I Don’t Exercise to be Healthy…


Author’s Note: This is a post about my weight, self-esteem, etc. This is entirely personal and more than a little of what people would call vain. Just be warned, in case you aren’t interested in reading about it.

A few nights ago, a dear friend posted a version of that picture (*points off to the side*) on her Facebook page and I had to be brutally honest with myself and admit, “Yep. That’s right.” It may be totally vain or selfish or whatnot but it’s the total truth. I eat as well as I can to be healthy, but I can do better. Always. I exercise, I bellydance, walk, etc., however, to look good, to feel beautiful and proud about how my body looks. Yes, only one person is going to see me naked but I want to look good nevertheless.

I have fallen away from my normal habits of exercise of late, with the change in the weather and the holidays and all that. But I cannot only blame those circumstances as that would be unfair and lazy on my part. I haven’t been as disciplined as I should be and that is on me. I have gained enough weight since the summer to now rate as overweight on the BMI scale. I don’t like that. I don’t like feeling like I don’t look well in my clothes. I miss the curve in my waist that I envied in my mother as a teenager and worked hard to get. I miss the tone that bellydance and daily walks pushing Elizabeth’s stroller uphill gave me. I miss the feeling of being beautiful as I danced, with pride in my technique and stage performance. I want that all back.

So call me vain if you so wish. It’s your opinion and that’s fine. It’s also fine that I want to look the way I want to look and feel the way I want to feel. That is my goal for this new year and I am looking forward to it. I know it will be hard, I know I will have to give up some of the things I really like. I will have to make time to get to Planet Fitness and bellydance class, even if it is inconvenient or I am tired after a day with Elizabeth. It will be worth it. I will be able to fit comfortably into the dresses and skirts that I love, and, hopefully, I will come to enjoy the exercise again, find a new happy spot in my soul, and give my daughter a run for her money in the energy department. Maybe I will even start performing again. And, just maybe, my heart – with all its little vanities – will once again smile to hear shouted across a room “I hate you, Ben!”

Ghosts of Talent Past


I saw a vision of myself dancing last night. Granted, a self five or six years younger  with twice the grace and talent. So…a vision of me as I would have wished to be, I guess.

Several years ago, I was at the height of my bellydance fervor – at least five hours of classes/troupe practice per week, daily practice, frequent performances, including at large conventions. And I loved it. I was good at it. I looked good doing it. I loved it. Then life set in, my goals and hobbies changed, and that was not quite so important anymore. Now, after having had a baby and been majorly out of the scene for over a year, I just went to my first hafla as a performer. It was…disappointing. I was nervous about dancing. I tried my best but didn’t do as well as I’d hoped, didn’t feel as sassy, beautiful, or graceful as I used to. As I drove home in silence, I just felt sort of…ill. It was no one’s fault. Everyone was great; from Zhenna, who taught my class so wonderfully, to all the other dancers that I reconnected with, albeit briefly. No, it was no one’s fault.

It was me. I felt disappointed. I felt less. Dancing didn’t make me happy like it used to. I didn’t feel lovely, like I used to. I felt like I had let myself down somehow. Perhaps, as far as dancing, it’s time for me to step away from performance entirely and just concentrate on the fitness aspect of the dance.