Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Eyes Really Do Deceive Me

Many years ago, when I was a bartender in a small neighborhood tavern, one of my regular customers told me he was overweight because he didn't perceive himself as overweight. Interesting.

Ever since I retired, I've battled, or at least sparred with, my weight. When I was working, I was walking about 9 miles a day and I could eat whatever I wanted to. When I retired, I didn't walk at all but I ate whatever I wanted to. I realized this was a problem so I started walking everyday (almost....when I felt like it.....and had time.....and wasn't traveling.....or feeling uninspired). And I started to watch what I ate. Really.....I watched every single bite that I put in my mouth.

And I gained weight steadily. I gained a solid 15 to 20 pounds in just a couple of months. I didn't like it and I was pretty self conscious about it but I didn't feel like I looked that bad.

Then, this weekend, as I drove along on my way to Kentucky, for some reason I happened to look down. And there it was. A great big entity bulging out of my seat belt. It was shocking. And in quick succession I had two other enlightening moments. Before I left on Sunday, Sarah took a picture of me with the kids. Unfortunately when I downloaded them, I let Mr. Right look over my shoulder to view them and there it was again. Where on earth did that come from?

Holy Cow! I didn't know.

Later in the evening, I was enjoying a few Quakes (you know, little cheddar rice cakes that are low in fat and calories unless you eat 5,000 of them which I habitually do). For some reason, I sat down at Mr. Right's computer and there in his monitor, which was off, was a reflection of my giant entity. And my big big shoulders. I actually felt kind of confused. Was that really me? And suddenly the Quakes didn't taste as good and I wasn't craving them like I had been.

So how do I deceive myself? I think that when I step in front of a mirror I subconsciously prepare myself. I look where it's safer to look and maybe I stand a little straighter, pull my stomach in a little, and try to put a pleasant look on my face.

It's just when I'm not prepared that I see what my eyes have been keeping from me. And maybe, if I would perceive myself as I really am, I could win this sparring match with my weight gain. And maybe even turn it into a battle that I could win.

Don't get me wrong. I still love being 63 and retired and life is still sweet. I'm just starting to realize it could be a lot sweeter.


  1. I think your theory is right, we often go through life, those of us with weight issues, with blinders on, not just towards what kind of food to eat but also on how we look.

    I have a picture of me that someone took in 2006 and two days after that I joined weight watchers because it was the most horrifying photo of me, but it changed everything for me. Even to this day.

    Sometimes, as much as we may HATE those pictures, they're necessary and powerful.

  2. Yeah, I think you're absolutely right! The important thing is to do something about it very quickly, or else you will eventually get used to these pictures that horrify you, then as you get bigger, you'll look back at these horrific pictures and think, gee, I wish I looked like that now....and it just keeps going.... I don't know this by experience or anything..ahem... remember that bridesmaids dress that I couldn't stand to see pictures of myself in?? I'd give anything to be that size right now.... see what I mean??

  3. You are so right, sister! I myself am struggling with my weight as well. My daughter is 7 months old & I still haven't lost any more than what I did in the first couple of weeks since I brought her home. And now that I don't work, I'm hardly active at all!
    I went to my parents this summer while my husband was gone with the Army for 2 weeks. The bedroom I stayed in had my old full-length mirror in it (one of those free-standing oak ones). I used to love this mirror. Now I hate it. After seeing myself in it ~ ALL of myself i it~ I took it home with me as "motivation."
    That was 5 months ago. I avoid looking at myself in it every chance I get.
    Now my husband is stuck in training with nothing to do in his free time but work out. I would love to look really good for him when he gets back in a few weeks. Or at least lose a few pounds to get started looking good!
    Hang in there! It's REALLY hard, but it is SO worth it!

  4. Well said! Weight loss is a constant struggle and the journey often hits road-bumps, we just have to realize it and get back to what works for us. My current road-bump is proving to be a stubborn one. I know what I have to do, but sneaking snacks and thinking its just another day isn't making me FEEL good. And we all want to FEEL good about ourselves right? Good luck...I'm struggling right along with you, but know a brighter future is ahead.



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