Sunday, May 01, 2011
As long as I can remember, people make the comment "oh the camera adds 10 pounds!" - first with still pictures then when video came out (yes, I am that old, LOL) as a panacea for not liking the way they looked when represented on fillm....
I did my performance piece yesterday. The goal was to just freakin' DO IT - I wasn't worried about technique or anything else, to just get out there and DO IT - and at least look comfortable doing it.
Goal met. I did it, I looked like I was having fun and I looked relaxed - versus that deer in the headlights look that can happen when nerves overcome...
That said, I'm proud I dragged my 240 pound butt up there and did it. However...
when we came back into the motel room and popped the DVD into the laptop, my eyes filled with tears. Not happy tears. Tears of recognition of just what I look like and that I did not dance to my skill level. Think "Russian ballerina dances the hokey pokey". I didn't look stupid - that's not the point. The point is my skill set is much higher than what I put out there yesterday - but my body is not able to physically do it in this shape. The arthritis is flaring, we spent 6 hours on concrete slab as flooring, and not enough sleep.
I looked like a dancer who was past her prime. Not bad, not bad at all...but "past it".
Before you hit comment and say "oh don't be so mean to yourself!" this is a reality check for me. This is not me bashing myself, it's me realizing ('out loud' in a relatively safe zone) that my dancing is being affected by my weight - period.
I am a better dancer than what I showed out there. Weight or no, I can improve that. The weight, I can also improve. With my son in a mental health crisis at 15, working full time to support our family I cannot and will not declare I'm going to lose those 100 pounds RIGHT NOW...but I can say this:
you know those events that happen that make you turn down that cookie, that make you lace up your shoes when you really don't wanna run, that re-motivate and inspire you to get off your butt?
Yesterday was such an event. I'm ready to turn it up!
Thursday, April 28, 2011
I had an epiphany.
Seems pretty clear and quite simple now that I've realized it...you know, like "well DUH!" But our thinking patterns aren't always that clear, are they, especially when tied to something emotional - like morbid obesity.
I've mentioned before I bellydance, have since the 80s. I teach to packed classes, have an award-winning dance troupe, and a few times a year I get hired to teach a workshop up and down the West coast. I was asking myself the other day, as I have several times before, "why am I not getting hired more?" Literally, women with less bellydance "credentials" than I get hired repeatedly...why not me? My workshops always get great feedback...I know I'm a good teacher...what's the problem?
Um, well, DUH Lisa....you are morbidly obese. Would you hire a morbidly obese dancer to come teach in your town? that's a trick question...because I have. One of the most talented teachers I ever knew was always heavy, and then when she became morbidly obese, she pretty much quit teaching/dancing and became a vendor of bellydance things to sell at events, so she was still in the community. I had her come teach because I KNEW she was amazing and I didn't care about her weight. At that workshop, several women said the same thing to me in a variety of ways "once she started dancing - i forgot all about her weight, becuase she was AMAZING!"
I think that's beautiful, really.
But the reality is...obese bellydancers very rarely get hired to teach anywhere, despite their level of accomplishment, ability, etc.
My obesity is robbing me of the career in bellydance i could be having. Yes, I am booked for two workshops this year, and I'm pleased and grateful for those bookings....but how many could I have if I lost even a part of the weight that I'm dragging around?
This week I've danced more, walked more, and generally been more active...which only served to highight to me again the need for more cardio in my life! I will perform a solo at an Oregon bellydance festival (Saqra's Showcase in Hillsboro Oregon) for the first time in....five years. I dance with my troupe there every year...but soloing? very intimidating to me at this weight because I have seen with my own eyes the way people's attention drifts the minute they see a larger woman come to the side of the stage to be called up next...suddenly, that's a good time to get a drink of water or go shop the vendors....because in our culture - obese women, heavy women, or women who don't fit societies norm are undervalued. Period.
But this year, I'm doing it. I'm doing it for myself, and I'm doing it for the other women out there who struggle with their weight. That last time I danced, five years ago, after I danced at least five, no joke - five, larger women found me after the performance and said "You made me realize I can do this, i can perform, I don't have to wait till I lose weight".
So while my obesity IS likely robbing me of bookings (and yes, years of life), it will not rob me of the nerve-wracking, scary-fabulousness of hitting that stage Saturday solo....for all the fat chicks!
Monday, April 18, 2011
Yep, things are still chaotic for me. Working out son's meds...second opinions...is it bipolar? is it psychosis? None of the above? Slow process.
In the meantime, I'm gearing up for health - again. Guess you can't start over too many times!
This time, however, one small difference - I'm not over doing it right out of the gate. Taking a reasonable walk...doing some kind of exercise daily...but not those huge expectations I tend to make of myself that only lead to one place for me: Injury.
Baker's cyst in knee, arthritis flares, back going out....I'm avoiding all that so far (knock on wood) by going slow and steady. Nothing like ending up having to take it easy or worse yet, flat on my back, because I pushed it too hard too fast.
I'm walking pretty much daily, at least a 15 minute walk, sometimes two. On the weekend, maybe I take a lil longer walk.....So far so good. On top of my dance classes, I'm moving quite a bit.
Weigh in you ask? I haven't. Trying to focus on how I feel and just the doing of it, you know?
I have a goal of 230 by May 1....set when my life wasn't crazy. I don't have any clue where i am now, but I suspect not there. Does it matter? Really? No. What matters is that I'm doing something, I'm being reasonable and safe about it, and that it helps my mood, my stress level and hey, if some weight happens to fall off in there too...I won't complain. What do YOU do most days of the week for fitness?
Thursday, April 07, 2011
Wow, almost a month since I've posted.
Feelin' anxious. One of the best ways I've found to deal with anxiety is gratitude. Some days on the way to work I just say out loud the whole trip what I'm grateful for...here's a bit of that
* My son has been accepted into a two-year wellness program for kids dealing with mental illness
* I have a secure job
* I have a loving partner
* I have great kids
* I have a car that runs with no payments
* I was able to pay my rent and have a place to live for another month
* I have good people in my life
* I have a little dog that makes me smile every single day
* While imperfect, I have better health than a lot of folks
* Simple pleasures like a cup of coffee, a walk in the sun on my break and seeing the trees finally beginning to bud with leaves....
Life is not perfect. Life is sometimes stinkin' hard. But life is good.
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