Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

The Mean Mirror

The Mean Mirror i am not a role model  2963094580 6da63793a6 232x300So this is a post I’ve been meaning to write for a while. Or thinking I should, but not wanting to because I didn’t want to seem like a whiny, lady. But the truth is, I kinda don’t care if (more) people think I’m nuts.

It’s been over a month since I’ve been on a . And while I’ve been really busy this month, my schedule’s got nothing to do with it.

I haven’t been dating because I don’t feel good about how I look. OK, that’s an understatement. I feel really bad about how I look. I look in the mirror and all I see is the extra 10+ lbs I’ve gained recently and my stringy hair and my blotchy skin. And I think, you look like shit and no man will want you like this.

And so I let the messages pile up in my online dating inboxes. Because I can’t bear the thought of showing up on a date and having some man think that I’m not as attractive as my pictures (I used to pride myself on how often men said I’m MORE attractive than my pictures –  and yes I know how vain that is). Note: my pictures are only a few months old. Funny how quickly things can change.

So there it is. I’m not dating because I feel ugly. I came out and told this to a few friends, recently. Each of whom poo-poo’d it. As if it were the craziest I’ve ever said. But I have eyes. And a scale. And I can’t help seeing what I see. Even if it is an exaggerated version of reality.

The mean mirror.

The weight, honestly, is something I’ve been struggling with for a few months. It’s a side effect from a change in my medication, mixed with my completely lethargic lifestyle (I work from home and sometimes sit in the same place for 12 hours a day).  The new meds have kicked up my appetite, leaving me with a choice – eat more or obsess about all day. I’d rather just eat. My doctor and I talked about it (she acknowledged the side effect was normal) and I’m actually feeling better, so I’m going to stick with the new pills. Luckily it’s getting warmer and so I’ll be inspired to get out and move more. Maybe burn some of the extra calories. Or not.

And the rest… well, I just stopped taking good care of myself when I started to feel bad about my weight.

So why am I writing about this? Because I write about dating and I wanted to be honest about why I’m not dating. And because I’m guessing I’m not the only person who’s ever found herself wrestling with her self-image and lost. Even when we have lots more to offer, many of us judge ourselves (harshly) by our appearance. I know I do. And when I look in the mirror and see a less attractive version of me, it affects my life. I’m less likely to go to social functions and less likely to date.

No happy ending here. No pledge to do better. Honestly, I’m doing the best I can.


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42 to “The Mean Mirror”


  1. Definitely been there, you are not alone. (Although mine was 90 pounds, not 10, LOL.)
    Dont Be a Slut recently posted..The Sweet Stench of FailureMy Profile

  2. Dazediva says:

    From what I’ve been told – you are a beautiful woman.
    I know it can be a bummer when you look in the mirror and see a few extra pounds, but that’s a part of the roller coaster called life. The NY cold temperature doesn’t help the lethargic feeling either.

    At least you’ve acknowledged what’s bothering you and you know what you need to do to get out of that rut feeling .. and I’m sure you’re gonna go back to feeling great in no time :)
    I went to the gym this morning after a month and it felt great :) I’m in pain but it feels good ..

    You’re gorgeous :)

    • Simone Grant says:

      Thank you darling. The cold weather doesn’t help, but I am lethargic because I haven’t been exercising. Which is about a lot of things (fear of re-injuring myself, as I hurt my neck and shoulder pretty badly a few years ago and have been completely petrified of doing it again; reduced energy levels; stress…).

      I just have to get over the things that are stopping me from moving/doing.

  3. Hey Darling, I’m not going to say any of the trite things that come to mind… you know you’re my fave :-)

    I will say, your feelings are TOTALLY valid and real. No one wants to put themselves out there when they’re not 100%… on the other hand, as women we can never predict what men see/want. I met the current bf while I was at my heaviest… who knew?!

    xoxo

  4. Lara says:

    One day at a time…something I’ve been thinking about lately is time – mostly in the context of my yoga practice, but also in regards to relationships and the journey of simply living. We have time – a lifetime (or many depending on your spiritual beliefs) to practice love and self-care and dating, etc., etc. Sure, you write a dating blog, but these lulls are part of dating, for sure, and part of life. Getting yourself healthy and feeling well and strong are precursors, I think, to successful dating. Then you’ll know when you meet someone that you are in it complete and aren’t subconsciously liking them because they “fix” what is wrong or inspire you to change. You won’t need that because you are already whole. Not sure that makes sense, but putting one step in front of the other is sometimes hard enough without the pressure of doing better or more. You have time.
    Lara recently posted..moving onMy Profile

    • Simone Grant says:

      One day at a time INDEED. It’s a lot easier to stop being healthy than it is to start. But tomorrow is another day. Or something like that.

