It happened last night. I just happened to be reading the Wall Street Journal (OK, it was really a Star magazine) while seated, positioned toward a full-length mirror. At some point I looked up, caught a glimpse of the reflection in the mirror, and had what I call my Uh-Oh moment. Oprah has her Aha’s; I have my Uh-Oh’s. This was the moment that I saw an image looking straight at me and thought “Who the Hell IS that?”. This was then followed by “Crap, that’s ME!”
I did not recognize this person in the mirror. There was no way this person could be me. Maybe I’ve been bathing in a huge tub of denial, but this person was too…how can I put this delicately?…ROUND!
Now it may seem strange. After all, I see myself in the mirror everyday, in photographs, during swimsuit season, as I shopped for new jeans just last week, and all those other image-conscious events. But why did my Oh-No moment happen at this particular moment?
The answer? I had never seen myself seated before, at least not since the last 20 pounds came to visit and squatted right smack in my mid-section. I spent the next several minutes playing this silly game where I’d take turns standing, then sitting, then standing again in an effort to figure out how/why body parts seem to spread out, then shift and smash together into this one more compact space. Vertically, I didn’t feel so bad about myself. Not ideal, but not disgusting.
Sitting, however, I resembled a slumped over Buddha. Now I knew I had increased a little in size. The mandatory weigh-in at the doctor’s office makes that perfectly clear. I knew my clothing size had gone up, but I had just convinced myself that I preferred a little roominess. Besides, denim has gotten quite stretchy, and I’ve been apparently using the stretch feature to its full potential. Yes, what started as a mere muffin top has now grown into a full-blown bacon/egg/cheese biscuit.
But how did I let it get this far? After all, I know how to lose weight…I’ve done it plenty of times before. I’ve known deep inside that I need get pro-active and focus on my health for a while, but then I’d follow with either my “life is too short” or my “who am I trying to impress anyway” monologue.
Notice that I refuse to use the big F word here, because it’s all relative. Vainly speaking, I think most people have their own tolerance for how much weight they will allow themselves to gain. That size they refuse to wear. That line they refuse to cross. That image that repulses them so much that they realize it’s time to write a mental Dear John letter to bad carbs and start burning some serious butter. It could be 5, 20, 50 or maybe a couple of hundred pounds gained before you’re using the F word. For me, the magic number used to be 10 pounds, but somehow I gave myself a grace period of 10 more. Not a lot to some people, but hey, I’m short. It could take me all winter to lose my extra baggage.
[Insert Rocky Theme song here]
But it’s time! And I WILL lose it! In preparation, I’ll resolve to buy some new work-out gear, download some fist-pumping tunes so that I’m properly choreographed, and post some before/after pictures of Kirstie Alley on my fridge for extra motivation. Then, the calories in/out will be recorded daily. As my own personal trainer, I will push myself to the max. And there will be less of me as a result.
Has anyone else experienced an Uh-Oh moment? Was it a photo? A reunion? A swimsuit? What did it for you?
In the meantime, just to add a little humor here after that personal little self-help session, watch below for some “No Pain, No Gain” Jane Fonda-style from the 80′s. Can I get a Woo-hoo? Now I’m not really seeing anything that would cause pain here other than watching Laurel on the left, bop around in this Flashdance get-up, head-banded perm and all. I think she may have eaten too many carrots, as she’s a little orange. She scares me.