I hope you enjoy the time lapse “my booty transformation story” video below…
That shows my booty changing shape before your eyes over a 12 week period…through video clips of different dance shows :)…
And I wanted to share a little bit about:
How I got into Lifting Weights
How does a Dancer get into lifting weights, you may ask?
Well, my first motivation was that I had gotten a little Fat. Lol Not super fat, but I had an appreciable amount of extra body fat, and it was uncomfortable and made me feel less energized than I knew I could feel!
And hold up, before you think I’m fat-shaming myself or anyone…
A word about Body Image
My feeling fat wasn’t as much about Body Image here—and I’ve been teaching the idea for many years that it’s so very, very important to love your body the way it is right now—that speaking harshly to your body and feeling ashamed actually releases more cortisol, which keeps your body stuck in a pattern of holding onto extra body fat.
And shaming yourself and your body is counter-productive in so, so many ways. In fact, research shares that 6 out of 10 girls stop doing what they love, because they don’t feel “pretty enough.” That stinks.
Beyond that though—having extra body fat doesn’t feel good. Literally the fat cells around your intestines (omental fat) actually release inflammatory chemicals into your blood stream and literally make you feel bad.
So really there’s no shame in wanting to reduce the amount of extra subcutaneous body fat you have either:
You can love your body the way it is and acknowledge that it’s ok to make changes.
Tutti e due.
The way you say “both” in Italian has always been a word-love of mine…it literally means “all and two,” aka both.
More below about how Booty Movement allows you to do this ^^
So literally I had this extra body fat because of an unfortunate circumstance (acro-yoga story as you read on :)).
And besides not feeling good…and just being able to squeeze into my Samba performance costume…I had the extra motivation of getting married in 3 months.
So basically I looked around for the fastest and most proven way to burn body fat and get a nice shape—and what I found is that Lifting Weights…when combined with some sound Eating for Energy and a little daily walking…can be a really fun, effective and pleasurable way to burn fat and get a smoking, hot TRIM shape.
So now I’m going to let my past New York City semi-professional Samba dancer self continue this story:
I really believe it’s important to combine strength training…with dancing…‘Cause when you build some sexy muscle…not only can you dance longer & harder…you can actually dance with more speed (crucial for Samba especially)…and you can dance with more grace and flow as well.
And you can get some sexy fitness results that you just can’t get with dancing alone!
I’m partial to booty-focused strength training…I think it goes GREAT with dancing, or other cardio you love)…because I think it feels really good to do…you get to werk the “pleasure center” of your body as you’re doing the moves…and because you’re moving & using your posterior chain…you can actually take advantage of the whole “minimum effective dose” with exercise…meaning that your workouts don’t have to take a long time to do…or totally zap your energy..and they can be a perfect compliment to dancing…or having a busy schedule too.
And before I get into the bootylicious results of my experiments…
I also wanted to share that I just danced a few nights ago…at my friend Jena La Flamme’s amazing book launch party…
At the Gold Bar in Little Italy in New York City…for the launch of her book The Secrets of Pleasurable Weightloss…pretty great, right?
Jena interviewed me for her book…and I’m a featured “pleasurable fitness” expert in her book! Yes!
And…I’m going to share the secret of how I got ready to dance at her party…and why I’m excited to encourage you to get into booty-focused strength training too.
I’ve actually been really fascinated by strength training for a while. And I wanted to share a little bit about my past experience with combining strength training…with dancing…
Because in some ways it’s helped me re-classify myself as “athletic” :)…and it’s also helped me fix some weird alignment issues…been there to save the day to finish healing from dance injuries…and it got me in great shape for my wedding really quickly too. :
And I’m going to share a little bit about how I got ready to dance at my friend Jena’s booklaunch party…getting bootylicious…and also getting rid of some belly fat that’s been mystifying me for a little while too.
Ok, but before we get to that…
I wanted to share a little bit about my experience combining Strength Training…with Dancing:
It all started with my…
Senior year of High School:
One of the only Physical Ed. sessions where “the girls” got to split off from “the boys”…was a special Weight Room session…where we got to learn how to do strength training moves in the weight room of the high school. And I just loved these moves!…Then too bad the special weight-training session ended…and I’m grouped back into co-ed activities & never get passed the ball…and consequently think that I am *not athletic at all*…Bummer…
Freshman year of college:
I get super into Step Aerobics(!) I had no idea I could be so good at something physical…and I fall head over heels in love with “caving” (going and exploring caves…and if you love to do it as much as I did back then, you don’t waste your breath calling it “spelunking”…we went caving almost every other weekend…and rock climbing too)…Again, I am amazed that I have any athletic ability.
