What the Mirror Cannot See

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Mirrors. They show a 2-dimensional reflection of whatever is in front of them Face-to-face, you can see a 3-dimensional view of what’s in front of you. I teach my students the difference by saying you can pick up or grasp 3-dimensional objects. To determine which something is, I ask, “Can you hold or grab it with your hand?”

This morning, as I was warming up on the elliptical before starting my weight training and Saturday workout, I looked at another dimension. You see, I can look into a mirror or at my daily workout selfies and see a big difference in me now compared to a year ago (or more). My face and neck shout that something has changed. Two-dimensional is just a glimpse.

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My #jodileaisgettinghealthy goal started on May 14, 2020…yes in the midst of the pandemic stay-at-home order. To be honest, I think I gained ten pounds from the time we were “sent home” to May 14th. Based on pictures, most of those pounds seemed to go to my face. From May 14 through December 24, I lost 40 pounds. Currently, I’m still at minus 40 pounds. Yet, I’ve gone down another clothing size since Christmas, so I laugh and say, “Just like a navigation app, my body is reconfiguring.” The 3-dimensional view allows my body to fit into clothes two sizes smaller than I was wearing last spring. It also made me smile to post a full-body pic from our family Easter celebration…probably the first full-body shot I have personally EVER posted online.

My oldest sister, Dianna, has been battling back from Covid since going into the hospital on December 4. Please pray for complete recovery.

But….what about “the other stuff”? In the midst of my goal of getting healthy, I also started pondering “Jodi”. I mean, at 50, I figured it was about time to figure out the “real” me. I’ve always been a rule follower and people pleaser. Part of my mid-life crisis, as I call it, challenged me to figure out WHO I am. Don’t get me wrong. Most aspects of “ME” haven’t changed a bit, but I’ve also started challenging myself. It’s okay to tell the pastor “no” when asked to do something. When I did, he told me he was proud of me. It’s okay to change my mind about a training that required me to spend additional time at work weekly after school hours if it conflicts with my personal commitment to exercising with my sister. I’ve even altered my departure from school. Where I used to stay until 4:30 or later daily, I now rarely stay past 4. Currently, I leave daily by 3:15 to either go workout or go visit my oldest sister who is battling back from Covid (Of course, I still arrive before 7, so I still put in my extra hours.) I’ve even told my teaching colleagues that if/when we go out for dinner that I’m going to try an alcoholic beverage. Do I plan to start drinking? No. But…I’ve never tried it because I was told it was wrong.. I was expected not to drink, so I didn’t. I’ll try it. I”ll either like or not, but I’ll know it’s my choice to drink or not drink rather than me fitting into a box that others have made for me.

I digress….as I was pedaling away on the elliptical during my 5 minute warm up, I realized that my “slow warm-up” pace now was my “target pace” when I started a year ago. As I used the hip abduction machine, I had it set on 140 lbs. I chuckled realizing that my nephew, Connor, would challenge me to “try 100” last spring when we first started back to the gym. When I forced myself onto the ab glider (ugh! Torture!), I was my own voice in my head, telling me, “I can do this. It’s hard, but I can do it.” When I returned to the elliptical for 20-30 minutes of cardio, I never had a pace below 3.5 mph and had intervals of 5.5-7.5 every few minutes. Finished two miles in under 24 minutes whereas a year ago, it took me over 30 minutes to finish 2 miles. Those are changes that aren’t seen unless…you’ve been there (like my sister) or keep track of my #exerciseaccountabilityjlp posts on Facebook.

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I suppose that’s something mirrors can never see. How we’ve changed mentally, emotionally, and spirtually. Yes, my phycial changes are now enough that friends notice. Close friends also see the emotional changes. Many have described it as a joyful smile or sparkling eyes. To me, it’s more of a self-awareness. Believe me, I have a L-O-N-G way to go, but I admit I’m proud of myself. I’ve decided to “exercise” many times before. I’ve even asked people to hold me accountable, but alas….the commitment fades and accountability wanes. I guess that’s why I post my daily workout posts.

Goals are important. I tell my students that often. For a very long time, I had a goal of writing/publishing a book, and as of today I’ve self-published 8. I made a goal during college to write a book from an elementary teacher’s perspective, and it’s ready for final formatting, cover creating, and should be finished by summer. I made a goal of getting healthy, and I admit…I’m looking forward to my annual blood test in June. I want to see if my “numbers” have improved as my weight has declined and my exercise has increased. I made a goal to be more confident…and I’m trying. I have farther to grow for that one…as I still didn’t have enough self-confidence to work in the weight corner of the gym solo this morning. I’ll get there…I’m just not there YET! [My students would appreciate that sentence as we’ve included, “We believe in the power of YET!” in our class pledge.]

See, the mirror only shows a glimmer of who Jodi Lea is. Face-to-face, you’ll get a more real understanding. Yet, I’m “Jodi Lea” and I’m still working on getting to know just who exactly I am. The journey continues. I’ll keep you posted.

Easter 2020
Easter 2021

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