Thursday, September 4, 2008

My very first video!

video

I made this video all by myself! I can't believe it, it was SO easy! HoopMamma is so proud, man.... So I hope you enjoy it. There is one move in there that I am especially proud of. I found that, when I forgot that the camera was there, I could really rock out and get into it. HoopMamma is otherwise a little video shy.

What I learned through this process is that filming myself gave me particular insight into what I am doing really well (that I hadn't previously realized) and what I am not even aware that I do (that doesn't look so hot). It was fairly confronting, but I must say that I really enjoyed it. 

The HoopMamma blog will be moving to the Hoopnotica site very soon! Yeah! We are so professional, right? Right. I will let you know so that you can re-subscribe (well, I at HOPE you subscribe).

And for those of you interested, I am hooping to Ozomatli.

Cheers!

HoopMamma

Friday, August 29, 2008

Breakin' it Down... All the Way Down... to the Pelvic Floor Muscles

I was having lunch the other day at a popular beach taco joint, having a (light) beer with my hubby and enjoying a meal away from my children. I saw a girl that I knew from a "previous life"; one where I was in college, and cocktail-ed at night. She used to be really thin, but now was... well... not. Let's call her "Becky" for purposes of this story, shall we?

So, Becky was with some other friends (who were all about the same build); a bunch of girlfriends out lunching, and I was spying on them. They were all tan, and had lip gloss on. They were smiling. They were seemingly unaware that they had all gotten fat since the last time I had seen them. Becky was wearing a strapless terry cloth dress, exposing her cleavage, arm fat, and neck... and she didn't seem to care. She looked comfortable in her skin.

They all looked happy. And in this happiness, they looked really beautiful. Watching these ladies gave me some insight into beauty; its really not "what you got", but how you carry yourself. Confidence. 

  My whole life I have always believed that the taller and skinnier women are the most beautiful women who exist. I will never be those two things- and lately, I have come to terms with my limitations. I am incredibly beautiful... and I really mean that. Its not that I am really better looking than anyone else; but I am confidant. In this confidence I glow: and it feels really beautiful to be me. If I spend my life lusting after some look I am never, ever gonna have... then what does that make me? I'll tell you what it makes me: UGLY.

And so I hoop. 

Hooping makes me stand up a little taller, and be more confidant. I actually feel radiant.  HoopMamma has seen great things happen to women who hoop. Beyond my own need to lose weight, women have written to me with amazing accounts of overcoming disease, becoming stronger, and learning to connect with others. I read these stories alone at my desk; share them with Rayna and Keaton; or sometmes with you in the HoopScoop (Hoopnotica's monthly newsletter). Sometimes they make me cry. Learning to hoop is a powerful experience; and the results are always life changing and positive. 



There has been so much positive energy around me lately; with all this Olympic medal-winning;Obama -Speaking;and Burning Man going-ON... I feel this nice change of pace occurring for HoopMamma. Something really big, and great is about to happen. I can feel it. Go HoopMamma, Go Obama, Go USA...!

You know, 10 pounds is a lot of weight. It really FEELS like a ton of weight. I am not so sure that my "before pictures" can attest for it yet, but they will soon. I can't wait to share them with you.

This is usually the point at which HoopMamma quits. For some reason, I get cocky, and start cheating, or putting exercise off. Writing this blog gives me a sense of obligation and accountability: I cannot cheat or divert my attention from the goal, because I have a promise to whoever has read this. I highly recommend shouting out into cyberspace whenever you have something to declare, man. Its like in doing so, I cannot back down- to do so would make a liar out of me. And if HoopMamma is one thing, its good for her word. I am no liar.



A response to a Mamma who wrote to me last week (you know who you are):
Q: "Ever since I gave birth to my little bundle of joy, I've got an ass that won't quit (and I don't mean in a good way). Is there any particular method of hooping that works better in targeting this area (waist vs. thigh?)"

And, upon further HoopMamma inquiry: 

"Okay, it's been 18 months since I gave birth. I am 5 feet tall and weight 133. According to all the health experts, this is considered obese. My goal is to lose 13 pounds, all of which is in my mid section, but primarily in my bootay."

A: HoopMamma wants to tell you that you are not alone. And though I do not know you, I will speak to you as though I am your best girl on Earth (ie. You're not going to like all of this)
Girl, your weight is not all in your bootay. It's not only hangin' out in your mid-section. That 13 pounds is ALL OVER. Its in your neck, in your arms, all the way down to your toes... and yes, it is also in your a$$. Regardless of where you want it to come from first, you have to take ALL of it off in order to get to the parts you really fixate on. In your case; your a$$. In my case, my belly and my a$$. 

I could tell you that hip hooping and waist hooping are great, and that doing them at high speeds will massage away cellulite while reducing your waistline. And hooping will do that; but it will work all over your body, as it is a powerful fat-burning tool.  Go and get yourself a heart rate monitor, and wear it while you work out. This way you can see how many calories you burn. Hooping burns 3-600 calories per hour, while toning every muscle in your body. The best part is that hoop dance engages your pelvic floor muscles. That's right, ladies... SEXY SEX. And when you are dancing, you are not even thinking about kegels, right? The muscles that are all loose and stretched and damaged from the kid are being lifted and tightened every time you take a step. So if you don't know how to walk and step from side to side, let that be a new focus for you. If you tighten all you got down there and add a squat you'll really be in business. For HoopMamma, these are the exercises that are repairing the double C-Section damage. 

At 30 minutes per day, HoopMamma is using 300 calories a day (or 2100 calories a week). There are 3500 calories in a pound of fat; so from there you can decrease your caloric intake or exercise more. Your choice. My goal is two pounds a week; so I do the hooping plus I cut my diet by 1400+3500= 4900 calories a day. Which means I need to cut 700 calories out of my diet every day. (Don't worry, for the rest of you reading this, there will be no quiz).

There are no exercises that you can do that will only affect one area: you must work out the whole body in order to see results.

Your body is a holistic unit; every muscle connects in some way to the other ones; a beautiful machine which responds to your needs as your life changes. Your body is a reflection of how you use it, and you are in control.

Our booties are mostly muscle; and they don't call it the "maximus" for nothing... slap a few pounds of fat on it, and you got a bootie that "just won't quit". We get a certain amount of this natural padding without being "overweight", and some of us naturally carry a little more than others. Even when our bodies are in perfect balance, our booties may not look exactly the way we want them to. It is when we are certain that our weight is appropriate that we may turn to specific exercises to "firm and tighten". 

