All week I repeated to myself, “I want to go to dance. I want to!” And I went so many times since our last blog. Yay me! How did you do?
I recently heard from a friend that they are depressed about their weight. I can relate, we’ve all been there, are there. I said to myself about my friend, “Stop doing that to my friend. Stop saying those things to make them feel bad about their size. Leave my friend alone - dark-cloud -of-conditioned-body-size-depression!”
It takes years, maybe decades to release social programming. If eyes rolled at family holidays when you put on a little weight, then I know you. I got it, too. And if you use food to cope with these feelings because it was restricted growing up, welp, you have a healthy recipe for weight gain depression.
I’m going to share the philosophy of several personal trainers I know. Ready for thousands of hours of wisdom summed up in a Fiona Apple lyric?
Up until now in a rush to provebut now I only move to move
I only move to move - for me that means, I’m doing it to do it. Because I can! Because my body still does mostly what I ask it to. How great is that! I can survive an ASA! class. This is saying a lot. We have nothing to prove to anyone, we move to move, not to make our bodies smaller. Though that can happen. But that's not the point. The point is to dance. We know this brings us joy, endorphins, serotonin, and all the other feel good natural drugs that are essential to living life. You can get high off dancing and Core 35! I’m learning to run towards that high. It hasn’t happened yet.
Everything in nature dances. Bees, birds, you’ve seen the nature channel. We are the luckiest body movers on Earth. We’re simply gorgeous, aren’t we?!
I’ve been suffering from two knee injuries this summer. Happy to say, I was active and one of the falls to my already arthritic knee was during a hike. I had to skip a lot of classes to let this knee heal. I’m using knee braces now and I’m stretching. But some guilt and shame thoughts popped in while I was on a rest (I don’t know whose voice this is besides society and maybe my mother’s). Be sure to say this with a wagged finger:
“See you skipped all those classes before when you were perfectly healthy. Now look at you. Don’t let an injury have to remind you how much you love dancing and moving your body with ease. You love being independent. Guess you shouldn’t be skipping classes so much when you’re healthy.”
Sheesh. It sounds bad. But I just switched it up for myself just after I thought it.
I say DO let that injury be a positive reminder about how much you love to move. How much you love being independent. Let it be a gentle reminder when you’re thinking about skipping class. I also got to cheer on myself today, that I could kneel with a yoga pad and do the work. It hurt a tiny bit but I was doing it. Nursing the injury made me realize I can focus on all my body parts in a functional way, not a looks way. “Oh this arm works, so do these legs. No, I can’t move like Akousa. I’ll get somewhere, though! Little pain in the knee. It’s OK, my body works. MY BODY WORKS!” Even with an injury, your body can do other things.
It was extremely hard to stretch or do anything while my knee was injured. It was enough to work, clean the house and be productive, let alone take care of other parts of my body during that time.
Do you suffer from weight gain depression? Who programmed you? Identifying my brainwashers has really helped me.
How do you get through an injury? Do you full on rest? Do you cheat your rest and stay injured longer? Do you use an injury to excuse yourself from other movements, maybe past the point of healing? How do you feel about yourself while injured? Do you long for class or do you get depressed?
How can we use the consistency of dance training to heal this part of ourselves?