DARTHLAURIE   17,721
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DARTHLAURIE's Recent Blog Entries

Body image and sustainable habits

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I'm starting to explore burlesque. I took my second class over the weekend. I knew it would be fun and challenging, but what I didn't know (or expect) is having a little body image meltdown.
As most people who know me know, I'm a nudist. I'll take my clothes off whenever I can (assuming it's in an appropriate venue). Being a nudist is one of the primary things that has helped me accept the body I have and work towards honoring my body and self love and all that good stuff each and every one of us deserves.
I'm still not at the point where I can say I love myself, but I can say that over the years I don't intensely hate myself and I've actually got a reasonably good relationship with myself...in other words, if I were any other person, chances are I'd get along reasonably well with myself, if that makes sense.
So when I signed up for this second burlesque workshop I knew we would be taking off at least some of our clothes. I excitedly knit up some cute little pasties, bought a feather boa and gloves and looked at heels (which I didn't buy...couldn't find any with a low heel that I loved). I was unbelievably excited for the class-- I didn't sleep at all the night before in part because I was so excited, but also because I'm still having abdominal pain (you'll all be happy to know I finally made a doctor appointment, but it isn't til April 1).
Anyways, class was going spectacularly-- I was having a terrific time and then we started the stripping part of the routine--we slowly, sassily pulled down whatever bottoms we were wearing to reveal our cute underwear. I briefly glanced at my backside in the full-length studio mirrors. I have to admit that I haven't had the opportunity to look at my back side in a full-length mirror in quite some time. I was rather surprised and unhappy looking in the mirror. I have the backside of a fat 37-year-old woman (sarcastic "gasp")! There's only one other woman in the class who is over a size 18 as far as I can tell (and most would probably fit more in the 6-12 category). I didn't totally lose it-- I didn't lock myself in the bathroom and cry over the fact that I am a fat 37-year-old woman. I kept dancing, laughing, and having a good time even though I was also freaked out by what I saw in the mirror.
It's taken me a few days to process even a fraction of that experience. Don't get me wrong: it was a good experience--it was--is-- a growing experience. I clearly need to continue exploring burlesque so I can become more comfortable with my body (does anyone else find it odd I'm more comfortable completely nude than half nude?!).
I've been reading an amazing blog called Dances with Fat-- I highly recommend it. This woman is so inspiring to me. She has tremendous physical strength, flexibility, and stamina... and she is truly plus size (which in my book is over a size 14)-- quite possibly a size 22 or 24. I want to be like her-- and I think being like her is not only attainable (even if I can't do the splits or lift my leg up to my head-- ever--omg--I couldn't do those things when I was 4), but it's also sustainable.
When I lost all that weight a couple years ago, I was pretty happy about it; I thought that it could be sustainable. Indeed, it could've been sustainable IF I hadn't had some pretty drastic life changes. Sustainability is an important question I've been asking myself lately. What changes can I make that are sustainable, meaning I can do them for the rest of my life? Drinking more water and eating at least one serving of veggies at lunch are sustainable habits for me. Belly dancing at least once a week is definitely a sustainable habit. Seeing a personal trainer and going to the gym every week isn't sustainable.
The things that I admire about Ragen (author of Dances with Fat) are primarily her strength and flexibility (the woman can benchpress something like 200lbs). Since those are the attributes I most admire, those are the things I need to focus on. When I was seeing my personal trainer I got to the point where I could easily zip through 40 pushups. I did pushups daily before work. So my plan is to work up to thirty push ups a day. I'll start with knee pushups if my knees will take it. We'll start with ten pushups and see how that works and then add to them. Once I can ascertain if doing pushups is indeed as sustainable as I think it could be, then we'll add some flexibility exercise into the mix; I'm thinking start with one sun salutation flow and then adding more if that is sustainable. The beauty of starting with push ups and later adding the sun salutations is that it takes up very little room ( a five foot space) so I can do it pretty much anywhere, and neither uses any more equipment than my own body weight. I'm going to give the push ups a try as soon as I'm done here to see if my body can handle this; like I said, I'm still having abdominal issues and if there is a problem I'm going to have to be more gentle until the doctor rules out things like my gall bladder and spleen.
So that's my current plan. If things go the way I want them to there will be other benefits like feeling okay with stripping down to cute underwear and looking at my arms and seeing how strong they are...not to mention having the stamina and flexibility to do really well in both belly dancing and burlesque.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAMADEE84117 4/24/2011 12:56PM

    Laurie you are amazing and continue to inspire me! I can see how full nudity is more comfortable or relaxing!. my personal issue with burlesque would be that I would be drawing attention to specific parts of my body, such as hey look at just this left calf.. and I would be thinking yes.. this large left calf of mine.. so drawing attention to your backside (as lovely as it is *wink* ) i can see how it would be challenging.. i luv you ! you are amazing thanks for sharing your blog!
*shimmy on*
emoticon

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AUGUSTMASQUE 3/17/2011 10:35AM

    That is wonderful! Burlesque and belly dancing, I've found are awesome ways to feel good about yourself. =] I hope you continue them!

