Looking At The Mirror
As usual the first thing I did this morning was to check my naked body for any visible extra fat. In the cold bathroom, I examined my body in the mirror, the front view, the back and the sides. All looked like the day before. My tummy stood out a little bit. Some mornings it looks more flat than others. I normally smile then and think I could wear my red dress today if I wanted to. It is rather tight. The next part of the morning routine was to make sure that the scale still shows 110 pounds. And it did!! So it seemed that I had been good yesterday. The rest of the morning ritual was completed an hour later when I left for work carrying a low fat, low calorie lunch for the day.
I wonder how many others go through the same routine day after day. I am a true believer of inner beauty. I believe that if I am happy with myself, then the public opinion does not matter. I am educated and I look fine. At least my mother thinks so. With all that , I still fall in the trap of the daily ritual of making sure my physical appearance remains more or less the same. One would think I should know better.
Where does it all come from? The fact that I have spent half of my life living in the United States may have something to do with it. Having a shapely body and being beautiful are heavily promoted here. All you hear about is some new diet that can help you lose weight. There are new methods for liposuction every day. The latest one has to do with breaking up the fat using sound waves. It may however burn your skin if your doctor lacks enough experience. You can enlarge your breasts using the fat from your tummy. There is an idea for me to flatten my tummy! I can kill two birds with the same stone!! You can change the shape of your mouth, your nose, your jaws and hopefully will not look hideous after all is done. All you need is a decision. Money is not a problem. You can have all of it financed! There are also plenty of apparatuses available in the market. All with the promise of getting you in shape with minimum amount of effort.
The ironic part of all these is the abundance of junk food and the advertisements around them. There are plenty of innovative ideas in this front as well. The latest one that Iíve heard of is a substitute for butter that has less fat but gives you diarrhea instead! Thatís how you find out you have consumed it. Otherwise, it tastes the same as butter. The supermarket in my neighborhood is the Mecca for junk food lovers. The place is huge, neatly organized with isle after isle of junk food. Occasionally, someone with a polite smile hands you the list of discounted items. They rarely include any item with nutritional value. The arrangement of items forces you to pass by all the isles to pick up essential food such as dairy and fresh produce. Needless to say that the diet versions of all the food products are also available. That is if you donít mind some of the side effects.
I remember when I was growing up back home, there were 4 small stores that my Mom went to for our food. Together, they were smaller than my 3-bedroom house! In our neighborhood, we had one shop for dairy products, one for fresh produce and one for meat and poultry. There were a few choices for bakery. Mom normally visited the one that offered Lavosh. Occasionally, my younger brother went on his bike to get Barbari or Sangak for the weekend breakfast. I guess our favorite junk food was Negrokiss. I hope the name does not offend the reader. My favorite store belonged to Ali Agha. You could smell the aroma of vegetables and fruits when you walked in. The old wooden containers were piled up everywhere. I was always amazed how he managed to find requested items so fast in that monumental but picturesque disorder.
I have to admit that with my busy life and lack of time, I prefer the neatly organized supermarket and its quick checkout line to Ali Aghaís store. As much as I would like to be health conscious and stay away from junk food, I buy them from time to time. I guess that is why I look for the extra fat every morning. May be itís to find out how far I can push my luck!
Am I blaming my daily morning ritual and paranoia of gaining weight on social pressure that exist here? The answer is no. I do however think the over exaggerated emphasis on beautiful figures and heavenly bodies is a contributing factor to a lot of disorders and depression that exist in the society. I wish there were a lot more emphasis on getting a solid education, inner beauty, becoming a better human being and discovering what makes each of us really happy. I wish we were all strong enough to ignore the commercialized social value system and stick to our owns. As for me, I would like to look at me in the mirror and see the light within instead of the shell outside. I would like to notice my abilities and accomplishments as a human being. I would like to see the light within me to become brighter with each passing day. I would like to recognize my chances to make something out of every day that comes on my way. Wouldnít it be wonderful if I could see all that? And if in the process I noticed a flat tummy and a nice body, then it would be just the icing on the cake.
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