Shake it like a Polaroid picture

May 18, 2006

Almost two months ago, I wrote about my desire to take charge of my health– less sitting, more moving; less take-out, more home-cooked meals; in short, less baby weight, more MILF. 😉

I’m happy to report I am down almost four pounds. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster; some weeks, I am diligent about exercise, and I’m exhilirated by the sweat and the effort. Other weeks, illness or travel or just plain exhaustion rears its ugly head, and physical activity falls by the wayside. An added wrinkle: my once angelic baby girl morphed into a very mobile toddler seemingly overnight, so chasing after her sometimes leaves me too exhausted to climb on the treadmill.

So I decided to mix things up by doing something I’ve long been curious to try: bellydancing. I love to learn new dances. Then I caught the video for Shakira’s latest single, “Hips Don’t Lie.” And man, I was suddenly overcome with the irresistible urge to shake what my Mama gave me.

I found a local studio and signed up for 12 weekly classes, and convinced 5 of my co-workers to join the fun. Last night was our very first class, and it wasn’t what I expected.

I envisioned a serious atmosphere, a roomfull of women eager to learn technique and perfect it. Instead, it was a motley assortment of gals, all ages and sizes, there to have some fun.

The room was crowded and hot, with ladies jockeying for position in front of the mirrors. Some jutted their hips and swayed their hands expertly, while others boogied to the beat of their very own drummer. The teacher, who is 65 years old if she’s a day, personified sexy femininity as she shimmied her hips, shook her shoulders and encouraged us to “Smile, smile!”

We learned a few basic hip movements and combinations, working up a sweat as we worked many a previously unused muscle. The last five minutes of class were a free-for-all, with the teacher encouraging us to make up our own moves and just SHAKE IT. It was embarrassing and liberating all at once, because everyone around me was in the same boat. In the end, I relished just feeling my body, watching my hips pop out and my booty shake. I was focused on the many wonderful things my body can do, and the cool curves that have only been enhanced post-motherhood.

Maybe I won’t learn to shake it Shakira-style, but I will have at least one fun workout to look forward to each week.

So, fellow MTers…how do YOU make fitness fun?