Everything and Nothing

Ok, in last Thursday’s Pilates lesson I was really shocked how weak my arms and my upper body have become. In spring, when I was doing Power Plate, I had noticed significantly more strength in my upper body, for example when holding myself in the splits. Now all that was gone, and despite being a lot lighter, I had trouble holding myself up on my arms, even just on all fours. Pushups? I died after a few, on my knees. I decided I had to do something about my upper body. On Saturday after ballet classes, I filled two old Diet Pepsi bottles with water and used them as weights and did some lifting. But while the lifting felt heavy, I wasn’t sore at all yesterday. Maybe I need to use heavier weights. I guess I’ll have to buy some. The gym is not really an option, time wise. We’ll see, maybe it could be managed.

I can’t do a lot of body weight exercises because I am really heavy, and I die after a few repetitions. So I guess weights it is. Now Power Plate was so great, in just twenty minutes I had finished a whole body workout. But it’s too expensive at the moment. Such a pity. I would also love to do Gyrotonic, or Pilates with an instructor to have customised exercises, but they are so incredibly expensive. I would have to give up ballet. And that would NEVER be an option, not for this.

I also tried something new on the stationary bike: interval training. It was tough, but fun, and doable. But today, I really really feel my legs, like a weakness and slight soreness all over. Hopefully, it will get better until ballet tonight…

On to ballet. Something very strange happened in the second class on Saturday. The first class had been hard, with a substitute teacher who was demanding (loved it), and I guess I worked still harder than usual. Anyway, I was already feeling tired in the second class, and my achilles, ankle and heels were hurting, in an almost-bad-pain way. We were at the barre, I was on the back end spot. Rosanna was teaching. We were doing ronds de jambe à terre with ports de bras, cambrés and relevés lents. I remember noticing the pain and thinking ‘I need to pay attention to my weight placement and really hold my turnout in my standing leg.’ and planning to do the exercise correctly and safely. But we were on the left side which meant I had nobody in front of me, the music was loud around me and exquisitely beautiful, Rosanna was standing in front, committed, energetic, demonstrating and calling her usual motivating things like: ‘more more more’, ‘breathe’, ‘head’, ‘maximal, maximal!’, her energy and will were palpable, and I remember wanting to hold back a little, to concentrate on my feet and not aggravate my injuries, but I was just swept away. It really felt as if I was no longer moving my limbs, or telling my muscles what to do, but the music was flowing over me, moving my body in graceful waves. I had no control. I could not hold back. I had no time to be embarrassed, or to feel vulnerable. I just danced, or IT just danced ME.

I’ve felt this sometimes before, just for a second, but never like this. It felt extremely strange. It wasn’t the usual ‘moment’ when I feel one with the music. This was different. Wonderful, but also scary.

Both teachers told me after the classes that I worked really well, and to go on. I have never been so motivated before. I have never worked so hard before. It’s wonderful, being this driven. I have this joy always in the back of my mind, this wonderful thought of dancing and improving and changing. I spend more time in front of the mirror at home now, looking for changes in my body. Muscles and bones showing, lines appearing in my legs. My face is getting lovelier every day, my eyes are even larger, my chin and jaw show more. When I lengthen my neck and turn my head, the sternocleidomastoid shows. I started taking photos of myself, to document my progress. Unfortunately I have no real ‘before’ pictures, because I always try to hide from cameras. I’m not only fat, but extremely unphotogenic. People always tell me I don’t look so ugly in real life when they see my pictures. Plus, I didn’t start losing weight with a clear expectation for it t work, but it is working, and gaining momentum. Looking back, I never really believed I could come so far. But having come so far, I can now believe it and go on. There is still a long way.

Not that it is always easy, especially after a hard day at work, when my back is already stiff and tired, and my body really wants to rest and eat and sleep. And I have noticed more cravings, especially for fresh baked things like white bread, cookies, cakes. Sometimes right after a meal, when I’m full. Very strange. Depending on my tiredness and happiness, I can resist. But not always. I have eaten more white bread last week. Strangely, I also lost more weight, so maybe it’s not so ‘bad’. Oh no, I’m already thinking in categories. It’s getting worse.

