NOREGRET2010   49,941
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Robbing myself with obesity...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I had an epiphany.

Seems pretty clear and quite simple now that I've realized know, like "well DUH!" But our thinking patterns aren't always that clear, are they, especially when tied to something emotional - like morbid obesity.

I've mentioned before I bellydance, have since the 80s. I teach to packed classes, have an award-winning dance troupe, and a few times a year I get hired to teach a workshop up and down the West coast. I was asking myself the other day, as I have several times before, "why am I not getting hired more?" Literally, women with less bellydance "credentials" than I get hired repeatedly...why not me? My workshops always get great feedback...I know I'm a good teacher...what's the problem?

Um, well, DUH are morbidly obese. Would you hire a morbidly obese dancer to come teach in your town? that's a trick question...because I have. One of the most talented teachers I ever knew was always heavy, and then when she became morbidly obese, she pretty much quit teaching/dancing and became a vendor of bellydance things to sell at events, so she was still in the community. I had her come teach because I KNEW she was amazing and I didn't care about her weight. At that workshop, several women said the same thing to me in a variety of ways "once she started dancing - i forgot all about her weight, becuase she was AMAZING!"

I think that's beautiful, really.

But the reality is...obese bellydancers very rarely get hired to teach anywhere, despite their level of accomplishment, ability, etc.

My obesity is robbing me of the career in bellydance i could be having. Yes, I am booked for two workshops this year, and I'm pleased and grateful for those bookings....but how many could I have if I lost even a part of the weight that I'm dragging around?

This week I've danced more, walked more, and generally been more active...which only served to highight to me again the need for more cardio in my life! I will perform a solo at an Oregon bellydance festival (Saqra's Showcase in Hillsboro Oregon) for the first time in....five years. I dance with my troupe there every year...but soloing? very intimidating to me at this weight because I have seen with my own eyes the way people's attention drifts the minute they see a larger woman come to the side of the stage to be called up next...suddenly, that's a good time to get a drink of water or go shop the vendors....because in our culture - obese women, heavy women, or women who don't fit societies norm are undervalued. Period.

But this year, I'm doing it. I'm doing it for myself, and I'm doing it for the other women out there who struggle with their weight. That last time I danced, five years ago, after I danced at least five, no joke - five, larger women found me after the performance and said "You made me realize I can do this, i can perform, I don't have to wait till I lose weight".

So while my obesity IS likely robbing me of bookings (and yes, years of life), it will not rob me of the nerve-wracking, scary-fabulousness of hitting that stage Saturday solo....for all the fat chicks!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KNIT4U 4/28/2011 11:48AM

    Wow - this post made me tear up. How true your words are. You have reminded me that I really need to tune in to Spark People more.....the undervaluation I feel every day has been like the prison that has kept me morbidly obese. I need to let the love and support available here be the key that opens the lock on my prison doors. emoticon

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PANBOOKS 4/28/2011 9:29AM

    You are inspiring! Not only are heavy women undervalued, most guys/ people either avoid looking at us or look at us in disgust. cI am new to SparkPeople and I have found the support, the articles, and the trackers to be exactly what I needed. I have learned so much. Please let us know about your performance on Saturday. I'll be there in spirit - I'll be your virtual cheerleader!

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Slow and steady....

Monday, April 18, 2011

Yep, things are still chaotic for me. Working out son's meds...second it bipolar? is it psychosis? None of the above? Slow process.

In the meantime, I'm gearing up for health - again. Guess you can't start over too many times!

This time, however, one small difference - I'm not over doing it right out of the gate. Taking a reasonable walk...doing some kind of exercise daily...but not those huge expectations I tend to make of myself that only lead to one place for me: Injury.

Baker's cyst in knee, arthritis flares, back going out....I'm avoiding all that so far (knock on wood) by going slow and steady. Nothing like ending up having to take it easy or worse yet, flat on my back, because I pushed it too hard too fast.

I'm walking pretty much daily, at least a 15 minute walk, sometimes two. On the weekend, maybe I take a lil longer walk.....So far so good. On top of my dance classes, I'm moving quite a bit.

Weigh in you ask? I haven't. Trying to focus on how I feel and just the doing of it, you know?

I have a goal of 230 by May 1....set when my life wasn't crazy. I don't have any clue where i am now, but I suspect not there. Does it matter? Really? No. What matters is that I'm doing something, I'm being reasonable and safe about it, and that it helps my mood, my stress level and hey, if some weight happens to fall off in there too...I won't complain. What do YOU do most days of the week for fitness?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WORKINGSTIFF 4/22/2011 11:28AM

    As I've always told my kids--"slow and steady wins the race."

