Friday, May 27, 2011

Plus Size Hooping

Can you be fat and hoop?
Can you be curvy and bust out some bombtastic moves?
Can all the fluffy women out there stop using their weight as a handicap?

Well, I think the answer to the first two questions are yes.  The last question I'm not sure about.  I'll get to that more later in this blog post. 

First question first: Can you be fat and hoop? Yes.
The problem with a lot of plus size ladies is the fact that they do not have the right size hoop.  Once you have the right size hoop, it can be easier that it would be with a child's hoop. 
Wanna see what it looks like to have the wrong sized hoop for your body? Here's a nice video:


So, now that you have a proper hoop, does that mean you will be able to win a hula hoop endurance contest right then? Heck no.  You might not even be able to hold it up for six seconds.  It took me days to be able to build up to a minute of hooping. Let me tell you, my first hoop was 1 inch, 160 PSI 50ish inch hoop.  It could break my foot.  It has bruised my friends.  It'd probably give me a concussion.  But it was also the only hoop I could use for a long time.  It should have a sloooooooooow rotation but that didn't help me keep it up here:


Wanna know why I can't keep it up?  I do not have this fantastic thing called muscle memory.  How many of you people move like you would hula hoop before hooping?  Probably like five people.  You are learning something completely different and foreign to your body.  Don't expect your body to produce a miracle overnight.  Even if you are a used to Latin dancing, if you were to switch to jazz or ballet, you'd still have to develop the muscle memory.

Hooping takes a magical thing: Practice.  Don't believe me?  You see what I looked like in February?  I could barely keep the hoop up.  I worked and worked on it.  I even joined the 30/30 challenge on Hooping.org.  It was a challenge to hoop for 30 minutes a day for 30 days.  Hence the title: 30/30.  That really made me focus on hooping and getting better.  It gave me intention and a goal.  By the middle of that, I want to show you how much more comfortable I was hooping on my waist alone.


It's amazing how much practice has helped me grow as a hooper.  If you want to hoop, practice + right hoop helps everything.  If you have a hoop that works for you now but you are having trouble with other tricks, try making a bigger hoop.  The bigger the hoop, the   s  l  o  w  e  r    the rotation.  Try spinning with the hoop.  Do whatever you can do to help you start developing muscle memory.  I've learned most on-body tricks with my flamer hoop.  I learned chest hooping with that behemoth and it bruised.  I started to learn diagonal hooping on it (until I got the diagonal to the point where it hit the ground).  I have gone down a hoop but it's the same height as my flamer hoop (pure accident).  I've even been told that I need to keep training my body with that hoop to be able to achieve the things I want to conquer.


Can a plus size hooper be bombtastic?
Fuck yeah!  It takes practice and probably is a lot harder work.  Being plus size means that you may not have that endurance to do tons of jumps or random crazy stuff.  Also, you will have to figure out what works for your body.  Your body may be shaped differently than other people.  You may have to make allowances for that.  If your knees are shot, should you even consider doing tons of jumps? I hope not. Listen to your body.  If it hurts, don't do it.  And if you can't do something, make something else up to make up for it!  I can't do that body twizzle, but I've started to do a move similar that I like that has confused normal sized hoopers at first.  If you have seen my latest video, you can see me popping out the chest hooping.  Did I do that overnight? Hell no.  I've worked hard.  I've cried.  I've thrown tantrums.  I've almost quit. But I didn't.  I came back every time.  If I couldn't get a move down, I'd either drill it in or move on till a few weeks later, I tried again and succeeded.  Wasn't there a plus size hooper in Hooping Idol?  Hmm, I believe there was.  You have to rock pretty hard to make it that long.

Can all the fluffy women out there stop using their weight as a handicap?
 I'm sorry if I offended anyone here.  I honestly believe that sometimes we use our weight as a handicap.  If you have some extra love on your body, how many times have you thought, "oh I won't do that till I lose ___ pounds," "Oh I can't do that cause I'm too fat," or "this is so hard cause I'm fat?"  Maybe it's only me.  Maybe.  But I doubt it.  There are two amazing hoopers in my area.  I take classes from one of them and met one at the hoop jam recently.  They both told me that it took them forever to learn to waist hoop.  One girl said, "it took me months."  She's average sized; I'd kill for her body.  It took me a month to learn. I don't count the years I tried before.  That'd be a day of trying and then giving up.  That barely counts.  Sometimes I find myself thinking, "If was skinny, this would be easy."  But it wouldn't be.  They say when some people lose weight they find themselves unhappier than when they were fat.    That's because those are the people that have blamed every problem on their weight.  When that guy rejected you, maybe it wasn't because of your weight, but your personality?  Maybe you didn't get that job because you weren't qualified?  Although there is some weight discrimination in this world, not everything is because we're fat.  Trust me, I can twist my husbands words so easily to say that he just called me fat and he'll argue that he's never said those things to be ever.  It's true.  He's never called me fat.  Sometimes we hear what we are afraid of.  If that makes sense.  

I used to swear that I'd never let my weight hold me back.  I sorta held true to that.  Until I realized I was holding my personality back because I was afraid of what others thought of me due to my weight.  When I had my big breaking point, I realized my weight was holding me back all these years.  I was too rose-tinted glasses to see it.  Even after losing eighty pounds, I let my fear hold me back.  I've done things as a plus sized hooper that I wouldn't have ever done 40 pounds ago.

Am I losing weight with the hoop? No but that's cause I eat like a fat pig and I haven't had a solid hooping practice recently.  I know if I were to curb my eating and stop letting pop creep back into my life, I'd lose weight.  Hooping is helping me maintain my loss (which is currently at 50 pounds).  The thing is I love hooping.  I'm not on a diet and I'm exercising?  I'm looking forward to...*cough, cough*...exercise?! What?  Maybe this is much better than I thought.  Hooping has changed my life and this isn't the last stop.  I may be plus sized, but I'm here hooping world.  I'm here and I'm proud.  One day, one day, the hooping world will know my name! 
 
So, yes, you can be a bombtastic plus sized hooper.  It takes the right hoop and practice.  And please stop having an excuse.  When you hear yourself thinking that it'd be easier if you were thinner, squash that damn thought!  Wear a rubber band and snap it!  As much as I am one that will free myself to the anger at the hoop, I do not allow that self talk.  If you self talk like that, you will be like that.  You will be a "failure" if you keep thinking, "I'm a failure."  You're not.  You're you and you are special.

Practice, Practice, Practice.

Late edit:
This is what you may do with over 2000 hours of flight time with your hoop aka my latest hooping video.

7 comments:

  1. in love with hoop!!!!!!! lovely post!!
    follow you!
    http://www.thefourthcornerofstephanie.blogspot.com/
    xx

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  2. Love your post Shannon. Thanks for the suggestions.

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  3. Thanks so much for this blog post! I'm a big girl and a friend le.t me a hoop to tr. i was feeling really discouraged and google plus size hula hooping. you blog makes me think I can do it! thanks!

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  4. thank you for the inspiration :)

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  5. You're so inspiring, as an athlete who is plus size endurance hasn't been my problem at all, I think I've been scared to try. I am currently losing weight and often think to myself "I can try that when I'm thinner" but now I'll try everything as I am. Thank you for this post! :)

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  6. so how do you know what the right size hoop for you is. mine comes up to in between my belly button and chest. should it be weighted?

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