Tag Archives: let the great work begin!

Why Tap Dancing is the Best Cardio EVER!

Let me reintroduce myself:

Hi. My name is Whitney, and I blog about not dieting because dieting totally sucks. Plus, it doesn’t work. (No, Really. It doesn’t work.) So yeah, my name is Whitney and I blog, but i’m also a dancer. More specifically, I’m a tap expert who worked for a Tony Award winning Broadway show.

tap dance

I’ve always danced. I’ve been a dancer since I was two years old (my mother lied to the local dance studio about my age and said I was three to get me enrolled.) I don’t know if I was too annoying to handle, or if I just had feet that never wanted to stay still… but into class I went at two years old, and I haven’t stopped since.

That’s 27 years of dancing. (Don’t tell anyone my age if you can do the math. I still tell everyone I’m 21.)

Tap was the most fun, super awesome thing I did as a little child. Come on, you know what I’m talking about! A lot of us took tap when we were young, made a TON of noise with our feet, then  stopped going to class for whatever reason. (Maybe we joined the cheerleading squad, or maybe we moved on to playing POGS.)

The great thing about tap is that it’s never too late to start again. Continue reading

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Upcoming Ten-Year High School Reunion: Oh, GOD, NO!!! WHY!?!?

I just realized that my ten-year high school reunion is coming up this fall. Thankfully, the universe was somewhat kind to me this morning, and I realized it’s in November. If it were at the beginning of September, I might have to make like a lemming and (metaphorically, of course) jump of the nearest cliff. IMG_0341

Combine the impending doom of the reunion and all the weddings I need to attend this fall, and it makes me want to crash diet like there’s no tomorrow. It makes me want to cut carbs and pop pills, which I can’t understand because I know that’s not the right way. It’s got to be my fear and not my better judgement whispering, “Eat only meat! I know you’re a vegetarian and don’t believe in it… but just buy a cow and eat only that for the next three months! You’ve got room in the freezer, right?”

I’m not going to crash diet. I’m not going to diet at all. I’m going to reverse the brainwashing in me that is screaming DIET! DIET! DIET! because diet’s don’t work. They. Do. Not. Work.

Continue reading

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My NYC Fire Escape Garden

Growing your own food is easy, responsible, and super tasty. Plus, you don’t need that much space. Just utilize your imagination!

Reasons why growing your own food rocks:

  1. Lessen your carbon footprint by growing some things yourself. (Remember… those tomatoes at PathMart didn’t grow there. They grew hundreds of miles away. They hitched a ride on a huge truck across the country.)
  2. It’s cheaper to grow your own herbs than to keep buying those small packets. Plus, you only use about half of it before it goes off and you have to throw the thing away.
  3. Wanna be healthier? If you’ve grown it… you’ll eat it. Anything that makes us eat more fruits and veggies is a good thing.
  4. It forces you to be outdoors. Or, kind of outdoors. Anyway, you’ll probably get a little vitamin D from this activity.
  5. Monsanto can’t get you if you know where your food is coming from. (Make sure your seeds and seedlings are not genetically altered or modified.)
  6. You’ll reduce food waste. If you’ve waited for something to ripen on a vine that you take care of… you’re less likely to let it spoil and throw it out. That’s not really the case with that stupid banana that has gross brown spots you paid 50 cents for, right? That guy is going to spoil and get thrown out.
  7. It doesn’t take up that much time. I’d equate it to caring for fish in a tank.
  8. I sound like a hippie, but it’s fun. It turned fun. I don’t know how. Just kinda snuck up on me.

I can hear you say, “Well, I don’t have a backyard with room for a garden. I have no space!”

Dude. I live in New York City. I don’t have access to a yard… but I do use every inch of outdoorsey-type space I’ve got!

My First Fire Escape Garden:

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Chilis, mint, tomatoes, basil, lettuce. YUM!

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The tomatoes had a lovely view!

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So… Bikram Yoga

Yeah. I’ve been messing around with it. Cheatin’ on my Vinyasa Yoga with Mr. Bikram Choudhury.

Bikram Yoga: 26 postures and two breathing exercises. Most postures are repeated twice in a row. The room is heated to 105° F with 40% humidity. Personally, it is very difficult. I’m a little mad about it because I’m a hardcore, tough-ass dancer who is very bendy.

Every class takes a large amount of willpower and discipline on my part to even get myself to the yoga studio, one stop away on the subway from my apartment. Pathetic. It’s just ten blocks away, but every time I get ready to go, it feels like I’m preparing to Lewis-and-Clark it across Amurika.

Here are some things I’ve learned from personal experience:

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The Plan.

I’m not going on a diet, and I’m not going to diet.

I’m just going to stop making bad choices on a regular basis. That’s my plan.

Diets do not work. After losing any bit of weight, you will eventually gain it all back plus more.

I already cook most of my food. And I’m already a vegetarian. I don’t drink sodas or other sugary crap drinks. I’m already physically active (I’m a dancer and dance teacher, dammit. I also teach Zumba.)

Then why am I 151.8 lbs? Because I’m eating and drinking and thinking and behaving like I don’t care about myself.

So what’s the plan?

Continue reading

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No more diets.

Today is May 15th, 2013, and I have decided to stop dieting.

No more torture.

Simple.

No, really. It will be that simple.

I’ve got to de-program my mind from being brainwashed into thinking my behavior and body fat are acceptable to me. I’ve got to de-program my brain into thinking that drinking wine most nights actually makes me feel good or has any benefit to me at all. I’ve got to de-program my brain into thinking that processed foods are what I want to eat rather than natural vegetables, fruits, and nuts.

I deserve to feel amazing about myself. Everyone does.

If a scientist were to conduct a conditioning experiment with a worm in a maze, where one direction meant running into an electric shock and the other direction meant food, you know what would happen? The worm would learn through experience that food was this way and pain was the other. The worm wouldn’t want to do something again that hurt when another choice meant survival. I’d hypothesize that most animals put through this experiment would react in a similar way. So why, as human beings, do we continue to do things that cause us harm? Is it that we just don’t learn? Is it that we are dumb? No. It’s that we fool ourselves into thinking that things will be different this time. I’ll be better on the diet this time. I’ll keep going to the gym once I join this time. I’ll only drink on the weekends this time.

We set ourselves up for failure. Then we wallow in our misery with comfort food, toxins, and inactivity.

So, I’m going to get off the ride. I’m not going to diet. I’m just going to stop making bad choices. I’m going to stop looking for a quick-fix. I’m going to stop going on crash-diets followed by weight gain. I’m going to stop feeling guilty about my life.

Every time I reach for something that is detrimental to my health and happiness, I’m going to firmly tell myself that I can do better. That I deserve better.

I’m going to have fun, and I’m going to do it the right way.

I’ll set myself up for success by not setting myself up for failure. That means if I want to have wine or make a pizza (notice I said make… as in from scratch) then I’ll do it. The guilt-free part comes from not doing it often. Keeping it special makes it a reward and indulgence rather than something I’ll feel horrible about the next day.

No diets. Just good choices with some breathing room for fun.

That’s how I’m going to lose the weight and keep it off, and I’m going to have a damn good time doing it.

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