Yesterday, I thought about putting on an outfit that normally I’d never wear. In the past few months I found myself slimming down, most notably in my back. Due to a tumor at the top of my back years ago, I had always had extra back there. So, with the recent smoothness, I had pulled out a halter top to go with my jean capris. Sliding it on felt so nice, the shirt was quite soft and comfortable. I looked at myself in the full length mirror, which always makes me feel better about my figure, and thought it was fine. I looked in the bathroom mirror and stared a while.
Was my stomach a little too prominent? Did the way the pants zip in the front make my stomach look big? The shirt dipped a little at the back, did it make my back look like it had rolls? Was the string at the top tied too tight?
Not two minutes earlier, I had felt happy and comfortable. Now I was getting ready to take it off! What happened? What was I doing to myself? Why was I being so overly critical about a shirt? What was it about the mirror that made me rethink every feeling I had before looking? Most importantly, why have I trained my brain to automatically look for the worst in my appearance when each day I purposefully try to find the positive in every situation?
While on a thought binge to discover why everything else should be seen in a good light and anything about me should be put under the critical microscope, I decide to try something new. Over the next month, I’ve decide to not look in the mirror. #1MonthNoMirrors
That’s an oversimplification but that’s the general gist. I came up with a few rules to abide by:
- I can look in the mirror for facial or hair reasons.
- I can look in the mirror at my legs or back but only if I use a towel to loosely cover most of me.
- Focus on a positive body image daily.
The end goal would be to see if by the end of this experiment I’m able to gain a higher appreciation for my body. I feel confident in saying that I’ve never known what it’s like to have a positive body image. I’ve been chubby since I was 4. I was put on a diet at 7 and then again when I was in foster care at 10. I’ve never known what it was like to be skinny or almost skinny.
I’ve tried for years to slim down. Sometimes being in a gym up to 7 days a week. Being diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) helped me understand why I was having such issues with weight loss. However, the diagnosis has yet to help me forgive my body for looking less than what I’d like.
With this experiment, I hope to really indulge in that happy feeling I get before I put on my contacts and see my naked self in the mirror. It’s fuzzy and distant but in that moment I feel like I’m seeing the body I want. Then when the clarity comes in, I’m sorely disappointed. I regularly put off contacts so I can bask in it. I’d like that feeling to last for a month. When I feel my body, there are many parts that put a smile on my face. The way my side curves, the skinny dip on my stomach before it starts to poke out, the flat side of my thighs that lead to muscle, my shoulders with the beginnings of a collar bone.
If I can avoid seeing my body for a month in the mirror, I’m hoping to carry those feelings with me all day. I also think that perhaps I’d be able to shed more weight if I was focusing on how happy I was with my body instead of tearing it down. I’m excited to see how this will change me both inside and out.