First, I think I am completely addicted to ballroom competitions now. It is like meth or crack but better for you. And it is about as expensive once you add up the coaching, lessons, costuming, makeup, hair, accessories and all that.
I know I haven't talked all that much about it here because it would likely encompass about a week's worth of blog posts. As you can see from the flickr pictures, I looked great. I had a great time. Seriously. It was probably one of the best times of my life. Everyone said I looked like I was having so much fun. One instructor told Todd that all of his students now wanted to learn The Peabody after seeing our demonstration of it. David Hamilton gave me some good marks (and lots of compliments on my dresses).
Ben Ermis said that I was doing very well - "very soft through your knees, relaxed.. beautiful expression." (Ben and his wife Shalene are the 2004 National Champions in American Smooth. They are so good. Shalene makes me want to learn the man's part just so I can dance with her.) Todd rushed over to participate in that conversation. It was really cute.
And after such a high like that, there is bound to come a major fall. I got the video from the smooth dances (I didn't know I was supposed to turn the order form in before the event so I missed the rhythm dances). Within 2 seconds I got nausated and had to shut it off. It took a couple of different attempts but I finished the video. I was so sick to my stomach. What I saw on there was what the enemy wanted me to see: a distortion. I saw how big I looked. I thought "Oh my God... what a disgusting fat blob. I can't believe I look like that. How ugly!"
Nevermind the many many compliments I recieved over the weekend. Nevermind how I know I felt. I allowed myself to spiral down into a hole that took 3 days to get out of... many tears and a lot of frustration and prayer.
Elena reminded me of something truly special about the entire weekend: it was a place where people came together for a shared hobby, regardless of color, age, or body type. We got together to have a good time and cheer each other on to do our very best. My own perceptions got in the way.
The realization of "it was all a lie" came when I went clothes shopping this weekend and have dropped another dress size. I'm now as small as I was in the 8th grade (as best as I can remember). That completely rocks.