Good news!

I have been dragging around, wondering just what happened to my body that made it feel like every muscle fiber had either snapped in half, or was about to.

I continued to move, but it was a chore. Just walking about the house required effort.

I had more or less accepted complete exhaustion and feeling weak.

I kept going, but I whined about it constantly.

Well, after a week of good sleep (thank you, Lunesta) I discovered something amazing.

I’m fine!

Apparently all the aching and weakness and difficulty moving was a result of sleep deprivation. Because now my body feels normal. Just…normal.

Except my hands. Yeah, they’re still old lady weak but my grip strengthener came in the mail so I’m on it.

I’m going to give myself a huge award for continuing to move. I didn’t feel good but I didn’t give up. Spanish, violin, ballet, writing….I kept doing it. Lesson 14 in Spanish is better than no Spanish at all. Would you like to go and eat or drink something? I can ask you in Spanish!

Quiere va a comer o beber algo?

Yeah me too! A que hora?

Shout out to my fiddle friend Monica for teaching herself the Tennessee Waltz last night and sending me a recording! I shredded it on Kitchen Girl for ten mins yesterday…but better than nothing!

And ballet!…Over the past six weeks since starting ballet, while I was feeling weak I was actually getting strong. Who knew?

The first to snap to attention was my legs and feet. Even in the first few classes I was able to lengthen and tighten and make a nice line with my legs and feet. I can thank years of pointing my toes and stretching my legs. It enabled me to  hit the ground running.

But my back and core, especially my back, were unaccustomed to standing very straight. When you grow through your torso your back begins to ripple. All the muscles engage and you can feel it between your shoulders, down your spine, and into your lower back. At first it felt like everything was about to spasm, but now, six weeks later, I have the muscle to begin to really lift up.

My arms were a bit stiff, that is until this past Sunday. On Sunday they were ready to move through a port de bras with effortless intention, and some degree of grace.

Ballet teaches you that you must be patient and build and strengthen your body. When you lift up your arms, it comes from your core and your back. Your arms just kind of come along for the ride, and you need a core that can hold you up and allow your arms to float.

The biggest surprise is that just by learning to stand properly, you are doing the hardest kind of work.

And the really cool thing is that you can work on this all day long. You can sit up in the car, stretch higher at work, and when you have a little break you can lengthen and tighten your body with a stretch. Sometimes I eleve or releve or walk around on my toes. Like a kid, I’m usually moving now (when I’m not in bed, which I still reserve the right to take to after 8PM)

My body wants to go up. I’m getting taller!

Building strong feet and ankles is a must, and it takes a very long time to engage all the muscles properly. It’s fun, and you can work on it even in bed. I press my toes into the foam topper and my calves and feet lengthen and tighten.

Starting ballet has made me wonder why more adults don’t dance.

I know one reason and it’s that actual dancers who dance at high levels – well they have had to manipulate and train their bodies to an extent that the rest of us mere mortals can’t begin to fathom. And to that extreme, it’s very hard on a body.

But baby ballet isn’t. It’s one of the most gentle things you can do.

I know, because I did it when I could barely carry around my own weight.

Speaking of weight.

I finally dipped below 160!

Chicken and vegetables.

My body told me to do what I know. And chicken and greens is the simple answer to my body leaning out and feeling good. Every other dietary exploration has lead me to bloat, weight gain and tears. Well not really tears, but frustration to the max.

Turns out, some of us need very few calories. We just can’t handle all the extras that come with the various regimens that are in vogue. Nuts and coconut oil and chia and hemp? Sounds good, but my body just stores it for a long winter.

Well, now’s that long winter…

I prefer the sound of vegetarian, or vegan. And by sound I mean the humane aspects. But my body just rejects it. Every time.

I’ve been back to my Trader Joe’s balsamic vinegar chicken breast (a package a day) and greens – this is the slimming phase – for only two days and I feel light and energized. No bloat or indigestion. Just, regular and light. First day I was hungry. I lived through it. Now I’m good. Tea. Thanks, Susan.

I don’t want to say this out loud or recommend it, but along with some vitamins (calcium and Vitamins D are super important), chicken and greens can really pare you down. You melt. I’m melting away all this unwanted weight and after a few weeks I’ll add in some fish, some starchier vegetables, eggs and some fruit and that’s pretty much it.

I am not sorry that I wasted weeks South Beach Dieting and then vegan meal prepping. Sometimes you’ve gotta experiment to remember what you already know about yourself.

Click your heels three times.

There’s no place like home.

All that you need has been inside you all along.

That dang tornado just blew you off track, and then there was that witch and Toto just had to run off like that…

Repeat, there’s no place like home.

and, Voila!