Look But Don't See

I was an expert at looking in the mirror without really seeing what I looked like. I had developed the uncanny ability to brush my teeth, blow dry my hair, and occasionally put on makeup without really looking at myself. I could walk by the dining room mirror 50 times in one day without noticing how I actually looked.

I was an expert at looking in the mirror without really seeing what I looked like. I had developed the uncanny ability to brush my teeth, blow dry my hair, and occasionally put on makeup without really looking at myself. I could walk by the dining room mirror 50 times in one day without noticing how I actually looked.


This ability affected into the way I dressed as well. Because I tried never to really look at myself, I stopped paying very close attention to what I wore. Instead of dressing in the most flattering clothes I could find for my 300 pound body, I wore ugly jumpers, old pants and shirts designed football players.



Looking back, I realize that I was in denial of my new, bigger appearance. As the pounds came on, first slowly and then quickly, I tried to ignore what was standing in front of me. And for the most part, I succeeded. I really could wear that ugly floral jumper and not see how bad I looked in it. I could stop wearing my contacts and put on my out-of-date glasses every morning without thinking about the image I was projecting to other people.


But every time I did that, a little part of me wilted. Even though I tried not to look at myself, there were times when I caught glimpses of what I had become. Times I saw myself from the side in a department store mirror, or family pictures that came in the mail, or even the occasional time where I stopped and looked at what I had become.


Those little moments of really seeing myself made me angry. I was mad at myself for failing to take care of myself. I was mad that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't seem to make any progress on losing upwards of 100 pounds, but most of all I was mad that I had let myself go.


I never wanted to be one of those women who always looked tired and unkempt, but that's what had happened. I looked nice when I went to church, or on outings; but on a daily basis, I looked pretty sad. In fact, I had one homemade dress that I had spilled bleach on when I was cleaning the bathroom one day. Instead of throwing it away, I continued to wear it day after day after day. John even told me to toss it but I insisted, "No one looks at me anyway."


Even though I had stopped looking at myself, I still knew that things needed to change. I saw myself internally as I really was, even though I tried to avoid acknowledging where I was externally. That internal acknowledgement of my secret goal to lose weight helped me eventually succeed. Even though on the outside I had given up and stopped really looking at myself, on the inside I never truly stopped looking for the fit me.

If you haven't really looked at yourself lately - take a minute to really examine your appearance, your food choices and your lifestyle. It's never too late to change and embrace a new you.

4 Steps to Shedding Your Pandemic Pounds

Forgive yourself, and start walking toward a healthier you.

For those of you who have put on the Pandemic Pounds or added several new COVID Curves, you are not alone. Alarmingly, the American Psychological Association has recently published that almost half of all adults in their survey now have a larger physique. In fact, 42% of people reported gaining roughly 15 pounds (the average published was surprisingly 29 pounds but that included outliers) over the past year. Interestingly, 20% of adults in this survey lost about 12 pounds (I am surely not in this group). Clearly, there is a relationship between stress and weight change. In addition, one in four adults disclosed an increase in alcohol consumption, and 67% of participants distressingly revealed that they have new sleeping patterns.

This past year has brought about what has been called the 'new normal.' Social isolation and inactivity due to quarantining and remote working have sadly contributed to the decline in many people's mental and physical health, as demonstrated by the widespread changes in people's weight, alcohol consumption, and sleeping patterns. Gym closures, frequent ordering of unhealthy takeout, and increased time at home cooking and devouring comfort foods have had a perceptible impact. In addition, many people have delayed routine medical care and screening tests over fear of contracting Covid-19 during these visits. Unfortunately, the 'new normal' has now placed too many people at risk for serious health consequences, including heart attacks and strokes.

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