This blue puffy vest is my security blanket. I wear it for every class and while I teach. I cannot stand the sight of my waist right now.
If you read my last post on getting really thin and finally having what, to me is a dancer’s body, remember I also talked about getting my body ready for my husband and me to grow our family. So I changed my diet a little to start putting some weight back on, since estrogen is regulated by body fat on women, and it is also the primary hormone that aids in fertility.
I haven’t made this widely known until now, but I got really sick at the beginning of January. Nothing totally debilitating, but I was exhausted ALL.THE.TIME. I ate and napped every spare minute so I could keep going to work.
I put on 20 pounds in two weeks.
It took January, February and into March for me to start to feel better.
So here I was, just as audition and spring rehearsal season was starting, very out of shape, and very, very fat, according to myself.
I took March to regroup and now April is almost finished I am finally feeling like myself. Still not as trim as I was this time last year, but I feel I’m headed upward now.
Today was the first class I took where I felt like I could take my safe puffy vest off.
So the internet, at least the bit I read, mostly says we should have a love for our body no matter what. I believe this is good advice, even if you are unhappy with your body and want to form a plan to improve it. As a dancer I ALWAYS have a plan to improve my body, to stretch more, lose fat on my bum, improve my cardiovascular endurance, and get a pretty neck, which I have always wanted but never had.
But when it feels so hopeless, it’s hard to not just hate hate hate. After feeling so good in the fall, the contrast was almost too much to take. How do I keep loving something that has regressed so much? I also wonder how I would have kept loving my body after producing a human? How do I reconcile wanting to look as good as I can as an amateur dancer with the desire to be a mom?
I don’t have an answer. If you do, or if you have thoughts on this, please comment below.
For now, as I talked about I’m my other post, I am eating better ( not less, that never works), moving more, and am back to doing fasts of various lengths (nothing over four days). I’m excited for spring shows and I’ve even signed up for a week long intensive in August.
I’m scared that I can’t love my body if I’m not a certain shape. I’m scared I’ll pass this conditional love on to my students and children. My mother never judged her own body or mine where I could hear, and that has been a strong protection for me my whole life. I’ve never wanted to harm my body, just improve it.
Along with feeling more motivated in my health, I am also more motivated with this little dance wear business. I have a new product launching this spring and ideas for several more. I’m proud to announce that Cheval Dancewear is sponsoring the first of hopefully many scholarships for dancers. We are giving a check for $300 to be used for pointe shoes to dancers attending the Ballet West Summer Intensive.
Due June 10th, apply here:
I want this business to prioritize giving back as early in it’s growth as possible. Please share that link if you know a dancer headed to Salt Lake City for the summer.
Maybe body love needs to also include brain and abiltiy love. My brain also stopped working for a while during my pregnancy. Maybe that’s one reason I felt so low. But I love the work I’m doing on my business. I love my teaching and my accompanying for ballet class. I love the people I work with. I love my husband and my family.
Maybe body love needs to calculate other factors for over all self love. So my answer to my question about that may be that I need to keep a broader focus as my body lives through this life.
I hope you find love for your body and yourself. I think it’s ok to experience times of hate or at least less-than-happy-with. But hopefully these are just parts of our life cycles and we can get where we want to be and have everything we want.
Thank you for reading.