Saturday, April 24, 2010


Living in a hut in Africa, I did not have a full length mirror. Not having a mirror to constantly remind me to judge myself, I tended to forget what I looked like and stopped thinking about it. Because of my unhealthy eating habits due to a lack of fresh vegetables and a carb overload, sometimes I would try to take pictures of myself to see if I had gained any carb weight. Most of the time though, I was not self-conscious of my body. Plus in West Africa it was better to be heavier than skin and bones.

In China, I am surrounded by skinny students and older women who have filled out a bit. I have a long oval mirror which I look into daily to see how my outfit looks or how my newly finished knitted goods fit. I eat out everyday meals full of noodles and the most delicious food, fresh veggies, meat and oil. I wonder have I gained weight.

Mirrors are deceiving.
My own self-image,
the image in my head
makes mirrors even more deceiving.
But with no scales,
what can I do,
but see the image of myself
skewed by how overweight I think I am.

Today meeting up with my teacher friends to go on a bike ride, a hike, then fishing, I weighed myself.

I am still 5'4" and 140 lbs just like I was in Seattle, but without the muscle mass. I wonder at what age does one start gaining weight because one's metabolism slows down, where even with a lot of exercise it seems near impossible to get rid of the extra pounds.

My teacher friend was a bit shocked that I weighed so much because she thought she was heavier than me. One's own self-image really messes with one's head. I always knew she was skinner than me. She is a bit shorter than me and only weighs 120 lbs.

I think I prefer a lifestyle without mirrors, a life where I can stop thinking about my body image.

1 comment:

Lien said...

My sister is three years younger than me. A few years ago, she said, "You have to tell me when you start to get fat- that'll give me three years of warning so I can do something about it." Ha!

I haven't had a full-length mirror since I moved from Seattle. I've been thinking about getting another one, but maybe not, now.