It took some gut-wrenching soul-searching, but I finally projectile vomited this deeply personal admission:
— — I have a love/hate relationship with my body — —
OMG the extremes make me dizzy! But I finally realized this…
When my body is out of control, my anxiety is through the roof!
And on the other end…
When my body is the way I like it, I am on top of the world.
How could 5, 10, or even 50 pounds affect me so? What is wrong with me? Am I a complete narcissist? Am I THAT shallow? Do I really value my physical state more than my… well, everything??? More than my character? More than my other skills and talents? More than my spiritual, emotional, and moral well-being?
Wait a minute. Maybe I am just going off the deep end here. Being dramatic. Let’s back up and think this through…
Here’s what I know. I hate it when I feel that extra bulge around my waist. I hate it when I can’t find something to wear that makes me look attractive. I hate it when the sunlight streams into my bathroom, and I see WAY TOO MUCH cellulite in the mirror. Despite knowing better, this triggers self-loathing and makes my anxiety sky-rocket.
On the other hand…
I love it when I look and feel fit. I feel proud of myself when my body looks toned, tanned, and strong. I am 60 years old now, and I am so grateful God gave me a strong, beautiful body to work with.
I feel like I am failing when I let this beautiful body go to shit. I feel like I am a good girl when I keep my body under control.
I am willing to work for it. I am willing to eat right, not drink, sacrifice most desserts, and exercise every day for it.
So, does that me make a narcissist? I don’t know.
All I know is that I FEEL GOOD when my body is in control. I FEEL PEACEFUL when my body is in control.
And after struggling with a 30-lb weight gain in my late 30’s, I eventually figured out how to get my body under control, relatively easily.
I just dance.
One hour a day, pretty much every single day.
I just dance.
And that changed everything.
I look good. I feel good. I feel like my husband has kind eyes on me. It’s easy to find clothes that look good. I am not nervous or ashamed of my body anymore. I feel confident. I feel grateful.
And, after a lifetime of trial and error, here’s what else I have learned: Dancing and being fit is my gateway to inner peace.
SOMEHOW THE PROCESS OF DANCING DAILY SERVES A DUAL PURPOSE: IT NURTURES AND SCULPTS MY BODY, MIND, HEART, AND SPIRIT — ALL AT THE SAME TIME!
That’s all I know.
So that is the embarrassing, gut-wrenching truth about WHY I DANCE.
Jules Szabo, founder of The Dancer’s Workout® (TDW) is a classically trained ballerina from the UNC School of the Arts and former corporate executive who helps busy working women, mothers, and empty nesters rediscover their love of dance. She specializes in the paraprofessional dancer (adult ballet, jazz, and contemporary dancers who are not beginners and not professionals, who simply love dance over other forms of exercise). Featured in Dance Magazine as one of the best dance programs online, The Dancer’s Workout® classes were designed to provide former dancers an emotionally and physically safe path back to dance and to help current adult dancers and dance instructors achieve their daily fitness goals through dance. If you are a current or former dancer, you are invited to come dance with us.
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