Being the Fat Girl Hooper

This has been conflicting me the last few days and I just wanted to talk about it with someone/thing. The other day, someone made a comment to me, "If hooping burns a lot of calories, why are you still fat? And you don't even look good doing it."  One person even said, "I thought you were nice till you starting this hooping thing.  Now I think you're weirder than shit."

I actually disagree.  I think I looking freaking fantastic! But the thing is with hooping for 30 minutes a day, I can maintain 250 easy while eating like a pig. Now, when I stopped hooping as much, I went up to 274. 275 is like no-no zone. It's way too close for 300 for me. I feel like a success that I lost the 15 pounds (I'm now at 248) with hoopingdiet and I have successfully stayed away from 300 for 3 years.

Why hooping means so much to me even without the weight loss is that I know that it will prevent me from ever going to my highest weight.  When I realized I was awfully close to the beginning, I upped my hooping practice.  Example:  I've only been hooping 20 minutes most days this month.  I've ranged from okay eating to awful binging when I come home from work.  I never got above 255.  I'm pretty sure I wouldn't even dipped into the 250s if I was doing 30 minutes or even 20 minutes everyday.

My goal since Thanksgiving has been to lose or maintain. Yes, I'd like to lose fast but I don't really care. It's what I'm calling passive weight loss. If it involves 1-2 months perfect and 1 month of not so perfect, awesome. Also, the biggest difference on my weight loss right now is that I'm keeping it a psuedo-secret. I'm not blasting it on facebook or even telling my family other than my husband.  So, yes, I have lost weight hooping.  And I've maintained weight loss with hooping.  Hooping is my go-to cardio now.  And this is the reason why I gave up a few years ago because the "weight wasn't coming off fast enough" or I didn't "look like I should." With this new mental change, I think it may help that mental platueu.

Is it horrible that I am not a perfect size 6? I've had others tell me that see me every day that my face has gotten thinner since October. None of my weight loss is noticeable.  But I don't care because my clothes fit, my knee doesn't hurt anymore (like at 274) and no heartburn. And I really don't care or I didn't until someone made that comment. It's just bringing me down.

Hooping has given me friends.  I honestly will say that I have friends now!  I go outside and I feel more confident in life.  I even called a gym the other day to see if I can teach there (no answer).

I think it also shows the type of people in the hooping community.  They seem to be so welcoming no matter what your size and looks.  I know I've helped quite a few people in the hooping community through my personal blog, my articles, and various emails I've gotten from other hoopers.  This one girl I've never met has listed me as her hooping momma because I inspired her!  

Is this what the lady from Dances with Fat feels like?     I have deep down worries that the reason that I'm not making any impact at all is because of my weight.  Would various gyms let me teach if I was thin?  Would people think it was cooler if I was skinny and in a bikini?  Can I not do these tricks because of my weight?  Is there something wrong with me?

I will tell you that I've always been weird.  I come off wrong with a lot of people.  I'm quirky and odd.  My best friends growing up was my imaginary friends, I played with barbies till I was 15 (in hiding), I used to dance around at the top of the hill pretending I was going to be the next Brittany Spears, and I used to read tons of books.  I'd dream of being in Harry's world or being Sara Crewe.  I loved playing school cause I loved learning.  School was the only place that I'd see other people than my family.  If it wasn't for FCCLA and 4-H, I would have been a total hermit.  I was an angry teen that listened to death metal except I also loved to help people.  I was too bubbly to be gothic even though those type of people seemed to be the only ones that'd get my sense of humor.  

I was doomed from the beginning.  I asked John if hooping made me weird.  He looked at me and laughed, "You were weird before that."


  1. Don't let those jerks get you down Shannon! Only you know how healthy you are and how good you feel. I lived in an intentional community for 8 years in Vermont and the kids I lived with would sometimes tell me, "You're weird!" But I always took it as a compliment and said, "Thank you!!" So fly your freak flag high, with pride, and know you're in good company. ;-) And we're having WAY more fun than anyone who hasn't discovered hooping yet.

