Body Confidence and Pole Dancing Classes

Now I love a good work out no matter what. On this fine Hump day, we are going to dive into what I learned in a series of pole dancing classes. There’s no need to clutch your pearls for this blog. There’s no need to dip yourself in the river to be baptized. I am not the only one who has taken a pole dancing class and I won’t be the last. It is an art form and it is a workout. What you choose to do with the skills learned is a personal decision. I have yet to quit my job and take on a stage name at this point and my house has been hit several times with economic stress. So it’s okay I promise, relax and read!

Disclaimer:

I am grown, married, and have children. This blog isn’t for approval meaning not only have I taken the class and enjoyed it I may go back 🤷🏾‍♀️

So now that we have gotten that out-of-the-way. I took a series of pole dancing classes right after the birth of my son. I did it because I was towards the end of my postpartum treatment and my therapist wanted me to learn better ways to accept my new body and my new mindset. I will say I got my entire life in class.

I like to think that I am a graceful dancer. I can pop it like a lot of women but I am definitely no Cardi B. That’s fine with me. I was paranoid to take the class because being a PK (Preachers Kid) there is never talk about erotic dancing outside of being taught that it’s for hoes and only hoes do these things. For the record that’s not true. The physical ability to pull yourself up on a pole to do a simple twirl takes inner guts, confidence, and upper arm strength. I had zero in my first class. I couldn’t even buy any. I actually wanted to quit the class. I took my best bedroom shoes, booty shorts, and a tank top but the simple twirl you see on television or strip club was hard.

In my head I was going to go, pop my hips and look halfway descent. The mirror revealed I looked like a dolphin out of water and a hot mess. My instructor let it be known we would most likely look like that for the first few classes until we came out of our head. She was right. I was more concerned with how I looked than technique. Foot placement and hand placement literally assists you in pole dancing, not how big my thighs looked or if my gut from having a C-Section looked right.

The women in my class all had various reasons for taking the class. Some to improve their confidence in the bedroom. Let’s face it body confidence matters there too. If you want to always have sex with the lights off because you’re ashamed of your body it comes off to your man. Confidence is sexy! I remember growing up and we were watching the Cosby Show when Claire has that black outfit and red jacket. I said all loud oh she’s sexy and my mom liked to had knocked me out reminding me I didn’t know what sexy was. She was right in what she was saying for a child. As an adult, Claire was sexy cause she was confident and sure of herself. The way she danced in the room (which by the way had nothing to do with the pole) was alluring in a respectful type way.

Body Confidence

When I got married I didn’t feel different when it came to sex physically, but mentally I was in my PK mind that I could at least be relieved that Hell flames weren’t coming for me like I was told it would years prior. It’s not a secret that I wasn’t a virgin when I married. My two older kids were at my wedding. But what I learned in pole dancing class was that I had yet to scratch into the surface of loving my body enough to appreciate its ability to be sensual like I had thought I was. Grown enough to have sex, but not knowing enough about myself, or my needs to be calling myself a woman.

I learned that as a woman I couldn’t achieve self-love which includes how I see myself in the mirror until I became body confident. I would meet this message again as I did Weight Watchers later down the road. I learned that size has very little to do with how confident you are. Just because you’re skinny doesn’t equate to having body confidence. A BBW can easily make you blush if they know who they are, accept who they are, and walk in confidence and you don’t. Confidence is a mindset. Body confidence is the ability to accept yourself flaws and all, walk in a room, and own it.

I didn’t love my body. I was looking at what was left of my body at the most vulnerable time of having a baby. I like to shout out Dr. Y. She knew what she was doing sending me there. If I could learn to love myself at my heaviest, I could learn to love myself at any size. If I could learn to love myself in that vulnerability, I could learn to shift my mindset towards positivity. If I could learn it was okay to let my guard down I could relax within the stress I was experiencing at the time. Having to change my vocal point was difficult. My instructor made us look at the mirror at every class. She made us own our body and she definitely made sure we didn’t waste our coin. If you showed up, show up and give it your all.

