Tag Archives: weight

Do you avoid mirrors?

This time I made them face the mirror!

This time I made them face the mirror!

I had a very interesting experience I would like to share with you.  This morning, I walked into an exercise class 5 minutes late, grabbed my equipment, and looked for a place to set up.  As I scanned the room for an empty spot, I thought, “Oh, weird, it looks like the class is being taught in a circle today.”

The teacher was in front – as usual – facing the class with her back to the large mirror on the wall in the front of the room.  Three quarters of the wall on that side is mirrored, with a space on either side that has no view of it.  The class was spread out in a horseshoe shape in front of the instructor, with a denser group on the “blind sides.”  A few people faced the mirror, but they were practically touching the back wall.  Only those with eagle vision could have seen themselves clearly from that far back!

I started to cram myself between people to fit into this odd semi-circle,  commenting to the woman next to me, “Oh, a circle today?”  She said, “no” but offered no further explanation.  Then the instructor and I had a laugh and she made a crack about how there was no one in the expansive space in the center.

I settled my equipment right in the middle of the room – more space to move!

We chatted after class, and I mentioned that I have seen this happen many times before in my group discussions – not the circle thing, but mirror-avoidance .   People do not like to be facing the mirror, . . . or, if they must, they will be as far away from it as possible.

The instructor said, “Yeah, I think it’s worse in winter.  Everyone is eating more, and they don’t like to see what that looks like in the mirror.”

Hmmm.  Interesting, don’t you think?  Are you a mirror avoider?  I think it is time to make friends with our image.  We can modify it somewhat, but acceptance now is important for even initiating that journey.

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Human Behavior is NOT LINEAR!

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If you flip the direction of these arrows to point downward, this is how sustainable weight loss really happens.  Why?  Because success (the human factor) is a wiggly line too.  We are wiggly creatures.

Just as one could feel quite discouraged and unsuccessful at a low point on the wiggly graph above, a person can also feel that weight is not coming off when the scale measures higher than expected – “It’s not working!”   Anyone who has weighed themselves on an “upward wiggle” day knows what I mean!

Remember (I know I sound repetitive) . . . you are weighing more than your fat stores.  Your fat stores are your measure of stored energy.  They do not vary much from day to day.  Your fluid stores are much more “wiggly” and can vary by pounds each day.  They do not store energy.  Water has no calories, so fluctuations mean NOTHING relative to fat storage.

The real problem results from reactions to what we see.  Then behaviors can be dramatically altered.  If the scale is higher than expected, people will often assume it’s not working, so what the heck?! . . . “hey, that cheesecake looks  pretty good . . . it doesn’t matter anyway”.

Good advice:  Watch overall changes (trends) and don’t pay too much attention to little short-term fluctuations.

If you remember “The Twilight Zone” (on a black and white TV) . . .

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. . . then you are probably also familiar with “The Perimenopausal (or Menopausal) Zone”.  For some women, it can be – at least at times – just as scary as the original sci-fi ’60’s TV show featuring Rod Serling as the narrator, a voice that sends an eery chill up my spine to this day.  Without my significantly older twin brothers, I would probably never have seen any of the episodes at such a young age, but that was one of the advantages of staying up later when they were in charge.

These days, nightmares do not usually keep me up at night, but night sweats occasionally do.  The journey into a new hormonal balance has felt a little creepy and mysterious.  I could do without the suspense of wondering when I will start sweating, or whether or not my energy level will carry me past 9pm. Continue reading