The Mirror is a Mind F**K

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These are not “before and after” photos. I took these photos of myself this morning in two different mirrors. The first one is the mirror I bought yesterday to help my weight loss. The second one is my roommates mirror. I put them side by side, completely upright, in the same light and snapped away.

What a mind f**k! I never post photos of myself or stats on my hideous body on this blog, especially because (as you can see by the photos) I have gained so much weight lately and can’t cope with how I look. I had to post these. I don’t know which one is me. I hope to God the first mirror is not right. I am huge, fat, ugly etc, but my new mirror is definitely a “fat” mirror. Anyone with ED knows a “fat” mirror, because we scrutinize ourselves daily in as many mirrors as we come into contact with.

What is upsetting me is that now I don’t know if the second mirror is correct or not. I have been borrowing it for the lastΒ  6 months from my roommate as I have not had a full length mirror since I moved. I thought getting one would give me motivation to keep track of my ballooning body and lose weight again.

I am not sure what this mirror is going to do to me except perhaps, kill me. I know ED sufferers are supposed to have BDD and not be able to tell what their body actually looks like. Mine actually looks like one of those. Both are hideous but, which one is telling the truth?

 

PS: I am severely embarrassed by how fat I am in both of these photos. Now I wish I had posted my thin shots on this blog! Sorry for the barf inducing visual.

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21 thoughts on “The Mirror is a Mind F**K

  1. plainjanemcgough says:

    you are not fat at all! It’s a shame to even feel that way.Coming from someone who used to starve them self, I think you look a lot better being healthy. Honestly πŸ™‚

    • Thank you so much. I hate the way I look at the moment. My upper body is not so bad because I have always had dainty shoulders, tiny ribcage and flat (ish) stomach. My legs have been my nemesis all my life. They are thick and chunky if I have muscle or just plain fat if I don’t. I hate these photos so much but the difference between 2 mirrors is shocking to me!

      Thanks for your comment though. I feel I am so warped right now that I can’t see straight.

      • plainjanemcgough says:

        I have the same problem with my legs. they are thick, and muscular. They are by far the biggest part of my body, and I don’t wear shorts because they make me so self conscious. And why not look at the mirror that makes you feel better? What if that’s the right mirror?

      • Thanks for sharing about your legs. I wore shorts for the first time in 20 years last year after I starved myself into them and when I look at photos all I can think is how thick they look (they were muscly then whereas now they are flabby).

        I can’t believe I got that new mirror all the way home and it is going to torture me even more than I imagined! I think the 2nd one is actually closer to what I really look like, so maybe I will check up on myself in it from time to time. I don’t know what is right anymore.

      • plainjanemcgough says:

        No problem. I think muscular legs are so much prettier than stick thin. I just need to start Pilates again, and they will be toned in no time. πŸ™‚

      • I agree….I have kind of resigned myself to the fact that if I have to have big legs they might as well be toned (which they aren’t right now) but, I would much prefer stick legs if I had a choice! Mine tend to get bigger and bulkier with exercise (even walking and yoga.)

      • plainjanemcgough says:

        And you should have what makes you happy if you can. πŸ™‚

  2. anon says:

    Hello! I’ve been following your blog since February and find that I share many of your thoughts/feelings. Mirrors, however, is something I struggle with on a daily –no, hourly–basis.

    Full-length versions follow me to work and greet me when I get on the elevator/walk the halls. My mom’s favorite way to enlarge our house is by purchasing mirrors, so we have many. Luckily, I have my single-mirror apartment.

    In the past 5 years, where my ED has developed into a raging mess, I’ve started asking my closest friends/family whether the mirrors we encounter are accurate. They write it off as my “funny-weird” obsession, answer honestly, and think nothing of it. At best, their response maintains my mood (I think people are lying when they tell me I’m thin); at worst, I condemn my fatness and greedy, reinvigorating my vow to starve.

    It’s pretty clear I have no idea what I look like. I can’t offer any advice, but I hope you find some comfort in my words as you are not alone.

    • I find a lot of comfort in your words. I teach ballet in front of full length mirrors every day (wall to wall and floor to ceiling). I am obsessed with them and I know how they vary by each studio. Studio 5 has the fat mirrors. Studio 3 and 4 are normal. Studio 1 and 2 are skinny mirrors.