Strength

It takes incredible upper body strength to pull yourself up or slowly come down on the pole. I said it before and I’ll say it again, the women who do it gracefully without hearing that shrieking sound on the way down, bravo. It’s not easy initially. Pole dancing is a great way to tone your arms. Although it’s super sexy, it’s not about selling sex. We do acknowledge that women use it to sell the illusion of sex. Let’s get that out-of-the-way so you can take away something today. They do sell illusion of seduction. How a woman makes her money is for another day. You’re feelings on that won’t change until you take a class. To just get up on a pole and look sexy is work and any woman who chooses to do so earned every coin they scrap up after the end of their shows, period!

Here’s a few take aways:

  • I sucked at pole dancing classes until I relaxed and allowed myself to tap into it
  • It was hard and I wasn’t as graceful in the beginning
  • I can’t get up there and pop like a professional but I can own that pole and dance graceful by the end
  • I conquered a fear of tapping into my sexuality. As a woman I should be okay with my own body at any size and in any condition
  • I did bring the skills of being able to be confident home. It is what it is. Lights on or off I can enjoy sex. For my PK followers let me tell you what I learned if you gon (yes I said gon) have sex at least enjoy it. I ain’t having sex to be lying around so my husband alone gets his.

Owning your sexuality is important. Even at church bachelorette parties the women sit and talk and laugh and get excited bringing women lingerie. They talk about how much sex they are going to have yet no one says it’s okay to enjoy it. It’s not necessarily implied either. My PK experience was about being there as a tool for your husband and that’s a blog for a different day! Why are you doing all of that for the lingerie to sit in the closets or drawers collecting dust because no one says it’s okay to enjoy sex? This is mind-boggling. I grew up hearing “save yourself for marriage.” So then when you get married, then what?! You supposed to just pray that it’s okay or not participate?

Pole dancing class took me so far out of element so I could come back to my element and love the body that I carry around. Essentially you are on a pole twirling your body weight but off the pole hate the same body?! Off the pole tell yourself you’re too fat? You’re too skinny? You don’t have enough butt or breasts?!

On the pole, own it and then wipe the pole down, grab a shower and love all of you! Love each and every part of you. That lesson is necessary. Like my instructor let us know, if you can pick it up, bring it back down and love it too!

Pole dancing for the everyday woman

There are traveling pole classes that come into various cities including yours. They teach you body confidence, self-love, and how to conquer the fear of being in front of others learning something you know you don’t do well. They have Groupon lessons that many women take classes with their closest friends and there was even a mother and daughter duo in my class. I don’t know if my mom would take one but the momma in class was showing and telling us some things about womanhood and I was taking it all in.

Pole dance classes make great Girl’s trip events and of course bachelorette party ideas. Some take them for exercise which I would definitely take in addition to my cardio and weight lifting I do now. I know plenty of gym instructors who take them to pull in another level in the classes that they give that have nothing to do with this the pole. I would recommend a few but this ain’t a sponsored post.

Pole dancing isn’t for hoes. Anyone who has this ideology hasn’t for sure taken one. That’s the first thing they teach you. Can you learn body confidence off the pole? Yes. Test your level of body confidence by getting on one and I’ll be the first to tell you it needs work. There’s pure vulnerability being on a pole. What you can do, what you can’t to and what you lack shows up on the pole every time. Who you think you are is forever challenged on the pole.

FYI this post isn’t telling you to take a pole dancing class. I’m just saying on this hump day if and when you do:

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Weekly Recap: Friday April 5, 2019

What a week it has been!! I am super glad for balance. From work, blog events, and life it has been one for the books. Let’s dive into it:

Blog Life

This week we have been out and about and there is no stop coming any time soon. I looked at my calendar I am booked and happy about it until May and June request are slowly coming in. If you didn’t get a chance to, catch up on the blog Crunchik’n. You talk about some good eating. It was amazing and they have vegetarian options and I tweaked them to be vegan. I have been going strong for about a month and some change. I am super proud of myself. I have been fortunate to find some amazing new recipes and ways to have some of my favorites without compromise. I have noticed an immediate change when I eat. I am full but not overly full and my stomach is hurting me. I have no gall bladder and a lot of foods that I was eating prior to although were in healthy portions weren’t right for my stomach. Vegan has solved a lot of that for me. This is a personal choice!

