The Final Fifty

{February 20, 2013}   The journey so far, new pants, new DVD

Surprisingly, it seems like a few people are reading this, so, Hi! I promise my posts will get more targeted, but I figured I’d give a bit more background over the next few posts, and then focus more on the day to day once I’ve sort of caught up. I found these old pictures.

fattest245This one here to the left is me at my heaviest, probably about 8 years ago. Note the lack of shoes. I have a lot of trouble with my feet, and 8 years ago was about the worst of it. It wasn’t all from my weight, but the weight most definitely contributed to it, and as the weight has come off and I’ve been more active, my feet have improved over time.

This brings me to the new DVD. It’s called Ballet Boot Camp, and it’s basically the exact thing I’ve been looking for for a long time now. I did ballet as a kid, from about age 4 to age 12, and I’ve wanted to get back into it for a long time, but classes are expensive, I’ve got no car, and I have rehearsals 2-4 nights a week for the musical I’m in currently (Oliver!), so classes aren’t ideal for me at the moment. What I’ve wanted is something that is both serious ballet and a serious workout. Most of the ballet DVDs I’ve previewed are too watered down on both the workout, and on the ballet, so I was really excited to find this one. I am so excited to try it, but from what I’ve seen so far, ballet shoes are not  great idea for this one… there is a lot of jumping going on, so much so that even the dancers in the DVD are doing it in dance sneakers. So I sucked it up and ordered a pair. They should get here tomorrow, and hopefully I’ve ordered the right size. If not, they’ll go back and be exchanged for another pair, but I’m really hoping the first time is the charm this time. Dance sneakers, if you’ve never seen them, are sneakers with a split sole so that you can still point your toes properly, but they’ve got the support of a sneaker, with soles that are specially made to facilitate turning and even toe stands. I would really like to be able to do a toe stand one day. It might sound silly, but that would represent a huge accomplishment for me, both in fitness and in foot strength and overall health.

The picture to the right is more or less current. It’s from last summer,

bellydance but it’s the most representative picture that I currently have. I don’t typically wear my belly dance costume out, but it was a Renaissance Faire, so you can get away with things there that you can’t anywhere else, lol. I can’t begin to explain how much belly dance has done for my mental body image, but I can sincerely say that if you had asked me a few years ago if I’d have left the house like this, I would have laughed in your face. The thing is, though, I got a million compliments on my costume, and even got followed a bit by a guy with a drum who kept playing until he got me to dance. That’s the thing about body policing,
though. You hear the comments and see the looks so many times, that eventually you internalize the shame and the negativity, and ultimately no one has to say anything because you end up policing yourself.

Now that I know other people are even aware of this page, I want to make one thing really clear. I am not losing weight because I am ashamed of my body. I am not ashamed of my body at all. I was for a long time, and you know what? Being ashamed of my body did not make me thin, and it did not make me healthy. All it made me was miserable. I love my body because the more I do with it, the more I realize I am capable of doing with it. I start a particular kind of dance or exercise regimen, and in the beginning it’s really hard, and there are bits that I can’t do, but then I keep doing it and eventually it becomes easier and easier.

The reason I am doing this, working on losing weight and getting more fit, is that I want to be healthy, and I want to get to a point where my body can do more things, more easily. There are a lot of health problems running in my family – diabetes, heart disease, cancer – and I don’t want to get any of them. Losing weight will significantly reduce my risk for them all. And it will make dancing, and flexibility, and having energy all the time a lot easier.

Today was pretty great. I ate mostly the same stuff I did yesterday, but I managed a full hour of tap, at a moderate intensity, so I was able to have a serving of thin mints, OMNOMNOMNOM. I’m also excited, because this was beginner lesson seven, here, which I did about half of a few days ago. I wasn’t able to finish it, for a few reasons: my formerly broken, storm-predicting toe started hurting, going up on the balls of my feet was hurting *both* feet, and my balance was not as good as I would have liked when doing the moves slowly.

Today, I got through the full hour, and managed to stay balanced on the balls of my feet for the majority of the lesson. I think the rest day helped give my feet a break, but I also know that the practice is having an effect and I am improving, which is super exciting!

Can’t wait to try my ballet DVD tomorrow! I have another audition, so I probably won’t do the whole thing, but I’m going to at least try it.


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