More Than Just After Jiggle

my-thoughts-on-zumba-26099Week: #4

Pounds Lost: 10

Pounds to Go: 190

Another great week in the books for our little family filled with exercise, activity, and bravery on the part of yours truly. I have always had a love and even a passion for exercise, but whether it is guilt or embarrassment, shame or just plain fear, there are some classes at the gym that I have turned away from, mainly because I don’t want to see myself doing them. I hide from the mirrors, when an instructor says look at your form in the mirror, I am mentally thinking “yeah, better not”. I am acutely aware of the weight that I have put back on. I am painfully aware of my shattered strength, speed, flexibility and agility. I am the “let themselves go” cautionary tale right now! Even with all of that, something was pulling me to take my first Zumba class… just for … fun??

So I thought, go… just do it… but don’t look in the mirrors. Mirrors don’t lie, ok, maybe fun house mirrors do, but not the ones in gyms, and seeing the truth of my body as it is right now, doing Zumba moves, is just not something I would look at with accepting eyes. It isn’t about being awkward with movement or with latin styles of dance. It isn’t a difficulty with catching on quickly to moves or rhythms, oh no, that I CAN do! I may be a Fatty McFat Mom right now with ample after jiggle, but I have the moves to back up that jiggle! It is all about not looking the way I once did, or the not yet looking the way I want to in the future, while doing those moves.

So there I was, hiding in the back. There was actually a visible divide between those who loved to look at themselves in the mirror, aka the front row, and those of us who would rather avoid it, aka the back row, but very little imbetweeners. That is until the instructor said something about the obvious gap in the room. Us back row bandits all inched forward tentatively as if there was some kind of vortex in the middle of the room that we did not want to get sucked into. On blares the music and we are off. Here’s the kicker, there was no microphone!!! Now, since this was the popping of my Zumba cherry, I do not know if this is normal, but I am definitely used to having some type of verbal queue for what the eFF I am supposed to be doing. Nope. Not in this room, you follow and either you catch on or you just keep wiggling until the class is over!

Not to my surprise, but maybe to the surprise of others, there I was keeping up, every single pound of me was moving. It was fun, I was completely out of breath, and I cannot wait for next week! I had to leave a few minutes early since my childcare time limit was quickly approaching, but as I made my way out the door, the most uplifting thing happened… the instructor moved to the side of her stage, pointed at me, and said “You’re awesome”. I mouthed thank you and waved goodbye. We both know I will be back!  I may never have the courage to actually tell her, but she completely made my day. She didn’t see just the after jiggle, she didn’t see my lack of confidence in myself or my general disgust at my appearance, she saw a dancer. Maybe it was because without looking at the mirrors, I could imagine myself as the dancer I once was. Maybe it was because as a newcomer I exceeded her expectations. Or maybe just maybe, it was because she could see in me what I cannot wait to be visible on the outside to everyone, especailly myself. A vibrant, athletic, strong, beautiful and sometimes even sexy woman who is ready to live.

The moral of this cautionary tale is, your size, your weight, your shape, are all things that can be changed. You can make your outside absolutely match whatever or whomever you see yourself as on the inside. It may take time, sacrifice, money, determination, perseverance, dedication, you know all of those motivational poster words, but having your outside match your inside is well worth all of it. I cannot wait for the day that I finally match again!


FatFree Mommy

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