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Yesterday I was at the Philadelphia Zoo. I had an amazing time with the animals, the food was amazing and I love that the Philadelphia Zoo Key is back. It was interactive and I enjoyed going without the kids. Don’t fret as soon as they saw me they asked when am I taking them.  They should know by now, super soon. Our summer is always jam-packed with activities and the Zoo is on the top of the list. The fact that Urban Green now has amazing fresh choices and that includes vegan inspired dishes I am good to go. Toss in that wine and beer garden and I am set for a family fun day.

Fit Life

Tomorrow is race number one of the season, the Hot Chocolate 5/15K race. I am excited but super nervous. I have trained, ate well, hydrated and today I will be loaded on carbs, getting my rest, and hanging with my BGR crew as we celebrate race day! Look for the blog to follow as soon as I can.  Most likely Sunday! Send positive vibes!
race

Kid Life

We are in the planning stages of my oldest soon to be 10th birthday. To say that I am more excited than she is a complete understatement.  To look at her when they told me that she may not breath on her own and to hear her screaming and progressing faster than they expected was amazing to me. I am overcome of how much her birth changed me. It made me be more responsible, cut things and people from my space, and be a better human. She is the most amazing child. My other children are doing well. We have an almost kindergarten and a rock star soccer playing son.  I am blessed beyond measures.

Personal Life

So getting my responses has been my goal. I have been tried on every hand but I can say that I am passing. I am grateful to know that responses have to be tailored in this world. You can’t in the name of keeping it real say what you want just because you are grown. There is always a price.

So as you continue to your weekend, remember to do something for yourself. I have a few events next week and you know the drill by now, blog will follow. I will continue to explore this great city. Have a great one!

Monday Motivation: Anyone But You…

I sometimes get tired of hearing about haters. Often times haters have to want what you have. There are times when that aligns. However many times, they really just would prefer if the success was from anyone but you!

They don’t think your smart enough. They don’t think you have enough resources. They don’t think you’re qualified. They aren’t necessarily trying to take resources from you. They don’t want to even always stop you. Often times it’s just about them sitting back with their knowledge of who the you they believe in or don’t believe in is enough to prevent your success. What could you possibly have to offer this world that could even be necessary as they think?! The truth is like I tell my kids, something inside of you that the world needs! Even if your world seems small!

It’s like a child when you tell them to do something they have heard you a million and one times say do. You yell or threaten but because there’s no consistency in your approach they miscalculate you. Their miscalculation is based upon their believe that you won’t come through on your word. Much like the ones who don’t believe you, it could be anyone who steps up but it won’t be you. You’re not going to finish school because in the last couple of years you picked 5 majors and still haven’t finished. You been saying you’re going to move and everyone around you has moved while you sit. So trust me often times they rejoice when you seem to slip, fall, or experience rejection.

You don’t have what it takes to make it! Wow! Let that sink in. Instead of worrying about the few things you have and thinking about those who could be jealous of you, be concerned about the ones who stand in close arms length who’s clap is quietly silent at your success. Let me give an example. You are in a group of friends. One of them gets married. You throw the best celebrations. You help them in ways to get to their beautiful day. Years pass and that friend is the only one married so they begin to act as if they are the only ones capable of being in a loving situation. You find the love of your life. Now it’s your turn but your “friend” doesn’t celebrate you.

It could have been anyone else but it’s you and what they seen and know of you they deem you unworthy. Again it goes from them simply hating your new assignment, new job, new life to them not expecting you to be able to clean up, get right, and walk in the calling that never stop growing inside of you. Your gift doesn’t turn off. They just didn’t see you as an equal recipient of goodness that was already on your way!

The best way to not entertain what they believe is to simply do! Also don’t even entertain your own thoughts of self sabotage. Monday is always a great way to reset! It’s gonna take precision, dedication, and strength. Trust me you have it! Just start walking through! Make a plan and work that plan! The same ones saying anyone but you may want to join the team! Either way rock it out this Monday and every day!

The same ones says anyone but you may find themselves having to regret the way they treated you. One thing I love is even if you never know about it, often times when in distance they know.

