Friday, June 7, 2013

June Blog Hop: Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Started Pole Dancing...

This month's blog hop (check out the link to other blogs HERE) is about what we wish we had known before we started pole dancing.  I'm sure there will be plenty of posts about how we didn't know how addictive it would be, or how expensive it would be, so I thought I'd write something slightly different.  (You can also read our leader, Sheena's post about ideas HERE.)  My blog will be: What I wish I had done differently after I started pole dancing.  

When I started pole dancing, I was in the beginning stages of re-gaining weight (for the second time) after my gastric bypass surgery.  I had started a new relationship, and was working from home (after being in an office for years).  Within six months of starting to dance, I also moved into a new place.  I had a lot of things going on, a lot of stress, and I misdirected my anxiety.  

I wish that after I took that very first class on December 2, 2009, I had taken my health and fitness more seriously.  I am not knocking my newly-acquired Health At Every Size beliefs, but I don't think it is disrespectful or improper to say that, regardless of the number on the scale, I did allow myself to stop working out as much and I started to eat a lot more fast food (which helped me gain all this weight in the first place in college).  HAES believes everyone has a right to be treated with respect regardless of their weight, while acknowledging that bodies are entitled to healthy foods and that movement is good for most bodies.  

Anyway, as I started working from home, I really let my gym schedule get out of whack.  I stopped working out with my super awesome gym partner who kept me motivated.  My gym eventually went out of business and I just stopped going at all for awhile.  I have now gained 50 pounds over my personal healthy weight goal (about 25-30 of those pounds were gained since I started pole dancing).  

I didn't initially stress about some of that weight.  Shoot, the two months I did silks, I put on 15 pounds, and I was pretty sure a lot of that was muscle.  My weight has been somewhat stable for the last two years but my friend took my measurements recently and I'm bigger.  A lot bigger.  That means my "muscle has turned to fat" (no, I don't believe muscle actually turns to fat, however since muscle is purported to weigh more than fat, I can acknowledge that if I have lost muscle tone, and gained fat, I may in fact weigh the same but could have gained inches).  Sure, I kinda felt like my clothes were tighter but I guess I didn't really notice it.  But now I'm hyper-aware (and it's a constant struggle to try to accept myself in the HAES way while still trying to bring myself back to a healthy place). 

I realize that there are some things my body needs (and I feel will help me on the pole).  I need cardio.  I am not doing advanced tricks, so I feel like I shouldn't be heaving and breathing like someone who just finished a marathon after dancing a 4 minute song.  I need yoga.  I am not flexible, and yoga is a requirement.  With all the surgical scars on my body, yoga is probably the one thing I should never go without.  I feel like weight training is essential but I do consider pole my weight bearing exercise.  Last of all, the core is key.  Having to give up my pilates reformer class was one of the biggest bummers of being broke and commuting to work every day.  

So I wish I had not given up on myself when I started to pole.  My downer attitude has nothing to do with pole (and pole has probably kept me from truly going to a dark place many a day!!).  But I do wish I had continued to work hard at the gym, which made me a healthier, happier person.  I don't wish to be skinny, but I do wish to be in good health again.  

I did have a bad week this week (thanks to my bone spur) but have been attending cycle classes 1-2 days a week, yoga 1-2 days a week and pole 2 days a week.  In the mornings before work, I do some exercises for my foot that have me doing things like calf raises.  I do hope to turn that back into core workout time soon.  I have been battling this painful bone spur for almost 9 months now.  I do hope as that gets resolved (probably looking at surgery this year for it), I can fully get back into my schedule and make myself into the pole dancer that I have always dreamed of being. 

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your story! I recently found your blog (after deciding I want to try pole dancing and googling every pole dance blog I could find!) I'm jealous that you are able to fit so many workout into your schedule! Sounds very well-rounded. :) Stay positive!

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    1. I'm so glad you found me! :) I definitely struggle with my schedule now that I commute. When I worked closer to home, it was so much easier. For a few years, I worked out before work. I was never a morning person but I had a great group to keep me motivated and it was nice to get it out of the way. Now, I can always find reasons to be lax about certain workouts. I try to go to my cycle class at 6 AM. I am still not a morning person and I don't love the instructors, so I have to force myself to go. But cycle is the best cardio I can do while my bone spur is giving me so much trouble. I love my yoga classes but decided to stop spending a ton to go to an independent yoga studio. I try to hit up Grace Cathedral in SF on Tuesdays for their yoga class. Then I try to go to 24 Hour Fitness on Sundays. That's just difficult because it's at noon and if you have any plans, yoga is usually right in the middle of it. I teach pole Monday nights. I make that class a priority, but it is definitely difficult to start the week out tired. My class doesn't start until 8 PM, so by the time I get home and wind down and get in bed, it's already an hour or more past when I should have been in bed. I take pole on Saturdays. I make it a priority but at least once a month, something comes up and I have to miss. I'm sure a lot of that sounds like excuses but it's life and that's just how it is. :)

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  2. I agree, I wish I would have pushed myself harder in the beginning. But did not. Now my body is fighting me every chance I stress it. But the never give up and never give in attitude is still strong in me. I will Power through, over, and win this.

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    1. Well, you are now fighting injuries that require rest. It's a bad position to be in. No exercise or exercise with pain? That's kind of where I am with my foot. I suddenly jumped up five pounds. I was going to try to wait until October to have surgery so I would qualify for disability supplementation at work but I think I may just take the paycheck hit and get it done sooner rather than later. I'm going to ask my doctor this week.

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  3. Thank you for addressing that sometimes our weight gain is muscle! As women we hear so much about checking the scale and forget that gaining that muscle weight is doubly important--it means we burned fat AND increased our fat burning potential. I have struggled on the other end, keeping up a healthy weight gain, so I was glad to see you have such a healthy outlook :)

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    1. I really want to go to one of those float tanks and get my body fat tested!! I now have the reverse issue. I haven't gained much weight but my waist got bigger by THREE INCHES!! WTF! This bone spur NEEDS TO GO! I need to get back to the gym!!!

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