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:

Advertisements

Increased Self Care

Who doesn’t love getting a mani/pedi? How about a salon trip? It feels amazing to pamper yourself or just continue your up keep. As much as these activities are awesome and can be forms of self-care, do not limit that to your only self-care. Increase self-care to those things that bring joy into your heart and life.  What about that hobby that brings the type of smile that can’t be wiped away?  What about making time with friends a priority? What about going back to school to accomplish a goal you left sitting? What about making time for rest and unplugging? We all need to dip deeper into self care now more than ever.

brown couch near pillows and mats

Photo by Kevin Menajang on Pexels.com

When I hear older folks make complaints such as “what is this self-care business, we didn’t have that growing up,” it irks me. Those be the same women that have the most insecurities, the most hard battles in their spirit that have gone unchecked. When you know better you do better. Why aren’t you practicing it yourself or encouraging the younger generation to focus on their mental health just because no one encouraged you? You remember them lonely battles you fought? Remember that feeling of being overwhelmed? Why would you want another woman or man to go through that?  Even it made someone 5 seconds better, it’s worth it. Encourage and then practice it yourself. 2019 is about accountability and that is even in how we treat ourselves. We can’t expect anyone to treat us well when we treat ourselves badly. Think about it from head to toe. What are you doing to make you whole? If you are still eating, drinking, not working out, have a thousand bad habits that contribute to your body and mind’s demise, these things need to be worked out.

adult art beautiful beauty

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Self care is about self-preservation.  It pulls you out of darkness and makes you alert. When you don’t practice self-care often times you are numb to things and people around you. It doesn’t stop bad things from coming but it can help you deal with it that much more. Think about the times you let yourself go mentally. You weren’t even ready for hits that life was about to throw. Self care is super important. I don’t care what you call it.  You can call it self-care, self-love, me time, whatever it is find it, be consistent, and then add some more. There is no such thing as too much self-care. That is impossible. Having joy in this world is what keeps people from feeling hopeless. That hopeless feeling leads people into paths that don’t bring about positive results. People need hope. Joy isn’t about walking around with a smile 24/7.  It means that you have things in your life that bring you real happiness no matter what. Self care is about preserving peace in a world full of chaos. Self care is about loving yourself even when the world wants to make you feel unlovable. Self care doesn’t care what your status is in life. Self care is important. Please invest in yourself. Practice some more self-care!

two woman doing exercise

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

Ask Toi: How to Forgive a Cheating Parent?

Reader’s father cheated on their mother and reader needs help….

It’s hard to not have your parent on a peddlestool especially a father. As a kid you may have been sheltered from the things that were really going on. That’s understandable, that’s what adults should do. They shouldn’t be as open as they want with their lives for the sake of children. We know in these times some folks don’t care and do whatever they want to do. With that in mind, you’re an adult now. The wounds don’t hurt any less by finding out about your dad’s infidelity. Keep things in perspective. It’s okay to feel like you have lost respect for him. That’s actually quite normal. You’re not a kid you can express how you feel. You can also make a decision if you want to continue a relationship. I am not on team cut him off in any way. I don’t know him enough. I know in time it can be repaired if he’s willing to do the work to do so. If you’re willing to forgive and move forward is going to be key as well.

Also keep in mind that at the end of the day, your dad has to live with his decisions and most importantly your mother is dealing with it mostly. Take some time to process it. Deal with it and do not wave it under a rug like it’s no big deal.  As an adult it may help to speak to your dad one on one. Remove him from your mom and have an adult conversation. Speak candidly and maybe even go to a public place to keep you in aligned to attempt to remain calm when you speak. Remember you don’t have to take his issues on as your own but you can be verbal about where you stand.

You may hear, I am your father respect me. You can respect title and lose respect for your dad. He has to work through earning respect as harsh as it sounds.  Keep in mind that his pain doesn’t just sit with your mom and him but the kids adult or not feel the brunt of the betrayal of the family too. I don’t get why people don’t see the other side of it. Talk to someone you trust that can be a sounding board to help you through and not just someone who wants the details of what happened. If your mom and him work it out that’s great.  If they do not, that’s their marriage to work through. Support your mom in what she needs too. She is hurting too. Take a break from trying to fix it all. You are their child but not a child. You do not need to bandage this in any way to make it okay. It’s not your fight.  Be firm when you speak, say what you mean but don’t be mean when you say it.

I pray you receive closure. I send love your mom’s way and clarity to your dad. I pray he is remorseful and willing to do whatever it takes to restore balance in the family structure without taking offense to the responses. I find men tend to think that once the cheating comes out, the children and women are to GIVE this level of instant respect without ever acknowledging the pain. I find it hard to understand the lack of understanding of the pain of the betrayal. Your dad can’t shrug this off like no big deal. The family ideology has been broken. He needs to be in the forefront to fix it. Everyone will need grace during this time!

Monday Motivation: To Do List

Happy Monday. It’s a beautiful day this morning. As I look through my calendar I was reminded of something so simple but necessary and that’s the to do list. We have strayed away from them because we have technology, alerts and alarms. The to do list is still a necessary way of organizing our lives. It takes what we need to do and allows us to prioritize them.

To do list also helps as a secondary back up so those forgotten things can remain at the forefront of our minds. Even with how busy life can be I’ve been known to be forgetful. So let’s take it back and gather that to do list. There’s so much pride crossing things off. It makes you feel a sense of accomplishment. It pushes you to get more done and it really takes a load of off of you! So what is on your heart and mind to complete? Write it down! Did you know that successful people are the ones who write down their goals? To do list can be for the day, week, month, or quarter. I’ve started with master lists and tweak it as necessary.

