When I was younger, I was always really thin. I could eat whatever I wanted and I never gained a pound. I do think it was metabolism, but I also think that it was because even though it was really hard raising a child as a single parent, I had something in my life that was just for me. I did not realize this until recently. I had music and dance. I listened to music all the time. I lived with my grandmother who was my Mother in my Heart. She listened to music all the time too. We had one of those old fashioned radios that was ‘the latest thing’, which was able to be turned on via an intercom system. It was hilarious because she was in her seventies when I was in my 20’s but she listened to rock and roll; not the ‘old’ rock and roll of the 50’s, but of the 80’s!! It was so funny. I would turn the station to my favorite stations which was usually top 40 stuff. We would just dance around the house; no matter what we were doing. I can remember her cooking dinner, bopping around. I would set the table and bop on out to the dining room. My son, who was just a little baby, would be sitting in his little bouncy chair and one of us would dance up to him and pantomime whatever words were being sung and he would start to laugh. When he started toddling around, Mom or I would dance around him. I can remember him holding onto the couch and try and walk. Then when he took his first steps, we were always making sure that the basement door was shut and that he was not climbing the front stairs. We lived in a townhouse with three floors. We danced after him. After I got off work sometimes we would dash up to Tysons Corner, VA. In those days the mall was easy to zip in and out of. Mom loved to go to the department stores and I would tag along. Whatever song was playing, we were dancing to. We did not see anyone watching us, or if they did, we didn’t care. She would try on a dress and ask me what I thought and she would come out of the dressing room, dancing of course….We would also go to the local school plays and musicals, and we would always see any church musical production that we could make it to. In the spring, we would tend to her small flower garden. She would tend, I was her helper. Music was blaring out the windows and we were swaying to whatever tune was playing. So music was a big part of my life; I just didn’t realize it. On weekend nights when my son was not sick, which was when he was much older, I would go to Georgetown, in Washington, D.C. and hit the bars. My best friend drank a lot and I was on the dance floor. I couldn’t tell you who I danced with. The music took hold of me and my body started to move. Slow dances were boring; I always used those times to take a break and go to the bathroom or keep an eye on my friend. I also had a friend who talked me into Jazzercise. This is something I did everyday for about thirty minutes after work before rushing to pick up my son. I had a love and hate relationship with Jazzercise. Even though I was thin, I was not toned at all. I hated Jazzercise for a long time. I did it for the music, then could not get enough of it. The point of this is that music and dance were a release for me and most likely a great way to exercise. I lost 70 pounds in six months after I had my son. I did watch my diet, but my body was always moving.
The other day my daughter played a song from her phone. It was by an artist she knows I love. I added it to my Spotify and got up this morning to write this and put on the music. Wow! I have a doctor’s appointment this morning and don’t even care. I usually have the anxiety set in. I forget to turn on the music these days. I am going to make a conscious effort to remember. It makes me feel so much better!