The mirror

What I see in the mirror today – 30+ days into the barre n9ne challenge – is quite different from what I would say I “saw” just a month or two ago.

Previously, mirrors revealed flaws.

Mirrors left me questioning, wondering, wishing.

Now, mirrors reveal something new:

Strength.

Determination.

Power.

Endurance.

Pride.

When I looked in the mirror during Monday’s barre n9ne method class, I made a point of staring at myself in the mirror. Without shame. I stared at my legs as we plied and plied and plied some more. I stared into my own eyes and watched them sparkle with joy (yes, I find joy in the oh-so-painful barre work that makes up much of that class!).

And for the first time – the mirror didn’t make me question, wonder, wish.

Instead, the mirror showed me the good in me. Not the flaws.

Sure I still have flaws. We all do. But I didn’t see them this time. I looked past them and saw the good, the things that I’m proud of. It felt like a breakthrough.

And once again this reminds me that I am so grateful for this (barre n9ne) opportunity.

So I urge you – next time you look in that mirror, do not let it “show” you the flaws. Let that mirror “show” you all of the things that you’re proud of. The freckles on your nose or arms or chest. The way your shoulders stand proud when you stand with proper posture. The way your face might not be totally symmetrical, but is still perfectly imperfect. How your eyes look when you smile back at yourself in the mirror. Look for beauty. How does it make you feel?

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36 thoughts on “The mirror

  1. Love this post. I have a bad habit of finding those flaws in the mirror. However, when I use the gym mirror or used the mirrors in my ballet classes, I never see/saw the flaws so much. It was about watching my body work, being proud of the muscles, the grace, the motion. Why is it so hard to find that in a regular mirror?

    • It is such an easy trap to fall into and honestly it takes a concerted effort (for me, anyway) to NOT see the flaws everytime I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. The other night in class, when I forced myself to stare at my image in the mirror was the first time I “owned” who I am and how I feel. For those few minutes I felt pretty and strong and content with who I am. I want to hang onto that feeling forever if I can – none of us should nitpick ourselves to death in the mirror, it’s the saddest habit ever, isn’t it?

  2. I love this sis! And I can look in the mirror and see less flaws and more pride too. I can’t even begin to describe the difference in looking in the mirror now than a month ago. Amazing.

    • For you to say that makes me SO happy sis – I know this has been an emotional road for you and to see you coming out of this as a happier, more confident person is just awesome. I can’t say that enough.

  3. Such a good point! It feels really good to check yourself out during exercise and see those muscles you’ve built! great job on the barre classes..im sure you look great!

    • I know, it is a confidence boost to see those muscles in action – I think we all ought to check ourselves out in the mirror when we workout more often, don’t you think??

  4. I love this post and I can totally relate! I was actually thinking about this today. I haven’t had a negative body thought in awhile. I love the “new” me. Isn’t it great?

    • It totally can be – but if you flip it around and zone everyone out that’s in that room and just focus on you, working as hard as ever,it can be really, really empowering.

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  6. What a beautiful post!

    I think growing to love your body, flaws, imperfections and all of it’s wonder is a very hard and long process, but you’re doing so well!

    • It truly is – and is definitely always a work-in-progress, literally. We all have to work on maintaining a positive body image – it can easily slip away if we let it. Once you grab it, hang on tight!

  7. You know I always stare at myself intently when I’m working out, but it’s more like a focus thing (and a checking form thing), rather than me appreciating the good or bad bits. I think it’s nice to be able to see the reflection neutrally sometimes. You’re right though, we also need to learn to see the *good*. I especially need that at the moment actually, as all I see is squish. Maybe I’ll try this later at the gym…

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  9. This is such an awesome post Jess. I am so happy this challenge has allowed you to see all the amazing qualities you wrote about above. The transition from criticizing your body to loving it is such an awesome one 🙂

    • Seriously, like I said in my text to you this weekend – for me to look in the mirror this weekend in NYC while getting ready for the wedding and thinking “damn, I don’t look half bad” is a HUGE step for me. I can’t thank you enough, seriously and truly.

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