Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Real Women ROCK IT

Women of all shapes and sizes are sexy.  We just have an amazing shape and feel.  We have curves (even you skinny bee's do!).  We smell lovely (hopefully).  So, why am I so disappointed to still be "plus-sized" after losing all of that weight?  I am trying to accept myself for who I am.  As Bel likes to say, I'm the Twirling Viking Warrior.  No matter how much weight I lose, or how toned I get, I won't look like any of the professional pole dancers.  I'm just not built like them.  I am what you might call STURDY.  I'm six feet tall.  I have ridiculous thunder thighs.  I'm strong (kinda).  Nothing about me screams "ballet dancer." 

I have had many people suggest that I model (Sometimes followed by the fat insult, "but you have such a pretty face!").  I have always felt like I have no place in that world.  I'm way too big to be a traditional model.  I'm still slightly too big to be a traditional plus-sized model (they generally go for size 10-12 girls).  And I'm too small to be a true plus-sized model.  I bounce between a size 14 and 16.  Where is my place in the world??  

Why do people always want what they can't have?  If I was the size of a ballet dancer, would I want to be taller, stronger, faster, or whatever?  Probably.  I think it is so important for young girls especially to learn how to love themselves regardless of how they look (although I'm not doing very well of supporting the cause with this bipolar post).  I also think it's important to dress for your size.  Nothing better than seeing a bigger girl sporting low-slung jeans with six inches of butt crack hanging out.  I love the website  They celebrate larger sizes.  They even use larger models.  And their lingerie is still beautiful.  I always used to love seeing websites or stores that offered larger sizes.  They'd still use the size 0 model to show off the clothes (with a happy note in the corner "OFFERED IN PLUS-SIZES!!").  Or, if they had a larger model, she'd be wearing a tent.  I'm sure we could debate all day about fat acceptance and whether clothing designers are actually making enough cute clothes for the big girl, but I can definitely say there are more options now than when I was a teenager. 

I am still a work in progress.  Although I still strive to be at least 25 pounds lighter than I am right now, I am also trying to accept my body.  I imagine I will yo-yo this 25 pounds for the rest of my life.  I have a terrible habit of always pulling at my clothes to hide my fat rolls, which I need to stop doing.  I believe that there are clothes that flatter every size, although I also refuse to "accept" my recent weight gain by buying new, larger clothes, so I'm sausage-ing it until I lose this weight. 

I recently met through Facebook, a photographer named Steve Gatlin who supports beautiful women loving themselves at any size.  I will attach his website.  Please watch his short video.  It's really well done. 

Until next time, keep twirling!

Steve's website and short video:

My favorite outfit on Hips and Curves right now:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Kristina's Big Day!

One of my oldest and dearest friends (we went to high school together) is having gastric bypass surgery today.  Let's see...she's probably about half way through surgery right now.  I'm so excited for her.  I don't advocate EVERYONE having this surgery.  It's a decision that only YOU can make with your doctor and family.  But I will support pretty much anyone who decides that this surgery is for them.  I will also answer any question honestly.  Nothing is TMI. 

Let me qualify that.  I support anyone who decides to make this their new lifestyle.  Anyone who refuses to change their eating habits, doesn't want to exercise, drinks too much're just setting yourself up to fail.  Losing weight and gaining it back is way more disappointing than just being big your entire life.   Kristina's husband had surgery four years ago, so I know she's committed to the process.  She's basically already lived it before. 

I know Kristina was nervous about being put under.  I always feel like you can die on the table, or you can die walking across the street.  When it's your time, it's your time.  Now, I don't think we should all run out and do dangerous things.  But, if you weigh the pros and cons, and decide surgery is for you, then trust that you have the best doctors and medical staff now working to make this a successful surgery.  Kristina has two daughters to think of, though, so I understand she has more than herself to worry about.  For me, I felt like, if I died, oh well, what would I care, I'd be dead.  But all you can do is make sure your surgeon has a flawless record and then trust in him or her.  I told Kristina, you have the easy job -- you get to sleep through it!!  :-) 

So today I wish Kristina and her family well!  She's in a great program, so I know she'll be fine.  I look forward to going through this journey with her.  Today is the first day of the rest of her life!

Monday, March 29, 2010


Last Friday night, a local radio station, Alice Radio (FM 97.3) put on a party they called Saraoke at Bimbo's in San Francisco.  It's a play on karaoke and the morning show host, Sarah's name.  She has a band called the Skyrocking Jennifers and they had the idea of letting people front their band karaoke style.  It was a BLAST!

The night was so fun.  First, I had the opportunity to meet Hooman, a radio personality with whom I have been corresponding on Facebook for awhile.  He has graciously agreed to come to our Lovely Rita fundraiser, so it was great to meet him in person before that event.  I also had brief interactions with Uzette, Vinnie and Icky.  All very nice, although Uze seemed a little stressed out.  Second, my friend Yolanda was picked as a wildcard out of the crowd to compete in the competition and she won her category!

So the night began with a band called Pop Fiction playing some covers.  Then the karaoke competition began.  They had four categories.  Male.  Female.  Duet.  Wildcard.  I have to say, I wasn't very impressed with the male category.  I watched everyone's videos on youtube and liked them all.  They just didn't pull it off when it came to the live show.  After a winner of each category was chosen, they got to sing a song with Sarah's band backing them.  The overall winners of the night were part of the duet category (and they got $2,000 for their trouble).  The ladies were probably not the strongest singers but they definitely put on a show!

I know there are quite a few complaints about song choices going around the internet.  However, from what I understand from Yolanda, their initial song choices were pretty limited (even though they had a karaoke DJ) and if you made it through to sing with Sarah's band, you had maybe 15 choices.  Yolanda had to pick a song for the finals that she didn't even know (and you didn't get the luxury of a screen with words once you got to that level).   So she was in the crowd on her iPhone trying to memorize lyrics.  Knowing this, I think she ROCKED it even more!!  Even though Yoli (as Vinnie was calling her) didn't win, she had one of the best voices and I was so excited for her!

