Week 1 of Hotmess session 14 and we get to hear from Annie today! Annie is amazing and we love seeing all her wonderful changes!!

I met Tia years ago and attended some of her adult beginner hip hop classes and early morning fitness classes before Hot Mess was even a thing. I loved them, and Tia, but eventually my schedule conflicted with the classes and I couldn’t come. Late last year I saw Hot Mess pictures on facebook and realized I could come! So I started in the 9:30am session when the new year started. I had been sleeping at odd times and it was really messing with me, so I needed something I could look forward to in the morning to keep me awake, so I was counting on Hot Mess to help motivate me into a better sleep schedule. I love staying in shape and challenging my body but I have always been a slow but steady kind of girl, doing endurance running or pilates. Even as a pole dance instructor I focus more on strength and control. Fast explosive choreography has always been a challenge for me, and I’m naturally un-coordinated, so I love that I get to be challenged to improve with those things in Tia’s classes. I’ve noticed physical improvements doing HotMess: I don’t get winded as easily, my exercise-induced asthma is not as prominent, I feel like I’m catching on to the dance steps, last week I felt like balancing on my knees on the ball was actually doable, and burpees and squats and push ups have done so much for my ability to move quickly in my own dance choreography. I’m actually one of those annoying people that love burpees now!

As great as the physical improvements are, they are nothing compared to the positive vibes at HotMess. Tia has us shout affirmations like

“I am enough!”

“I can do hard things!”

“I’m a sexy BEAST!”.

She also asks us individually what we’re grateful for and we shout back. She encourages us to keep a grateful journal, which is as simple as it sounds: write 3 things daily that you’re grateful for. I love and fully appreciate the value of doing these simple things daily, but there was a time in my life when I couldn’t wrap my mind around simply saying something positive about myself.

I struggled with depression and social anxiety my entire life, but didn’t recognize it as depression until I was an adult, and I had never learned the skills to cope with it. So when hard times hit, I coped by withdrawing from everything that I used to love, contemplating suicide, self-harming, and feeling ashamed of myself. Years ago when I finally got counseling, guess what one of the coping strategies I learned was? Yep, positive affirmations. At first I thought it was a ridiculous idea. I didn’t need phsycho-babble, I needed real help. But my councilor insisted I say one thing positive about myself. So I tried, and for a while just sat there in silence before breaking out into bawling tears. I realized there was something really messed up with my thought processes if I couldn’t say one genuine nice thing about myself.

I slowly learned to recognize and correct negative thought patterns. I learned other coping strategies as well but by far the most helpful one has been to realize that our minds need a workout just like our bodies do. And if our minds can get out of shape and out of practice from neglect, they can get back in shape by giving it a regular workout. We’re never “done”, it’s like eating and sleeping and brushing our teeth, it needs to be done daily, and yes it can be exhausting, especially at first but it does get easier and it’s so worth it. Going to HotMess and having this principle reinforced for me was fantastic. I may have started so I could work out my body (and it’s an intense workout!) but I’m grateful for the way it also works out my mind and reminds me that I am worth it, and that I deserve to feel good.

Thanks for sharing Annie!! Love you!