So, stop using it as an excuse to not love yourSELF.
There is no magic number on the scale. You tend to think once you get down to (insert ideal weight here), then you will love your body. Then, you will finally be able to feel good about yourself. But, that "magic number" is not the answer you are looking for. First of all, once you get there, your body is not going to magically stay that weight forever. You are going to have to fight to keep yourself there. Most of the time, this requires sacrifices to many of the pleasures in life while you strictly monitor that number. And, what happens if you decide you need a little more power, stamina, and control behind your dancing? The best way to elevate those variables is by increasing your strength and muscle density. This could cause the number on the scale to rise, even though you may look leaner than ever. These factors alone make that magic number impossible to maintain, except at the expense of your health and happiness.
I must confess that I still fall prey to this type of thinking sometimes. As I've watched my "magic number" creep up through the years as I've gained muscle density and reshaped my body, I've had to fight back the panic of wondering why I can't get down to that number anymore. The anxiety and self-punishment last only as long as it takes me to remember that I am not walking around this life with my weight plastered across my forehead in bright, flashing numbers. It's almost as if I expect people to snicker at me while walking down the street and say, "Huh, would you look at that...she's 5 pounds heavier...shame, shame, shame."
Once I knock that false premise to the curb, I come back into my body and try to feel what is real. I notice that even though the weight on the scale may be more, I feel lighter than ever. Maybe my clothes are a little loser in some areas. I feel my power in the body that I've learned to control and master through healthy techniques - techniques that build me up rather than break me down. And, I remember that there is no magic end point to get to. It's fine to have goals, but everything is not going to be carefree and happy once I accomplish them. There will always be more to strive for. That's part of what makes life so exciting! So, why torture myself and beat myself up because I'm not "there" yet? Why wait until you get to that magic number to love yourself?
Just like there is no magic number on the scale, there is no magic number of reps, no magic number of exercises, no magic number of weight to lift, no magic routine, diet or pill that will get you to your ideal body. The good news about this is that there is no one perfect formula you have to follow to get results. The bad news is that there is no one perfect formula you have to follow to get results. Sometimes it takes a little experimenting with your unique body to see what works for you. And, while a magic number may not be the key to achieving your ideal body, here's the dirty little secret that is:
***consistent hard work balanced by a respect, appreciation, and love for the body you are in and the place you are at right now***
Yep, that's it. That's the gem that can lead to incredible results and lifelong happiness in the body you are in. Sounds so simple. Yet, that right there can take a lifetime to cultivate. And once you find it, you can expect to lose it and then have to search for it again. There is such a fine line between working hard enough to get results and working too hard. Most dancers cross that line frequently. They don't need help pushing themselves...they need help being kind to themselves.
Knowing the right kind of hard is a challenge as well. It can be difficult to determine when you are pushing with the proper intensity versus when you are pushing your body out of disregard. One enhances you while the other inflicts unnecessary wear and tear on your precious body. Remember, more exercise is not always better, and dancers tend to fall into the trap of thinking the more they do the better they will be. Meanwhile, their joints and connective tissues are being worn down and made susceptible to injuries and shortened careers, and their internal health and hormonal state gets destroyed.
This is where blueprints come in handy, guides that give you a base to work off of. They serve as a starting point for your journey. Even though there isn't only one perfect formula that will get you results, the blueprint is super important. It can make the difference between whether you end up looking like a CrossFit athlete or a lean, cut ballet dancer. But, the work is still up to you. You are the only one with the power to change your body. So, if you never put the work in to develop a healthy relationship with your body physically and mentally, all the blueprints in the world won't be able to help you get to your next level.
The bottom line is that there is no magic number on the scale or in the workout world that will guarantee happiness in your body. There are blueprints that can lead you down a path to mastering your body through nutrition and exercise, but realize it is a never-ending quest. The key is learning to love every step along the path and not getting caught up in the anxiety of wanting to get to a destination. There is no magic number to get to...the magic lies in you already. It's in realizing that very notion that you unlock your true potential and happiness. Start loving yourSELF now!
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