Sunday, May 19, 2019

Twirl for a Cause: Chunky Girls Style

Robert has done it again!  He hosted another Twirl for a Cause to benefit his AIDS LifeCycle ride.  I believe he raised $3,500 (and is close to meeting his $15,000 goal).  Marisa and I came with another faux drag performance, this time as Rihanna and Britney. (Thank you to Ben for being our boy toy, and to Cassie Begley for the rope choreography!)

Check out the video:

Hundreds of riders leave on June 2nd.  They will be riding from San Francisco to Los Angeles -- 545 miles.  If you have some spare cash, please consider donating:


Thursday, May 2, 2019

Your Shadow Self

Recently, I saw the movie, Us.  While I watched it, I thought it was probably the worst movie I'd ever seen.  It was "classic" horror.  Look behind you!  Why aren't you running?!  Why are you going back in there??  The twists were pretty obvious and there was little jump factor.  Once I got home and thought about it a little more, however, I realized there was much deeper meaning hidden in that movie (other than how offensively horrible race relations are in the United States).  Without ruining too much of the plot in case you haven't seen it, the movie really makes you think about your shadow self. 

What is the shadow self?  It is the part of us we don't want to admit to having.  We may consider her weak or lazy.  We probably blame her for weight issues or the inability to commit to a relationship.  Most of us push our shadow selves away.  Reject her.  Tell her she's bad and needs to stay locked up.  She sits in a dark room stewing until some day she reappears.  Maybe you need her and you subconsciously call to her.  Maybe you have a moment of "weakness" and she just shows up.  But you'll have to face her sadness or rage someday. 

When you reject your shadow self, you reject yourself.  You tell yourself that you aren't good enough because this small piece of you is "wrong" in some way.  You spend so much of your life trying to keep her down.  So much precious energy that could have been used in a much more positive way. 

I recently did a Seven Day Healing Program through Preside Life.  Each day you listen to audio then journal answers to the questions he asks.  Although he doesn't specifically call it the shadow self, he does talk about the wounded inner child, which is essentially the same thing to me.  He talks about the masks we were made to wear as children in order to fit into our families.  I won't go too much into what he teaches, but the end result is accepting that your parents did the best they could, they did love you unconditionally, and you should learn how to talk to your inner self when you are feeling insecure and unworthy.  For me, it was important to realize how many things I use to stuff my feelings, and how I can rewrite my script to self-soothe in more healthy (or, at least for now, less damaging) ways. 

So many of us have those feelings of unworthiness.  We settle for sub-par relationships.  We don't ask for raises at work, or go for the better jobs.  We have to take sleeping pills to sleep, then we have to down gallons of coffee to wake up.  We eat to damage our bodies.  We exercise to punish ourselves.  We drink alcohol or take drugs to excess to dull the pain.  We make ourselves too busy so we don't have to sit in silence and listen to our own brains scream at us.  We push people away and pretend we don't need anyone else.  We spend hours looking at our phones, and not living in the real world.  It leads to a life of feeling very much alone in our misery.

What if you flipped the script?  What if you accepted your shadow self?  What if you looked at your wounded inner child, the one telling you that you aren't good enough, as trying to protect you, not keep you down?  If you don't go for that better job, you won't feel rejected if you don't get it.  But what if, instead of feeling dejected and freezing in your tracks, you took that feeling and let it propel you forward?  You weren't ready for that job, but now you're motivated to go back to school or get more training, which will allow you to get an even better job down the road.  One of my favorite things to say lately is: "Rejection is always protection, and delay does not always mean denial." 

I recently listened to the audio book, The Obstacle Is The Way.  The book tells you that obstacles aren't what keep you from success, they are, in fact, what will ultimately make you successful.  I have begun creating a program that combines hiking, yoga, and a little bit of a spiritual lesson.  I have also been writing a book about manifesting.  I realize now that I wouldn't be able to do these things had I not had the life lessons that led me to the hard work I've been doing in the last four years. 