When we carry children, and deliver children, our hips (and therefore a$$) does seem to get a little bit bigger. I think that we have all experienced the joy of that one. I know HoopMamma has; twice. And we know that this is to make room for baby. But how do we "snap back" from it?

I know that it is an ancient practice in many cultures to "bind" your hips after childbirth, and I totally believe in it. My holistic Mamma friend told me all about it back in the days before celebrity Hollywood got a hold of it (and endorsed it). But I never did it, and so I am left with what I got (as punishment?). Bummer for me? Perhaps. Perhaps my body will have wider hips. Deep down, I know in my heart that the "hip spreading" is an excuse, and that I just need to lose weight. 

HoopMamma believes and forgives us Mammas for all of the excuses we create for ourselves. Change is so uncomfortable; we are powerful women who do amazing things everyday. But when it comes to working on ourselves, it is easy to claim that we "don't have time". Or even better, "this shouldn't even be this way, it's not fair".

Excess fattiness can be controlled; less input, and more output.  Eat less; exercise more. Once you lose whatever weight is left from carrying your bouncing bundle of joy, your whole body will thank you (your a$$ included).

Loving you (and your a$$),
HoopMamma

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

9 minutes of Hooping Bliss

I was a total MOOD today. I can't explain it, and I have no excuse. 

But I'll attempt it anyways.

I wouldn't hoop. "I just didn't feel like it". There was no talking me out of it, I just didn't care today. I even sold myself on the idea that it is "ok" to take a day off from my commitment. Lemme tell you somethin: It's really NOT okay. HoopMamma lives life on a series of slippery slopes: One excuse bleeds into another, and one day I find myself 30 and "still" overweight. Well past the whole "post partum" thing. II am ready to own that I am professional procrastinator, and it stops right now. Or else it will continue and I will be 40 and "still overweight"...and then "50 and still..." Blah blah blah. 

So no, it is NOT okay. I will be the role model for my daughter that I want to be; this includes being active, eating healthy, and having a body which reflects it. I will not allow myself to continue with the bad habits which prevent me from attaining my goals. 

(Okay, glad we got that out of the way- now, where was I? Right- )
HoopMamma was really a grump today. For all intensive purposes, I shouldn't have been. Probably something hormonal. I yelled at my Pop; ignored my hubby; was at best amicable with my children; and couldn't say something motivational to my staff if my life depended on it. Hooping was out of the question.

Recently, I began really seriously taking a look at what I eat. I am eating less, and really controlling my diet in a way I have never done before. Don't misunderstand me here; I have been on a "diet" since I was 13. So I should be really good at it by now, right? Lets hope so. 

So in addition to what I buy, I have made a few changes to the way I think about dieting and food. Here they are:

I don't say dieting; I say reducing. I am in a state of reduction.

I don't have to eat anything if I don't want to. This may sound simple, but it is revolutionary for me. In the past, I have always eaten food for all the wrong reasons:

"Its lunchtime". 
"I ordered it, so I might as well eat it." 
"I am not going to eat for a while, so I better eat now."

I mean, what the heck are those? Who planted those terrible thoughts in my head? No matter, really- I am not going to enforce them any more, man. HoopMamma is getting off the train right here!

So I don't eat when I am not hungry, and I catch my negative thoughts more often to turn them around. 

Maybe all this "self-growth and empowerment" is making me grumpy. Or maybe it's Aunt Flo, threatening an early visit.

In any event, it took me all day (until 7:00) to get in a good Hoop. I finally was able to snap my head out of it long enough to put on some Sheryl Crow and grab my new Cosmo hoop. And it was just enough... I feel so much more relaxed and cheery. I am still not talking to my hubby and children; I 'll blow kisses from a far.  But tomorrow is another day. And 9 minutes of hooping bliss was all I need to rest my head on the pillow, and drift off to sleep stress-free...

By the way, I did take my "before " pictures last week. I have decided not to share them until I lose my 15th pound. That way I will be half way there. And these before shots are juicy, man... HoopMamma went all crazy and showed off her back fat- its really bad. Maybe I'll pin them to my wall, and use them as motivation. Because I sure as hell am not gonna show YOU (until I got a better "after shot"!)...

HoopMamma




Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Brittney Might be Cheezy, But She's a Mamma, Too

The thing is, I could really, truly LIVE off of cheese and cheese alone. Brie, Bleu, Cheddar, Swiss.... Jarlesberg, St. Andre. I really like cheese.

But I am down another pound this week- seriously. This morning, I woke up before everyone else, and the house was quiet. I devised a list of songs that I really jam to, and made sure that I had at least a half hour of music. This morning, my list was mostly mainstream hip hop/rock:

Shut Up and Drive (Rhianna, 3:32)



Wait a Minute (Estelle, 3:41)



Umbrella (Rhianna, 4:36)


Gimme More (Brittney Spears*, 4:13)

American Boy (Estelle, 4:45)



**HoopMamma is now officially giving people permission to admit that Britt is not half bad. 

You gotta know that I get that the girl is a couple french fries short of a Happy Meal. Done. HoopMamma tends to believe that the poor lil' darling is a victim of the world; a real nobody living in a "somebody's" body. I won't even get into her personal life right now, as I am sure I know only half of the story. In regards to her music, I am sure that someone else is really puttin the works behind her songs, and that she just shows up. I bet she has trouble even doing that. 

HoopMamma feels sorry for the BritMamma. I wish I could show her how to hoop. I think it could really help to heal her in a big way. I guess dancing to Brittney is fulfilling to me, because its my personal shout-out for all the Mammas that have ever struggled in the popularity contest. I am routin'  for her. Besides, her music makes me feel like I am 19, and really it's all about ME.

HoopMamma says this about music: Enjoy hooping to what's not cool or what is.... WHATEVER. Just hoop.

Hooping has brought me to a whole 'nother level when it comes to music. I am open to SO many astists that I never would have heard on the radio. Don't get me wrong, I am a total moron when it comes to differentiating between the genres of alternative independant-types: Electronic, Emo, House vs. Deep House; Drum and Bass vs. House..? I dunno; I world vs. imported? Yeah, it sounds just about as ridiculous as it is. I have learned so much about music through hooping and iTunes. I allow myself to purchase 1 new album a week. It is important to me; I really love exploring through iTunes, and finding music to hoop to. It doesn't matter what anyone thinks about my music, so long as it really, literally pulls me to my feet.

More HoopMamma Picks:



I love the Hotel Costes Series (I think there are like 10 of them). My favorite is 8 and 9, but I really like all the albums. Also, I like the Verve remixed Albums; check those out for sure. And if you haven't listened to Thievery Corporation, then don't let another day of your life go by...




