I'm a fat recreational ballet dancer with a pacemaker.
Body positive. Strong believer in Health At Every Size.
This place is a repository for my mind. At the moment that seems to mostly be ballet, heart stuff, pretty things and random geekery.
*Not an actual disney princess, accidental or otherwise. That would be tragic. I would be the worst disney princess ever. Completely positive.
i don’t understand why people don’t instantly respond to “what would your dream superpower be” with the ability to manipulate probability.
think about it. what’s the chance someone will drop 1mil in front of me? 0%? let’s make that 100%. what’s the probability i’ll wake up tomorrow and be X gender? 100%. what’s the probability my bathtub is filled with mac and cheese? 100%.
So I was talking to my friend about colouring books and she showed me this one.
And then there was this page.
And finally this absolute gem!
How amazing is this book?! I want one.
I’ve been getting a lot of asks lately asking how I developed my self confidence, and basically it boils down to this: It’s not so much that I’m in love with how I look, but I am fiercely proud of what I am capable of in both body and mind. Of course I love pretty dresses, nice hair and I have an ongoing love affair with glitter nail polish. These things are nice, they make for a good picture, but they do not create the essence of confidence that people seem to see in my images. THAT is all me- and no outside source is capable of creating it.
That said, I wonder why I feel the need to label myself as a “fat dancer”. Despite all that, part of me still feels as though I could never label myself simply as “dancer” or tag any of my images as “ballet” or “dance”- at least not without the word “fat” in front of it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that “fat” is an insult. It is merely a descriptor. But there is a small part of my mind that still believes that my current body does not deserve the simple title of “dancer”.
Why am I telling you this? Basically to back up another aspect of developing self confidence that is crucial to realize: Learning to love yourself is NOT a linear development. It does not happen over night. It is not a straight slope up. Like ANY life journey, it has hills and valleys. One day your confidence may be soaring, and a moment later you wonder why anyone thinks your worth anything at all. You can even have all of these feelings at once. I am amazing in one way, but worthless in ten. Those feelings of low self esteem DO NOT negate the small but growing feelings of self love you are developing. It’s OKAY to feel this way. Your feelings are always valid, whether you can explain them or not.
You want to know how to love your body? Learn to love yourself. You are so much more than how you look. It’s been said that self confidence is the best accessory, but more than that, once you truly have that core of self worthiness nothing anyone says against you matters worth a damn.
I guess that’s how I realized that even though I still have nagging negative thoughts about some things, the confidence is what dominates now. I’ve been lucky. I haven’t been attacked for my size all that often like many here have. As always, I will be bigger than many and smaller than some. When it happens it certainly annoys me, but more often than not I’m amused by the whole thing. What is missing in these people’s lives that they have to derive pleasure from bringing other people down? In all honesty, that sounds like a whole lot of their problem. Better to ignore and move on. I’m also not above laughing at an insult if it actually happens to be amusing or witty. I have no problem admitting my flaws or laughing at myself.
I think this all comes down to reaching a certain level of true self confidence and knowing exactly who I am. It’s also something that comes with time and age. It’s best to start this journey young, but it’s okay if you can’t. Take it as you can. Even if all you have at the moment is a small voice in the back of your head that says you are worthy being loved, that is enough. Wanting to love yourself is the first step in this journey. Take it from there, one day at a time. This is something that delves so much deeper than your looks. It is not your job to be beautiful, but you will find the beauty in yourself once you realize that a body is just a body, but YOU will always be you. Everything else is just accessories. Fabulous accessories maybe, but not what makes YOU you. Don’t ever forget that.
Reblogging this again for some of my recent asks.
