The Fear of the Mirror

Hi Everybody!

It seems like almost everyone had a nice weekend doing absolutely nothing! 🙂 Those are the best, when you can just be at home, relax, get small tasks done and just give yourself a mental break. I like to have Saturday as our “do nothing” day and then on Sunday I become super productive. I guess I can’t stay too relaxed for too long!

Some of you have commented or emailed me after a few of my posts wondering if people I know in real life read my blog. The answer is yes. For now, my mom , my sister Myra and Jason all read my blog. I also have a few friends who read it as well. I’m not close enough with my coworkers to share this much of me! I don’t have anything I need to hide from my friends and family, and if anything, writing about my struggles helps me become more confident in talking to my family. If there is something you are struggling with, I encourage you to talk to someone. There are plenty of issues that we cannot deal with on our own.

I hope you aren’t all tired of hearing about this book. You can read my other post *here* This book really has given me tools to use when I am feeling anxious, and it also explains anxiety in a way that makes me feel “normal” – that I’m not the only one to think this way.

I was most excited to dive into this chapter. The author begins by stating that body shame can start very early. She tells a story about a teacher telling girls that “God made canaries yellow and elephants gray” – the teacher went on to explain that regular sized girls could choose bright colors but that large girls should choose solid, dark colors. She compared the larger girls to elephants!

The author explains that we feel body shame for different reasons: we are overweight, underweight, out of shape, our doctor tells us we need to lose weight, our family/friends tell us we need to lose weight, we see pictures in magazines and on tv and think that is the norm, we might be unpopular and think our weight/looks are to blame or we see the millions of commercials and ads for makeup/clothes/shoes shown on unrealistic bodies. Or, someone makes a statement (like the teacher in that example) that causes us to look at our bodies in a negative light.

I feel shame about my body because once again, I have ridiculous expectations for myself that I cannot meet. I see the images in magazines, and although I remind myself over and over that those women are not real (photoshopped beyond recognition). I also remind myself that everyone is different – some women carry extra weight in their hips, some in their waists, some women are short, some are tall, etc.

The author tells us that we need to embrace our differences. She also said that we need to do the best with what we have and move on. There is no reason to sit and dwell on our imperfections — that gets us nowhere. Look at your strengths: are you a good friend? A loving daughter/son/wife/husband? Are you a hard worker? Look at your body: what do you like about it? Start to appreciate yourself.

I encourage you to take a look at Tina’s posts entitled “Gifts of the Body” that are a part of her 30 Days of Reflection for Self Love:

1. Gifts of the Body Part 1

2. Gifts of the Body Part 2

3. Gifts of the Body Part 3

If you feel shame about yourself or your body, I hope you take a moment to think about what you do like about yourself, whether those traits are on the outside or on the inside.

I also encourage you to read Katie’s post “Loving Little Katie”. She wrote about how she does not treat herself as her own best friend. In that post she wrote  “any time I’m tempted to call myself ugly or fat or whatever, I have to tell it to this Katie” with a picture of herself as a child. This was very powerful for me to read! Here is a picture of me as a child:

How could I call this child fat, ugly, worthless, lazy and boring? And yet I tell myself those things! Katie I loved your idea and I am going to use it! I could never tell Little Holly those awful things, and I think this imagery will really help.

Did you catch Thintervention last night?

Jackie spoke to the clients about “talking to your little self” — she even had them bring in old pictures! They each had to talk to their younger selves. What would you say to your younger self?

What are some things you like about yourself? I like that I am a very loyal friend and a hard worker. I like that I am a good wife to Jason and I try to take care of many of the household work (laundry, dishes, cooking, etc). I like that I am strong: that I have completed a marathon and that I can exercise intensely. I like that I am caring and loving, that I am funny and ridiculous.

On a less serious note, I’m making a pizza tonight for dinner and watching The Biggest Loser premiere! Although I can’t stand certain aspects of the show, I love to watch it!


32 Responses to “The Fear of the Mirror”

  1. Myra Says:


  2. Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) Says:

    I love Little Holly- SO cute!! And I hadn’t ever thought of that idea… I like it though! It certainly puts things into perspective 🙂

  3. Tina Says:

    I agree that being open on the blog makes opening up and seeking support or dealing with thoughts/feelings much more effective. People always ask me if my dad reads my blog because of what I share about him. Yea, my parents read. He knows exactly how I feel about everything but that I still don’t hold it against him.

    Anyways….sorry about the ramble. I’m so glad that the book and your blog are helping you so much. And I loved Katie’s idea. I try to remind myself if I would say the same negative things to little M. That always hits a nerve with me.

