OMG. This is a forewarning. This post may be TMI.

I fell on the ice one day last week…and I fell hard. Or at least it felt like I did.  It was dark, I was walking to my mailbox, and I slipped on a large patch of ice.   I screamed as my left hip and buttock slammed into the ice.  I didn’t waste any time on the ground though, and continued on to my mailbox….where there was no mail. (Grrrr.)  As the evening wore on, my hip and back started to ache and I knew I’d hurt the next day and probably have a nasty bruise.

The next morning I didn’t feel too bad and worked my tail off on the elliptical machine.  I was feeling good and strong and happy I wasn’t sore….then I lay down on my mat to stretch.  It was fine at first,  until I had to turn over on my stomach. I rolled onto my left hip first…OUCH! Ok. Maybe I wasn’t quite as good as I thought.

After stretching, I got undressed and decided I needed to look at my hip and butt to see if I had any bruising.  Now….I have to tell you that I rarely look in the mirror while naked.  And by rarely I mean never.

Seriously. I am 40 year old woman who has lost nearly 90 pounds over a period of years, with 50 of those pounds in the last 5 years.  I may workout every freakin’ day, but only surgery can firm this body up now.

But I still wanted to see if I had a bruise.  So…I turned my backside to the mirror and looked over my shoulder, gasped and actually said out loud, “Oh my gawd, THAT’S what I look like?!”  I shuddered for a second, then took my scary and bruised self to the shower.

When I got to work, I was feeling particularly frumpy.  I climbed out of my car in all of my bulky winter clothing, walked across the street and climbed up the steps to the library.  There, on the lovely glass door, was my reflection.  It stopped me in my tracks.  I looked tall. My jacket fit nicely and showed I had a decent rack, an indented waist of some kind and good hips.  I was kind of cute, and not frumpy at all. I liked that image.  I had to remember this. “This is what you look like, Holly.  With clothes on anyway. This is good.”

With that reflection still in my head, I began my day.  Things were going pretty well…until one of my favorite patrons, jokingly, started to imply that I was fat.  Now, this is a guy who makes me laugh and who I help on a weekly basis.  He knows I’m a former big girl, but had no idea about my massive insecurities.   Because we have a great working relationship, I cut him off before he could complete his implication of my largeness.  I completed the task he needed done and before he left the building, I told him to never, ever even imply that I was fat *ever* again. “You don’t know what words like that do to my head,” I told him.  He laughed but agreed to be good, then left the building.

Now, I felt really quite proud of myself at this point.  Physically, I felt a little shaky, but I stood up for myself and let someone know that I’m a bit fragile when it comes to certain situations, so don’t mess with me or I may break.  This was good, I thought.  I’m getting better. (The same patron actually called me later that day to apologize and to tell me I had absolutely nothing to feel bad about and went on to tell me all of my great qualities. He’s a flirt. A good ol’ guy, but a flirt nonetheless.)  The next morning, after what I thought was a breakthrough, I again felt dumpy and frumpy and was stopped by my reflection once more.

This is something I must overcome.  I can’t live the rest of my life thinking one thing and seeing another.  Do I have to keep telling myself, “Woman. You’re hot. Live with it.”  Perhaps.

Do I need to keep looking at myself in the mirror?   Maybe. But at least for now, clothes must stay on.

Unless I drink a lot of wine first…and maybe a margarita or two…then…maybe.

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