Belly Dancing – In which a large bottom and hips are awesome.

Sometimes in life, there’s those rare instances where you end up pleasantly surprised that something you’ve always thought to be bad is… good. Despite being obese, I have a very curvy, womanly body – one that embarrassed me in high school when my full hips lead my band teacher to loudly declare in class that I had “child birthing hips”. I’ve got junk in my trunk, and that’s fine, because in instances like tonight, I know how to use it! (I was also secretly psyched to be fat when I got my first Weight Watchers Points Plus Daily Target. More weight to lose = more points = more to eat. Appetite… I haz it.)

Julie and I strike a pose in Belly Dancing class!

I go to CSUN, and they built an amazing student recreation center this year. There’s a huge rock climbing wall, hundreds of machines, and lots of classes. And did I mention it’s included in my tuition? I finally took advantage of this service and started working out there this week, and today, I took a belly dancing class with my pal Julie! Julie is somebody I hit it off with instantly – and you would, too. She’s charming, ferociously intelligent and a great belly dancer!

The class was deceptively hard, because it’s all based on hip, glute and arm movements. My rump, which normally seems a disadvantage in fitness classes due to its heft – was an ASSet in belly dancing – I can’t even really explain it, but somehow its size seemed to help me with undulating moves like the snake shimmy and figure eight hip rotations. I was excited to have discovered a new, fun type of fitness – one that didn’t really FEEL like exercise, but got me sweating, laughing, and most importantly – smiling- thus helping me shake off the stress of the day.

It was good. 🙂

This week I’ll update you on a big change in my weight loss plan – I met with the wonderful CSUN nutritionist today, and she gave me some great insights into what’s going on with me and Weight Watchers. We also have a giveaway coming up for an EatSmart Food Scale! But most importantly – please head over to my friend Kenlie’s blog, All the Weigh, to read my guest post on her blog about low-fat cupcakes! Kenlie’s lost over 100 pounds, and is one of the people who inspired me to start blogging about my journey.

I hope you’re having a great day!

Identity

We had our dear friends Jason and Juan over for dinner last night, and as we were finishing off the remains of a carrot bundt cake (there goes my ketosis (low-carb lifestyle)) (And I had been SO GOOD- we went out for mexican food and I didn’t have ONE chip. Do you know how hard that is to do?!?!?!) , I saw an article in the LA Times that caught my eye. It was called “The Fat Man Dreams of Running the LA Marathon“. I briefly skimmed over it and was enamored with this line: “If he does (finish the marathon), he says he will be sending a message to a society obsessed with being thin. “Big people,” he says, “can do the unimaginable.”

I read it out to my friends and made some sort of exclamation about how I loved that message, and our friend Juan, (a licensed therapist – a Ph. D.), said “You really identify as a fat person, don’t you?” The question set me back a little bit, but then as I thought about it, I thought, Yes, I do identify as a fat person.  He explained to me how most people he treat view being fat as a complete setback, and allow themselves to wallow in misery, but that he was surprised that I seemed to be so at terms with my weight. I definitely have my insecurities, but I’ve realized that in the past few years, I’ve really learned how to OWN who I am. My body, despite the excess weight, can do amazing things. My body wailed on a punching bag for 60 minutes yesterday in my impact kickboxing class. My body carries me through 45 hours of work a week, and then 15 hours of school. My body lives and breathes, and hurts and aches and comes back around and heals and does it all over again…. and it does this all despite the excess weight. My body is an amazing thing.

The boxing gloves I just ordered for my kickboxing class.

If I could, would I snap my fingers and turn thin? Absolutely. But that’s not possible, and as Popeye says… I am who I am.  My capacity for joy or success is no less attainable than somebody who weighs 114 pounds. And who knows – maybe because of the challenges I’ve gone through with my size, I’m apt to appreciate the smaller things more. All I know is that identifying with myself as a larger person is not a bad thing. It took me awhile to be ok with who I was, and now, there’s a tremendous sense of freedom of being able to accept myself at any weight. I’ll continue to work towards my health, but I’m no less of a person (heh, that’s punny) at 200 pounds… or 100 pounds.

Do you feel that you identify with yourself based on a size? I know I have some naturally thin and petite readers too, so don’t feel that you have to be chubby to chime in. Have you embraced yourself, size and all?