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February 21, 2010


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I don't have the two-story ceilings I'd need to do tosses indoors

("There goes my Louis XV chandelier.")

I kept reading "hopping"! Those are a lot of things to learn -- don't get too worn out.

It's actually quite invigorating, except for the bruises on the hands. And yesterday I became one with my hoop and managed to keep it going around my waist for ten straight minutes without dropping it! I would have been able to go longer, too, but I decided to get fancy and move my feet and discovered that I really wasn't ready for footwork yet. But it really clicked -- suddenly it was much less effort than before to keep it spinning.

Huzzah, Susan!

Another good session today in the twilight during the break from the drizzle. New accomplishment: keeping the hoop going at hip level rather than waist level off and on rather than having it drop to the ground the moment I let it off my waist. New tricks: (1) tossing it from my right hand and catching it in the left; (2) spinning and tossing it CW with my right hand; and (3) spinning the hoop from hand to hand around my body (me not inside the hoop itself) AND going from that to a lasso spin over my head with either the right hand or the left (for once, right is easier) AND going back from lasso to around-the-body. I didn't even try to learn that third trick-set; it just sort of started to happen and I went with it.

Of course, every time I try to go from lasso to on my waist or vice-versa, it sank like a stone. One can't have everything.

Oh, very cool stuff to get to do. When I was six to eight, we just rolled it around our waists -- it was part of hula training.

Susan... It looks to me like you're mastering the thing pretty quickly. Then again, I'm not surprised.

Well, I've lost five pounds since February 16th. I'm hoping for five more by the end of March. I haven't hooped for the last couple of days because I'm too sick to stand up, let alone exercise, but the combination of added exercise and sticking heroically do a daily calorie count seems to be working well. I'm not doing anything drastic dietwise, just keeping track of every bite that goes into my mouth (right down to M&Ms, pieces, four) and keeping the total calorie count 500-800 calories below the amount I estimate (using standard calculations) I burn per day. I'm doing the counting online, so the math is done for me and the comparisons are easy.

I'm still a good 15 pounds heavier than I was at Denvention, and I wasn't happy with my weight then. So there's a long way to go. Let's hope I can stick with it this time.

I don't count the calories I ingest, but there is a lot of yogurt in my life. And frequent long-before-dawn trips to the gym, with lots of situps.

Ack. I hope you feel better soon, Susan!

My last nephrology appointment showed I've lost seven of the pounds I gained during my stroke hospitalization last year. And come to think of that, this was the day I became unconscious and they actually believed something was wrong with my brain. I was unconscious and incompetent for three days and woke up finding myself tied to the bed. I'd tried to get away from the staff the night before and almost killed myself getting out of bed. The reason I wanted away is that they had three half-faces. Their left, their right, and their other right and I clearly had to get away. When they turned the TV on and it had the same half-faces, I realized it was my brain, not them. I was increasingly more competent and came home after 26 days.

Congratulations on the weight loss, Marilee.

I'm down 6.5 pounds in about 3.5 weeks since I started the combination of hooping and diet. The first interim goal is ten pounds by the end of March, and I think I have a good shot at making it.

Recent accomplishments in hoopland: passing it under my left leg as I kick that leg up and finally (three times, very clumsily, amid many failures) managing to go from around my waist to up in lasso position without stopping or dropping it. I finally see the light at the far end of a very long tunnel on that move. I've also started using my smaller hoop again, the one that I wasn't able to keep spinning around my waist a month ago. Now I can keep it spinning for a few minutes with some effort and occasional drops. That's a very noticeable increase in strength/coordination. I'm going to start splitting my workout between the two hoops. I've also ordered a travel one that I can take more conveniently on planes, trains, and buses for when I travel.

The health benefits have long been know to alien supervillains, as this photo shows.

Oh, you're sure learning quickly, Susan!

I manage to get waist-to-lasso several times at this evening's twilight hoop practice. It's terribly clumsy, but I'm getting the concept. And I managed twelve kicks-while-passing-hoop-under in a row for the first time.

A lasso? The Lasso of Truth, maybe?

There's a picture of me hooping briefly in the hotel at Lunacon on Facebook. Danny Lieberman took it and tagged it. I'm not sure how to link directly to it, but I expect anyone on Facebook can find it via my Photos tab. Maybe I'll copy it and post it here.

Please do, Susan.

As of this morning's weigh-in I've reached my first weight loss goal of ten pounds before the end of March! Woo hoo! That's since 2/16. Total weight loss is probably a bit more since I was afraid to weigh myself before I started working on it.

Next goal: ten more pounds by the end of May. Nine weeks; should be doable.

Good news, Susan!

BTW, I had to empty my history and am now getting capchas. Can you change that?

Congratulations, Susan!

Congratulations on reaching Goal #1! I really think goals are so much more manageable when you break them down into mini-goals.

(goals and I are not getting along right now, however. I finally set some at my gym, and have not made any progress on them due to constantly being too sick to go to said gym)

By the way, I love that you're practicing to Wolgemut! They're a very cool and nice band. We saw them perform on a nasty, drizzly day at the NY Ren Faire, and I even got up on stage and danced with them for an audience of 5 people (4 of which had gone to the show with me). The show was unfortunately cut short when one of the bagpiper's pipes broke due to the humidity! It was repairable, but not on-stage :(

AJ... The show was unfortunately cut short when one of the bagpiper's pipes broke due to the humidity

That sounds like the premise for a Monty Python skit, with a few unexploded Scotsmen thrown in.

There were hoops at the Egg Roll yesterday because they wanted people to exercise more than just using a spoon and egg.

Hurrah for hoops at egg roll!

