I grew up at the dance studio almost every day. We were in front of the mirror in tight leotards and never thought twice about it. That was the uniform so that's what we wore. It was an obvious way to make sure we were moving correctly while perfecting our technique and performing the choreography.
As I got older and got to college my very packed previous schedule of dance, school, work, soccer, friends turned to party, work, school, friends/party, workout, dance and then more party ;). This was an insanely fun and stressful time. I worked all through college...a lot.. Even though I was exercising and dieting like crazy the amount of stress on my body/brain was insane and I know this led to weight gain. OH and the parties that I mentioned earlier...but that's where the fun came in and I was NOT about to give that up! I remember being at the gym doing cardio until I burned 1,000 calories on the treadmill and elliptical (even though we all know those calorie counters are bullshit) before I'd go home and get ready to go out. Insanity.
Back to confidence. I'd wear a baggy t shirt to the gym and even during dance practice I'd wear baggy clothing. I'd be so concerned about looking fat, I wasn't performing to my potential. I was so self conscious I didn't even enjoy dancing anymore which was my passion for so long. Bummer. The baggier my shirt was the bigger I felt. The bigger I felt, the more self conscious I was. It was a viscous cycle were I was working so hard but constantly talking shit about my body which brought zero results.
Fast forward to when I was living in NYC. I had an insane trainer who was an ex-Marine. Insane and scary in a good way. Picture a younger, less smiley Micheal Clarke Duncan. We worked out in a private gym on the 6 floor of a walk-up in the East Village (I loved this space). I did everything he told me and our workouts were INTENSE. I had to get there early and run 2 miles going at least 8.0 mph before our session even started if that gives you any idea.
My first session I showed up in a baggy tank to cover my stomach which has always been where I carried my weight. I had hated my stomach for SO long. He tied my shirt in a knot so I could see exactly what my body looked like. I wanted to die. Everything was visible...I could SEE all the things I hated! At this point in my life I was actually pretty happy with my weight, but my stomach just drove me crazy. My friends would roll their eyes when I talked about it but to me it was a very real issue and drove me crazy.
To this day if you come to my class you'll most likely see I'm wearing my shirt tied in a knot or a crop where I can still see my stomach. If I'm taking a hot yoga class I'll most likely be in a sports bra. Even right after I had a baby, jiggly belly and all with zero muscle tone in my stomach, I took my shirt off to see what this new bod looked like. I have taken what I learned in ballet all those years ago and from my crazy trainer and turned it into a way to appreciate my body. I now accentuate my stomach not because I have a six pack or love it so much, but instead to go back to the basics...to make sure I'm engaging my core and send my body some love. Like, hey tummy, thanks for working hard and I'm sorry for talking so much shit about you for so long.
Might sound cray but I think we need to flip the script and appreciate the parts we may not like the most. Its just a body after all. We are not defined by a muffin top, some cellulite or stretch marks. I love the quote that goes something like "You are not fat...you HAVE fat. You have fingernails but does that make you a fingernail? No." I might have botched that but you get the gist.
Go to the gym, wear something that makes you feel good and do not think twice about what other people think about you. Chances are they are not even thinking about you anyway! I mean that with love. So often I hear "I can't come to class until I lose weight". Ummm WHAT? No guys, that's not how it works. Classes will challenge you in a new way, raise your endorphins and increase your energy with all the good vibes that are in the room. Please do not waste time being self conscious. YOU have the power to choose your thoughts, so I beg you to choose positive ones that empower you. I've learned you get the body you want by loving the body you have. Okurrrrrr?!
Maybe you're at the point that I was...I'm here to help! Email or message me and we can get to work!