Starting to learn to dance Samba
Right after I moved to Santa Cruz, CA…I began learning to play Brazilian/Latin/Caribbean music & percussion, playing in a steel drum band called Pankind…and I start learning how to dance Samba. I totally sucked at it. I was miserable. I looked really awkward…and I had terribly low self-esteem…but I kept going…studying/dancing 3 days a week for many, many years…Dancing becomes a source of community, creativity, stress-relief & strength for me as I go from being a High School English teacher…to founding & growing a successful non-profit organization for teens..
Hello high heels
Now that I was heavily into dancing Samba & starting to perform in High Heels…all of a sudden I started having terrible knee problems…and had to stop dancing for periods to avoid blowing out my knees…my remedy? I started studying/working with a professional Pilates teacher and fabulous dancer Renee Menard once a week for 2 years…and we fixed my ankle/knee/hip/core alignment with these fascinating exercises…whew! Pilates is a great form of rehabilitative strength training too.
Samba dancing on Stilts, you are so fun but intense
Things are cooking with gas here…with dancing & cross-training with Pilates…until I started taking my dancing literally “to a new level”…with dancing Samba on Stilts! Then all of a sudden I start having fierce shoulder pain after long sessions of dancing of stilts…ugh. I start working with Dr. Bradley Kosbar, and integrated Chiro/Physical therapy/Strength Training doctor who applies his fabulous technique with the San Jose City University & San Jose City Ballet dancers…I learned how I could rehabilitate my back (and my entire body)…with tailored strength training. Thanks Dr. Brad! you rock
Dance Class + 2 Handed Kettlebell Swing
I retire from leading my non-profit organization…I’ve got the moody blues & what looks like adrenal burnout–I completely revamp my nutrition & eating…I’m teaching my own Samba Booty Dance Classes…and then…
Tim Ferris’ 4 Hour Body book comes out & I’m hooked by his story of the Samba dancer who can balance tequila shots on her booty & the 2 handed kettle bell swing! Swinging the kettle bell 3 times a week plus dancing & nutrient-dense food = a sexy ft shape! (My results from dancing + swinging the kettle bell 3 days a week)–>>
And I found out that a little posterior chain work..can go a long way!
Split-Body Strength Training does NOT go well with Dancing
But some of my friends starting complaining about my new body…saying it was too this or that…and I had to really hold my own with looking & feeling so bootyliciously fit (thanks for the challenges old friends…)
And agh the 2 handed kettlebell swing seemed too simple! I probably should be doing something more!, I thought …
I became enamored of a famous female fitness author and I tried a “split-body” approach to strength training (which by the way does NOT go with dancing at all…dancing is a full-body sport…so you need to full-body strength train…that’s the strength training principle of “specificity” in action here & special thanks to Monika Volkmer and her awesome research/assertion of this as well)…And…I ended up with the dread DOMS…can barely walk & have to cancel teaching a dance class…and you guessed it:
I quit strength training…
Shoulder Injury to Wedding Fabulous
Flash forward:…moving to NYC…lots of working & sitting on my booty…still dancing…and I go to a business conference to teach a dance workshop and end up doing an acroyoga partner backbend on a break…and accidentally dislocate my shoulder. No more acro-yoga on the first meeting for me…Lesson learned…
And this injury morphed into the dreaded “frozen shoulder”…More Physical Therapy for me with an amazing shoulder-specialist chiropractor…
And THEN here I was with a lot of extra body fat, a pretty flaccid left arm…and my wedding all of a sudden 3 months away!
