I was reading an article somewhere ( I know, very accurately documenting my sources ;) that there was a study done with women who were various ranges of overweight, and in that study, they had women who would look in the mirror often and state positive feedback statements about their own bodies , women who would just survey themselves in the mirror without giving verbal feedback, and women who did neither as a control.
What the results showed was that by the end of the study the women who were exposed to themselves in the mirror, with and without feedback, had a more positive image and overall satisfaction of their own bodies, and less anxiety as a whole.
So, as a fledgling bellydancer, I realized, I'm not spending enough time really LOOKING at myself when I dance- that's the way to get good, so you see what other people see, and not just go on what feels right, because there's a good chance that's wrong- if it was as easy as what feels right, everyone would be good at it. So, that's what I've been doing. using my USB camera set up through the TV to watch myself- Robbie said I could even shut off the TV and record it and watch it later, since I won't always have immediate feedback at the time I am dancing. I have always KNOWN I had to really watch myself, but I would get so wrapped up in ugh I hate my insert body part here when I do the insert dance move here, that I couldn't eyeball myself.
So, a few weeks ago our original choreographies were taped at a rehearsal before a hafla/troupe tryout, and I had decided to act "as-if" since I can't be in the troupe due to scheduling conflicts ( so sad) and allow myself to be taped while dancing... AND I watched the play back. My choreo was only a few minutes long, so I had to FORCE myself to stop critiquing my various body parts and watch the dancing itself. And once I did, I realized, A) I'm not a bad dancer, and B) that wasn't so damn hard.
So, with the Eye Toy Kinetics finally working, I am constantly watching myself when working out or dancing. Not always the best feelings, but certainly not that bad- not a deal breaker by any means
Ok, so, in dance class last night afer working on a short choreo, we were all working together to work on our synchronicity ( not quite my strength yet) and I was able to watch not only me, but 4 other women! Ok, so... I have realized, that I have never really known what my relative size was compared to the general population! And not that I was critiquing these other women's bodies by any means, but trying to view my own with a less critical eye, and I realized, I'm not so HUGE. I am NOT bigger around than the general population. I am NOT the Macy's day ballon, OR the Hindenburgh! My abs are not hideous enough to send people running and make small children cry, and my thighs cannot be used in the event of a water landing! Now, I AM definitely to heavy for my own frame, fo sho. But I am really tight for my size. I have nice skin. And I'm a decent dancer.
And when I was 13, 14, 15.... when I look at the picures of myself with my friends, I now realize, I was NOT huge. I was just 4'10 with a fully matured female form. I was comparing myself to these other girls who were a minimum of 6 inches taller, with legs up to my chest- my friends were apparently part gazelle. But I was fine, and so were they. We were all just different.
So this is it. Fat was always a bad word. THE trigger word. The scale and the mirrors were my ENEMY, and by ignoring them, I thought I was avoiding bad pain, but I was creating much bigger problems, in the literal sense of the word. So, no more. the mirror is my weapon, and my friend, and the scale is my guage.
I am beautiful, I am strong, I am powerful and you had all better believe, I am FIERCE. I CAN do this, and I WILL DO THIS, I will get to a healthy weight, and along the way, I will continue to appreciate my body as it IS, not just how it could be, or I want it to be. The only thing that can stop me is my own fear, and I will never let my fear conquer me again.