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!



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!