onceafatgirl

Peace is better than chocolate

Archive for the tag “Dancing”

What is more beautiful than a woman in love?

I write a lot about my body image issues in this blog. I write about my body-dysmorphia, and my insecurities. I have even written about how I feel less attractive living in The South, or in the suburbs of Chicago, because strangers (men) are not particularly forthcoming with gentlemanly admiration, like I got used to in New York City. And, of course, I am heavier than I like.

It’s coming up on 3 years. 3 years is a long time to hover somewhere between misery and meh about your body. Though, I lived in overwhelming hatred of my body from around the time I was 7 until I was 28, so I suppose meh isn’t so bad. But once upon a time, I had years when I loved my body. I woke up every day just plain liking it. Thinking it was fantastic.

So right, for almost three years, not so much. Except for one crazy exception. When I am dancing. When I dance, I think my body is gorgeous. Not just meh. Not just not terrible. Really amazingly beautiful. It’s not about what clothes I am wearing. (Today was faded yoga pants that are fraying at the inner seams and a t-shirt with a cartoon of a turtle on its back that says “AWKWARD.”) It doesn’t matter if I am sweating. (And if I am dancing, I am sweating. And red-faced.) I look at myself and I think Hot damn, I am f***ing sexy!

I don’t know why it is that way. In some ways, you would think that it would make me feel worse, fatter, less attractive. Jiggling and bouncing around. But no. I think I’m the cat’s pajamas when I dance. I’m a really good dancer, which probably helps. And maybe it has something to do with the cardio of dancing burning off stress hormones.

But the other thing that occurs to me is that maybe, just maybe, my body looks so beautiful to me because of what dancing fundamentally is for me. It’s a celebration! Not just at a wedding, or a party. Any time I dance, I am celebrating my existence. And that existence is manifested in my body. I am expressing joy and gratitude. Dancing, for me, is about love. How much I love life and the infinite experiences of living. And what is more beautiful than a woman in love?

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I make me feel like dancing

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.

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