Stopping And Starting

Saturday, December 10th 2011

Dance Starz studio


Before I get to the meat of this post I wanted to first say a huge thank you to everyone who has emailed me, commented, liked, or read my blog!  I have been getting such encouraging feedback and I can’t express my sincere gratitude for this support.  It has been amazing to hear from you and really exciting for me, like jump-up-and-down exciting, so thanks!!!

Also, I wanted to share some news.  In the spirit of being vulnerable and transparent as discussed in my last post, I wanted to get real and let you know where I am with the weight loss goal.  It will provide me with much needed accountability knowing that someone out there is watching me.  I will update my progress on a biweekly basis.

I am down from my highest weight of 313 lbs.

I am, as of the writing of this post at 268.2 lbs.

My goal is 140 lbs.

As you can see, there are three people on the dance floor when I dance with Ivan.  I have a 128.2 pound person on my back.  Time for her to get off.

To do this I have a plan.  1) Dance as much as possible taking private lessons, group lessons, and fitness classes.  2) Eat less calories than I expend each day.

I originally did a medically supervised plan but a person can only live so long on bars and shakes.  It wasn’t pratical for the long term and I gave it up.  I’m proud that I didn’t put the weight back on, but I also haven’t been dropping it like I need to for my goal in July, 2012.  I liked the convenience of the shakes and bars so have signed up for a service that mails me meals each week.  I got my first package today.  So far, so good.  It is real food so there will be variety this time around but I get to keep the convenience of grab and go.

Also, I wanted to address the name of my blog.  I have had a few comments about the name, in particular asking me if it is really the best thing to be putting out there saying that I am the biggest girl in the ballroom.  Firstly, people have pointed out that words are powerful and the ones we choose create our experience.  Also, if I am of the mind to shed this weight and thus no longer be the biggest girl dancing why make it the name of my blog?

My response is twofold.  First I’m just calling a spade a spade.  This is my reality at the moment.  Second, the title will work for me even after I am smaller in size because I still intend to have the “biggest” personality, “biggest” success, and “biggest”expression even after the shift in my physical appearance.

So with housekeeping complete, onward to my most recent dance lesson.

We begin with Latin rumba.  This is a style different than Ameican rumba and I am less practiced in the movements.  It is a gorgeous dance, probably my favorite to watch and thus I am very motivated to learn how to do it.  But I keep getting stuck at various points in the figures.  Usually this is because body weight hasn’t been completely transferred from one foot to the other and so both legs are supporting the body making it impossible to move the leg without losing balance.  Also, I am in heels which doesn’t help.

What I discovered is that I start and stop my body instead of allowing it to continuously flow.  This makes things difficult in that I am stopping my momentum then having to start it back up again.  I am using every muscle fiber to try to overcome Newton’s first law of motion which states that a body in motion tends to stay in motion.  When Ivan showed me how abuptly I was halting my hip rotation, for instance, and then demonstrated how to keep them moving, it instantly became easier to take the next step.

Now I don’t know about you, but I see this as a metaphor for life.  There is a saying that they way you do anything is the way you do everything.  How often in my life do I try to control whatever process I am engaged in, taking fearful little steps here and there, expending enormous amounts of effort starting and stopping when I could simply relax into the process and allow my momentum to propel me along, allowing life to flow?  Probably more often than I even realize.  This habit is so unconscious that I didn’t even realize I was doing it while dancing.  I only took note of the difficulties I was having, how I was getting stuck.  I didn’t realize the difficulty was my own creation born from a need to control.  I am just getting in my own way.

It seems I always end these blog posts with a “Doogie Howser” type life lesson.  Today, I don’t know what to write.  I’m not sure what to do about this discovery.  In fact, I’m not certain that there really is anything to do about it execpt keep moving.  It all comes back to the idea of really letting go.  So scary, yet in reality it would probably make my dancing life easier and more enjoyable.  The task before me is to drop all the pretense of working hard (because it is always hard, duh!), being great, doing it right, being perfect (whatever that is) and just to be me, knowing in my bones that I am enough.  It will take some courage to embrace this.  And when I do, world watch out!

I’m now wondering what it is gonna take to embrace this….

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