Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Outside the door of my hospital office is a full length wall mirror that may one day turn me into a thief. Reflected images are distorted in such a way to make a person appear twenty pounds thinner than they really are. It is always a pleasant surprise to view yourself in it as you walk by. During my initial orientation to the floor, the departing therapist extolled its virtues and felt she would really miss this wall hanging when she left.

We use mirrors a lot in therapy as they provide feedback to patients that is often more effective than a verbal reminder. It is easy to recognize stooped posture, and patients who lean to a weak side after a stroke can usually straighten up when they see themselves. They give an accurate "biofeedback" message that is great for the retraining of muscles.

Most adults tend to avoid mirrors and reflective windows as they get older. Somehow we hold on to a youthful image of ourselves in our minds and find it difficult to reconcile what we believe we look like with what we really see. We adjust lighting and wall colours in our bathrooms to soften the reflection that stares back at us. Wrinkles, greying hair, receding hairlines, paunchiness, are what identify other people, not ourselves.

I took a good look at myself today in this magic mirror and tried to look past the illusion. The bathroom scale and my waistband reminded me of too many Christmas indulgences. But if I believed the mirror....
It is best for me to use this mirror as a crystal ball which portrays what I will look like if I return to healthy eating and exercise.
Did I tell you how much I love this mirror?!


  1. I loved this post. A few months ago, we bought a new bedroom set and donated our old one to Habitat for Humanity, including the large oval swivel mirror that had its place in the corner of our bedroom since 1991. I have no intentions to replace it. You are right, the older we get, the less we examine ourselves.

    I'm looking forward to starting a walking routine and being on the WW diet full-time but, in the meantime, do you know where can I get a mirror like the one you described? LOL

  2. If I do steal the mirror I will put it on EBay for you. Obviously, your oval mirror did not have any distortion. Have you ever been to a hotel that has a mirrored wall in the bathroom? Now that is evil!!

  3. Can I borrow it? I need a self-esteem boost. I don't even care if it's a lie.

  4. Mirror, mirror.... ah, the magic! What a boost to motivation.

  5. Susan- If I could share it with you, I would! Perhaps I should start a travelling road show and charge for the lie.

    Samzmom- Better to use it as a motivational tool though.


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