The nice thing about most electronic music (like the artists I JUST mentioned), it that you can listen to it in front of your kids. They might not dig it like Hanah Montana, but they won't be scarred by listening to it (Maybe no hooping to Notorious BIG, Mammas. Sorry.)

HoopMamma made the mistake of listening to "I See You Baby..." Groove Armada, in front of her 4 year old. Now her sweet little girl sings "...shakin' that ass" every once in an inappropriate while.




I hope that some of this rocks you, and most of all inspires you to hoop. HoopMamma sees you baby, SHAKIN THAT A$$!

HoopMamma

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hippie Sh%$t, Revisited

This is my favorite time of the evening: The kids are in bed (and I am relatively certain that they are not going to come sneaking down the stairs right now). It is my time of the day that is all mine. This isn't always true; sometimes my hubby demands of my time at about this point. But he's not here, so this time is ALL MINE, DAMNIT!  : )

HoopMamma almost lost it today, man. I don't know what was up with today- it started out right, and then it sucked pretty bad. Rayna, Keaton, and I met at the Urth Cafe in Santa Monica for our weekly meeting/gossip session. I rode my bike there; the sun was shining, the birds were singing. 

I brought my Travel Hoop with me, and both the Ladies were impressed. Just this small change in my actions has helped me out in getting my 30 minutes in- I bring it strapped to my back in the Hoop Tote, and it has become a topic of discussion wherever I go. It also reminds me of my commitment overall: to eating a little less, drinking a little more water, and hooping 30 minutes a day. 

I also think that writing is keeping me in check. I really like feeling connected to all you Mammas. This is the stuff our company was founded upon, and is exactly the stuff I had lost contact with. I was really suffering from a case of the CEO-s; so ultra behind the scenes, that people really didn't know that I existed. Rayna and Keaton (you know them from the website, and the DVD) have always been the "faces" of Hoopnotica. This has been mostly because they are best "fit" for the job. I really didn't think it appropriate for me to step out on the DVD fitness platform. HoopMamma will be lots of things in her life, but never a fitness model. Really.

There is a downfall to this that I was not aware of until now; I wasn't keeping motivated by the people whose life we have played a part in. It was beginning to feel like Hoopdance was all work work, work. 

But anyways, just another little Thanks for giving me back the Love.

So I have built a Facebook page, and a MySpace page. I am really at the beginning of understanding these two things. Please invite me to be your friend. I have no friends, presently. Ya know, HoopMamma has avoided participating in the social networking stuff for a few reasons:

  1. HoopMamma's got a few blemishes from the past. I like to believe that I have moved on, but there are certain people that I don't want "finding me".
  2. I don't want people all up in my business; I saw my teenage cousin's MySpace page once- WOW. She's gonna look back on THAT one day...
  3. I am scared I won't be able to do it right- I know, sounds stupid, but there are only so many hours in my day.

I couldn't understand why it would benefit me. Except now, I do. What started as a business decision to "drive more traffic to the site" has become so much more. HoopMamma thinks everyone should experience this; and so I'd like to invite you to start a blog. Even if you don't already have one; make up a HoopMamma-like name, and lets go! 

30 minutes a day is really all it takes. I am down another pound this week, did I tell you!!?? Its so nice- my jeans are now loose, and I feel so much lighter on my feet. My face looks thinner, and I stand up a little taller. I am THRILLED that my plan is working!

I would like to encourage you all to recommit to the intentions we have set, and give yourselves a way to be supported:

Bring your hoop everywhere you go. For more on this subject, read my last post.

Subscribe to my posts, and comment on them. Send me an e mail; I read them and I respond. Sometimes not right away, but I respond.

Hoop Often. 

Teach others; invite your girlfriends or other moms you're considering befriending.

Write once a week for your own blog, or in a journal. 

You could allow me to link to your blogs (and vice versa). Pretty please? Also, if anyone really understands the "right way" to do this in order to build more traffic, let me know? I am sure you are all more savvy than I... Together, we can really make a positive change in the world. Can you imagine if all the Mammas in the world hooped? MMMmmmm... the world would really be a better place. 

WARNING: HoopMamma is about to go HIPPIE
We could all set up Hooping groups all over the country and teach other Mammas how to Hoop. If I do it in LA, and you do it there, and she does it there...  

Hipie Love, man. I got such a core of Hippie Love; especially for the Mammas. And I mean it. So what if I backed up my words a little bit?

OK fine. I got hoops on it. Send me an e mail before 9/02/08 with your intentions and plans to share Hoop dance in your home town. Promise me that you won't give the hoops away, but that you will use them for sharing with others. I will send you up to 5 free hoops to do it with. You pick up the shipping. Deal?

Hoopnotica loves the HoopMammas.
Lemme know if you're down!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Crusty Old Lady vs. Matthew McConaughey

                  
Oh Geez... My desk is such a mess. Oh well, there are worse things in life.

I had a great meeting with Keaton the other day, and we were discussing "the bigger picture" of Hoopnotica. I started this company on a feeling; the "feeling" that hoop dance gave me when I did it on a regular basis was holistic and powerfully transformative. It wasn't just one thing- it was so very many things, that changed in my body, in my soul... the way I looked at life just- shifted. Including hoop dance practice into my daily routine made me a better person all around- and that felt good.

It kinda snuck up on me. One day I realized that ever since I started this crazy "hula hooping thing", my life had mysteriously gotten better.

I have gone through good chunks of time the past four years when I didn't really hoop as often. Maybe once a week there, for a while. Sometimes weeks would go by, and my hoop would sit untouched. It would just stare at me. Until I moved it to the garage. 

I had really lost touch with the "big picture" benefits that hooping brings to my life. I had a million excuses why I didn't do it (HoopMamma is really good at selling people on her ideas...even better when it is herself that she am trying to convince... ) And I am not talking just about weight loss. I hate talking about hooping and weight loss.

Weight loss is just a side effect of what hooping really brings into my life. My attitudes about diet, exercise and the act of eating all work together harmoniously. Truthfully, I eat more like I am a food critic, than an "on the go" workin' mom. Maybe it is because my stress level has totally diminished, and the way I handle new stresses is dramatically different. I eat less and exercise more; but I have not changed what I eat or cook for my family. It is almost as if I am another person.  

I find myself more tolerant of everything and everybody around me. Like yesterday when this crusty old lady at the Farmer's Market made my girl cry. My sweet, loving, angel...my 4 year old little chunk of cuteness..... versus the OLD LADY. Old Lady selling what seems to be her personal "collection" of over-priced house plants out of the back of her honda civic. My girl steps up to smell a flower, and the lady tells her that she "can't smell 'em unless she's gonna buy them". And she wasn't nice about it. And then came the tears. 

