I have been listening to pop music and dancing around the house.
This is something I used to do all the time. Singing and dancing have always been a huge part of my life. From the time I was a small child.
There are two things about this that are important to me.
1. I don’t think I have done this since I quit smoking.
2. I am so grateful to be in a body that I am comfortable both moving in, and moving in front of people.
I have always danced. I danced as a small child. I danced when I was fat. I have always been a good dancer. (No seriously. A really good dancer. Like strangers feel the need to tell me.)
But when I was fat, I was always ashamed. As if I shouldn’t subject other people to having to look at my body. That my inability to control my eating forfeited any right to love moving that body.
It’s not that I didn’t dance. I did. Even in public. Because that’s how much I love dancing. But I was always self-conscious. And through my teenage years, I can remember being mocked at school or park district dances. But kids are mean. Even then I knew that kids were mean. And that I couldn’t stop dancing because of it. But it meant that I could never “dance like no one was watching.” I could never dance like I did alone in my bedroom.
And then, thank God, in my early 20’s I made friends with people who loved to dance as much as I did. They were great dancers too. And they knew that I was a great dancer. They told me. And to them, being fat and being a great dancer were not mutually exclusive. And we went out dancing two to three nights a week. And sometimes I forgot to be embarrassed. Sometimes it was just me and the music and I was free to honor my body by moving and shaking. Only sometimes. But that meant that I was no longer always worried and ashamed and embarrassed.
But even though I was graceful and talented, it was hard. It was hard on my body. I have always had an incredible amount of energy. But I had pain. My feet especially would ache. I wanted to dance all night, but I physically couldn’t. So I would sit out a few songs. But inevitably some song would come on that I just could not sit through. And I would hurt. I was hurting my body to nourish my soul.
But when I got control of my eating and lost my excess weight, dancing became one of my greatest joys in life. In public or private. I no longer worried if people were looking at me because they were disgusted. I no longer had to sit out any song. I could choose to dance to every song if I wanted.
I don’t know why I have started dancing again all of a sudden. I do know that I go through phases. With almost everything. I read constantly for 3 months and then don’t pick up a book for another three. I crochet in fits and starts. I eat the same thing every day for a year and then forget it exists. (What can I say, I’m a Gemini.) So maybe it’s a coincidence that I haven’t done it since I quit smoking. But I’m glad it’s back. It feels good. In my body and soul.
If you are wondering what I am dancing around my house to, here’s a sample.