Anyway, I have some videos (mostly of Yolanda...SO proud of her!!!).  They aren't the best videos.  I kept getting bumped into.  Had I known the videos would be so popular, I would have taken more!  Apparently the radio station liked my videos because they posted them on their blog!  Don't I feel cool!  :-D  

Thanks to Patrick and Amie for hanging out with me all night!  It looks like Patrick has been to quite a few of these events because he seemed tight with Vinnie and Icky.  I look forward to the next event!

Unfortunately, due to this event, I missed a Twirly Girls event at Sapphire in Livermore.  I heard the girls had a really good time and I hope to make the next event!

After all of that excitement, I relaxed most of the rest of the weekend.  I had Twirly Girls on Saturday.  I am nursing a knee injury (I don't even know where it came from for sure).  I can't squat.  It hurts.  My hip is so-so.  Getting old is so fun.  I was supposed to see my friend's band play Saturday night but I knew I couldn't take another night of standing, so I stayed home to ice it.  Sunday, I went to yoga and then rode my bike with Rob around Alameda.  It was a gorgeous day to ride by the beach!

I hope everyone else had a great weekend!  Enjoy the Saraoke videos below!

Photos from Alice's website.

Alice's blog with my videos.

The final Saraoke contestants.

Podcasts - Sarah and Vinnie - March 29th (where they talk about Saraoke)
(I understand they mention Yoli in here too!)
Lost 30:  They're talking about my videos!  hehe!!!
9 AM to 10 AM:  I texted to ask Vinnie why he didn't "present" his girlfriend so I could check out the competition for my friend who had a crush (about 7 minutes in)!

The Sarah and Vinnie Secret Show - All about Saraoke (a little less censored than the regular show).

Skyrocking Jennifers cover Tik Tok:

Scrotum Pole's Your Mom:

Scrotum Pole's Boobs:

Yolanda's first song, Give Me One Reason:

The judges' comments:

Yolanda's second song, I Love Rock N Roll:

And the winner is...

Yoli sporting her trophy:

Hooman and me:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Lovely Rita National Kidney Foundation Fundraiser

As some of you have heard (many, many times, I'm sure!), Sunday, April 18th, the Twirly Girls studio is hosting a fundraiser for Rita's National Kidney Foundation walk (her walk is May 8th in San Francisco).  Ladies, now is your chance to try out pole dancing (or a dance class).  Gentlemen, there will be a dance recital (with a raffle and silent auction of some pretty cool prizes) in the evening and you will be allowed into our normally very private world!  In the meantime, ladies, if you are interested in signing up for the day classes, here's the schedule!  Keep in mind that all of the money goes to the National Kidney Foundation!

10 AM - Core-licious with Marilyn
One person for $20 or bring a friend it's only $30 for both of you! 

11:30 AM - Ooohhh La La Chair/Burlesque Dance with Marilyn
One person for $20 or bring a friend it's only $30 for both of you! 

1 PM - Lovely Rita Pole Routine with Bel
One person for $20 or bring a friend it's only $30 for both of you! 

2:30 PM - GoGo Dance with Kat
One person for $20 or bring a friend it's only $30 for both of you! 

3:30 -6 PM - Silent Auction

5-6 PM - Twirly Girls Dance recital!  (Ladies, your men are welcome at this event!)

Class sizes will be limited, so please contact Bel if you are interested in signing up.
(510) 828-3447

I will put together a list of the raffle prizes soon.  If you're interested, I can sell you tickets (they're extremely reasonably priced and we have some AWESOME prizes).  Raffle ticket prices are as follows:  3 for $5...8 for $10...20 for $20!

If you can't make a class, or you'd like to donate to the cause, please visit my other blog entry (see below).  There is a link for Rita's page there and you can donate directly to the NKF.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Why do men LOVE long hair?

It seems like every guy I've ever dated LOVES long hair.  I don't think they're the only ones.  Chicks seem to dig the long locks as well.  Long hair seems to be associated with sexiness.  My attitude has always been:  If you don't get up with me in the morning to wash it, dry it, brush it, style don't get an opinion on what my hair looks like.  But I have to confess, *I* love long hair too.  Every time I get sick of taking care of my long hair, I cut it.  And I always regret it.  No matter how cute the cut is, I'm always wishing I had long hair again.  In fact, a little over a year ago, I cut my hair.  And I looked like a soccer mom.  Nothing wrong with soccer moms.  But I don't have kids.  And I don't go to soccer games.

With my new adventures in pole dancing (which includes lots of whipping of the hair), I started wondering why IS long hair considered SO sexy?!  I found some interesting articles.  

In one study published in the research journal Human Nature, researchers found that
women who had originally been rated by a test group as being less attractive were rated
far more highly when shown with a longer hairstyle. The experimenters concluded that
longer hairstyles increase women's attractiveness in part because longer hair helps to
disguise less desirable features. Long hair tends to make the jaw line slimmer and less
prominent and draws attention away from undefined cheekbones. Also, as described by
many men, long hair also contributes to a more feminine and youthful appearance.

This article claims short hair is sexy too, although the stars they mention are a bit dated.   

Is short hair really a boner killer?  (Sorry, the title of this one just made me laugh so I had to include it.)

It's interesting with "stars" like the Jon & Kate Plus Eight mom...first she has short hair and she's the nasty, mean woman from a reality show.  Then she gets extensions and her image is softened and she is suddenly America's sweetheart who was screwed over by her husband (not that I've watched the show, but I've seen clips and I would have dumped her ass if I were him -- she was MEAN).   

Stars like Pamela Anderson are bombshells but Katie Holmes (with her new short 'do) is just a sweet stay at home mommy and beard for Tom Cruise. 

