Monday, February 28, 2011

Twirly Girls pin-ups!

I was wandering around San Francisco awhile back and saw an advertisement for Bombshell Betty's pin-up workshop.  The date they would be in San Francisco wouldn't work for me, so I thought, hey I bet we can do that at Twirly Girls!

And so the Twirly Girls pin-up photoshoot was born.  I asked Andrew of Liquidpulp Photography to do the photos.  He recruited Cat and Priscilla to do hair and make-up.  And away we went!  Some ladies went classic pin-up.  Some went boudoir.  Some were in between.  They all looked amazing and gorgeous.  A lot of the photos I have are just taken with Bel's point and shoot camera as not all of Andrew's photos are ready.  So you can only imagine how much more amazing the finished product will look. 

There have been two photoshoots so far -- ten girls, not including me, the camera whore who jumps in front of Andrew's camera every chance I get.  Some of the girls have graciously shared their photos with Twirly Girls, so I thought I would post some pictures.  If anyone is interested, we can set up a third shoot!











For every hot chick...

...there is a guy sick of putting up with her shit.

You've heard that one before, right?  You see Angelina Jolie and you're like....oh I would love to date her!  Then you hear she's crazy.  [or...Brad Pitt...or insert any hot celebrity here...  Except I know my Ryan Reynolds and Bradley Cooper aren't nutso like that!]

Just because the grass looks greener on the other side doesn't mean they aren't using spray paint to make it look awesome. 

Be happy where you are.  Or make changes and take strides towards making yourself happier.  If you feel like your life is stale, sometimes you just need to re-think how you're doing things to get the ball rolling.  Then everything will magically fall into place.

Ask Heather.  ;-)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Next Pole Goal: THE BACKBEND

So, as I've said many, many times, I'm not very bendy in certain directions.  For example, I can completely fold in half if I'm bending forward, but my spine barely moves if I try to go backwards.  So, I've decided to make the backbend one of my pole goals.  I'm actually using a lot of yoga techniques to get myself there (here's another article about yoga).  Since I do so much hunching forward:  typing on the computer, spinning on a bike, etc., walking is painful because, as my physical therapist says, that's the closest my spine comes to bending backward. 

So I am trying to be more cognizant of my posture and spend a little time doing moves that cause me to bend backward.  And eventually I WILL do a backbend!









From Pilates on the Pole's Facebook page

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

This lady is a tramp...

I have been told I'm not very ladylike a time or two...or ten.  I go in and out of phases of trying to be more ladylike.  But that's not me.  Rob recently said he thought it was funny that I put out a lot of stuff that some people could construe as me trying to look like a whore, but that I'm really not.  It's like when I get silly around drunk people, even though I haven't had anything to drink.  Who cares -- I'm just having fun! 

I'm sure the 8 inch hooker heels, photos on the pole and cleavage shots can give people the wrong impression.  You just can't control other people judging you.  So I just choose to not care (or at least try not to let haters get to me).  Yeah, I say the f-word on occasion.  It really helps make your point sometimes.  I do drink sometimes.  Not often, it's not helpful in the weight loss sector of my life, but I don't look down on people for wanting to let loose.

So, my recent attempt to be more of a lady is kind of a big fail.  I think I'll just continue being me.  And I like having fun with my friends and acting crazy.  When I die, no one will ever be able to say that I missed out on living, that's for sure!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Couch to 5k update...six weeks in

I am starting week six of the couch to 5k program.  The program lasts for nine weeks total.  You can check out the link above, Facebook, Twitter...it's becoming quite a popular program.  I downloaded an iPhone app which helps a lot because it tells you when to switch between running and walking.  And it's working for me!

Here's the schedule:

Week Workout 1 Workout 2 Workout 3
1 Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
2 Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
3 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
4 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
5 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  • Walk 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog two miles (or 20 minutes) with no walking.
6 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2-1/4 miles (or 25 minutes) with no walking.
7 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes). Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes). Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes).
8 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes). Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes). Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes).
9 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes). Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes). The final workout! Congratulations! Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).


