Over 40s with toned arms

Friday, December 28, 2012
Miss Fit has asked me to be involved in a Today Tonight programme on Channel 7 airing in February.  It is on the subject of "Over 40s with toned arms".  I fit the criteria as I'm one the eldest student at Miss Fit.  Plus I already lost some weight in the Miss Fit weight loss trial.
 
The filming started last Thursday at Castle Hill studio, less than 24 hours after some surgery and just before undertaking some breast biopsies.  I arrived at the studio in 33 degrees heat, glad to get into the cool of the studio.  Shortly after, the film crew arrived.  I was filmed by a patient but often frustrated cameraman - "Look at the camera... don't look at the camera... everytime you look at the camera I have to start again...".  The recording man was very pole curious and played on the poles in any down time. 
 
Miss Fit (Sarah) and I were variously filmed doing carousels, Franks, climbing the pole and I tell you that the poles at Castle Hill are twice the height of mine at home and 1.5 times that of the Arto poles!!!
 
Sarah prescribed the pole exercises for me - suzy spins, invert preps, pull-ups onto the pole, spinning round the pole with 1 arm!!!  - as if!!  .................... I will try. I have added shoulder mounts, back spins, jamillas etc, everything I can do without upsetting the post surgery stitches. I have done weights and pole everyday I was home, so take out 2 days away for Christmas. Sarah said not to do everyday, but I am scared that if I don't do at least a little every day I won't get into the habit.
 
Chantelle, from Bites Health Clinic, our Dietician and Exercise Physiologist was there pinching me with her callipers repeatedly and giving me advice re diet. I went home with advice from Chantelle to resume the weight loss challenge diet but replace the 100cal snacks with small amounts of meat such as yummy Chop Chop Chicken.  I mean that, I really like it!
 
The next day I found out all my test on the various bits removed from me were benign.  Lucky. 
 
Since the weight loss challenge finished I lost another 2kg - total 11kg, giving me some form of buffer regards Christmas coming.  Also I must admit that I had started sleeping with the enemy again - 85% dark chocolate. 

Then I went to work with the intent of resuming the diet.    ...And there was the Christmas food waiting for me again. I overindulged in roast meats and veggies, Christmas pudding, wine, chocolates etc. Disclaimer however, if its any consolation to me - most food gluten free and I had low fat ice cream and low fat brandy custard and low cal wine. oh and of course the 85% dark chocolate covering the berries . 
 
I am determined to improve my performance both in resuming the diet, and exercise.

Miss Trish

Pole Dancing - An Incredible Journey

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Pole Dancing – An Incredible Journey

I am often frustrated when speaking to people outside the pole community about pole dancing. It is often very hard to put into words the incredible journey that this sport takes us on. Unless you try it, pole dancing can be hard to explain, and the psychological benefits harder to express. For the non-believers out there, they see our passion is no more than women making themselves cheap and slutty – how wrong can they be!! As any pole dancer knows, the journey that pole dancing takes us on is all about empowerment for women – not just strong bodies but even stronger minds.

At the Miss Fit Dance Studio Christmas parties last week, we asked our videographers to conduct informal interviews with a random selection of students and teachers. Their comments were spontaneous and completely unscripted. The message that they articulated so consistently was the incredible boost in confidence and self esteem that pole dancing has provided for them. Yes they mentioned that they like getting fitter and stronger, and having fun in classes, making new friends and getting in touch with your feminine side - but it was the psychological benefits that were paramount.

Why is this so? I think that pole dancing is unique because there are aspects to it that are definitely scarey. We’ve all had that uncomfortable moment when we think we’re going to fall off the pole – definitely not fun. However, the reality is that we rarely fall off the poles, and to the contrary, during each term you see yourself getting better, stronger and more controlled with your pole moves. So while we all have an awareness that gravity could beat us, and have us crashing to the floor, we also develop a growing confidence in our ability to stay on the pole, control it and master our moves. As we all know, when you see a pole dancer performing a move that she is completely comfortable with it looks effortless and easy. Even though she is working very hard, she actually looks relaxed on the pole and not fearful of what she is doing.