Certainly, I "get" it.  I fall for it too.  Most of the female stars I like have long hair, even though I realize it's probably not their own.  Well whatever, here's a blog for the dudes (and lesbians) of hot chicks to follow (with both long AND short hair).  

Courtesy of
Courtesy of
Courtesy of
Courtesy of
 Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Courtesy of
Oh yeah...and here's me...with short hair and with long(er) hair.  Still working on growing it out.

Monday, March 22, 2010

It was quite the Twirly weekend!

So, this weekend, I basically should have spent the night at the Twirly Girls studio.  I was there every day and had the BEST time!

Friday night, the gorgeous Kat taught a sensual workshop at Twirly GirlsCheck out the photos here.  We had a really great group.  Of course, you feel slightly silly rubbing up on your girlfriends and learning how to give a lap dance.  But we still had a lot of fun and it's always a treat to watch Kat dance!  The workshop ended around 9:30 p.m., but a lot of the girls stuck around to chat and we all ended up performing pole routines for each other.  I think I left around 12:30 a.m., but Bel and Rita were still going strong!

Saturday morning, I got up at 7 a.m. for a 5k at Mt. Diablo (or, in case Annie is reading, I got up for a little-more-than-three-mile walk/jog).  I always like the Brazen Racing events.  They're usually well put together and everyone is very supportive and nice.  This was my third 5k with Brazen.  The first one I did took me about an hour (but there was a VERY big hill toward the end).  The second one was extremely muddy and took about an hour and 15 minutes.  This 5k had some rolling hills and streams but wasn't too difficult.  I did it in 50 minutes!  I was pretty proud of myself.  Thanks to my mom and Robert for walk/jogging it with me.  There is another 5k scheduled in Tilden Park next month and another in June somewhere in Pinole.  I have some photos up on flickr.  Once Brazen puts their photos up, I'll add more. 

I went straight from the 5k to Twirly Girls.  It was the regularly scheduled Saturday morning class.  I ended up making Rita and I about 30 minutes late (didn't realize I'd be taking a bus from the parking lot to the race start and then back again).  Once I got there, I was a little tired and probably didn't put in as much effort as I should have.  But, as usual, it was a fun class.

After class, a group of us headed over to Pierre Silber in Santa Clara to try on shoes and costumes.  They were really great to us.  I put on a costume and twirled a little on their newly-installed pole.  Pierre took some photos and gave me a write-up on their blog

Sunday morning was the BIG DAY.  Rita and I had set up a Twirly Girls party.  We didn't really have a reason in mind, but the date ended up coinciding (somewhat) with my new-birthday.

We started the day by going to Bare Escentuals in Walnut Creek for a girlfriends party.  They did our makeup.  I want to thank Gaby for doing an amazing job on mine!  I loved it!!  

We had an awesome group of girls at the party.  I had asked Andrew and Misti of Liquidpulp Photography to come and photograph the event.  I was nervous about how the girls would react to (A) pole dancing and (B) having a guy there photographing it.  But it went perfectly.  Everyone dug into the costumes, shoes, wigs and other fun things.  We spent the first hour acting silly and taking photos.

Then I performed my solo to Darling Nikki (the Foo Fighter's version of the Prince song).  (3/23/2010:  The video is now up...check the end of this blog (before the photos).  I won't bother critiquing myself...I know what I need to work on for the Kidney Foundation recital though!)  I was SO nervous.  I think I was fine up until the moment I put on my costume and then I KNEW I had to actually do this in front of new Twirly Girls!  I have to say that even though I missed some things I wanted to do and felt like my timing was off, having the other girls cat-calling and yelling and clapping for me really made me feel good and helped me feel like I still did a good job.  I will also link to some of Andrew's photos once they are up!

After my performance, we had a little bit of a Taster class, then Andrea did her beautiful performance (LOVED that it brought Misti to tears).  Bel also gave us a little taste of her abilities.  Then it was more silliness until it was time to go home.  All in all, it was a really fun party and I was glad that everyone (especially the shy girls) had a good time.

So after abusing myself all weekend, I have an appointment with Keith at Tri-Valley Bodyworks tonight to put me back together.  Although, that man is going to put himself out of a job, because he fixed so many of my problems in that first visit, I am still almost virtually pain free! 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Pierre Silber in Santa Clara

Today the Twirly Girls took a field trip to the South Bay to visit the Pierre Silber store.  They have amazing shoes and costumes.  It was a blast and they let me try things on and twirl around on their pole.  We had a lot of fun.  Thanks for letting us play, Pierre!! 

Check out their blog about our visit here.

Courtesy of Pierre Silber.

Lori trying the Pole from Twirly Girl Pole Dancing School

Lori came to Pierre Silber with her Pole Dancing school "Twirly Girls" of Pleasanton. She is relatively new to pole dancing but had the nerve to get up on Pierre's stage. As you can see Lori is a beautiful woman who has been working out for 4 months. Twirly Bird not only offers Lori a place to get into shape but she has been making many friends many friends and having lots of fun too. Lori says pole dancing takes her out of her comfort zone. Lori finds that pole dancing has definitely helped stregthen her arms and legs. Pole dancing is quite a workout. She likes it so much she installed a pole in her office. That way she doesn't have to come to Pierre's to practice. Twirly Girl is a new pole dancing fitness studio located in Pleasanton California.

Pole dancing fitness is definitely finding a new home for not only exotic dancers but women looking for a good workout. If you have never been on a pole before you have to give pole dancing a try. You will find it is definitely harder then it looks.

Gain more confidence, meet friends, and have fun. That's what pole dancing fitness is about.

Do you have a good story about pole dancing or are you taking pole dancing classes? We want to hear from you. Contact david at pierresilber dot com with your pictures and stories.

To hear more about lori go to her blog at

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What DOES a Twirly Girl do during the day?