  5. This blog reminds of the song, ‘Killing Me Softly With His Song’ by Roberta Flack or Lauryn Hill. Most specifically the line, ‘read my letters and read each one out lound’. Basically, I totally understand. I’m living it these days too. And I’m not even taking medication. Just lazy. Like you, I’m hoping my motivation will go up once the weather gets better. Hang in there. I have no doubt that you’re still fabulous:) -SG
    Weight Loss & The Single Girl recently posted..Chain of FoolsMy Profile

    • Simone Grant says:

      The medicine is just a trigger for my eating more. It’s not stopping me from exercising. I’m no less lazy than anyone else:-) Sometimes, we fail to do the one thing that would help us the most. Gotta love that self-sabotaging behavior.

  6. I have totally felt like that before. Only, I didn’t notice at the time when I was looking in the mirror. No, it was when I saw pictures of myself and looked ‘chubby’. But we are our own worst critics. Don’t forget that some guys don’t even notice or care if a woman gains or loses 10 pounds. I bet if you had a nice bubble bath, put on some clothes that made you feel sexy, did your hair and makeup and went out with a smile on your face you would feel 100 times better than when you’re in your jammies at home with bed head ;)
    Angelina JoLoveless recently posted..Who- Me Selfish And ShallowMy Profile

  7. Jessica says:

    I so feel you on this – I have been there many times. Actually there have been times when I have just forced myself to go on a date anyway. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it makes me obsess more. And then I feel like the crazy lady. It’s a viscous cycle.

    Just hang in there. You’re all kinds of awesome and fabulous – both inside and out.
    Jessica recently posted..Things I learned over the weekendMy Profile

    • Simone Grant says:

      Thanks sweetie. I have to get better at the forcing myself thing. One of the byproducts of my current lifestyle is that it’s really easy to just sit home and mope. NOT HEALTHY!

  8. Liz says:

    Given my recent experience of being insensitively dumped over pubic hair (I wrote about it today under “Instantly Breakupable Offenses), I think it will be a while before I feel completely confident and attractive again. It was quite a hit. Thing is, I had already gone on a couple of dates from online during the whole fiasco, and they are continuing to call, so I’m continuing to date them. Right now my MO is to keep seeing them as long as they keep pursuing but to wait a lot longer than usual before getting physical.

  9. It’s so hard to date when you don’t feel good about yourself. And honestly – not the best time, anyway. We make poor choices when we’re feeling bad, looking for validation, etc.

    It’ll straighten itself out. Like you said, you’re doing the best you can. When you’re ready, that will include doing whatever you feel like you need to do to feel better about your looks.

    Hang in there.
    Girl’s Got Shine recently posted..Is it a dateMy Profile

  10. IntrigueMe says:

    Everybody’s allowed to be self conscious sometimes. We all have our not-so-pretty times, such is life, right?!
    IntrigueMe recently posted..A Hot BathMy Profile

    • Simone Grant says:

      Yes. Which is why I decided to write about this. I think that sometimes, when we’re feeling like shit, we forget that feeling like shit is part of the normal cycle of things. Well, for many/most people.

  11. LadyD says:

    Yep. I’m living this one. 15lbs. over my “load limit” due to having too much cortisol due to chronic fatigue & thyroid disorder – just started new medication 2 weeks ago to balance things out and lessen the cortisol level; am starting to feel better and more energetic – had a date last week that didn’t work out – meh, he wasn’t my type. I’m getting a LOT of interest, tho – even tho I haven’t been this heavy in years; I’m 5’2″ so 15 lbs is a size and then some – just grateful that Kim Kardashian/JLo/Beyonce have bodies that are very “in vogue” currently and that I resemble them physically – “baby got back! really applies here! Will be starting new Salsa classes next weekend; and the goal is to be back to my “fighting weight” by JUNE. Look at it this way: Your boobs look great, right? *grin* Mine do, so I’m workin’ em while I got ‘em! ;-) Things will get better hon!