                                        

Now, part of me still considered smackin OLD LADY up 'side the head. But the HoopMamma inside reminded me to relax. 

                                                                 (  )

I explained to Illi that she is a crusty old lady who is angry about something else in her life, and it has nothing to do with her. We then walked away, conspiring about what kind of things could have gone wrong in her life to cause her to behave so inappropriately.

I look in the mirror and see mostly the good things- this is new for me. It happens with photos, too. Whereas before I began the HoopMamma blog, all I could see was the cottage cheese above my knees, and the bulkiness around my waist, I see them with less charge now. They still exist, but matter less to me. Its nice.

(My body is getting smaller; its nice, too)

I realize something new about hooping every time I pick up my hoop. And this is the fuel of my blog. Sometimes I really don't have the time to blog about it. I do my best to remember so I can share it with you lovely Mammas when I can. Sometimes the whole day will go by, and I haven't hooped. I am tired, and have to really work to convince myself to hoop. I have to hoop, no matter what- it's the "big picture" that I am after, and for that I must stay true to my word. I very seldomly get in a solid half hour.

Tonight, HoopHubby is outta town with "the boys", and both the kids are asleep. I cherish this time "alone". Just me and my "blah blah blog".  And a growing collective of women whom I have never met, but seem to get me. Its weird, and its a blessing- I love it.

You wanna know the trick to hooping everyday (ready?): Bring your hoop with you. Its really much harder than you think. I mean, if you have a big, beautiful Limited Edition (or other handmade) hoop, then I can see where practicality is an issue. But if you have a Travel Hoop and HoopStrap or HoopTote, then you can bring it with you everywhere. I even leave mine in the car. The really difficult part is giving myself permission to bring it along. The conversation in my head usually goes something like this:

HOOPMAMMA: "Should I bring my hoop with me?" 
GABRIELLA: "Umm... to watch old horror movies in the cemetery? I am not so sure you are gonna need it."
HOOPMAMMA: "But what if I do? There is gonna be a DJ before and after the flick... might be cool...?"
GABRIELLA: "It is not gonna look all that great with your outfit. Besides, you're wearing _____. You can't hoop in _____, can you?"
HOOPMAMMA: "Sure I can!"
GABRIELLA: "Sure, you could. But are you sure you want to?"

Okay- this is where my behavior has had to change. The answer at this point is, "Go get your f*ck!ng hoop, lazy a$$! Just bring it with you- no one is going to force you to use it." If you don't like the cussing at yourself, then modify your own commentary. The basic idea is this: My days are always packed; I need to bring my hoop with me wherever I go in order to squeeze in 5 minutes here, and five minutes there. If I were you, I would walk away from the computer RIGHT NOW and put your hoop by the door. RIGHT NOW.

I read an article about how Matthew McConaughey stays in shape. I was surprised by how interesting the read was. He does one activity for a limited time, like surfing every day for an hour, or 250 push-ups a day. My favorite part was that he says to himself, "McConnaughey, get off your a$$", or "Listen, McConnaughey....". I love that he refers to himself openly in the third person. HoopMamma doesn't know anyone else like that. 
                                                                         
So sometimes I say to myself, "Listen, McConaughey... take your damn hoop with you and shake your booty when you can." I like calling myself McConaughey. I make a good McConaughey (to shamelessly go where no Mamma has gone before...!)

I hoop in the parking lot in front of the preschool while I am waiting for my daughter. I hoop at my parents house while they entertain the kids, I hoop while they hit the park playground together. I am always within eye/ear shot of them, don't worry- but I like to hang out in the shade of a tree, instead of on the sand, and hoop. Sometimes I will bring my hoop to a party and dance. Or to the "Hollywood Forever" cemetery.

                                                               

Hooping like this becomes a lifestyle. I have begun to identify myself, and others as "hoopers". I even tried to trademark the word "hooper" (didn't quite work- how the HELL did Paris get away with TMing the "that's hot" thing?). Hoopers hoop all over the place, and people LOVE it. I really should be bringing more hoops with me around town, but HoopMamma is too lazy. 

I love to do little impromptu "performances" in front of people who know me, but have never seen me hoop before. Its really fun to watch their expressions. Its hot; I know it. This is one of the pleasures of hooping that I didn't really "get" until I had been doing it enough that my moves shocked people. Remember the way you felt when you first saw someone hoop? Well, you can offer that feeling back to the world every time you share it with others. Its the easiest way to become the sexiest woman in the room (even if its just for 30 seconds). I have watched "Plain Jane" types become "the hot girl next door" so quickly... I have never experienced anything like it before.

Hoopdance keeps my life in order, smackin me into shape from the inside- out. It drives my hubby nuts (in a good way)when I hoop. Hooping does wonders for my love life. And that's all HoopMamma will say (on the World Wide Web) about that right now. 

It is SO good that my husband never touches the computer, let alone reads my blog.... HoopMamma reads to him only what she wants him to hear.

So anyways, where was I? Oh yea- the secret to hooping every day. Bring your hoop with you wherever you go. Remember that, if you have a full-size hoop or any collapsible hoop other than the Hoopnotic Travel Hoop, don't try leaving it in the car. The summertime heat will warp it in a heartbeat. The travel hoop we designed at Hoopnotica won't warp because it is in segments; I really do prefer it to other hoops. I find that I can hoop more slowly (the special grip tape), and that the knees and thighs are easier overall. I like my Limited Editions (I have a nice collection) for my home use; I love them all equally for different reasons.

Bring it. Use it. Live by it.

HoopMamma

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mamma Seeks to Find Herself In the Hoop, and Instead Loses Herself in the Ether

Like some sort of crazy cosmic luck, the last entry that I made disappeared into cyberspace. 

I spent the past two days in Carmel with my hubby, celebrating SEVEN years we have been married...! Crazy. I wrote a blog entry the night before we left, and felt all funny about it. Like I had gone off on a tangent, and I wasn't so sure it would be received well. HoopMamma is always a little concerned with what other Mammas think (yes, this would be YOU). I chewed and chewed on it, but figured that I had already posted it, and there was no going back. I was wondering why no one was commenting, and now I realize that there was nothing to comment about. Whew! Now I have another chance to create for you what I had originally intended. This time, my thoughts will be more clearly laid out.

Nevermind the fact that I spent a good amount of time writing the last post... argh. I will not let it bother me.