Basically, I ended week five by jogging for TWENTY MINUTES STRAIGHT.  In week one, I only had to jog for a minute at a time and thought I would die.  I'm really excited to finish the program and am contemplating the Bridge to 10k program to prepare for Bay to Breakers (which is a 12k, or 7.5 miles).  I don't actually plan to run Bay to Breakers, but my back pain has diminished significantly.  I haven't lost any weight per se, but my legs are thinning out noticeably.  The running seems to be working well for me.  Who ever thought I'd be a runner?!  NOT ME!

My next running goal will also include speeding up.  I seem to feel the best when I run 4.5 miles per hour.  That's a pretty slow jog.  But at least I am jogging the entire time.  After I finish the nine weeks, I will run at least once a week, trying to move up to 5 miles an hour -- with an eventual goal of being able to run an entire 5k at 6 miles per hour, which is a 10 minute mile.  Not a marathon pace whatsoever, but fast for me. 

Has anyone else done this program?  I am excited to hear about any changes to your body and mindset. 

PoleSkivvies strikes again!

Jennifer of PoleSkivvies asked me to write a guest blog for her.  And here it is!

http://poleskivvies.com/2011/02/ballet-for-pole-dancers/


Ballet for Pole Dancers

This week, while I’m still reveling in the afterglow of my pinup photo shoot, the fabulous Lori Myers has agreed to help me out with a guest post. You can find more of her writings at her blog, As the World Twirls.

Have you ever met a 200 pound ballerina?

I know, I haven’t either. But I have recently begun incorporating ballet into my workout routine. Not just to benefit my pole practice, but also to amp up my workout in general, get me into shape, and help me move out of the mindset that a big girl can’t dance.

Most people who know me would say my style on the pole is raunchy. 

I like loud, dirty, fast rock music. I gyrate my hips. My friend, Jimmy, says I have a liquid spine and I can wiggle like there’s no tomorrow. I use my overt sexuality on the pole to cover up for the fact that I don’t know how to dance! I played baseball as a kid. I wasn’t taking ballet. I was twice the size of other kids, anyway. I would have been the round girl giggling and stomping the other girls’ feet while the feathery light girls with their hair pulled too tightly into buns pirouetted and danced on their own toes.

I have watched other girls do ballet-inspired pole routines. So beautiful and elegant. Perfect lines. Perfect faces. Perfect legs. That’s so not me, but someday I hope it will be.


I have really started to work on my strength and cardiovascular fitness. I am doing pole once a week at the studio. I have been doing spin (cycling), yoga, running (Couch to 5k), and spending a little time lifting weights. Once the couch to 5k program is over in six weeks, the focus will switch back to lifting more weights so I can get stronger. I am also going to be adding in pilates reformer classes to work on my core. My upper body and core strength really sucks!

Transformation

In order to help the transformation, I have started doing pliés in the five ballet positions. For the first time in my life, my butt almost has a shape (I’ve been doing squats for years, so don’t tell me I need to squat more)! I start with a couple of demi pliés, then three or four grand pliés. I move through each position. I stand in front of the mirror and barre in my tennis shoes and running shorts, surrounded by gym rats who are grunting and lifting heavy things. I try to block out the noises, make my neck look long and graceful, hold my arms out “pretty” and pretend for a minute that I’m actually a ballerina.

It really only takes five or six minutes, but my legs get warmed up pretty quickly and my butt is clearly improving!! 
 
I learned about pliés while taking a burlesque pilates class at The Absolute Center in Lafayette, California. It was a fun class and our instructor, Chelsea, taught us a lot of “quick and dirty” tricks to get into shape. I’ve also noticed a huge difference in my flexibility during my yoga practice, which will help later on as I work toward being able to do the splits.

So now that I have the basic movies down for warm-up, I’m moving on to the arms. When I pole, in particular, I am trying to keep my entire body in mind as I dance. How my legs look, how my arms flow, what my face is doing.

