Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bloated and Loving It (Sort Of)

So.  I taught a hula-hoop fitness class on Friday for the first time.  It was . . . hard.  Certainly harder than I expected.

All day Friday I was super nervous, so I ended up going to the gym's yoga class that's taught right before mine (wow, I still can't believe that I have a class!).  That ended up helping quite a bit as it was a very soothing, gentle practice.

Then I was up.  One person came in for hula-hooping.  I asked her to help herself to a hoop while I made a  bathroom run.  When I returned, to the studio, there was still only the one young woman there.  Talk about a low teacher-student ratio!  However, while this might be ideal for school-based education, it didn't strike me as all that great for a hooping class.  Still, I got started, and the first thirty or so minutes of the class flew by.

And then it started to drag.  Big time.  I deviated from my lesson plan and we worked on some off-body moves and I taught my lone brave student a small combination.  I couldn't tell if she was having a good time or not, but I began to feel like I was torturing her.

We made it through, and I hope that I didn't scare her off.  I tried not to feel too bad (as I learned from various yoga/hooping teacher friends, my not-so-fab first-time experience isn't that all that uncommon) and came away with some ideas about how to keep the rhythm and appeal flowing through the entire class.  I welcome any and all suggestions!

The hardest part of the class, however, had nothing to do with the instruction, or even hooping.  Instead, the most challenging thing was the mirrors.  Not only did I feel pretty doofy wearing this heavy microphone for a one-student class (so I could keep the music louder), but I kept glimpsing myself in the mirror.  And . . . it was bad.

Let me rephrase that -- it felt bad.  I thought I had been doing much better in my relationship with food and exercise, and I had been feeling very emotionally stable.  But then, according to my reflection, all that stability seemed to be hurting my body.  My stomach was flubby and larger than I thought it had been, and I just felt like I looked lumpy and all-around frumpy. 

My first instinct after class ended and my plucky student left the studio was to run for it.  Instead, I took a deep breath, put on some peppy music, and played with my hoop.  I videoed some of the practice session even though that meant preserving my quivering gut for all the world to see.  And, in spite of how dissatisfied I felt with my body, the practice session was fun.  It was so nice to have a large indoors space to go crazy in and not have to worry about sending my hoop crashing into something breakable.

That was going to be the end of my first-time-teaching tale . . . until this morning.  It seems that, two days after I thought my belly was more enormous than it should have been, I have my period.  That makes me wonder if Friday's lumpy gut was really the result of pre-menstrual bloating.

I keep forgetting that I have this monthly event occurring in my body.  When I began descending into anorexia-land, I lost my period.  Before these past few months, the last time that I had a natural period (i.e., not helped along by the hormones in birth control pills) was November 2006.  This summer, my period finally returned of its own accord and (so far) has kept coming back each month.

As much as I don't like the cramps and bloating that come along with a functioning female reproductive system, having a regular period causes me more joy than probably seems normal.  But each month that it returns is a sign that I've been taking care of myself (or trying my darndest to do so).  Each new successful cycle is a victory against lies, disorder, and mental disease. 

So, instead of despairing over my not-svelte stomach or curvy hips, I'm going to share my video of Friday night's hooping practice in all of its pre-menstrual bloat-alicious glory.

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  1. How cool! I don't think i could ever be that coordinated. It looks awesome, BTW.I can relate to the regular period thing. I was too thin in my early 20s and my monthly cycle was all over the place. I'm regular now, which allowed me to get pregnant and catch a break from the monthly cramps and bloating...oh wait, the bloating is pretty much every day when you're pregnant. ;-)

  2. Sarena Shasteen - ThOctober 17, 2010 at 9:38 AM

    My mom would totally love that class! She is pretty hard core with her hula hooping! You looked great at it too!

  3. Awesome blog, awesome cartoon, awesome vid! I do the same thing every month. Weight freak out, followed by mild relief and then a bit of hoop or yoga "therapy" Good for you to stick out the class- I promise you, that lady got a great lesson, and maybe next time she'll bring her friends along. :) -martie

  4. Amazing! I had no idea what to expect from a hoop fitness class, and your video made me want to sign up!You looked great - and your student was lucky to have you as an instructor.

  5. I don't think your stomach looked flubby at all! And you're SUPPOSED to have curvy hips - you're a woman!! But that is totally an awesome video. I love that you've found joy in hooping and are now spreading that joy through hoop camp and now the hoop classes! When I worked at J's sister's store I taught classes to kids and b/c we weren't doing so well (we eventually had to close) I often had classes with only 1 or 2 children in them. It would drag and get awkward really fast. Plus I always felt bad b/c I knew they wanted to be in a group of kids doing fun things, and instead they were stuck w/ just me staring at them. I can relate! Give it some time and word of mouth and popularity will grow. Also - maybe a brief description?? I'm ashamed to admit I'd probably not know what "hooping" class was. It took me YEARS to learn what "spinning" class was and I'd never guess it was bicycle!! I thought it was some turning dance class. hahahaOh and I can relate to the period thingy. I had a few years of irregularity due to birth control pill problems. I'm now off of all pills and trying to let my body go back to normal. I'm reading a hormone and reproductive health book and taking vitamins recommended. I hope it gets back to being an on-time every month thing w/ regular flow. That'll be a great thing to look forward to!

  6. first of all- you are soo totally encouraging!!and this is SO COOL!!! I would love to do this! and i think you LOOK AWESOME!!!

  7. What's the first song in your video? It made me grab my hoop...And it's great to see you hooping to "Tricky". I loved Brecken and Rich's video with that one, and I'm glad you rocked out to it.

  8. Beth @ Life in ProgrOctober 18, 2010 at 2:18 PM

    Traci, that song is Short Cut/Detour from Passing Behind Your Eyes by Pretty Lights. That album was actually a free download last year. I'd bet it's still out there!I didn't know Brecken and Rich did something to Tricky? Where can I ogle -- er, see it??


"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King