When I was in high school, I was very concerned about what I was going to do when I grew up.  I didn't realize then that I would probably never fully grow up.  Anyway, when you took driver's ed way back then, you took a careers class in the other quarter.  I took an assessment that told me I should be a paralegal.  Well, okay then, I will do as I'm told.

I graduated from high school in 1994.  I worked for Sears Portrait Studio as a manager and went to college at LMC in Pittsburg, California.  I was making $12 an hour at Sears.  That was huge to me way back then.  My mom's friend was dating an attorney and she needed a file clerk.  I interviewed for the job and got it.  I was offered a whopping $6 an hour.  Oh man.  That made me sad, but I knew I wasn't going to make a career out of taking photos for asshole parents who scream at their kids to smile. 

I was 18 years old when I got into the legal field.  Fifteen years later, I am still here.  I got my paralegal certificate after I'd been in the field for a few years.  It was kind of pointless since I had learned so much on the job but I felt like I needed to have "something" to back up my experience.  But the legal field (for support staff anyway) is one of those fields where experience generally counts more than education.  I choose to work as a litigation secretary because the money and hours are usually better.  Plus, I don't have to bill my hours and be under constant scrutiny for my billable work.

Some of my family was very disappointed that I didn't decide to become an attorney (...but you're SO smart!!!!).  You're right.  I am smart.  And that is why I don't want to be an attorney.  You spend seven years in college and law school.  You can easily come out with $100,000 to $200,000 in school loans.  Then you have to work 60-80 hour weeks to "prove" yourself, bill your time and basically be some partner's bitch.  Shoot, at one crappy firm, my salary as a secretary was only $10,000 less than that of a first year associate.  So, I decided that being an attorney was NOT for me.  I know I have to work to support my life.  I don't want my life to be defined by my job.  You will never hear me introduce myself as, Lori, the super secretary.  I'm Lori, Twirly Girl.  Lori, Horseback Rider.  Lori, Viking Warrior Princess.  Lori, Chick Who Drives a Monster Truck.  Lori ... oh you're THAT girl (and yes I am THAT girl).  But never, Lori, litigation secretary. 

I have worked for my current boss for seven years now.  We started at a larger firm and he opened his own firm five years ago.  He has gone through a few partners, but is happily working as a solo practitioner with some contract attorneys to help him when things get busy. 

Until this latest downturn of the economy, I have always encouraged people to get into the legal field because it was almost recession proof.  In fact, when things got tough, lawsuits went up.  The San Francisco area lost three big firms within the last couple of years, which saturated the market.  So for the first time since I've been in the field, salaries are coming down a bit and there is more competition for the jobs that are out there.  Working for attorneys is a funny are often paid for your thick skin and not your skills.  Usually the money makers for firms, the rainmakers, are assholes and no one wants to work for them.  So, their assistants especially are usually grossly overpaid to deal with them. 

I have been very lucky to usually be directly assigned to really nice and funny attorneys.  My current boss is one of the best bosses I've ever had.  People will often hear me bitch about my situation, but it's usually me just whining to hear myself whine.  I couldn't ask for a better person to work for. 

So, there you go.  This Twirly Girl is a litigation secretary/paralegal/firm administrator by day and super twirler by night.  You gotta pay the twirly bill somehow! 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy New-Birthday to ME!

Today, I am six years new!  At this time, six years ago, I was knocked out on an operating table.  I'd been in surgery about two hours by now.  I had my gastric bypass surgery on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 2004!  Surgery was at UCSF at 8 AM.  I had to be there at 6 AM.  I think we had to get up at 3 AM to get there on time.  It was quite a morning.

My friend, Vanessa, took me to surgery.  When we arrived, they took us upstairs in a big elevator with another lady and her husband (I found out later Kandy was also having surgery and we became friends when we met at our follow up appointment a few weeks later).  Per the instructions given to me pre-surgery, I was assigned a "comfortable gurney" and given a stupid hat to wear.  I got into my hospital gown and sat on the gurney with Vanessa, where we giggled about my stupid outfit and ugly socks.  I was so nervous and so excited.  But, as I like to say, I have the easy job...I get to sleep!

And sleep I did.  FOR HOURS.  They ran into complications and my surgery went longer than expected.  Most people say when they have the early surgery, they are somewhat awake by about 2-3 PM.  Vanessa didn't even get a status on me until 5 PM.  I don't really remember waking up until 7 or 8 PM.  It was a rough day.  I woke up to the worst pain I've ever felt in my life and body spasms.  My mom and sister came to visit but I was in and out of consciousness so I barely remember it. Vanessa just reminded that when they finally let her see me, I said, "they cut me."  haha!  That's all I was worried about.  I don't even remember that anymore!  Foggy brain!

And even with all of that pain, I wouldn't change my decision to have surgery for the world.  Despite my continued battle of the bulge, I am still over 125 pounds lighter than when I started.  My weight changes every single day.  Last Friday, I was up to 227 pounds, two days ago, down to 224, yesterday up to 226, today back to 227.  I still know that cardio is what I need to be doing. 

But today, I celebrate the 6th anniversary of my surgery -- my new-birthday as I like to call it (it's great timing since it's about six months from my real birthday...who doesn't need a mid-year celebration to keep the spirits up!).  Two years ago, I got a tattoo of a four leaf clover to memorialize my day.  Yes, I know...THREE leaf clovers actually symbolize St. Patty's Day, but I was hoping to give myself a little extra luck.  :-)

Have a safe and fun St. Patrick's Day!  And happy new-birthday to me!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Letting it all hang out

How did I get myself into this?!  I'm all about forcing myself into situations outside of my comfort zone.  It's good for me, right?  But pole dancing alone for a group of my friends...scary!  And then thinking it would be fun to do it for strangers, including men, under the guise of a "dance recital?!"  Clearly, I'm not right in the head!


