Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Adding Resistance...

My greatest hero is a dance teacher of mine named Kim SmithYandow.  She is the most incredible dancer I've ever seen.  She received her training in NY from the Julliard Ballet School and from the Alvin Ailey School - among other amazing dance and gymnastics trainers etc.  Every time I watch her perform I am absolutely amazed at how beautifully and how strong she moves across the dance floor.  I've taken many classes from her, but the most important lessons I've learned from her haven't been from what she's said but what she does. 

Kim (now I hope she doesn't mind me talking about her on this blog site), has had 8 children.  Yes, she is still a beautiful, perfectly shaped dancer - who has had eight children.  Since I've known Kim since 1993, I've been able to watch her teach and rehearse through several of her pregnancies.  When I was married in 2000 and became pregnant 3 months later, I continued attending dance class throughout my pregnancy, because so many other dancers I've known had done the exact same thing.  The first trimester you work through the nausea...the 2nd trimester you work through the change in the balance to your core muscles and strength and deal with the additional weight etc.  but it's the last trimester that's the most difficult.  There is a lot more weight that you are carrying around, the baby is moving around more, etc. 

One day when I was doing tour jetes (turning leaps) across the floor with the other dancers, I was having a hard time making it through the entire rehearsal.  Kim turned to me and with a smile that understood very well my situation, said "You become stronger by working through the opposition".  She later took me aside and talked about how much stronger I would be as a dancer once I'd had the baby because of how I'd worked through the extra opposition from the pregnancy, the baby, the emotions, etc.  After having 5 kids of my own, and working through other oppositions in my life I understand what she means.

So with that being said, I want to add a little bit of resistance or opposition to my 90 day challenge.  I'm already mostly doing it, but by saying this on this blog I want to give myself that incentive to do it 100%.  With going meat and dairy free, I realized that even though I thought I ate meat and milk sparingly, in reality I ate a TON of meat and milk EVERY SINGLE DAY - even while I was trying to eat it sparingly!  I also profess to eat food that is "Not Processed".  Well, if my memory is as good at forgetting processed food consumption as it is at forgetting how much dairy and meat I consume, I'm in for a big surprise.

I'm not doing this to torture myself.  On the contrary, I'm trying to give my body that extra push to do what it KNOWS that it needs to in order to be healthy, but every day I make those little tiny choices to eat a little bit of this or that and the sum of my eating equation does not equal the healthy face that I see in those that really do eat the way they profess.

Please don't think I eat Doritos and drink pop.  NO WAY!!!  But, it will be interesting to see how well I do.  Processed food is easy and it is convenient.  I'm not talking about the food at the grocery store.  I really DO NOT buy that.  I'm talking about the processed food from the health food stores; supposedly healthy drinks, chips, cookies, etc.  How much do I really cheat and buy gluten-free cookies?  I think once every 6 months, but perhaps that isn't accurate...   I'm going to find out how easy or how difficult it really is to eat food that is NOT processed.

On my journey, I will work to refine what is really processed or un-processed and will share what I learn from the benefits of soaking and sprouting seeds, grains etc. to help with the digestion of them.

Some may look at someone who is pregnant and dancing as crazy, or isn't thinking about the baby.  I had a friend who was on the dance company who had painful varicose veins while pregnant.  They were so bad that she couldn't walk.  There is a difference as to what adding resistance is and what is adding crushing weight that does more damage than good - when you exercise.  A good workout partner, when lifting weights, will help you to push through more weight than you think you are capable of lifting and will help you to accomplish more reps than you think you are able to do.  The result… Your muscles break down and rebuild themselves - making you stronger.  You hate the personal trainer that is pushing you on, making you hurt so much, but after the workout and after the weight sheds, who is it that you thank?  You thank your personal trainer or friend / spouse etc. for pushing you when you didn't feel like doing another sit-up, for running that extra few miles, for swimming through the fog...

The first woman that swam across the English Channel almost gave up because of the fog.  She reached out to her father, who was in the boat following her, to bring her back into the boat...she'd thought the attempt was over - she couldn't do it.  Her father had to simply point out where the shore was.  Once that woman saw the shore through the fog she was able to lift up her head and continue on to become the first woman to swim across the English Channel.

So where am I going with this?  To be honest I'm not quite sure.   I guess we all need a good trainer/ friend / spouse etc. to be there with us through the tough times.  To give us help and direction when all we see around us is fog.  We feel worn out; we feel like we've given it our all...we want to give up.

Stick to the course.  The shore is in sight.

Lots of love and hope I'm sending your way...


-Steff E

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