Weighty Matters

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Mirror Image

on August 16, 2012

Several months ago I talked about having fat eyes and not being able to objectively look at myself and see my body in its actual reality.  While that’s been improving over the weeks, and I can see the weight loss in pictures and, obviously, feel it in my body, I still carry around a horrible body image in my head.  I’ve always been super critical of my own appearance and, when I was 386 pounds, I had a lot of justification for being critical.

This week, I experienced a huge, wonderful breakthrough.  I was at Zumba class in my tightish exercise shorts and a T-shirt, moving, leg-lifting, crunching and dancing for all I was worth.  Usually, I watch the instructor in front so that I properly (or as close to properly) follow the steps, and because it’s an ingrained habit of mine to avoid looking at myself in a mirror unless I absolutely, positively must.  During one of the songs I glanced at myself and nearly stopped in mid-butt wiggle.

“Oh my God, that’s me,” I thought.  “I look good!”   I glanced at the instructor to pick up the step change and then looked at myself again. Even to my non-objective eyes and horrible body image filter,  I no longer appear as a huge, lumpy, misshaped blob.  I have a waist.  While I’m not half the size I was six months ago, I’ve carved off a hell of a lot of my own mass and it shows.

Almost immediately, the old image issues attempted to rise up, but I purposely squashed them down.  Maybe it was the positive endorphins released by exercise, but I refused to pick at myself and look at the flaws.  Instead, I admired the smaller thighs, that waist indentation, and the ankles that no longer look like I have water balloons inserted under my skin.  I didn’t care that I have some swinging flab under my upper arms.  I was thrilled at the definition of bicep muscle.  Cellulite?  Schmellulite.  My legs and thighs might still be fat, but they’re powerful, by God, enough to keep me moving for 60 minutes of intense exercise.

After this realization, I could have gone another hour.  Hell, I could have flown.   I was so damned happy to see, really see, the positive changes in my body facing me from the mirror.    Even though I’d tallied up the inches and pounds that I’ve lost, the numbers alone couldn’t deliver this impact — the magic moment when I looked and really saw myself — and accepted my body for exactly what it is today, with all of its improvement.

The experience energized me and injected even more pep in my step for the remainder of the class.  There’s a popular song that’s pretty much a Zumba staple, at least they’ve played it in all of the classes I’ve taken.   I know it’s been around for awhile, but I never paid it much attention until I started going to Zumba.  Now it’s one of my favorites.  Given my big realization this week, it’s particularly appropriate.

In honor of clearing up my mirror image, I attempted to embed the video here.  I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, so I’ve included a link to the video on YouTube instead.  The original artists are LMFAO, but I love this version with the very sexy Ricky Martin and the cast of Glee.  Hope you enjoy it.  Hope you take a couple of moments to dance around and declare that you’re also sexy and you know it!


3 responses to “Mirror Image

  1. Hope says:

    Way to go Mary!!!

  2. Susanne says:

    Amazing. Felt your happiness and contentment through the screen 🙂


  3. pinkpelican says:

    So happy for you!!!!!

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