Of course, I'm talking about the solo routine that Bel and I have been brainstorming about.  My Twirly Girls party is this Sunday.  Initially, Rita and I set the date based on when we thought we'd have time and money to do it.  Those kinds of parties are usually set up for birthdays or bachelorettes.  The timing coincides with my "new-birthday," so that has become the unofficial reason for the get-together (the anniversary of my gastric bypass surgery is March 17th).  We never need a reason for a party, though!  Andrea has been working very hard on a BEAUTIFUL routine for her own party next month.  She's a classically trained dancer and looks so amazing when she does her dance.  Enter Lori the Viking Warrior, swinging her sword and chopping off heads wherever she goes.

My costume is won't even button up past my boobs.  My song is dirty...Darling Nikki (the Prince song, which was re-made by the Foo Fighters).  I've been working really hard on my routine though!  Practicing at home every single day.  I think I can now crawl around on the ground and get up with those boots on without looking like a cow.  At the end of the day, my routine is going to be FUN!  I've given up thinking I can look like Andrea.  We aren't built the same and I will never be able to move as gracefully as she does.  So, I'll play up what I can do...and I can let it all hang out. 

I can't wait for the party on Sunday!  For those of you who are coming, you are in for a treat.  I think!  haha!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Rule Number 1: Cardio

So I never reported in last week about my weigh-in.  I usually weigh myself on Friday mornings (you know, before the weekend pigout-fest).  I weighed in two weeks ago at 224.0 pounds.  I was excited because I had lost over 4 pounds in that week.  So last week rolled around.  I did an unofficial weigh in on Thursday and I weighed 223.6.  It wasn't much but it was a loss so I was excited.  Well, the next morning came and I was up to 224.8!!  Overnight!!  I was so pissed!  

This week, I've been monitoring my weight daily but today was my official "weigh day."  I'm up to 227.4!  Now, according to the calendar (and my grumpy mood lately), this is my PMS week, and therefore the week I would normally gain some water weight...usually between 3 and 8 pounds.  But STILL.  I don't want to gain, I want to LOSE!

I know what my problem is.  I need to do more cardio.  I already know that's what my problem is, so why don't I DO IT?!  Well, because it's boring.  I'm definitely getting toned from Twirly Girls (and please don't tell me I'm gaining because muscle weighs more than fat...I'm not THAT muscular!!), but I need to get my heart rate up and keep it there for awhile.  I definitely get out of breath and sweat during pole class, but I also stop and chat and take pictures, so I don't keep it up there long enough.  

I can sit around and make all the excuses in the world.  I commute three plus hours a day roundtrip, work a full-time job, need to fit in family/friends, etc., I have yoga, I have Twirly Girls, I have this, that or the other.  I mean, I really DO have those excuses.  I generally get up at 5:30 or 6 AM, try to get in a workout at home (working out too hard at night makes me not sleep so I HAVE to knock it out in the morning), shower, drive to work, work all day, drive home (or wherever I'm going next), blah blah blah.  Every day.  More often than not, I don't get home until 9 or 10 PM.  Just in time to go to bed and do it all over again.  This is also why I can't re-join the 5 AM crowd.  I only live 10 miles from the gym but with stoplights, it takes almost 30 minutes to get there.  So, I'd have to get up at the asscrack of dawn to go to the gym.  And it's not worth the gas to drive all the way home again to get ready for work, so I either have to work out for two and a half hours and then shower at the gym.  Or just sit there for a couple of hours talking to myself.  It's really a no-win situation right now.   Plus, in order for me to get up at 4 AM, I have to be in bed at 8 PM.  I only get home that early about one night a week.  Anyway, regardless of all of my "excuses," I still NEED to work out.  I just need to make sure my workouts are efficient. 

I need to get my chubby ass out there and SWEAT.  There's a funny line I cross between 200 pounds and 225 pounds.  At 200, I just look big.  Not fat.  Not skinny.  Just tall.  At 225, I've crossed the line to fat.  I have that chub going on that I don't want or need.

So this week, I recommit myself to doing cardio (I have a 5k tomorrow morning to start the week off right!).  No, I don't see myself getting up at 4 AM to drive all the way to Bally to rejoin the 5 AM crowd (although I miss you guys because you kept it interesting and fun!).  I also don't want to bother driving to the gym every day to workout alone at 6 or 7 AM (plus, I still hate showering there before work).  

However, I will plan on going to the gym most Tuesdays mornings to do the stairs (in case I feel crazy enough to try Half Dome again this year).  And I have a bike here at the house and can go jogging.  If I do that every morning, and then do my recently-devised toning routine, I know I can drop this weight.  I'm very frustrated.  I don't want to be fat anymore.  

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Creepy Tree

I moved to Clayton, California in October of 2009.  It's pretty far out there, nestled in the foothills of Mt. Diablo.  It takes about 20-30 extra minutes to get ANYWHERE.  But it's beautiful.  Every day when I leave the house, I pass the Seeno property.  It's this gigantic house perched on top of a hill.  And it's surrounded by trees and animals (llamas, emus, rams...).  On one side of the hill, there is a lone tree, which I dubbed Creepy Tree.  I started taking a picture of him every day and posting them on Facebook.  I was (and still am) amazed at how many people loved Creepy Tree too!!

Now, my friend Bat, takes issue with me calling him Creepy Tree.  Bat (HAPPY BIRTHDAY TODAY, BAT!!) loves Mother Earth and believes that everything which comes from her is beautiful and sacred.  So he believes that Creepy Tree is actually a "she" and should be called the Wise Tree (or the Grandmother Tree).  I like where Bat is coming from but I love the name Creepy Tree.  So I sometimes call him Creepy Tree aka The Old, Wise Tree, but mostly he is CREEPY TREE!  Oh yeah, and the "he" stuck too.  Sorry, Bat!