So, that overly loud, chubby, mediocre, semi-attractive, commitment-phobe I've loved to bag on for so many years, is the same girl that is going to help me write the program that I hope will help many other people in the world.  She was my shadow self for years, but she recently walked into the light, and she and I are going to rule this roost together, hand-in-hand. 

Monday, April 22, 2019


I can't believe it has been over five months since my last post!  A little over five months ago, I had surgery to fix my breast implants. I'd love to tell you how that surgery was completely successful and I'm sitting here with amazing boobs and completely happy with all the money I've spent in the last couple of years.  The Universe had other plans for me.  A lesson in being happy with what I have perhaps.  My implants are uneven and I'm facing the scar revision (more surgery) that my surgeon didn't have time for during my last surgery.  I hear you yelling, you should sue!  Yeah.  Well, since I didn't die and the saline was just absorbed by my body, so I didn't get sick, no decent attorney wants my case.

Anyway, if you're wondering what I've been up to in the last five months, here we go.

I am (happily) back up to yoga five days a week.  You're probably thinking, man you must be extremely flexible.  That is not the case.  In fact, I am noticing that, at only 42, I have lost so much mobility -- it is actually scaring me.  I can no longer get even close to flat in "frog" position.  Even though my hips have always been a bit tight, and I've never been able to do the splits, I could still do a decently respectable frog.  I can't squat down without pain in my knees (don't even ask me to stand up from that position without touching my hands to the ground).  Sometimes when I am walking upstairs, especially if I'm carrying heavy bags, one of my knees just doesn't seem to want to work.  It doesn't hurt.  It just doesn't want to do what its being told.  My hammies are tight (which I understand is a sign that the muscle is short -- and weak).  My calves are floppy (they really never recovered from weight loss after gastric bypass 15 years ago).  I was trying to do what one trainer calls "prison squats."  It is really just standing up from being on your knees (with your hands behind your head).  Yeah.  I couldn't do it.  I can't deep squat without pain.  My lower back and left hip are often tight and sore.  My core is almost non-existent and I still just feel so bottom heavy because I can't lift my legs to my chest (or invert) without help.  Basically, my body isn't happy.

When did this happen?

I was trying to figure out when things went bad.  I was still good when I started pole dancing in 2009.  I never poled enough to gain the strength I needed to do all the "cool moves" but I was still fairly flexible in my own little inflexible way.  I did start having major hip pain in 2010 (later connected to my relationship, which I didn't end until almost six years later).  I started teaching my pole class regularly in 2011/2012.  I began a job in San Francisco in late 2012.  I was commuting (often standing for long periods) on public transportation, which I truly hated.  It was a job I disliked, and I gained a lot of weight.  This lead to foot surgery (plantar fascial release) in 2013.  I think this is when my body got mad.  In 2014, I lost almost 40 pounds and got back to being active, but my body didn't bounce back.  I also feel like that's when I lost my pole mojo.  I lost the ability to free dance/flow, and I stopped enjoying class as much as I used to.  I took a new job in 2015 and stopped teaching regularly.  I feel like that was probably the final nail in the mojo coffin.  I have been caught between needing to workout for the health of my brain and body, and being tired of injuring myself.

Suddenly, I have learned the value of doing movement that makes my body feel good.  Forcing myself to do things I don't enjoy was causing me more injuries and pain.  However, I recently felt like I needed to step it up a little in order to gain strength and reverse the lost mobility.  In addition to my yoga classes, I am doing Betty Rocker HIIT workouts (15 minutes in the morning to get the day started right).  I am also starting to walk more after work (now that the weather is nice), and am hiking on the weekends (to prepare for a trip to Hawaii in June).  I feel like it's making a huge difference in how my body feels.

Although I was pretty certain I wouldn't return to pole after this surgery, I recently offered to teach a class and took a class with Grace in order to try to find some of that lost mojo.  Due to surgery, and NCPP last year, it has probably been eight or nine months since I've been on the pole regularly.  Last Monday, I showed up to dance and was pleasantly surprised.  I really enjoyed myself, and I was able to do more moves than I expected.  I still feel like I won't be poling regularly anymore (it is just way too lopsided, even if you do train both sides), but I do think I'll take some workshops and one-off classes on occasion.  I paid a lot of money for these boobs and I don't want to do anything to damage them (or make them uneven).

