Whisper here! TRIGGER WARNING: I just want to remind you that I am not yet an expert in ANY of these fields. I am just a girl who very recently used to constantly yo-yo diet and over-train relentlessly. Lately, I have been going through an internal struggle and I need to get this off of my chest before I can fully embrace a new way of thinking and being. Diets don’t work and deliberately not dieting doesn’t work either. Please keep reading if you want to find out how I came to this conclusion.
I believe that our bodies are true miracles that should be celebrated. You are already enough right here right now. And you can do what you please with your vessel.
When I turned 30 I was worried that it would all be downhill from there, but it took me 2 more years to really take action. I decided to begin my fitness journey a little over a year ago because I was starting to develop health problems. I spent nearly a solid year trying to “do things right.”
August 2020: Let the games begin!
I kicked off my journey with a Fitness Challenge run by a personal trainer. She included a meal plan and a progressive workout plan. The nutrition plan was very restrictive and required us to eat the same food every day for an entire month with 1 cheat meal per week. I got results because before this program I wasn’t exercising or paying attention to what I was eating. At this point, the phrase “diets don’t work” was not a part of my vocabulary. My cravings were monstrous throughout this month, but I stayed the course. Sadly, the trainer stopped responding and eventually ghosted me. I was bummed and felt like I had been dumped.
I think what disturbed me the most was the fact that a virtual stranger could have this affect on me. Even though I was a grown adult, I still felt awful and like I had done something wrong. From here I wanted to build myself back up so that little things like this would not get me down in the future.
September – October 2020: We can work from home.
After the fitness challenge, I decided to follow an 8 week At-Home Training Guide by Stephanie Buttermore. I enjoyed the structure of her program and it gave me a strong foundation in strength training. Unfortunately, my nutrition wasn’t on point this month. I didn’t gain weight, but I also didn’t see great gains.
At the end of October I started slow jogging and this really helped my mental health. I enjoyed the fresh air and taking some quality time for myself. It felt like free therapy.
Body Positivity Didn’t Work For Me (What Worked and Tips):
November – December: Get Shredded 21 Day Challenge
Back in September, I was feeling so bummed by the fact that the other trainer had abandoned me that I reached out to a personal trainer who had trained me for my 1st triathlon a decade ago. He told me that he was creating an online fitness program that would be available in November. I was thrilled and couldn’t wait to get started!
It was called the “Get Shredded 21 Day Challenge.”
This program included a custom meal plan, bodyweight workout program, and daily inspirational videos. I really liked the online format and overall structure of the program. Don’t be fooled by the fact that this program is bodyweight based. The workouts are super intense.
I repeated this program twice for good measure until it expired. It helped me to gain momentum, but my foot bothered me a lot. The program had a lot of jumping exercises and I think the impact hurt my foot. It got to the point where it was excruciating for me to stand in a lunge position or put pressure on my toes. At times I could barely walk and this became problematic for my running.
January: This is no time for an injury!
At the end of December I developed an overuse injury and by January I had to stop running completely. I was slightly devastated because running had become a part of my routine and I had learned to love it. A friend of mine suggested that I Hula hoop for 40 minutes and ride the stationary bike if I needed more of a workout. Back in September, I had started a weekly ritual of weighing myself and taking my measurements. I felt like it was a good way to hold myself accountable and stay on track.
February: Let’s Hula Hoop!
I missed running and was not thrilled about trying anything else, but I was terrified by the thought of getting out of shape. My partner ordered us fitness hula hoops and I decided to give it a spin.
30 Minute Weighted Hula Hoop Workout for Weight loss | Bee Varga the Hula Hooper:
After this workout I was hooked even though I could barely spin the hula hoop without dropping it.
March – April: I can run again!
By March I was able to run again and I was so thrilled. I started running for an hour or more every day and hula hooping for 40 minutes. I decided to watch Bee Varga’s Hula Hoop buying guide and buy myself a better dance hoop.
Hula Hoop Buying Guide for Beginners:
Remember that the size and material of your hoop makes a huge difference. The minute I thought about hula hooping I rushed to our local Target and picked up a toy shop hoop, but it kept falling down every 5 seconds. This was super discouraging and I learned that it was happening because it was too light and not the right size. Purchasing a proper fitting hula hoop made a huge difference and my workouts became a lot more enjoyable. My 1st hoop was a 38 inch dance hoop from The Spinsterz.