I get the opportunity to be coached one-on-one over email by the internationally amazing strength & conditioning Coach Ryan Faehnle for 6 months (thank you so much Coach Ryan!)…my shoulder & arm do indeed heal (my left shoulder is at 98% I’d say)…I fall IN LOVE with heavy-weight full-body strength training…
But I keep noticing in my Samba dance performance photos, that my natural “swayback tendency” or lordosis, is starting to get worse! I realize I’ve got a weight training imbalance going on here…and I became fascinated with Bret Contreras’ Booty-Focused strength training research/methodology…
I end up studying & getting my personal training certification & sports nutrition advisor certification…and then I made the first version of the Booty Fit Program…
And I lifted & perked up my own booty in just a few short weeks!
yes! See Halloween before & after photos –>>
And truly my “flat belly & bubble booty secret”…really comes down to being “all about that bass”…aka…
Focusing on the power & pleasure of moving your booty. woot 🙂
And booty-focusers strength training is fun…plus you can get short minimum-effective-dose-werkouts that are pretty easy to “get in”…and the smoking’ hot & relatively fast results are very inspiring…
My “Booty Transformation Story” (time lapse video)
All right…I hope you enjoy this really fun TIME LAPSE video I made…I wanted to share how doing simple & effective booty-focused strength training workouts has really transformed my body…and my booty! And the best way to do that, of course…is with pictures…and in this case, this fun, short time lapse video.
And I’ll share a little more about each part of this Booty Transformation Story below too…
My Booty Transformation Story
All right…I hope you enjoyed watching these clips that we filmed over the first 3 months that I started doing booty-focused strength training…and also I want to thank all of the people that I get to dance and perform with…and I hope I can shine the light on their amazingness too…special thanks to Jena La Flamme, Polly Pepper, March Fourth Marching Band, Tommy Wu, Fernando Park, Kostume Kult, and the NYC Greenwich Village Halloween Parade.
And I wanted to share a little bit more about how I got these results…
And have you noticed that strength training
is really popular right now?…
Strength Training is popular now for a reason!
Now there are countless fitness motivation articles on the web, trying to cheer women on to get into lifting weights (and get away from ineffective ab blasters and endless cardio machine time)…because strength training can give you sexy curves, fat-burning all over your body, stress-relief, glowing skin & vibrant youthfulness…Yes!
Why strength Train?
- Build sexy muscle & burn fat (yes, you do both at the same time)…
- Get into it as a “Movement Meditation” & reduce stress
- AMAZING for correcting posture imbalances, strengthening your back…
- Builds beautiful muscles…makes you TRIM…creates sexy curves in your body & booty, and
- improves your skin tone as well!
- Increases your Brain Health & relieves depression…
- Makes you feel powerful and know that you are loving & caring for yourself!
- It’s accessible to different ages & fitness levels…
- It’s FUN! It’s fun to strength train and it’s super fun to see the bootylicious fast results, too!
However, many fitness writers try to encourage women by telling us the same thing:
Don’t worry…you won’t bulk up like a man.
The thing is—women start out with less muscle than men, so we have a lot farther to go with building muscle.
And as far as “looking bulky”…I’ve found that when I did have extra body fat and I started building muscle, that instead of “looking bulky,” it was actually extremely attractive and felt really energizing. Making muscle uses energy—and it also puts out more energy, so I was surprised at how it seemed “magnetically attractive” in a sense.
*and I do have compassion for this misunderstanding! Recently at dinner with some new friends—they did express that their biggest concern with getting into Lifting Weights was that it would give you really big arm muscles:
“You don’t have really big arm muscles—they just look really nice!” Well, thank you 🙂
And here’s the thing—when you lift weights in a way that actually Builds Muscle—you’ll be making your muscles *more dense*. They actually get harder and your body gets *more trim* in the process.
In order to build really large muscles and have really low body fat, as body-builders strive for in preparation for competitions…that takes so, so many sets. Way more than you pleasurably need to do to get fit & trim. And it takes a lot of cardio and often dangerous dieting practices that can wreck your metabolism.
Here at TheresaMarie.fit, we’re talking pleasurable, lifestyle fitness here. It’s effective. It feels GOOD. And it makes you smaller, tighter & more TRIM. (Promise…but really the proof is in the pudding tho, so to speak!! :))
For me though, my initial problem when I wanted to get started with strength training…
was that I felt intimidated by the weight room (cause at this point it can still be mainly guys, but I also hope to contribute to that tide turning)…
And I didn’t know what would actually work (hey, who wants to waste their time or injure themselves, right?)…and I’m NOT into the idea of “no pain, no gain!”
