The countdown to People’s Choice is inching along. Three weeks from tonight about this time I will be reflecting on my performances in American Rhythm and getting a good night’s rest to face Latin the next morning. I have 21 days to create whatever results I can, and they can’t come quickly enough!
So in case you didn’t know, I hired a nutritionist and I began working with her on Sunday. Chelle is amazing and she specializes in clean eating and sports nutrition, which is good because, like, you know, I’m a dancer and dancers are athletes.
She met me at the grocery store with my custom plan in hand and we did all the shopping for the week. The plan included the shopping list and all the recipes I’d need for each week plus food logs and such. The best part is I’m prepared. I can grill my chicken, portion it out in 4 or 5 ounces and be ready to grab and go. Seriously, daily prep has been a snap so far. I’m eating like a freakin’ Hobbit, though – I get breakfast, and second breakfast, and elevensies, and lunch, and snack or tea, and dinner, and evening snack! I don’t know what to do with myself eating like this when I feel like I eat too much already and this seems like even more food than I’d normally consume. Go figure!
By Antoine Glédel (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Honestly, for me, the hardest part of staying on track this week hasn’t been the eating or the preparation. Nope, it’s been the sick panic feeling in my stomach that the 2000 calorie plan is too high. It’s the fear that I’m not going to lose any weight before People’s Choice, and I so desperately want to. It is seeing my weight on the scale at the doctor’s office on a day when I wouldn’t normally weigh myself and having to face that number.
It’s the emotions that are the hardest part, which is what I expected. What I didn’t expect was the intensity of those bad feelings, nor the apparent randomness with which they descend upon me like an eagle snatching a fish from the sea. It is swift and seemingly out of nowhere and completely overwhelming. It is the feeling of not being able to stand being in my body one more second the way it is and being powerless to change what is in the moment. Because I can’t escape my Italian-grandma-size-fat arms or the huge Santa belly. They silently scream at me, pushing against the side of my chair and all I can feel is the adipose. It broadcasts what I think of myself without saying a word. And I’m so ready for it to go. I can’t tell you how ready I am for it to go. And it just sits there, all lumpy and giggly, laughing insanely at me, reminding me that it is still here and that I have a long way still to journey with it on my back. Sigh.
Oh, I’ve been absolutely spot on with my eating plan. Well, my eyes did skip the page and I ate the snack and dinner planned for tomorrow today, but that’s no big deal. I’ve adhered 100%, and what’s more, I could totally make this a lifestyle, which is kinda like the point. I just didn’t know what to do before and never would have taken the time to figure out all these details, from shopping lists to macronutrient ratios, so this has probably been the best money I’ve spent in my life to work with Chelle on this. I’m not kidding.
I was on the right track with my thoughts about food and all, but Chelle’s plan has brought things into focus with definite boundaries, and I like it….even if before I was feeling guilty for using one whole egg and two egg whites in my morning omelet, thinking that I should only have 2 egg whites or maybe one whole egg and 1 egg white, but Chelle has me on one whole egg plus four, yes count ’em FOUR! egg whites and that freakin’ blows my mind and makes it yell at me that this plan is UNREASONABLE. What does this certified nutritionist think she is doing anyways? HA! I love how convincing the voices in my head are until I say them out loud….
Anyways, the food is great tasting, which is important – and today I was particularly and pleasantly surprised with the simple salmon. There is variety in the menu, which is also important, while still some habitual snacks which makes things easy and automatic. And guess what? I’m not even jonesing for a cheat meal, which I can have once a week, which is kinda surprising. The only thing I’d like is maybe a glass or two of wine so maybe I will add that to dinner one night and make that my cheat meal! I guess I’m blessed that I’ve never had too big a sweet tooth or had weird cravings for potato chips and such…in fact the day before the plan started I was craving tuna tatiki from the local AJ’s, lol. So anyways, what I’m trying to say, is that the food and plan are easy to adhere to. I’m not having cravings or wishing I could eat something else. And this should bode well when it comes to creating results.
So anyways, I’m only on day four, but it has been a good four days in terms of eating according to the plan. Like I said, the difficulty I find is only in wishing results would happen sooner and the moments when I feel like the bottom drops out and the seductive voice in my head pretending to be an expert on nutrition casts doubt on the plan itself.
With the 6 Hobbit meals a day I’m very fueled to do my normal weekly activities such as ballet, Inna’s class, Rado’s class, lessons with Ivan, and work out sessions with my trainer. Most things have gone fine this week, no big drama-rama at the gym, and in fact my trainer and I even laughed a bit today about those guys at the gym who feel the need to grunt all the time. But I lost focus in Inna’s class, forgetting the combination and also not holding my space, losing my confidence, not feeling good enough, and seeing how big I am as compared to everyone else in the mirror. The same was true for in ballet, though it was generally a good time and I cracked some funny jokes and one of my classmates told me class wouldn’t be the same without me which was really sweet, but I was still, in the back of my mind, bummed about being so big. And Ivan heard it in my voice when I called on my way to our lesson that I wasn’t feeling great about myself.
It’s not like I didn’t see how big I was before, it’s just that because I am actually on a plan and actually striving with focus toward what I want, and because I want to transform so badly, that I am now even more aware/fixated on my stupid fat body. I feel like some of the pain of it was muted by being apathetic about it and/or ignoring the elephant in the room as much as I could. Like setting the fatness in a box and placing it on a shelf in a dark closet somewhere in my mind and letting it just sit there, separate, and yes present, but not at the forefront.