May: Summertime Fine 3.0
I was making decent progress with my weightloss and I wanted to amp up my progress and so I decided to do Sydney Cumming’s 90 day Summertime Fine program.
I continued to run in the mornings, hula hoop, and I added strength training to the mix. I really enjoy Sydney’s upbeat and inspiring spirit. She also has lots of fun workouts and outstanding programming.
June: I Commit to Hula Hooping, recording, and posting daily
In June I decided that I wanted to improve my hula hooping skills by hooping consistently. I committed to hula hooping every day for the month of June, recording myself, and posting it to a private facebook group. I was surprised that I was able to stick with it.
At the end of June I asked the members in the group if I should continue posting everyday and many of them asked me to continue. A few of them even said that my posts were inspiring them. I was touched and had to continue!
Here is a post my hula hooping teacher created. She decided to hula hoop every day and document the process.
I Hula Hoop Every Day | Hoop it off with Bee Varga:
July: I can only sustain this for one more month.
July was an intense month, workout wise. I was running 6 days a week, weightlifting 6 days a week, hula hooping daily, and trying to do some buti yoga too. Additionally, I was adjusting my macros every single week and doing my best to stay the course. My life seemed to revolve around my “fitness regime.”
I felt so accomplished when I reached Day #90 of Sydney’s Summertime Fine 3.0 Challenge. It felt like a huge accomplishment.
By the end of July, I was very tired. My body was definitely leaning out and I liked the way that I looked, but I was exhausted. I also felt discouraged because it seemed like I had plateaued. I talked about it in the hula hooping facebook group and finally decided to stop weighing myself every day.
In May, I had a tiny stint with the Noom weightloss app, but quickly deleted it after trying it out for 2 weeks because the app had issues and they did not deliver the services that I paid for. Luckily, I was able to get a refund, but I decided to continue weighing myself daily because they said that it was “scientifically the best way to lose weight.”
August: Hula Hottie + My Birthday Month
At the end of July I started doing Bee Varga’s 30 Day Sofa Spud to Hula Hottie Immersion course.
Here is Bee’s Description of her Hula Hottie Course:
The Hula Hottie is the best 30 workout program that guides you from a beginner to a proper awesome FITTIE! You get fit as well as learn fun tricks and moves and time flies so quick when you are having fun! Use your brain and body to evolve! Make hooping into a skill you are proud of! You do not need any ballet or gymnastics or circus background… I started off overweight and unfit… so if I could do it, you absolutely can! Spend a whole month hooping with me EVERY DAY!-Bee Varga the Hula Hooper
I learned so much throughout Bee’s 30 day Hula Hottie Course. By the end of the course, I had an 8 minute choreographed dance that I was very proud of! And so much more! I highly recommend her courses!
September: I decided to heal from my eating disorder and started to improve my relationship with food.
By September, I was feeling very exhausted, drained, and discouraged. I was still dieting, running, hula hooping every day and trying to do some weightlifting, but everything was starting to feel like a chore. My hula hoop instructor suggested that I try becoming a specialist.
Here is Bee’s Description of her Pure Core Course:
Pure Core is the place to be if you want to dance and play and feel amazing in your skin. Boost your confidence, feel IRRESISTIBLE & full of energy. This course is full of hoop moves around your core: hips, waist, chest & shoulders and it is full of dance and fun and hot showgirl secrets to make you feel like you are the most irresistible hula hooper ever! An entire month to reprogram your body & mind to feel like a hula hooping superhuman!Bee Varga the Hula Hooper
Bee said that I could still reach my health and fitness goals with just hula hooping. She also started introducing me to “The Law Of Attraction.” Back then it honestly sounded too good to be true. I was worried that if I stopped doing everything that I was doing that I would gain weight and lose all of my progress. At the same time, I also knew that I could no longer do everything that I was doing. It was not sustainable and was taking a major toll on my mental and physical health. I also imagine that I wasn’t much fun to be around because I was so grumpy all the time. Dieting has a way of making people moody!
A friend in the Facebook group reached out to me and inspired me to start healing from the eating disorder that I had been struggling with since I was 10. I didn’t even realize that I still had the issue since I wasn’t rail thin, but after talking with her it became evident that it was time for me to heal.
