Friday, August 20, 2010

So what happens now?

In the musical Evita, there is a song entitled, "Another Suitcase in Another Hall."

The gist of the song is this: Evita goes to Buenos Aires expecting to make it big as an actress, dancer, or anything, and instead gets many rejections.  She asks, "So what happens now?" continually and the people in the song answer back, "another suitcase in another hall...take your picture off another'll get by you always have before."

And still she continues the cycle - asking what should happen after her most recent rejection...

Until the last time that she asks, "So what happens now?" where a photographer answers back "Don't ask anymore."

It's like the simplest answer, right?

If asking a question repeatedly stresses you out, stop doing it.

All of that was a (probably poorly written) segue into my life.

The past few weeks, as I've been walking past storefront windows (which are everywhere downtown), I've been catching glimpses of myself in the window.  And when I see myself - walking alongside Joe, my sister, friends visiting from out of town, or even one of the homeless people that are always around, I find myself amazed at just how big I look.  I look EVERY time there is a window that I can see my reflection in.  I look, I reflect, I judge, and I self loathe.  That's the cycle.

This morning, I enjoyed a small celebration on the scale - which showed a number lower than what it has been in a week or two.  I've been battling my eating the last several weeks, so seeing a smaller number has been a long time coming.  When I got dressed, I felt smaller, I felt confident, I felt proud of the food choices I have been making.

And yet - on the way to my car, I noticed the window - and the person staring back at me was the same frumpy, fat person she always is.

When I look at the window reflection, I see myself exactly like how I did at my heaviest weight. I look slumpy, with a large waist, and no chin. I look huge, unkempt, and unbelievably fat. I immediately start feeling bad about myself, my looks, and my self confidence plummets.

I'm tired of looking and seeing someone that I was 50 pounds ago.  I'm tired of hearing that critical Voice inside my head telling me that each change, each bite, each decision that I make that is healthier isn't making a difference on the outside.  The Voice tells me that I never will see a smaller reflection, so I might as well give in and live the gluttonous life of the person I resemble.

So what happens now?

I'm determined to change my reaction to the girl in the window reflection.

So what happens now?

I'm determined to life a healthy life - one that nurtures my body, my mind, and my spirit.  I will make positive choices that affect these areas of my life.

So what happens now?

Since I can't seem to see the reflection without judging and hurting my spirit, I'm telling myself, "Don't look anymore."

It was the first of many positive choices that I made and will continue to make today.  I stood up for ME even though it would've been easier to reply the same record.  I made a healthy choice - to let go of the relationship with the girl in the window - after all, she makes me feel bad every time I see her. 

I feel empowered, I feel great, and I feel like I can do this.

So, I ask you...what happens next in your life?


Karen said...

Okay I first have to say I love the music from Evita. I will be singing that song in my head all day!

Second - good for you! You CAN do this:)

Allan said...

Here ya go..I figure why not add a little flame to your fire...YOU HAD THE WRONG ANSWER TO YOURSELF. Keep looking, but see what you should see. Someone that is empowered, helping themselves, and heading towards a goal. How can you walk past the homeless and feel sorry for yourself. You are better than that, you can do this, and surely you should never stop looking at yourself and smiling.. I know I do...

Debbie said...

This was truly a awesome post. You can do this and you will do this. One day you will walk past a window and slimmer person will be looking back at you. :)

Happy Fun Pants said...

I couldn't agree more - I need to change my reaction to the reflection...and while I don't feel sorry for myself, looking at my reflection recently and having my thoughts tell me right away that I'm (insert bad thoughts here)...has not been good.

So for starters, I'll just allow myself to avoid the reflections...and once my self confidence is built up a little bit more, I'll tackle the girl in the window.

But you're right - having a different reaction to the window is my goal. Otherwise, I won't ever be fully healthy.

Sam said...

Oh Anne, how many of us truly have that girl (or boy) in the window. And those devilish thoughts. It pains me to hear you say those things about yourself! And the funny thing, I turn around and do the same thing to myself. But I think this is a really pivotal moment for you, because so often we've thought those things for SOOO long, they just become a part of the background and they become reality. But by acknowledging them, and pulling them to the forefront, you'll really be able to abolish them. Way to go girl!

Lesia said...

1st Thank you for your concern about my happiness. I asked my daughter how committed she is on a 1 to 10 scale and she told me she was not committed to WW and she thinks she can do it on her own. So THERE YOU HAVE IT!! I didn't come back with a rude comment just smiled and said "let me know if there is anything I can do to help you." So the ball is in her court now.

As far as the window...WOW I hate to be a Debbie Downer but even when you get to the size you want to be, if that person inside isn't happy with your outcome, than you will still see the frumpy old reflection. It's a hard thing to change. I am still struggling with that reflection. Good luck sweetie.

Dillypoo said...

So much of The Journey is mental - mastering the urges and controlling the mind games we play with ourselves. You can do this!

Lyn said...

Awesome post :)

Me? What happens now is I stop thinking of myself as FAT. I have for, like, forever. And now it has to end.

McCulley's said...

I needed this desperately for help today. I have been trying to catch glimpses of myself not to say way to go but to say why aren't you there yet. Ugh. I am done I need to concentrate on changing that behavior and thinking way to go why is this getting harder and not easier!!!!!

Leah said...

What a great post! I completely agree if doing something is continuously bringing you down you need to stop doing it. Good for you for recognizing it and making a change! :)

TinaM said...

Great post :)
Would it help to carry a picture with you of BEFORE you lost weight?
I think it's a great idea to ignore the girl in the window... but just in case she jumps out at you and you HAVE to see her- maybe a glimpse of the girl in the picture will remind you that you HAVE changed. And that you have come so far! And then both of those girls will smile from the window and the picture, and encourage you to keep going farther!!!

Mrs. Happy Pants said...

I know it probably means very little to you since I don't believe compliments when I've heard them...BUT...
I think you're absolutely gorgeous. Like, in a radiating beauty kind of way. So even when you have self-loathing thoughts, your inner beauty bursts through and makes you physically pretty, too. YOU specifically, Miss Smaller Fun Pants, I'm not being all fuzzy and philosophical and referring to the universal "you", here. I mean that foxy redhead, I've seen pictures of.
No sh*t!

Jennifer@womanvfood said...

I thought this post was very well written and tugged at my heart strings. I have done that whole window reflection thing too....problem was I did stop looking and then I stopped caring. Sounds like you have it under control though. I love your writing!

Misspudding said...

In that episode of Ruby that I mentioned several posts ago - the one where they go to a fat/body awareness/eating disorders "rehab" - one of the first things they did was take a giant piece of paper, hang it on the wall, and draw an outline of what they imagined their measurements to be. They looked at it for a bit, really tried to make sure it was realistic.

Then they had a friend actually draw their outline on the page. All of the women had grossly, wrongly, drawn their bodies before. They had emphasized things that they thought were huge.

It was a real wake up call to all of the women - especially Ruby, who has already lost, like, 200 pounds - that they weren't as big as they thought.

It was a very powerful exercise. Maybe it's one you should try to do. It might help a little bit?

Mandy said...

Do you need to borrow my inner voice again? There is OBVIOUSLY something wrong with the glass! It's stupid glass, because you know, and I know that you look hot!

At least that picture didn't end up on the front page of the paper!