So it’s not about anyone but you but it isn’t just for anyone, it’s for you! No one can stop the good to come in your life! No hate, no disrespect, nothing will stop you!

Weekly Recap: Friday March 29, 2019

I’m hoping you had a great week. I know for me this week has been a whirlwind. We definitely going to get into it. I had moments of anxiety, almost late, but definitely I survived every single loop thrown to me!

Blog Life

So this week has been light but thankfully so because my personal life took off almost literally. This week I went to see How to Catch Creation. If you missed the blog click on the link to catch up. It was like always at any play I attend at the Philadelphia Theatre Company amazing. One thing I will say anytime I’ve been there from the greeter to the stage participants, everyone hands down are always engaging. Thank you again to the Philadelphia Theatre Company, the entire cast of How to Catch Creation, and Aversa PR for the invite. Make sure you check out How to Catch Creation as it ends April 14th.

This weekend I have quite a full weekend coming which means new spots to try new foods, hang out and have fun. I love that I’m touring Philly. As much as I love to travel there are some bomb places right here in the city. As a lifestyle blogger I’m committed to finding you the spots to take kids, friends, girlfriends, date nights, time with the boys, etc. We covering it all!

Fit Life

So I’ve not stopped my training. It takes a lot to break my focus these days. My first race is coming on April 6th so we are about a week away. With that in mind I’ve had one rest day, 2 run days and 4 workout days. I’m still full time vegan and I’m so super full. I’ve got a lot of support around me from friends helping me fine tune my shopping, to friends sending me recipes and ideas, and just people who aren’t sabotaging me. That in itself is a blessing!

Like I said on Instagram this pic makes me look like Rick James but end of day those 7 miles needed me to show up! Plus it was super cold. I can’t run with my neck feeling cold and since I forgot my running had I made my scarf do double time.

Kid Life

So this past weekend we really did a lot with my kids. The first thing we did is took the family to our first Philadelphia Union soccer team game. My son is a soccer player for the last few years. We wanted him to see how dedicated other players are to their craft. I know he enjoyed it because it was super cold and he was up cheering the entire time. We had them bring blankets but we could barely keep his on him. To be honest we all enjoyed the game.

Also shout out to my oldest kids who got their report cards. They definitely did an amazing job! Great grades and no issues deserves to be shouted out! I’m super proud of them and their academic efforts.

We also visited my hometown to check in on my grandparents. This means we also went to my old church. That was an experience. It’s so different seeing people you grew up with as they change. I pray blessings on the members who aren’t doing well.

Personal Life

So my love aka my husband was away on business for work. Yay! Welcome Back Sir and come get yo kids! However the challenge of managing schedules by myself was interesting. Anyone who knows us knows that both he and I are super active with the kids. It’s still no secret that because of our varying work schedules I’m physically with the kids more. There’s a huge difference from having a hands on dad in the home to having to do things by yourself. This is what real single moms deal with.

They don’t have the fortitude of having someone help with pick ups or drop offs. If someone gets sick they have to leave work and potentially lose coins to attend to a child. Salute to single moms. I was born in a single mom home. I’m familiar with the struggle. I found it difficult at points to physically navigate schedules this week. I am the one that manages the schedules with my husband but there’s help to split responsibilities. This week was limited help. It was an eye opening experience.

It made me more grateful for help. Although I do a lot for the family in making sure we have what we need when we need it, my husbands help and support is invaluable. I never want to discredit him ever. He’s a great dad and the kids and I are blessed to have him. With that being said, I’ll be at someone’s happy hour because this momma is tired for real.

In the midst of all of this, my youngest decided to throw a play date into the mix. I am the type of parent that is about preparation. So with a day’s notice I flew into action to make the play date happen. I never want anyone’s child to not have the snacks that they like when they are at my house. Even if it’s my cousin or nieces I go out of my way to accommodate. The little girl is vegan and I love it since I am too. I however don’t eat a whole lot of snacks outside of homemade granola, yogurt, fruit, hummus, etc. However I was ready to go for the play date.

