Monday, December 27, 2010

The Holiday is OVER! YeeHaw!

Lots happening and not happening. Changes are everywhere. Some successes some not so much. Where to start?

Punk Rope - I decided to let it be. Meaning? I'm not willing to sacrifice everything that I would need to sacrifice to make it as successful as I would like it to be. It's just not that important to me. Yes I enjoy it. Yes I worked very hard to get it. I'm willing to do it but not at the price tag it bears. The good news though is that I conquered the retarded fear and I feel a million times better now that I have.

Belly Dancing - I hated it. I loved it. It was strange and enjoyable, frustrating and liberating. Did I do it the justice I was planning? No. Not even close. Could I? Can I? Yes. Will I? No. There were just too many other things happening to give it my full attention. And, I'm not one to over share my embarrassments like many of the other bloggers out there. So...if you wanted to watch me get all dressed up and wriggle my jiggly bits well then you should have participated and requested it. You didn' I won't. Deal with it.

The Artist's Way - I will admit that I'm a little behind. The stupid Christmas bullshit got in the way and instead of just sticking to what worked for me, I freaked out a little and threw my comfortable routine right out the window. That included reading and journaling for a week. So, I'm starting week 7 today. More to come.

Challenges - I did not update the Hot 100 last week and I'm not going to do it now or anymore. I almost made it through the entire thing but I must admit utter failure. I don't have any good excuses nor bad ones now that I think of it. I just failed. I did not meet any of my goals. Not only that but I didn't come close to any of them either. NO weight loss. I gained a couple pounds back actually. No book. Didn't even finish the NaNoWriMo challenge. I didn't blog consistently either and I'm not sad about it.

Blog - You might have noticed that I've been MIA lately. I've had a bad attitude and took time away. Blogging has recently felt like more of an obligation and an empty one at that rather than the motivational tool it once was. The idea has been rolling around in my head to abandon it altogether. If it aint workin'... But instead, I've decided that I will do what I want, when I want, how I want, and you can either read it and like it or go away. This isn't meant to be mean or antagonistic at all. Well, that's not entirely true. It's meant to be antagonistic to me. I fear that I've been writing this blog for the past few months in hopes of getting more attention or more readers or more comments or whatever. I've been doing it for you and somewhere along the line, I lost my own motivation in there. I've removed the fluff so you are no longer going to be asked to vote, there aren't blog awards flashing or links on all sides. I no longer have a goal to blog a certain number of times every week or any other little hooks to try to get your attention or make you happy.'s just me, exposed. Take it or leave it.

Activity - I'm still going to do my monthly activities for the most part. If I find something I like and want to do it longer, I will. If I find something I hate, I'll switch it up. My calendars are still posted and I'll still share my experiences with you. If you're interested, cool...if not, so sorry. Because the voting was tied, I just decided what I wanted to do this month and the winner is....

Now I don't want you getting your little feelers all hurt or anything. I still very much welcome and appreciate all your feedback and advice and questions and criticism. Believe it or not, I read every single one of them and take them to heart. My intention with the shift going into the new year isn't to alienate anyone but rather pull the focus back on to myself because I've been slacking lately and need a tighter leash now. That's all.

I hope you all enjoyed the worst time of the year and are back and ready to kick your goals back into high gear like I am. Failure or not...I'm back baby.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hot 100 blah blah blah

Last week, I talked about shin splints. Those bitches. I tried taping my legs for Punk Rope to see if it would help and it did not seem to do much good at all. Crap. I'll try again tomorrow and see if we might have just done something wrong. I'm not holding my breath.

I've pretty much lost all interest in this challenge and blogging and most everything so forgive me if I'm just blah today.
  1. Weight - no clue. don't care.
    1. water - no
    2. workout - limited due to shin splint pains shooting through my fucking legs
    3. meal plan - no
    4. tracking - no
    5. sleep - kinda
    6. journal - barely
    7. food - sometimes
  2. blog - no
  3. book - no

How you like them apples?

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Artist's Way week 6-7

The Artist's Way Week 6

I only journalled one day last week. ONE! No wonder I'm feeling a little lethargic today. Nevermind that it's 6am on a Monday morning. I'm sure that has nothing to do with it what-so-ever. I thought about journalling all week. I had every intention of journalling all week. I just never picked up my notebook and my pen to make it happen except one lonely time on Wednesday.

