One of the things I want to address in this blog (over time,not all at once!) is how on Earth I got to this place of being so overweight, so unhappy, so unhealthy, so addicted to food. I have a lot of issues to work out, and I know that if I don't work on my insides as well as my outsides, I'm doomed to failure - been there, done that. My dream is to be able to afford both the time and money to attend a session with Tennie McCarty at Shades of Hope, but I know we will never be able to afford that and there's no way I could be away from my kids for 42 days - no one to watch them. So I need to work it out myself. And even though I know I have no readers, I thought I would do it here in case it ever helps someone else in my position.
I went out to lunch today with my children's preschool group for an end-of-year party. During the lunch, a friend and fellow preschool mom was talking about her daughter's dance lessons. I've also seen a lot of friends posting their recital pictures of their cutes kids on Facebook lately. All of this has brought back many memories of my dancing days.
I started dance classes at age 4. I am from a small town, where activities for small children were few and far between in the 70s, and I had a relative who taught dance lessons - so it was a natural for my mom to choose to enroll me. I took dance until around 4th grade. And I hated almost every minute of it.
I am not built small. Even as a child and at a "normal" weight, I was just built on a larger frame. I think there is some truth to being "big boned" sometimes. At any rate, I was not built on a dancer's frame, and it was obvious during dance classes. My classmates were all smaller than I was, and many made a point of pointing that out (even before I started becoming overweight!).
By the time I was approaching puberty - 8, 9, 10ish, I had begun gaining weight. I remember feeling HUGE even though when I look at pictures now, I see I was not the size I felt I was. I grew breasts before other girls and at dance class; that was particularly hard. I had now passed into being "chubby" and the comments were terrible - and not just from classmates, also from dance teachers. I wasn't chosen for the "star" dances. I was ridiculed during costume fittings. I felt worthless. During our annual pictures, where they would haul out a variety of costumes for kids to put on for photographs, there would be one or two outfits to fit me. I often faked illness to get out of dance class, or "forgot" key elements of our practice clothes at home so that I would have to sit out of class.
I endured a lot of teasing and honestly what I would call bullying. And because it was a small town, many of these dance class girls were also classmates at school. The longer it went on, the uglier and fatter I felt - and the more I turned to food for comfort. A vicious cycle.
I was finally allowed to quit dancing in 5th grade and I was so thankful. I still carry scars from that time in my life and as such can't even comprehend enrolling my daughter in dance lessons. I know my mom has no idea how unhappy I was - she was just doing her best and spent lots of money for me to have dance lessons. She couldn't have anticipated the hell that awaited me nor did I ever discuss it with her. I was embarrassed - of the teasing, that it bothered me, and of my weight.
I think my mom has an inkling now of how much I hated it - I expressed joy when the director of the dance center I went to died (she was hateful, awful, and looked down her nose at me for so many years.) I was happy to hear that the lead teacher of my classes went through a bitter divorce and is living a sad life in that same small town. Even the star teacher, who went to New York and danced in some music videos, etc., is still just a nobody - and too old to get famous off her good looks and dance moves now. My relative who taught dance at this same school is still a world class witch and preaches her gospel on Facebook daily, but she's not fooling me. I was there. I am not proud of feeling this way about all of them, but I have to admit that I do feel this way.
What's sad is that I love the act of actually dancing. But I can remember that dancing school was where I was first called fat. And I wasn't, at that time. But I am now. It's time to heal and let it go.