Heya! I know I’ve been gone a while but I’m still alive and still dancing.
I guess I just don’t feel like I have all that much to share lately. There is no definite competition on the horizon and my lessons are pleasant and fun but I still feel like I have to be in better cardiovascular shape and to have lost significantly more fat before I get on the competitive floor again. Truly those are the things that are holding me back.
Thankfully Ivan is pleased with the quality of my dancing lately and even saying he’s excited to compete with me when the time comes.
I’ll be excited too. It’s just that I want to have completely transformed and I want new dresses. Period. I just don’t want to compromise on this and I’m sick of being the fat one.
So, it’s really the same old same old. Boring. Who wants to hear about that? It’s a broken record.
So I’ve not been writing.
On the up side, I feel like I’ve found my confidence in my dancing. I believe I am a good dancer and can own it. That’s a huge victory. In fact, I was even shocked today in group class as I was asked to do the one and only demonstration in Jive. Pretty cool to be recognized.
I’m still a little shy about it, and kind of try to hide and look at my fingernails between rounds of practice and stand to the sides or not in the front row. I don’t feel 100% confident nor do I feel the need to pretend I’m a diva. But there is some level of feeling like I’m somewhat competent at what I’m doing, even if there is still room for improvement.
Because, let’s face it, there’s always room for growth, with Ivan too. But, for me, the deal is, the more confident I feel, the better I dance. And being confident, for me, comes from practice, preparation, and the body-image stuff. The smaller I am, the better I feel, the easier it is to move, the more I move, the better I can cope with the physical demands. It all goes together – it’s kind of like which came first, the chicken or the egg. All parts of me from the mental to the physical and emotional are interconnected and affect one another. I can’t wait to feel so wonderful about how I look and have that reflect in my dancing. I can’t wait to actually create a “look” to present on the competitive floor. I can’t wait to really love my new dress and how it flatters me.
But all that’s old news. Now it’s about being consistent, being as active as I can, and putting in the time and effort to drive the transformation. It’s gonna take time.
Three interesting things of note have happened, though. The first was Tony Meredith came into town and I was lucky enough to get a coaching with him. He created a new Mambo routine for Ivan and I.
The second thing is that on my last lesson Ivan and I had a grand old time just goofing around toward the end of the lesson. I put on music I enjoy and he tried to whip me around like crazy, pretending like he was “Michael Malitowski.” He tried to spin me all these directions and then he went to drag me, so I grabbed around his neck and he began to spin at the end of the drag. And I don’t know why, but it just felt like the natural thing to do, so I lifted my legs up! He spun me and I was completely off the floor. I haven’t felt like that since I was probably 8 years old. I was flying! It was truly incredible and I can’t wait to see all the cool stuff we might be able to do when I’m lighter. Because I’m strong under here! And I can’t tell you what a phobia I’ve overcome with this because even when I was in high school and 80 pounds lighter, I was terrified of how heavy I was and convinced no guy could lift me. I had to partner with this senior guy in the school musical and he even dropped me in one of the performances, proving me right in my mind! So anyways, I can fly and the possibilities are exciting.
And the third thing is that I’ve been going to Orange Theory. It’s great for me because it gets my cardio in, I’ve never burned less than 540 calories in a bout, and it keeps me interested so the time goes pretty quickly – much better than hopping on the stair machine for 45 minutes (which is tedious and boring and takes a lot of mental convincing to do). And hey, I was pretty proud of myself when I first went because I was able to hang with the crowd. Sure I might have had a higher heart rate, and maybe I wasn’t as fast as other people, but I was stronger and faster than others and I began to think, maybe I’m in better comparative shape than I thought. There is no way 6 months ago I would have been able to perform this well. It was also a pretty crappy reality check because my heart rate was so high (they track it throughout the workout). I was working really hard, ergo, I am still fat, sick and out of shape. But I was also thinking to myself during moments, “I am magnificent!” because I’m there, I’m sucking it up, I’m doing it, I’m pushing hard because that’s how things change.
And speaking of pushing hard, I had probably the most difficult and miserable hike of my life last weekend! It was way too hot out, there were thick, icky swarms of gnats that plagued us from our first steps to our last steps, and I’m fat, sick, and out of shape! My heart rate was around 174 for most of the incline during the 3.4 miles. I wanted to give up most of the time because it was so uncomfortable, and I made a pact with myself not to do that damn hike again until I’m under 200 pounds. It is so much work to move my mass uphill and people just have no idea what it’s like for us fatties. For example, my husband also tracked his workout and he burned 250 calories on the way up while I burned 3 times that amount, 750 calories. Mostly it just makes me mad and that motivates me to keep working at it. I made a pact with myself to be as active as I can this week and to get under 200 pounds once and for all. I’ve been playing with the same 10 pounds for 2 months – stupid “social events” and “real life” – like Easter, family obligations. I do great when I’m in my own little bubble during the week. Weekends and any social obligations are much more difficult. And my stupid body is so efficient if I give it any extra, it gloms onto it.
Anyways, I’m focused and fired up and while I was suffering on the peak I really concentrated on how awful it felt. I wish sometimes I could bottle that misery up so any time I even want to think about going off plan I can take a little sip of it and instantly I’ll know what choice I really want to make. I guess the next best thing is to go on miserable hikes and do horrendous workouts that feel awful so I am constantly reminded of why I want to change. For the moment it is fresh in my mind.
So that’s the deal folks. I’m still struggling with being consistent but I’m also still plugging along, I haven’t given up or given in, I’m resolved to be as active as necessary, and I’m gunning for the 199 pound mark in the next 3 weeks.
Oh, and I was sad to hear that my ballet class on Mondays will be cancelled. I have to find a substitute activity and I’m thinking yoga. But I’ll miss the ballet – the people, the exercises, the balance and leg strength it’s given me. I will be sad to lose the progress but I don’t think there is another class nearby. Yoga seems like the next best thing, maybe it will be better, who knows.
So now you are all caught up!
Until next time, Stef
Stef–Think it is powerful that you have come to this point—where you are directing your dancing and your life intrinsically, rather than extrinsically. Ice cream cones and dance competitions—-You don’t have to partake just because it’s there. Eating, dancing, living, with a mindful purpose, and an end result, gives us better definition in what we do, and gives a higher quality result! I am so glad the professional standard teacher I was blessed to connect with 2 years ago has taught me this so well—and it has enriched the quality of my eating, my dancing, and every aspect of my life. You are in the power seat now!
Love that you’re feeling more confident in your dancing! That must show and I guess Ivan will notice too!
Sad that your ballet class was cancelled though 😦 Yoga is nice but it’s no ballet, like you said!
Sooo proud of you Stef!
Keep it up!
Holy Mackerel, Steff! That OrangeTheory looks intense. Just Googled it. Good for you for taking it on!
Glad the dancing is going great! Crossing that 200 threshold will be such a milestone–looking forward to congratulating you when it comes.
What a nice blog! You’ve really echoed some of the same concerns I have with my dance, my coach’s concerns and the body image concerns. I totally relate. Nice to see a ballroom blog by an amateur competitor that I can totally relate to. BTW….love Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin.
Why thanks! It seems like many people I’ve met can relate to my internal (and external) struggles. I’m so glad you took the time to check out the blog and make a comment. I love Tony and Melanie as well – they are the bomb!
Nice blog about dancing