First of all, if you did not read part 1 of I Bought a Sewing Machine and what That has to do with Ballroom Dancing, I suggest you click the title above before you read part 2. As promised, this second article is sharing how I used ballroom dance with some philosophies and practices to lose weight. Some of you are skinny whinnies and do not need this information but some people are like me and find themselves in a struggle with their weight. I am not a nutritionist or professional. I am just sharing these ideas that I used.
The first aspect of dance that initiated my weight loss was the MIRRORS in the dance studio! Those floor to ceiling, painfully honest judges reminded me at every studio visit that I needed to do something about my weight.
The second step was to establish some honest philosophies that would guide my behavior. Examples:
- Food is the enemy. Food is the absolute reason I am overweight. Stop the rationales for eating poorly.
- I don’t deserve anything. No matter how bad of a day I’ve had, no matter how badly I’ve been treated, I don’t deserve to treat myself with food. I frequently used food as my comfort. I learned to use the music and fun of dance as my comfort.
- Restaurants are dens of over-eaters. Beware of restaurant food. There are a few healthy choices being offered but be very, very careful of eating out anywhere. I decreased my focus on “What’s for dinner?” and changed the focus to “Where are we going dancing?” Though dinner and dance is fun occasionally, drop the dinner part and just go dancing.
Now, here are a few specific practices that I used to slim down:
- Dance, dance, dance. I scheduled as many dance events that my schedule allowed. I have watched many singles have dance buddies or dance groups which give them support and thus more opportunities to go dancing. That is a great way to do it. If at home, dance in the kitchen. Even a small space will give enough room for some rhythm dances and those are the ones that really burn the calories!
- When I am out dancing, I stay on the floor as much as possible. I love visiting with my dance friends but I try to stay moving to keep my heart rate up as best as I can.
- I seldom ate when dancing. Why counter the positives of the dancing by munching on desserts or snacks? I tried to drink water while dancing – 0 calories.
- If it tasted good, I didn’t eat it. That is, until my eating habits changed and I adjusted to the taste of healthy food. Most cravings are for fat, salt, and sugar and none of those are good for weight loss.
- I NEVER ate donuts or french fries. These are two of the things that personify bad eating. These are BAD foods. They make me feel BAD about myself and they make my taste buds want more and more. BAD food. BAD food.
- I worked on mental discipline. I started by leaving one bite of each food on my plate. Then, I got to where I could leave half of the food on my plate. I had to train myself to throw away “good” food. Let’s be fair: Is it really doing the starving children in Africa any good when I over eat?
- I changed my plate size. At home, I typically use a salad size plate for my meals. It is an automatic ration and doesn’t have the negative connotation of a half empty plate.
- The scales are a necessary evil. While on my weight loss, I weighed every single day.
- It is also a good idea, if you are a lady, to focus on a new style of dress that is going to look so good on you when this is all accomplished.
The payoff is huge. The dancing is easier, the stress on the knees and feet is less, and those painfully honest mirrors at the studio are easier to face. The time spent for self-loathing in front of the mirrors can better be spent checking technique and dance style. Good luck!
See You on the Floor!