So, there you go.  Sorry for disappearing for five months.  I will have some updates on a recent performance and perhaps my upcoming class.  For now, enjoy the dance we were learning last week in Grace's class. 

Check out the video on my Facebook page:

Until next time...

Friday, November 9, 2018

Recovery Begins Here...

I posted in August about how I was going to have more reconstructive surgery.  You can read that HERE.  Well, I had that surgery this past Monday.  I am four days into recovery, and I'm feeling fairly good.  Sure, I'm in some pain, but I am following protocol, resting, and taking my medications. 

There was a slight complication, of course, since nothing I do is ever easy.  We thought the mesh on one side had failed.  It turned out the implant was leaking.  So, it's good I had decided to do this surgery!  The surgeon had talked me into a second mesh, which equals more money.  She was already planning to move the implants under the muscle (as my skin just has no elasticity, which is why the implants fell again).  So, no one was expecting to open me up and find a leaking implant.  They didn't have the size necessary on hand, so someone had to drive new implants from San Francisco to San Jose in commute traffic, while I was under anesthesia.  I also now have silicone implants instead of saline (which will eventually equal more money as well).  The whole process has been frustrating and expensive. 

So, I'm sitting here recovering, and thinking my pole life is likely over.  It hurts my body, and I want to treat these new implants with kid gloves.  I don't know yet what it means for this blog.  It has already been morphing into a blog about life in general.  I guess I have plenty of time to decide.  In the meantime, enjoy some photos of the progression of my boobies. 

Before/After 2016
Leaking implant 2018
Surviving implant 2018

Friday, October 26, 2018

Chunky Girls at it again!

Marisa and I performed ("performed") at another Twirl for a Cause event, and since I've been so quiet lately, I thought it would be nice to share.

Two things are going on here. The Chunky Girl Universe has obviously shown up to play, but our new endeavor, the Dick Pic Committee, is also in attendance.  What is the Dick Pic Committee?  Well, we are a group of friends who get together to talk about all the dick pics dudes send us on dating or other social media sites.

I love my friends. 

 Check us out, kinda dancing for dollars:

Saturday, September 1, 2018

An Entire Year of Joy

My wish is for another  fabulous year with an abundance of joy
One year ago, I deemed my 41st year to be the Year of Joy.  It was just slightly over a year ago that a break up and a bad choice in medication pushed me into a mental breakdown.  I have grown so much in the past year.  It wasn't just a year of joy.  It was a year of peace.  Love.  Self-acceptance.  It was the Year of Me.

Our time has to be divided in so many ways.  We have to work, sleep, eat.  We have responsibilities.  We don't have time for ourselves, because we have other people to take care of.  However, we can't push ourselves until we have nothing left to give.  We need to put our oxygen masks on first.

Take a deep breath.

For me, that means yoga is a priority.  I am extremely excited to be on the committee at work that brought yoga to employees two days a week at lunch.  We are adding an evening class in less than two weeks.  Between that, another lunchtime class, and my Saturday online class, I will be at five yoga classes each week.

Eating well is a priority.  Thanks to the gastric bypass, this isn't optional.  My vitamins and protein can get low so easily, and it makes it hard to function.  I've been gluten-free (mostly free) for almost a year and a half.  I have the sugar under control again.  I'm drinking my protein shake for breakfast.  I've been using a food service to make sure I get high fat/protein, gluten-free foods.  Food is fuel.  And I am making an effort to choose the right fuel for my body.