And good luck with the pushup goal. =]

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DARTHLAURIE 3/17/2011 9:54AM

    Update: I did the ten pushups last night...my arms definitely didn't have a problem with it (yay!). However, because of the type of pain in my abs (often it's a very tight feeling), I wasn't entirely sure how engaged they were in the process so I may just have to stick with ten pushups until I know for sure what's up in that part of my body.

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-POLEDANCEGIRL- 3/17/2011 9:01AM

    I also love to be naked. I dont consider myself a nudest, but I do love to feel free! My dance studio is trying to bring burlesque in. How exciting for you!!!

I am proud of you for continuing through class and enjoying it!!

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BRAVAH 3/17/2011 5:18AM

    Hello Laurie!

Great blog! I found it very interesting that it was more difficult for you to be half naked, than it is for you to be completely naked... but I understand. I think that in some ways, being nude is very freeing, and can see how burlesque would feel a bit different. But one thing I know is that you have the strength of character to take what you can out of this experience, and learn to enjoy the exercise in it. I think you're doing an incredible job of learning to love yourself, and think this will add a new dimension to that love! I also love your pushups goal, and think that you've found a wonderful role model.

Keep up the great work!

Cheers,
Heidi

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A couple reminders for myself

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Every so often I need to write myself and remind me of my own wisdom. This is one of those times so I'm pulling a couple things I wrote a few years ago that still help me. Some of you probably remember seeing these, but I needed to re-read them today.
So many people get bogged down because they've plateaued or simply
aren't losing weight. I am losing weight at a pace so slow it's almost
imperceptible. Why am I not depressed about it? Because it's against
the rules! Here are the rules. Feel free to share them, steal them, or
whatever. Make them work for you.
So here are my rules that you can feel free to adopt:
I have no control over the numbers on the scale. I only control how
much physical activity I get and what I choose to ingest.
My progress will be measured by how active I am that day and my food
choices. I will not berate myself if my body needs to rest. I will
give my body what it needs that day.
I will praise and celebrate my accomplishments a lot and just
acknowledge my shortcomings...because I'm not superhuman and I don't
need to be perfect.
I will not be unkind to myself. If I wouldn't say it to my best
friends, nieces or nephews (or in other people's case, kids), then I
am not allowed to say it to myself. It is hypocritical to have a
different standard for yourself than others.
I will learn to love myself unconditionally.
I will learn to live passionately and with as much love for myself as
I have for others.
I will remember that what makes me a goddess is my passion, heart, and
soul, not my physical attributes.

My Rights as a Woman at Any Size
I have the right to take up all the space my body needs.
I have the right to love and be loved.
I have the right to move freely and express myself in my own ways.
I have the right to feel sexy.
I have the right to feel beautiful.
I have the right to move with dignity and grace.
I have the right to be treated with dignity.
I have the right to love myself as I am NOW; not as I wish I was or as
I was at another time in my life.
I have the right to feel successful and fulfilled in all aspects of my
life.
I have the right to live joyfully and fully.
I have the right to be a goddess.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEATRICEBUNNY 2/21/2011 3:45PM

    Your bill of rights is brilliant!

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DFIACCO713 2/13/2011 5:19AM

    Perfect!!! Often people are too hard on themselves and unfortunately; that really does harm. Having this type of attitude is PERFECT!!!
~ Denise

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STFY31 2/12/2011 1:56AM

    Awesome blog! I love the part about it being hypocritical to hold yourself to different standards/negative self talk, than you would with others.

I just had to write a blog for my PUSH challenge about an old picture that we felt confident in. It reminded me of how so many of us let society lead us to believe we are not beautiful or worthy of beauty and love. I noticed the same connection as I read others blogs. Thank you for posting this and Thank you for believing in yourself and KNOWING everyone is worthy knowing their own beauty!

You rock!

Are you still dancing? My troupe is having their student recital tomorrow in Farmington....I am so missing all of them/dance. I can't wait to get back to it!

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QSCHOCOLATE 2/7/2011 9:29PM

    Love this. Thank you for posting. I am stealing the rules and hope to print this out and post at home and work. I need to learn the rules, and it will help to have them there to look at.

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KSGROTHE 2/7/2011 6:59PM

    I love this! Great reminders to yourself and for everyone else!

- Karen

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BRAVAH 2/7/2011 6:26AM

    Hi Laurie!

Awesome blog! I love your reminders to yourself. I think we should all do that now and again - remind ourselves to treat ourselves with the same love and respect that we show others. And good for you for listing your rights! You ARE a goddess!

