Hotel Mirrors vs. Small Victories | The Primal Happy Place

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The Primal Happy Place

Getting back to the basics of what makes us happy and healthy.

Hotel Mirrors vs. Small Victories


I LOVE the way hotel mirrors make me look.... said no woman ever.  Actually, I was feeling pretty good about myself until this last weekend.

Honestly, there is a great sense of purgatory for me when I stay in hotel rooms. Not only are the beds uncomfortable, the carpets sticky, the water pressure weak and the temperature finicky, those horrendous mirrors stand there reflecting all of my insecurities and frustrations.  


For weeks, I have done very well sticking to my diet.  I have basically been sugar and grain free for nearly 2 months now. I haven’t lost a ton of weight, but I know that my journey toward health is well on it’s way.  Even in this short time, I feel more energy, less bloated, and looser fitting jeans.  Yet, the best part of being faithful to a healthy diet is the sense of gratification at knowing I am doing something really good for myself.  Even though I may not look any different to those around me, I find myself holding my head up higher because I have tasted victory.

I have hope that the results will come... at some point... IF I keep doing the right thing.   

Well, this past weekend I spent time in Indianapolis, Indiana.  My husband and I participated in the National Catholic Youth Conference.  These gatherings of 25,000 plus teens occur once every two years.  We have been involved in this conference since 1997, and despite the fact that these events are extremely exhausting, they feel like a super compressed family reunion.  Through the years, we have become very close to so many other individuals and couples who live similar lives to ours.  It’s nice to spend hours hanging out in the only open bars in the wee hours of the night, bonding over the difficulties of living on the road, struggling to keep the calendar full and dealing with those people who feel it’s their mission to make sure you stay humble. This time was exceptionally blessed as my husband and I were involved in several really deep and vulnerable conversation with people we truly love.   


As I was preparing for this trip, I made the decision that I NEEDED to behave while I was there.  Sitting at a booth for 5-6 hours a day usually causes me to lean on sugar to keep up the energy.  If it’s not the free candy being given away by most booths, it’s the kiosks in the hallway offering many more delectable treats.  This time had to be different! So, knowing my weakness, I decided to bake grain-free, healthier cookies to take with me.  Junky sugar is easier to resist when I have a better, yummier alternative waiting for me.  And I am happy to say that it worked!  Not once did I sneak a piece of candy. Even though I was hungry, I stuck to eating the clementines and macadamia nuts I had brought.  The cookies where the reward for a day spent sticking to my diet.  I even resisted the beautiful display of desserts at the restaurant (except for the last night, when I made the conscience decision to try the gluten free cake instead of eating my cookies.) This weekend was a first for me. I actually managed to do what I set out to do... Eat right.  

So why do I feel worse about myself now than I did before I left?  

Those darn mirrors!!!!  

Seriously... those torture devices robbed me of my victory.  Even after a great day of behaving and staying strong, I would walk into my hotel room and be reminded that I have a really long way before this journey is over.  In the same way that dressing room mirrors mock me, flaunting my imperfections, hotel mirrors seem strategically placed for the purpose of sending you back to their bar to drown your sorrows.  I would love to meet the sadistic person who designed mirrors on nearly every wall of these rooms.  No one needs that view!  

So here I am now, back home and getting life into it's usual rhythm.  Even though I have nothing to feel ashamed of when it comes to my diet, my psyche still needs some repair.  Despair can so easily steal my victory. After a few days of seeing, FULLY SEEING, the parts of me that still needs tons of work, I struggle with despair.  How long will it take? Can I stay strong enough, long enough? Am I doing all I can? The temptation to switch to a more extreme approach is real for me.  Yet, I must believe that I have found the right path and I must give it time.  

Forget those mirrors! Remember the victory in the candy! 

Every great war is won by the victories of small battles.  I am proud of the one battle’s victory. I know there will be more than I can count.  

One by one. Day by day. Battle by battle.  


November 23, 2015

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