Many of you know the tale of the old woman that lived in a shoe, well I am here to tell you the tale of the girl who avoided mirrors...
This girl struggled with her weight her entire life. She was almost always the heaviest in her class, and not by a little, by a lot! She was teased in junior high and high school... even after high school she could hear the snickers. As each year passed she packed on more pounds... sometimes she would lose a few, but she'd always find them again. But her fear of mirrors wasn't always so extreme...
Around age 19 (205 pounds) she started avoiding full length mirrors. She had no desire to see her stomach staring back at her. But her face, well her face wasn't all that bad. She learned to live from the neck up (or the chest up in photos), and didn't have any interest of seeing anything below that. Every now and again, a full length mirror would take her by surprise, and she was never happy with what she saw. The avoidance continued.
The years rolled on, and the pounds added up, even the "neck up" mirrors started to become scary. It got to a point where she didn't even recognize the face of the girl looking back at her.
Her face was puffy and swollen, it really looked like a completely different person. One day, she realized that her avoidance was getting worse. She would approach mirrors in the bathroom and immediately tilt her chin down, as to avoid staring at the double chins. It took her a long time to realize she was doing this, and eventually realized she no longer looked like the girl she once was.
She got her hair done once or twice, and hated that she was forced to look at that pudgy face in the mirror... So what did she decide? To no longer have her hair done. So sad.
When she finally bought her house in 2009, the woman that lived there prior had taken the mirrors with her. There were no mirrors in the bathroom, and she was in no hurry to replace them. Unfortunately for her, the bathroom door was a mirror, and there was also a HUGE mirror above the fireplace. Not only that, but each day as she walked down the stairs, she was forced to look at herself in the mirror. It was scary and sad at first, and time went on. She got to a point where she thought she should work on her weight, and lost 40 pounds. But as usual, she found it again. Years went on, getting sadder and sadder from having to face the mirrors... But that fateful day came in March of 2012 where she decided to change for good! And today for the first time, she was excited to get her hair done, excited to do something totally different, and wasn't afraid of the fact she would have to face a mirror!
Okay, so all "sad story" aside (all true btw), I can see clearly now that I had nothing to be ashamed of back then. I don't care if you are 90 pounds or 900 pounds, it doesn't mean that you aren't beautiful and that you don't deserve to be happy and confident. Avoiding the mirrors for me was a form of denial for me personally. I knew I was a big girl, I knew I was gaining weight, but I think I downplayed it in my mind so that I wouldn't have to face reality. If I would have stopped to look around before, maybe my weight wouldn't have gotten as out of hand as it did. Even if it wouldn't have stopped the weight gain, the true thing I would have wanted to take from that is that I wasn't truly happy at that time. Had I taken time to see it, I could have worked on being happy, even if I wasn't ready to work on weight loss.
So if you take anything from this today, I want to be the following:
You are beautiful no matter what!
You deserve to be happy now! Not later, not after you lose the weight, NOW!
Don't avoid mirrors or pictures just because you might be focused on your "flaws". We all have flaws, and you will really wish you had those pictures years down the road. I do not have one picture of myself and my doggy Sheldon, who is now in doggy heaven. I never took a photo with him because I hated pictures, and now I would give anything for a photo of him and I. So please, live in the moment, love yourself for who you are right now! If you aren't 100% happy with something then work on changing it, but don't let life pass you by while you are working on it!