Anyway, I now take photos of Creepy Tree daily.  He speaks to me -- kinda.  It just puts me in a good mood to take my daily photo and think about what Creepy Tree might want to say to his fans on Facebook that day.  I try to put forth positive messages, to start each day on the right foot.  I love hearing that people look forward to the photos of him every day.  We are looking into possibly making a calendar of Creepy Tree's photos.  I've had some people ask for higher quality images (most of these photos are taken with my iPhone through my windshield), so they can put them up in their houses.

Creepy Tree lives behind an electrified fence with a very wealthy family.  The Seeno family has developed a large part of the East Bay.  I know there are rumors that they are actually mobsters (compounded by the fact that the FBI apparently raided some of their offices recently -- you should have seen the firestorm of comments on!).  I know some people are also unhappy that their construction included ruining a stream or river.  I don't know their actual history and have no personal issues with them.  I just appreciate that they have this beautiful tree and haven't had their security question me about why I pass their home every day taking photos.  haha!

So today I pay homage to my favorite new friend, Creepy Tree.  Thank you for helping me start each day with a smile on my face!

[Also, you can join Creepy Tree on Facebook:]

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pick your poison

I realize I started this blog to talk about Twirly Girls and the fun I am having with pole fitness, and it has somehow turned into a blog about gastric bypass and weight loss.  But I figure they kind of go hand in hand, since I'm using Twirly Girls to get into shape and be healthy.  I appreciate everyone humoring me by reading my blog.  It has been very therapeutic.  

Most overweight people got there because they like to eat.  Maybe they don't like to call it food addiction, but for me, that's how it was.  I am food-obsessed.  And the more I thought (and still think) about food (i.e., planning out EVERYTHING via Weight Watchers, etc.), the more I wanted to EAT.  I happily joke that Weight Watchers made me fat.   Gastric bypass doesn't fix that problem.  In fact, it almost makes it worse because you WANT to eat but you can't.  So, after weight loss surgery, a lot of patients trade one addiction for another.  The one thing about food (as opposed to cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, etc.) is that you CANNOT completely abstain!  You have to eat to live!!!  (As Weight Watchers likes to say:  Eat to live, don't live to eat!)

Addiction transfer after gastric bypass appears to be pretty common.  I've dealt with it myself.  I mean, not that I needed a reason to go shopping BEFORE surgery, but afterward, it was REQUIRED.  I was losing enough weight to drop a clothing size every single month.  Therefore, every other month, I literally had to replace my entire wardrobe.  That wasn't my fault.  I HAD to shop!  I picked my poison.  It was shopping!!  It's not healthy.  My credit cards paid the price (ha!).  Well, actually I paid the price since I have to pay those credit cards off.  I racked up a lot of debt.  The more weight I lost, the better I felt about myself and the more I wanted to go out and get cute clothes for my smaller frame.  It was easy to justify to myself.  I DESERVED these new clothes.  I was working hard to lose weight (no, I wasn' was just happening) and I couldn't go to work in clothes that were three sizes too big!  When you want something, it's easy to justify it to yourself.  It's also funny to me that I turned to shopping in good times AND bad.  If I was depressed, I eased the pain with shopping too.  Shopping was my new friend since Food had turned its back on me.

Some people take other routes.  Alcohol is another popular addiction. It gives you a similar rush to shopping with the added downside of calories you absolutely do not need.  I went through a short period of drinking more than I did before surgery.  I got drunk fast and it just made me feel good.  But I recognized it becoming an issue and hit the brakes.  Now I drink occasionally -- probably once a month or less.  I still love shopping, however. 

You know something is wrong when you have to hide it from the ones you love.  Hiding credit card receipts or acting like that new shirt was just some old thing you pulled out of the back of the closet.  Drinking alone or lying about how much you drink.  All hints that you have a problem. 

I absolutely advocate therapy after gastric bypass.  Not just a support group.  One-on-one, intense therapy to figure out WHY you need to self-medicate.  Whether it's food, shopping, alcohol, sex, drugs, or anything else, sometimes "everything in moderation" cannot apply! 

Until next time, put down that credit card and keep twirling!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

This is Kat!

I signed up for a sensual workshop at Twirly Girls later this month.  I'm really excited because, although I'm starting to get down the basic twirls and moves, I'm really bad at pulling off "sexy" and doing transitions.

I was at the studio last weekend and the instructor for that class showed up to practice.  And so began my girl crush on Kat.  She's gorgeous!  Her moves are so fluid, it's seriously like watching water flow.  If you see a class on the Twirly Girls website taught by Kat, sign up because it's a guaranteed sell out!  Anyway, I wanted to interview her for my here we go! 


1. What is your fitness background?

I have been taking weights class since Junior year of high school, but ended up getting involved more seriously about 2 years ago.

2. What first drew you to pole dancing?

Honestly, I thought it was by far so sexy, any women looked sexy dancing with a pole.

3. How do you deal with people who have a negative attitude toward pole dancing and/or it's roots in the strip club?

Lead by example, it's fitness... look at me?  If it wasn't would I look the way I do?

4. How often do you pole?

Once a week right now, hopefully a lot more soon.  I love it, works out all muscles in your body.

5. What do you do to blow off steam and have fun?

Usually, workout at the gym, lift some weights, or clean house or scream and try 2 fight people.. lol.  Just kidding.

6. What is your favorite outfit to pole in?

Well obviously a two piece attire, very attractive to be able to see the physique of a woman's body. Also, dancer heels... those are the best.

7. What is your favorite song to pole dance to?

Depends on what mood I am in. Normally slow songs maybe some Enigma or Enya or even some def leppard. ;)

8. What do you think about pole dancing possibly being in the Olympics?

I am so excited!!

9. Is anything off limits in your daily "diet?"

Try to eat as healthy as I can.

10. What advice do you have for people who think they are too big/too old/too uncoordinated (etc.) to get into pole dancing?

