I have a problem with what I look like. I think it’s because, I don’t truly KNOW what I look like. I look in a mirror and all I see are the flaws glaring back at me. I see a smaller but, still very large women looking back at me. I am aware that I have weight left to lose. I have more muscle to build and it’s not something that even in maintenance will ever be a completed process for me. Life is forever moving and forever changing.
Today I was looking at a dress in my closet that I bought a few weeks ago. I want to wear it on Easter but, I’m nervous because, it’s ***GASP*** sleeveless and I don’t do sleeveless! However, I love this dress and I need to get past this issue to wear it. The other problem is the size of the dress. I hold it up and look at it and double check the tag even though I TRIED IT ON in the store and then again at home that night. I am convinced that somehow it has shrunk or been swapped for a smaller size while hanging in my closet. I am pretty sure the magical evil elves Ping and Pong (that’s for you Clint) have snuck into my room and replaced the one that fit me with this imposter just to wreak havoc on my self confidence. I take a deep breath, strip down and slide it over my head. I wait for the pulling and tugging, that awful material stretching and then tearing sound but, it doesn’t come. It slips down over my tummy and hips with room to spare. WTH??? How could that even happen? I mean I know I saw that dress on the hanger and it was definitely too small for me but, here I am standing in front of the mirror wearing it. I tie the sash and look into the full length mirror. It’s pretty bad. I see saggy arms, thick legs, lumps and bumps in the tummy and hips. I am ready to take it off but, I remember something. I need to try the picture trick.
I call Ebby my younger daughter to the living room and ask her to come out front and snap some pics for me. She loves being my personal photographer and readily agrees. After much direction and a few tantrums about lighting, shadow and lack of poses, we are done. I come inside and don’t even look at the pics. I slip the dress off get ready for my Ladies Night Out with some friends tonight and come downstairs. I make the kids lunch, clean up a bit and lay kids down for naps while listening to the melodious sounds of the older children expressing their extreme
dislike love for each other. The little cherubs 🙂
Now I am sitting at the computer I am trying to be objective and not think about the pictures being of ME. So, I will judge them a bit more fairly. I pop in the memory card and open them up. At first I am seeing only flaws but, then something magical happens. I am able to see what others will see. Sure they may notice some of the same things I did but, for the most part it’s not too bad. I am actually happy with what I see in the pictures. The only bad part is that the girl in the pictures isn’t the same girl I face in the mirror. Those aren’t the same legs I look down at with judgmental eyes, while they are propped on my husbands lap at night. The arms that make me want to cry when I walk past the mirror in a towel, aren’t as horrible as they look in the mornings. Why does the camera find something that my own eyes fail to see. Why can I see it in print but, not in reality? I wish I knew these answers.
I know I’m not the only one out here who feels this way. Who sees the worst in the mirror and can’t admit how far they’ve truly come. Some people are incredibly well adjusted and willing to take the credit for the changes they readily see in their bodies. I am among the group of those who can’t. How do we change this? How do we become more accepting of ourselves? I obviously haven’t discovered these answers yet or I’d apply them to my own life. I’d love to hear your opinions or experiences. I know that one day I will be in a place where I feel confident enough to see my true outside and not just the image in my head. I think that being able to see it in pictures is a step in that direction. To all of you struggling with the same thing I say start taking photos and find a thing or two in them that are undeniably good and work from there. Week by week, month by month you will get better at recognizing the real you. Hang in there and know you aren’t alone in this war with your own head.