And it really needed to be convenient & fun…in order for me to “fit it in”…
Well, let me offer a few hot tips to help inspire you to get into the PLEASURE of lifting weights…and doing it in the BEST way to go with Dancing (or your busy life)…and get the best results…
You want to go Booty-first with your Strength Training!…And here’s why:
Top 3 Reasons to go “Booty-first” with your Strength Training:
A. It’s really *convenient* to do…
You can actually get great results from short “minimum effective dose” workouts…And the movements feel really good on your body…they’re fun to do…and you can get pretty *inspired* about doing them!…Plus because the workouts are relatively short & pretty energizing…you still have energy to dance (or do other cardio)…
And just “bodyweight only” Glute exercises are powerfully effective…in fact when the American College of Fitness tested *Bodyweight Glute Exercises* they actually found these movements (with *just* your bodyweight)…activated MORE Glute muscles, than weighted exercises…
And recent research suggests that low load weights (when used progressively & good intensity practices)…have been shown to provide better muscle building and strength gains…than using really heavy weights (meaning that “going heavy” is just not necessary to get really nice results)…yes.
B. And you get the *best* Results…by Having Fun…
Because, since it’s not *how much” weight you use, that gives you the best results…instead, you get the best results with *how well* you use it…you get the best Muscle Gains by using the best INTENSITY, not weight heaviness…and that is great news!
(side note: my top 6 tips to improve your “intensity” when you werk it blog post will be back up soon)…
C. Keep your Brain Healthy (and improve your happiness)
New research has discovered that for optimal brain and nervous system health—you need to exercise your Leg muscles with weight-bearing movement.
This study, published in Frontiers in Neuroscience found that strength training your legs allows your body to produce new nerve cells (and that not using your leg muscles and actively building/maintaining muscle) causes nerve cells and hippocampus volume to decline.
Having more nerve cells allows us to better handle stress and enjoy better brain function as we age! Plus, a meta-analysis of 33 studies showed that strength training leads to a significant reduction in depression symptoms.
Not only do posterior chain strength training moves feel good to do—they make you feel good & protect your brain, too.
True Confessions: I have felt a little shy about “coming out” as a booty-focused strength training teacher…
But I have to tell you…when I do feel worried/nervous/shy…
I just reach around and put my own hands on my own BOOTY and squeeze…and I feel reassured. Ha! 🙂
Plus, we may all be knocked off by robots….so why not go for having a sexy, fit booty NOW… 🙂 (I don’t know…does that makes sense, or is that totally weird?)///…
Life is short! Have fun nurturing yourself…feeling powerful, fit & sexy…and in turn strengthen the world around you…with the power and pleasure of moving & using your BOOTY.
Time to move your booty
And the key to getting hot results I believe is getting slightly ADDICTED to doing this…and I think the real “in” is in both:
–becoming a Form Expert and really getting into learning the postures and enjoying learning them…
–And turning on some MUSIC that you love…music is the key to creating this addiction…because it’s also your music time, your work it, your sweet it and your feel-fabulous time…and it’s a gift you give to yourself. A gift you give to yourself of being “in” your body and getting into the pleasure of squeezing & releasing your booty muscles…connecting with your hips, your legs, your arms, your chest and back…and it feels really fabulous.
–And lifting weights at the gym for me is very meditative…it’s impossible to think about anything else but that 1 rep you’re on, so it seems to slow down time, and I have been having some upsetting things happen in my family, plus the stress of getting this business flowing…and lifting weights has been a really great way to process being pissed off and upset in a really good way. (some days at the gym I’m like, don’t talk to me hahah <<–)
And again I think part of my success comes from just feeling inspired to get up & get a short, feel-good workout IN.
Plus my Samba dancing has gotten faster, I have better balance and more grace…and maybe, just maybe I am starting to slow down a little when I solo hahah 🙂 It does make me feel comfortable in my skin, and I think that having more muscle makes you magnetically attractive too!
–So the last ingredient in what I attribute to my success, is finding ways to feel sexy and confident in my body right now, instead of bumming out about this or that part of me I would like to be different…getting into feeling sexy and beautiful by MOVING my body (and my hips & booty specifically :))
Firm your Booty…and truly the rest will follow!
🙂 Ok, so I’m excited to invite you to check out my new program soon…and get excited about the power (and pleasure) of moving & using your booty.
Thanks for checking out my booty transformation video…and I’m excited to share the tools so that you can do this too!
With lots of love & pleasure in the firmly shakin’ booty,
Samba Dancer, certified personal trainer, sports nutrition advisor &
Booty-focused Strength Training Coach (woot!)
P.S. Something that I took for granted in getting great results from Lifting, is that I had already spent quite a bit of time learning how to Eat for Energy. What you eat really is key to being able to burn fat, build muscle…and have the energy to move. I’m excited to share a few awesome recipes with you!