    • Simone Grant says:

      I’m with you, darling, At 5′nothing 10-12 lbs makes a BIG difference on my frame. And I’m really tired of wearing empire waisted dresses and tops. But we’ll be fine!

  12. Sam says:

    Been there, done that! What helps me is a week on an all healthy-food diet and daily walks/runs/yoga (whatever physical activity you choose). And a trip to the hair salon.

    • Simone Grant says:

      I’ve actually been doing the health(ier) thing for a while. Actually took a whole 45 min break from work to walk today, since it was a nice-ish day. And hell yeah to the hair salon. I really have just been feeling so yucky about how the rest of me looks that I haven’t wanted to “waste the money.” But I’m going to, soon.

  13. Schell says:

    Sorry to break up the pity party but you eat like crap. I follow you on Twitter. Every day you’re telling us how you just consumed a bag of candy, had peeps and pizza for lunch, order take out thai food or had Pop tarts or a kit kat for dinner. Then you tweet how sluggish you are and how exhausted you are or how hard it is to wake up. That’s a sugar coma.

    I get really annoyed when people point to medications as the reason they gained weight when they don’t take care of themselves in the most important ways. If your health has you on daily medications and requires constant monitoring by doctors, then a diet of sugars, starches, sodium and booze are not a good idea. Take better care of your body and it won’t turn on you. Your meds don’t control what you eat. You do. Take more responsibility for how you treat your body.

    • Simone Grant says:

      Schell,

      I hope you don’t actually believe everything you read on twitter. Yes, I lurve junk food and eat some. In addition to lots of healthy stuff, too. But, “I just ate a big healthy salad.” or “I’m back to no gluten, sugar or dairy.” just don’t make for fun tweets. I tweet my sins and excesses as part of my online persona. As for my REAL DIET, I choose not to share the details of what I can and can’t eat; do and don’t eat in specific detail.

      I chose to write this post not because I wanted people’s pity (that actually makes me feel really awkward, and I’m always tempted to close comments on these kinds of posts) but because I know other people can relate. And given how many people have read this since yesterday (it’s been emailed around quite a bit), I guess I’m right.

  14. Wilmaryad says:

    Simone, honey, contrary to staggering popular belief, men don’t notice a woman’s physical insecurities. If she just takes off a sock, she’ll have him drooling. But if you want to lose weight doing nothing to lose it, get ginger vinegar or apple cider vinegar. A few drops in your water/tea/coffee, 3 times a day, and flab will melt within days. Apple cider vinegar is better, though, because ginger will boost your libido. As if that were a bad thing. ;)
    Wilmaryad recently posted..5 Kissing Styles Philematologists Hate!My Profile

    • Simone Grant says:

      Thanks darling. I am going to have to DO SOMETHING to lose this new weight. And that’s OK. I want to. I need more physical activity in my life and now that it’s getting warmer I’ll enjoy taking the time to get out and walk each day. It will brighten my spirits even if I don’t lose the damn weight.

  15. NikkiB says:

    Oh I hate the Mean Mirror. I don’t know what woman in the world doesn’t have one.

    I think there is always a time for introspection. And when you’re down, someone telling you to stop being down only goes so far.

    But.

    The Mean Mirror only has two uses: Helping you kick yourself WHILE you’re down – or helping you get back up.
    NikkiB recently posted..“The One”My Profile

  16. Just take your time. It’s really frustrating that sometimes we don’t have time to Date and of course not feeling attractive. For now relax and don’t hurry yourself to be in a relationship. It will come soon.

  17. krystle says:

    I felt like you had plucked that straight from inside my head. Your words = My thoughts.

  18. freckledk says:

    The “Mean Mirror” huh? I like that. I mean, I HATE the mirror, but LOVE the term.