Week 6 was about abundance. Personally, I don't really have much trouble with this concept. What I have trouble with is more along the lines of believing that I'm "lucky enough" to be included in the list of people that get to reap the rewards of the abundance concept. Yes, for some strange reason, I tend to see myself as an exception to most universal laws and human conditions. Maybe it's an illogical egotistical thing. I don't know. In order to overcome this twisted thinking, I just practice visualizing my ideas of a perfect world. Pictures of condos in New York, paintings of cottages on the beach, a passport packed full of stamps, maps of the countries I still want to visit, and images of experiences I dream of having appear on my computer desktop and tickle me with anticipation. It's a pleasant reminder that the world is a much larger and flatter place than my day-to-day routine allows me to see. The pictures appear and whisper "don't forget out us" as I'm dealing with family drama, back-to-back meetings, and overflowing inboxes. Truth is, it's not a matter of IF, it's a matter of WHEN I will realize the experiences I dream of.

Week 7 is all about recovering a sense of connection. Connection huh? Rediscovering the airy breath that speaks the language of creative indulgence. I love the mention in this chapter about how Michelangelo said that he simply released David from the marble block he found him in. Have you ever seen the David? Magnificent! I could have sat in that gallery all day long just staring at him. To me, he seems both powerful and timid. He is a strong protector but is not lacking vulnerability. Perfection (even with the oversized hands and slightly disproportioned body)!

Connection seems to be all about how to get out of your own head and allow the creative voice to speak to you. True artists don't create, they allow. Writers don't think, they listen. You've heard of white knuckles or wishful thinking? White knuckling life is all about control. Squeezing the life out of everything because we need complete control. Wishful thinking is the opposing side where we simply throw our hands up and wish and hope for things to work out but typically this is paired with taking absolutely no action toward making our wishes real. In other words, we wish but aren't willing to do the footwork. Connection is about finding the balance between the white knuckles and wishful thinking. Letting go of the control while remaining open and willing to witness what the universe has to present.

This week, I'm going to do my best to let go and let it be what it will. Instead of stressing out about my stupid shin splints and all the what-ifs related to that, I will go with the flow and see where it takes me. Instead of forcing my agenda at work or with family and friends, I will participate and contribute without directing. Perhaps this will be a good week to pick up my guitar and listen to that beautiful voice I've chosen to ignore for a few months. We shall see.

How was your week 6?
What can you let go of this week?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fitness Fear Friday - Shin Splints & Hot 100

A week or so ago, I went to my gym and was talking to my favorite cutie petutie front desk boy there. He was telling me all about how he has started training to run a full marathon but that he's been having strange pains in his shins. In the past few years, I've had my fair share of shin grief so I told him about my experience doing the breast cancer 3-day walk a couple years ago and all the post event treatment I had to go through to recover from that. He got a congested look on his face and said "oooooo, ouch - did you have to go get shin splints? I think I might need to get some."

So obviously that got my wheels a-spinnin' just a little. Is this the picture he had in his head about shin splints I wonder? Or maybe it was the image of a couple sticks and some duct tape wrapped around his leg?

Leg Splint

Here is the definition according to Wikipedia: Shin splints is a general medical term denoting medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), a slow healing and painful condition in the shins, usually caused by exercise such as running, jumping, dancing or other sports. Ten to fifteen percent of running injuries are shin splints.

Shin Splints

What does all this have to do with me right this particular moment? Good question. I've got the damn shin splints again. I'm sure it's because I've been jumping rope a lot more than I really need to in order to teach the Punk Rope class and apparently...I'm fragile or some shit. In all honesty, it's not a surprise that I'm having pains in my shins again. I had problems during the breast cancer walk, I had problems when I started the C25K program earlier this year, I had problems when I took the Punk Rope instructor training. It's just unpleasant and I don't appreciate it much at all, especially when I'm trying to do things here.

My fear for today is that I will have to sacrifice something or multiple somethings in order to do Punk Rope.
  • My shins of course
  • The other exercise I do because I'll need to spend time every week recovering from the damage I do to my shins every weekend
  • Alllll my time
  • More of my own money
  • My weekend freedom
My other fear is that I will have to sacrifice Punk Rope for those things listed above.