I recently filmed a lap dance/tease video at Twirly Girls Pole Fitness in Pleasanton, California. It started out as a joke between friends and me just acting silly, but after watching myself (and comparing it to a video from a year ago), I am impressed with how much I’ve improved!

Don’t get me wrong … I have a long way to go, but I believe a big girl CAN learn to be a ballerina!

How about you?

Do you like to pole just to do tricks or do you consider yourself a dancer? Do you have any “quick and dirty” tricks to keep yourself in pole-worthy shape?

Lori is great at giving us pole dancers something to think about. Get more of her raunchy, no-holds-barred style at As the World Twirls.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Next Pole Goal: The Splits

So, even though I hit my first real pole goal of inverting four months early, I'm not exactly a regular inverter yet.  I'm considerably larger than most of my classmates, so in the interest of safety (needing a spotter), I have only inverted at two different classes.  I realize I need to strengthen my core, so Andrea has suggested that I hold plank on and off while watching television.

While I am getting ready to further that pole goal, I have set a new one.  THE SPLITS!  I want to be able to do the splits.  I don't even know the difference between regular splits and the "Chinese" splits, but I want to do them.  So, last week, we took a photo in class to see how far down I could get.  I was actually pretty surprised.  I don't have as far to go as I would have thought.  Even with the scars from my inner thigh lift and the fact that I've never been very flexible anyway, I got down pretty low.  I tried again this week, and thanks to running for couch to 5k, I was REALLY sore and stiff and didn't get down quite as far.

But at least I have a starting point...and here it is.

Love that face...hahahaha!!!

Goal:


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Did independent women cause fat kids?

Awhile back, I was discussing the obesity epidemic with some family members.  We started talking about how women's liberation is sometimes blamed for it.  Moms no longer stay at home -- they are out in the workplace, and not making dinner and healthy lunches for their families.  It got me thinking...could it be true?

I mean, if you sit and think about it, it makes some sense at least.  Moms from the 1950's used to whip up homemade meals every single night.  I imagine going out to a restaurant was a treat that you rarely got to experience.  Now, you have work, soccer, homework....and McDonalds calling your name so you don't have to cook.  Even if you go to the store, all kinds of ready to eat meals are there, nice and full of chemicals to keep them from spoiling.  

Here are some interesting web posts:

*****

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=1126869

I recommended this Wuesthof kitchen knife to a friend of mine whose wife is in her early 50s.......and turns out doesn't do much cooking, sewing, etc. (it's a great knife and even made in- get this- Germany for 50 bucks)
He replied that their daughter is a bit of a throwback and is the only decent cook in the house.

That got me thinking. Back in the 1950s and early 1960s, we had a "June Cleaver" conception of what a married woman should be. "Nice girls" didn't have sex before marriage (or weren't supposed to) and there was real dating and courtship. Once married, wives were supposed to be subservient to their husbands, got in the kitchen, made him a sammich, poured him a drink when he got home, cooked at home, etc. I don't recall my parents talking about dining out much during that era. Like in Norway today, restaurants were an expensive luxury then.

Fast forward a few years to the complete cultural chaos of the late 1960s. Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem, et al were defining what women should be. Women had to have a career to be a proper woman. As household incomes rose, they started dropping their kids in day care, and were too busy to cook quality homemade meals. They turned to chain restaurants and fast food, turning out cheap, processed food (that would soon be prepared by illegal immigrants) and American consumers demanded more food for less money. As an example of companies trying to maintain their profit margins by cutting costs, Coke and Pepsi started using high fructose corn syrup in the early 80s, and obesity tracks closely with HFCS usage.

As competition among "casual dining" restaurants in a growing market increased, restaurants owners had to turn to cheap labor to prepare the food, wash dishes, etc. Rocked by chaos and civil war of the early 1980s in Central America, a tide of unskilled, uneducated workers began flowing into the United States legally and illegally. White and black Americans soon found themselves "above" that kind of work. The increases in minimum wage only accelerated the illegal immigration.

