Once upon a time, I would avoid the mirror. I’d run past, especially if I were naked. I’d force my gaze to stray from the areas I didn’t like. There wasn’t much that I did like. And it wasn’t just the morning routine that was disturbed by my self loathing. It was detrimental to my relationships. My self-consciousness infiltrated every area of my life in a way that others probably didn’t understand and maybe you can’t also understand unless you’ve been there, too.
Lately, as I’ve watched the pounds slowly melt off, as I’ve put on pants that I couldn’t wear for years, as I’ve shopped for clothes that actually fit, as I’ve found styles that accent my curves, I’ve been less reluctant to face what the mirror has to show me. I started with small steps. I
allowed forced myself to view a little at a time, then a little more. Now I can stand in front of the mirror in full. I suppose I have desensitized myself to the images that I had convinced myself were so vile before.
Now I see me in the mirror, every day, as I apply lotion. I see my skin, my hair. I see my shape, I see my scars, my marks, my blemishes. I don’t love it all but I don’t hate it, either, and that’s the accomplishment. I don’t flinch or run away. I am more or less at peace and, yes, sometimes even happy with what I see, with parts that I used to hate.
The difference plays out in my life. I walk taller, shoulders back with my chin up. I spend more time beautifying myself. I laugh more. I am less self conscious in public, which makes me less uptight in general. I am more open because I am not trying to hide myself for fear that someone may realize that I am not an attractive person or, rather, that I don’t find myself attractive.
All this confidence only pushes me to do more because I can see it, in those mirror images, that I am almost where I want to be.