Hubby took me out to see HP7II. We’d been planning to go since opening day, but real life kept getting in the way. That’s the way it is sometimes. Undaunted, we kept trying and when the opportunity finally came upon us, we leapt at it. And boy, did we leap. If you’re going to do something like that, do it right. We saw it in 3d. It was quite entertaining.
I violated my diet violently for this affair. After all, holidays and movies should be exceptions, right? So we ordered the 5 gallon (only slight exaggeration) bucket of popcorn and each of us had a soda. I refuse to let aspartame pass my lips, so yes it was a sugary soda. But I haven’t had one since the last Harry Potter movie, so I figure that’s a forgiveable sin at this point.
Needless to say, after the 2 gallon bucket of soda, I had to pee. Bad. But I didn’t want to miss anything. I may be diabetic, but I still have one of the strongest bladders in the world. So I waited, and waited, until the end of the movie for relief. When the credits finally rolled, I had to go sooooo badly that it physically hurt to stand up. Needless to say, the men’s room was right next to our theater, the women’s room was on the other side of the building.
With my bladder aching and complaining all the way down the hall, I made it into the restroom and safely into the little cubical to relieve myself. Just as an aside…the auto-flush went of three times while I was in there. I told you I have a strong bladder!
But urinating is not the point of this post. What happened in the restroom other than that is.
See, as I entered the facilities in my bladder pain-induced rush, I noticed a woman standing near the sink. My brief evaluation of her was that she was pretty average. Not muscular, maybe 40 pounds or so overweight. Not someone I would refer to as “obese” however. We have very different styles of dress, but she wasn’t offensively dressed. In short, she was completely, unbelievably normal.
She still stood there as I finished by business and exited the stall. I’m a good little girl who always washes my hands, so I proceeded to the sink to wash up.
This is what occurred to me as I washed my hands. I’m always in the mirror by myself.
What does that matter? You might ask. Well, see, it has a lot to do with perspective. When I’m out in the world, I see everyone else, but I can’t see myself. And I can’t see myself in relation to other people. There’s no objective comparison. There’s no subjective comparison. There’s only conjecture. Because I have such a horrible self-image and drastic physical self-hatred of myself (I absolutely adore myself on a spiritual/mental/emotional level…weird, eh?) the conjecture always comes out with myself on the unflattering end. EVERYONE else in the world is thinner, prettier, has better hair, nicer eyes, whatever.
Because I almost never go anywhere and use a public restroom, and when I do there’s never anyone in there with me, I almost never have the opportunity to see myself side-by-side with another person. Since I’d already done the pass-by inspection of her, I knew what my evaluation was when I saw her and passed her on my way into the stall. Here was my chance to compare myself with someone that I’d considered “normal.”
Believe it or not, the comparison was almost favorable. I have to say the astonishing conclusion here was that there was little difference physically between the two of us, at least as far as size was concerned. My hair is brown, hers was blond. My hair is wavy, hers was curly…but as far as size goes, not much difference at all.
It was definitive proof that my body image problem really is in my head.
Does this mean that it will be any easier to fight? No. It certainly doesn’t. Because psychological problems like that don’t go away that easily. They’re complex, and took years and years to develop. They’re not going away overnight.
However, it does mean that I have a memory to fight those body images with. I can logically say to myself, “I know I’m not that fat” whenever those feelings arise. If looking at the shrinking size of my clothes doesn’t work, that might. Truth being, I’ve always bought my clothes large…I detest clinging clothes (even when they’re supposed to be “tailored” or “fitted”) so it’s easy for me to delude myself into thinking that I’m not shrinking, my clothes have always been large. But the mirror doesn’t lie.
So the next time I’m feeling horribly insecure, or need verification that the new lifestyle is actually working, I guess I’ll head off to see the biggest blockbuster movie available, where there’s sure to be a crowd in the ladies’ room. And I’ll take a look in that mirror, and see if I can see the truth again. It makes for an excellent reality check.
See, Snow White’s stepmom was on to something. Fortunately, I don’t need to be the “fairest of them all,” just the fairest I can be, so maybe I won’t get as psycho as she did…
Maybe. No promises. 😉