"Avoid mirrors at all cost" My old mantra.
For years, I tried to avoid catching my profile in a storefront or in a mirror at a friend's house.
I didn't need to see what I already knew.
I was overweight. No no I was obese.
I could FEEL that in my bones. I didn't need a mirror to confirm that for me.
So for awhile I tried to just use a tiny mirror to put on makeup and that was about it.
I didn't even like catching my reflection in the doors of the Subway.
As I embarked on my weight loss journey of 2005/2006, I did so in an unhealthy way - eating disorders. But, as the compliments came in: "Oh keep doing whatever you are doing. You look great." The inner confidence rose and I started looking into the mirror a little more. The outside had changed, but the inside was still the same.
I still looked into the mirror and saw the 230 lb me. Even though I was 180 at the time.
As I got healthier and the weight crept back on - out went the mirrors.
Again I hid in my own self-hatred and self-abuse.
But when I joined Weight Watchers in November 2009, I wanted to lose the weight in a healthy way and really start to feel the changes on the inside as well.
As the weight came off, slow and steady, I again broke out the mirrors and started looking. Again the cycle started, ugh you need to lose weight, too many rolls, you have more to lose, etc.
But, then I started reflecting more. Someone told me once to really inspect what you saw in the mirror. So instead of glancing head to toe on my body, I would just stare back into my own eyes. THAT was the true way to see my soul. To see what was on the inside.
Once I started looking past the physical and into the mental, I started changing my habits. If the old knee jerk reaction kicked in of negativity talking about my body. I immediately changed the focus back to looking in my own eyes and I had to follow it up with a compliment.
"Oh those thighs are so fat" ... "Those thighs have taken you through x half marathons and y marathons"
"You are so wide" ... "I have excess skin from weight loss and I am working on toning it up"
"You still look like you weigh 235 lbs" ... ???
And that's the one. The comment that creeps back into my head on a regular basis.
When I have a bad food week, when I look at race photos or when I am just feeling down, I can look in the mirror and still see the "before" me. So how does one banish those images?
That is the magic question. Here is what helps me:
1) It begins with an internal conversation (like above) that has to happen.
I remind myself that: I am no longer that person. I have come too far to discredit myself. I am WORTHY of the happiness I feel at my current weight.
2) I try to figure out what is really wrong. I am clearly manifesting something other issue/emotion/problem into thinking I am back to my before weight.
Maybe I overate the night before. Maybe I am upset that I didn't get a job I applied for. Maybe I am just sad.
(Remember it is okay to just feel emotions)
3) Reach out to a close personal friend/confidant. Someone that has been through the journey with me.
4) When all else fails take out that before picture. I always keep one on my phone or in my WW tracker.
And if all that fails ... reach out to me! I'll set that mind right for you! :)
Occasionally you need to hear it from someone else ... and that is okay!
Why does it take the brain so long to catch up with the physical weight loss?
But we just need to keep snapping it back to the present ... aka Reality!!
Do you experience this same problem? How do you bring yourself back to the real image in the mirror?