I deal with anxiety and have been open about it. So when the play date started I started to get a little anxious because hey it’s another child. You want to be sure there are no injuries and that the child is comfortable. It takes a lot for me to be out of my element which is why I allowed the play date to happen even though I had so much going on this week. There’s never a right yes for me and I’ll avoid things. That is anxiety. You want to do something but your mind plays it up to be the worse thing ever. So I pushed past it and got through it and everyone had a great time.

My kids did an amazing job adjusting by the way! We have a lot of structure in our home that it was good to see that when we needed to adjust the structure we were able to! I will say the one day following the play, we woke up super late but like little kid pros, we still got to all of our destinations on time.

Upcoming events

On Saturday I’ll be going to Crunchikn with the #travelingwithchefcherryl brunch crew! Do not worry they have vegetarian options and I will be sure mine are vegan inspired. I will take pics is non vegan options so my readers who aren’t vegan can know what to ask for when you go. Of course that will be after I run about 8 miles in the morning!

The Hot Chocolate 5/15k is April 6th! I also will have 2 other blog locations coming up. One of those will be attending the media day for the Philadelphia Zoo as I attend their new exhibit, Creatures of Habitat as they bring back the Zoo Key.

Don’t forget that I’ll be at the 3rd Annual Women’s Empowerment conference on April 6th! I’ll be blogging the event and I am encouraging all women to attend. It’s free and childcare will be provided along with breakfast and lunch! Empowering women of all walks of life is important. Ladies we are more of a force when we learn to do things together!

March is coming to a swift close. I’ll be doing a thank you blog to all of the ladies who did the women’s month blogs. I am grateful for the participation!!

So my weekend is packed. I have a race coming and some media events upcoming. With all of that going on, I still have scheduled some me time and I’m hoping a nap on Sunday! I don’t get many but I’m definitely going to schedule one in!

Have a great Friday and an amazing weekend!! Do something to fill your cup.

Monday Motivation: Adjust You Got This

Happy Monday to you. It’s another week to make things happen. Today focus on adjusting. If you deal or know someone with anxiety the one thing that can be a trigger is time. Adjusting to time can be a deal breaker depending on the situation. Adjusting is hard but you got this.

Adjusting may come in many forms. It could be being patient and calm to a child. It could be adjusting to the fact that the reality of a relationship has changed or ended. That is hard. We want things wrapped the way we want them. All of us do. We get used to how things are or were and then sometimes we get stuck. Get unstuck and adjust. You can’t have it your way all the time. Sometimes not adjusting causes more headache than it’s worth.

That isn’t to belittle your feelings in the least bit. That’s not how it works. Adjusting takes taking a deep breath and understanding. Simple understanding can be hard to come by but it’s necessary. Have you ever kept pushing an issue or situation because you won’t adjust? It gets worse. It gets harder. It gets even more difficult to recover. Don’t be the reason you stay in something that you needed to walk away longer than necessary. You can be your own problem. Adjust!

Start this Monday and find ways to adjust. You’re running late? I get it! Adjust so you’re not bringing an element into your day that makes it bad for you later in the day. You got this! Adjust!! A boss isn’t listening? Adjust it could be your approach. Your child isn’t doing well in school? Maybe an adjustment in work or how work is being done could fix things. Be open to adjustment. Adjusting is apart of adulting. You got this!!

Weekly Recap: Friday March 22, 2019

I missed last week on purpose because I wanted to let the blogs do their own thing and on top of that I had a lot of events that I was preparing to attend on top of working out, and my run schedules.  I am 2 weeks to race number one the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K

I am excited as well as super nervous as that race is one month to the Broad Street Run. I am not sure if that was a good idea off but it’s what I am doing. So with that more events and life, we are going to get through as best as I can.  The last update I gave that wasn’t on video was on March 1st. So let’s catch up.

Blog Life

There is a lot going on.  Here are the Women History Blogs you might have missed:

Deja E.

Zulma M.

Tameeka and Kenisha

Cheryl A.

Ila M.

Kim H.

Also I attended some events:

Bob in Five Acts

I can’t forget some bomb eateries here in Philly:

Neighborhood Ramen

Rim Cafe

Termini Brothers Bakery

So its been a busy month since we last updated. Between Monday Motivation and Sunday messages and Ask Toi questions. Always check back to make sure you aren’t missing a thing.