Honestly, it did take a while for me to be properly diagnosed. I thought I was having problems for a few years before anyone took it seriously enough to look further into, and it was also dismissed as “anxiety” and that I was “too young and healthy to have any medical problems”. Alrighty, get ready for a novel about how I was diagnosed with IST:
The first time my doctor at the time took me seriously was when she tried to put me on blood pressure medication for labile hypertension and my blood pressure completely bottomed out. She did an EKG on me, and told me that the arrhythmias on it were the same as my baseline a few years ago, but since I was now being affected by it she’d refer me to a cardiologist. Now she’d never mentioned these arrhythmias before, and told me that they were typically benign, so she’d ignored them before. I was more than a little bothered by this, but just glad to get referred. The cardiologist I’d been referred to couldn’t see me for a month.
During this time I was in rehearsal for a ballet show, and noticed that it would take hours after dancing for my heart rate to drop below 100. In the meantime I was constantly dizzy and having near syncope episodes. Even though I was no longer taking blood pressure medication and I had an appointment with a cardiologist, I was concerned about waiting a month for it. One day after rehearsal while I was sitting around waiting for my heart rate to return to normal before I drove home, it simply would not drop. At a few hours out, it was still in the 140’s. I got a friend to drive me to the hospital after running a few errands (so now about 5 hours out) and my heart rate was still around 120. They were going to monitor me and send me home, but just as they were about to discharge me, my heart rate spiked to 200. After telling them my mom had SVT, they diagnosed me with the same thing, and admitted me for observation while starting medication to control it. I ran into the same problems I’d run into when my primary tried to put me on blood pressure medication (as medications used to control SVT are also often the same as those used to control BP)- my blood pressure and heart rate kept dropping too low to function normally. They referred me to an electrophysiologist to have a cardiac ablation since the medications had such a bad effect on me.
This doctor would be the one that ultimately ended up saving my life. He put me through every single test he could fathom to ensure that I was actually having a cardiac problem before he would do an ablation. He also put me through the gauntlet of cardiac tests so he could pinpoint exactly where things were going wrong. One of the first tests I had was a tilt table test, which landed me with a diagnosis of POTS. They also noticed that my heart rate would still spike at random, and that it was “irregularly irregular”. At first they thought it was POTS combined with anxiety, but I kept insisting that there was something more. After a 30 day event monitor my doctor conceded that I was right, and that I actually had a-fib, but the almost constant high heart rate had hidden it most of the time. He performed an a-fib ablation, and thought that it would help things considerably. It cured the a-fib, but symptomatically not much improved.
They told me that I still had POTS, and this was what I just had to deal with now. After all, autonomic nervous system problems are very difficult to control. I had event monitor after event monitor, which showed an almost constant high heart rate, with massive rate hikes whenever I was even minimally active. For a while even my EP dismissed it largely as anxiety combined with POTS, but eventually diagnosed it as IST when my heart rate would no longer return to normal even when I was sleeping. As it turned out, I was not the only patient he had that had this problem. It peaked his interest enough to do research on, and eventually (after several more failed medications and conservative ablations that lead to me getting a pacemaker in the meantime) decided to do an open heart ablation which would leave me completely dependent on the pacer- BUT with control over my heart rate for the first time in years.
The point of that novel? That it IS possible to find a doctor who will take you seriously and not give up on you. Doctors attached to academic/teaching hospitals are more likely to take uncommon cases seriously AND be interested in doing whatever it takes to try and treat them. Even in the middle of all this, with a massive chart to prove my problems, I would still run into a doctor here and there that would dismiss me because I was “young and healthy”. It’s a problem with their attitude, NOT with you. Granted, having the problems I had is pretty uncommon, but I never did understand doctors who refuse to test patients for things because they’re “too uncommon to test for”. Yes, anxiety IS much more likely than a heart problem in a young person, but you have to check it out in case it isn’t. Insist on a referral to a cardiologist. Any decent one will probably to a few tests just to make sure everything is okay.
Sometimes you have to be your own best advocate. Sometimes doctors are idiots. 100% of the time doctors are human. They are fallible. Don’t give up until you get answers. The fight is worth it every time.
I cannot believe that certain family members are talking about “a cancer causing monkey virus linked to Lee Harvey Oswald”. They are actually being serious.
Edit: Actual quote describing Mary Sherman- “She sang opera AND read books!”