I don't know if this has any validity or not but I found this picture on a medical site that described some treatments for shin splints. Perhaps I'll give it a try and see how it works this weekend for my Punk Rope class. Other than that, anti-inflamatory, ice, and rest are the only other treatments I'm aware of.
Shin Taping

HOT 100
The OG
The Hot 100 Daddy
The Update
  1. Weight - Now this is a strange one right this moment. I don't know what to say other than...huh? I stepped on the scale last Saturday and it said 162.4 which is pretty much what I was expecting. Then, because my normal weigh in day is Sundays, I decided to step on it to confirm what I saw the previous day and I saw 164.2. Very very strange considering that I burned 900 calories on Saturday doing Punk Rope and drank a ton of water and ate perfectly healthful foods. 2 pounds overnight? I don't believe it. So I'm suspending judgement until I step on the scale again this weekend.
    1. Water - Not as well as I hoped but I'm determined to do it damn it.
    2. Workout - This one sucks butt this week. I haven't been able to exercise at all because I've been limping all week long with shin splints. Anti-inflammatories and ice just aint cutting it yet.
    3. Meal plan - Yes!
    4. Tracking - Yes
    5. Sleep - Yes, for the most part. I had a couple nights of tossing and turning but I'm not depriving myself of sleep so that's good.
    6. Journal - Not too much, no.
    7. Food - Healthful planned meals every day. Yay!
  2. Blog - Yes
  3. Book - Nope. Not even trying anymore.

Regardless of what my progress on the Hot 100 goals looks like, I'm feeling pretty damn good. I looked at my goals for 2010 a couple months ago and came to a nasty realization that I hadn't accomplished much this year in terms of being able to definitively cross anything off my list. I did become a certified personal trainer which was a weird thing for me and I did overcome one of my biggest fears this year. I actually did Punk Rope. I'm actually DOING Punk Rope! Just a couple months ago, I had pretty much written it off as a failed attempt and a reason to feel shame so turning it around and making it happen before the end of the year feels like a huge victory.

Victory lap! And the crowd roars with excitement. No? Just in my head? Whatever.

  1. Vote for my January activity. Top right side bar, you'll find a poll. Vote vote vote! Pretty please.
  2. Check out the Punk Rope Seattle facebook page and share it with all your friends. With a cherry on top.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Joy of Finger Binging

Today, boys and girls, I'm going to teach you all about, yup you guessed it, finger binging. Finger binging is fun for the whole family. No really, I mean it. Why more people don't learn how to properly finger bing is really a mystery to me. I can't believe it took me this long to discover just how fun and enjoyable it is.

Ah Geez! Get your minds outta the gutter people. I'm talking about playing the finger cymbals for belly dancing.

Recently, I went to dinner at a local Persian restaurant in Seattle where they have a belly dancer perform a couple nights every week. Of course I have to explore the belly dancing culture while I'm desperately trying to immerse myself in the month's activity.

First - The restaurant, Caspian Grill

Fabulous food. Fabulous service. The decor is outdated though, which would be my guess as to why they aren't more popular. Well, that and their location isn't the greatest. They are located in the University district but are a bit removed from all the action of the strip. We got there at about 7:45pm and the belly dancing was scheduled to start at 8pm. We got seated front and center with no problem at all. The dancer came out a little late but it wasn't a big deal.

Dressed in hot pink pants, a jeweled bra, and flowing scarfs she shook and shimmied everything as it should be I suppose. A lovely voluptuous dancer she was and she did a great job of making eye contact with each and every person in the room. I think she was flirting with me. No....that's just her job. I couldn't help but feel that something was missing from her performance though. She had the costume, she had the moves, she had the music, she had the attitude. She was missing the finger binging. No cymbals?

I had no idea how much those little accessories add to the entire belly dancing experience until I thought I was going to watch a whole set without any tiny cymbals crashing together. But not to fret, half way through, out they came. Oh how wonderful! Three cheers for finger bingers! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!

