Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall

Two weeks ago was my eight-year anniversary with the gym.  Since I wasn’t sure what the appropriate gift would be for a store, I decided to skip the flowers, jewelry, or promises that I don’t intend to keep.  But I did take some photographs to commemorate the event.


Eight years ago I was 250 pounds and would get a little winded by the 15 steps up to my apartment.  When I had to go up two stories at work, I would pause right outside the door at the top, to catch my breath before talking with anyone.  I blamed the wrong angle of the camera.  Or an outfit that didn’t fit right.  Or I just avoided mirrors and cameras, so that the image in my mind could be the one I pretended was real.  Those 3X tops and 22W pants were just running small due to fashion.  I had bought a mansion in Denial and was adding some electric fence to keep any truth out.


Today hover around 159 pounds, within 10 pounds of the goal I initiated 8 years ago.  My tops are large and my pants are comfortable at 10.  The shorts and tank tops that for years seemed impossible are part of my regular wardrobe.  I bought my first tankini last week; and even better I’m prepared to wear it in public.  Yesterday I ran 6 miles with a friend, and easily walked around my apartment last night.  I know with 100% confidence that I am healthier and stronger than I was 8 years ago.  Heck, probably than I was 16 years ago.

But there is still work to do.  Yes, I’d like those 9 remaining pounds to be resolved.  But even more the focus is on the doubt that continues to creep into my mind.  When I look in the mirror, I can see strength and change.  But when I run in my neighborhood, I feel judgment of others about why that fat girl is running so slow.  When I walk through a clothing store, I still have to remind myself that I can shop in the general section now, rather than the plus size area I started using in high school.  When someone comes to sit beside me on the couch, there is a moment of fear about whether they will fit or if I take up too much room.

I spent almost two decades in denial about how unhealthy I was, so it makes perfect sense that it will take a while to accept the full truth of what has changed.  Until I can remember the truths from the mirror, I’ll keep a set of my old clothes on the back of my bedroom door.  Everyday they remind me of who I was, who I am, and who I am going to be.

2 thoughts on “Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall

  1. Great piece. Congrats on regaining your health the past 8 years, looks like you’ve done an amazing job. The mirror is a funny thing–it definitely doesn’t always tell me the truth. I think you’re right though, everything takes time. Thanks for the reminder!


  2. Meg- Your journey is so great! I appreciate the dedication, self-awareness, courage, and persistence it has taken. So many years ago that we were in the MAHEd program together. You’ve come a long way baby! Anne


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