Times Are Changing


Why are we so sensitive?

Last week I was surfing the internet on my lunch break and came across this blog about childhood obesity.  According to this blog there is a website that is all about childhood obesity, great!  The problem that people are having is the way that this website is advertising itself.  Child actors named Bobby, Tamika, Tina, Maritza and Jaden all share in black & white videos about how much it sucks being a child who is obese.  Mostly because it does suck being a kid and being obese.  Waddling across the basketball court in gym, not fitting in chairs the correct way and being out of breath from going to the bathroom.  How could it not suck?

The truth and stories that these paid child actors are telling and creating have gotten under some people’s skin.  Some say that these ads are just perpetuating the right for other children to bully the obese kids and that the ads aren’t solving the problem.  In the ads in themselves there are no solutions just children saying how they hate being bullied and have been diagnosed with scary diseases like diabetes and hypertension.  Okay, okay I admit these ads are sad and I can see where people are coming from with the harshness behind it, but my question is, why are we so sensitive to this issue?

The sad reality is that America has a huge (pun intended) obesity problem.  Adults and kids alike.  However, in Georgia alone (where the ads are being made and broadcast) the child obesity rate is  40%.  That’s almost half the child population in Georgia… one state… that’s it.  I’m sorry but this is a problem that we have to look at, we have to.  A short while back it was estimated that the generation after mine will be the first generation ever with a shorter life term expectancy than their parents.  The number one cause of that?  Obesity.  I understand the fear of bringing this problem to the light so drastically that it would have a cause and effect on bullying in school.  To me though, I’d rather we be focusing on a problem that should be fixed (that if fixed will ipso factso fix bullying issue) and save millions of kids’ lives now.

I was not a thin kid nor am I a thin adult.  I know what these kids go through.  I know what they are feeling, thinking and wondering.  Believe me that just because those are children actors it does not mean they do not feel what they are saying and unfortunatley, they were not hired and then made to wear a “fat suit”.  They were hired because they were obese.  For me, I am learning as an adult.  I took my health future in my hands.  I see parents with health problems, I see myself with good chances of getting health problems, and to all that I say no to my future kids. 

I refuse to have my kids go through teasing like I did.  I refuse to let them be concerned in their early twenties that they might loose me.  I refuse to let them grow up with grown up health problems because of the food and activity choices I made for them.  I refuse to let something overpower them without their consent.  I refuse all this because I made this decision from my own mind and opinion, not because of a TV ad.  So my question to you, are you going to be sensitive to an issue so huge it’s going to affect your children or grandchildren or are you going to look at it head on and say, “Not today, not tomorrow”?

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Another year gone.

Well, I’m sure this isn’t the only post in the blog world that has this title right now.  2011 came and went with the quickness of a summer breeze.  As I sit here on the 3rd day of the year all I can think is “where did the time go?”.  Feeling a little silly asking where the years went at 25, the thought process is there.  Wasn’t it only yesterday I was performing in my senior recital?  Wasn’t it only yesterday I was pounding extra large coffees from DD to pull all nighters in college?  Wasn’t it only yesterday that I moved into the big girl world and had to face big girl decisions?  The thing is, it wasn’t yeasterday, a week ago or a month ago.  It was all years ago.  What does this mean?

I think it’s pretty simple what it means.  I live my life.  This past month I was hella busy.  I was in the Nutcracker Burlesque, working, planning Christmas parties for work, kicked out of our apartment (and given a month to find a new one and move), Christmas, New Years, and A LOT of hiccups in between.  I was talking with my man friend and he kept saying that he was going to be so happy when we stopped being so busy.  I felt the same way and then I realized, I’m always busy.  I remember in high school when my parents gave me a “mental health” day every semester because I was so overwhelmed.  Every now and then I take a mental health day still.  I wonder though if I really mind being busy all the time.

Thinking about it, I’d have to say no.  I like having things to do.  Believe me, I love me some lazy days home, but if those lazy days build up I get antsy.  I hunger for something to do.  I hate the stress that goes with being busy, but I love the fact that my life is jam packed.  I look back at this summer for example.  I was always on the run, but thanks to that I got to:

  • Climb some of the most breath taking mountain points in New England and gaze at the stars by a campfire with the love of my life.
  • I got to see and be part of two my best friends weddings (and they were both beautiful!).
  • I worked long ass hours to help my job and in the end help further myself in my job.
  • I decided to burst through a comfort bubble of living with my sister and got an apartment with a boy (cooties).
  • I learned how to cook a kick ass bacon, egg and cheese sandwich on a Coleman stove.

I got to do all these things because I want to live my life.  I want my family and friends to be a priority in my life.  I want to work on and improve my relationship with my boy so we can one day have the life we want.  I want to work at my job so I can mold something I love.  I want to dance, period.  I want to love, laugh, cry, smile, help and be around as much as possible.  2011 may be gone, but that’s okay.  It was an amazing year and I literally have hundreds of photos to prove it.  Yeah, last year is done but I cannot wait to see how busy I can be this year. 

 


You’re so pretty

For years I’ve been told, “you’re so pretty”.  Believe me, I am not complaining about being called pretty.  That would be ridiculous.  I’ve never been the girl to look in the mirror and step back in horror, well I might have after being sick for a week straight and stopped using a brush, but I have looked in the mirror before and thought “you could be better”.  Now before everyone freaks out with “what?!  You are pretty, who would lie about that?  You are perfect the way you are etc etc”.  I do appreciate it when people say this but the thing is, I can do better.