I have added about ten minutes to my hooping routine to bring it up to 40m three or four days a week. As I lose weight (down 12 lbs so far) I have to do more work to burn the same calories. This seems unfair.

Today's good hoop news is that I finally got the lift-up move to work reasonably consistently, which is to say the hoop always went up and most of the time went up and spun around my hand in a reasonable way. The other times it skewed wildly but I was able to recover and get it spinning. It's not exactly the graceful float-up that it's supposed to be, since it still involves me ducking my head and closing my eyes and hoping I don't hit myself in the face with the hoop, but doing the move clumsily is better than the last several weeks of not being able to do it at all. Smoothing it out should take less time than getting it to work did.

Maybe tomorrow I will try to add a new move.

Marilee: are you still getting the capchas or did they go away?

Strange... I'm sure I posted something here last night.

I'm getting the capchas if I html URLs in. Otherwise things are fine.

I'm glad your work with the hoops continues to be fun and move forward!

The lift-up move continues to progress. I even did it while smiling once, instead of grimacing and ducking, though it was kind of a fixed smile.

I then made up for this success by whacking my left ear really hard the next time I did the move. I am now icing my ear. Sigh.

I hope your ear feels better, Susan. By the way, what is your hoop made of?

Um...I have three hoops. They're some sort of plastic tubing, but with the fancy decorative tape on them I can't tell you precisely what. Why?

I was thinking that if a hoop were made of wood, that'd have been one heck of a smack to your ear just because of the mass. I guess plastic tubing packs quite a punch when it's got all that momentum. That being said, is your ear feeling less sore today?

19thc hoops were made of wood, but were used more for rolling around (using a stick for guidance) than any kind of on-body spinning, as far as I know. The plastic ones weigh maybe a one or two pounds, but that's still quite a bit when smacked into your ear at high speed. My ear is fine now, though.

The other big news: I am now down fourteen pounds since 2/15. And the lift-up move is now at the point where I succeed consistently at it and can do it without having to deliberately slow the hoop and turn my body to make it easier. I still have to work on the ducking and closing my eyes, though. :)

I also learned a nice move to reverse the spin of the hoop and send it going the other way, at which point I found out that I can't actually hoop in the other direction. Oops. I'll have to work on that.

It's so much easier now that it's warm and the sun is out late in the day.

You must be spending a lot of time practicing!

I had to do the capcha on that last one without any html.

Marilee: 45 minutes a day three or four days a week, depending on weather and travel and such. The time just flies by because it's fun, which puts it miles ahead of every other form of exercise I've tried.

Susan... How could hooping be a weight-loss activity more fun than 2008's Fruity Cheerios diet?

Well, it lets me eat whatever I want, for starters.

Today I learned to hoop on my right elbow. Then I learned to toss the hoop from my right elbow up into the air. Twice, I even managed to catch it on my left hand. The other times, I chased it across the back yard.

Hooping on my left elbow was a total failure. I am apparently very right-elbowed.

And as of today, I have lost 16 pounds in nine weeks via the combination of hooping and dieting. I think I'm going to make my 20-pounds-by-Balticon goal with time to spare.

Excellent! I weighed when I was at Kaiser Tuesday and I've lost five pounds since 3/31, but I think it's because I'm not eating the minimum calories I'm supposed to.

I'm eating 1700-2100 calories per day and burning 2200-2700. I have a daily minimum of 1600 calories so that my body doesn't go into starvation mode. But on dance weekends especially I burn a ton of extra calories and don't eat enough to keep up.

I'm required to get at least 1000 calories a day, and I'm having a lot of trouble doing that. Things just make me nauseated. If I do it for too long, I get hospitalized with malnutrition.

Incredibly Shrinking Susan update: now down 18 pounds. I'm actually wondering whether I should start eating more to slow down the pace.

Are you feeling queasy or ill, Susan? As for myself, I haven't been to the gym in more than 3 weeks now, what with work and my wife's recent surgery making me keep odd hours. It's been a choice between getting some sleep and keeping fit.

No, I don't feel ill at all, but one is not supposed to lose weight too quickly. Maybe I'm just suspicious because it seems too easy. And I really do have a long way to go -- I was trying on clothes last night and I still have a great deal of flab that I haven't made a dent in yet. My overall goal is around fifty pounds.

The first half today's hoop session was just dreadful. I was dropping the hoop on moves I mastered months ago. I attribute this to the fact that a raccoon who really should have been asleep by now decided to climb a tree and then sit there and watch me. Clearly I am not ready for an audience!

After the raccoon left, things improved. I can reliably spin a hoop on either elbow now, and elbow-tosses from my right elbow to my left hand are coming along pretty well. Left elbow to right hand, not so good yet. And I am getting fairly consistent at the around-the-back pass I learned last night at hoop class and the around-the-neck roll. And the cat-cow thing is coming along enough that I can hoop on my upper chest for several rotations, though not very gracefully. I also finally managed to get the hoop spinning in my non-natural direction for about 90-second bursts. That is way ahead of the five-second bursts that were the previous record. I still feel amazing clumsy hooping clockwise. (I naturally hoop counter-clockwise.)

So it worked out to be an okay session, but that first part was just awful. I was thinking about hooping in public or even busking, but clearly I have a lot more work to do on consistency first.

Well, and an audience that doesn't scare you like a raccoon!

The audience badgered you?

Twenty pounds down. Wow. Three weeks before my goal, too. I am tempted to go for 25 by 5/27. And I hardly hooped at all this week since my hamstrings were aching for no obvious reason and it seemed safer not to strain them.

Much safer, yes, Susan. You're ahead, as you pointed out so why risk crippling yourself?

Good job, Susan!

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