We've all seen the following cartoons in some form or another, right?
We're told all the time in our industry, and by our coaches, that the scale isn't everything. Everyone and their mother, from SHAPE to Oxygen to FLEX, has written a blog post about how your weight doesn't tell the whole story, how it doesn't reflect 100% of your progress, how you shouldn't put all your faith in what the number reads, how you should use the mirror/measurements/clothes/intuition, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera...
But what about when THIS cartoon happens in real life? What about when THIS is your life? When THIS is what you ACTUALLY see in the mirror? THIS is what's staring back at you
|Summer of 2005 (2006?)|
Ya, we're not having fun anymore, are we? This isn't a cartoon anymore, is it? I'm not taking this lightly, so please, don't think I'm making a joke of a very SERIOUS illness. But tell me: If you were me, how would you go about approaching contest prep? When you and the mirror haven't exactly seen eye to eye since you were 11, and really, the scale is the only concrete, objective thing you have going for you, how do you respond to the bloggers and coaches? Those pictures above are accurate reflections of the female cartoon I posted on top: Girl sees self in mirror, self isn't REALLY self, girl diets down HOPING to see real self, girl almost kills self.
What do you do when only 5 short years ago, THOSE pictures above were your reality, and now, the pictures below are what you live with? Kind of messes with your mind, doesn't it? For anyone who's ever lost an insane amount of weight, but still sees that "fat girl" in the mirror, I know you feel me. For any competitor who's taken some time off to have a baby or just take an extended off-season, I know YOU feel me! So now, I have this body staring me in the face. Now THESE pictures show my reality.
You see where the problem lies? I have NO idea what I look like. It sounds funny, right? Maybe even a little cliche? Ya, not so funny when it's you. I spent so many years of my life seeing myself one way (but technically not actually seeing what was in the mirror), and now, I'm supposed to see something else... that may or may not even be there this time around! There are days I feel like I'm looking at a fun-house mirror like, "That can't be me. WTF?!" Thankfully, my "normal" days are more frequent than my others, and I don't spend an abnormal amount of time in from of the mirror, but come contest dieting time, I might as well not own one. I send my pictures to my coach, get on my scale, and c'est la vie. Personally, the scale is all I go by. It's all I CAN go by. The mirror has lied to me almost my entire life - it's not about to start being truthful now, I can guarantee you that. So save the reassuring talks for someone else. I need my numbers.
|March/April 2013 - Me currently.|
Don't even know why I'm using the mirror
Just for the record: I am 100% recovered. I put in my dues in hospital (two times), in the outpatient circuit (once), and intensive psychiatry (twice). It's why I'm able to carry on a perfectly functional, normal life as a personal trainer and competitive bodybuilder. I eat out with friends, I drink on occasion, and I am not obsessed with calories (when I'm not prepping). I am over that phase of my life, and have no desire, intention, or temptation to ever revisit it. There. Done. Said.