She likes to pretend people can’t see it. In her own mind she is lean and lithe and neither the bulges she tries not to see nor the fit of her clothes seem to convince her otherwise.
At yoga she does triangle pose and imagines the length of her limbs must make everyone else notice. The slender feeling moves with her as she transitions into the stance of a warrior.
There’s a bit of comparison there; of course there is.
I’m not that heavy, she thinks.
I definitely don’t look like that.
But what she’s imagining is what she used to look like, not what she looks like now.
Time has marched on. Life has intervened and left its marks. Former good practices now abandoned, she is flawed. Imperfect.
She knows this, yet doesn’t see it. Her body image is based on a mental picture, not what the mirror reflects. But she’s about to turn around.
She takes the pose once again, picturing lissome limbs and graceful movements.
But she has placed her mat along the far wall, closest to the mirror, and the truth lurks. In triangle once again, she stands strong, reaching through her fingertips. Her pose stable and her balance solid, she moves her gaze towards the sky and in doing so catches a glimpse of her reflection.
In that moment, she sees it.
More large than lean; more bulgy than beautiful.
The warrior vanishes; the wise yogi fades away.
She is just a girl in front of a mirror. Flawed. Imperfect. Trying to find her beauty.