Furthermore, back in pre-Women's Lib era, women were expected to stay trim and be attractive. Once they started burning bras, they declared that they could look however they wanted. Divorce skyrocketed and an increasing number of children were being raised in single-parent households (mainly divorced mothers). As women grew bigger, being overweight became socially acceptable.

Cliff Notes version: women's lib caused obesity and accelerated illegal immigration.

What says GD?

*****

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/196144/feminism_and_the_obesity_epidemic.html

Have you noticed lately that Americans are really fat? Yeah, me too! And so have a lot of other people, even to the point where the Secretary of Agriculture has deemed it an epidemic. Now, people really like to
point fingers here, especially in the direction of fast food corporations and the makers of soda, candy and processed foods. However, its not the manufacture of these goods that causes obesity; its that people are somehow compelled to eat them all the fucking time.

What could cause this? Two words: women's liberation.

I ask you to consider a few simple trends:

1. According to the American Obesity Association, 34.5 percent of Americans are obese; a staggering figure that seems to increase every year.

2. At the same time we have seen the percentage of women, both married and unmarried, who are entering the workforce swell from thirty-eight percent in 1960 to sixty-four percent in 2000 nearly doubling just as obesity rates have during the past 40 years (an R-squared value of .968 for you stats geeks).
So whats the connection you ask? Well, back in the good-old days, women were the backbone of the American diet, cooking up wonderful meals made with fresh, healthy foods. In the modern, "liberated" world, women are too busy having careers and book clubs to concentrate on cooking, so one is left with only a few options to feed the family: 1) Fast food, 2) processed foods, 3) one could allow the kids, who will eat only candy and pizza, to feed themselves.

For some twisted reason, women are proud of this so-called liberation that allows them to work, but causes their families to bloat into jiggling tubs of inactivity. Liberation? Sounds more like subjugation.....to being fat!

An even more disturbing trend, for those of us with a social conscience, is the disproportion of poor people who are too fat to fit in a movie theater seat (which is the FDA's standard measure of obesity). Its also
 commonly held that poor women are generaly immoral and constantly engage in premarital, unprotected sex--thusly becoming single mothers. According to the 2000 census, a whopping 73 percent of these single mothers are working to scrape out a living for their kids, and are probably eating Big Macs and pies the entire time. And I've got news for you sister! You better keep working! No one is going to marry a woman with the ultimate triumvirate of unattractive traits: kids, poverty, and fatness. It pains me to say it, but if you've managed to accumulate all of these traits, you're probably stupid too, which makes you a quadruple threat; not just to your family, but to all of American society.

So thanks a lot Elizabeth Cady Stanton, now it seems that everyone in America has a chance to be as unhappy and bloated as you were.
 *****

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070612134412AA8twqA


Do you think that women's liberation and gender equality have contibuted to a rise in U.S. obesity and how?

Additional Details

contributed--sorry

Some people seem to have assumed that the asker is antifeminist, I find this curous.

I don't see how Spurlock's hypothesis negates the question above, in fact it might support it.

Since when do you need to cite sources to make a query? If I were making an assertion that would be a different matter--Also, since when is yahoo answers a peer reviewed academic journal--I thought it was something more informal.

Some of the answerers that respond with a categorical no and segue to an accusation that the asker lacks critical thinking apparently themselves are lacking in a sense of irony.

Allegra, did I suggest I believed it to be the sole or even the primary cause?

Rio madeira and Juniper women make good points.


Best Answer - Chosen by Asker

Perhaps in some ways. I'm a stay-at-home mom. My family eats pretty healthfully, and a huge part of that is that I'm able to cook a "real" dinner every night. I think that kids who have a parent around after school might also be less likely to become obese, simply because someone is monitoring their food choices and activities. That's not to say it's impossible for working moms to cook healthy meals, but realistically, they might be too exhausted to do anything but pick up some fast food. I also get more exercise chasing toddlers than I would at a desk job. I imagine the stress of trying to "balance" everything might lead some people to overeat, as well.

