We have always loved to dance. And we danced, we trained, till the right time came for us and we could also step on the stage. Our biggest dream was performing under the lights and share with others our no. 1 passion. But with performing there also costumes come and with costumes there comes fear; “Am I going to fit in clothes, will I be okay for the public eye and will I look okay beside other “skinny” dancers? ” And there comes another one, even scarier fear: “ My great dancing abilities are maybe not enough because I don’ t have a proper body.”
We want to share our experience. How we got from this uncomfortable position of not having good opinion of our body image to have better and nicer view on our bodies. It was not an easy road and even now there are some days when we don’t feel the most confident about our bodies. But it is totally normal and ok to feel like that sometimes. We know now, that is all about how you react and respond to those unpleasant minds. So here is our ” food and self esteem journey ” written in 7 fazes.
1.SHOCK AND REALISATION – OUR BODIES ARE NOT OK FOR THE STAGE ?!
When we went to China we knew that we don’ t have “perfect” dancer’s body. We compared our bodies with other dancers . . . so there we were with those pictures and full of comparison pushed to do something about it. Full of mixed feelings, we wanted to feel good and confident on the stage so we went for it . . . we turned our focus into putting our bodies in shape.
2. ACTION – DIET AND WORKOUTS
For more than two months before we went to China we had been on “diet”, . . Kaja did nutrition/workout program, Anisa decided just to study and do it on her own. We can say that we crossed a line a little bit. We read and watched health fitness vlogs, blogs, discovering all the methods how to eat, for example which fruit is better to eat in the morning and which vegetable is better to eat at midday. Both of us were following quite the same the low carb, high protein diet. We scheduled every day, every week like crazy around food and workouts.
3. HIGH MOTIVATION – BEING HEALTHY WEIRDO
We had high motivation, and we were clearly focused on this. And maybe even a little bit obsessed. Thinking all the time just about the food . . . is not easy. What you CAN’T eat and what you HAVETO eat. But the hardest part . . . being with your friends and family and always saying no to the food you had always eaten together before, .. being the crazy, weird and “the healthy” one . . . was quite painful and stressful. But when you have goal there, and this pressure of image of you not fitting in costumes . . . you make it through.
4. RESULTS – “OUR BODIES ARE CHANGING”
After some time, lets say after one month, results came. We didn’t lose half of us, we lost like 3-5 kg so the results could be seen, our friends saw the difference, we could feel it in the pants, our bodies were in good shape . . . it was a good feeling, we felt energised, powerful, we felt good, because we were approaching to our goal and having “proper” dancers body.
5. REALITY WORKING AS A DANCER IN CHINA
We hit the stage with so many different costumes in our shaped bodies. BUT ! We never felt 100% comfortable. Even if we were in our best shape ever. We felt that we always have to hide something, Anisa felt to hide her belly, Kaja didn’t want to show her legs, we had feeling that everybody are pointing at our “flaws” on our bodies. It was again roller coaster for our systems: first of all because our mind was not ready for dealing with those insecurities. Second of all, China has totally different food culture, habits, so we went from our routine to totally new one. But somehow with cooking on our own and discipline we managed to keep our bodies in shape.
6. REWARD OURSELF FOR WORKING HARD – JUMPING BETWEEN TWO SIDES
After 4 months of performing in China we got back to Slovenia, and after 4 months of constantly stressing about what we have to not eat, we needed to get away from this burden. We were in phase of just wanting to not care anymore . . . “I want this tiramisu that my friends were eating and I missed it so many times.” “Why not to eat it, you deserved it, you worked so hard, and you can have it.” And then is everything about self control – you gonna reward yourself once or you going to go again from the system? For us it was jumping from one system to another, jumping from healthy clean eating to nonsense eating with mindset “Today is cheat day, I can eat whatever” . . . jumping between two sides . . . and this takes again A LOT of your energy. There feelings of guiltiness come and you start putting your self-esteem back on low, because of course after not eating clean, your body again transforms. It was a big struggle, because we didn’t know how it is possible to have it all – healthy diet, lean body and on the other side relaxed, normal lifestyle and just “hanging out with friends” as normal people do. And this struggle was with us for one year – jumping from one side to another.
7. HEALTHY CLEAN FOOD IS NOT OUR DIET, BUT LIFESTYLE
So after many months of jumping off and on the healthy clean eating system, we just wanted to stop. To stop all of those guilty feelings after eating bad food, to stop having bloated bodies. We finally figured out that clean eating of whole foods is not just our “have to be diet”, but our privilege, priority, that we feel REALLY good ! Not because of body image, but because how our bodies and mind feel . . .
WE WANT TO LIVE HEALTHY LIFESTYLE – NOT BECAUSE WE ARE GOING TO LOOK BETTER, BUT BECAUSE WE ARE GOING TO FEEL BETTER. AND IF WE FEEL BETTER, WE CAN GIVE MORE, WORK MORE, WE ARE HEALTHIER AND HAPPIER ! And never in other way around.
Again it’s not about depriving ourself, we started to love to eat like this, it’s one of the things that we love to do now. We love to create colourful plates, we love to eat sweet potato and spinach, warm oatmeal with banana and goji berries topped with coconut, cacao and yogurt . . .
However. We wanted to share this 7 steps, which are not just about the food and nutrition, but most of all state of minds and self esteem. We are not saying that we are there, because changing your lifestyle is a long process, but we feel that we are on a good way. In future we want also to share more about nutrition and how to build strong, healthy dancer body filled with confidence. Because this is still the thing we are dealing with. Especially now, because stage is waiting for us. 🙂 Yes, we have some exciting news to share with you ! 🙂
This time we want that our minds are ready, and then bodies will follow!
Hope that somebody can relate with it and that it can remind you that . . . everything is about balance and the view.