The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

A few months ago, I chopped off all my hair. My friend called it “dykeing” myself. I called it convenience. It’s freakin’ hot in Texas and short hair is so much easier to deal with when you spend a lot of time in a pool. However, I’ve let it grow and it’s now at the point where I would think that I should no longer look like a chicken when I wake up in the morning. While we were on our weekend getaway, my husband looked at me and said, “Your hair exploded.” That is indeed kinda what it looks like.

I’m not big on looking in the mirror. I do it when I brush my teeth and when I brush my hair, but even then, I don’t look at my whole face, just my teeth or hair. When I was a kid, my mother beat it into me that looking in a mirror was vain and slutty, so I learned not to do it. I’ve never learned the opposite, so I look at body parts, not my body.

This morning, though, I’ve been installing Rhapsody on my new computer, which required various Windows updates and a couple of restarts. I’m on my bed so there is an east facing window behind me, shining on my extremely reflective screen. While it’s not mirror perfect, it’s close enough. I’m staring at my hair, thinking it’s ridiculous to still be acting this way at this length and that it’s like cutting it chopped off all the “straight” and what’s growing in wants to be curly. I have *never* had naturally curly hair. My hair is thin, fine, and straight as if I’d ironed it. So this curl thing is something new that I don’t quite know how to deal with.

Anyway, that’s not the point of this post. The point is, I was looking at my reflection and looking at my hair when I happened to glance at my cheeks and see what I thought was a lump. I thought it was a lump because there was a hollow area beneath it, and I don’t have cheek hollows. Correction. I didn’t have cheek hollows. That lump is my cheekbone, right where it should be. That hollow is a contour on my face, right where it should be…but hasn’t been.

I also have a jaw line. And a throat. And only one chin. And that saggy neck that I thought would require plastic surgery that would never happen in order to make it go away? Yeah, it’s gone, too.

I have hip bones. I didn’t see those in the mirror, but I can feel them. My husband is fascinated with them too, which is also pretty cool. I wasn’t expecting that at all (his fascination). My granny wings under my arms are shrinking. I love having swim muscles, especially the shoulder ones. I really love being able to see them without a layer of flab on top. But the most surprising thing of all? My left eyelid doesn’t droop like it has for the past few years. I thought it was just a side effect of my meds, but now I’m kinda wondering. Who would think that losing weight or perhaps just eating less carbs would affect their eyelid??

Don’t get me wrong. I loved my body before. It took me a long LONG time to get to where I do love my body, even with its myriad of imperfections. But this is a new and different love. Well, maybe it’s more of an infatuation on top of the love.

I still have a long way to go to get to my ideal weight, and I know I won’t be dropping ten pounds a week the entire time. But it’s only the beginning of September. That means even at two pounds a week, I could be 28 pounds less by Christmas. It’s been over eight years since I was that small.

Oh yeah, and I haven’t had even a bit of itching ANYWHERE on my body in three days. THREE days!

Is that worth giving up potatoes, tortilla chips, root beer, and pretzels?

Yes. Yes, it is.

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