So Much To Be Grateful For… (Or, The Longest Post Ever!)

Yes, I know it is improper to end a sentence in a proposition, and also, it seemed appropriate…So sue me! Not! Lol.  Artistic/Poetic License and all that….

Okay now (and as fair warning, I will be using lots of ellipses in this post)

First things first….I am so Influential! LOL!  FINALLY got my friend Nena and my Mom to take advantage of the introductory lessons I gave them for Christmas!!!  So what, it is March….?  Better late than never!

Ahem…and Michelle, you know who you are…


Okay, so back to the narrative, I’m so genuinely thrilled for them both (Nena and Mom)!  They both enjoyed their time at the studio, from the sounds of it, dancing, which makes me so very happy.

They can choose what to do after the introductory package runs out, that is totally up to them, and I respect that.  Nena danced with Ivan previously, and my mom also had one lesson with him too, before her two knee replacements!  Now they are both ready to dance if they choose to….

And now, switching gears, on to the philosophical frontier….

Geezes.  Not sure how to put all this into words.  So here goes.

Good things.

Not so good things.

Here’s my way of “explaining:”

I guess the place to start is the showcase.  I can’t believe how many people liked and commented on the one photo I shared, both on my personal Facebook page and the blog page.  Truly, I was astounded.



Well, so the “report” is that it went well.  I felt totally calm which was great.  I knew what I was doing and where I was dancing.  Other than that, I was grateful my parents, husband, and friend, Nena, came to watch.

So I come to my lesson Monday morning and the DVD of the performance is in…I am not necessarily keen to watch it, but I also understand the value of having my instructor see it.  So we plug it in and I’m not horrified, which is good, if you’ve ever watched yourself perform.  I can’t tell you how uncomfortable it is for me to watch myself in action on film.  Truly, it makes me sick to my stomach.  But anyways, I want to grow, so I’ve resigned myself to watching feedback so that I can get better.

Well, watching the film, like I said, the worst wasn’t realized.  I was okay with it.  Not epic, or lovely, or beautiful, or any of that, but also not disgusting and maybe a little bit fun…I’ll take it!

So we watch the DVD and proceed to dance on our lesson.  Interestingly, about 3/4ths of the way through my lesson after the showcase I noticed something different was happening.  It was so weird!

Like I said, Damir watched the video, too.  As we danced, he was giving me all this high level information, information about my lats, my upper body, things that had previously been “off limits” or to “be ignored” just because I was focusing on my feet, ankles, and knees for stability.  Well, suddenly, I realized 40 minutes in that I’m getting coaching and information on all this stuff that I knew was missing but that I also implicitly agreed was off the table for the moment, until I could get my foundation under control.

So here we are, 40 minutes into a 45 minute lesson and I suddenly feel like I can move, like I can do more, like I’ve been holding back for the sake of creating stability.  And Damir says, “Stefanie, you were so solid in every step on that video.  Each step could not have been more clear.  You knew where you were on each weight change and you never took any step that was too big.  I am basing all the information I am sharing on this, from seeing the video.  And,  apparently it is time for you to have more information.”

Um, wow?!!?!?!

Happy Dance!

For sure I’ve felt more solid, stable, and on balance, but I have to say that I’ve wondered if I’ve changed my dancing at all since I stepped into Damir’s studio.  The truth is, yes, I most definitely have.  It has been subtle, and maybe slow to appear, but yes, the quality of my dancing has changed.

I have to tell you, lol, I was horrified!  Damir informed me that when I first walked into the studio my feet moved “6 feet” at a time (according to him) but now they are “planted.”

All I know is that I feel much more stable and generally I know where my weight is – and also that if I go off-balance I can recover much more quickly than before.   All are immeasurable benefits.

I guess it’s good.  Maybe with this coaching and information I can maybe mold myself into the artist I long to be….

(More ellipses….)