Time with my friends and family is essential.  Time with the right people.  Learning that not everyone deserves your time.  Learning not to waste precious time with people who aren't compatible with you.  Practically every Sunday afternoon, you will find me at Myers Court, hanging out with my family.  Sure, a small part is because it's fun to compete for the title of Favorite Aunty.  But I love feeling like I'm part of a community.  We can build our own tribes, of course.  My chosen tribe includes so many amazing people.  However, I do appreciate my family for loving and accepting all of my weirdness.  Also, I am so incredibly lucky to have a fantastic group of friends.  I am especially grateful to the strong women in my life.  When I was younger, groups of women usually meant catty bullshit.  That is no longer the case.  Either we've grown up or I'm just spending time with better people.

Therapy is so important.  Sometimes it feels overwhelming to make a weekly commitment, but I fully believe my therapist is part of the reason I am doing so well right now.  She doesn't just sit back and ask me how I'm feeling or what I think.  She calls me on my bullshit and helps me choose better ways to think about myself.

Self-care in general is a priority as well.  For me, that's massages, journaling, meditating, taking time to watch sunsets, going to the beach, watching the full moon rise at my favorite look-out spot.  It's turning the TV off and sitting in silence in my own house.  It's turning the music on and dancing around as I get ready in the morning.  It's being in tune with my mind, body and spirit, so I know exactly what I need in each moment to thrive.

I feel like a completely different person.  Softer 'round the edges.  Still loud and silly but maybe not solely for the reason of hiding my insecurities.  Less sarcastic.  I've tried to be more vulnerable and honest with people.  It feels more authentic to live like that.

In the last year, I got rid of my roommate and started fully loving being in my own house again.  I've taken trips to Pebble Beach, Disneyland, Tahoe, Monterey, Fall River Mills and Vegas (more than once).  I did a yoga retreat in San Luis Obispo.  I started a brunch committee to discuss the epidemic of online daters sending photos of their dicks to random people.  I've contemplated taking the bar and becoming an attorney.  I've realized that California may not be the place I want to retire (which says a lot coming from a California girl).  And I'm still doing random handstands and yoga poses everywhere I go.

So a year ago, I started an album on Facebook called "41: The Year of Joy."  In the past year, I've posted over 1,400 photos of people and events that brought me joy.  I wanted to share some of them here.

Thank you all for being on this journey with me.  I know I've gotten away from posting a lot about pole.  Aerial has really been causing me a lot of physical pain, so I'm taking it as a sign that it's time to take a step back and take care of myself.  Surgery is coming up in less than two months, so perhaps after the New Year, I will re-evaluate.  I have decided not to set a theme for my 42nd year.  I will, of course, continue to foster a joyful life, and I am excited about what the next year holds (two more babies are due in the family over the next six months).  But I am also learning to go with the flow and trust that the Universe will always provide me with good people and fantastic adventures.

And now, welcome to my Year of Joy (click the photo and it will take you to my flickr album).  Don't worry, it's not all 1,400 photos.  :-D

41 - The Year of Joy

Friday, August 10, 2018

Here we go again...

Almost two years ago, I had a second breast lift/augmentation.  You can read about that HERE and HERE

So those new, smaller implants also dropped like rocks.  They are uneven.  And the mesh on one side appears to have failed.  Long story short, I am having more surgery. 

That means more money.  More time off work.  More recovery.  More frustration. 

One might say, hey, maybe you should just stop having surgery!  But here's the rub.  I spent almost $45,000 in 2006 on surgeries.  $15,000 in November 2016.  And now it will be another $3,500.  I know my body wasn't going to look perfect, but for that amount of money, I'd like my nips to at least face the same direction.  It's like I'm almost to the finish line, and if I don't do it, I won't get to cross.  This will be my last attempt at getting these things fixed.  My doctor is going to move the implants and mesh under the muscle.  She is trying to talk me into switching to silicone instead of saline implants, as they apparently make a textured implant that shouldn't slide as much.  But I have this stupid ass mesh sewn into me, so why is it sliding anyway?! 

Anyway, between NCPP taking over my life in September and surgery in early November, my pole life is pretty much done for now.  The next six months will be about preparing for and then recovering from surgery.  And hopefully this is the last surgery I have to have in this life!