EDIT: Scientific evidence? Well, a recent study links teenage obesity to excesive TV viewing. Excessive TV viewing is linked to not having a parent around. "Women's Liberation" , in some ways, is also "linked" to not having a parent around after school. Connect the dots yourself.

EDIT: I disagree that it is "obviously" a correlational argument ONLY. If the average two-adult family now works 80 hours a week instead of 40, as a result (partially!) of women being encoraged into the workforce, and that lack of time means more fast food, then it's a valid point.
 
*****

Long post, I know.  And you can probably skim most of it.  I imagine there are a few issues here, advancing technology and a lazy ass society that will run around searching for a remote before they will walk to the television and turn it on is probably not helping either.  Kids who would rather play video games than play outside...  I just wonder with the whole nature v. nurture in this regard.  I am the oldest of four...and the only fatty.  We had the same basic upbringing.  Same mom and dad. 

I'm curious what everyone else thinks.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Competition

There's nothing wrong with a little friendly competition, right?  I mean, if you're into that kind of thing.  If I were a competitive pole dancer, I would have pretty high expectations of myself -- both in dancing and doing tricks on the pole.  However, I pole dance for fitness and fun.  I think most of my fellow students feel the same way.  We come to class to learn, laugh and have a good time.

There is a website called PoleJunkies.com.  It has a forum where they set monthly challenges.  I first thought it was a contest where someone had to win and lose, but now that I've spent more time reading other posts, it seems more like a way to challenge and inspire each other.  I think that's cool!  I think some of the Twirly Girls are going to start participating.  It will be fun to come up with little routines each month to share with our fellow pole dancing friends.

One of the things I have always loved about Twirly Girls is how loving and supportive everyone is.  I've had "outsiders" come in for performances or classes and remark on it as well.  I guess when you get that much estrogen in a room, you just expect the cat fighting to start immediately.  It's really important to me that it stays that way.  I'm not saying that people sometimes don't agree -- that happens anywhere.  But, for the most part, we all get along and have fun together.

I have definitely spent the last year or so letting negative people from various groups of friends fade from my life.  I know one person who spends a lot of time dividing people and then complains that they are not included in things.  Well, I wonder why...  Groups of women are especially funny.  Women are supposed to be so nurturing and caring.  Yet you put a group of us in a room and how fast do some of us start shooting each other down?

I don't want to be like that.  I know I won't get along with everyone but I sure do give people a chance before I stop wasting my time.  I feel very fortunate to have found my Twirly Girls, and I'm looking forward to another fun year of classes, activities and events!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The habits of successful weight loss surgery patients

Before I had surgery, I was told to buy the book, "The Success Habits of Weight-Loss Surgery Patients" by Colleen M. Cook.  I read it before surgery and again after.  You can check it out on Amazon.com HERE

I'm coming up on seven years out.  I'm battling a little bit of weight gain.  So, it's time to get back to basics.  I just pulled my book out to remind myself of the things I should be doing to remain a successful weight loss surgery patient.  I'm going to list her principles, but not explain them here.  I don't want to improperly plagiarize her book, or cause people not to buy it.  I suggest if you are having surgery or have had surgery that you pick this book up.

Principle 1:  Personal Accountability

Principle 2:  Portion Control

Principle 3:  Nutrition

Principle 4:  Fluid Intake

Principle 5:  Regular Exercise

Principle 6:  Vitamins and Supplements

She also talks about getting back on track and a complication she had six years out.

I know this blog entry contains almost no information...but it's a personal reminder that I can get back on track and still be considered a successful gastric bypass patient.  I'm going to start re-reading this book today.

Thank you to the Examiner.com!

Amy Rabinovitz, of the San Jose Fitness Examiner, kindly posted information about the Lovely Rita Fundraiser!  Thank you, Amy!!!