It's like when you're in traffic and some nutbag zooms ahead of you and you both end up at the same red light. Zooming ahead didn't do one bit of good except to burn more gas and look like a fool in the process...

I hope you get the med situation figured out.

Take care!

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Something is better than nothing

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Wow, almost a month since I've posted.

Feelin' anxious. One of the best ways I've found to deal with anxiety is gratitude. Some days on the way to work I just say out loud the whole trip what I'm grateful's a bit of that

* My son has been accepted into a two-year wellness program for kids dealing with mental illness
* I have a secure job
* I have a loving partner
* I have great kids
* I have a car that runs with no payments
* I was able to pay my rent and have a place to live for another month
* I have good people in my life
* I have a little dog that makes me smile every single day
* While imperfect, I have better health than a lot of folks
* Simple pleasures like a cup of coffee, a walk in the sun on my break and seeing the trees finally beginning to bud with leaves....

Life is not perfect. Life is sometimes stinkin' hard. But life is good.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOVESTODJ 4/7/2011 11:38PM

    Amen to that!
Enjoy your weekend.

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MINIDRIVER63 4/7/2011 4:19PM

    I'm so glad you checked in! I think that's a great approach to anxiety.

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TERRYT55 4/7/2011 9:52AM

    This was the perfect blog to read first thing in the morning. It made me smile and think of all that I am grateful for. Life IS good!

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HARROWJET 4/7/2011 9:36AM

    You have many things for which to be thankful. Thank you for sharing and thank you for the reminder to count our blessings.

Judy emoticon

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142 days...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Been a week. That's all I have to say about that. turned 47. Son had daily meltdowns. his therapist said his progrosis "isn't looking good". Thank you for that sir, you just made everything so much better. Not.

So, back to doing #1 on the list: Take care of me. If I don't care for me, i can't care for him - peroid. Worse, the stress could cause me injury or death in the form of a stroke/heart attack, and then my kid would be in big trouble - no mom to advocate for him!

So...this week I:
Signed up for a 5K walk/run for MS! I'm captaining a team, and started training!

Day 3 of C25K was supposed to be "walk a mile". I didn't make the whole mile, I made 7/10ths. I'm not discouraged. It's a beginning!

I jogged 10 min with the Wii free run, a personal best.

Dance wise, i did at least one 10 minute drill break a day (these are audio training tools to get your stamina up in bellydance. Freakin' hard).

This week:
Appointments for my son and more stress. To combat the stress:
1) Continue C25K program as well as walking the dog.
2) Do a warm up daily - and a suhaila warm up 3x this week. A suhaila warm up is 45 minutes of stretching and ab work. Pretty killer if you aren't used to it, and sad to say, I'm not used to it any more!
3) Nutrition - getting those fruits and veggies in.

I feel a lot of tension in my body, and know full well one of the things that happens when I stress is I will end up pulling my back out. those muscles you can't control get all tight and then I move "wrong" and bingo, down for a week. I can feel I'm that tight...and I must change it...and the best way I can think of is exercise for stress relief.

Here's to a week of taking good care of me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MINIDRIVER63 3/14/2011 9:45AM

    YAY! You've got a terrific plan. It's both ambitious and achieveable. YAY!

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JULIEIRENE 3/12/2011 3:56PM


And, so glad to read that you are remembering to care for yourself so that you can be there for your son. You're a good mama!

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MACMOM57 3/12/2011 9:17AM

    Hope you have a restful weekend.

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145 Days....

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Did a lil counting and realized, I am 145 days out from a pretty tough weeklong dance training event.

Wow, was that motivating! Time to get my booty in gear or I won't make it!

So, plan of action:
1) Joined SP's 5K your way - walking - program.
2) Upon completion, go for the walk/jog program.
3) Really start working my stretching/yoga.
4) Move, move, move.
5) Best nutrition possible for best health possible.

Woo hoo! :) I don't want to be viewed at this workshop as "oh look the poor middle aged fat gal can't keep up!" Heck no! I want to give the young skinny chicks something to aim for when THEY are almost 50, thank you very much!

Suhaila Salimpour Level 2 Workshop, August 1-5, 2011, Albany, California. I'm going to Train my BUTT off and walk out of there the last day with pride that I DID IT!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULIEIRENE 3/9/2011 2:54PM

    Wooohoo! Love that you have a plan and such a great attitude! emoticon

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