Cheers,
Heidi (Goddess Heidi)

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Fat Awareness Time

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

I'm reading Health At Every Size right now. It got me thinking about all of the wonderful people I've known who are plus sized. The media wants to demonize fat and they try to portray fat people in the worst light possible, perpetuating the myth that being fat is quite possibly the worst thing to be. It's time to stop the madness. Before anyone starts saying being obese isn't healthy, I'll just counter that with being sedentary and having a diet of fast food/ convenience foods isn't healthy. I posted this on my Facebook page and I'd love to see more people of all sizes take a step back and say, "gee... my friend so-and-so is fat, but s/he's the most generous person I know." Being fat isn't the problem. The current perception of fat is the problem.
Fat awareness time: The media's rather negative view of fat people got me thinking about all of the wonderful people out there whose size is nothing compared to their kindness, love, dedication, and overall goodness. Feel free to post this and tell your friends about five (or more) plus sized people who have made a difference in your life.
1) Grandma Helen Lawrence. Yeah I only knew her for two years, but I know we're kindred spirits.
2) Joharah, and Ro-- proving that plus sized women can live full lives and look fantastic doing it!
3) Grandpa Lawrence and all of my Lawrence uncles: Let's face it-- without such tremendous examples of what real men are like I would never, ever have had a healthy relationship.
4) Amy J. and Amanda W. ...because without you two I would've quit dancing years ago (and Amanda B. for being so inspirational).
5) The lovely people from the size positive groups like Kelly Bliss and Rose Mary B. who showed me that it's far better to be a fat person living life than a person of any size letting life pass them by.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STFY31 2/12/2011 1:59AM

    Love it! Keep on dancing!!! :)

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183WANTS2B140 2/7/2011 3:11PM

    What a great point of view emoticon

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183WANTS2B140 2/7/2011 3:10PM

    What a great point of view emoticon

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WOLFKITTY 2/3/2011 12:05PM

    Absolutely true! My friend finished that book and let me borrow it, but I haven't read much. But those are the points that people really DON'T understand... It isn't the weight (necessarily) that makes people more vulnerable to heart disease, diabetes, etc.... I think it's the unhealthy habits that may have caused the weight (or the other way around). You CAN be obese and more fit than the "normal" sized person standing over there. Duh.

HUGS!
Rock on,
Jocelyn

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MRS_4EVER_AFTER 2/3/2011 11:44AM

  Excellent blog! I personally am tired of media and the ppl that worship it, thinking that my size or my friends size makes us repulsive, lazy, sick, unhealthy, unworthy, stupid, and so forth. Ppl treat "size" as some disease that will infect and infest even the best people. It's time they realize that that's not the case.

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KITT52 2/2/2011 5:13PM

    You are so right how many regulas weight people do we know that are just unhappy nasty people..we have to learn to love our selves no matter what we weigh...
Look at Oprah...

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BEATRICEBUNNY 2/2/2011 10:39AM

    What a positive blog! Lovely.

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BRAVAH 2/2/2011 8:26AM

    Awesome, Laurie! You are right! Great blog!

Cheers,
Heidi

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NKDUB211 2/1/2011 9:33PM

    emoticon

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A big thanks to everyone

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This will be a short entry. I just want to thank all of my SP friends who've come around and said something cheerful while I've been in this funk over the last week. I'd especially like to thank all of the wonderful gals who've joined the Health at Every Size team and who have been checking in, creating discussions,and helped reinforce for me why I created that team and for being so wonderfully supportive. I've been learning a lot from you and your blogs... they've been so inspiring and they've been helping me through a tough week.
Thanks, everyone! You're all so wonderful!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EILEEN2000 2/1/2011 9:22AM

    thank you for creating the Health at any Size team. I came back to SP to see if there was anyone who had similar goals and would most likely have left if I hadn't found this team. Be of good cheer, you have friends on this journey!

Comment edited on: 2/1/2011 9:23:05 AM

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YELLOWBIRD01 1/26/2011 7:50PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Keep on keeping on!!! You can do it!!! You are in my thoughts and prayers!!!


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BRAVAH 1/26/2011 4:02AM

    Hi Laurie,

I hope that your week gets better every day!

Cheers,
Heidi

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THISYEARSMODEL 1/26/2011 2:49AM

    Glad you're feeling better! emoticon

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VELVETCATT 1/25/2011 10:44PM

    Hope you're still hanging in there!