Today my to do list looks a bit crazy and the reason? It’s Monday! Monday are how I set my week up instead of starting it with negativity and complaints. Write that to do list and get in the habit of goal setting. Trust me it will make your days, week’s, and months go that much smoother even on hectic days!

Also to do list can help with self care as the ability to feel like you’re in control of the things you can control helps in moments when life can’t be controlled!!

Hot Chocolate 15k Is a Wrap

I came, I saw and I conquered. Run number 1 for the season is done. I completed it in 1:23:10! Not too bad for running 9.3 miles! I’m super proud of my time, the training, and the medal!

Preparation

You don’t normally wake up and just decide to run a long race like that. I have been training each week with 2 run days, 4 workout days and 1 rest day. I know that seems like a lot but it’s necessary for me. Also one thing you know when you train is not only do you need the blessing of your doctor, sleep and nutrition play a huge part. Since going vegan nutrition has been pretty easy. As I learn more recipes it’s been helpful to make my goal. I still use my Fitbit app to monitor my intake, workouts and sleep. People think that sleep doesn’t matter but it does. Even with a hectic life I make sure to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.

2 days before the race I increase my sleep to 9 hours. One reason for that is pre race jitters will attempt to rob your sleep pattern. They hit me pretty hard this time. I wanted to make sure I at least got the rest that I need since I’m training for multiple races I also limit alcohol. Race week I have one glass if that of wine. These days I find without alcohol with so much on my plate the second I sit, I’m sleep. It’s imperative to keep my mind and system clear.

Night before the Race

I set everything that I need down to undergarments out. I make sure I go through what I need to charge such as my phone, wireless charger, and my wireless headphones. This way I’m less likely to scramble in the morning. I take my shower, and do my eye masks to prevent that puffy look as much as I can. I drink 20 ozs. of water and I get Luke warm water to drink in the morning. I also redo my running playlist. I use a different playlist from the one I trained with so I can give fresh motivation. This way I can be hands free and less manipulation of my cell. I use an arm band too so I don’t even look at my phone during a race!

Day of race

I eat what I train to eat. I eat non dairy yogurt with craisins, raisins, and granola. I drink a glass about 4 ozs of orange juice. I do not drink coffee as I’ve found it makes me more anxious and makes to have to take numerous bathroom breaks that wouldn’t work out during the actual race.

My running belt has two small water bottles on them I only fill them half way each so I can use it splash water in my mouth when I run. I stop at least three times for the sports drink the race provides and I only take sips. I never finish a cup even though the cup is usually not even more than 2 ozs.

During the Race

I dedicate miles to my kids. Usually after I get through the first 5 the next three are for them. I give each of those miles my all because I know I wouldn’t let my kids down. It’s a way to push myself. Also whenever that curve that let’s me know we almost done about at mile 5 is magical. It lets me know that whatever I’ve done to get to that point I got it in me to finish! I talk to God and pray not to get me through, but anytime I run it’s always a release. Whatever is on my heart and mind, I’m leaving on the trail.

The last few final dashes are super hard for me. I’m talking about that 50 meters is killer! I find my emotions are at an all time high. Some can see the finish and get inspired to push harder but that doesn’t work for me. My mind tells me I’m done and my body knows that’s a lie. With that being said it’s harder for me at the very end. With tears in my eyes, I was able to finish today.

Every race has treats! This one being the hot chocolate Race they had hot chocolate, duh! It had a cute take home mug with a banana, marshmallow, Rice Krispies, pretzels, and an organic vanilla wafer. I brought most of the items home and gave a nearby kid the hot chocolate.

Post Race Recovery

Everyone is different. Today I had my coffee and a plain bagel with nothing on it. No butter not even my vegan butter and definitely no cream cheese. I sat on my couch with a towel and enjoyed it. My husband brought me a large fry and I fell asleep. After my hour nap I get up and do my foam roller. Mind you I always park close but far. After the race and I’ve had a great cool down, the walk helps me.

Epsom salt is bae. My great grandmother put me on years ago and I don’t care what new new new of muscle relaxing is out, epsom salt and a warm bath is the trick. After my bath I shower, no need to mention the why. I then do a facial mask, and wash or blow dry my hair, and comfy clothes are the only things I wear.

I then can assess injury which I can report outside of a toe blister I was fine!

I usually get a celebratory glass of wine but the way my legs are set up I’m sure I’ll get to it at some point! Right now I’m finishing up coffee and flooding my system with water!

So Broad Street is in one month and with that being said, the training doesn’t stop! Thank you to my BGR, Black Girls Run group and family who keep me on my toes. I also want to thank Urpower running belt as I had to replace my old one 2 days before the actual race. I hate anything new before a race that I haven’t tried and broken in. No new shoes, new pants none of that before a race! Shout out to my husband who has and will continue to be irritated by that light coming on at 530 am in the morning as I trained and continue to train. Thanks for being instahusband to get the before race pics I ask for! For watching the app to be sure my car didn’t get a ticket and for always making sure I’m race ready! To my children who were so excited to drive pass the location and as they swore they saw me. I also thought I saw them too! So it’s even! They didn’t even care that I smelled like a whole man when I came home! They just were excited that I “won.”

Shout out to my amazing friends who sent me messages before, during, and after! To my readers who hear the climatic countdown for each race!

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!

img_5065

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!