If you’re anything like most people, then year after year you’ve probably binged on alcohol and festive goodies throughout the whole of the festive period and then as soon as it hits January you’ve gone on the detox New Years bandwagon, lost a few pounds, and then lost interest as soon as it gets to February and someone suggests a fun night out.
This is great if that is all you really desire. If that couple of pounds is all it takes to make you happy and unstoppably confident in your body for the rest of the year.
But think back to the years before.
When it got to May, June, July, were you still brimming with joy about where you were and what you looked like?
What does this tell you?
I truly believe that diets and workouts aren’t the route to getting the REAL results you want. And I think I’m well qualified to say that after sixteen years in the mainstream fitness industry, teaching classes, personal training and battling with my own weight and body image issues.
I’ve tried every approach you could ever imagine to get myself into shape.
Some worked. Some worked and made me miserable. Some worked and made me feel invincible, but were unsustainable long term, especially if you still wanted to have friends left at the end. None of them lasted forever.
Now I pride myself on being able to stick with shit that a lot of people wouldn’t put up with if I want something that badly…and I tried some pretty far out stuff in the name of body transformation.
I decided to leave the fitness industry because I had lost my belief in it. I was fed up with the Groundhog Day effect, the hamster wheel that everyone seemed to be on. Everything worked for a while, but sooner or later the wheels fell off the wagon and when you tried to go back to what worked last time around, it didn’t work as well or you struggled to stick with it for long enough.
I was bored and felt I was letting clients down and wasting my own ability and potential, and I was convinced that there had to be a better way.
By far the quickest and far reaching changes I experienced were when I started taking my desire to dance seriously. Ironically I didn’t set out with the goal of losing weight specifically. Wasn’t even trying.
My diet was the worst it had been in years…due to the stress of leaving my marriage and building a new business outside of the safety blanket of a commercial gym, my adrenals were shot to pieces and I was fuelling myself daily with sugar and caffeine.
I felt so ashamed about the weight I had allowed myself to gain.
Every time I tried to get back into the gym, I couldn’t last more than a few days. In truth, I dreaded walking into the noisy, banging, testosterone fuelled cavern to repeat the same mindless shit day after day.
I knew that I had to come up with a solution that was more in tune with me and where my weakened, struggling body was at that moment.
It wasn’t until I had a conversation with my coach that I decided to find a private Salsa teacher to get me back in the game again. I was too scared to go to any of the clubs I used to go to. My confidence was rock bottom.
When I turned up for that first lesson I was so nervous I was shaking and could barely put one foot in front of the other. But it was the start of the most powerful and life-changing awakening for both my mind and my body.
So what changed?
I admitted what I actually wanted, ignored everything I believed about why I couldn’t have it, and gave myself permission to go after it.
I gave myself permission to want some magic in my life.
To want something that had meaning for me.
To act on something that had been a childhood dream but been told I couldn’t have by people who were supposed to “know”.
I decided that I deserved better. That I could be the version of myself that I chose, rather than the one my family or my clients or my friends wanted.
That decision marked the start of the most amazing and inspirational journey of my entire life, and led me to completely overhaul my beliefs of what was possible for me. This was the work that had to be done before I could start on the job of physically learning to dance properly.
I couldn’t start changing my body until I believed I could be a dancer and started acting like someone who was serious about their dancing, and doing the daily work that a dancer does.
And since that day I haven’t looked back.
Ironically, I still have sugar cravings, and sometimes eat because of emotion, female hormones and boredom. But it doesn’t make me miserable anymore.
If I want to eat chocolate, I give myself permission to eat chocolate. And fish and chips. And even bread! I know this will horrify some of my ex colleagues and former clients 😉
Every time I feel miserable, I put music on and dance and my mood lifts in minutes. The more I dance, the more my body responds and the more I love living in it. Ironically I prefer my body shape now more than I did when I was training three times a day…I’m back to the same size, but minus the stomach that I never managed to get rid of with sixteen years worth of testing various abdominal training methodologies.
I am a dancer now first and foremost, a teacher of human movement, and a coach who uses dance as a tool to help people reach their bigger dreams. Not a personal trainer, or physical therapist, or someone that people pay money to to fix their problems without taking responsibility or ownership of the solution…although I do know a lot about the human body and how to help it when it’s struggling. I also know a lot about big problems, having worked through many of my own this year.
My main driver is to help others find the courage to push for the things they really want in life as opposed to settling for what they think they can get, and to recognise where they do have power to control and change things.
The more I dance the happier I am, and the more in control of my life I become.
It all starts with giving yourself permission to be, do and have what you really want, believing you deserve it, and then working out what steps will get you there fast enough, but in a way that you’ll enjoy.
So what do you want to be?
Slimmer, fitter…but without making life miserable?
You don’t need anyone else’s permission to dance yourself happy!