A-HA! I have discovered my error.... I posted to Hoopnotica instead of HoopMamma. I will punish myself for this error. Many lashings, many lashings... Check it out at Hoopnotica.blogspot.com

I just found it, and noted the comment I received from Shavonne.... isn't it funny how I worried?Look at that... I am so happy about this whole blogging business. It makes me feel connected to you all; makes me feel less alone. As I am pretty much the only Mamma in my circle of Hoopers, sometimes I feel like I am so very different. 

Just because time, distance and circumstance dictate that we do not know one another, we are all connected because we are Mammas. We share the same desires, the same oneness. Its calming to me to know that I am not so unique in my struggles to raise this family and retain my own sense of identity at the same time. Wow.

Lovely.

HoopMamma


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Shameless Midnight Hooping

Today the whole day went by, and I had barely the time to wash my face let alone hoop. It's totally embarassing- the UPS guy comes to the door, my hair is thrown into a bun and I am still wearing what I slept in. Mind you its well past noon. No excuse. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror at one point and thought, "Girl, you have GOT to get yourself together!"

But the bills got paid, the mail was sorted, and everything filed. All thank-you's have been written, family vacation details on lock-down, and all the while lunch was made for the kids in a timely manner, all diapers were changed... and I managed to not have a nervous breakdown.

Every Monday morning my husband leaves for his studio, and doesn't come back until Wednesday. It's really important to his "process" that he be left completely alone for 72 hours, uninterrupted. These days are long ones for me, as I struggle to balance being Mom, homemaker, CEO, and (evidantally) human. But you know HoopMamma of course structured some perks into this deal. I get the rest of the week to go out with girlfriends, sleep in if I choose, and occasionally take an overnight trip outta town. Plus, I don't mind missing my man a bit. If he's always around, I get annoyed more than I should. HoopMamma is an independant sorta soul.

By the time everyone was in bed tonight, I had my first opportunity to breathe. It took every ounce of will power I had not to inhale a container of ice cream while reading about Brangelina's twins. I decided to hoop.

Not only did I decide to hoop, but I decided to take off all my clothes (save undies) and dance naked in my livingroom. My daughter slept on the couch, so I had to imagine the music in my head. There was a party going on a few doors down, and I could hear people laughing, having a good time. I pretended they were all watching me.

I danced for a good solid....half hour. Now wide-awake at midnight, this is what HoopMamma has to report:

I have not worn a two piece bathing suit since I was 23. Low rise jeans were only OK with me because tunic tops were blessedly in fashion at the same time. If my belly button were pierced, no one would know. After my first C-section I can safely say that I did not recognize my belly AT ALL. I hooped through my baby weight the first time, but the second C-Section is not something I have fully recovered from. The weight I gained with my second baby has settled into odd places; like just above my scar, but not under it. Why can't they just do a little "suckie suckie" while they're down there as a "free gift with purchase"? HUH? It couldn't be that much more time consuming.

Needless to say, I am not one to draw attention to the wiggle in my middle. So you won't find any YouTube of HoopMamma hoopin in a bikini. It just wouldn't be proper. However, I never realized how much I was really missing out on until one day I pretended that I didn't care. I pulled up my top, tucked it into my bra, and let the hoop roll around my middle. It felt SO good. Firstly, the hoop "sticks" to skin differently, and so I have better control of the hoop. But more importantly, there is a sensory experience that occurs that is TOTALLY missed out upon when hooping clothed. I am sure that to anyone watching, it is not the prettiest thing in the world. But this type of hooping is for HoopMamma alone.

As I hoop in the darkness, I visualize myself in my ideal shape and size. I can actually feel the hoop rolling away my love handles. And it feels decadent. I really allow myself to feel every revolution. I hoop slowly, and I speed it up. I spiral it up to my shoulders and chest, and then back down. I love my body, and I love to hoopdance.

We spend so much of our time thinking about what we don't like about our bodies. We all do. And it's okay- identifying what we want to change in our lives is not bad. Its how we set goals, right? But taking time to appreciate all that is wonderful in our skin is rare. I invite you to take a moment to appreciate yourself. Go in your backyard, clear out space in your garage, climb up on your roof and get naked. Hoop. Hoop for no one else.... and it doesn't need to be fancy- if all you can do is hoop around your waist, let it be that. Do it slowly, and then speed it up. Slow it down... feel the way it rolls around your body.

What a perfect way to end my day today. It was a long day; a day full of Mommieness and never ending work. But after my shameless hoop session, I feel whole. Like no one can pull off a day like today and do it as sexy as me.

Try it. It will be our little secret.

HoopMamma

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Even Mammas Can Turn Tricks

Unless you've been hiding in a cave (well, this could describe the HoopMamma readers, as school is totally out for the summer, right?) Then you have heard the song American Boy by Estelle., right? Well, this is HoopMamma's little diddy of the week. I have been driving my neighbors crazy, I am sure, by playing it over and over again.... it's just about 5 minutes long, which means I can listen to it a few times in a row and I get my workout session in. I know, psychotic..... here ya go.



Whatever music you choose to hoop to, make sure that you never forget its importance in keeping you motivated. I used to be a closet J-Lo fan, just because I liked thinking about her ass when I worked out. It doesn't matter what your groove is, just turn it up and DANCE. No excuses.

I went out on a date with my hubby last night; we went to see Cirque Berzerk in downtown LA. It was such an awesome show! Afterwards, there were people hooping in the beer garden outside, and I felt so proud to see that some of them were using hoops that we had made. Its fun for me to be the one that no one really knows; people just assume that Rayna runs the company. Don't get me wrong, Rayna is a damn hard worker- but I play a big role, too. Just not such a public one. Anyways, I spoke with a friend of Rayna's after the performance, who I had met before and adored. She looked so amazing; a reminder of how great women who regularly hoopdance radiate. This particular woman is not a skin and bones size zero- she never really has been. It's one of the things I love about her look; she's voluptuous and sexy. When I was learning to hoop on my upper body, I feared I wouldn't be able to do it, because I had the biggest knockers in the class. This woman is the reason Rayna assured me that,"Women with boobs CAN hoop on their chest". I had no excuse, and she was right.

Seeing her reminded me that even though a woman can look great while carrying a few extra pounds, when she takes them off she looks phenom. I want to be her, damnit. So I am back in the game. Even though I had a good excuse, I fell off the wagon. But I am back now, about to inundate your mailbox with HoopMamma love...! 30 minutes a day, ladies! If you have fallen off your promise, I invite you to get back on with me. 5 pounds at a time, lets inspire each other to be an inspiration.

This week, I want you to focus on learning a new "trick". For those of you new to hooping, this especially applies. Except for the Mamma in France (you know who you are) For you and your daughter, GO HOME. Your hoop is waiting for you....

