Looking in a mirror and reflecting


Truth Bomb: I have ALWAYS struggled with my weight.

Sometimes I think that my brain signals may be messed up. When I am bored, I think that I am hungry and eat. When I am excited, I eat really fast. Anxious or bummed out — well, that’s a foodie code-red situation that is best remedied by hiding all the snacks in the trunk of my car.

Photo by Michaela Ristaino

Photo by Michaela Ristaino

When I turned 50 years old, I developed a rare case of super-strength willpower. It was as if my commitment switch got flipped on. I dedicated myself to turning my flab into fab. Flour and sugar were banned from my diet and I hit the treadmill every day. The workouts never got easier but the pounds did drop off. I discovered that feeling strong and slim was like getting a daily ego shot, and I liked it.

This unfaltering dedication lasted about 2 years and ended the day my Mom died. Poof, that was it. The switch flipped off. I traded in my workouts for sitting still and I chowed down on everything that I could, in order to fill up this pesky hole inside me. (Note to self: This is not a food hole.) It is now 30 pounds later, or, as my boyfriend refers to it, “my problematic portion control period.”

Now my ego requires constant navigation.

Mirrors have gotten to be challenge for me and, as luck would have it, I have a lot of them.

In fact, I just had the 3 niches (those recessed picture thingies) in my hallway all mirrored up.

Before I had them installed, I anticipated that it might be a challenge since I am not at a mirror-friendly time in my life. So, I requested they install deceptively slimming mirrors — you know, like the ones that are fabled to be in some unknown dressing rooms. However, it appears that I received the “you let yourself go” reflective collection. Aargh.

While I loved how the mirrors opened up the space, each time I walked down that damn hallway I was reminded of my widening image.

After a few awkward saunters, I hatched a plan. What if I transformed the mirrored hallway into an Inspiration Walkway?

Like most wordies, I collect sayings that resonate with me. So, I trolled through my Post-its and highlighted book pages and made a list of notable quotes that made me smile.

I narrowed my favorites down to…

■ Well-behaved women seldom make history. – Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

■ Imagination is more important than knowledge. – Albert Einstein

■ Knowing how you actually want to feel is the most potent form of clarity that you can have. – Danielle LaPorte

From there I worked with Nate, from Sarasota Sign Shop, to bring my quotes to life.

After I picked the font style and size, he did the rest. Which means he transformed the words into frosted vinyl letters that are easy to apply and look like etched glass when they are up. If you have ever seen frosted lettering on a storefront window, then you know what I am talking about.

Last but not least, I added some trim around the niches and painted it up.

Now, when I walk down Inspiration Walkway, I am reminded about something bigger than just my waistline.

Amy Archer

Amy Archer is owner of Sarasota-based Creating Inspired Design and writes the Barefooted Designer blog. She can be reached by email.
Last modified: January 13, 2016
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