Here are some of the books I read to learn about healing from eating disorders:
The F*ck It Diet: Eating Should Be Easy by Caroline Dooner
The Inside Scoop on Eating Disorder Recovery: Advice From Two Therapists Who Have Been There By Colleen Reichmann & Jennifer Rollin
These books were very informative and introduced me to concepts I had never heard of before. I had never heard that diets don’t work. My whole life I had always been told that nutrition and diet were the keys to losing weight and getting healthy. I still do believe that proper nutrition is important for maintaining good health, but I have learned that it is damaging to be so restrictive.
I stopped restricting my food and ate until I was full. After about 3 weeks of only hula hooping and not dieting at all I decided to weigh myself purely out of curiosity. I made peace with it ahead of time and told myself that I would be neutral about the number.
I had expected to gain weight, but I stayed the same. This was so encouraging to me and felt like a victory. My only regret was that I had wasted so much time and energy dieting and over-training like a mad woman.
October: Deliberately not dieting doesn’t work either.
In October I decided to deliberately embrace not dieting. I ate everything that I could have ever wanted and more. I was actually going back and forth because my wrists / tendonitis were causing me excruciating pain. I was so thankful that I could still hula hoop, but I was in constant pain and could not sleep at night.
I started eating more plant based meals and it really seemed to help. This was a delicate balance because I noticed that the guidelines of avoiding meat and dairy were fairly restrictive and it was starting to interfere with my eating disorder recovery. Once I felt better I did go back to eating meat and dairy products again, but if I notice a flair up I back off from the animal products.
Here is Bee’s description of the Showgirl 1 Workshop:
Hooping can be just tricks… or it can be a dance, a show, a confidence boosting eyeball grabbing celebration of your beautiful curves no matter how many tricks you can do…
I am not anti-trick! I love them all! BUT as a professional stage performer I had to learn how to show off my body and my moves so that no attention escapes.
I also remember never having confidence or appreciating my body… but when a hula hoop touches & goes for your curves you just cannot help but feel irresistible! This workshop is to amplify all that is perfect and beautiful about you so you start moving like a Hula Hoop Goddess! Only the blind can resist You after this one!
The 4 full conditioning workouts will get you turn into a hot sweaty mess, shredded and satisfied! But they also help you feel super confident about your hoop skills because you will hammer them into your muscle memory so much that you can never get them wrong!Bee Varga the Hula Hooper
This showgirl 1 workshop did wonders for my confidence. We learned so many fun confidence boosting poses that transferred to all areas of my life. I started walking through the grocery store like a starlit and my confidence was on fire! It’s amazing what a positive difference our body language can make.
Showgirl training improved my balance, flexibility, coordination, and mobility. If you are looking for a fun way to spice up your workouts and build confidence then you should definitely give Showgirl training a spin! The benefits are endless and I could go on and on!
I hula hooped and posted my recordings 150 days in a row!
The end of October was a major milestone for me because I had successfully hula hooped every single day for 150 days and I recorded myself and posted the recordings in the facebook group.
This is also a huge accomplishment for me because I am extremely shy and would have never recorded myself before. Doing this pushed me far outside of my comfort zone and it helped me grow in so many ways.
I have to say that there is a reason why my pen name is “Whisper” and I am writing this on an anonymous blog. I like my privacy 😉
Deliberately not dieting doesn’t work:
My heading for October says that deliberately not dieting doesn’t work because at the end of this month when the euphoria of my accomplishments wore off; I started to feel guilty about my food choices. I worried that eating whatever I wanted would have dire consequences and I would regret it. My whole being seemed to be overcome with fear and guilt and this is not healthy either.
November: Let’s make some changes!
Last week I felt yucky. I had this internal struggle of wanting to embrace the skin that I’m in, but also feeling guilty and full of shame. I’m learning about the Law Of Attraction and am currently reading a book called: “Delicious Alignment” which talks about women who applied the Law Of Attraction to their weight loss and health journeys.
In my last article, “Get off the Scale and Get In Alignment,” I highlighted the first chapter of this book where Rhonda talks about getting in alignment and breaking up with the scale. What did I do last Thursday? I was feeling awful about myself and I got on the scale and found out that I gained some weight.
I’m sharing this with you to show that sometimes, even though we know what we should do; we decide to do the exact opposite. The good news is that in the past I would have been crushed about the number, but this time around I accepted it and was able to move on.
From there I promised myself that I would embrace and love my body. I am going to find out if fitness can feel good. I hope that you will continue to follow me on my journey because I have a lot to share!
Until next time,