Learn to corkscrew...learn to pass. If you're advanced, search out a new move, and figure out how to do it. I wanna hear some happiness from the Mammas when you learn to do something new- even if it's just dropping it to your hips!

Here is what I am gonna take on this week:




Happy Hooping!
HoopMamma

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My new favorite Hooper

Ummm... how cute is this??


video

New Lows....

I have had a really rough week. I discovered that I needed to go into the hospital for a same- day, unexpected "procedure". It was tough on my family, tough on my diet, and tough on my hooping, to say the least. I should be back in action by next week sometime, and really can't wait to be back in my hoop. 

I do have some really kick a$$ announcements about this amazing little company that we have built, though, so I'd like to steal a minute of your day to brag. Hoopnotica, and the Ladies who started this all together, have come such a very long way.

I remember my first hoop class ever- Rayna wouldn't stop talking about Hoop dance, and the benefits of it, etc. I mean the girl went on and on. I, who had never really even seen hoop dance performed before and had dragged all of my friends to the class (its how I roll), was worried that it was going to turn out lame. At the time, Rayna didn't have any videos on her site, so I didn't really know what I was about to get myself (and my whole crew) into. I was only praying that my friends didn't kill me for involving them in this fiasco. 

I had talked my friends into taking the class because it was a "prerequisite" to Rayna's fire hooping class, and I thought that it would be an exciting, out of the ordinary adventure for us girls to enjoy together. Our lives had sort of pulled us in opposite directions, and we didn't get to see much of each other anymore. I had just given birth to my baby girl, and was feeling a little rough around the edges; I had gained weight, my hair was falling out, I was covered in spit up, and felt far from sexy. I thought a good fire hooping course was just what I needed to get my groove back. 

I couldn't imagine what Rayna needed to teach me about "hula hooping" that I didn't already know. Let alone a 6 week course on hula hooping; I mean come on, really? I figured that I would "get it down" in the first week, and then spend the rest of the course trying to "skip ahead" to the fire part. 

When she finally did the demonstration, we were all in awe. And that is where it all began.

Its now about 4 years later, and Hoopnotica has really been a labor of love to every one involved. I am so proud of us, really. I can't say enough about the ladies I work with. I don't get sometimes enough time to really brag about them, or the work that we do together. So thanks for letting me have this self-indulgent moment about what we have brilliantly created:

A New Partnership
The Hoopnotica beginning level one DVD is about to be seen everywhere you go, quite literally. HoopMamma probably shouldn't be releasing this information to the public yet, but I own the damn company, so I figure that there are perks! We joined forces with a brand called Acacia. They produce and distribute alternative fitness programming from acclaimed artists such as Shiva Rea, Hemalayaa, Michael Franti, and Andrew Weil. You have probably seen their endcaps at Natural Food Stores, Target, and Barnes and Noble. We are also now available on NetFlix, which wouldn't have been possible without their involvelement. Well, its been a long time in the making, but the Hoopnotica DVD series is about to take on a whole new look and join the Acacia family.
Power to the Peaceful YogaShiva Rea: Radiant Heart Yoga

I have to say, that especially for a large corporate entity, the people at Acacia have been really wonderful to work with every step of the way. We could have really signed ourselves up for a disaster, but the whole process has been really great. The new version of the DVD itself is the same as you know it, but with an extra "work out" at the end. The work out is challenging, even for intermediate hoopers. I would say it could be an incredibly effective weight loss tool if used appropriately, but have so much to say about this topic that I am seething and will save it for my next post.

In any event, we are grateful and blessed to be working together with such a conscious, pleasant, and reputable company to bring Hoopdance to the far reaches of the world. Thank You to Acacia, Rayna, Keaton, David and Jagatjoti-- HoopMamma sends you a BIG kiss!

On a personal note... I have reached new lows, my friends. HoopMamma just watched a one hour and twenty minute special on Hannah Montana. I never thought I would say that out loud! The worst part, is that I kinda like her. Don't tell anyone. She's the biggest KID backstage, all dorky and stuff. And then she gets out in front of a crowd and you'd think she was one of the Beatles, or Elvis. I mean she drives the little ladies WILD! 

I watched and thought, this girl is such a hooper. Maybe we have more in common with Hannah Montana than we think....

"By day, SuperMomma: she changes diapers, does the eensie-weensie spider, loves the ABC's, and watches Hannah Montana (sometimes all at the same time). But give her a hoop around evening time and she transforms into a whole new being. She's the sexiest "Mom-Next-Door on the block". Ladies, keep your man OUT of your front yards, or he might get caught drooling over a glimpse of (in the corner of only open space she can find close enough to still hear the baby monitor), your neighbor's alter ego, HoopMamma."

I tried to introduce my daughter to the Hannah Montana's of my generation: Madonna, Cyndi Lauper... She looked at me the way I used to look at my Mom, when she used to make me listen to Dylan. Sigh. I am telling you; new lows.

I can't believe how bad I wanna hoop right now. That in and of its self (the thought of exercise) is really awesome. I have never had a relationship to any other form of physical exercise that has had me miss it when I can't do it, and challenges me when I am in it. Awesome. Can't wait to feel better (doc says a couple days).

Lastly, it looks like Rayna posted a HoopMamma fire performance from last summer (I am the one with the fire hoop), on the right hand side of this screen. You might enjoy checking that out, or it might be the breaking point in our relationship where you begin to think I am nuts, who knows? And yes, I really am licking and "eating" the fire at the end of my wicks to extinguish the flame (what can I say, I am a woman of many talents!). 

My daughter just informed me that her new name was "Rosie Montana", and that everyone is going to go to her shows, and not Hannah Montana's. "Cause I am gonna shoot out balloons at them, and toys! People will want toys more than just balloons, right?"

If you want to contact me directly, I have a BRAND NEW direct HoopMamma address. Write to me and tell me your woes, share your secrets, and suggest hooping topics you would like to hear me write about in my blog: 
hoopmamma@hoopnotica.com!

I know I promised to do floorwork and high speed hooping last week. Please forgive me, as it will have to wait until next week (Thats the last time HoopMamma promises anything and documents it on the internet!)

Hoop one in for me,

HoopMamma/SuperMomma

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Down 5, 25 to go....

I am so excited to report two pieces of good news to my HoopMamma family:

1) I am down 5 pounds since when I started this blog! I have weighed myself in the morning, the evening, and the night. My weight goes up and down, but has been within a pound of a 5 pound loss for the past three days. I now feel safe to announce it! Awww, yeah...