I started cooking WW stews and soups on the weekends and freezing it in portions for lunch and dinner. The pea soup was really good, but my coworkers seem to mind the smell. The pumpkin chicken apple curry is my favourite so far, I just made seven portions yesterday. I added some hot curry and tabasco, to make it a little spicy. Yumm.

Having readers now is really flattering, but also strange, because it makes me look at my writing from their (imagined) perspective. And that’s my biggest problem anyway, always imagining others judging me and thinking badly of me. Ok, so I decided to write my journal publicly, but anonymously, just to put my thoughts ‘out there’. Maybe somebody would want to read it. Probably, a lot of people wouldn’t. Some might hate it. But I am fighting to stay true to myself. I am trying to write what I want, as I would in a journal (maybe avoiding awkward grammar and actually looking up English words I don’t know), and I am trying not to think of my readers’ reactions when I write. Because then I freeze up and write stiff, boring or sappy things, trying to offend nobody and please everyone. A little like in real life. So, when my inner ‘reader’ tells me that I write about myself too much, that I write unkindly about others, that I write bad English, that I write about boring or utterly insignificant stuff, I wait until it shuts up. And then I write what I want.

Somehow, in writing my blog/journal, it slipped out that I am fat. Oh no, make that ‘morbidly obese’. And I do ballet, and more than just a casual class per week. And my ‘inner reader’ has been pestering me ever since I practically admitted that I used to weigh 300 pounds while dancing ballet for four years. My inner reader thinks only slightly overweight people should do ballet, at most, and nobody should have an opinion on ballet and technique and teachers etc, who looks like I do. My inner reader thinks that I sometimes write something poignant. But as soon as it considers how much I weigh, it finds my writing pathetic. The SAME writing. It finds everything I do pathetic. People who are as fat as I am should go to the gym and diet and feel bad about themselves and be ashamed, and look at things like beauty and music and ballet only from afar, out of the shadows, longing for them. They shouldn’t dance and expose themselves and hurt others’ sense of beauty by moving in front of their eyes, in form-fitting clothes. They should especially not have ambition and passion, and if they do, they should keep quiet about it. Their ambition should be to lose weight first. To become normal. And then they may be allowed to have everything normal people have, and then they are worthy of love. Maybe.

THIS is the voice I have been trying to shut up all my life. Isn’t it just horrible? If that voice were not here, I would have started ballet at 14, when I first fell in love with it. It kept me in the shadows for nine years. Dark shadows, sometimes. I had my own worst enemy within me. And my own best friend, too. She took her time growing up, but now I can hear her.

About annalienor

Lover of beauty, adult ballet student, deliberate creator wannabe.
This entry was posted in Ballet, Health, Law of Attraction, Moment, Music, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Everything and Nothing

  1. wartica says:

    I had that voice in my head for a very long time, and held me back from a lot of great opportunites, but no more! Stay strong because you’ll beat it out 🙂 Have a great holiday with your family and friends :))

  2. I LOVE reading your blog!! I think it is simply amazing that you do ballet because you love it. Stay strong! You are doing amazing things. Don’t ever let anyone tell you differently. I’ve taken classes with a few girls that were not the “ideal” body shape. And all I could think to myself was, “this girl has amazing courage and passion to come here, put on a leotard and tights, and dance. I don’t know her, but I can’t help but feel proud of her. She’s got more determination than I do!” You keep doing what you are doing girl!! You will get where you want to be, I can tell. You have amazing drive and determination. Keep it up!! 😉😃 You are not pathetic, and neither is anything you write about. It is amazing!!

  3. I really admire your honesty. Your message is important and could be an inspiration to many other men/women who are overweight and want to dance, but are scared. You give people hope.
    It sounds like you are well on your way to being the same person on the outside as you are on the inside. Trust me, even if you are thin, they don’t necessarily match. I am working on my insides; they have always been a mess.
    Thanks for the great post.

    • annalienor says:

      Thank you so much!
      Then we are on opposite paths, but with the same goal.
      I believe the inside is harder to change, and there is not one approach that works for everybody. But as with the body, we have to first make peace with where we are, and go on from there.

  4. Pingback: Internal Struggle | The Legal Ballerina

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