I don’t care for mirrors. I try to avoid them by any means necessary. When I happen to pass by full length mirror, I almost feel as though it is mocking my somehow by accentuating the things I could have sworn were hidden, like the extra back fat I didn’t realize I had. But today I went to the gym and forced myself to stare at my reflection while I did 3 sets of bicep curls. Instead of criticizing my body the way I normally do, I took the time to appreciate the things that tend to get over looked. I never realized that my frame was actually rather small and that once I drop the extra adipose tissue, I may have a pretty nice shape. My forearms are strong and muscular and my quadriceps are very well defined. I don’t feel great about every inch of my body, but I am pretty darned proud of what I have managed to accomplish by treating myself the way I deserve to be treated. I stopped looking at exercise as a chore and started looking at it as the energy boost that it turns out to be. I am in love with the after burn I feel in my thighs after a lunge-fest and the rosy glow of my cheeks after a serious cardio session. If exercise and eating well makes me feel this good, why haven’t I been doing it all along? It seems like common sense to promote the habits that you benefit from and to discard the ones you don’t. I don’t need chapstick when I am properly hydrated, I don’t feel sluggish when I have cut out simple carbohydrates, and I don’t feel miserable when I don’t stuff myself. This journey of weight loss is so much more than a physical thing for me. It is a mental and emotional journey as well. I don’t think I liked myself very much before. The abuse I subjected my body to evidence of that. I have learned to appreciate the body that I have been given, with all its parts in good working order. I love myself enough to know that I deserve to be happy.