Kid Life

My kids are great. My youngest is all registered for Kindergarten for next school year. I am excited and know that means a lot for our house. One pick up and one drop off is going to be amazing too. Saving some money from daycare/preschool life is what we can’t wait for.

On Thursday it was also National Incredible Kid Day

Fit Life

I am still very much training for races. I also went vegan. It has been interesting. I am confident that I will be just fine. Having to relearn food is the best part. I linked up with Go Vegan Philly

I have learned that I can get the same food and alter it to be plant-based and that makes me happy and my belly feel amazing. I haven’t been hungry once. I almost slipped up on some cheese but thankfully I have snacks premade to fight that cheese demon.  I had to force myself to take a rest day this week. I have been going non stop for weeks now and I know from experience to keep fit you need rest days and sleep.

Personal Life

Other than balance that is the biggest thing going on in my life. Spring has Sprung and my calendar is filling up and I love the busy lifestyle. I also am enjoying making sure I keep up with ME. Not just the mom Me, or the blogger Me, just me. Enjoying the things that I love has been therapeutic.

As always I hope you have a great weekend and find an activity that feeds your spirit. Refill your cup!!

 

National Incredible Kid (s) Day

Today is National Incredible Kid (s) day. I happen to have 3 of the most incredible kids that I know. They are respectful, full of life, and they are mine.  I love them so much. Having kids has been an adventure. I have had to alter my life in ways I didn’t know I could. No one could have prepared me for motherhood. It comes with some highs and lows like when they are sick or in the hospital. I pray daily that I am giving what they need and more and not what I think they need. Each of my children are amazing in their own right.

Naila

My first-born holds the special place in my heart. She is the one who made me a mom. I have talked about her birth story before. I developed preeclamsia and had to be induced. When that didn’t work and my blood pressure was at an unhealthy level I had an emergency C-section and she was born 6 weeks early. Oh the fear in my mind but I tried all I could do to keep her in despite what was happening to me. The doctors told me if she comes out crying that would be one hurdle. She came out hollering. I was relieved. I didn’t get to spend too much time with her as they whisked her to ICU.  She was in NICU for one week. However I knew I had a fighter as they told me the more they tried to hook her up to cords, she pulled each and every one of them off. She is an amazing child. She is a big helper, she is courteous, loves to smile, never sees the bad in others, and she is an all around star.

Mj

My son. He probably was the least problematic pregnancy. He looked so much like his sister that for the first week I kept calling him his sister. He is an amazing boy who loves to ask questions. His heart is bigger than this world can contain. He loves the world. He loves Spider-Man, his god mother calls him Spidey. He is truly a smart remarkable young man. He does what you ask for the most part. He loves to know why things are the way they are. This has been a blessing and sometimes a headache.  I love the way his mind thinks. He loves rules and wants to be a police man this week. Last week he wanted to be Spider-Man. Whatever he chooses to do I will be there to support him. Mj is the type of child that you can count on to follow the rules.  He is an amazing soccer player too! As a boy he has my heart in ways I didn’t even imagine was possible.

Noelle

She is my firecracker. She has a personality like no other. She was my most clingy baby. She didn’t go to much of anyone at birth. It took her almost 2 years to become more social. She is excited to start Kindergarten next school year. In addition to that she flourishes the most when she is singing or dancing. I tell her you may be the next BeyoncĂ© and her response is, BeyoncĂ© can be my back up dancer. I love that she doesn’t just accept everything and everyone. She side eyes most people. Her intuition is spot on. I have never questioned her judgement because she certainly knows what is going on. She is a joy to be around but she has been deemed the “thug” of the family. That isn’t a negative word either. She can hold her own. I tell her she gets that from her great-grandmother, Earline mixed with them McGinnis genes it’s a wonder she is like she is. She most definitely the one that would show up to protect her older siblings without question.

I am more than blessed to have the best incredible kids call me mom. I hold that title with honor. I pray I am guiding them in the right ways. I do what I can to make sure they are prepared in this world. Everyday I tell them I love them. Every single day they hear words of affirmation from me and their dad. They know they are surrounded in love. I can’t help but be there for these 3 beautiful souls. Shout out to my 3 incredible kids!