Sunday, May 16, 2010

My relationship with the mirror

When I got to the gym this morning, I discovered that my usual treadmill had died and wouldn't get repaired until Tuesday. I like that treadmill because it's one of two that doesn't face the mirror. I'd rather not look at myself as I work out. But today I had to and I spent some of the time noticing how small my eyes look these days and how the flesh under my jaw jiggles with the downbeat of my step. On the positive side, I am looking a little thinner and I noted that with satisfaction.

Then this afternoon, I tackled my clothes for the upcoming trip to Tampa. I'm going to the second Hazelden conference to speak and instead of cool, rainy Minneapolis, we're going to hot, humid Gulf Coast Florida where it has been 90 or so every day already for weeks. For me that mean getting out summer clothes (here in Portland, we rarely have any heat at all until July) and trying things on to see what looks good with my current size and shape. That meant a lot of mirror time.

Two things that I thought might work, a 2-piece dress and a short sleeved tunic, looked awful. I looked washed out (pale winter skin) and, well, fat, really fat. I don't fool myself into thinking that if I choose the right color and style, I'll look thin. That kind of magical thinking is long gone. But something's look nicer than others and so I kept trying. I wanted to look great, not just invisible, the way I do most days here. And eventually I found 3 outfits that I can wear over the two days. I'm counting on air-conditioning to be cool enough and will take shorts and a t-shirt for the gym or a power walk around town.

I think somehow I thought that the 16 pounds I've lost would make more of the clothes fit differently or that somehow I'd look different. It's not discouraging exactly. I'm realistic about what needs to happen but I wish there were better clothes solutions for someone my size.

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