      This morning I cried when I looked in the first mirror. Last week the second mirror made me feel bad about how much weight I have gained but it didn’t destroy me. This mirror, however is too much.

      I can’t trust friends because they always tell me I’m thin and not to worry. I know when I am actually thin because they tell me I have gone too far. Right now no one is commenting on my weight which means that I am definitely heavier!

      I have had a mirror obsession since before I got ED. Today was just the reality check that I needed to restrict again as I have been trying to be ‘healthy’ and recovered a little bit every day. It obviously is not working for me!

      Thanks for letting me know that I am not alone!
      FB

  3. jemicdre says:

    My mirror in my room is a thin mirror…IF the first mirror is the right mirror, then my mirror would be like mirror 2. I imagine that you are somewhere in the middle, which I know you don’t want to hear, BUT I’ve never seen you before in my life, so I honestly can’t tell you.

    My 14 year old cousin was visiting for a month. She always talks about how fat she is. She’s about 5’4″ and idk…size 5? Her stomach is ALMOST completely fat, and she really just needs to tone her arms and legs because they aren’t fat, either. But all she could talk about was her fat stomach and her disgusting arms and legs, etc. I explained to her on more than one occasion that women are supposed to have some fat if they ever want to have a family. It wasn’t getting through to her, so last Friday I finally set her straight…or at least plead her case with herself.

    I told her that I understand what it’s like to look in the mirror and be disgusted with what you see. I told her about when I had lost 70 pounds a few years ago, I felt it wasn’t enough, I was still fat, I could do better, I was lazy, etc. I told her that I look back on me then and I realize that, even though by society standards I was still heavy, that I actually had no fat in my neck, collarbone, very little in my arms, legs, and face, and my stomach was mostly just loose skin because I lost so much weight so fast. I told her I’d do anything to have that body back. I explained about BDD and that the mirror lies to us, when we look in the mirror, we see something that isn’t really there. I explained that in my mind, after I lost all that weight, I still saw the previous fat girl I’d been everytime I looked in the mirror, and that just wasn’t who I’d been. I told her I don’t know what she sees when she looks in the mirror, but I can tell her personally what she sees, is not how she actually looks.

    I hope I got through to her before she started down this dangerous path…

    • Good for you for trying to get through to her!

      I have collarbones, ribs, shoulder blades that stick out and my arms are toned but my lower half is just hideous. I am 5’9″ and wear a US size 4.

      I just can’t get over how dumpy I am in these pics. Surely after 20 years of ED, I should have less of myself to show?

  4. I know it may sound like “pity” (I say “pity” because that’s how I often feel when someone tells me the following), but you really aren’t fat. Regardless, the mirrors really do show a significant difference, which I know can be quite unsettling. Full length mirrors can be a dangerous thing. I don’t own one (not by choice), but if I did, I think I would go crazy. 😦

  5. worschula says:

    so this is the(not at all)fatballerina…I knew you were thin!(as much as I know you think you’re fat). I can barely see your waist in the photo on the left, but it seems really tiny!

    • Thanks….my waist is really tiny…it always has been! I have a mostly thin upper body but, my thighs and hips are my nemesis! Anyway, thanks for commenting.

      • worschula says:

        πŸ™‚ mmmh sorry if I insist but.. but…well, I’m not an expert…but…couldn’t it be that-since you’re a dancer-your thighs are “a bit” muscled?I mean…you also do yoga!I know this won’t change your opinion…but…well…

      • Thanks for trying! I have never made peace with my thighs….I don’t know that I ever will but your encouragement means a lot πŸ™‚

  6. lilavanhoe says:

    I look at these photos and see a beautiful figure!

  7. First, you’re lovely in both mirrors.
    Second, I know what you mean. I have always hated cameras and mirrors. I always look like different people depending on which mirror I look in or which camera took the photo (or who was using the camera). It used to really mess with my mind. (See here http://lyricsonthelake.wordpress.com/2008/04/13/you-cant-name-a-planet-bob-well-that-all-depends-on-your-perspective-right/)
    I’ve made an art of not looking at myself in the mirror. Since I don’t wear makeup, that saves me a lot of mirror time, and most of my hairstyles I have learned o do without the aid of a mirror. Actually, saying this “out loud”, I think I might have a problem.

    • I think we all have a problem on here. I am trying not to look in mirrors even though I teach in front of them for hours a day. I am trying to focus more on God as I feel like ED just distracts me from my faith.

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