And, yes, it IS good. I am supported.  I am growing.  My dancing IS changing.  There is even evidence of that fact captured on film, at least according to Damir! Lol.

So yeah, time to switch to yet another subject…. (more ellipses)

Yesterday I went to work out and I was pissed.  There were so many things that were SO difficult for me to execute.  There were so many times I pushed my heart rate to the max.  I was annoyed that my body is not in the condition to execute all items asked to an elite level.  And, also, I fail to acknowledge all I did do during that session.  I was in the top 3 people getting through rounds in the weight room.  I pushed my heart rate up to over 185, and I saw many others not needing the recovery period like I did because I pushed myself so hard.  This is not to compare, this is only to say, I did my best, in a lot of ways in this work out, and, if I am honest, in every work out. No I don’t max myself in every single way on every single work out, AND, I  DO push myself, and usually I max out at least one muscle group, or my lungs, or something! I mean, if I don’t push my limits on at least one exercise in a workout, what was the point?  The point of a workout is to grow and expand limits.  Maybe not on all items, but for sure on one or more! So anyways, good work, why can’t I acknowledge it?  Why am I obsessed with the thought of being “inferior” or not “good enough?”  Truly that is a question worthy of exploration!

In any case, the bottom line is that I did a “good” job and at the same time, I have these mental demons that torment me and remind me at every turn how I am never, ever, ever doing enough.  So after pushing my limits a few times (not on every event – but still) after my work out yesterday, I was discouraged, disheartened, and upset (And, as an aside here… (more ellipses) What the hell is up with that?! OMG! – So Crappy, that is!!! – Because like 2 years ago even the thought of doing what I’m doing in these workouts stopped me dead in my tracks and now I’m doing them regularly…)  I just felt like it is all so difficult.  I push so hard.  So why am I still so Fucking Fat?  I see people beside me who look so perfectly proportioned, lean, beautiful…and they are barely breaking a sweat.  I can’t even explain how UNFAIR it feels.


Can you hear the Bullshit alarm going off?  I can!

Do I know what they do, eat, or execute during the other 23 hours of their lives when I am not on a treadmill beside them???


Why do I even go into the Comparison Game, Anyway?  It’s a Lose-Lose Proposition…..


Oh the DRAMA!  I’m so damn Human! lol.

So the bright spot is I left the work out and had a decision.  And I usually would have just thought, “Well, I’ll go home and wallow in my misery.”  And this time I went to the studio and practiced a dance exercise.  LOL!  Why? Because I’m committed.  And, I am determined to get the proper dance rhythm in my body.  So I am willing to work on it.  And it was great, and I got to see people at the studio I love and adore.  It really was such a nice choice, especially after my mental negativity fiasco.

Go me!  I mean, really now!  This is Epic.  At least for a mere mortal like me.  🙂

So what is the sum total of all this talking/writing?  I’m not sure, except that I DO know I have a LOT to be GRATEFUL for.

I just posted a status on my personal page that said, “As much as I still sometimes (daily) have negative thoughts about my body and how it looks, I am also constantly reminded of how grateful I am for the condition it is in now as compared to even a year ago.  When I see people having trouble getting around in the grocery store, when I watch My 600 pound Life on tv, when I see my own reflection lifting 100 pound barbells in the gym…I have a lot to be thankful for.  Here’s to three weeks of consistently getting to all my dance lessons, gym sessions, and all but one Orange Theory workout.  Good job, Stef!  Keep up the good work and it will only get easier to move!”


I mean, most people in this world haven’t experienced the joy of walking! It is SUCH a joy for me these days.  It used to be that I had the weight of a refrigerator on my back.  Now, I can stroll as if I am walking on a cloud.  I walked for 3 hours on my desk treadmill like it was nothing today!  This would not have been possible before, and I tell you, in all sincerity, even 10 pounds makes a world of difference!  So just imagine having 100+ pounds on your frame.  You can’t!  That’s the goddamned truth.