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This past week

Saturday, January 22, 2011

This past week has had its ups and downs (btw, every time I hear that phrase I have to chuckle...there's an officer here in Salt Lake City whose name is Upson Downs. SERIOUSLY).
I think I'm in another manic period which means loads of creative ideas at times when I really don't have the time to deal with them-- like at work. I find it terribly frustrating because by the time I get home from work I don't have the energy to do anything about it so I do more thinking than creating. I have two knitting projects that are keeping me relatively happy. I love knitting because it's so portable. My room was nicely organized with some bins and boxes moved to storage and the rest neatly stacked in a corner until I realized my knitting bin was moved to the very bottom of the stack and I had to get into that bin to get some yarn out.
I'm thinking about the possibility of opening my own Etsy store. I've looked at a couple things that I really liked and said if she can make that, I can make that...and possibly do it better. Could I really get paid for creating things and selling them? I don't know, but it may be worth a try. I'll definitely need a dedicated craft corner to make it work.
Craig has had an emotionally exhausting week and I really haven't known how to help him; mostly because he doesn't know quite what he needs. We didn't even make it to the gym this week. He seems to be bouncing back and that'll help both of us.
Whatever the doctor did last Thursday by pulling and yanking and twisting my foot seems to have really helped my ankle. It's still a bit weak and tight, but it's so much better and I'm doing the exercises she gave me to help with the flexibility. I actually danced in class on Thursday with just a bit of pain...and I wore my dance sneakers for the first time since the sprain. That's major progress! My biggest hurdle right now is relearning to trust my body, especially that ankle. I'm trying not to hesitate going down the stairs and I'm trying not to be afraid of the ice and snow...I think it'll improve over time if I just keep working at it.
I'm reading Health at Every Size right now. I've actually been enjoying it because I like the science sort of thing and I like that her explanations for things I've experienced make sense. The fullness trigger, for instance. I've liked learning that I'm not the only person who has a hard time knowing when I'm full. I also like knowing that there might be a way of turning that trigger on again...time will tell.
I'm cooking and working on eating better again. Craig did most of the cooking and cleaning while I was laid up. I've been taking Lean Cuisines for lunch for the last several months and I have become suspicious that they're the cause of some...let's say gastrointestinal discomfort because I've been eating them so often. I also suspect they play a part in a slightly raised blood pressure.
The last couple weeks I've stopped eating Lean Cuisines. The issues I've been having have been reduced and at the doctor appointment my blood pressure was a bit lower. Last Sunday I tried a new to me cooking technique: I braised a beef roast with some dried mushrooms I had on hand. It was sublime! I made a delicious gravy with some of the juices and later on in the week I made a beef stew and mixed some of those leftover juices in the stew broth...it was decadent and very comforting. Good food like that can be found at high end restaurants, but you pay a premium... and they never come in packages. Home cooking at its best. I think I might be a tad low on iron because I'm craving beef like crazy!
So...here's to next week and riding out this manic cycle. Hopefully we'll get to the gym and see what other interesting things will come our way.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRAVAH 1/23/2011 5:31AM

    Hi Laurie,

I think you should do your own Etsy store. That would be a fun way to be creative and bring in a little extra cash. I am glad to hear that your ankle is getting better. Sprains can be the worst! It is good that you have been dancing again. And your cooking stories are making my mouth water!

Cheers,
Heidi

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PATTYKLAVER 1/22/2011 8:15PM

    Sounds like a busy and successful week. Good for your.

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DARTHLAURIE 1/22/2011 12:44PM

    Dawn, I've occasionally had the Smart Ones...the thing that will raise your bp is the sodium content...and that's a problem all of those frozen meals have (watching sodium intake a little bit more is a new thing for me). I figure they worked well for me for a long time but now my body is telling me that it's time to change it up a bit. Craig thinks that if I did them a couple times a week I'd probably be okay, but I'm going to keep trying different things for a while.
As for braising the meat...uber simple: Select whatever meat you're going to use. Lamb shank, beef or pork roast...a tougher cut of meat will work well. Brown all sides of the meat in a bit of olive oil. I used our new cast iron Dutch oven so I could cook it in the same pot. Once browned on all sides you cover the meat with stock...I used a combination of beef and chicken stock and a little mushroom stock from rehydrating the shrooms. I added the mushrooms as well. You want the meat completely covered in the liquid. I also sauteed a diced onion and added that to the mix. Braise it in a 300 degree oven for an hour and then check to make sure you don't need to add more liquid. At this point you could add extra veggies. Cook for another hour and twenty minutes until everything is cooked through and fall apart tender. I roasted some carrots to go along with this. emoticon

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DAWNDMOORE40 1/22/2011 11:40AM

    It sounds to me like your cooking idea are delicious! I have tried some new recipes from SP and I really love it! It helps add a little bit of variety to my life! I eat those Smart Ones and they have never elevated my BP. You may want to try those instead of the Lean Cuisines. I have never eaten those. I haven't heard anything about them raising your BP.
I wish you the best with your cooking! Just keep it up and stay focused! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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