Eleanor Roosevelt was quoted as saying that you should do one thing every day that scares you. Maybe, subconsciously, that is what we are doing when we attend our pole dancing classes each week. At certain moments we are pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone, and successfully performing a lift or a move, so little by little, we are building a strong base of confidence and self-belief. It’s like building a big wall made out of bricks, and each brick has written on it – I can do this! I strongly believe that this in-built self-confidence has a ripple effect to all other aspects of our lives.

Maybe that is why pole dancing is so empowering?

Also, pole dancing is very open minded – we all come to it from different backgrounds – various styles of dance, gymnastics, fitness or most commonly none of the above. Women get to find their niche and express themselves in what ever way suits them. It might be strength moves, great flexibility, sexy moves, mesmering dance moves, heels or bare feet – it doesn’t matter. We all put our own stamp on this very accommodating sport. It is not strict, tortured and highly scripted like ballet or gymnastics. We all appreciate the artistry of the beautiful lines that a dancer creates on a pole. I love discovering with my students their particular strengths – their signature move that they perform with grace and confidence.

What has the pole dancing journey done for you?

What is Pole Dancing?

Friday, November 16, 2012

What Is Pole Dancing?

Pole Dancing. It’s a word that evokes many images, mostly outdated stereotypes of exotic dancers in high heels and sequinned G strings performing provocative moves around a pole. To be fair, sleazy men’s clubs are where pole dancing evolved. However, it has grown into so much more than that. Pole dancing is now a mainstream fitness activity that continues to grow in popularity around the world. In Australia there are over 150 pole dancing studios who are preaching the gospel of Empowerment through Pole Fitness.

Why is it Empowering? Pole dancing is not easy, it’s not for the faint hearted, but it certainly is addictive. Basically you’re trying to carry your body weight on your arms as you spin around a pole. Most of us don’t have the natural strength to do that, so initially it starts off looking a bit awkward. However, your body soon adapts, you learn how to control the moves. When you see yourself in a mirror looking beautiful on a pole, it is a very powerful affirmation. It can bring a fundamental shift in your body self image. The sense of achievement resulting from successfully mastering a new move puts you on a real high. You come back wanting to try the next pole challenge. This boost in confidence can and does have flow on effects into other areas of your life. For many, pole dancing has been life-changing. I know many women that have taken on personal and physical challenges that they would not have contemplated prior to starting pole dancing.

Once you become involved in pole dancing you soon realize that there is a huge and ever expanding repertoire of pole moves to learn and enjoy. The global pole community is very good at sharing new ideas about how to spin around and upside down on a pole. We don’t have hundreds of years of regimentation like ballet and gymnastics, so new moves and lifts are being developed and shared all the time. At Miss Fit, we have designed a carefully constructed curriculum to gradually develop your arm and core strength by challenging you with progressively more difficult moves. As your competence and confidence grows you start going upside down, and performing moves that you would not believe possible. We also help you to improve your flexibility, which is required for the more advanced moves. Feeling flexible really makes you feel good, and is a great way to keep joints healthy.

Lets not forget that it is fundamentally dancing, which is a great way to exercise, far less monotonous than sweating it out on a cross-trainer! Once you get comfortable with dancing, it is a wonderful way to express an array of emotions as you take on the character of a piece of music. The whole experience is quite transporting. Whether you are learning a pre-choreographed routine, or putting your own artistic stamp on a song, you are completely absorbed in the moment, no other thoughts enter your mind. We leave our worries and frustrations at the front door when we come in for our pole dancing fix!

This is why Pole Dancing is being taken up by many thousands of women all around the world. Sisters are doing it for themselves! It has less and less to do with sexiness and titillation for the benefit of others, instead you are challenging yourself and expressing yourself through this activity. It's something that you just need to try. Talk to a pole dancer and find out how it has changed their life.

 

Day 14-15 of the Dieting Pole Dancer

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 14-15
My weekend was particularly uneventful, mostly work and study. With the end of the year fast approaching most of my assignments are due in the next few weeks.

 When I study or write assignments I like to graze on food. When I was in high school and the beginning of university it was to be a big bowl of skittles and M&Ms, the bright colours a happy reminder that if I finished the paragraph I got a small handful, the sugar high kept me going for hours. As I grew I realised that that much sugar was a bad plan and started eating healthier snacks. Then it grew to apples, especially green apples with peanut butter (don’t knock it till you try it! It’s Yummy!), nuts, dried fruit and carrots. All fairly healthy food and I could plough though it all as my brain tried to focus on the complex theories or strange ideas in front of me and form them into coherent arguments.

