My new health club is not only a nice facility, it’s also situated on a high floor in the building where its located and therefore has lots of sunlight. This week I’ve been able to get out of work early enough so that when I’ve been at the gym, there was still plenty of afternoon sunshine.
In the locker room, where there are lots of mirrors (!) I felt that I looked a little pale and maybe even ‘drawn.’ But once I was out on the main floor of the gym, with the warmer, softer, natural light, I caught a much nicer and more flattering reflection of myself. I was actually pretty amazed. I looked damn good!
As I’ve been writing lately, I got back to goal after a long meandering journey and then almost immediately began having difficulties eating properly to stay at goal. It was a sort of ‘be careful what you wish for’ scenario, and I think my non-productive behavior probably says a lot more about my anxieties than my capabilities.
The thing that was so great about seeing my improved physical shape is that it felt so ‘real’ and so tangible. Sure my clothes fit great and I have more energy when I wake up in the morning. But this newest incentive is something different completely. Its been giving me a lot more motivation, just knowing that every day I have the option of either supporting this new look or not.
On the one hand, it feels somewhat narcissistic for me to be so preoccupied with my reflection. And a lot of societal programming about modesty was not lost on me. So its actually not easy to write this, admitting how happy I am to see my skin tone, my definition … my ABDOMINAL muscles!
On the other hand, one thing I know from years of working with people on weight loss is that something many of us have in common is a failure to believe in the worthiness of our goals. Or put more simply, a lot of us overweight people feel we don’t DESERVE to be thin and look good. Its okay to say we want to be ‘healthy’ or have ‘energy’ but beyond that, our belief system falters.
So I’m going to take my new-found enjoyment of my appearance as a positive sign. The way I see it, if I can look myself over in a full-length mirror and think ‘not bad!’ then I’m beginning to manifest a sense of self-confidence and self-worth that will help me on the journey ahead.
There are many rewards for losing weight and many strategies that we can employ to make ourselves feel good about the process. But this one is new to me, and very compelling. I want to tap into it, channel it, and keep it as a strong positive memory.
And I think I’ll go shopping for a bathing suit this weekend. It couldn’t hurt.