Then I realized something. I realized that my new little girl crush Fuchsia Foxxx did her entire set at the Pink Door without any finger binging. And there was no mention of finger cymbals in her class either. Uho....have I signed up for a class that doesn't teach the essential piece of the belly dancing puzzle? She's a master of the undulation and the snakey sexiness but what about putting my little musical instruments to good use? No such luck? Alas, I guess I'll need to focus on my own personal finger binging experience in private. Playing with yourself has a time and a place but when it comes to finger binging...I much prefer playmates. Don't you?

I shared a few videos last month but I came across an interesting website that might help with the self study finger bingers out there. The below link goes through different patterns you can practice but there is quite a bit of other information on there for music selections, technique, etc. Check it out if you want.

Zill Patterns

Because some prefer to watch and listen to reading, first play it with no sound. Then try again with the sound on.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Possibilities - Abundance

Bye bye Artist's Way week 5, Hello week 6.

Week 5 was all about recovering a sense of possibility. Basically, daydreaming and thinking about all the lovely things you want in your life. I did all the activities in week 5 very thoroughly my first time through the program so I didn't really uncover much more than what I was already aware of. I did find myself face to face with a question of what to do with this Punk Rope/ LivingActive business situation though. That's kind of a biggie right now.

My first ever Punk Rope Seattle class took place on Saturday, December 4th at the Queen Anne Community Center. I had about 8 people show up to class, thanks in large part to one friend in particular for bringing a group of friends with her. Although the turnout for the first class was not quite what I had pictured in my head, it still went very well I think. I had fun and burned 884 calories in 1 hour. Can't beat that! Fun AND a killer calorie burn. YeeHaw!

December 11th - Class will be themed for a beach vacation. We get to splash around in our imaginary ocean, play some beach volleyball, and jump around with sand in our toes. The perfect playtime for the middle of December in the northwest in my opinion.

December 18th - Punk Rope says HOHOHO. Oh ya! It's a Christmas theme complete with super fun Christmasy drills and relays and games, oh my. Have you ever heard Christmas punk music? Well this is your chance to get a good sample. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies like you've never heard before.

December 25th - No class. Boo.

January 1st - No class. Boo.

The rest of January is a question mark right this particular moment. Why? Oh I'm so glad you asked. Because the Queen Anne Community Center is not going to be open on Saturdays starting in the new year due to parks and rec department budget cuts. Lame. So....I need to find a new permanent home for Punk Rope. I'm open to ideas. If you have any, friend Punk Rope Seattle on facebook and share your thoughts there or you can email me at

Talk about recovering a sense of possibility! For a full year, I sat, stewing in my negative self doubt when it came to Punk Rope and my ability to be a decent instructor. Last week, I think I more than overcame that fear and self loathing. I held my first class and it was awesome. Fear and self doubt be gone forever.

Artist's Way week 6 is all about recovering a sense of abundance. Abundance? I love that word. More than enough to go around. Gotta love it. Ask and you shall receive. Whatever hang-ups you have about will face them this week.

I know too many people who believe that money is the root of all evil. Actually, I used to be one of them. I spent much of my life afraid that I was a bad person because I wanted to be wealthy.

To want money means you must be selfish and greedy, right? No! FALSE!
To have money means you  must be stuck up and snobby, right? No! Wrong again.

Time to question your honest beliefs about the green stuff and its place in your life. Do you believe that money is bad? If so, why? Where does that belief come from? Are your beliefs serving you well? No? Perhaps it's time to challenge your ideas about money? Perhaps it's time to decide what you really want out of your life and start taking healthy steps toward accomplishing those things one at a time?

One of the first things in this chapter is a nice little warning that you may experience some emotional volatility this week. Speaking from past experience, I would have to agree. Last time through, I had a few outbursts of erratic behavior. Don't say you weren't adequately warned.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Follow-up Fitness Fear and other F words

Question for you! When you think of Living Active, what comes to your mind?

