Of all the things I have done in my continued journey of life, my weight management has been one of the toughest. My process has been long, with ups and downs and an unwavering resolve to never quit. It frustrates me, makes me very determined, and sometimes just plain ticks me off.
But, since I am never going to give up, I decided to try something different. After any inner arguments with myself, I decided to jump completely out of my comfort zone and join an adult tap class at my daughter’s dance studio.
This is a studio my daughter has been a part of for almost 10 years, I am thankful to say that these people all know me and my journey very well. However, that made the decision both easier and harder at the same time. It was a talk from friend outside of the studio who finally encouraged me to take that big step. Knowing I had her there gave me strength. Another big part of me deciding to do it was the teacher, an inspirational woman my daughter and I love very dearly.
And so, I did it. And I loved it.
Well, okay, it was more of a love/dislike relationship. Throughout the months of getting back into dancing, I learned how to do something I hadn’t done in over 30 years, I began to learn how to push myself. I had to stubbornly acknowledge the restrictions of my own body mass while pushing myself to make it work gracefully. I had to squash the constant self-doubt. While mirrors are something I usually avoid, I had to stare in a wall of them, at myself, for an hour each week.
“Take it all in Kate, this is you. Now learn to love it anyway!”
It. Was. Tough. The war within myself to want to keep losing weight, but still love myself along the way wasn’t easy, especially when I could physically see myself at my most vulnerable.
Something that stood out to me was that I loved the music. I also loved the learning new routines and spending time with the other dancers and having genuine laughs with each other. Some nights, I came home and it took Herculean effort just to get in the shower while other days I came home absolutely energized. I loved this new chapter in my life.
While I began to embrace my love for myself and what my body could do, that time of the year slowly peaked its head. Recital time. It’s usually the time of year I love, because I get to see what comes out of the hard work my daughter and her friends have been putting in all year. However, this time that also meant that I had to go on stage.
Now it’s time to get real. This is where the real strength was going to need to come.
For me it was never about the attention the stage provides. It was always about the fun of the journey – a theme in my life, actually. I wasn’t sure I was ready to let everyone see me dancing. I really do mean everyone, because even if the auditorium is small, the pictures and videos that will inevitably come will live forever. There is going to be judgment by some. There has to be. I am still a big girl and I am about to jiggle the heck out of that body for all to see.
The thought has been terrifying.
But a couple things made me want to try, a big one being the song choice. The teacher, with whom I share a very strong song related bond (she’s my song soul sister) picked the one song I thought to myself (before the class even started) “if she picks this song I may have to do it”. And she did. Of course she did! She picked – It’s ‘All About That Bass’ by Megan Trainer. Because that song is all about loving your body for what it is. No matter WHAT it is.
So, you know what, that’s a message I want to send.
To my daughter. To her friends. To ALL the girls who dance at that studio. To all the women in the world actually. And in the end, to myself.
The other factor was something my husband said to me. I was worrying one night and said
“It all comes down to the fact that I’m afraid people will judge me.”
To my surprise he said:
“Yeah. They probably will. Some anyway. The question then becomes – do you care?”
… did I? I thought about it for about a half a second. No way in heck. Because another persons judgement is always a reflection of them, not me. The truth is, I am no stranger to judgement and it is something I couldn’t care less about anymore. So what reason did I really have for not doing it? None.
So this weekend it’s happening. I’m going to put my big girl pants on (I admit the double meaning there) and I’m going to get on that stage and I am going to rock. it. out.
Because I have to.
Because it scares me.
And because it’s all about that bass.