Monday, September 16, 2013

Don't look away

Yesterday I went and got a haircut.  It's been four months since I had my hair chopped off and, now that I'm keeping it short for a while, it's much more noticeable when I haven't gone in.  The person cutting my hair at the salon was someone that had never worked on me before so we spent a lot of time looking at the mirror to get it right.  She was concerned about making me happy, which I thought was a lovely change of pace.  It's very difficult not to look at yourself in the mirror the whole time because, seriously, where else are you going to look?  You can stare at the hair that is falling all around you as it gets snipped away but eventually you go back to you.  For me, it was pretty difficult looking at myself in that reflection.  In so many ways, I don't feel at all inside what my body portrays on the outside. To be dead honest, all I wanted to do after having my hair cut is go and work out for two hours.

So what was all of that about?  The truth is that looking at myself in the mirror in front of other people is very hard for me to do.  I have a tendency to look away or look down - I'd rather look anywhere than at myself.  Even when I look in the mirror alone, it's to make sure my hair is okay or to put my makeup on.  Even then, I put so little on my face that it's just long enough to work on my lashes or something simple like that.  Part of the issues with weight loss and weight gain is about being comfortable in your own skin to a point where you can accept and love yourself for who and what you are in the very moment.  I can't say I'm there yet.  I'm working hard at getting there, but I have come to realize over the years that being overweight is incredibly so much more than overeating.  It is my shield, a cover that helps me not put myself out there.  Whether that is in a love relationship, friendship or even with my family, if I don't put myself out there, then I can't get hurt.  The problem with all of that, though, is that it's false protection.  As much as I want to, I just can't look away from not only the image in the mirror, but the person behind that image.  That's the crux of it all.  I have been doing well with my food and finding weight loss again, which has been terrific.  Along the way, I am being reminded that when a person puts down the food, the issues we ran to avoid for so long become incredibly prominent.  That is definitely the case for me.  However, I am here to say that I am not going to run away, I'm not going to pick up that food and I'm not going to give into the Negative Nancy voice inside of me that tries to break me down little bits at a time.  What I need to do is remain strong, keep taking care of my body and especially taking care of my emotional health.  It definitely needs a bit of TLC.


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