We've only got a little bathroom in our house. Plenty big enough for the essential functions, but there's barely enough room in there to have a good prance about in the altogether, if you like that sort of thing... and frankly, who doesn't? There is a mirror above the sink, but it's barely the size of a piece of A5 notepaper: more than enough for shaving (especially when you have a beard), but not really much good for prolonged admiration. Luckily, I don't think either of us is particularly vain (and C has a much larger mirror elsewhere in the house that I don't much trouble myself with).
The upshot of this is that I don't spend a great deal of time gazing at my own reflection.
We were staying with friends last weekend. They've just had their bathroom done up and it now contains a splendid rain shower (which doesn't go quite hot enough for my tastes, but you can't have everything). They've also had a fairly substantial mirror installed above the sink. I mention this because I happened to catch sight of my reflection in this mirror as I was getting ready to jump into the shower.
I am PUNY.
I already knew about the pathetic muscles in my upper body. My first neurologist was interested in the size disparity between the muscles in my lower body and the muscles in my upper body, wondering if perhaps this was also a sign of neurological damage. Well, maybe..... Although I do have muscle wastage and weakness from my multiple sclerosis, this kind of physique isn't all that uncommon in runners....
Besides, I have never liked spending any time pumping iron as it seems a ridiculous thing to do.
Who does that?
But what really shocked me was how concave my stomach is. Although I worry about middle-aged spread, it actually curve inwards.
As you probably know, one of my little foibles is that I honestly believe that I have the body of a much bigger man. In my head, I'm still the man I was around 20 years ago....at least seven stone heavier than I am now. It's ridiculous, but there you are. That's just the way it is. To actually stand in front of this mirror and to see my stomach curving inwards around my inguinal crease (which is apparently very fashionable at the moment, ladies. It's sometimes called the 'love line' or the 'moneymaker'. Just sayin'....) was to have the shocking realisation that, in fact, I am really very thin indeed.
This may not be news to you, but it was definitely news to me.
I guess this is just the result of calories in being smaller than calories out for an extended period of time, but I actually shocked myself at the realisation of quite how much my mental picture of myself differs from reality.
Thank goodness I've always been completely realistic about the magnificence of my luxuriantly full head of glossy, shiny hair.
Pandemic Legacy Season 2: April
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