Feeding Myself: Dance

For Christmas I received a gift card for 4 classes at a local dance studio. I’ve been aching to attend a formal dance class for well over 2 years, and I finally went last night. Prompted by avoiding the massive dose of pollen outside, I ditched my plan to go for a run and instead went to a dance class. I’d wanted to do one with more movement, but I was able to go into a stretch class instead. I love stretching, so I was happy to go; I’ll go again soon to a movement class.

Ever the worrier about new places and things, I got there early and told the front desk attendant, I’m new. She kindly helped me out, gave me a quick tour, etc. The studio is really nice! It has a very swanky locker room area, 4 studios, and a good assortment of classes. It doesn’t have Zumba, but it does have Cardio Salsa, which I watched the tail end of as I waited for my class to begin. Will definitely be trying that one!

Stretch class was challenging, but all my stretching on my own paid off. There were only a few times I felt weak, but my abs and back are so much stronger than they’ve ever been in my life, and I felt like I was properly flexible, too. It was a challenge, but not over my head. I can only get better.

It was a little hard to see my physique in the mirror, though. Although I’ve been running, my midsection and thighs and upper arms looked enormous compared to most women in the room. There was a clearly professional ballerina behind me who was tiny tiny tiny, and the lady next to me was tiny tiny tiny and the instructor was tiny, too. I decided to turn my mind to my strength and not my looks. I even smiled, as I remembered how wonderful it felt to be in a real studio and letting my mind go to follow the instructions. I also had to laugh at the obscene amount of sweating I was doing under the very warm light right over me. I also kept spotting hairs from my head all over the floor. I was awkward in these ways, but again, I felt strong. Capable. And I didn’t want it to end. The hour flew by and it was time to go.

I can’t wait to go back. I’ve needed this.

Happy Pi Day, Big Middle!

The inner math nerd in me giggles about today’s date every year. Also, the person in me who likes to celebrate EVERYTHING is happy to have a reason to celebrate today. Oh, and we’re so close to St. Patty’s Day! Two celebrations in one week! I know, right?!

Another reason to celebrate today is that today marks Day 6 of my Lenten Observation Routine (hereafter, LOR). I’m including Sundays, so it’s still 41 days left for me.  I figured it would make dull blogging (and for you, reading) to make an entry each day stating I reached my goals! And, again! And, yet again! And, guess what, again!

So far, as you can probably ascertain, I’ve been able to mark off each day that I have had a gallon of water, walked a mile, not watched TV, and read the Lectionary text of the day. It was surprisingly harder to accomplish the walk on the weekend, and it’s been nice to have something on my list that I am NOT supposed to do, because, in effect, it’s something I don’t HAVE to do. I never thought it would be that way. Of course, would I love to watch TV? Yes. Yes, I would.

I was worried what the change in schedule this week for mean for my LOR, as last week was spring break for school, and while I had work to do as it’s admissions season, I still got to move at a leisurely pace through my day, allowing easy integration of the LOR into my life.  I didn’t sleep in all week, which shocked me, but I got to hang out with the dog while I drank my first Nalgene full of water. By the way, I realized my Nalgene, being purple, is the correct Liturgical color for the season of Lent. Freaky. Anyway, the switch to the full force work week has not hampered my LOR abilities.

It’s been nice to make myself drink the water because I am only hungry at about 10% of the rate I was hungry before. It’s wild. I knew this would happen, but it’s still nice. It makes me feel to stupid for not putting two and two together, but, by golly, LOR is teaching me a thing or two!

Going for a walk has offered a nice interlude for my day as well. And, ever the overachiever, I usually walk more than the required mile. My poor pedometer, though, is not doing so well. I’ve dropped it at least four times, three of which have been on pavement, which is not a very forgiving surface. It still keeps track of my steps, but its display goes in and out of visibility. Might have to find one that can hold on a little better to the tops of my pants as this one slips very easily. Maybe it just doesn’t like its job very much? Maybe it prefers to be on the ground? Maybe I am moving way too much for its liking? Geez, pedometer, give me a break! It’s LOR’s fault!!

Reading the Lectionary text has also been a nice interlude for me. And I fully embrace technology — I either read it from my computer OR my Blackberry. Very exciting. I like reading it, though. I like how there are different parts of the Bible represented each day, and even Psalms listed as being for the morning or the evening. It’s become really evident to me how much music has taught me about the Bible, given that at one passage each day picks up a tune I know that was inspired by the words I am reading. It’s pretty cool.

In other news, I was just walking, feeling all great about being on a walk and enjoying the great out doors, and feeling healthy and all that, when lo, and behold, a neighbor I was passing (I’d just waved hello to her) said, “When did THAT happen??”

She was referring to my midsection.

She clearly thought I was preggers.

😦 Am not.

Luckily she played it off and didn’t even admit to having asked it once I readjusted my baggy t-shirt a little (WILL BE WEARING MORE CLOSELY FITTED ARTICLES OF CLOTHING ON WALKS NOW) and I shot the breeze with her. It was super duper awkward. My high from walking and feeling healthy was totally fizzling and she and I parted our conversation soon thereafter.

I am really sensitive about my midsection. Everyone has a part of their body they don’t like, and for me, that’s the area that, although I am not wealthy and if I were, I would hope I’d spend my money elsewhere, I would get some work done. I have very long arms and legs, but my torso? Totally short.  Because I am 5’2″, it’s especially short. Out of 5 feet, 2 inches, from the floor to my hip is exactly 3 feet. I realized that one day when I held a yard stick along the outside of my leg one day during a science class in high school. I was leaning against, waiting my turn to use the yard stick to measure something for a lab we were working on, and it hit me that the remaining 2 feet and 2 inches contained a whole lot of body – my torso, neck and head. It didn’t seem to me at the time to be an even distribution, and I’ve figured out over time that that’s because it isn’t.

That's me in the middle. Figuratively speaking.

I know, whine whine whine. I want to wear things meant for girls with no boobs and a long torso, but for me, when I try on clothes meant for girls like that, it looks like an ill-fitting couch cover over a sofa. In other words, disaster. It wouldn’t be so bad if my waist were smaller, but, alas, that’s where all the fat collects. And that’s why people think I am pregnant when in fact, I am just built to look dumpy if I am ten pounds overweight as I am now. It sucks.

Maybe I should go eat some pie on this Pi Day, wallow in my self-pity.

The thing that stinks about being mistaken as a carrier of a baby is that I would like to be carrying a baby. Or, even more simply-put, I would like to have the reason I look pregnant be that I am pregnant. It raises too much excitement for folks when they think I am pregnant.  It’s such a let down for both of us when I have to say, no, not yet. And it happens way more than I would like to have happen and it’s upsetting every time.  It’s funny how frequently I can spot another woman with my body type now and I know she must also get asked when her baby is due.

As usual, I try to cope with humor. A few years ago, Josef and I were at a garden center looking at daffodil bulbs to plant in our yard (where is this going???? you ask) and we came across a bulb named Big Middle. Josef, jokingly and unintentionally, held the bag up to my belly and poked my belly with the bag, proclaiming “Big Middle” in kind of a Green Giant voice. Horror quickly chased away the humor in his face when he realized that his joke may have caused me pain as he is fully aware of how sensitive I am about my torso. However, the whole thing just struck me a hilarious, and I even took the joke to as an opportunity to rename my “problem area.” From then on, any time I feel fat, I pat my own Big Middle and try to get over myself, even if just a little.