For anyone who's ever gained more weight than they care to admit, understands me when I say that it's shocking to look in the mirror and not recognize the image staring back at you. It's a feeling that can only be described as depressing. I've caught myself glaring at the stranger in front of me and cursing at her for letting herself go.
Just today as I leaned into the mirror with my nose almost touching the glass, I was reminded of the Peter Pan movie (with Robin Williams) where the Lost Boys are looking at Peter and they finally realize that the Peter they used to know is really inside the body of the unrecognizable adult before them. They look and stare and analyze him until they finally whisper, "Peter, it IS you!" That's when I found myself whispering out loud, "Emily, are you in there? If you are, I NEED you."
It's painful analyzing the figure that seemed unimaginable just a few short years earlier as I gazed into the same mirror 30, 40, 50 pounds lighter. Even then, the self criticism was excruciating. In my 20's, my tight butt, perky breasts and smooth stretchmark-free skin were taken for granted when the focus of criticism was on pimples, freckles and frizzy hair.
Why can't we just be happy in the skin we're in? It's a constant battle with the skinny girl inside of me...she wants out! She needs to breathe! She needs to be seen! The numbers on the scale don't lie...especially when the thing is flying through the air and out across traffic! The truth of the matter is, I've forgotten what she looks like. I don't remember the thin girl that used to house my body. Where is she? WHERE IS SHE!
Well, I'm on a journey! I am in search of the perky young body that caught the eye of my honey 13 years ago. The road to finding her may take several months, possibly years, but it's a trip that is long overdue. It's a trip that has been on the books for much too long without making reservations. Now's the time! It's all confirmed! The wheels are in motion and there are no refunds. Skinny Emily is out there somewhere all alone and I mean to find her and bring her home where she belongs!
I refuse to look at an unfamiliar image in the mirror EVER AGAIN! I long for the day when I peer into the reflective glass and say to myself, "Hi there, stranger. Where've you been?"