  4. Holly @ Self-love and Running Says:

    I totally forgot about Thintervention until 10 p.m. last night. Whoops!

    I think using a picture of yourself as a child as a means of encouraging positivity about yourself is a great idea. It really gives you perspective.

    Things that I like about myself: I am athletic. I am a good wife and pet-mama. I am a good friend. I’m creative and crafty. I’m funny and loving.

  5. Katie @ Health for the Whole Self Says:

    Little Holly is absolutely adorable! I’m so glad you found my post helpful, and I thank you for sharing it with your readers! I really want to check out that book, too. It is so true that most of the time we focus solely on our perceived “flaws” or imperfections, and in the process completely miss all of our strengths! It’s not always easy to focus on the positive, but really, there’s almost always more positive than negative, you know?

  6. leashieloo Says:

    I wish I could tell myself not to be so fearful. I missed out on a lot of experiences being too cowardly to try them…

  7. Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday Says:

    In theory, the whole idea of talking to your younger self sounds great. But I think I would be pretty harsh on myself, to be honest. I probably would tell my younger self to get my act together in a not very nice way. But I’m blunt like that. My younger me is still me and unfortunately I don’t think I would treat her any differently.

  8. Anne@ Food Loving Polar Bear Says:

    Your are such a cutie, the picture is adorable!

    Pizza? eh.. this is maybe the 5th blog today where I read about pizza. This must be some kind of pizza week on the blogworld because I’m making pizza too 😀

  9. eatmovelove Says:

    Interesting that your chapter coincided with Intervention’s theme!

    Oh my God – when I see that pic all I think is “ADORABLE”!!! Too cute.

    I make pizza like 3 nights a week…and by make I do mean make…and also buy…frozen…from the store…;) Don’t judge.

    TBL tonight? I have mixed feelings about that show…I watched the first couple of seasons but not anymore really…I did watch Dancing With The Stars last night though – yes, clearly my priorities are straight aren’t they? 😉 Oye.

  10. Lauren @ 40Apples Says:

    Really great post, Holly. I especially love the idea of the Little You – it’s like it reminds us that such negative self talk tarnishes and damages the purity and optimism that we associate with our child selves…. which is an amazing tool because it causes us to be protective of ourselves, i.e. not our own enemies. It’s an incredibly powerful dose of reality, that we need to treat ourselves like we would treat our own child. I will absolutely use this!
    Dying to catch the newest Thintervention, esp. since they talked about this….

    Oh, and what I like about myself ( 🙂 ) : my creativity and imagination, my sense of humor, my physical strength, the emotional strength that I’ve built up over the years and through many challenges, which I can now share with others around me who need support.
    That felt good. 🙂

  11. Heather Says:

    that kid picture of you is SO CUTE! i thought the same thing about myself too after seeing a kid picture. i was so cute and full of life! i hope that i can teach my kids to love themselves the way i should have loved myself!

  12. Beth Says:

    I love that little picture of you! So cute. And that really is a good strategy to think about when you’re having negative self talk… I’m going to use that idea!

  13. Ellen@FirednFabulous Says:

    Missed Thintervention last night! I like Jackie…I need to squeeze her into my TV schedule 🙂

    Hmmm…what do I like about myself? My humor, loyalty, and ability to adapt to any environment/situation I’m in.

  14. Katie Says:

    You are freakin adorable. Love the photo, and the idea behind it. I have been meaning to upload some photos onto my computer, this may have given e the push I need.

  15. Erin @ A Girl & Her Mutt Says:

    I would definitely tell my little self to just relax. Take it easy. The world isn’t going to end because you didn’t do everything just so at just the right time on just the right day. Take a deep breath and enjoy life!

  16. rc1001 Says:

    I like that I host awesome parties.

  17. Heather Eats Almond Butter Says:

    Nice bangs, and I swear I had those exact same glasses! Ahh, the memories of 5th grade. 😉

    I love Katie’s idea too. What do I like about myself – that my legs just carried me on a 45-minute hike, the fact that I am a good mama to my pups and a good wife to my husband (most of the time 😉 )my long hair, the fact that my hips are so open, that I have no problems doing double pigeon in yoga class…so many things I love about myself. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

  18. Wendy @ Seriously Sassy Says:

    Oh, the picture of little-girl Holly is absolutely adorable!!!! Looks exactly like you now, only smaller and missing a tooth! 😀

    – What would you say to your younger self?
    I was very, very shy when I was a little girl (which I’ve done a complete 180 on, but the 180 didn’t happen til college)….. so I would tell my younger self something along the lines of “Let your hair down and relax…be your funny, charming self and let people see the real you.”

