Monday, November 23, 2009

Shimmy On Out Of Here

We had a family member’s birthday dinner this evening. I always find it toughest at these sit down functions to eat as well as I would like because I am concerned that I will hurt people’s feelings if I don’t gorge myself on what they made. I also sometimes worry that I will be looked at strangely for demonstrating such a different approach to festive eating than I used to display. I think that I did pretty well though; I kept my portions down and took it slowly, making sure that I put my fork down a lot in between bites. It’s all about retraining myself – not to consume different foods at these events per say, but rather to change the way in which I actually go about eating.

On a totally different topic, I just had the absolute worst workout of this journey! Wow, it was simply awful! Over a year ago a friend and I were in a store and I pointed out a bellydancing DVD set that I thought looked interesting. This particular friend has dabbled minorly in bellydancing and thought that it looked good enough that she bought the videos and promptly lent them to me. I was thrilled but, being the procrastinator I am, I let them sit for quite a while before finally attempting the introduction one. I remember that I was not overly impressed when I eventually tried it, but I was exercising in a very small space and my heart just wasn’t into it, so I put the set away to try again another day.

Today was the day and… well… it sucked. I am woman enough to admit when something is difficult and I am not too proud to embrace my own limitations, but neither of those have to come into play here whatsoever. This DVD was horrible! I am not sure if they were trying to sell a date with the bleach blond bombshell who was ‘demonstrating’ the bellydance moves, or if the film editor just had a series of embolisms when he was doing his job, but I really did not need to see more close-ups of that woman’s face than shots of the actual dance. Seriously, at least half of that tape must have been of her smiling as she slowly counted, “…sssixxxx, seeveennn, aaannnd eeeiiight.” They even went so far as to throw in a couple slow motion shots of her, akin to something I would expect to see in a late night phone sex advertisement when the camera pans across one of those high-haired, pouty-lipped girls! It was ridiculous!

The worst thing was that they didn’t actually show the majority of the moves! The camera focused so much on her upper body that I still have no idea what most of the leg movements are supposed to look like. It’s as if the people involved thought that half the fun of an introduction video is letting the viewer guess whether or not they are doing things correctly. Plus, it didn’t even get my heart rate up at all, and I just ended up feeling like I wasted forty-five minutes of my life.

(Note that everything I have stated before now was written a little earlier in the night, and this paragraph is actually an edit done prior to posting.) Since I am a sucker, and because I wanted to ensure that I was being completely unbiased in my harsh review of this entire exercise set based on just a single video, I popped in the second one to give it a try. Now in all fairness, initially, I was pleasantly surprised that it was different enough from the first one to warrant continuing the workout and not just ripping the DVD out of the player in frustration after the first two minutes. The concentration on the blond’s face was somewhat minimized and they had done a much better job of providing wider screenshots to allow the viewer to actually see the majority of what was being demonstrated. However, the teaching was still poor and rushed, one of the most important elements continued to be the wardrobe changes, and it inevitably left me wanting to smack the woman by the end.

The sad part is that I have always thought that bellydancing looked like it would be really fun to learn, but these videos have kind of dampened my enthusiasm to pursue it right now. I honestly feel that they did a disservice to a normally beautiful form of artistic expression. I’ll tell you one thing… I am so glad that I wasn’t the one who spent the money on that DVD set. I was feeling pretty guilty about having kept it for so long – not that my friend ever asked for it back – but now I’m thinking that I was doing her a huge favour!

- 11 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 banana
- 1 toasted whole wheat English muffin with light strawberry jam
- 1/4 cup unsalted cashews
- 2 slices of mustard and brown sugar glazed ham with mustard
- 1/4 cup canned corn
- 1 white dinner roll with butter
- 2 sweet pickles
- 3/4 cup scalloped potatoes
- 2/3 cup rainbow sherbet
- 1 coconut shortbread cookie
- 2 1/2 cups Caesar salad with fat free dressing, dried cranberries, and croutons

- 1 hour and 25 minutes of bellydancing videos completed in 2 sessions (45 minutes long and 40 minutes long)


  1. love love the honest review.
    Im always honest and when I did a notsonice (BUT HONEST!) review of a product I couldnt get the company to stop emailing me about trying it again

    i didnt

    will you try the dvd again?

  2. Good for you for doing the mindful eating thing!

    I've never had a desire to try bellydancing. I don't know why. It is beautiful when done correctly.

  3. Sounds like belly dancing is something best learned in-person. Would you ever try a class? I'm not sure I would - I'm too vain.

  4. these are the ones my daughters and I use... they're excellent. They show the moves, then teach you a dance in each video. There are also warm ups, and break downs of basic movements. I love them!

    Discover Bellydance

  5. I have never tried belly dancing. Now with the review, I do not think I want to try it :-)

  6. I've always wondered about those videos!

  7. I've found that people at these functions don't really pay as much attention to how and how much I eat as I thought (and honestly, do you pay much attention to how and how much everyone else at the table eats?). Take care of yourself, and everything else will take care of itself.

  8. OMG that is too funny about the belly dancing DVDS!

  9. Oh, the videos were just awful!!! Miz, the only chance of me trying them again would be if the friend who lent them to me wanted to do it with me on the very rare occassion (and even then, I wouldn't do the first one). Amy, I probably would try a class, but not likely in the very near future. Thanks, Kate, I'll check those out. You raise a very valid point, Jack; thanks for the perspective.

  10. LOL, I love the way you write!

    I know what you mean about the bellydancing DVDs, a real life class is so much better, I can promise you that.

    Still, even if you weren't too happy that you didn't get a sweat on in 45 mins, at least you were moving and produced such a hilarious review for us all to enjoy!

  11. If you ever want to try another belly dance DVD, see if the library has the DVDs of the belly dance twins, Veena and Neena. They're good at actually teaching the moves.
    I think I tried a DVD by the blond woman you describe. I'm impressed that you made it through two of her "workout" videos!