And now, with every glance in the mirror, I’m horrified over and over and over. I’m feeling like why am I doing People’s Choice? I look the freakin’ same as I did 6 months ago. I’m so disappointed that I haven’t made more progress with a quarter of the new year gone and that is part of why I decided to hire Chelle. But since I don’t look drastically different, and all my clothes still pretty much fit, I still have the same fat girl dresses as I’ve always had, and that is disappointing too. I’m going to be competing once again in the same dress I wore in my very first competition over 3 years ago. It’s depressing. I want a new dress along with a new body to show some progress, damnit!
So I’m searching for the goal I want to go for in People’s Choice since I’m not going to be looking all that much different in 3 weeks time, and I’m not going to suddenly be speedier or have drastically improved technique. I’m feeling kind of ho-hum about the entire prospect when I want to feel excited. I can’t wait for when people begin to notice and tell me that I look different, tell me I look great, for when I can get a new dress, and not one for a fat girl, for when I feel proud of me, who I am, what I’ve accomplished. I want to feel confident, you know? To feel like I am enough.
So all I can think to do is the perform the shit out of everything. This will be my goal. I will focus on connection with Ivan and the audience and the music. I claim and hold my space on the dance floor. I will exude confidence with every movement. I will dance with a palpable purpose and passion. And I will let that be enough….for now.
A goal of dancing your best is certainly enough 🙂 I get what you’re saying… about wanting to show improvement in terms of technique and appearance… but I also think you accomplish something when you put yourself out there. Based on what I saw at my studio, competing regularly and allowing the judges to “get to know” you is beneficial. Looking forward to the new competition dress you’ll have one day!
Stick to your plans and your goals will realize themselves. I am recalling the video you posted of you dancing and you were so good. The joy you get from dancing was shining through and it was beautiful. Many people out there are pulling for you in your quest towards your goals. Wished there was a way to keep you from beating yourself up during this process but I think when you see some progress it will lift you up a bit. So stick to it and keep on working hard. You are an inspiration to me and many others as well. P.S. Post more video please. Loved your routine in the last one.
Miles! Thanks so much! Sometimes I forget all the support I have from people like you who I haven’t even met! It is humbling and wonderful and thank you. I agree…seeing some results will be a boost and also the mental stuff is the toughest. And as much as I still get out my hammer, I am so much kinder to myself than I used to be, if you can believe it. Thanks again for reminding me of why it is important that I dance – to share that joy and light, not to look or be perfect. I will do my best to share more videos…have to enroll a friend to record at upcoming comps because you are not supposed to used the ones professionally recorded. Thanks again! You made my day better.
Just dance. It’ll be okay. (Dah-dah-do.) Getting a nutritionist involved in your health sounds like a great long term health plan, but we’ve gotta get your confidence up. You still rock the dance floor no matter the size. You just have to own it and say “yeah! I’m not a twig, but look at my kick ass Cuban motion/foot placement/performance ability/sparkles.”
Anyway, I had a diet client before I got laid off. Not that I am saying switch gears, but maybe check it out as a reference point. Google Haylie Pomroy if you want.
Thanks Jen! This made me smile! I know for me the mental stuff is the toughest. One day, one meal, at a time. That is all I can do in the moment and then go out there in 3 weeks time and say…look at my kick ass everything and sparkles! Thanks for the support. It really brightened my day.
Very powerful post. Love “The Hobbit” references! I am also struggling with my weight and this week I had a rough go of it by not making the progress I expected. It was harder to take than I would have expected. What you said here was similar to the same Oriental-Express-train of thought I have had. Glad to know I am not the only one out there. You are really inspiring and thanks so much for sharing!
Nope! You are not alone and neither am I. I know how you feel about not meeting your expectations. It’s painful and usually more emotional that I’d predict and as you can tell from this post, I’m nowhere near where I’d like to be this far into the year. Success isn’t this straight line I’d like it to be but rather a general drifting toward the right direction with lots of detours. I’ve had to talk myself off the ledge quite bit, like just stick with it, Stef, just for this meal, or this day, or this 45 minutes on the stupid stair stepper lol. Sometimes I have to reset my expectations and sometimes I have to look at what I actually did to create the results I got. Anyways, you are not alone, you have everything you need to do this, I really believe that, and you are worth it. I’ve really enjoyed joining Fitocracy. It’s kind of like Facebook for people with fitness goals and it has been very supportive and encouraging, and let’s face it, I need all the support I can get! If you get on there make sure to look me up (loveablestef) and we can support one another there too. Today is a new day. What is one small thing you can do today to set yourself up for a win next week? (Stupid delayed gratification!!! lol That is hard, isn’t it? What I do today doesn’t show up until 4 days later and all that) You’ve got this. XOXO
You are so encouraging! Thank you so much for taking the time to write me such a great reply. You are right it is not a linear thing and I was thinking that it was. It truly will take some detours but be moving in the right direction. I will be checking out Fitocracy. After reading this it really helped me and I am back on track. Thanks so much!!
You are so welcome and I am glad it helped. 🙂
Hey LoveableStef! I know the disappointment of not seeing progress when you’ve given yourself deadlines. I use that to keep me going so I don’t feel that way next time. Just wear the hell out of that dress, because this’ll be the last time you can wear it!
Stefanie, your dancing is beautiful from the inside out. Keep taking care of yourself, you’re going to be amazing!
Why thank you!
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Wishing you the very best. I know how hard it is to look in the mirror and not like what you see. Hold fast to your plans … you WILL find your way. 😀