If women were all created the same don't you think the men would be too?  How boring...every woman is sexy in their own way no matter what, that's what I'm going to help every woman understand.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Til Death Do Us Part ... or until you hog the remote and piss me off

Relationships are work!  So, you're telling me that I'm going to be bumping along in life, trying to make everything work out and then another person is going to be thrown into the mix and I now have to consider their feelings too?!  Pffffff.  Who made up these silly rules?!

The longer I'm single, the harder it is to share.  I have to work on it.  I'm a pretty selfish person.  I've lived alone for 8 years though.  I can wake up when I want.  Make a bunch of noise.  Walk around the house naked.  Scratch my butt.  Eat cake for breakfast.  Spend all my money on shoes.  There's no one here to tell me I'm doing it all wrong (and none of that stuff is wrong, they'd be wrong for telling me so!!).  

Don't get me wrong (haha!), I apparently know how to be in relationships.  I haven't been single my entire life.  Quite the opposite.  I've been in various relationships for most of my adult life.  I dated someone from age 16 to 23.  I was single for a few years.  Then I dated someone from 27 to 32.  I'm 33 now.  And I've spent the last 7 months with a great guy.  I think I'm called a serial monogamist.  I don't do the whole "dating" thing.  I never have.  I am either single or I'm committed.  If I was playing poker, I'd be "all in."  This also isn't to say I can't be alone.  I actually don't mind it.  I'm pretty content not having to consider anyone else's feelings or schedule.  But maybe that's how I can make relationships work.  I've always felt that a relationship shouldn't complete your life, it should enhance it.  

Like the multi-billion dollar diet industry that continues to make us fat, I wonder if the seemingly successful self-help/psychology book industry is keeping us unhappy in our relationships (successful in the fact that the authors are making lots of money, not successful in the way of making relationships actually work).  

I've seen all of those titles out there (not just helping you out with relationships).  They promise to get you laid, make you happy, help you get married, get you pregnant, make money for you, help you lose weight, get you in shape...pick a topic, any topic, and a book to help you achieve perfection exists somewhere.  They talk about men and women being from different planets.  They talk about man caves.  They talk about how the bitches are the ones who get and keep their men.  How do we all get up and dress ourselves in the morning without someone's book telling us it's okay to do so?! 

I can admit I've bought a few books.  But I realize that the only person those books help are the authors and publishers who are making money off of idiots like me who are wasting it.  But if we have all of this help -- just a click away -- why is our divorce rate at 50%?  

Relationships have no problem failing on their own.  Add a life-changing event like one partner having gastric bypass (or losing a lot weight on their own), and relationships start falling like dominoes.  I can only imagine how difficult it would be to have a serious life-changing event, such as losing a child or dealing with an accident or disability.  I'm sure those relationships have an even higher failure rate. 

When it comes to relationships, I don't play games.  What you see is what you get (as my friends like to say, I wear my crazy on my sleeve -- and I'm okay with that).  While I can understand that a certain amount of mystery needs to remain for the other person (or for you) to stay interested, I don't believe that you have to play games to keep that mystery.  I call when I want to call.  I don't call if I don't feel like calling.  I don't think that you need to sleep with someone by date five.  I don't think your life is over if you slept with someone too fast. 

It's sad to me that half of marriages are ending in divorce (and that people are just avoiding marriage altogether so they never have to face divorce).  But it seems like a lot of people really don't try to work it out anymore either.  And there is less respect for marriage in general (just thinking of all of those celebrities and their 96 hour marriages).  It's like getting married in Vegas is just a common third date occurrence.  Then you wake up with this stranger snoring in your face a week later, after all the alcohol and coke wore off, and you realize you made a huge mistake.  (Duh?)

It seems that, after gastric bypass, a lot of people break up.  Who knows why really?  I have some theories, but please keep in mind:  A.  Not a doctor.  B.  Not a therapist.  These are just theories I've formed from my own experiences.  

Since I am a woman, I am going to write from a woman's perspective.  I'm sure men have their own unique experiences.  Also important:  I'm 33 years old and have never been married.  Until I got into my current relationship, I never really desired it.  

So what happens after someone loses a lot of weight?  I have found that there are generally two types of men who like the big girls.  One type truly does appreciate the voluptuous female shape (he's rare).  And the other type has low self-esteem and thinks a big girl won't ever leave him because her self-esteem is too low -- and he keeps reminding her that no one but him will ever love her so she better not leave.

So, if you're with a guy who really does love a curvy girl, what happens if she loses her curves?  Well, if your relationship isn't strong and the attraction is gone, that can cause problems.

And that neanderthal who is trying to keep his big girl from leaving him?  He can become jealous and sometimes verbally abusive to keep her self-esteem low.  As she loses weight and gains confidence, she starts standing up to him more and more, and (hopefully) she eventually leaves. 

I was with someone for six years when I was in my late teens and early 20's (I went from being 180 pounds to being 300+ pounds in that timeframe).  We fought every single day, but dammit, we were working it out.  We lived together for a year and a half -- in a war zone.  It was so miserable.  I remember my cousin telling me once that she thought it was awesome that we had that kind of passion.  It wasn't passion.  It was pure stupidity and misery.  I cannot tell you why we stuck it out for so long -- being miserable and doing miserable things to each other, which only compounded the misery.  I just know that the day we split was probably the best day of my life (I even got a tattoo to commemorate that day -- a butterfly as a reminder that relationships can be beautiful but are also painful). 

I got into my next long term relationship two months after gastric bypass surgery and it lasted four and a half years (and I went from weighing 280 pounds to weighing 180 pounds).  We almost never fought.  I believed that, since I had spent so much time fighting in my first relationship, no fighting clearly meant we were made for each other.  Not so.  And that was a hard lesson to learn.  I wasted his time and mine.  There was NO passion.  I felt like I was hanging out with my brother.  And it took me way too much time to figure that out.  