 Now with this diet even my regular snacks have gone and I have to be inventive. Asparagus and beans are great; I’ve even realised I can have my homemade hollandaise sauce with it, a little butter true but mostly eggs and lemon juice, also a light Tzatziki (yogurt and cucumber), and I’m contemplating if we’re allowed hummus. Also there’s always the berries, strawberries and blueberries!

I’m beginning to need a change though, something a little different. What have people been having for snacks? Does anyone have anything a little different I can add to my repertoire? Especially something that I can just pick up and eat on the run???

 

DD

Day 13 of the Dieting Pole Dancer

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

This week at work I ended up working on someone else’s computer, this is not unusual I tend to move around a bit. But on this computer I saw a note, now I hadn’t had my coffee when I first looked at it so it didn’t really process it except that the post-it note was pink. I though it was just a silly little pick me up quote. The “you and do it” happy quotes that usually just annoy me.

About halfway though my coffee I looked at it and read it again. It was bright pink and just in the corner of my eye, I couldn’t help but read it. It said:

“Don’t give up on what you want for what you want right now”

A simple statement, just written on a ratty post-it note but it made me think of the diet we’re all on. I have a goal weight, well two actually, the official one that is my correct BMI weight, and the one in my head of where I’d like to get to with only eight weeks. It made me think of the feeble thoughts I have. Some days I feel like I’m in a constant battle with the weak side of my brain that has absolutely no self-control around the bad foods.  It’s like both of the Bad Ideas Bears from Avenue Q are following me around. If you’re not familiar with Avenue Q this quote will give you the general idea. Think of evil Care Bears saying this to you:

Bad Idea Bear 1: "Hey Princeton, what are you doing tonight?"
Princeton: "Probably just watching tv."
Bad Idea Bear 2: "You know what goes great with tv? Beer!"
Princeton: "I'm unemployed, I can't afford beer."
Bear 1: "You can afford a six-pack."
Princeton: "Well, maybe a six-pack."
Bear 2: "You know what's better than a six-pack? A whole case!"
Princeton: "A case of beers? No, I can't get a whole case."
Bear 1: "But you're on a budget! You're wasting money in the long run if you don't buy in bulk!"
Princeton: "Well I guess that makes sense."
Bears 1 and 2: "YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY!"
- Avenue Q

But now I’m finding my self-control is getting better, I no longer look enviously at people who order cakes and brownies with their coffees. I can also walk past the cookies and chips at the supermarket without breaking into a dead run. I don’t know if its because the quote will pop into my head and I’ll gain my control back or because I’m getting use to the lifestyle that goes with the diet. Either way something’s helping.

Food:
Breakfast: 1 slice of toast, berries and coffee
Snack: yoghurt
Lunch: sushi
Snack: veges sticks
Dinner: asparagus, broad beans and hollandaise sauce
Supper: fat free icecream

Exercise:
1hr Pole Flex class

 

Day 12 of the Dieting Pole Dancer

Monday, November 12, 2012

Something’s been bugging me for the last week. I tried to eat at three hour intervals but could never get the timing right. I never really thought about why, I’d just try again the next day. But lunch would be too late or too early and I could never really get that much of a gap between dinner and supper or I’d never get a decent nights sleep.

Today I decided to look at it logically… What I worked out made me laugh and feel a bit like an idiot. I realized that to eat every three hours I’d need to have a 15 hr day, not including eating time. That would mean if I had breakfast at 8am, snack 11am, lunch 2pm, snack 5pm, dinner 8pm, and supper at 11pm only to wake up and do it again. Now I know why it doesn’t work! The killers are the lunch and snack, I prefer lunch around one and my snack around 3:30 (to compensate for 3:30itis) but then I wait till 7-8ish for dinner….

I figure as long as there’s a gap between meals it should work, timing isn’t everything… right????

DD

Food:
Breakfast: 1 slice of toast, and coffee
Snack: yoghurt
Lunch: left over stirfry
Snack: veges sticks
Dinner: Salmon with veges and rice
Supper: fat free icecream

Exercise:
1hr Pole fundies class

Day 11 of the Dieting Pole Dancer

Sunday, November 11, 2012

You have days in your life that are just bad day, not catastrophic or tragic but just bad. We all have them. Generally we can’t even pinpoint the exact reason it was a bad day, its just lots of little things that build up, pulling together like the framing of a house and it creates a bad day.