2) I can now hoop every move covered in our DVDs, IN REVERSE!! Mind you; the tricky stuff is a little sloppy- but I can DO all of it, and I feel so great about it. This really expands the scope of my abilities, more than I ever thought possible. I started by re-learning to hoop: I practiced every move in reverse until I got it down, not allowing myself to go in my normal direction at all. 

What I found was that I have such a $h!tty attitude about things I can't pick up immediately. I could actually hear myself trying to talk myself out of these exercises. "I look like a crazed chicken. This is stupid. People will think I can't hoop if they are walking by. This makes me look ugly. This sucks. This was a stupid idea." Wow- I am capable of a whole lot of $h!tty for such a petite woman. 

But lemme tell you- when HoopMamma overcame the initial awkwardness, there was nothing like it! Except maybe, learning the same moves in my natural direction. : )

I have been longing to feel like this with my hooping! To be in a place where I can feel the pride of accomplishment when I nail a new move. What I realize now is that it was always a possibility; I had just cleverly talked myself out of enjoying the journey.

HoopMamma is too smart for her own good sometimes (know anyone else like that?)

: ) Happy Hooping!

HoopMamma


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hooping Challenges for the Mommas

Today HoopMamma procrastinated too long before beginning the 15 minute morning Hoop practice. By the time she stepped outside it was hot, and the front yard was directly in the sun. Tomorrow, HoopMamma will start earlier. 

It never fails; I pick up my beautiful, sparkly hoop- and my children abandon whatever they are doing and try to take it from me. Hooping is like a magnet for little kids. For this I offer a few remedies:



Whenever possible, arrange to have alone time for your hooping. Hooping=Happiness, Happier HoopMamma = Happier family.



Remember to use "Halo" and other upper body moves to your advantage when the kids are around. Making it play for them allows them to feel included. Let them run under the hoop; play "bridge".



Stop every once in a while to show them some love; drink some water, and really allow your hoopdance practice to become a part of your life together. Don't fight it (do remember to go back to your hooping, though).


Set up a distraction before beginning. Today I set up a small table outside in the shade where I could see them. I put out pens and paper, crayons, tape, etc. and let them go to town. I suggested that they draw pictures of people hooping in the sunshine. This bought me a good ten minutes!



I want to take a moment to address the "Hooping plateau". For me, after I had Illiana, I reached a plateau after losing 30 pounds (leaving me with 10 that I never really quite addressed). With my second baby Aliyah, I was "bored" with hoopdance. I hooped a little during my pregnancy, but not enough to really make a difference once the baby was born.

I really blame myself for this; thinking I knew everything, and that the things I didn't know were not worth learning anyways. So I avoided things like hooping in reverse and floor work. The fact is, I was avoiding the essence of what moves HoopMamma through plateaus: keeping it interesting; trying new things. The real beauty of hoopdance is that its not just how fast  you hoop that determines your calorie burn. Dropping your hoop and picking it up; exerting energy by trying new moves and using new muscles; and the determination to learn new tricks keeps us moving and motivated. 

Staying motivated can be a challenge. My commitment is to keep our new, growing community of MammaHoopers in the game. I will keep us inspired, just as your dedication has inspired me. 

Lets begin with why hooping in reverse is so important: ANAH (aka Hoopaliscious)




Watch this video and note the use of floorwork, reverse directions, and hoop speed. Watch the way she will stop her hips and keep the hoop moving on her upper body. Most importantly, how FREAKIN cool is that reverse move??!! Dontcha wanna do it??

To begin your path down the road to this level of hooping, start with the waist: Hoop for 3 revolutions in one way, then "catch the hoop", and reverse directions. Do this until it is comfortable. It is a simple move that is challenging and will get you back to that place where you are exercising and losing track of time. And thats what its all about, right? When you've mastered that (it might take a while, it might not), move on to your hips, theighs, and all the moves you know. People freak out when they see HoopMamma do this (and HoopMamma loves to make people freak out).



Next week we'll begin some floor work and address hoop speed. Until then, Happy Hooping, Mammas!

Thank You for this very special connection that we have and are building upon; to be strong mothers, inspirational role models, and damn sexy hoopers!

HoopMamma

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hippie Sh%$t

What is truly amazing to me, time and time again, is how the "universe" will provide for what we ask. Now, HoopMamma typically doesn't like to preach that new age "hippie" sh%$t, but in this case, I cannot help it. 
After coming home from Japan, and experiencing an all new type of jet lag, I was losing the motivation to write this blog. Overcoming a time change is one thing, when there just you to worry about. A little Melatonin, a few naps, six pack of Red Bull and I am good to go. But convincing my children to stay in bed when they are clearly done sleeping and to stay awake during daylight hours was an entirely different challenge. One cannot hand a sleepy 4 year old an energy drink before preschool and tell her to "suck it up". Might be interpreted as abusive, as it turns out. 

My husband and I traded off for the first few days; the kids would wake around midnight and stay up until 5.  They would sleep in until 11 or so, and then be cranky all day long before crashing at 6. Fortunately, HoopMamma was persuasive enough to convince her artist husband that it was he whose schedule allowed a nocturnal lifestyle. HoopMamma could then return to a "normal" schedule within a week, right? Sounded brilliant. Made sense.... all in theory.

So now, almost two weeks since we have been home, I began to question why I even want to write a blog. I get my mission, but must I really share it with the world? Does anyone really care? And when does a blog become like a BLAH BLAH BLOG...? You know the types, right? ranting and raving, going on and on like a personal journal that anyone can read. Well, I have been chewing on it and chewing on this, mostly during my hoop sessions (which these days have been divided into two 15 minute sessions). The answer came as I dragged myself to my computer today, and saw that someone had posted a comment to my last entry.

A comment? Really? Did HoopMamma want to read this? Would this be a bad comment from an old lover? It could be anyone saying anything, really. Oh boy.... I am going to need to ask Rayna how to filter comments...

I read in awe as someone WHOM I DONT EVEN KNOW encouraged me to continue to write the HoopMamma blog. On top of that, "Mommie in Michigan" vowed to hoop for 30 minutes a day, herself. So now, even if only to an audience of one, HoopMamma will continue her blogging manifesto and mission. 

30 MINUTES A DAY, PEOPLE! If you choose to join us, leave me a "comment". And it better be positive, or else I'll have Rayna FILTER you! It will keep the energy moving (hippie sh%$t again), and we'll all achieve our goals together faster.
 
