Mirror, mirror on the wall

Some days it’s hard to look in the mirror.

Actually for me it’s more like most days.

 

 

Since I don’t weigh or measure myself, the mirror tends to be one of the few things I base my body image on. And I’m coming to realize it’s really not the most reliable of sources.

It’s amazing how from one day to the next what I see is vastly different. On some days I’ll see a fairly attractive, albeit somewhat underweight girl. Although those days are few and far between. Usually it swings between two extremes. One day I’ll see a sickeningly thin, ugly girl – a frail shadow of what she once was. On other days I’ll see a disproportionate figure, with weight in all the wrong places. But no matter which one of these extremes it is, I end up leaving feeling discouraged about myself, unhappy and insecure.

The truth of the matter is that often times what we see in the mirror is actually subjected to our moods. If I’m having a good day – if someone paid me a compliment or I accomplished something really important – I’ll look in the mirror and see the “pretty” me. On days I feel dissatisfied with myself, I make a mistake or mess up, on days where others are unkind towards me I see the “ugly me”. I usually see the “sickening thin” version of myself when others treat me unkindly or hurt me. I see the “fat” me when I’m feeling unhappy about myself or I don’t live up to my own expectations.

What I’m coming to realize more and more is that I need to stop basing my self-worth and body image on what I see in the mirror. Am I at a 100% healthy weight yet? Probably not. But I am getting there. So beating myself up about being too thin won’t encourage me along in that effort. More often than not it makes me feel like there’s no point in even trying, and I might as well quit. Then on the other hand the disproportionate, “fat ” person I see in the mirror isn’t exactly an accurate image either.

Some days I need to avoid the mirror all together, because it’ll only drag me down further then I am already.  But I need to practice seeing the good side of myself as well. There’s always something I like about myself – even if it’s something as “insignificant” as my eyes, or my smile, or my straight teeth. From now on whenever I’m having a “lying mirror” day I am going to practice finding something I do like about myself and focusing on that. Hopefully by doing so I will gain a better perspective on who I really am and what positive qualities I do posses, as opposed to focusing on the image that is dictated primarily by my emotions.

Now over to you:

Have you ever had the “lying mirror” experience?

Is what you see in a mirror dictated by your emotions?

How do you  counter those negative thoughts?

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13 comments

  1. I totally agree with every word you´ve said! Especially about the relation between emotions and the reflection in the mirror. When I feel bad, I look at me and I am shocked how terrible I look. When I am OK, I look at me and I just look fine. It is hard to deal with this. The important thing is to realize this connection and to know that you are not defined by your emotions, but you are the one who defines how you feel and how you see yourself. It may be hard to “persuade” yourself that you are a beautiful person no matter how you feel or what others tell you, but it is the best lesson anyone should learn.

  2. oh god i an really relate to all have what you have said some days I will feel huge and really feel that I am too big and have all those with feelings of fat when ya know what fat is not a feeling, then their will be those days when I look and think yeah I do need to gain some fortuntly the fat days are far and few between. The feelings of fat are related to how I am feeling as for so long it has been apart of my my idenity, I try and remind myself of how good my life is compared to the past.

  3. I feel negative about what I see in the mirror almost all the time, especially lately, since I have gained 5 pounds. I am trying to work on saying good things about myself too when I look in the mirror, and it can be very tricky. Right now, I just have to tell myself that I like my eyes whenever those negative thoughts come creeping in. It’s going to be a process, but I’m going to try my best to talk nicer to myself when I face the mirror.

  4. oh yes i have defs had experience with the evil lying mirror! i still do some days!.. i just remember that i am healthy and i rmbr how i look the day before when i thought i looked good.. you cnt change drastically overnight! that always helps!

  5. Some days, the lying mirror and the lying voice in my head seem to gang up on me and its rough. But try to remember how compliments and positive messages make you feel 🙂 Those are the true voices!

  6. I used to struggle with the mirror a lot, and while I’ve gotten somewhat better with looking at my reflection, there are definitely still times where those nagging voices pop back up. I do notice, though, that how I feel about the way I look depends a lot on how I feel in general. If I’m stressed, tired, or just having a bad day, I tend to take it out on the way I look. But when I feel happy and energetic, I have no problem with what I see. I can’t stand the ups and downs, but during the downs, I remind myself that just yesterday, or a few days ago, I liked what I saw, and that my appearance couldn’t change within such a short time span, so it had to be something else. Realizing that it’s all in my head helps, and then I try to focus on the things I like about myself instead.

  7. AW, hon. I wish to my core you would not have to experience that because I know you are beautiful (you’ve posted pictures before so I have proof but beyond physical you’ve got the true beauty on th inside which is clear through your blog.)

    For me? It’s more about the feeling of being in my skin, the fit of clothes, the way I feel when I sit down….etc.
    Funny thing is I could have a bad day 20 lbs ago too.(though man oh man it is SO much more painful now). It just makes no difference how I look.

  8. I’ve only got time for a quickkkk reply.
    First time commenter here 🙂
    I find your blog so … truthful and that makes it easy to relate to.

    So thank you for blogging, means a lot to read a blog like this. X

  9. I’ve definitely had many experiences like this. I did today, in fact. But then I remind myself that my mind deceives me and that I shouldn’t worry about what my body looks like. I say I remind myself of this but sometimes it doesn’t seem to help all that much. I still very much struggle with this but it is definitely getting better.

  10. I don’t see myself as sickeningly thin until I see a photo of myself. It’s like it’s an entirely different person than when I look in the mirror. I find myself seeing a fuller, rounder person when I’m upset and a thinner person when I’m feeling tired, weak or weary.

    Lately I’ve just been telling myself that “I am who I am” and this is generally the way I look. I’m doing the best to keep happy with my body image and it’s been going well lately. :3

    • I love that attitude and I’m totally gonna try to adopt it as my own! I think it’s so much better to try to find peace with yourself right where you’re at rather than constantly trying to change who you are.


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