Why do we see ourselves through a funhouse mirror?
I think we all see ourselves as if through a funhouse mirror which distorts our “real appearance.” In fact, many or more likely most of us, both male and female, have no concept of our real appearance at all. Rather, we have this warped perspective of ourselves based on the thoughts planted in our heads starting at a very young and impressionable age. We can’t see ourselves with an objective eye which became quite obvious to other family members but least of all me during a recent clothes shopping trip. I’ve been following the Keto lifestyle for over a year and have been exercising for an hour every day. I’ve been weighing myself weekly and have seen a slow but steady drop in my weight, usually one or two pounds at a time. In addition, I’ve also been taking 30 minute walks most days with my wife. This has resulted in some not so subtle changes in my body which everyone else in my family seems to notice, except me. When I’m commended for these changes I usually fail to recognize them.
I thought I was prepared for clothes shopping since my pants and shirt size hadn’t changed. In fact it never changes, at least in my mind. When I went to try on clothes at my “usual size” I was very surprised by my wife’s and daughter’s reactions. My usual size was way too big. How could that be? It’s not possible and hard to believe although the visual evidence would suggest otherwise. My wife pointed to my image in the mirror and said boy the pants you tried on were so loose and baggy. I was convinced she was wrong. So I tried on another pair of pants at the same size and got the same result.
To be honest I have an intense dislike for clothes shopping. The whole process of picking out clothes off the racks and taking them to the changing rooms to try on and deciding which ones to keep and which to take back just annoys me to no end. I just want to pick out my clothes, get the right size the first time and get outta there. It's basically a lack of patience on my part. Finally out of frustration she said “look I’m going to pick out some clothes for you, in the right “smaller” size and you will choose from them. I reluctantly agreed and she brought back different clothes for me to try on. As I tried on each piece and stepped out of the room to show my wife, she said “look this smaller size is the right one for you.” The thought that she knew better than I which clothes fit me best was an odd feeling. This is where the funhouse mirror comes in. What I believed to be true did not represent reality. I had created this alternate reality where my clothes were always a certain size and didn’t change even though my body had.
This is what happens with people who constantly diet and their weight fluctuates up and down. Even when they are “thin” they still think of themselves as a “heavy” person who keeps their “heavy clothes” just in case. It’s a real syndrome called “body dysmorphia” It’s about being comfortable in your own skin and adjusting to the changes in your body which have occurred since embracing the keto lifestyle. If you stick with it, and commit yourself to positive change quitting old and self-destructive habits it will happen. Remember the body changes before the mind does. The keto lifestyle is all about self care and self love.Once you recognize that “you're worth it” a new you emerges full of joy and love of life.