Posted on: Mar 01, 2018
The Mess of Progress
This time of year, I find, is always the most sluggish. Resolutions have been abandoned and Spring seems to be hovering on the horizon too far out of reach. I am exactly half way through my first year at Uni and assessments are looming. Despite this, I feel as though I haven't progressed. I know, deep down, that I have. I know I've progressed in the sense of letting down barriers I never thought I could. I know I've progressed in my ballet and tap, however physically, I see no progression. I feel as though I'm getting less flexible and crying more. I realise that everyone is run down. Everyone feels as though they've hit a brick wall and that's greatly because of the time of year. Nothing has changed for a while, and change seems so far away that it becomes scarier and more daunting the closer it comes.
I think that, no matter how much change scares us, we need to remember that it's coming. Remember that we're halfway through and not that we've still got halfway to go. We've made it this far and feeling stuck is okay. The longest months of the year are almost over and sunshine is on it's way. The hype of a new year and resolutions have disintegrated and that is exactly why I don't ever have any. If you are not happy. Change it today, you don't have to wait for a new year to create a version of you that you are happy with.
It's hard, when everyone around you is talking about their New Year’s diet and how much 'winter weight' they're still holding, but it doesn't mean that you are. You are healthy; and listening to your body is the thing that will make you happiest in the end.
Dancing every day in front of mirrors is a constant drag on my self-esteem. I love dancing, and some days I look incredible but others, anorexia shows me as a whale that shouldn't even be trying. It's this difference in views that shows me something is lying, even though in that moment I don't believe it is. All around me people are dieting, gaining abs and muscle and my perception of a perfect body has changed. Suddenly I find myself wanting what the majority of the people around me have. Claire once proved to me that we filter out the body types we see, and compare ourselves to the ones we find 'attractive', filtering out everyone else. If you compare yourself to every tenth person, you will find that actually the smallest percent of people look how you perceive as 'perfect'. When I was in the depths of my illness, pictures and bones were all I saw, now, I find a similar obsession with the fitness I am surrounded by every day; yearning to look like that.
My point is, we are never going to be happy with our bodies if we don’t look at ourselves accurately and only compare ourselves with what we filter out. There is proof that what we filter out is what we want to see; because not everyone on my course has abs, let alone the people I pass in the street. Having muscle does not make me a better or worse dancer and being skinnier does not make me more worthy. It’s this dreary time of year that we need to turn back to what’s important. We need to re-visit our recovery tool boxes and accept that it is okay to stop for a little while. Sometimes you need to stop to re-evaluate where you are and look back on how far you’ve come. It’s okay to reach out when you feel blinded by your thoughts and look for the love that seems to be easier to see when the sun is shining and your brain isn’t full of clouds.
Make a new resolution, tell yourself that you look good each time you pass your reflection before your thoughts take over, until you start to believe it. Decide to eat something that scares you because nothing can change in a day, not even your weight. Smile, just once, at someone who isn’t, you could make their day and it could even brighten up yours.
“Fall down seven times stand up eight”
Remember recovery isn't linear. Progression doesn't have to be visible to mean it's happening. Sometimes progression comes from spending a few hours by yourself, keeping warm and doing nothing, because that's all you need to do to look after yourself. And progression comes from looking after yourself.
Reminder: "Treat yourself how you would treat a child, your inner child is still present."
Love, G x