#77 - Not recognizing myself in the mirror

I can remember this one day in my life very clearly. I was shopping with my mom at the mall. We were doing a bit of window shopping, ooo'ing and ahh'ing about the clothes we wanted to buy. I walked by one store and caught site of a reflection of a really fat girl in the glass of the store window, and thought to myself, "Look at that poor girl, how sad." Then that's when I realized I was looking at a reflection of myself. At first I didn't even realize it was me. When had I gotten so fat? Who was this girl staring back at me? I didn't even know her. I remember this day so clearly, over 15 years ago, when I got so fat I didn't even recognize my own reflection.

I still find that I do this every once in a while, catch site of myself in the reflection of a building or something, and for one split second not realize it's me. I always tell you about how I'm a pretty confident person. Shit, I don't think I would have survived my life without a healthy bit of confidence pushing me through all the struggles! But even in my most confident moments, when I turn and see myself in the mirror and say, "Oh yeah, I'm fat, I forgot"; that's when my confidence goes in the toilet. I can be having the best day ever, but one look in the mirror can crumble my ego and my spirits. I hate this about being fat! And some days when I'm feeling all girly and pretty, and doll myself up all nice, I look in the mirror and am reminded that all the makeup and pretty clothes in the world wont hide the fact that I'm fat. Maybe this is why so many of us don't bother with dressing up or wearing makeup, cause why does it matter anyway, right? Well, that's crap! It does matter. Taking care of yourself makes you feel better. If you feel better, who cares what you look like in the mirror? If you feel good, you feel confident, you really do look better. In the past I've had people ask me if I had lost weight when I had in fact gained weight, because they just happened to catch me on a very good day where I had my head held high and beamed infectious confidence. Really, it's confidence that we all find so attractive. Sure a body like Cindy Crawford helps (haha), but confidence can be just as appealing. But on the flip side, when I look at myself in the mirror and can't even recognize the image looking back at me, I have a hard time mustering up much confidence.

I'm not making overly optimistic weight loss goals. I just want to get down to a healthier weight range. Honestly, right now if I can break 200, that's a great start. And in my quest to achieve a healthier me I want to be able to look in the mirror and say, "Yup, that's me," and not have it negatively influence my life. I know, most people are never truly happy with how they look. But I think as we lose weight, we just need to remember back to our heaviest selves and realize how healthy and beautiful we've become, to realize that even if we're not perfect, we're so much better off than we were. So even if I only get down to 200, or 190, or 180, or whatever, it's SO much better than 315! I guess we need to remember where we've been and how far we've come, then maybe when we look in the mirror we'll be happy with what we see. I think I need to practice a bit of what I preach, cause I was feeling kind of low today when I looked in the mirror and just thought, "Yuck!" I need to remind myself over and over again that where I am now is so much more attractive than where I was. 256 looks much prettier than 315! Of course there is room for considerable improvement, but I want that reflection of myself to stop passing judgment on me. I want to stop taking her opinion so seriously, and just feel comfortable with the way I look and not have my reflection dictate the kind of day I'm going to have. I just want to look into the mirror and see me. I just want to be able to walk by a store and recognize my own reflection!


Lynn said...

I can relate to everything you just posted. I go out and think I look good (can't tell that I'm fat in my own mirrors I guess) and then in catch a glimpse of myself in the real world and it's a very different image. :)

Deven said...

The same thing happens to me, both in the mirror and in pictures, videos, etc. My self-image is so completely different from the one that everyone else sees... Most of the time it's better than the outside, until, like you said, I catch a glimpse. It can be very disheartening and frankly, disappointing. But I'm working both inwardly and outwardly. Maybe someday the girl in my head and the girl on the outside can meet in the middle and become the same person.

Anonymous said...

A very important thing I learnt from years of being overweight. These days, everyone is trying to lose weight, and actually, it is more healthy to have a BMI of 30 then it is 20.
But, It is good to lose weight if you REALLY need to for safety reasons (like at risk of having a heart attack).

I was never at that stage. What I did was I learnt to love my body. I found something I liked about my body and focused on that. You know what? I felt so much better about myself, I was no longer that stupid depressed person. I was in the same body, just a completely different person. And through that, I lost weight which seemed so quickly. I wasn't actually losing weight faster, just because I took my mind off it, it felt like I was.

Learn to love your body!

Clyde Brown said...

I relate to what you wrote. Some days it feels like everything in your life is going great and you're on top of the world, and then you see your reflection in a window or something and it just deflates your bubble.

It's weird how you can get so caught up in a project that you forget for a while that you're overweight. It will be so great to not have that burden anymore... first to get rid of the psychological burden, then, little by little, the physical one.

We shouldn't let our body image have so much power over us, but I guess we sometimes do.

Melodee said...

I remember that experience a few years back . . . I was shocked to see myself so old and fat!

(Just stumbled here through a google search . . . glad to find this blog!)

The Amazing Shrinking Mom

Anonymous said...

I can really relate to this (as with most of your posts). Especially looking at my side reflection.
256 is a great accomplishment!

Geosomin said...

Trust me - you'll walk by a window some day in the future and smile and go "oh my god - that's me!"
And it'll be good thing.
And you'll smile.
It feels good - wait for it :)

Anonymous said...

I thought I was the only one. I really honestly thought I was the only one.

Anonymous said...

All I know Is I hate to take pictures, I hate mirrors. Anything that reflects my present weight and I can see it. I always tell my daughter that I look like a fat cow and she says no mommy u r the most beautiful person I know. God knows I give thanks for her. My husband also tells me I look good. I may be pretty yes I do know this. But I am still big and fat. One day I will love myself for real. P