I definitely take marriage seriously and, for the first time in my life, can see myself being married.  Kids are still a "maybe," but I can see wedding bells in my future (not my NEAR future, but someday).  "He" feels the same way.  He's only going to do this once so it better be with the right person.  We don't fight a lot, but we have had a few disagreements (like I said, it has only been seven months).  He said it best when he said that those arguments prove that you care enough TO argue your point.  I have to agree.  And I appreciate that when we do get to the point of needing to talk things out, he listens to me and takes my feelings into consideration.  I've never had that before either.  So this brings me to MY must-haves in my partner.

1.  He needs to make me laugh.  I don't need to date a comedian, but we need to be able to laugh together.  Life is too short to be serious all the time.

2.  There needs to be physical attraction.  I dated outside of my normal "type" before and there was no physical attraction.  Again, I thought because we didn't fight, that meant we were "good," but we weren't.  Now, the intense animal attraction that usually draws you to someone can fade...and I get that.  I realize that a person's looks will also fade.  But I think it's still important to feel like the guy you are with is the hottest guy on earth.  

3.  There needs to be a mutual respect.  If you think you're dating an idiot, then you probably are.  Get out of that relationship.  If you have no respect for your partner, then he most likely doesn't respect you.  And there's nothing worse than being out with the couple who is constantly cutting each other down and making everyone else uncomfortable.  It's normal to have vent-fests with your girlfriends, but this shouldn't be a daily occurrence.  And I feel like, if I marry him, I'm married to him every day, not just on the days he isn't pissing me off. 

4.  You need to have good communication.  If you are constantly fighting and never working things out, this is bad.  It's not passion.  It's pure madness.  If you argue, there needs to be resolution.  There can be no resolution if there is no communication. 

5.  He should be the first person you think of when you get good news.  I'm sure there are a few things best shared with your girlfriends (no, he doesn't give a shit that the next Sex and the City is coming out), but for the most part, as soon as I get something newsworthy, he's the first person I'm dialing. 

Even if you have a hard time saying the "L-word," if you're with someone you should most definitely have genuine "overwhelming feelings of concern" for them (thank you Vinnie from Radio Alice for that lovely term of endearment).  I don't believe in "fake it 'til you make it."  If the thought of spending your life without them makes you sad (and this means, you'll shed a tear, not that you'll stalk them obsessively if they leave), then you are probably with the right person.  

I've been planning this blog out in my mind for the last week or so, however, I wrote it today partially in honor of my friends Andrew and Misti, who just got engaged (I write in honor of the love part; they aren't part of my gastric bypass community).  They seem to have a great relationship -- and are so perfect for each other.  I love watching them laugh together.  It's like they have a secret and the rest of the world doesn't get to be privy to it.  I wish them a lifetime of love and happiness together!  

Until next time, keeping loving (yourself, your friends, your family and your significant other) and keep twirling!   

Rob and me

Dave and Rita

Bel and Doug

Heather and Jason

And the couple that shaves together, stays together!  Andrew and Misti are amazing photographers.  Check them out at  I love you, Andrew and Misti (LOVE those mustaches; and holy eff, can you ever take a photo together so I can use it?!  LOL!):


Our Twirly Girls support the National Kidney Foundation

Our very own Rita Pearson is a three-time kidney transplant recipient.  You'd never know she was "sick" by the way she lives her life.  Wife, mother, friend, knower-of-all-cool-techie-stuff.  She currently has THREE kidneys in her body, although I understand, only one is working properly.  She doesn't really like to talk about it, but I understand she wasn't supposed to live past 20.  Definitely wasn't supposed to have kids (hello!!!!! to her 13-year-old daughter, Kate).  I tell you this not to get sympathy for Rita, but to show you that she's a fighter and a survivor. 

Rita is participating in a 5k Kidney Walk to support the National Kidney Foundation on Saturday, May 8, 2010 in San Francisco.  Check out her page to donate

In order to support Rita, Twirly Girls is putting on a day of twirling to support healthy kidneys!  On Sunday, April 18th, the studio is going to offer several classes throughout the day (the schedule is still being finalized), with all of the proceeds going to support Rita's cause.  At the end of the day, some of the girls from the studio will be putting on a "dance recital" of sorts.  It will be a demonstration of the different levels and abilities of some of the dancers from the studio.  Please keep in mind that we are a POLE FITNESS studio, not a strip club.  Men will be welcome to attend our performance, but we will not be accepting dollars in our g-strings (not that most of us probably wear one -- or maybe I should just speak for myself).  Anyway, we will happily take your dollars, but they will 100% support the cause, and those dollars will have to be respectfully placed in a fish bowl or something.  :-)  We also ask those who would like to attend to keep in mind that most of us are beginners, and are nervous about putting ourselves out there.  So be nice. 

Attendance at the recital will be limited to about 30 people.  If you are interested in attending, please let me know.  We have not set a time, but I imagine it will take place somewhere between 4 PM and 6 PM on Sunday, April 18th.  Also, we are going to have a silent auction.  If you have a business you would like to promote and can donate an item or service, please let me know as well.  (My e-mail address is if you'd like to get in touch.) 

We have also been throwing around the idea of making shirts to support the cause.  (Bel's boyfriend, Doug is working on a design, but I was thinking something along the lines of: "Have Kidney, Will Twirl" or "iTwirl for Healthy Kidneys").  If you'd like to buy a shirt to support the cause, let me know that as well! 

I want to thank Bel at Twirly Girls Pole Fitness for graciously offering to give up 100% of the proceeds from the entire day on April 18th to Rita's cause.  So many times you hear about benefits where they give up 100% of the "profit."  Funny how much money they can eat up with their own fees and costs.

Any help or ideas would be appreciated.  And please mark Sunday, April 18th on your calendar!  Its going to be an awesome day!!