My Hoop Journey
I always knew I was a bit chubby, but it didn’t stop me from feeling confident and engaging in the activities I loved. Shortly after having my first baby in 2004, at 5’0 and 160 pounds, I made a concerted effort to lose weight. On a whim I signed up for a beginning “hoopdance” class in Hollywood. Totally hooked, I took all of the classes I could find, however was discouraged by the scarcity of offerings, and the inconsistency in instruction. With the help of some great friends, and master trainers, I worked to unify and create a hooping curriculum that was methodical in instruction, easy to follow, fun and accessible to all. Hoopnotica was born from these efforts, and I lost 20 pounds over the course of the summer. I was thrilled about the changes in my body, and excited to share everything I know about Hooping with others.
“How was it that I had the most fabulous weight loss tool at my fingertips (i.e. my hoop), and yet was not utilizing it??”
Despite my newfound career as the CEO of a rapidly growing fitness company, I was still not hooping or eating healthy enough to make much of a difference in terms of my weight. All of the passion I had about hooping as an amazing source of cardiovascular, fat-burning FUN had taken a back seat to paperwork; research; phone calls, etc. I had become the stereotypical workaholic new mom, and my body was beginning to see the side effects. Instead of confronting the issue head on, I allowed other women to shine in my business- the taller, thinner, more glamorous performers. I felt embarassed of my body, and hid behind my job title, feeling inauthentic about my brand. It wasn’t until an early Hoopnotica launch in Japan, while filming a promotion with other master instructors, that I realized just how badly I felt about my body. The Japanese client took me aside at a photoshoot, and quite blatently informed me in limited English that I was too fat to be in the photos. “Too fat!” she exclaimed, while pointing at a proof with me in it. I was mortified. Here I was, head of a prominent fitness company, and unfit to represent my own brand. My first response was somewhere along the line of “What the ---?? Who do you think I am? I’m not gonna let you treat me this way- I am going home”. Luckily, I was able to calm myself and understand that this wasn’t anything personal. I was simply unfit to represent a fitness brand.
The Last Straw
I trekked off to India for a meditation retreat. While sitting in “Lotus” position, looking out upon the magnificent Golden Temple in Armritzar at dawn, I was suddenly struck with the sensation that I was too heavy to get up. Indeed, when the meditation was complete, while the others bolted to breakfast, I struggled to merely lift my self off the mosaic laden floor. I rocked a bit back and forth, and felt my rolls press into my chest. OMG- I couldn’t breathe.
I pulled myself up, one knee down first...and kinda rolled onto my hip for leverage. This was rediculous! Something shifted deep inside me. I was too uncomfortable in my own skin that day, and something was going to need to change.
Back in L.A., I formulated a simple plan. I firmly committed to hooping just 15 minutes, twice a day, as an experiment to see what would happen if I practiced what Hoopnotica preached. I knew that my eating habits were going to play an important role, and so I found an eating plan that I thought would work for me. I decided that “which plan I chose” meant nothing- it was more important to stick to the plan, and practice self-discipline.
Committing to a daily Hoopnotica practice
I started the blog, "The Daily Hooper", in order to document my weight loss with hooping. Blogs are amazing, because in connecting with your readers, you also become accountable to them! No slacking off allowed! I think ultimately, I was finally able to commit to losing weight because of the ease and fun involved in hooping with Hoopnotica. The truth is that traditional exercise bores me. My mind wanders. I’m quick to lose interest. Part of what I hope to encourage with the promotion of Hoopnotica is the idea that working out doesn’t have to mean the kind of sweat, pain, and mind-numbingly dull drudgery that traditional exercise has become. Getting fit CAN be playful and fun!
I lost an average 2-3 pounds per week. I felt great, and was amazed by the shapely, slimmer figure that began to emerge. Creating a plan and sticking to it, adding a layer of accountability and not giving up was changing my whole world. It wasn’t long before I went from behind the camera to right in front of it. Since my whopping 60 pound weight loss, I’ve been featured in countless media outlets including hooping appearances on both Dr. Oz and Access Hollywood, in Forbes, and even hooped on stage with the Roots and Pretty Lights. Recently, Olivia Wilde asked me (and my hoops!) to be in the short film, “Free Hugs,” which she wrote and directed.
Learning that weight loss is not impossible taught me that I can have anything I want in life. I feel stronger and more in control of everything as a result. I am a better mother; a stronger partner; and a more reliable friend as a result of the changes I made in my life. But more than anything else, I have found that my simple hoop is a tool that helps me control my weight; manage my stress; connect with my friends; and feel like a rock star. What else could I possibly need out of life?
City: Venice, CA
Past Weight: 185 lbs
Current Weight: 125 lbs
"Go from BEFORE
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