Today was one of those days, I came home late and tired and just wanted to curl up in front of the TV with a glass or wine or two, maybe root around the cupboards and see it there’s any chocolate hiding in there. Then not move for the rest of the night, just turn my brain off and console myself that it was over, it was crappy but its over.

Sadly we can’t do that. I come home to cook veges and chicken, and I need to prepare my snacks for the next day.

Although I will say that the fat free ice-cream did help. I got to sit in front of the TV (after all the food preparation) with my little bowel of ice-cream.

But somehow it wasn’t the same.

DD

Food:
Breakfast: 1 slice of toast, and coffee
Snack: yoghurt
Lunch: Chicken “burger” (a home made one)
Snack: veges sticks
Dinner: Salad with chicken
Supper: fat free icecream

Exercise:
Standing on my feet for 8 hours at work, I didn’t get to sit down much today

Day 10 of the Dieting Pole Dancer

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Have you ever noticed that when you’re trying to be healthy people don’t understand. They offer you something you shouldn’t have, a piece of chocolate, a slice of cake or even just a slice of pizza and once the first polite refusal isn’t taken you find yourself going though the same dance.

THEM: “Why not”
YOU: “I’m trying to be healthy at the moment”
THEM: “Oh come on just one thing won’t hurt”
YOU: “No thank you, I’m sticking to a set diet at the moment”
THEM: “Diet! What are you on one of them for, just enjoy life. Come on one little thing won’t matter”

This goes on for a while, back and forth… until you just want to walk out of the room in frustration from the uncomprehending look in their eyes. The most refusals I’ve had to make to one bad thing so far is six, you think they’d get the point.

I guess there are idiots in every room.

DD

Food:
Breakfast: 1 slice of toast, and coffee
Snack: carrots and Tzatziki
Lunch: warm salad with potatoes
Snack: veges sticks
Dinner: Salad
Supper: apple

Exercise:
20min walk to and from work

Day 9 of the Dieting Pole Dancer

Friday, November 09, 2012

So I’m getting use to the diet and the way it changes my days but today I was tired, too many late nights working, studying and driving.

It’s all catching up with me and when you have another full days work to get though you have to do it the best way you can. I ended up nibbling a lot, healthy food, but constant grazing so that I could keep awake.

Today was also a three coffee day, it doesn’t happen as much as it use to but it was either another coffee or I’d break down and get a chocolate bar, just  to keep me going and not fall asleep at my computer

I’ve also learnt that when you have breakfast out they always give you two slices of toast rather then one, but I feel bad leaving food on my plate, so today I ate both.

Does anyone know which of the foods we eat will give us a good energy boost? Something to get the brain functioning again?

DD

Food:
Breakfast: 2 slices of toast, and coffee
Snack: yoghurt
Lunch: healthy burrito
Snack: carrots and sesame bar
Dinner: Chicken stir-fry with veges and rice noodles
Supper: apples

Exercise:
20min walk to and from work

Day 8 of the Dieting Pole Dancer

Thursday, November 08, 2012

We made it though the first week! Some of us easily some of us not no much.

I found my biggest issue was remembering what fruit and vegetables were on the free fruit list. I would look at an apple for a snack and think ‘yep that’s healthy’ only to get home and realise it’s not on the list because it has higher calories then the berries or other fruit and vegetables. I do the same with putting veges in my salads especially with carrots, I love having carrots as snacks, you can eat them straight or cut them into little sticks for dips, they last well when they’ve been cut up, and can fill you up nicely, although I obviously like my carrots I have to remember that their not on the list. I think I need to type the list up, make it into a small business card size paper then stick it in my wallet just so I can remember it all. Although hopefully by week 8 the list will be seared into my brain and easy to remember.

DD

Food:
Breakfast: A slice of toast with vegemite, and coffee
Snack:  Berry yoghurt
Lunch: wholemeal chickena and salad wrap
Snack:  vege sticks
Dinner: Chicken zucchini, carrots, leaks, baby potatoes
Supper: fat free ice-cream