When on a journey of any kind, the path that is chosen will transform the journeyer. The transformation happens with or without the pilgrim’s conscious approval. It happens without that traveler actually seeing what those outside the change notice and marvel at. I am on such a journey.
You would think that it would be easy for me to see a 69 pound change easily, but it isn’t always easy for me to see anything other than the woman who has looked out of my mirror at me for years. Friends who have not seen me in a while gawk and make a huge ta-do over how different I look. They say they would not have recognized me if they had not seen me with Mike–they would not have made the connection that I was myself.
Recently, I have experienced strangers telling me how beautiful or pretty I look today. I have had people say I want my skin to look like yours. This was a common occurrence as a young woman (I was a make-up artist, hairstylist, and model in my youth), but it has been so long since these types of comments have been spoken to me that I almost don’t know what to do with them. I am NOT shy, but I feel humbled and awkward when strangers, friends, and family make a ta-do about how much I have changed. Obviously, I am NOT upset by their comments, but I don’t know how to respond. It is extremely exciting for others to see you in such a positive light. I still see me.
I know that I have changed. Yesterday, I was supposed to wear a white skirt to a ladies’ gathering. I went into my closet to grab my white skirt. I figured it would be loose but would work just fine for this event. WRONG! I pulled it up and situated it just right, and it fell straight down to the floor. Just that quick. I looked up at myself in the mirror. I had a look of disbelief on my face. Well, I was going to be out of clothing order for our event, because there was NO time to procure another skirt at this late hour.
I haven’t lost much in the pounds department, and most of my workout clothing still fits well, so it didn’t seem to me that I had changed much. I guess I have. I have noticed the bones in my arms when I hug myself. I always asking Mike silly questions — do I look skinnier? Do my arms feel bonier to you?
This whole skirt falling to floor thing sparked another round of trying on clothes. UH … guys and gals … this chick has TWO pairs of pants (not paints!). No Shorts again that fit. A few shirts. One Skirt. This is IT! I tried on a shirt that only a month ago was tight in my shoulders and arms and now the shirt is TOO BIG!
I have to go shopping for real this time … I have NO CLOTHES! When did this change happen. How did so few pounds make so much difference in my clothing? Where was I? How did I miss this change happening?
When I gaze at myself in the mirror, I see the same person who has looked out of the mirror at me for years. How is this possible? How do I see the same person who has looked out at me? I can’t look the same — people don’t recognize me if they haven’t seen me in a while. How do I see the same person most days?? I think I see me — not how I look — but me. I think this is confusing for truly accepting the change this journey has brought me.
I must admit that sometimes, lately, I catch a glimpse of a woman who is vaguely familiar looking out at me in wonder and amazement. This person, is checking our reflection from all angles and smiles shyly with hope for a new tomorrow.
What do you see when you look in the mirror? …..S