I ask because I've been asking myself that question for a while now and I'm feeling a little schizo these days. When I started this here little blog thing over a year ago, I did so for a few reasons.
  1. I wanted multiple streams of accountability for my then new healthy living journey.
  2. I wanted to journal in a way that seemed more user friendly to me than hand writing in a notebook every day.
  3. I wanted to create and/or just be part of a community of people who all share the same interests in living a healthy and active lifestyle.
  4. In soliciting your votes for activities I hoped it would turn into a group participation thing where readers would do the activities with me and we could have an open discussion about what we learn, what we think about different adventures, embarrassing stories, fears, etc.
  5. In choosing a different activity every month, I hoped it would keep me from getting bored with the same old tired gym workout. You know the one? A hour on the elliptical followed by alternating weight training days with the occasional swim and sauna thrown in for good measure. That workout is all well and good but for gets boring quick. When I get bored, I move on.
Now, I'm faced with a challenge. A totally new kind of challenge actually. I've been talking about Punk Rope for a year and if you've read anything I've written in the past couple weeks, you've seen those words a few times at least. In preparing to get Punk Rope up and running in Seattle, I started myself a little business so if I do end up making any money from this thing, I'm totally legit. My business is LivingActive LLC. So now...I'm faced with the decision about what I want LivingActive LLC to be. Do I want it to become a real business or do I just want it to be a silent shelter for my Punk Rope activities as more of a hobby? If real business is the way I go, what do I want it to be? What would my  mission statement be? What would my vision be? What if anything should I make it? I don't really want an answer to these questions. I think I just want to put the questions out into the void but I suppose if something comes back to be I'd be okay with that too.

HOT 100 Update #10
The OG
The HOT 100 Daddy

  1. Weight - I haven't stepped on the scale in 2 weeks so I don't know exactly what it is right this moment. I have my normal weigh ins on Sunday's so I'll step on it in a couple days to see where I am. I suspect that I may have put 1 lb on in the last couple weeks. My guess is that I'm at 162 right now. I decided to revise this goal a little. Probably a good idea since I haven't lost anything in the past 10 weeks of this challenge. My new goal for weight is to lose 4lbs by January 1st. Assuming that I currently weigh 162, I'm just shooting for 158. I want to break through the 160 mark for good. That's what I really want. So...I'm starting fresh and I'm proud to say that this week has been stellar as far as my actions go.
    1. Water - I'm not drinking as much as I want yet but I'm definitely trying and I'm tracking it
    2. Workout - Um...YES! Actually, this week I had a huge record breaking workout. I did a practice run through a Punk Rope class with my Accountabilibuddy and Hubby and I seriously burned 895 calories in 60 minutes. Do you have any idea how crazy insane that is? You do now! It's totally crazy insane!
    3. Meal Plan - Yup and I'm working on next week's meal plan today too.
    4. Tracking - Oh YA! I started a new thing with this too. I've been using a local software program on my personal laptop to count calories and carbs and proteins and fats then I transfer that data into a huge ridiculous spreadsheet I created to track my diet and exercise every week. That process has worked pretty damn well for me so far but I'm finding it a little inconvenient lately because I've been all over the place and not spending too much time in front of my computer at home. So, I installed the SparkPeople app on my iPhone and have been using that. LOVE IT! If you have a SparkPeople account, what you update online will automatically update what you have in your phone and vise versa. So freakin' convenient. I've noticed that the exercise calorie tracker is WAY off of what my HRM says for calorie burn but other than that, it's been great so far.
    5. Sleep - Sleep has been choppy this week. Why? I have no idea. Last night I took a Tylenol PM and passed out. It was AWESOME!
    6. Journal - Every night before bed.
    7. Food - PERFECT! I've stayed right on plan and right on calories all week long and I feel soooo good. Amazing what eating all whole foods all week does for the body!
  2. Blog - Well, almost. I didn't do a Monday post but that's because the week kind of started faster than I anticipated. I've been feeling a little chaotic lately with all this Punk Rope, LivingActive LLC stuff I'm doing on top of the belly dancing classes, dog training, friend issues, family issues, holiday crap, blah blah blah.
  3. Book - Let's just call this goal done for the year shall we? NaNoWriMo is over now and I never even came close to finishing it. What can I say? I'm easily distracted by shiny objects and Punk Rope and sequins from belly dancing costumes are far more sparkly than the blank page.

I didn't do my normal Monday morning Artist's Way update this week so I'll just mention it briefly right here and now. Me thinks the Artist's Way is kicking my sorry sappy little ass all over the place this time around. I said in the beginning that I wanted to address the Punk Rope issues this time through. Ask and I shall receive. Nuff said!

