Okay, so the truth is I inherited good abs from my dad. He never worked out a day in his life. His exercise philosophy was: ‘never sit when you can stand, never stand when you can walk, never walk when you can run’. He pushed himself to get a little more activity out of the simple things he did every day, like running up and down the stairs, or taking them two at a time. He had a way of eating that worked for him and he maintained his lean body throughout his life. My nephew got his abs, too.
Unlike my dad, it has been fairly easy for me to put on weight if I’m not getting enough exercise and paying attention to what I’m eating. Menopause exacerbated this situation a few years ago and for the first time in my life I really didn’t feel like working out or running as I had for most of my life. My body went through countless changes, some of them more challenging than others. One of my least favorite being that I gained about five pounds beyond my normal high weight (my weight has fluctuated in the same three to five pound range through most of my adult life) that would not budge. And, horror of horrors, it all gathered around my waist and hips. One day I put on my favorite jeans this extra flesh popped out over the waistband…
Last August I started hooping and something miraculous happened. I dropped five pounds within about a week without even trying. Every time I went to San Ramon Valley Fitness, the new fitness studio where I’d started taking classes, Cori, the owner, would comment on how different I looked, how much weight I’d lost and embarassed me more than once by telling the other women there how great my abs looked. This was high praise coming from someone who is a personal trainer and multi-faceted fitness pro. My friends started to notice the transformation, too. Even my neighbor, a guy who had seen me running for years commented on how much I’d slimmed down from hooping.
Before long the midsection flab disappeared and the abs I’d always taken for granted returned stronger and more defined than ever before. I noticed a growing awareness of my newly strengthened core and a new sense of confidence and well-being as I moved through my days. And it isn’t just me. I have met so many people who have dramatically changed their body and their life through hooping. Hooping, done consistently, has offered countless hoopers who were formerly regular people, just like you and me, not only absolution but redemption for many of the sins of the flesh: overeating, under-exercising, stinginess with self-love and lack of joyful activity.
I invite you to pick up a hoop and try it for a month. What have you got to lose besides that muffin top?