  2. Don't let rude people get to you! Enjoy your hooping! Oh, and I played with Barbies also much longer than my friends did.

  3. Wow, I hate people for this exact reason. Who cares if you're losing or maintaining (I mean, I know you do, but no one else should), especially if you're having a good time. Hooping is GOOD for you, mentally, emotionally & physically. Doesn't necesarily mean you're going to lose a ton of weight, but it makes you happier & happier/healthier is more important than how you look! & embrace being weird.... who wants to be normal?!

  4. Oh Shannon, I really shouldn't be surprised at how mean and insensitive people can be. Just know I think you are super awesome! To put yourself out there all over the internet because of your passion is amazing! And yes, I am a weird hoop girl, too. But I love it because I know how it makes me feel. Just remember that!

  5. Shannon, I fought with my body for so long. I hated it. I hated it when it was bigger, and I hated it when it was smaller. I didn't trust my body, and I wouldn't try anything new - especially anything that might put me in front of people and that might involve perfection or, more to the point, imperfection. I'm quite a bit older than you are, and I've walked all the way through most of that, but there are still moments. What the hoop gives to me is NOT about how I look in a hoop, how many calories I burn, or the fact that isolations tighten the *wings*. The hoop brings me joy. It allows me to be weird, dance around, act like a kid, be a bit of a loon. It also challenges my mind, and it helps calm me down and loosen me up. It helps me not take myself so seriously.

    Everything I've read of yours tells me that the hoop, for you, is about joy too. And that is such a beautiful thing.

    And by the way - I've shared several of your stories and videos with friends who are afraid to try hooping because they're "not the right body type" (whatever that means). You're inspiring people you don't even know all the time.

  6. I think part of it is that our culture has this idea that weight loss should be easy and fast. It's why so many people buy gym memberships in January for their new year resolutions, and then in a few months, hardly any of them are still going. People start fad diets and new weight loss programs all the time only to give them up. I think when these kind of people look for the "next thing" to try, they might want to see some thin girl with a hula hoop to inspire them, not because they want to put in the effort and take personal responsibility for their choices and activity levels, but because they see, "if I do what she's doing, I'll look like her." It presents this "have it all now" attitude of our fast moving consumer society where everything is obtained at the hit of a button.

    And these are the people who see you representing the hula hoop and will get the impression that it might be hard work to lose weight. It might be difficult. It might mean a lot of sacrifice and setting goals and burning out until you get to them.

    But these are the people you don't want in you classes anyway, because these are the people who won't appreciate hooping for what it is. They won't share your passion or love for it. They won't be able to have fun doing it. They won't put in the work to learn moves. They want quick fast solutions, and no matter how inspiring you are, they won't stick with it and likely would bring you down anyway as a teacher who seemingly can't get through to them in sharing your joy.

    I'm sorry you're getting such awful comments from people. It's absurd. I guess people will always find something rude to say whenever someone puts themselves out there. I think it's phenomenal that you are teaching and enjoying hooping. I wish people wouldn't make comments that don't reflect the truth of what you are doing. You are on a mission, and you have worked so hard to get where you are now. Breathe deeply and strong, let it go, and keep on. <3

  7. But you DO look awesome doing it gosh damnit!

    You're amazing and you're passionate and the people who say you're weird—let them. I love your weirdness. I'm weird too. And I'm the same way when it comes to hooping/weight loss. I lost some weight from hooping. But now I can hoop, pretty much eat however I want and maintain my weight. I'm not skinny. But hooping has taught me to love my curves. They look pretty rockin when I'm spinning—as do yours!

  8. Don't let the ass holes get you down! I'm right in the same range that you are. About 250-255 and I hoop about 15 minutes a day. During the summer I go a bit more because I can be outside, but being a chubby hooper is fun, active, and a great way to meet people. Screw the people who want to complain. I bet you look hot doing it too!

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