Health and Fitness

This was me when I started doing silks last November:

Not fat, but not in great shape. And bottom line, I wasn’t happy. I stressed a LOT about what to wear to silks class every week so I wouldn’t look fat! It was a pain in the butt.

Here’s the thing. I always want to be skinny. Always. I spent a good chunk of my teens and early twenties being TOO skinny, and being very unhealthy to achieve that emaciated, 90lb figure I liked to sport. Sure I would fool myself and my friends, and promise it was just because I biked everywhere, and see, look, I’m gonna eat this pack of m&m’s to show you all that I DO eat, and watch me chug this beer just like the boys! I’m just naturally little! (In reality, I would then bike 20 miles, run laps, pace while reading books, and not eat for a day or two to undo the “damage”)

Worked at a gym for a while. A place full of body and fat obsessed people where I could step on a scale every two minutes, workout whenever I wanted, and have my boss tell me I looked pregnant every time I ate a sandwich! Sure I was “fit”. 12% body fat, in great shape, but still not happy with the way I looked.

Roller derby was a pretty good balance for me. I could eat a lot and since I was doing so much cardio, I would stay pretty thin. Not the teeny tiny thin I wanted to be, and I was really, really self conscious about my body, but it was better than nothing!

Then derby is gone, and I kept up with my workouts and running and such for a while until… I didn’t. 20lbs later, I’m pretty miserable every time I look in a mirror and I’m not comfortable in my own skin. Which, I never really was, but this was a lot worse.

I decided to do something a little crazy, and tried aerial silks. I mean, hey! I’m not graceful, can’t dance, not flexible, and I’m terrified of heights! Of COURSE I should attempt a sport that involves grace, flexibility, and winding yourself up as high as possible! Keep in mind though, I have always had a secret obsession with the circus. I used to obsessively watch that darn celebrity circus show, when they would take the girl from Full House, teach her to swing on a trapeze or walk a high wire and think, “I SO want to do that”.

I quickly became addicted to silks, and here’s where the magic happened. I quit stressing about what I looked like, and started stressing about what I could DO! I wanted to be able to climb to the top of the silks, and star drop, and do all the things that the best girls in the class could do. To do that, I needed to get my upper body strength up and I needed to build up my core. I went on a 24 day cleanse, which didn’t involve any scary sort of fasting, just no alcohol, no dairy, no sugar, nothing but fruits and veggies and protein. Weight slid off, my metabolism went up, and I started being able to do tricks I couldn’t do before!

Don’t get me wrong, I was very aware that I had lost weight. I stepped on the scale and knew I was 20 lbs lighter. But I was more focused on amazing things like back muscles! Triceps! Lean legs and abs!
One day I went for a run, looked down and HEY! ABS!

I don’t have a perfect body. But I’m loosing my obsession with being as skinny as possible. Heck, according the BMI chart I’m not only overweight, I’m only a few pounds away from obese. (As my friend Laura says, fuck BMI)

The best part though, is that I’m actually getting good at silks! Not that I’ll get to run away and join the circus anytime soon, but I get to do something I love, that I strive to be better at every week, and that I really enjoy. I think that’s the secret to having a healthy relationship with your body. Yea, it’s nice that I’m down a size or two. It’s nice that I don’t shy away from the mirror as much, but it’s wonderful to feel strong, and powerful, and be able to have a “ask and you shall receive” relationship with yourself! Like, “hey arms! I want to climb up there!” And my arms either go “Kickass! Let’s do it!” or they go, “um, we’re trying here, but we can’t yet. Keep trying every day though and we promise we can climb up there SOON!”.

So that’s the point to this blog post. If  you’re unhappy with your body, or your weight, and whatever it is that you’re doing or have done isn’t working, try setting a goal beyond the scale, or a waist size. Do you want to play soccer? Find a rec team, join it, work your ass off until you’re playing soccer the way you want to. Wanna be a ballet dancer? Find a dance studio, sign up for lessons. Maybe you’ll never be GREAT, but I promise that after 6 weeks you’ll be a better ballet dancer than you were at your first lesson! Right? And I think that needs to be the point. It’s not always about the workout, it’s about what you’re doing the workout to achieve. If it’s a dress size, the workout will always feel like work. If it’s, like me, the secret fantasy of always wanting to join the circus, then you’re probably going to be more successful, and more importantly, you’re going to have way more fun.

AFP House Party

By now I’m sure everyone has heard about the amazing things Amanda Palmer has accomplished by using Kickstarter. This weekend, we got to participate in one of those amazing things. 

Last year, when the kickstarter rewards were announced, a lovely gal named Allison said she wanted a house party in Indy. She plopped down 5k to book it, trusting that everyone who said they thought it should happen would actually step up and help pay her back. There was originally talk of doing it in a bar and I was like, “You know, I have a coffee shop we can use…”
Finally, last night, the whole thing came together. 

Kerrie checked people in at the door. This was her “bouncer thug” pose.

There was SO MUCH FOOD. It was insane. 

Quiche, aka, the Fabulous Lorraine, of course was there, and very excited that someone brought her a present!

Valya brought a basket full of tarot cards, with the date of the party written on the back. Kristine and I were excited because we both pulled spooky blindfolded sword cards!
And we were a little tipsy. (and that is a lollipop, not a cigarette)
Neil wasn’t on “the list” but we let him sneak in anyway. I will not tell you why he is offering Kerrie money. I will also not judge the fact that she seems to seriously be considering it. 
Amanda is… powerful. She can just be hanging out and she is still very much a presence in a room. Her voice is big as hell, she owns the stage, even when it’s not really a stage, it’s just a bit of floor in a cafe. She seems like the really cool girl in school that I would have always wanted to talk to but maybe been way to intimidated to actually approach. 
She wrote our fears on our faces. Seemed silly at first, but then as I was looking around the room and seeing people’s fears exposed it didn’t seem so silly anymore. Mine was money. Though it could have also been, “My body” “Spiders” “Heights” “Scars”. I think I have more fears than face. 

There were hugs and cuddles happening all over the place.
Allie brought the house down when she sang. Little woman. Big ass voice.
I actually didn’t take a ton of pictures. There were good, actual photographers doing that, and I decided at one point to just enjoy the show and be in the moment. It was a good decision.
I’m on a bit of a let down today. Quiche, Allie, Kristine, and Kerrie have all left our house. After having people crammed into the place and the constant sounds of food cooking, coffee brewing, and general noise it was just too quiet. Dill and I actually came into work two hours early today because of it. We needed to be in our shop and back around people. 

I made everyone get some silks in. 
Allie did a layback!

Quiche even tried it out!
I’ll do another post with good pictures and such later. I’m just so glad that such a wonderful evening happened here in little Indiana. 



Silks Post!

I know! It seems like all I post about lately! I’m still sitting on a knitting announcement, so what the heck else am I going to talk about?

This is still very much a rough draft of a routine, but it’s starting to come together! I can definitely see that I’ve improved from where I started. Not to mention how freaking FIT I’m getting from this! Twenty pounds gone, and lots and lots of muscle build. I have ABS now. Visible ones!

Getting ready for a fun weekend filled with Fabulous Lorraine, Allie Gator, and Amanda Freaking Palmer!