The Problem With Mirrors and Magazines.
What is wrong with my brain;
I’d really like to know?
It seems that when I drop a pound
fifteen more start to show.
I am me
I am not She
She is not Me
but she’s who I’m supposed to be.
Or is she?
I spy, with my mind’s eyes
Something that isn’t quite right.
My head, it knows,
But my stomach it shows,
And something inside of me lies.
The numbers are there–
they don’t matter.
I spy, with my real eyes,
Something that isn’t wrong
My head, it knows
But my stomach again shows,
And something inside of me lies.
The numbers, who cares?
I think that voice is broken.
While I may have just gone off the dramatic deep end , I do have a point to make with my awful poetry. You lovely readers know that lately I have been making an effort to become a healthier person. (Yes, I fail many, many times but I always start anew.) So far in this process I’ve lost two pant sizes and over fifteen pounds. You would think that this would be a great victory for me, the girl who slowly gained weight during the first three years of college until she resembled a miniature blimp–albeit a blimp with great legs.
For a while, it was. When I first saw the number on the scale, when I first zipped up those skinny jeans I haven’t been able to wear since Freshman year which have been living in the basement ever since and now are too large, I was ecstatic. I had accomplished something, and I was looking good.
Then, I took another look. That tummy is still rather rotund, the upper arms and legs are not as firm or as thin as could be desired, and the face is still buried in flab. It doesn’t matter that I lost that weight, I’ve still got thirty five pounds to lose, I cannot believe I allowed my self to reach that god-forsaken state of heft, people were probably embarrassed to be around me. They probably are still.
I am not writing to lament over what I like to jokingly call “my predicament.” It is my fault, and my fault alone, that I became unhealthy. I refused to exercise regularly and did not eat well. I spent my time in sedentary pursuits, and I made excuses for why I could not possibly be healthy.
I am not writing for a self-esteem boost, or fishing for complements. I know that I have made good progress, and I hope to continue to do so. I know that the changes I am making now will help me to be healthy and have a full life as years go on.
I am writing because my way of thinking, while almost universal, is not ok. The mind adjusts very, very quickly to changes in appearance, and the idea of “never being good enough” is far too prevalent. Yes, it is good to strive to excel in life, but not at the price of mental well-being and actual health. It is good to try hard, to not be lazy: it is bad to think “no matter what I do I can always do better.” Because what does that really mean? “I will never be good enough.”
So please, women and men, next time you look in the mirror, try taking a few moments to go over some of your positive attributes rather than just the ones that could be improved on. I will try to do the same. I will try to look back and say, “look at how far I have come.”
I recognize that I am still on a journey, but if I refuse to recognize my successes then I render them impotent.
P.S. “Awful Poetry” title borrowed from grapesofrad.