Weigh In Wednesday – Funhouse Mirrors

      I hope you found the scales more kind than I did today. Mine still sat where the were last week – EXACTLY! I have stuck to the plan. I haven’t gone over my calories even once, have worked out MORE than the plan called for but and taken appropriate days of rest. I am doing everything “right”. How dare the scales not CONFIRM me.

     In the intrest of science I weigh daily, even though I don’t reccomend this for the average dieter. A couple of days ago I weighed 1.6 lbs less than last week and today. Just a reminder to us all that the scales are fickle. lol


     As we go into official weigh in #3 I allowed myself to be momitarily sidetracked by a bit of levity and thought I would share it with you before getting very serious.  Below you will see some weigh-in suggestions from the fine folks at the Weight Watcher’s forum at healthdiscovery.net .

Weigh In Tips

Before leaving home:
1. Nurse the baby (I skip this one most of the time since I don’t have a baby)
2. Remove nail polish.
3. Clip fingernails and toenails (to the quick!).
4. Pop all pimples
5. Tweeze all unwanted hair from face.
6. Shave legs, underarms and any other part of body which looks like it needs it
7. Loofah to remove dead skin
8. Remove ribbon from hair
9. Get a hair cut
10. Donate blood and any other fluid that can be removed without police involvement.
11. Blow nose.
12. Clean lint from belly button and jam from between toes.
13. Pee
14. Poo
15. Weigh clothing and dress accordingly
16. DO NOT SWALLOW AGAIN UNTIL AFTER WEIGH-IN, carry a cup to spit in!

Upon arrival at Weight Watchers:
1. Pee
2. Remove hand lotion and makeup
3. Remove contacts
4. Remove unnecessary ‘hidden’ articles of clothing
5. Blow nose again
6. While in the restroom, carefully examine body for anything which might be removed including warts and moles
7. Pee again – at least try!
8. Remove shoes, work ID badge, jewels, belt, socks, suspenders, etc.
9. Empty all pockets
10. Can you pee again? If so, do it!
11. Slowly step on the scale
12. Hold both arms straight and reach for the ceiling
13. Pray
14. Exhale completely; don’t forget there is air held in your lungs that usually doesn’t get expelled; find someone to hit you in the chest hard enough to ‘knock the air out’ of you.

After weigh-in:
1. Catch your breath
2. Blame the results on whoever you can — if necessary.
3. Get dressed
4. Sit down and stay for the meeting
5. Learn something new!

     Ok, guys and gals, I’m sure we all chuckled a bit but I totally get it. Weigh in’s bring out an almost irrational desire to prove something. That “number” becomes all important. Let’s get things back in perspective. This isn’t the final episode of The Biggest Loser. There’s  no money riding on this and no one is going to kick us out of the house. The number is merely one indicator of how we are progressing in our goals. What we want here is an honest evaluation of how the efforts we have put forth in the last week are affecting our health and composition. No smoke and mirrors people. Lets keep it real.

     But do we even know what REAL is when we are talking about weight, health, and body composition. How do we determine what is ideal? Many of us have an inacurate view of our current state so how can we possibly expect  to stay realistic and ballanced in our evaluation of our progress.

     My husband, Tony, shared with me today a blog entry from Against The Grain entitled “Women Slimmer Than They Think?” This is what it says.

     In a classic case of society deceiving itself, Australian women are actually slimmer than they think they are but men commonly overstate their muscular bulk. This is the conclusion drawn by psychologists at Deakin University who spent the past four years studying how men and women feel about their bodies. Using computer images of distorted body parts, 100 women and 80 men of all shapes were asked to adjust the silhouettes to match their own. Deakin’s head of psychology, Marita McCabe, said women felt they were larger than their actual size while men over-estimated their muscle mass. Participants also were asked to adjust the body images to an ideal size, with men choosing a female body shape larger than the “perfect” figures depicted in the media.

     This is facinating but not particularly suprising. We’ve had guy friends who as they gained weight simply told themselves how great they looked for that number on the scale. In contrast I know women who I would trade bodies with in a second who see themselves as heavy or paunchy. These body image issues don’t always lie across gender lines, however. 

     I remember chatting with a very chubby middle aged mom who proudly anounced, multiple times throughout the conversation that she wore “juniors” sized clothing. I’ve no doubt she did as her clothing was way too small for her frame. Her belly poured out over the waist band of her low rise jeans and her too small top proudly displayed a poochie midrift. She saw herself as a 19 year old size 9. What she was was a 39 year old with a “broken mirror”.

     I’ve know women who were super thin but thought of themselves as overweight and struggled to eat less. Some of these women didn’t understand that the amount of weight on their frame wasn’t what they were dissatisfied with but rather their composition. Overweight and under-toned aren’t the same thing. Some folks need a diffrent exercise routine much more than a diet in order to be a more “ideal self”.

