Megali - adjective, noun - adjective 1. great or big in Greek -noun 1.. A nickname derived from my first and middle names

Friday, November 4, 2011

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Mary Pickford.  Source: WikiCommons/Taken from the Alfred Cheney Johnston Collection at the U.S. Library of Congress

While at the gym recently, I came to a realization: I have a serious case of body dysmorphia ... in reverse.  I'm not blind to the fact that I'm overweight, but the reflection I see doesn't quite match the me that is captured on film.  I still see the thinner me from a few years ago despite not fitting in those clothes anymore; I still feel like the me who can run for miles and miles even if I haven't even been running much lately.  I was doing lunges and watching my form in the mirror and my focus was on my strong legs when it hit me.  Sure, I know that I'm heavy, but oftentimes the positives that I remember outweigh (ha! pun not intended) the negatives that exist and I feel imbued with confidence.  However, when I see pictures I'm in, I'm smacked with reality. Maybe I wouldn't necessarily call it reverse body dysmorphic disorder.  It's probably more akin to denial.

I'll be the first to admit that as a tired mom, I don't always put the greatest care into my looks anymore.  Between two kids, five animals, and being a virtual single mother during the workweek as R travels from state to state, I seldom get a full night's sleep lately.  Being exhausted means I don't always want to put on makeup or style my hair.  Motherhood doesn't negate beauty, but I feel that being a zombie mom can.  I don't want to lose sight of outward displays of femininity as a factor in who I am/somthing that's important to me.  Worse still, fatigue sometimes means I don't have the desire to exercise.  Which especially stinks, because when I do workout, I don't regret it - I feel better and actually increase my energy! Stupid Catch-22.

To break out of the situation I've become ensnared in, I'm setting some goals so that I can fit my mental picture of myself.  I want to be dedicated towards improving my health and living my definition of beauty.  And here's some of the ways I'm going to do that:

- Participate in the Heartland 39.3 Series next Spring.  Training for three half-marathons that occur in the space of one month will be good for my body and for some meditative time to myself.
- Go to the beauty counter and buy new makeup.  I honestly cannot remember when I last bought cosmetics.  I think updating my style and getting out of this beauty rut will do wonders for my perception of my appearance.
- Find a motto that works.  Right now, it's "Go Forward!"  It was taken from an article that I read about Alison Sweeney in a fitness magazine this past Summer.  I don't recall which magazine it was (but this online article tells me it was SELF).  Don't say, "‘I want my body back!’ ... ‘Why go back? Go forward! Be the best you that you can be today. That might be thinner and more toned than ever.’!”
- Only eat what I love AND eat only when I'm hungry.  As one of my favorite bloggers, Tricia of Endurance Isn't Only Physical, says, "It's pretty easy to splurge on junk simply because it's in front of you."   Do I love cake?  No, not really.  Pie is much better.  Holding out for the food that I truly enjoy and paying attention to my body's hunger signs establishes better eating habits.  It also means I can stop finishing the boys' leftovers just because they're there. 

What beauty, fitness, and/or weight loss goals have you set?  What's worked and what hasn't?


  1. Oh my goodness...this is EXACTLY how i feel!! you put everything so beautifully and honestly and bravely into words. my logical brain knows i am overweight but i truly "see" myself at my "prime." it is such a weird fact i think life would be easier if i could see myself that way everyone else sees me...i think the motivation to focus on my health and fitness would be so much higher. i get you my dear, i get you on every level (including the single mom during the week is simply draining). thank you for sharing was so nice and validating to hear my voice in yours. well done. and i simply love your goals and i have all the faith in the world in you. it has inspired me to set some for myself...i know it won't be a half marathon but i will come up with something good, something that matters. thank you for your words and for being you!!

  2. Kim, let me first respond with my initial thought to your comment: "Dude, I love you!"

    It is validating to know that this is a real "thing", as much as I hate that you experience it too.

    I think you (and me) may doubt how the world sees you (us) Which is strange, given how we see ourselves. The reality probably lies somewhere in the middle.

    I'd love to hear your goals when you set them. I'll keep you accountable and vice versa!

  3. Meg - I totally agree and have so much to say but I'm too exhausted to write. And to your point of not taking care of yourself like you use to...I'm currently in bed with wet hair that I haven't even brushed!

  4. My abdominal exercise equipment . I just have my pair of running shoes, a whole shore town, the beach, and a local park. What kind of fitness stuff should I do.