“I Want To Stay Hopeful Even Though I Get Scared About Why We’re Alive At All” – Lana Del Ray

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And right now it’s probably the only thing that’s keeping me going. It’s been a rough couple of months, peppered with truly awesome sprinkles of pure joy, and release that have fueled me through the motions like some sort of beautiful fem-bot.

Before I venture of the topic of why this blog was created. I figured it’s worth mentioning that I hit my goal weight of 140 back on October 16th and this morning when I got on the scale I weighed 130.4. I don’t really want to lose any more weight considering I probably have like 10 to 15 pounds of loose skin that has to go. I’ve even had weeks where I ate like shit (as far as food choices) and got on the scale and still dropped two pounds expecting to have gained or maintained that week. If I get down to 125 I am going to call my doctor and see if they want to see me, because I am starting to feel like I am getting too thin.

Excuse my candidness if this post offends anyone but the only way I can get through the dark times is to try and make light of them. While the meds they put me on have helped me from wanting to slit my wrist on a moment to moment bases, I have certainly returned to the dark side in the last couple of weeks.

All I find myself wanting to do is lay in bed and listen to Lana Del Rey and pondering what the fuck it is I am doing with my life. While the medication has helped my mood it’s also made it really hard to create or do much because I have little to no energy. So then it makes me wondering if I am on the right path but when I try to think about what I would be if I wasn’t an artist my all my mind hears is crickets. So at the moment I am on auto pilot just trying to navigate this shit storm until I figure it out. Art is hard kids especially when you are in the middle of a creative block and your homework relies on your ability to create.

My saving grace this quarter has certainly been my creative concepts class. It’s taught by my favorite photography professor but we are allowed to use whatever medium we want. It’s been nice not to have to rely on photography for the whole class. The class works by all of us submitting 10 concepts at the beginning of the class and for each project everyone pulls one concept out of a bag. We then all vote until there’s only one concept left.  The way you determine if you passed the assignment or not is if 2/3rds of the class votes that your piece met the concept. There has been some really cool work presented in this class and I wish you could take it more than once.

For our concept “I can’t hear you” I decided to do a burlesque/pole routine. This truly is a non-scale victory for me in a couple of ways. I grew up my whole life hating watching videos of my performances because of my weight. For the first time in my life not only do I love watching this video I have watched it many times because I have a hard time believing it’s me lol.

I know this is probably another post that’s going to generate a lot of worry for some people who read it. It’s okay I weather the storm kids it’s just sometimes the water is fucking rough and I am prone to sea sickness so it hits me a little harder than others.

lanabelieve

 

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“We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ lists.” – Michella Obama

30-before-30

Embarking on this journey is both exciting and terrifying at the same time. When I think about things like the actual procedure, going under, and the pain I will endure while healing, I get overwhelmingly scared and have to force myself to think of something else. Then I think about all the things that will change for the positive and it makes me wish we could just get this done and the ball rolling now.

In preparation for this wild ride I have been reading countless blogs and accounts of peoples bariatric surgeries. One of my favorite blogs that I have come across is Flirty by Thirty. It’s very inspirational to me because we are similar ages and I just love the concept of her blog. One of the things I like in particular is her 30 by 30 list which is a list of non scale victories that she wants to accomplish by the time she’s 30. Many of the things on the list have been made possibly by her VGS (vertical gastric sleeve).

In an effort to keep my eye on the prize I have decided to make my own 30 by 30 list.

1. Hike one of the 14’ers here in Colorado

2. Shop in the non-plus size section

3. Scuba Dive (I was supposed to do this on my vacation in May. Unfortunately because I have Asthma and I am so over weight I couldn’t get the medical clearance to do it. He said if it was just one or the other I could but both factors put you at a higher risk for decompression sickness so I won’t be able to do until I hit onderland)

4. Run a 5K (in particular the Color Run or the Rave Run)

5. Spend all day biking the tulip fields in Holland

6. Sky Dive

7. Wear dresses without shorts underneath and the fear of chub rub (chafing)

8. Wear non wide calf boots

9. Pose for a shoot with Viva Van Story

10. Do a zip line through some rainforest like setting

11. Put over 800 miles on my bike

12. Perform in a pole showcase

13. Ride a horse through the surf of a white sand beach

14. Make it into the Colordao Burlesque festival

15. Donate/Sell/ or trash 99% of the clothes I currently own because they no longer fit

16. Go to pole camp in St Maarten

17. Do an inversion on the aerial silks

18. Inverted Crucifix (pole move)

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Jenny doing an inverted crucifix at Vertical Fusion Ft Collins. Photograph by Desiree Galvez photography.

