Happy Sunday once again!
Let me start today by saying that it is hard to come up with something to talk about each week. If you have something you would like me to write about, please let me know!
Moving on to today’s topic…
Some weeks are just filled with not-so-great food choices. This was one of those weeks. (see photo above)
I had a lot of fried food, a lot of snacking food, and a lot of excess sugary foods.
But you know what?
It is still ok.
I don’t find that I failed. I acknowledge that I could have made better choices. I know that my body did not like some of the choices because of how it reacted (but it was still worth it! LOL).
I think about a t-shirt I have from #loseitapp that says “Diet food" and has a picture of pizza. That is a reminder that all foods can have a place in a balanced lifestyle.
Do not view foods as "good" versus “bad.” This can create negative attitudes regarding food and nutrition.
I am not saying that all foods are an excellent nutritional choice for a healthy lifestyle all the time.
I am saying that in a healthy lifestyle there is room for all types of foods of varying nutritional values.
A well-balanced lifestyle can allow you to enjoy the foods that you love within reasonable quantities (exceptions to this include allergies, diseases, etc. that do require certain foods to be avoided at all cost).
How do you create a well-balanced lifestyle?
By all of the choices you make in your everyday life.
Lifestyle choices include exercise (type of exercise as well as amount of time), stress management, enjoyable activities, security in basic needs, as well as nutrition decisions.
How often do our stress levels determine what, how much, and why we eat? How often do we see exercise as a punishment for what we ate rather than the celebration of what we area able to do?
You don’t have to be a gym rat, or run marathons, or be an Olympic athlete. You don’t have to be on the latest diet fad or a particular number on the scale.
You just have to learn your own body. Understand your body’s unique needs and abilities. Define ways you would like to improve conditions.
I know it sounds like it should be easy.
It is not.
You will have many setbacks.
You will look at others and be jealous of how “easy" it is for them.
My advice: Do not compare your journey to anyone’s.
Your journey is unique to you.
You can get to where you want to be, and it will be on the timetable that is right for you.
The only way to fail is to quit.
And as hard as it can be, please do not give up!
Find a cheerleader, someone to walk the journey with you.
If you don’t know who can be a good cheerleader for you, you can count on me! Just message me. We don’t have to know each other in person. I want you to succeed and celebrate your successes!!!
And please cheer on others who share their accomplishments with you.
We can support each other and lose nothing of ourselves.
I hope you take this next week and evaluate the goals you set at the start of the new year. Look at them objectively and see if they are reasonable, attainable, and is your plan to reach them effective and appropriate? It is never too late to adjust or even start over. You just keep moving forward!
Have a great week and keep DANCING FORWARD!
Yesterday, I competed in my first ballroom competition of 2020 (my second competition ever).
It was fun. I placed first in my division for smooth multi-dance challenge (Waltz/Tango/Foxtrot) and second for rhythm (Cha Cha/Rumba/Swing).
Yet, that is not the most important part to me (though I am proud to bring those medals home for my studio – Salón de Baile!).
***I am going to take a sidestep here and say overall my proudest moment is of our Teen and Kid competition teams placing first, second and third in so many dances! I am honored to be a mentor to our teen girls and help them develop life skills in our studio programs that will help them in all aspects of their lives one day.***
The best personal part in this competition is how much fun it was.
I felt that my partner and I had a great connection, I performed well, and there was no pressure on me.
Performance-wise, it was probably my “happiest-looking” public performance yet (one knows these things when the compliment is “good job smiling!” when you walk off the floor. LOL.)
How did this happen?
I worked hard to get to this point; it doesn’t just happen. Hours of lessons and coaching, hours of practice in the studio, hours of studying patterns, technique, and history, hours of practice at home (and maybe down aisles at the grocery store)….and then working with my pro partner to put all these things together.
And here I am today looking forward to Monday when my partner and I are going to start reworking our 2020 goals and start working toward more progress and improvement.
I am not in competition with anyone other than myself. My only consistent goal is to be better than I was before. I am willing to work to get there.
I see what I have done in a year, even in six months, and say “Let’s see how far I can really go.”
I keep going forward. There is no age limit to your abilities.
The only limits are what you tell yourself you can’t do.
And if someone else tells you that you cannot do something, I hope you tell yourself what I tell myself, “Just wait…I will show you.” And then just work to do it.
You should be proud of what you accomplish. You work hard to be you. And if it is a bad day in there, it’s ok. Tomorrow can be excellent.
Have a great week and Keep Dancing Forward!
Happy day to you!
This week I discovered an excellent resource that I want to share with you regarding your food and nutrition choices. I learned about it in my nutrition certificate program.
It is www.choosemyplate.gov.
This free website gives you so many tips on how to make good nutrition decisions based on your food preferences!
It helps you start small and start simple.
Changes in any lifestyle are more sustainable if you change small things a little at a time, rather than try to drastically flip everything upside down at once.
Personally, one thing I worked on when I started was cutting down on sugar. One of my very Southern belle characteristics is my love for sweet tea – I am from the town where it was invented, after all!
However, real sweet tea has a lot of sugar. To switch to plain water or unsweet tea tasted terrible. Bleh!
So what did I do?
I started by adding 1/8 of a cup less of sugar for each gallon I made at home. If I was at a fast food restaurant or an event where you had sweet or unsweet options, I started making ¼ of my glass unsweet tea and the rest sweet. As I adapted, I changed the ratios just a bit so that there was less and less of the sweet in it.
And it worked.
