will the shop salespeople ignore me like they did before, realizing I would figure out that nothing there was for me? 

As a fat person, I was invisible.  Salespeople didn't notice me, men didn't meet my eyes when we talked, and when I tried to make polite conversation with the person ringing up my groceries, it was with obvious effort that she answered politely. 

Will I be more visible now, as an average person?   And what will happen when I am more fit than the average person?  Is a layer of fat like a cloak of invisibility that decreases in it's effectiveness to hide the wearer as layer after layer of fat is stripped away?  And finally at the point that the person is not just average, but "hot", what happens then?  Is all invisibility right out the window?

Don't get me wrong - I am thrilled with the difference in what I saw today.  It's overwhelming, though, because it seems like it happened overnight. I wasn't mentally prepared for this yet, but despite that, I can't stop smiling.

1 comment:

  1. Look at you!!!! Awesome progress! You look fantastic! Wooohooo!!! It's a shock, isn't it, to look in the mirror and see someone else? It feels like someone else, but that's all you, baby! I still experience those moments, and it's still a shock when it happens. You're dong wonderfully and I'm so excited for you!!!