Everyone, EVERYONE at one point or another feels insecure about their looks for one reason or another.  If you are overweight or just a chubby person these insecurities can come out everyday.  I’m sure the slimmest person or most in shape person has the same body issues when they step out, but I’m neither one of those so I can’t speak for them.  I can only really speak for myself.  All I can really say is, it sucks.  It’s that simple.  Wanting to cry when you see that little belly roll in the mirror, cringing every time my boyfriend touches my stomach, watching people who eat healthfully do it with such ease.  Where are their cravings?  Where is the greasy days and the “I need sugar now!!” moments?  Why can’t I diminish those moments?

Thankfully, I’ve become more of those people who can look at a smorgishboard of food and go for the salad and only a half scoop of potatoes or green beans instead of sugar glazed carrots (I can’t believe this is a food item, but I digress).  I woke up one morning after working out for two months and looked at myself in the mirror and thought, “you can do better”.  My arms still jiggled when I brushed my teeth.  I was sucking my gut in whenever I looked in the mirror or had a picture taken.  My jowls still looked swollen.  I had been working out but it wasn’t doing what I needed it to.  I had to convince myself that I could do better because I HAD to do better.

If you know me, you will know that I love me some research.  Call it the geek side or OCD or what have you, but I love it.  I started to really research the best way to get healthy… for me.  I looked up all kinds of work outs, recipes, snacks, stories and thought processes to go along with it.  Oh, and I started watching The Biggest Loser, which is a great show!  Not only do I gain hope from it, I can see some great work out tips. 

I started to put more than my body into working out.  I put my mind into it.  I, myself put that healthy thinking into my head.  I physically missed working out on off days.  I crave veggies instead of candy but sometimes the candy still wins out.  I walk into a gym thinking “let’s see what you can do today” instead of “oh god, I could be eating/sleeping/working/tv watching/petting kitties right now” which is what I used to do every time I walked into the gym.  Since I started putting all of me behind getting healthy I’ve noticed more looks from people.  My boyfriend compliments the way I look much more now and I look in the mirror some mornings and I think to myself, “you’re so pretty” and  I really like that thought.


From ballet to burlesque

Well hello there.  It’s been about 11 months since I’ve written a post.  I have no excuse other than, life got in the way.  Work became overwhelming, I taught dance and did a competition, fell in love, moved and got kitties.  Some things have been a surprise and some things have been planned.  About three and a half weeks ago a new surprise came into my life and I welcomed it with open arms…kinda.

My beautiful sister Elisa sent me a link on Facebook about an open audition for a production put on by Vivid Motion called The Nutcracker Burlesque.  Yes you read that correctly.  A fun way to look at the much loved ballet the Nutcracker.  Take sensuality, rhinestone encrusted bras and ballet and you have the Nutcracker Burlesque.  The open audition was for anyone who wanted to have fun and didn’t mind a little shimy action.  At first I laughed it off and playfully thought what it would be like to have my family and friends see me in a burlesque show.  After the laughing and “what if” thinking stopped I started thinking “I should” and I did.

On September 11th I went to the audition.  My hair braided back, audition make up on and a leotard to suck me in.  My heart started beating a little faster as I filled out my audition sheet.  The thoughts of the choreographers looking at me and thinking, “this chica cannot dance much less do burlesque” raced through my mind.  I tried talking myself out of it but before I knew it I was on the floor warming up my legs.  Then someone started speaking and we as a group lifted up our arms to start a warm up.  The audition had started and so did the throw up in my throat (no worries I didn’t actually throw up on anything or anyone *thumbs up*).

Each choreographer did a section of the dance they were doing and we had to do that bit as our audition piece.  It varied from ballet, jazz, hip hop to Pussycat Dolls esque dancing.  The last one made me super nervous.  My whole life I’ve done ballet and I was about to step into a dance area that I’ve only done in front of the mirror at home…alone…with doors locked and curtians drawn.  I watched and learned the combination to “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and then I heard the words, “ok, I’m going to watch and have you guys do it”.  Showtime!

There was a part where on the floor you do a serious hair flip, body twist move.  I did it and a bobby pin went flying out of my haird because I flipped so hard.  As I rolled to the next step I yelled “oh sorry!” and I hear a choreographer say, “no it’s good!  Let them all fly!”.  I must say that made me feel a lot better.  Two days later I found out that not only had I made the show I was cast in five different parts.  I was so excited I told everyone at work that I was cast in a burlesque show.  Some took the news a little more awkwardly than others and then I began to realize, I was cast in a burlesque show, for serious.  

We had our first rehersals this weekend and I loved every minute of it.  I have bruises on my knees and my muscles hurt but I love it.  And ladies, I have never felt so confident in my life.  I haven’t actually taken any clothes off yet and I haven’t danced around in a bra and garder belt yet.  The thought is enough though.  Taking control of me and seeing for myself that I CAN give that “no, you come to me” look is possibly the best thing I’ve done.  I’ve gone from ballet to burlesque in the last week and honestly I don’t want to look back.  Of course I will always be a ballet girl, that’s in my blood.  But I’m pretty excited to say that for a little while I’m a burlesque girl too.