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Dancing Solo

Sunday, July 17, 2011

"The body is a sacred garment. It's your first and last garment; it is what you enter life in and what you depart life with, and it should be treated with honor." - Martha Graham

I have heard this kind of saying before... "The body is a temple". It doesn't really reasonate with me; I hear it, I read it, I understand it but it doesn't move me.

Something like the quote for Jenny Craig does it more: "Self-love is the only weight-loss aid that really works in the long run."

I think much of my own thinking and perception of eating (and consequent weight-gain) has to do with feeling overwhelmed, tired, responsible and a fear of "running out" of energy and self-to-give. As a child with a very dependant Mom, as a teen with a sense of responsibility for home and sisters, as a young adult returning home from university in a family financial crisis, as a young married woman with a husband who did not have the initiative to match mine... I turned to the only comfort I could find: food. Food didn't demand anything of me. It was often a solitary (yes, called closet-eating!) activity that was either frantic or peaceful. It definitely had a drug effect; I usually fell asleep afterwards, or in my hypoglycemic state, I could use sugar to actually give myself a pretty good spin on life! It was never a very healthy balance. The only thing, looking back, that brought perspective, was my skating. First, in lessons at the local rink, then as a coach, as a competitor and finally as an adult ice dancer. My exercise in the form of skating, was my sanctuary from all the rest and it likely minimized the crazy eating binges because I at least kept myself moving. All the significant times in my life: deaths, decisions, dilemmas -- I took to the solitude of the rink to sort out.

When I stopped skating in a frantic effort of trying to hold onto a new business, a failing marriage and mounting debts, I gained a fair amount of weight; I kept my eating habits, but short-changed the exercise component - and the self love. Simple math; it ALL added up. By ignoring the need for physical and emotional expeditures and keeping it all "inside" I simply spiralled into a funnel-like isolation and off the end of the scale.

And so - fast forward a few years - having collected my thoughts, found some perspective and moved forward in my life it is time to revamp my daily activities. I found an inexpensive public skating session and I have loaded my IPod with all my favorite ice dance music. I do not have a partner on the ice any more so I guess it is time to learn to dance solo! The best I can do right now is to honour that time I enjoy by myself and by doing that, I have opened myself to a wealth of new things... health, love and beauty. Somedays, things just become clear.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Good for you. I am glad that you have decided to ice dance solo. It is because of ice skating that I lost 40 pounds. I couldn't get my legs crossed over correctly in cross overs and was frustated. I weighed 189 at the time and have maintained that loss over the last 7 years. I am now trying to lose an additional 20 since I look better in skating clothes at that size. With your skating as motivation, you will get there. I think there is nothing better than skating.
    3623 days ago
    I love that you had your "Aha" moment. :) I hope it's just the encouragement you need. I think it's wonderful that you're going to be getting back into skating! I know for me, my passion is swimming...it was always my stress relief after I stopped swimming competitively. I often forget that I can always go to the pool to relieve stress (and get a bonus workout!)...most of the time I think I'm too busy or it's such a hassle to get my suit and cap and goggles and then GO. The GOING is the toughest part. But it always pays off.

    Good luck!! :)
    3624 days ago
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