I still love good sweet tea, but I honestly can’t drink it that much anymore. The sugar is too much for me and it can be too sweet.
I also now know how much the sugar affected my physical and mental conditions as well, but that is a post for another day.
I hope you check out www.choosemyplate.gov and start making small changes to your life. It may seem too slow and we are all impatient and want results NOW, but in the long run, you will be much happier that you made a sustainable life change.
Have a great day and keep Dancing Forward!
Small Movement is OK!
Before I discovered dance, I was no athlete. I wasn’t even one to like any kind of casual exercise. Sure, I could walk for miles, but usually only with the dog and/or human company.
After my Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and Insulin Resistance (IR) diagnoses, I heard constantly “diet and exercise.”
First, I don’t have a clue as to what to do in a gym. If it wasn’t an elliptical (which I actually do enjoy) or a bike, I wasn’t going to be doing it. To ask for help was difficult because I didn’t know who to ask.
I tried a yoga studio for a few times. The stretching part was fine, but I never felt included in the group. Other than the teacher, no one ever came up to me and said “Hi, I’m glad you are here.” After about a month, I stopped going.
I knew movement of any kind was important, no matter how small. So, I tried to incorporate what I could into daily life.
Squats during a shower.
Easy (so long as you have good balance and grip in the tub. Do not take unnecessary risks on slippery surfaces!). It was also a good brain workout when I started (like brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand).
Then I tried parking farther away.
I walked around the sidewalk.
I don’t know how much “good progress” these measured out for me. However, they did begin priming my brain to accept that movement is good even when you are tired.
That was about everything I did before I discovered dancing.
Dancing/Ballroom Fitness allowed me to find a world that incorporated exercise that wasn’t “exercise” in the typical dreaded sense of the word.
And I discovered a group of friendly, fun, inclusive people that I was able to be part of.
Lessons learned (and my advice):
I wish you a great week, and keep dancing forward!
Well, we are not even two weeks into January and I already missed a goal.
It is time for my second blog post….yesterday. My goal was to post every Sunday – but I missed it.
However, that does not equate failure. It just means that I missed and get to try again.
How often do you determine that there is something that you want to achieve, but then get discouraged when it doesn’t happen as soon as you wanted it to?
It can be discouraging when we are not where we want to be, when we want to be there.
That does not mean we give up.
For example, say you have set a daily step goal of 7000 steps. You have great energy the first few days and the determination and will to succeed is strong.
However, a few days into it, there is bad weather, you have to travel, the kids are sick – life interferes with your plan.
So on a day or two you do not achieve that 7000 step goal.
It is ok.
It does not mean you have failed. It does not mean you should quit.
It only means you must understand why you did not meet your goal, evaluate the goal itself (do you need to set different steps in your action plan?), and get up and keep going the next day.
Every day is a new opportunity to work toward who you want to be.
Every day you have the chance to improve yourself.
You are in competition with no one.
Your journey in life belongs to YOU and only you can walk it.
Goal advice for the day:
I hope you are encouraged in your progress toward your goals. If you ever feel discouraged, just remind yourself that you CAN do it. A set back is just a set back. It can be overcome.
Keep dancing forward!
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Facebook and Instagram: @dancergirl1983
I am so happy you are here!
My name is Kimberly and I am creating this website to share my story of Dancing Forward in my journey to better health and fitness. I hope that my story can inspire you on your own journey to the best YOU!
Today, I want to share a little of my personal journey through dance to overcome physical, mental, and emotional challenges. This is just an overview of my history and overall transformation. We will get more detailed and focussed on issues as we go along!
In 2011, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and Insulin Resistance. Not long after, I was also diagnosed with anxiety and depression. I was overweight, in a desk job with a 90-minute round trip commute, and overall not in great health. Losing weight is the optimal way to improve the symptoms of all my conditions; however, my conditions caused my body to work against itself in losing weight. It is a terrible cycle to feel trapped in.
In 2018, I discovered Salón de Baile Dance and Fitness Studio in Pooler, Georgia. A friend invited me to try the Ballroom Fitness class with her because she was looking for a new way to exercise. I was terrible at it, but something inside of me enjoyed the new challenge and I kept going back.
This one forward step changed my life. The other students and the staff at the dance studio are so friendly and welcoming that I really felt that I had found a safe place to find myself. I was able to leave my stressors outside, even for just an hour and to truly enjoy an activity.
2019 has been my year of transformation and taking control of my life. I left my job, adopted better nutritional habits, and have lost 40 pounds. My insulin levels are so much better that my doctor is looking to wean me off medication. My anxiety and depression are less dominating in my everyday life; when they do become overwhelming, I now have ways to handle those feelings. The best part of this transformation to me is that I found out how to freely laugh again. I did not realize how lost and miserable I was before I found dance.
Dance has allowed me to find ways of handling stress, making friends, and opened new paths in life I never dreamed of. It has given me a new self-respect and confidence level that I am feeling really great in my physical health, mental health, and emotional health. The relationships I have made and these new friends who have accompanied me on this journey have had a significant impact on my new life.
I am now dubbed the 2019 Health and Fitness Challenge winner for the studio, the Marketing and PR representative, and assist with both the Teen Competition Team and the Beginner Ballroom group classes. I am currently studying to become a certified nutrition consultant so that I can help others discover the best path to their best life!
Definitely a life unexpected!
I look forward to sharing my journey with you and to hear from you as you embark on a journey to a New You in 2020!
Keep Dancing Forward!