Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Narcissus and the Mirror

Greek mythology tells us of a man named Narcissus.

Narcissus was proud and beautiful, shunning those who would love him. One such shunned women prayed to the gods and goddesses of Olympus that Narcissus should feel the agony of truly unrequited love. Her prayer was heard by an avenging goddess and thus came Narcissus to a placid, beautiful, shining pool of water. Gazing into the water, he became so enamored of himself that he refused to leave the pool for food or rest. Every time he attempted to touch the object of his affections, it would flee from him in ripples of water. Narcissus pined for his love, eventually fading until he was forced to cross the Stygian river into Hades' domain.

You're probably wondering why I'm talking about Narcissus.

Lately, I've found myself gazing into the mirror at my reflection and (more often than not these days!) happy with what I see. Now obviously, I'm not completely enamored of myself, so I'm certainly no Narcissus, but it's good to have days where you look at yourself and think, "Damn, I'm happy with how I look." Occasionally I glance at my legs while I'm running on the treadmill and marvel at how muscular and defined they look, I have runners legs! Sometimes I even check out my butt when I walk by a mirror, all those squats are paying off. It's definitely a far stretch from how my thought reel used to go.  I used to walk by a mirror and all I could think was how uncomfortable I felt in my body, or how ugly I was that day.

I know some might erroneously attribute my newly found body love to the fact that I've maintained a 73lb loss for almost two years but that would be oversimplification. I am happier now because I am learning to accept myself for who and what I am. I'm learning to have self-confidence and self-esteem.  The weight loss is great but working at turning my negative thought processes into positive ones is just part of the quest for health.