A picture of model Katie Halchishick with plastic surgeon's marking inicating what would need to be "cut away" in order to give her an iconic Barbie Doll body.

     Then there’s the person who is fit, firm, and healthy but still sees someone inadequate staring back at them when they look in the mirror. I’ve not only known these people, I’ve been that girl. When I was in my early high school years I lost about 70 lbs. It was very exciting and I enjoyed watching the numbers drop and getting more and more fit. I was putting in 4 miles at the track, doing 300 sit-ups, lifting weights, and more all on a 1000 calorie a day diet. The scales kept dropping until at 113 lbs my family showed concern. I was slender and toned but I could never quite reach ideal. No matter how much weight I lost, how many miles I jogged, or how many situps I did I always saw fat calves and hips too wide to fit into my desired size 3. Someone else always had larger breasts, a higher butt, or smaller thighs. No matter how low the numbers went on the scale it was never enough. I was good at losing weight, I was addicted to the numbers and I still wasn’t “perfect”. I had a “broken mirror”.

    I’m going to get a little transparent with you. I’m going to give you a very intimate view into a piece of what the weight struggle and accompanying self esteem issues have been to me. Below is a poem that my husband Tony wrote several years ago. It makes me weep everytime I read it. I share it, hoping someone else may be blessed by knowing this struggle is not unique to them.



Across the room I see her, barely, in the dim morning light, standing there, waiting, calculating…
I try not to look at her, but steal a glance. She is staring at me, waiting…
She doesn’t smile, she never does. She just waits quietly for me…
I do all I can to avoid her, to make the peace last. But I know I must face her. 
Wash my face, brush my teeth, get dressed, hair, shoes… Isn’t there anything else I can do? But she just stands there… waiting…
I’ve put it off long enough; I can’t be late today, so I walk up to her. I look up… our eyes lock…
“Shall we begin?”
She speaks with a thousand voices, all of them critical, nothing is right. Nothing is good enough nor will it ever be.
“This is too big ” – Yes ma’am.
“This is too small” – Yes ma’am
“This is the wrong color.” – Yes ma’am.
“Wrong, wrong, wrong!” – Yes ma’am
“Can’t you do anything?” – No ma’am
She sees every flaw. She knows every mistake. She reviews them all.
She is the woman in the mirror, and she is always right. I know because she said so.
My husband says she is a liar. He is not afraid of her, but I have known her longer than I have known him.
She says he is just being nice. But there are times when I wonder…when I doubt…
When he stands behind me, arms around me, looking at her…
She seems afraid of him, and very small.
“No! You’re the one who’s wrong!” She doesn’t blink… She is unimpressed…
I have made half-hearted challenges before… but not today.
I summon my strength, my courage… I rush at her, and she at me…
The collision of fact and fallacy sends pieces through the air… and they land on the floor.
Pieces… everywhere…Pieces…
So I look to see where she was.
She just stands there… waiting… and I realize…I have not shattered the mirror…
The mirror has shattered me.
My husband hears me…
He comes to find me… in pieces on the floor
He gathers my pieces…lays them on the bed… and starts putting me back together…
Piece by piece…
So many cracks… so much worse than before…
But he holds me… and loves me.
And for the first time I see…
He has more cracks than I do.
And then I realize how he knew she was lying.
And she just stands there…
Terrified… Of both of us…



      Having this history, it is very important to me that I stay healthy in my view of my current weight and my goals for the future. I believe that it is irresponsible to stay at a very high weight that puts me at risk for illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. I owe the God who made me and the family who loves me putting in the time and effort to work to stay healthy. On the other hand as much as I want to look nice, I don’t buy into the belief that I have to be a size 3 to be pretty. Beauty is so much more than the number on the scales or the size of my jeans. Beauty is in being healthy, happy, loving, and authentically me.


Girl Wit The Crooked Mirror

by Paul Coleman

I know a girl with a crooked mirror
She saw her face through the crooked lines
She said Mother you’re my believer
Can you help me to see me a I really am?
Help me to see that beauty lies in me
So be my mirror and I’ll see that beauty lies in me
She said ain’t it a mystery that I can believe
In somebody else’s beautiful dreams
But here in this mirror the image is broken
I wish I could swallow the love I receive
‘Cause I can’t believe that beauty lies in me
When your mirror’s broken it only makes sense
To rely on opinions from others
Now this girl was lovely with beautiful features
But words like these they don’t come from your friends
And her thoughts deceived her so she played follow the leader
And she said be my mirror and I’ll see that beauty lies in me
He came along where she was weak he was strong
He took the mirror and he threw it down and whispered
Look at me I’ll help you see the beauty I believe
She said be my mirror and I’ll see that beauty lies in me
I know a girl with a beautiful family
And they’re her mirror they shine like love
She’s finding peace as a wife and a mother
This healing road that she’s walking on
She sees her reflection in her young boys eyes

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