• I'm really starting to see some big changes in my body over the last couple of months. I've been trying to lose about 2 pounds a month and I've been pretty good at hitting that goal - one year into my effort and I'm down 22 pounds. But because it is such a small amount per month to lose, and it took a while to add up, I didn't really see any difference in how I looked until recently.

    All of a sudden, I can hardly stop starting at myself in the mirror! I'm actually starting to like the way I look. I find I'm also much more positive in general about things, and I am much more outgoing. I never thought of myself as a wallflower type, but I've never been the busy super friendly kind of social. And all of a sudden, this outgoing personality has taken over! What the heck?!? Now I'm starting to realize how much I let my weight limit me and that I never realized it. I know I used my weight as a reason not to take up belly dancing for years (even though I really wanted to learn), but it looks like I'm guilty of much more than that.

    I have no idea what else will change as I get closer to my goal, what other realizations I will have. Whatever it is - bring it on!

  • Awesome! That is really excellent, you've been steady and changed more than just your weight; these are the things that I aspire to do as well. I only just recently joined a bellydancing class myself, isn't it great?
  • I've been meaning to exercise at home to some bellydancing DVDs I have - Hemalaya I believe is the dancer. I still have a long way to get to my goal but I have decided to enjoy being in my body despite its size. I was attempting to recede from view in black clothes before, I can't bear to wear black at all anymore. When I was thin I wore ice cream pastels most often and I thought until recently that those colors would be reserved for me once I'm at my goal, but I've changed my mind and I'm wearing them now. Good job on your weight loss. Losing slowly is actually better because you will be more likely to keep it off.
  • That's great! When I had lost weight before it was crazy how much more I would go and do. That's one of the big pushes for me to lose again. Friends are wanting to go out to places and I just don't want to. I'm scared someone will see me that hasn't since I gained the weight back. Last time someone I knew asked me if I was pregnant. I said no and she asked if I was sure. AHHH! I can be a bit neurotic at times, hee hee. Anyway, I'm so glad you've hit that point of confidence. Grats!!!
  • This is the first time I have had a sustained weight loss in well...hmmm... forever! I have never had much trouble losing weight on a diet in the past, but it *always* came back with a few extra friends. It is so tempting to rush a few pounds every now and then, but slow and steady is working so far, and I'm trying to keep the attitude of 'if it ain't broke, don't mess with it'.

    Gypsy Severena - I have had a few falls off the wagon, but I'm looking at them in a positive way too - they really help to remind me of why I am making this effort. When I break down and have a bad week for eating, I feel really crappy. I don't like feeling crappy, so it is getting easier and easier to stay on the wagon. And yay for you for joining bellydance class! I have never had so much fun exercising in my life!

    shrinkingviolet - definitely start with those bellydancing dvds! This sort of dancing has made me so much more comfortable in my own body then I ever thought possible. I must admit though, that I am still wearing black. But I think it's because I have always been a black fan. When I was a thin teenager, I wore black. In my 20's and 30's I wore black, but with the occasional grey or jewel tone thrown in. I will probably always be a black wearer because I like it.

    butterfly120 - ugh - the pregnant comment. I hate that! It's happened to me too. It's enough to make you want to crawl in a hole and die! Still though - you should go out with your friends and do what you want to do with your life. I know that's so much easier said than done, and that it is soooo hard to get up the courage and do it, but once you can manage it, you will be so glad you went and had fun. I let my weight stop me from starting bellydance lessons for over 10 years, and now I am so mad at myself, I could kick me. I was too concerned about what others would think (silly/fat/gross...) that I let it stop me from enjoying *my* life. It was really hard work to convince myself that it did not matter what they thought. So what if they thought I was fat! So what if they thought I was silly looking! *I* was doing this for *me*, not for them.

  • Wow. You are awesome. I think that by taking it slow, you will definitely have more luck keeping it off. I'm losing quickly because I am so anxious and have little patience. But I'm also completely changing my relationship with food this time. Adding regular exercise is a change for me too.

    I would LOVE to try bellydancing. Can you guys recommend any particular DVDs? This isn't offered at my gym, and I probably won't spend money elsewhere right now. But a DVD would be great.
  • I just bought a belly dancing dvd, its called Dance Off the Inches fat burning Belly Dance. I haven't tried it yet though. I am looking for a plus size specific belly dancing group in my area, as I would like to interact with other people too.

    I think with the more weight you lose the more you feel like yourself and not the person you present to people while hiding behind the weight. I hardly talked to people at my largest, I didn't want to draw any unneeded attention to myself. But I think when you drop weight your confidence grows and your true personality can come out. Its good you are doing it slowly! A lot of people who do crash diets gain back because it wasn't the healthy way to do things!
  • Hi everyone again, hi Beesknees. Today I thought I'd turn over that new leaf and I popped in my bellydancing DVD: it is called Hemalayaa Beautiful Belly, it is an aerobic workout with bellydance moves. Hemalayaa is awe-inspiring, talk about an example of being comfortable in one's skin. I would love to be so comfortable and so fit. I sat and watched the whole DVD, it was great. Next time I swear I will actually do it. I love those smilies... I also have Bollywood Burn with Hemalayaa. I got them from Acacia, which is online. A few days ago I ordered a yoga DVD from Acacia that might interest you guys: Chakra Balancing Yoga. I am definitely not confident enough yet to take a dance class w/humans in it.
  • I just finished a belly dancing class and am now getting into the Bollywood scene which I adore. There are some freebies on FREE on DEMAND also.
  • You know what is really weird about this 'new me'? Two years ago, before I started this drive to lose weight, I would have sworn up, down, sideways and inside and out, that I was not using my weight as an excuse. I had several friends confide in me that they were really glad that I seemed happy with my weight and seemed to be a confident, happy person.

    My weight loss didn't even start out with a 'mental attitude adjustment' element to it. But once I lost the first 10 pounds, I noticed I was more active and more positive. 5 more pounds and I signed up for belly dance lessons. 10 pounds more gone and I am *stunned* at how I feel about myself. I feel like some corny infomercial that vows it 'will change your life'.

    About bellydancing DVDs - Pretty well any DVD is good for learning a thing or two, so use what you have. There are many difeerent styles of belly dance, and the different DVDs reflect that. What style I like may be quite different than whay you end up liking, so try whatever you can get and see where they take you! These are a couple of well recommended belly dance DVDs that are good for newbie basics:

    Bellydance Basics and Beyond by Jenna
    Bellydance for Core Fitness by Ayshe

    But - the best thing is to find a local class if you can afford it. The instructor will be able to correct your posture and technique, and inspire you to do more and better. I don't know how comon it is to find 'plus size positive' teachers and classes out there, but based on some of the belly dance forums I have read, being fat is *not* a problem. Most teachers are more than happy to teach to all sizes. Size is no bar to belly dancing. Some movements look better when you're whip thin, others look better with a few extra pounds, and some look best on heavier women. My teacher is thin and supple, but is so very encouraging to me and a couple of other heavier women in the class that no one feel self conscious at all! And now that I can shimmy, boy, does it look better on me than on the stick thin girls! If dancing is in your blood, then go for it, and don't allow worry about what other people might think stop you. Remember - you are not doing this for others, you are doing this for *YOURSELF*. This is your life to have fun with, so go do it!!!!

  • You are right, bopeep, it is interesting how bellydancing is often made more alluring when performed by a woman with a little extra poundage, esp. the shimmies.