The Mirror

mir·ror /ˈmirər/
1. a reflective surface, now typically of glass coated with a metal amalgam, that reflects a clear image.

1. (of a reflective surface) show a reflection of.

I hate looking in the mirror.

I have felt fat for as long as I could remember, looking in a mirror meant that I would have to face what I feel, that clear reflection of me. Fat.

For years, I wouldn’t face my fear, I couldn’t face me. Fat. I totally got the irony that it was a weight scale that forced me to take a good look at myself.

In May 2016, I went to see the doctor. This particular day, I was there as a follow-up to a previous visit, where I was prescribed insulin, temporarily, I was told, to see if I could get my Type 2 Diabetes numbers a little lower. “No big deal”, I thought, I had convinced myself that being on 3 different medications and “temporarily” insulin, was “no big deal”. The visit was just like others; I would sign in, sit in the lobby to wait my turn on the medical conveyor belt, either flipping through the array of magazines sitting around to fight off the boredom and/or alleviate the fear of what was about to go down in the examination room. Once your number was called, you’d go in the back to the exam room, sit and wait, some more and then the nurse would come in and ask you a series of questions and then get you to come with her to get weighed.

Just like my other visits, I walked out and prepared to get weighed, took off my jacket and shoes and stood on a scale. Not the normal scale, mind you, I had to use the heavy duty one that my doctor kept in a hall closet, for those people who were so heavy that they couldn’t use the regular scale (totally blocked that from my mind) I stepped on the scale and the digital readout beeped and blinked, reminding me of the Price Is Right Showcase Showdown wheel…

and when it finally stopped, it blinked 504.3 lbs at me.

Let me say that again, 504.3 lbs blinked. I had went over 500 pounds, a quarter ton…

I couldn’t breathe for a few seconds and, within those breathless seconds I thought to myself “I’m almost ready for my own ‘My 600-Lb Life’ episode“.

So there I was, freaking out in my head, my body on auto pilot, walking back to the exam room for the rest of my appointment. The nurse was talking… I’m sure she was being nice, professional… doing her thing, but I heard nothing. When I got back, I was told that the nurse practitioner would be in shortly (guess the doctor was either busy that day or over “talking to my fat ass”, I thought in my paranoia).

I was numb, then I was pissed. I had been in denial, not thinking about what was happening, blocked out by my long time “friend”, shame. I chose not to dwell on the reality, opting to let denial run the show, controlling everything that I did like a computer program, always running in the background while I go through the motions of life (the brain is amazing, isn’t it?).

I’m sitting on the exam table in this cold room, the light flickering so much that it was on the verge of causing me a seizure…

and I’m spiraling.

“I’m over 500 pounds! Oh my God, I’m a monster! I’m horrible, Jesus!” I look over to my right and I see a full body mirror. I look at it, take a deep breath, swallowed, jumped off the table (seriously, I had to jump off the table, why was that thing so high?) walked over to the mirror, with my eyes closed and looked. I probably stood there for a minute but it felt like an eternity, I stared, more like glared, at myself…

for the first time in forever, I stared at what had avoided, what I hated, my fatness, me. I stared and thought, “Dude, you can’t keep doing this, you can’t keep hating yourself, you just can’t.”

It was just a moment. It was a moment that never thought I would ever have. When I looked at the reflection, the image of me and decided that I was going to stop avoiding me… stop hating The Man In The Mirror

(God, that was so cheesy!)

A little over 3 years later, I’ve lost 170 pounds and, as of February 2019, no longer on any medications, feeling the best that I have in decades. I’ve come a long way and still have a long journey ahead of me. I’m looking forward to it, so glad that I’m in a position where I can do so.

None of what I’ve done would have been possible had I not faced my biggest fear, literally…

I’m starting with the man in the mirror 
I’m asking him to change his ways 

(still cheesy)

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