It's been a while since I've posted a heart-felt emotional blog post, eh? I guess it was brewing. Somewhere deep down inside, I guess the emotions were just simmering, like a pot of chili on a cold winter day. And by "cold winter day" in Phoenix, let's be honest, I mean 72' and cloudy.
I was at WalMart (normally I avoid Wally World like the plague) because I had to pick up a few things, last minute, on my way home from working out.
I pulled up, still in the gym clothes I was wearing from this morning's workout where I PR'd my deadlift by over... 50 pounds. I was feeling really awesome after 5 sets of lifting that really heavy bar, with those really heavy plates attached to it. I'm talking I WAS FEELING LIKE ONE PROUD HEIFER!
So I've got my swagger-walk on and I'm sauntering into WalMart like any good heifer would. I go grab the stuff I needed and wanted to just walk around the cool fun tshirt area, to see what they had. Maybe something for me, or one of my kids.
I was just fine, walking around, looking at this and that, nothing in particular, when I walked by a mirror. My very first and overwhelming thought was LOOK AWAY! Don't look at yourself as you walk by. You've come from the gym, you're sweaty, you haven't eaten on plan the last few weeks, so you're probably up in some "water weight" and your hair is dreadful and deserving of a good violent shampoo.
"Don't look at yourself as you walk by."
Having been obese for about 40 years of my life, I avoided mirrors like the plague. How many of you heifers can relate? You know a mirror is on a particular wall, so you go out of your way to avoid that wall, or you look the other direction?
You don't WANT to look in the mirror because you know what's looking back at you. Fat. Relentless, futile attempts at years of yoyo dieting, years of self-loathing, years of avoidance. Years of emotional emptiness. Years of nothingness in your heart.
You don't WANT to look in that mirror because even though you just did something GOOD for your body - say you worked out - you ate a healthy meal, you skipped that 3rd glass of wine, whatever.. you KNOW what's looking back at you. Fat is looking back at you. Disappointment is looking back at you. FAILURE is looking back at you. HOPELESSNESS is looking back at you.
That's me. I've lost over 110 pounds, successfully maintaining this loss for about 5 years now, and yet STILL... I don't want to look in the mirror.
I'm afraid. I'm so afraid that when I look at that reflection, I will see FatMelissa, not the person I am now. I'm no longer fat - I no longer wear "The Fat Suit" that I talk about HERE. I'm not that same person.
So why can't I look in the mirror without being afraid? Good question. I guess I haven't been able to shake the "fat Melissa" mindset quite yet - even though logically I KNOW I'm no longer that person. I'm a happy, well-adjusted, confident heifer these days. I walk with my head up high, I'm no longer the shy wallflower I was when I was insecure and unhappy. I'm not sure why I can't let go of that first instinct, the one that turns my body away from the mirror before I can even realize what I've done.
Below is the mirror at WalMart. I stood there for a good 30 seconds, just staring at myself, trying to accept the fact that I'm not fat anymore. I'm FIT, and I'm healthy. I hope one day my mind catches up to my body.
How many of you can relate? Feel free to email me - firstname.lastname@example.org or join us in our facebook group to discuss.