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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

That Other Woman In The Mirror

We've been home from holidays for a week and it's like we've never been away.
 Life is a big long skipping rope- the schoolyard kind being cranked around by two pigtailed girls chanting out rhymes. You watch the rope come up and down once, twice and then you close your eyes and make your move. Whoosh, jump, jump. Did I make it? Yes, the rope is still coming down under my feet, I jump and it raises above my head. Ahhhh.
Now to keep up the jumping.

Everyone wants to hear that my life is back to normal. I say that it is but it's not really the truth. I'm jumping but life is never going to be the same again. The proof is in the mirror. There's someone else looking back at me and she's got her nose turned up in the air!

Well, she's one to talk. Look at her! Funny, her eyes look like mine. Same colour... a little sadder, perhaps. But she seems far older than my, what, 35-ish (heavy on the ish), oh wait, I'm 51 now, but she looks much older than that. Turtle aged, I say by the rings around her neck.

And her hair! I have tinsel straight hair that with the right product and wave of a roller brush and hair dryer morphs into a gossamer cloud that frames my face with golden highlights. But that poor woman in the mirror has something that looks like alfalfa sprouts standing straight in the air. It seems to swirl right at the top of her head and look, it does the same thing in the back. Reminds me of a re-permed nightmare I had to wear for three miserable months of my life. Curly, fuzzy poodle-locks. It cost me a hot boyfriend and a year of trying to lose the weight I gained after going on an extreme ice-cream sympathy kick.
And what colour would you say that was? Dyed-over grey with sun-bleached spiked tips. Wasn't that a California surfer style back in the '60's? For men?
There's fresh stretch marks around her lips. I see she's been over-eating. The pills she's on could cause that, although once a doctor tells you that might happen, you usually do make it happen. But I can tell she has no intention of slowing down the carnage or the treats. She celebrates that its Wednesday. And when it's Friday, well, that's double the pleasure day. Maybe a little ice cream with the chocolate baking chips.
It looks like it will be easy for her to say "whatever." Dive into a big bowl of whipped cream and not surface until her chin doubles and her new scars rest on her extended belly. So frigging easy to let it all go. Heck, she's old enough. She deserves a break. What does she want to keep fit for?

I don't want to look at her anymore. But I do. I take another look at that woman in my mirror. Another long, hard, good look. Could that really be me? And if it is, do I need  to start changing my perception of myself? Adjust my inner mental image to match what stands before me?

Well, pardon my language, but SCREW THAT!

That old lady and myself, we're pulling up the bootstraps and going to Plan B. In fact, we have been on the Plan for three days now. No meat, dairy, eggs, fish or chicken for a month. That's right. A little Veganism for a month to kick start that flab reversal. If the pills are causing me to feel hungry all the time, then I will let myself eat as much as I want. But it has to be vegetarian and that's the kicker. Try gorging on lentils and quinoa and see how fat you get. It will never happen! You do spend a large part of the day swinging on the opened fridge door before finding absolutely nothing you want and closing it again. It's good and it's only for a few more days, or so I tell myself.
I don't want a new wardrobe in bigger sizes. I really liked the way I was. The way I am less  a bit. A bit that I can regain with some work. It's not the first time I've had to do this.
 It is the first time I've had to talk myself into wanting to do this and that's the scary part.

And the hair, well I have an appointment on Wednesday to check out the options for this type of head covering I now have. It's like nothing I've ever seen before? More like what I figured black people's hair was like. It's thicker, coarser, wavier, stubborner, gel, wax and spray resilient.
The solution may be merely having to wear a hat until it grows enough to fall to one side or the other.

Either way, it's time to quit turning my nose up at myself. And I will tell that right to the woman in the mirror's face.