I was overweight since the age of 14. I was struggling with disordered eating, had distorted body image and an official permission to skip P.E. lessons. I avoided mirrors at all cost, wore baggy clothes and hated all kinds of sport passionately. I was the happiest when I completely forgot that I had a body.
My psychologist had heard of Nia and pushed me gently to at least give it a try. Finally I gave in, mainly so that she stops asking me about it. I signed up for Kinga Brezina’s class in The Shift studio in Budapest, being 100% sure that I would have to fight my way through 60 miserable minutes. I was expecting to hate Nia just as much as anything else…
We were well into the cycle of cool-down when I first glanced at the clock, shocked to find out that so much time had flown by. Here I quote my e-mail to Kinga the following day:
It was incredible!!! I left the studio floating above the ground, I’ve not felt this joyful and energized for a long time. I wish I could take all girls and women to your class, this is a real miracle.
So, I started attending her classes, and never stopped. I turned 22 in May this year, and soon after that I took my White Belt intensive. I taught my first class recently.
When I look in the mirror, I might not be completely satisfied with every tiny detail, but what I see is a dancer’s body. My body, one I’m grateful to have, happy to move and excited to get to know more and more as I continue on my Nia journey.
I’m not so focused on pounds and clothing sizes any more, I’m more interested in having the ability to learn new movements, and to dance with strength, grace and joy. And not too surprisingly, my reflection looks a lot prettier when I’m beaming with happiness during or after class. (A guy told me the other day that I have a figure of someone who dances really a lot, and honestly, this was the sweetest compliment ever.)
Instead of being ashamed of my body and trying to go unnoticed at all times, I’m feeling blessed to be a woman, and I enjoy playing with this feminine, sexy side I never knew I had, swaying my hips, spinning around the room, almost swinging with each step when I walk in the streets. I have more confidence, more trust in my body and certainly a lot more appreciation for it. Nia has definitely changed my body, but more importantly, it changed me and my life in it.
Text by Boróka Erdélyi, who also provided the pictures.
The Finnish word for October is lokakuu. Earlier this fall, I decided to declare October LOVEMYBODY-lokakuu, as the two L:s went so beautifully together. Via social media, I announced that I was looking for stories about relating to one’s body – stories about bodyshame, and bodylove, and everything in between. I was lucky enough to get a few responses, which I now have the pleasure and honour to share. Thank you to the contributors! .
PS. Should you be inspired to share your story, please do – through me, or via your own channels. Good bodytalk is precious, and healing.