    – What are some things you like about yourself?
    I’m very passionate about things I believe in strongly – especially my faith in God, healthy eating and exercise.
    As far as physical things – I have killer legs. Lol!

  19. Mary @ Bites and Bliss Says:

    Awwwe little Holly’s a cutie pie!! 🙂 I like that I’m open minded and do my best not to pass judgement. I know how bad it feels to be judged by someone before they even get to know me so I don’t want to do that to someone else..

  20. Amykinz Says:

    I did see Thinintervention last night and loved that they talked about saying negative things to your younger self. I went through similar “treatment” caused Theophostic counseling. I was sexually abused as a child and my counselor had me close my eyes and envision a situation where I was being abused. She then asked me to look around the room and see where Jesus was. He was there! She asked me what He was saying and it was so incredibly powerful! On that note, one thing I love about myself is that I’m raw to the core. Meaning, I have no filter (I just blogged about this today, actually), there’s no such thing as TMI. Sure it makes people uncomfortable that I’m so open and they question my motives. But I love that I can be an example of being authentic and real in this world. I think that’s how you have truly deep and lasting relationships.

  21. Angela (the diet book junkie) Says:

    you completed a marathon?? good for you, girl!! i can’t even imagine what that would be like! (and i’m with everyone else, that picture of you is adorable :))

    i just half to say, i really admire your honesty, Holly. you’re always 100%, and i think that’s what draws people to you and encourages them to open up as well! keep doin’ what you’re doin’, girl!

  22. Jessica (Fit and Clean) Says:

    I’m having pizza for dinner tonight too! Mmmmm, pizza 🙂 Sometimes we just need to step back and put it all in perspective. I love my family, I love that I’m fit, and that I give it my best shot at feeding my family healthy foods. All strengths, in my book!

  23. AllieNic Says:

    You’re so cute!

    Hmm…what do I love about myself…I love that I’m a strong woman. I love that I care enough about myself to eat good food and exercise. I love that I can feed my man! I love my family (including my pup!). I love that I can deadlift 200lbs! Anyway…

    I really like these posts: I think they’re so inspirational. They really make me stop and think. Thank you!

  24. Laury @TheFitnessDish Says:

    You were SOOOOO cute!!!!

    this is such a great post. I can not believe the teacher compared fat girls to elephants….what an awful teacher!

    I had pizza tonight too….but I let whole foods make it….multi-grain and veggies 🙂

  25. emily (a nutritionist eats) Says:

    Telling yourself is such a good idea, I love it! I work at a weight loss camp for kids in the summer, and this might be a good exercise for them! I’ll have to think about how I can incorporate it.

  26. Michelle @ Chasing Ambulances Says:

    I loved that part of Thintervention last night! It was so emotional and real. I’m watching BL tonight too! The part that I like is that we get to see some of the old contestants 🙂 Ada’s story was horribly sad though (her father slapping her after the car accident) 😦

  27. mostlyfitmom Says:

    Great pic, Holly. I think I had glasses with frames about that size – but they were dark green. LOL

    Thanks for the positive post! I like that I’m really strong, smart, honest, and an excellent baker. Now that I’ve got a smile on my face and an ego boost to boot, I’m off to study some more!

  28. Baking Serendipity Says:

    Love the picture and the post! My elementary school pictures have lasers shooting out all over the background. I’m pretty sure my mom told me it’d look like things were sticking out of my head. I hate it when she’s right.

  29. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) Says:

    Omg your picture is sooo cute! I love that the resolution is so crisp that I can literally see the groove marks on your brand new tooth that just worked it’s way in.

    And my best friend growing up HAD those pink glasses. And from about 1984-1990, she had similar glasses til she got contacts. Wow. Memories.

    I am harsh on myself, I am my own worst critic. Not really about my body or appearance, but just the things I do wrong in life. All that I am not. Or want to be but it’s not in the cards.

    And once you have a child, you then try even harder to make SURE in front of them you never indulge in or say any thing less than positive and affirming and “wonderful” but it can be hard, for sure.

    All in all, I am doing far better at 34 than 24 than at 14 with how i feel about myself. Age and time does help, for me at least 🙂

  30. Taco Pizza | The Couch Potato Athlete Says:

    […] Blogroll ← The Fear of the Mirror […]

  31. Dev Says:

    I absolutely love Dr. Harriet Lerner. I have all of her “Dance” books. They just make sense.

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