The Woman in the Mirror

Uncategorized Jan 12, 2020

I’m the first to tell you to advocate for your health, both mental and physical. But the last few years, after cancer, I have been the last to do it for myself. Advocacy burnout I suppose.

In that time I gained weight. A lot of weight. I stopped exercising. I lived the “eat the chocolate cake because cancer has shown you to live life!” mentality. I let my body get unhealthy, run down and angry with me all in the name of surviving cancer.

Makes no sense, does it?

But mostly I just get really, really sad. Sad because I miss my Mom. I miss my lover. I miss my job. I miss my sass. I miss being needed by my kids (teenagers…oy!). I forgot to be grateful, or I’ve just been too tired to be grateful.

And then I had the conversation with myself one day in my bathroom mirror. The “What the actual hell are you doing??” convo. It was an ugly one-sided conversation of ridiculing my body, my parenting, my heart, and my family.

It ended with me asking myself one question… What is it I need?

I’ve been percolating ever since. Would a lover fix this? Nope. Money? I am willing to let it try. A new job? No. So, what is it?

Today I was reading a post in a health group I belong to. The woman clearly stated she was struggling. She had fallen off the wagon yesterday. She was dismayed at the realization that eating healthy will be a lifelong habit and not a quick fix to just lose weight. To be honest, I felt like she was whining.

Then Brian, the moderator of our group, responded with a post that described how all people working to be healthy have these moments. And he, a reformed-fatty-now-marathon-runner, still has these moments even as a healthy person. Especially during a marathon’s last few miles when his brain is screaming JUST QUIT WILL YA!? But it was the last sentence of his post that hit me like Mike Tyson on fight night…. “What is it you need?” And I remembered I still can’t answer that.

I immediately thought of that woman in the mirror 72 days ago. She was tired, sick and sad. So I went and looked just now. In that same mirror. There was a different image there. Down nearly 30 pounds, not tired, less sad and I noticed she was smiling.

Glowing, really.

So I took a moment and thanked that woman of 72 days ago for her courage and bravery to make a change. To take a step. And then another. And another. Until here we are 72 days later. I made a note on the mirror with a dry erase to check in with today’s woman 72 days from now. December 1, 2018. And to thank her for 72 more days of steps.

And today I realized what I needed was for someone to notice. And the woman in the mirror did just that. She noticed.

image courtesy of Roberto Delgado Webb


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