Mirror Image – Reflecting Back

By Jennifer Redd-Lovette

Like the infamous Wicked Queen from “Snow White,” the mirror does lie—or at least stretch the truth a bit. Over the course of my life, I’ve never liked mirrors—hand-held, make-up, bathroom, or full-length. I’ve always seen the same things, all negative: bad hair, wide hips, double chin, flabby stomach, blotches, and most recently, wrinkles. Truth be told, my body image has always been the pits, whether I’ve looked good or bad, been thin or heavy, in my 20s or 40s. Real or imagined, I’ve always seen the worst. But, something happened not long ago that has changed my perspective.

My partner, who should get credit for always seeing the best in me, gently nudged me to try a personal trainer, her personal trainer. I balked at first, then again and, I’m sure, again. After a pointed conversation with myself that highlighted the reasons I should perhaps give it a try, such as maybe she’d quit mentioning it and well, she’s paying for it, I took the plunge. Saying I owe her big-time is an understatement. After my first session with Kelly Lewis, I was hooked. I left feeling tired, nauseous and weak, not sure I could make it out the front door and down the steps, much less drive home. But you know what? I quickly realized I was a little bit proud of myself. I made it through! Just like that, I wanted new shoes, workout clothes and a water bottle. I wanted it to work and, as hokey as it sounds, I was convinced after that initial meeting that my new personal trainer wanted it to work as much as I did. I saw it in the smile on her face, heard it in her words of encouragement and felt it through her genuine approach. One-day-a-week sessions morphed into two-day-a-week small-group training classes. Adding a personal training session weekly completed my routine. I look forward to those early-morning classes, always leaving feeling better than I did when I arrived.

I still have my moments, but I’ve never been more comfortable in my own body, holding myself to my standards. When I look in those same mirrors now, I smile—not because I look perfect, or because I have hit my goal, or because I’ve totally conquered those body image demons; I smile, because I am fitter, healthier, more confident and, most importantly, happier than I’ve ever been. Commitment to yourself, combined with the commitment of a dedicated personal trainer, like the one I was lucky enough to have discovered in Kelly Lewis, can change your life. I’ll never forget something she said to me one day while I was struggling just a bit. She said, “I’d never set you up for failure.” Like I said, everyone should be so lucky!

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