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Getting to Know Your New Reflection

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It’s a fact: Overweight or Obese people DO NOT LIKE mirrors or ANYTHING that reflects back to them as to how others probably see them physically. Many heavy people go as far as removing all full-length mirrors throughout their home in the attempt to avoid seeing their reflection and finding more reasons for self-loathing. They think that removing the full reflection will ease some of the harsh self-criticism. The reflection of (say it with me) “from here up” (your hands below the chin to signify the bottom line) is the only thing a heavy person wants to see reflected back.

This is what I did for years, and to my DEMISE at that! Had I kept a closer view on my reflection, maybe I wouldn’t have let the pounds pile on as they easily did for so long. But that is my 20/20 hindsight, as they often say, right?

The first thing I did after my surgery was buy a cheap $12 full-length mirror so I could “keep an eye” on how my body was changing. OH, let me tell you, how I cringed at the reflection I saw! I wiped tears away from my eyes as I knew that NOW I had the tool through the RNY bariatric weight loss surgery to get rid of the excess weight. But it was a hard reality to face that reflection.

But as the pounds kept dropping, I began to learn to love my new reflection. Sure, I saw draping skin, lack of tone, and countless other flaws I could list to fill a New York City phonebook; but the good news was that I was losing weight and my body was shrinking!

And not only did I learn to appreciate the reflection in a full-length mirror, I also learned to STOP AVOIDING reflective glass! There used to be a day when I would walk past a huge store window as fast as I could so I couldn’t see myself in the glass’ reflection… and I certainly didn’t want others seeing it either! As I was losing my weight so rapidly, I got in the habit of stopping and actually looking at myself in reflective glass at the store, a restaurant, and even marble walls in offices. My husband seemed to, one day, “had enough” of this behavior and came right out and said to me, “You are becoming too vane!” As shocked as I was that he didn’t understand me, I said, “I’m not vane… I have to make sure that it’s really ME in there… I don’t know what the NEW ME looks like half the time.” He then slumped in semi-shame at his remark and agreed that it’s even hard for him to keep up with how the new-me appears. Another reason why we don’t recognize ourselves is because our shrinking wardrobe changes so often, we don’t’ know it’s us in those clothes!

To further prove this point of not recognizing our own reflection, I want to share the following “capsule” that illustrates this point perfectly. This was one experience that a friend of mine had:

She says, “I want to a restaurant for a big birthday celebration. Across the room, I saw a woman who looked so familiar to me. I couldn’t stop staring at her, and I noticed she stared back at me a lot too. I asked my husband if he knew who the woman was across the way, but he couldn’t locate who I was talking about. I grew more and more intrigued with this woman who I knew for a certainty that I knew her from somewhere. As the night progressed, I noticed that she even had some family members who looked familiar to me… and THEN THE LIGHT BULB went off…. I WAS LOOKING AT MYSELF IN THE REFLECTION OF THE MIRRORED WALL! Talk about embarrassed! I must have spent a good half-hour wondering who that woman was, and all along it was ME!”

As you continue to lose weight, your reflection will change, and you’ll have to look at it again and again at the risk of appearing vane to others. Like I told me husband that day he called me “vane”, I further explained that one day my image will remain unchanged by weight loss and I won’t need to look as often since I can recognize myself.

So if you haven’t yet done so, get a full-length mirror in your home and take a look at yourself each week. Learn to recognize every curve, bump, bulge, etc. Then as you downsize in your body, you’ll appreciate it more because you’ll know the former you better then had you not learned to look at your reflection.

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Posted January 28th, 2020 in Weight Loss.

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