Well, anyways, enough of that ranting diatribe! Lol.  I am done waxing poetical for the moment!

The Bottom line is that I AM Grateful.  I have so much to be grateful for.

And, I promise to post a video of the showcase once I get the digital file from Damir.



Love, Stef





13 thoughts on “So Much To Be Grateful For… (Or, The Longest Post Ever!)

  1. “I’m so damn human!” I love that, hahaha! It’s so true!! Congrats all around on your successes, and I want to see the video of your showcase! It is a great feeling to watch yourself and think “Oh! Not horrible!” 🙂

  2. bgballroom says:

    We have a ballroom friend who said, back when we were competing in Silver and Gold, “not many people in the world can do what we do.” So true! And to do it the way you have done it is even more impressive:-)

    As for video, we are big believers of watching it over and over and over until you are immune to the “ick” factor and ready to really learn from it. And be impressed by it! We recently saw a video of us at practice doing our new Open Tango. A lot of cringe-worthy stuff, for sure, but many moments of “hey! That looks amazing! Is that really us?” LOL

    Embrace the video and then post it fast so we can see it, too:-)

  3. loveablestef says:

    Bg, you are the best!

  4. Marian Condon says:

    Stefanie – You look GORGEOUS in that picture. And Damir ain’t hard on the eyes, either!

  5. Sandy Bullon says:

    Hi there Stefanie – – My name is Sandy and I have been following your blog now for the last 8 months or so. I live in the Land Down Under – the Great Land of Oz! I have been dancing for around 15 months now and found your blog because I needed support and insights from someone else on the new dancers journey – which is littered with potholes, frustration and sometimes flashes of a light at the end of a long tunnel. Today is the first time I’ve seen a pic of you and Damir and it’s a really lovely shot – you look great together. I just want you to know that I love the honesty in your blog and you are an inspiration to me.

  6. Lisa Walter says:

    Hi Stefanie….
    Lots to say here! First, the photo is great. You look wonderful, your dress is so vivid and beautiful and very flatting on you and your posture and expression are really nice.
    Regarding the workout….comparing yourself to others at the gym is a naughty thing to do! Its difficult not to…but at least it isn’t like a competition where there is a reason to compare yourself. Just focus on all the good things you are doing for your body and what you have accomplished. I know, easier said than done right?
    I relate 100 % to what you are saying about the changes in your dance that take place when you get the balance and movement thing under better control. Its like that Aha moment…suddenly you understand why your turns were off balance..and how to make them balanced. Things just come so much easier and you know it, you feel it. I’ve just had that same experience this year, right before my February competition and it certainly served me well in scholarship placements. It was the breakthrough I’d hoped for……….and it sounds like you’ve experienced it too!
    Heres to a break out year in dance for you!

  7. Hi Stefanie
    I’ve been wanting to dance for years and always thought “when I lose 5, 10, 15kg” and just never got to it. So this year, I decided to “inflict” myself on dance people regardless. I’ve only been dancing for three months now – loving almost every minute of it! I ran into your blog looking for inspiration! It’s been just that! Today I’m going to think about the things I have to be grateful for – the bit of weight loss, the definite gains in fitness, the fact that my toes point better and stick better and that I have three routines step- (if not technique-) perfect! Thanks for reminding me to keep my eye on what I can do and have done, as opposed to what I can’t!
    Good luck with the dancing.
    Shana (all the way from sunny South Africa!)

  8. Gunna Bergs says:

    Hi Stef,

    I absolutely love your blog and everything that your represent! I am hoping to maybe chat with you about the possibility of working with you on a guest blog. Is there any way to get in touch with you or if you are able to see my e-mail address would you mind shooting me an e-mail to discuss further? Let me know!


  9. Daniela says:

    Thanks for sharing the above post! It definitely is very inspiring. I am thinking to enrol myself into Bridal Dance Lessons in Melbourne before my wedding.

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