(Note:  The fundraiser this year is April 17, not April 11...we have e-mailed Amy to fix this.)  :-)

http://www.examiner.com/fitness-in-san-jose/twirly-girls-lovely-rita-fundraiser-benefits-national-kidney-foundation


The Lovely Rita Fundraiser organized by the students and teachers of Pleasanton's Twirly Girls Pole Fitness is a benefit for the National Kidney Foundation,  and it's straight from the heart:
One of  their own, Lovely Rita (aka Rita Pearson) is a three-time kidney transplant recipient.

On April 11, 2011 there will be an all-day event at the Twirly Girl's studio 660 Main Street, Pleasanton, Ca 94566 that includes special classes, a silent auction, raffle and recital.
All the money raised goes to the National Kidney Foundation, via Rita's team at the National Kidney Foundation Walk in San Francisco, May 7, 2011.

Last year the Twirly Girls raised nearly $3000 but this year they have redoubled their efforts.  Along with the day-long fundraiser, they created and sold a special 2011 calendar, so there is nearly $1000 in the Lovely Rita fund already. (Click on the slideshow to see a picture from the calendar)

According to the Agency for Healthycare Research and Quality, (which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), an average of 3.7 million adults in the United States were treated for kidney disease each year between 2003 and 2007. Kidney disease can lead to renal failure and may be caused by diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

This is an energized and committed group of friends and colleagues, and the very best kind of community outreach.  If you've been considering pole fitness (and haven't we all?), head up to the studio and  give it a twirl.

If you like this article, sign up for the spam-free email notifications of future San Jose Fitness Examiner articles, and keep up with  fitness activities and news in Silicon Valley.

Continue reading on Examiner.com: Twirly Girls 'Lovely Rita' Fundraiser benefits National Kidney Foundation - San Jose fitness | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/fitness-in-san-jose/twirly-girls-lovely-rita-fundraiser-benefits-national-kidney-foundation#ixzz1E2ufZyvz

Friday, February 11, 2011

Stripping vs. pole fitness

With the recent drama surrounding the breast cancer charity turning down a donation from the American Pole Fitness Association, it brings up the difference between stripping and pole fitness.  Or the lack thereof.  Depending on who you ask, of course.

I've heard both sides, and I get it for the most part.  Pole fitness girls (and boys) want to be taken "seriously" so they try to distance themselves from the "dark and dirty" strippers.  Strippers are offended because they're busting their ass on the pole too.  I can't speak for anyone else, so let me give you my opinion.  I know I've vaguely touched on this before but I want to write more specifically about it. 

I don't hate on strippers.  One blogger put it beautifully...(paraphrasing here, and probably badly at this point, since its been so long since I read the quote)...there are a million ways to get into shape so if you're doing this for fitness, you have to ask yourself why you chose to wrap yourself around a pole. 

***

Side note:  That "quote" is from The Pole Story...GREAT BLOG...and she talks a lot about this subject:

http://polestory.blogspot.com/2010/01/sensual-sexual-side-of-pole.html

http://polestory.blogspot.com/2010/01/pole-dancers-guide-to-anti-poler-part-1.html

http://polestory.blogspot.com/2010/02/pole-dancers-guide-to-anti-poler-part-2.html

Heather also touched upon this subject before:

http://thatshowipole.blogspot.com/2010/01/sadly-stigma-remains.html

Jennifer from PoleSkivvies too!

http://poleskivvies.com/2009/05/strippers-and-pole-dancing/

And Yannori from Express the Sensual:

http://www.expressthesensual.com/2010/02/24/pole-dancing-isnt-just-about-the-tricks/

***

But I digress...

I understand that the general population thinks stripping is essentially the same as prostitution.  And I get that some strippers get into prostitution, but I don't think they all do.  In fact, I know not all do.

I think some women consider stripping an empowerment thing.  They are controlling what the men see and touch.  Others consider that selling your body, even if you aren't having sex with anyone.  To each his own.

