Monday, April 13, 2009

Making Peace with Fitting Room Mirrors

What kind of sick person would ever design the mirrors of distortion found in department store fitting rooms, I used to think?  And worse yet, how dare they pair that mirror with overhead fluorescent lighting that accentuates cellulite and every mound of flesh?

Alas, the mirror was not distorted. 'Twas me all those times before -- pale and lumpy and in sad need of matching bras and undies, cursing the image in the mirror without acknowledging the "self" staring back at me. No wonder shopping was no fun...between looking at your lumpy body when naked and THEN stuffing yourself into pants off the rack like you shove sausage into its casing, how could it be fun!

Today I went shopping to find a new pair of pants to wear to a special meeting I have tomorrow. Two pants sizes down after BTWG (CAN NOT BELIEVE THAT!) and there was a new person looking back at me from that mirror, still looking a tad jaundiced in that fluorescent lighting, but definitely fitter and smoother.   I found a pair of pants that I adored and that fit me perfectly....THEN, (call me cocky) since I plan to try and drop about 10 more pounds during the summer BTWG program, I bought another pair of the same pants - ANOTHER size smaller!  

And while all this was visually exhilarating, I continue to be fascinated by how exhilarating it is - even when you close your eyes to the physical changes - to recognize you are moving forward each moment toward improved wellness. Congrats to everyone in the program and I look forward to seeing many of you in the summer program.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Photo - Counting Backwards - Thanks

I downloaded photos I took at the prison 2 weekends ago and when I went to look through them, I got to one picture and for almost 2 seconds could NOT figure out who one of the people in the shot was. Honestly, could not! Then I realized: It was there were several reasons, I think, I didn't recognize myself. First, my expression was one of disgust mixed with frustration, and second, I was bending at the waist with my face swung towards the camera, not a good look....but third, my face was slimmer!  Even when I realized it was me, I had to look at it a few times to really believe it. So, I was very happy to see some weight off my bones....I guess now I need to work on transforming that look of disgust and frustration. 

As for counting backwards, here's the deal. Counting sequentially gets in my way whether that's during a workout or a run or while meditating. The whole numbers thing trips me up motivationally. So, this past Monday (when I should have been doing intervals) I decided to just run plain, even laps at the indoor track. Part of this was to calm my soul after a day that was somewhat edgy, knowing that I needed to be doing something steady and predictable and calming. "Ah, perhaps tonight I have it in me to run 2 miles without stopping," I thought to myself. But already my head was saying, "Or you could run the usual 7 laps that make up a mile - 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 - and be done with it. THEN, you can walk for another 30 minutes and sprinkle in a one-lap run here and there."  

Then, it was like another little voice in my head suddenly was born, my own little instructional burning bush. "Count backwards from 14," it said. "Fourteen counting down to 1 and you'll have 2 miles done, no problem."  Now exactly why it works  for me to count down from the 2 mile lap amount versus counting up to it, I can't say... and I'm too tired to ponder it much tonight.  But, changing my own routine or rules or perspective or whatever we want to call it worked. I ran 2 miles without stopping and without any real physical rebellion. (My own hand is patting my back right now.) 

Now just sitting here, nothing coming to mind to, I'll sign off. Looking forward to seeing everyone on Saturday. You are all such a large part of why this program worked for me...from blogs to working out together to meetings on Saturday. This feeling of community and acceptance and of having such a safe environment to express ourselves within has really blown me away. Thank you to everyone for fostering that.