  • Please show the love and support for Punk Rope Seattle by clicking the Like button on the Facebook link in the right side bar!
  • Share Punk Rope Seattle with all your friends whether they are in Seattle or not. Pretty please? I have a little bit of info on the Punk Rope Seattle page as of now and will be adding more and eventually will have up and running with all the info you could ever want. Or you can just go to for info from the Punk Rope Daddy.
  • VOTE VOTE VOTE! January activity options are up and waiting for you to vote just above the Punk Rope Seattle Facebook Like link. Wow...that was a mouthful.
Oh and....I don't want to let you down when I threatened other F words.'s see...what are some other F words? Funny, flip, filth, fowl, flarn, fluff, foofy (is that a word?)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

WTF it's Wednesday?

What would you think if I told you that I've been working on becoming the next big fitness sensation in Seattle?

I apologize for my absence but I have good reasons.

I've been hard at work trying to get Punk Rope off the ground in Seattle. The list of what I've been doing lately is far too long to share right here but it involves all kinds of business stuff and insurance and marketing not to mention all the jumping rope and rockin' out to some kickass tunes all the while. For the time being, I have simply added a page right here on my blog dedicated to Punk Rope Seattle. And if you haven't already seen it, I added a Facebook button on the sidebar for Punk Rope Seattle too. Please check it out and come over to visit me there. Lots of potential crazy Punk Rope happenings coming this month and in 2011. You HAVE to come participate. It's just going to be too much fun to avoid it.

Then there's the issue of BELLY DANCING, right? Of course. Like I would forget about that. I was supposed to have my very first Academy of Burlesque Fuchsia Foxxx belling dance infusion last Tuesday but because Seattle got about 2 inches of snow, everyone freaked out and closed down the city so class was cancelled. Probably a good thing since the location is atop a big hill and Seattle people have enough trouble driving in the rain, let alone slush, ice, and snow.

All that to say that I did attend my first Academy of Burlesque Fuchsia Foxxx belling dance infusion last night. I must admit that it was a glorious experience. I have a tiny girl crush on Fuchsia Foxxx because she's just the cutest little peanut I ever did see but also because she's an awesome dancer and she seems to be a great instructor too.

The class is 1 1/2 hours long which I thought was a little strange compared to all the other classes I was looking at and taking until I actually did it. The first 30 mins were spent warming up and stretching and a thorough job we did indeed. Then she took us through a series of basics. Sexy shoulders. Sexy undulations. Sexy isolations. Sexy snake arms. Sexy shimmies. Sexy rib cage circles. Sexy hip circles. Did I mention it's all sexy? If I were watching the class, I might think it looks like a waste of time and what little bit of energy appears to be getting spent but doing it is much different. True, my heart rate didn't get over 117 beats per minute the entire time but each area of the body we worked felt a little tired by the end of it.

So that was the first part of the class. It was fine,  nothing too surprising. Kinda hohum if I do say so myself. But then came the best part. It's the piece of this particular class that excited me the most aside from Fuchsia Foxxx being the teacher. The Belly Dancing Basics program at Academy of Burlesque is actually a series of 8 classes. Fuchsia Foxxx teaches the students a choreographed belly dancing routine through the entire session. She starts off with basic combinations in the first class then reviews and builds on them in each following class until the last one when we all have the opportunity to perform our group dance in a class recital.

Did I just say dance recital? YES! I haven't done a dance recital since I was in ballet and jazz dance classes as a little little kid. I actually talked to the coordinator person last week because I'm starting classes in the middle of the session and I was worried that I wouldn't be able to catch up. She said I should be totally fine and I was. After we did our basics, Fuchsia and the returning students ran through the choreography so far and I was pretty much able to keep up. But just in case I wasn't, she broke it down for everyone again. We practiced each piece individually then slowly put it together so by the end of the class I was actually able to do it.

I'm on my way to becoming a belly dancing diva for sure. Oh YA!

Miss Indigo Blue's Academy of Burlesque

Punk Rope

Punk Rope Seattle

Punk Rope Seattle Facebook Page