I have learned so much in my hoop practice about my resistance to exercise in general. I love it when I am doing it, but honestly hate the commitment. Hooping is so different, though- I feel sexy, I look sexy, and I love the feeling of accomplishment. Sometimes I get a 5 minute session in (still counts against the 30 minutes), and am always surprised to feel how energetic I feel afterwards. So this week, the assignment is this: When you feel yourself dragging (and you know when it happens- visions of naps start dancing in your head, you  either grab for the energy drink of choice or surrender to becoming the stereotypical run-down Mom)- try picking up your hoop. A 5 minute Hoopnotica moment is an easy sell- try it in place of your typical "energy rescue". Let it be an experiment for the week. Let me know how it works out for you!

Thank You for taking the time to read this installation of my "blah"g... looking forward to hooping with you as we hoop our way into happier, healthier lives!

HoopMamma

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Attitude is Everything

I have been in Tokyo with the Hoopnotica promotional team for the past week. I brought along my kids and my hubby, and have been traveling all over Tokyo doing photoshoots, radio, and television interviews. Let me tell you, there is nothing like hangin out with a group of professional abs- er,  Hoopdancers (!)  to inspire you to hoop more.

Back home in the good old US of A, Hoopnotica has been featured in two noteworthy Mamma blogs. I have read them and felt inspired by their stories- please take a second to check them out! It is so nice to hear other Mammas affirm that our Hoopnotica DVD series is helping to support them in their mission to take back their bodies. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.



Taking off baby weight (or any other weight for that matter) is not impossible. After I had my first child, I lost it all over the course of one summer, learning to Hoopdance. With my second child, I hooped throughout my pregnancy. It was pretty funny seeing me- a 9 month pregnant lady talk about how Hoopdance keeps you "fit" on TV. Looking back, maybe I shouldn't have been the one representing Hoopnotica during that time. I feel like people must have been watching and thinking, "That woman hoops all the time, and she looks like that? Uh... I'll pass...!"Looking back, I admire myself for having energy to deal with an on-air presentation,with swollen boobs and tired feet.  But maybe I should have left that one to Rayna! 

After I delivered my second child, I didn't really adopt a plan to lose the weight I'd gained. I felt like my hoop skills were at a level where I was an above-average hooper, with no real ambition to improve. I had a really bad attitude about my post-partum body.

My excuses included stories about genetics, metabolism....age- you know the drill. All the excuses I could muster. It wasn't until I got "kicked off" (see my last post), that I decided enough was enough. And here I am, running the show from behind the camera and staring at 4 sets of perfect abs. 

Attitude is everything. As soon as I begin to notice that I am making excuses, thinking negatively, or going over all of the reasons why something sucks, I abandon my mission. Whether my mission was as simple as climbing the stairs or as complex as writing a novel, my attitude alone is what determines my success.

Dieting is not an intellectual challenge: we all know that decreasing intake (food) and increasing output (exercise) will result in weight loss. We all know this, but our minds keep us busy with expert thoughts that prevent us from succeeding. I propose this: we keep ourselves from losing weigh because we are stubborn, and have bad attitudes. Circumstances are not to fault for "letting ourselves go"; our problems are all in our heads.

I watched Rayna trying to perfect a new move yesterday at Gold's Gym here in Tokyo, right before interviewing for MTV. She hit herself in the head, hoop went flying.... totally different from the graceful perfect hoopdancer that we all know and love. It was awesome to observe her attitude in the matter. Even though Jamie got the move down first, Rayna continued to laugh and play her way through this challenge until she got it right. 

If we perfect our mind's attitude, our bodies will follow. Hoopdance trains our minds and bodies at the same time, which is why it is such an effective weight loss tool.
So that is the story of my new mantra: My attitude determines my success!

Arigato!
HoopMamma


 

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Rock Bottom


No one ever really knows that I exist. In the public eye, Hoopnotica has two "faces"... Rayna and Keaton. I adore both of these ladies so much; together we have built a thriving company, and we all have made sacrifices to see it off the ground. I have done so while tending to two children, my husband, a remodel, and a big move. My big sacrifice has been to myself, and now I am ready to make a new commitment, by first coming clean.
When I started Hoopnotica, it was in response to taking Rayna'sHoopnotic Hoopdance classes in LA. I had just given birth to my first child, and wanted a fun, new dance class to help me shed unwanted weight. So I rallied my best girlfriends around me to make the commute from Long Beach to Hollywood, in order to take advantage of the carpool lane. What started out as a crazy suggestion (Who ever heard of a six week hula hooping class!!??), became a transformational experience for all of us. I lost 20 pounds in the course of the summer, my girlfriend lost 15, my other girlfriend became more outgoing and learned how to dance. It was crazy. I had a vision for this company from the beginning that felt powerful: to share Hoop Dance with the world, by building a legitimate business around it. 
 
Over the course of the next few years, Hoopnotica took off like wildfire. We created instructional DVDs
; a collapsible Travel Hoop; designed accessories from clothing to hoop bags and a curriculum that anyone can learn to hoop from. Keaton and Rayna have been featured on programs airing from Hollywood to Japan. Our biggest claims to fame have been Good 
Morning, America, the Today Show, the Girls Next Door, and TIME magazine. I got pregnant again, somewhere
in the mix, and began to accept only radio and telephone interviews. Rayna and Keaton continued to interview, appear, and move on. I breastfed and balanced the budget.
One day I realized that three years had gone by. Hoopnotica was asked to travel to Japan for a cornucopia of co-branding and other partnership opportunities. We assembled the best Hoopers we know to create a Spice Girl-like team to represent us. This was the first time I really wanted to represent Hoopnotica physically. So I did this photo shoot, and was declined by our "people" in Japan. It was explained to me that, regardless of my hooping skills, I was not the right image to entice the Japanese public into using Hoopdance to control their weight. I had never considered that I would be turned down to represent my own company, and I was pissed.
My first reaction sounded something like, "You can't do that to me; I OWN the company!" But then I realized that those Japanese folks were right: I was in terrible shape, and that I was in no position to represent a fitness company. Somewhere along the line I had quit hooping, and let myself go. And now I was paying the price- I still get to go to Japan, but just as support for the other girls.
I turned my fury into motivation, and have committed myself to a daily Hoopdance practice to achieve my weight loss goals. Half an hour a day, seven days a week. I will decrease my caloric intake, drink more water, and practice what I preach: that Hoopdance is a powerful transformational tool. I will photograph my progress along the way, and hope that it will motivate others to join me. So if you know any Moms who could benefit from this blog, I beg you to pass it on. I could really use all the support I can get from those who understand my position.
This is probably the hardest thing I have ever done; to proclaim publicly that I am overweight right now, and to be held to account as I change it. I will have NO SHAME- I promise. I hope you enjoy it!

HoopMamma