19. Finish my aerial yoga certification

20. Keem (pole move not sure if that’s what we call it at Vertical Fusion but that’s what the pole dictionary says this is called.)

Melanie pulling a Keem at high altitude. Photograph by Desiree Galvez Photography

21. Be able to do a seated twist in yoga with out the ass cheek of the leg that’s on top coming off the ground and throwing off my alignment

22. Ayesha (pole move)

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Norell doing an elbow grip Ayesha at the Galmbition pole showcase. Photograph by Desiree Galvez Photography

23. Windshield wipers (pole move)

24.  Be able to do forward folds in yoga without my belly getting in the way

25. Black widow into pretzel (pole combo)

26. Be able to do at least 3 pull ups in a row

27.  Russian Split (pole move)

Fabulous Jamilla Deville rocking her Russian Split at Pole Expo 2013. Photograph by Desiree Galvez Photography

28. Run a mile without stopping

29. Wear heels all night with out my knees feeling like they are going to break in two

30. All the plastic surgery I need to tighten up any loose skin and sagging that exercise can’t fix.

“If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you going to love someone else?” – Rupaul

That’s right bitches I am quoting Rupaul. Well many people hate their bodies and the skin their in, I have never had that problem. The reasons for wanting to go under the knife stems from wanting to be healthy. The size I end up at doesn’t matter as long as it’s healthy one. Even now at a weight that I find so alarming that I am taking drastic measures to change it I still start every day by dancing in my underwear before I get dressed. I still catch unexpected glances in the mirror where I think I look sexy, and I still perform burlesque.

My parent’s may have not taught me how to eat properly, but they instilled in me at a young age that I was the shit and could do anything I wanted, and that other peoples opinions didn’t matter. I started dancing when I was in 3rd grade and did that until 7th grade when I started to comprehend the financial burden it was putting on my family. At that time however I just moved from one preforming arts to another when I started theater. I was larger than any of my cast mates but that didn’t stop me from getting lead roles, and being cast in pretty much everything I auditioned for.

Once I got out of high school I pretty much stopped any sort of performing simply because the opportunity wasn’t really around. It wasn’t until I walked into a Pole Dance studio in 2011, the first dance studio I had visited in years had I noticed that somewhere along the way that I had began to fill very awkward in body. That however would not last long. I had no clue I had found what is now my Vertical Fusion Pole Family, I would have never guessed in a million years that my biggest support network would come from a bunch of scantily clad pole dancers, that they would be my biggest cheerleaders.  I would have never dreamed that Roxy Star would change my life with her foul mouth, red lipstick, and stripper heels. She took me from wishing I could perform burlesque to achieving a life long dream of being a Burlesque Artist.

Here is a promotional add for the next round of Roxy's Sexylesque workshop featuring yours truly on the end.

Here is a promotional add for the next round of Roxy’s Sexylesque workshop featuring yours truly on the end.

Week after week she would drill into us that sexy comes in many shapes and sizes. That well we are here to work out and transform our bodies that you have to love them along the way. While I had removed the words I can’t from my vocabulary along time ago I had never realized how hard I was on myself, that I said some pretty harsh things to myself about my abilities. Then one class she said something that clicked and I will never forget it.

“Be kind to yourselves. If what you said in your head about yourself came out of the mouth of someone else you would punch a bitch in the face. So leave your inner bitch at the door”

Each week she would remind us to leave all of our bullshit, and inner bitches at the door. She would heartfeltly plead with us to try to make the feeling we experienced in class last as long as possibly afterwards even if it only lasted until the next morning. You know what happened? Eventually the inner bitch took a permanent vacation, no longer did I beat myself up for not perfecting something on the first try. This didn’t apply just to the dance studio but in all areas of my life.

I encourage everyone to take one of Roxy’s classes if you live in the Front Range or she’s ever in your area you will feel like you can conquer the world after. If you can’t make it to one of her classes you can at least take a page from her book and check your inner bitch (or asshole) at the door and be kind to yourself. That happiness is a choice, and even though you might have goals and improvements to make you can still be happy along the way.