I know that in my own class, I am learning to be fit and I am learning to be sexy (and more comfortable with myself -- and with my body and how it looks right now, not 10 pounds or 50 pounds lighter than it is right now).  So, for me to look down on stripping and call myself only a pole fitness enthusiast would be almost disrespectful to the roots of my sport.  I have said on many occasions that if I had a better body and a little more rhythm, I wouldn't be opposed to making some money as a stripper!

I imagine it can be easy to get sucked into drugs or prostitution, making more and more money, etc.  But that is a whole other subject.

So anyway, at the end of the day, I don't care if pole fitness was born from stripping.  It is what it is.  I enjoy what I do, and I can't change history.  If you haven't tried it, before you judge, get on a pole for just one class.  Then come tell me that you don't have just a tiny bit more respect for a stripper who can work the pole!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My new addiction

I've found a new calling in life:  FUNDRAISING!

The re-branding is going well.  I am having a great time trying to raise money for the National Kidney Foundation, the AIDS/LifeCycle ride and AIDS Walk San Francisco.  I am also going to give as much help as I can to Jess for her Relay for Life Walnut Creek walk. 

I have an addictive personality and have generally used food or shopping to make me "happy."  Well, for the first time in my life, I have both somewhat under control.  The shopping is probably 95% under control.  The food is probably 85% under control.  That's actually really good for me.  I say this as I sit here typing and popping Jolly Rancher jelly beans into my mouth.  Must.  Throw.  Away.  Ugh.

Anyway, I really feel like having something to keep me excited and hold my attention is keeping me from falling back into bad habits for now.  I am a very social person and I usually have "events" going every day of the week.  Although I am trying to be better about spending more time at home with Rob, I also feel like if I am going to be social and out of the house, at least I can be productive at the same time.

So, if you have a good cause you'd like some help with, let me know! 

And just for fun, here's a photo from the shoot Andrew did at the studio recently. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

HEATHER IS COMING! HEATHER IS COMING!

So my online partner in crime, HEYO, is coming to visit!  I AM SO EXCITED!!  We have never met in person but I feel like I've known her my whole life!

I initially met her on Facebook because she writes a pole dancing blog.  I friended her a little over a year ago and the rest, as they say, is history!  She is my head minion and designed my lolorashel logos.  She's silly and random like me.  Full of life.  Gorgeous.  And I think we are going to have a blast together!

Hopefully her travel plans will be finalized soon so we can start planning our fun!

https://sites.google.com/site/lolorashel/home/minions


Monday, February 7, 2011

Strippers get breast cancer too

I just heard that a breast cancer charity turned down a donation from the American Pole Fitness Association today. I guess "stripper" money isn't good enough for them? Considering pole dancing and pole fitness is dominated by women, you'd think they would be all over that. Shame on you! Do charities REALLY have to care about where their donations come from?

Okay, I get it that PETA shouldn't take money from the National Beef Federation or whatever, but why would a breast cancer charity put a moral judgment on pole dancing?

It's really irritating me right now. I hope the APFA decides to publicize the name so I can tell people not to give them their money. They clearly don't need it. If I'm going to passionately fundraise for some charities, I can actively rant against others.

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/AmericanPoleFitness

Walnut Creek Relay For Life

Last year, I met a really cool chick named Jessica.  Not the Jessica from my previous post about gastric bypass, but another Jessica, so let's call her Jess in this post.   Jess is very passionate about Relay for Life.  In fact, I'm extremely impressed with how committed she is to the cause and hope to have dinner with her soon to discuss ideas on promoting and marketing.  Honestly, that's all fundraising is, right?!  Marketing and promotions! 

Plus, Dancing for Dollars now has another cause to support!

I am going to let Jess tell her story in her own words and I hope that people will, once again, pull out their wallets and donate. 