    I’m in the same boat right now, and there are quite a few gals who are floating along with me. Until we dock, I’m devoting myself to the treadmill, to a good diet, giving myself weekly facials, and just generally enjoying my “Me” time.

    The dating circuit isn’t going anywhere – I’m sure it’s okay to give yourself a break and wait for teh hotness to return.

  19. Kat says:

    Been there done that. As they say – the first step is admitting you have a problem. Now all you have to do is decide your next steps. I won’t offer advice on your next steps. I’m not even doing the things I would tell you to do. Not exercising or eating like I should. I will say this. I love to munch on apples all day long. Good for you and yummy tasting. The single men of the world will still be there when you’re ready to read those messages. Take care of you and the rest will eventually fall in to place.

  20. C. Fassett says:

    Yes, the Mean Mirror. I know it very well. We were best of buddies for years and years. Until one day I realized something…I kept the mean mirror around to separate myself from going there with men, and most of that had to do with fear, because of my past experiences.

    Perhaps you just don’t feel like dating right now, and that’s okay. Its good to fast from things to gain perspective.

    You don’t HAVE to write strictly about dating. Nothing is written in stone, change happens, and its a good thing, otherwise we’d stagnate.

    My point to all this yapping is: We love you just the way you are. Write whatever you wish…whatever is going on, like you just did…and we will read it because we love reading anything you write.
    C. Fassett recently posted..JealousyMy Profile

  21. Getagirl says:

    I’ve been there before. But I made a vow at the start of the year that I would make a better version of myself. So I started to go to the gym and workout and I’m seeing positive results now. I’m sure you’re still beautiful, maybe you’re just feeling down becuz of the weather. So keep on smiling and I love your blog!

  22. eleanore says:

    Interesting. I know it’s important to like the way you look but, seeing you for the first time the other night, I thought you looked great. I’m just sayin’…

    eleanore – The Spinsterlicious Life
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  23. Jolene says:

    The mean mirror. I know it all too well. I have struggled with feeling badly about myself here and there too and it’s a terrible feeling. I nitpick at myself, shoot down compliments and just say how thing body part doesn’t look good or that body part looks heavier etc. So I definitely know what you mean. Hang in there, ok?
    Jolene recently posted..Throwbacks- Same location- a year laterMy Profile

  24. Alexia says:

    Aw, I feel for you. I’ve struggled with my weight for many years, up and down the same 15-20 pounds every year or so. And even in my 30s, I still have problem skin. I’ve never been much of a “dater” really, but more of a serial monogamist. Recently got out of my second long-term relationship in a row and am embarking on a new(ish), long-distance relationship with an amazing guy that said, during our last visit together, that he loves my “squishies”, although I cringe and wriggle my way out of them. One time, I gave in, stopped holding in my stomach, grabbed his hand and laid it all over my squishy belly and sides. “I’ll only do this once, so get it out of your system!” Haha.

    Sure, that’s all fun and goofy, but inside, I’m still pretty self-conscious around him, although I know he really doesn’t care. It’s just hard to believe that someone just wouldn’t care. It doesn’t help that he’s one of those skinny guys that eats like a horse but has a high metabolism. Grrr… He’ll be visiting again in a few weeks and I’m cringing that I’ve put on about 10 pounds of winter hibernation weight, as I like to call it. I also work from home and spend way too much time being sedentary. If I didn’t have to walk my dog every now and then, I’m sure I’d be in way worse condition. I guess it’s a good thing that we have videochats 4-5 nights a week, so he has seen me, even at my unshowered, unchanged, no-makeup worse, hehe. So maybe I lucked out with this guy. :)

    I’ve already started eating better, which has helped counter-balance the lack of exercise, haha. But babysteps is all it takes to see even a little bit of change. And that’s way better than nothing at all. Like you said, better weather is on the way. A bit of sunshine, fresh air…and even half-dressed hot chicks walking around… is enough motivation to want to get started. :)

    I’ll do it, if you do. ;)

  25. KissYounger says:

    When you date much older or much younger people, you have probably had to navigate the age gap. Whenever it becomes painfully obvious that you two are from totally different generations, or have polar opposite outlooks on life. How do you hand the difference in age?