---


The reason I relay...
My mom is a two-time survivor. The first time she was diagnosed, with hodgekins disease, I was in high school. Several months were spent going to chemo, getting blood transfusions, and being unsure about the future. After awhile, she was in the clear. Remission. UNTIL, five years later, and she was diagnosed again, with something completely unrelated. This time was surgery to have her salivary gland removed, radiation, feeding tubes, and several hospital stays. Chemo is a walk in the park compared to radiation, and even though I was older, the second go-round was much, MUCH scarier. She's been in remission again for another few years, but life is definitely different now. She has to be very careful with what she eats- nothing too flavorful, has issues with her gums from her radiation, and is still missing hair at the treatment site.
However, she's happy, healthy, and living life to the fullest that she can. One way that we make sure that she'll continue to be a survivor is by doing Relay. Five years ago, we just sort of stopped by this event so that my mom could walk with other survivors. Now, I'm the event co-chair, and my mom and sister are on the committee with me. This event has become something that we do as a family. It's become a way for us to honor her, and those like her. For cancer knows no bounds; it doesn't care if you're young or old, black or white, gay or straight, rich or poor. A reason this resonates with me, is because of just that. Everyone knows someone who has been touched by cancer. Someone we can celebrate for being a survivor, someone we can remember that has been taken too soon. Someone who has given us a reason to fight back.
Relay for Life is a 24 hour event that most communities now host. The event is put on by volunteers, who work with an ACS staff partner to bring people together, fundraise and raise awareness. We have food, music, etc. and it's just a great way to bring people from our community together. You don't have to be from WC to participate in our event, but all are welcome.
The American Cancer Society Mission: "The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service."
If people would like to create their own team, they can go to http://relayforlife.org, search for events near "94597" and click on the Walnut Creek Relay for Life link. Once there, they can click "join a team." If they'd like to help by just sending a donation, they can access my direct page at:  http://main.acsevents.org/goto/jess_hess

-------

Event info:

Event Date and Time
Saturday, July 16, 2011 9AM
Event Location
Bancroft Elementary, Walnut Creek
Google Map Link

Event Schedule
Opening Ceremony: 9AM Sat
Survivors Lap: 9:15AM Sat
Luminaria Ceremony: 9PM Sat
Fight Back / Closing Ceremony: 8:45AM Sun
One day. One night. One community. One Fight. Relay For Life is a life-changing event that brings together more than 3.5 million people- to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer; remember loved ones lost to the disease; and fight back against a disease that takes too much. Won't you join us?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Who says that?!

So this afternoon, I went over to a friend's house for a get-together.  There were a lot of familiar faces but a lot of new ones too.  I wandered.  I ate food.  I visited.  I played with the baby, Mason. 

As the afternoon was winding down and people were starting to leave, they let the family pitbull into the house.  His name is Cain.  He's a gorgeous dog.  Very sweet and playful.  He wanted to play tug-o-war.  I played with him for a bit but he's really strong and kept ripping the toy from my hand.  He'd happily run back and put it back in though.  I would play for a few, but it felt like Cain was going to rip my entire arm from its socket.  So I started laughing and yelling, "Cain, you're gonna rip my arm off!"  Over.  And over. 

A lady who had been sitting down most of the party got up and was standing near me and playing with Cain a little too.  We were laughing and chatting about what a great dog he is.  Suddenly I realize that her flowy shirt was hiding something.

SHE WAS MISSING AN ARM.

I almost died.  I had been screaming, "CAIN, YOU'RE GONNA RIP MY ARM OFF," for ten minutes.  I felt like such an idiot.  She never said anything or seemed to get upset about it.  I made sure I stopped. 

Later, after everyone was gone, I was telling my friends and the family about it.  I told them how mortified I was.  They laughed until they almost pee'd their pants.  I mean, in a million years WHO would that happen to?!  ME!!!!!  I'm screaming about my arm getting ripped off and someone who actually LOST their arm (she lost it later in life, she wasn't born that way, I found out later) is standing next to me.

Ugh.

Open mouth.  Forget the foot.  Insert entire body. 

Who says that?!

Friday, February 4, 2011

I like to say weird things

Just thought everyone should know.

Totally unrelated...check it out...

I submitted my pic.  It's not high-res, but they're still adding it to their Facebook page.  hehe!



I'm high on sugar right now.  Sorry.