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The NeverEnding Story: Fitbloggin’ Part 2! May 31, 2011

"I'm alive!!" (from FoodFoodBodyBody, the show) photo credit: @bodhi_bear

Ah, so where was I? Friday late morning!  My goodness, is this recap ever going to end? Apparently not. (and as a warning/disclaimer: this recap is going to be pretty much all about our Fri evening performance, since it was ALL I could think about the entire day!!)

So after the fitness fun, we had lunch. WOW the food was amazing at this conference! Not the usual icky hotel fare. It was GOOD. Lots of fresh veggies, and grilled sandwiches, and interesting salads… other people have detailed the food better than me, with lovely photos, so check that out.

After lunch I started feeling insane from sweat and grunge (I had not showered since leaving California – UGH!) and also jittery tired and starting to get anxious for the evening performance. I ran upstairs to take a shower and since I did that, I missed the Laughing Cow blogger & brand panel. Wahhh. It just isn’t possible to do everything!  Then it was time for the Blogging: from Hobby to Career panel. During that one, Paolo and I were getting some very very necessary shut-eye so we could refuel for the evening. Zzzzzz. I was very sorry to miss Carla & company on that one until the final 15 minutes or so.

By then it was 5pm and it was time to get serious about prepping for the show. I have to say, performing in a venue like this is very very different from performing at a little theater at home. Usually, what I do at home is not plan anything else for the day (hahahahahaha!). Then we get to the theater a couple hours early to go over our tech cues, walk through our lines, meditate, pace, or huddle in a corner. We don’t talk to anyone and they don’t talk to us. To be prepping for a performance on the same day as a 5k run (in which I got up the equivalent of 3am), several other fitness events and hundreds of people milling around that I wanted to talk to, was brain-melting to say the least.

photo credit: @bodhi_bear

Paolo and I instructed the hotel guys in re-arranging the stage platform riser, and they listened to us (mostly him) run through the piece a few times. The guys LOVED listening to Paolo and kept cracking up while they were breaking down the huge screen and moving chairs around. But I was aware of the cocktail mixer in the room next door, and hoping that people would drift in… drift over… and a few did, and a few more, but definitely nowhere near the 250 people in attendance at Fitbloggin’. We started fretting. We started begging our friends who were in the audience to go next door and make an announcement. Which they did.

Deep breath.

I think I hadn’t realized until this moment how BIG it was for me to do this particular performance in this particular venue. I had performed it many times in San Francisco, but that was for general audiences who may or may not care about fitness or health. But this audience… this audience was the reason I HAD a blog, which was the reason I had a show. I know my big raw heart was super out there that night, and every time I saw a little group of people walking PAST the open doors, it just broke a little.

It’s every performer’s heartbreak to have a tiny audience in a huge room. Those empty chairs just… echo.  I’d say our audience was little/medium. Paolo and I kept whispering to each other, “If this was Stagewerx….” (the theater where we normally perform, which seats around 40!)

we did it! Yahoo! photo credit: @bodhi_bear

But you know what? We killed it. I think we both brought our best up there and I know it was good for the people who were there. It was a really huge and emotional thing for me. I was so glad Paolo was there, to be my performing buddy, to ROCK his brand new show “I Get Wet” and to really understand what all of it meant. After the show we were sprinkled with wonderful Tweets and it all felt good. I went out to dinner with my terrific roommates, and then collapsed big-time.

givin' it up for Paolo! Woot! photo credit: @bodhi_bear

In retrospect, it was understandable, that more people didn’t come. People were starving and exhausted. A lot of people didn’t even realize it was happening. (one friend said, I can’t wait to see your show tomorrow night! later at the bar) Most people hadn’t gone up to their room for a nap in the afternoon like I had. I had to miss some stuff because of my own personal situation, and the same was true for others during the 8pm hour.  If we ever come back for a repeat Fitbloggin’ performance (and I hope we do), I think I’d propose that we get scheduled earlier in the day OR that there are provisions for food during the show (after all, it was all set up a la dinner theater). Some resourceful people went out to Whole Foods and brought their dinners back to eat during the show, and that was cool, but most people just had no idea to do that.

For anyone who’s reading this who didn’t come to the show that night, I don’t mean this to be all guilt trippy, I really don’t! I love you and I understand that Life just happened that night, whether it was “I need to do something else” or “PF Chang’s held us hostage with poisoned chopsticks” or “I fell asleep.” (I totally get that!!) I hope that we will have more opportunities to perform for this wonderful community in the future.

And I want to thank Katy Widrick for this tearjerking (for me) awesome review!!

It was a night that I almost skipped — I’d had one of the busiest days of my life, running around the Fitbloggin’ conference –But when I saw that Susan Ito and Paolo Sambrano were scheduled to perform their one-woman and one-man shows, I decided to peek in and see what it was all about.One hour and two standing ovations later, my face was streaked with tears, my stomach hurt from laughing and I was so glad I’d attended the shows.

Susan Ito’s performance struck at my very center — from the first line, in which she finds herself facing a devastating health journey, to the very end, her emotional yet entertaining story inspired and touched me. Her ability to tell a story, with no props and just a small stage, made me forget where I was. People of all ages, backgrounds and experiences will sympathize with Susan’s challenges while cheering her on through the defeats and the successes.

Paolo Sambrano has an incredible ability to transform his body and face to tell a painful yet wildly funny story — and as he shared his history of overeating, ripe with family pressure and cultural challenges, I found myself laughing hysterically while fighting back tears. From the showdown at the fast food joint to a shudder-inducing story of his family’s travels, Paolo takes what could be a sad and depressing journey through obesity and weight loss and turns it into just a well-told experience.

I can’t recommend Susan and Paolo’s shows highly enough — two thumbs up, five stars and roaring ovations for both.

Just one amazing review like that makes it all. Worth it.
Recap up next: Fitbloggin’ SATURDAY! The day I was able to Relax And Enjoy It All. And it won’t be all about ME! Ahhh! ;-)
 

Fitbloggin’ 2011: Or, Moby Dick Part 1 May 29, 2011

Fitbloggin May 19 Day 1 (35 of 40)

I’ve been putting off writing this mega-recap of Fitbloggin‘ because I know it’s going to take hours and hours. It was such a HUGE experience and I’ve been having difficulty processing it all in my head. I know I’m not the only one. It was an incredible event and I’ve been contemplating- do I tell it chronologically? (like my race recaps, from beginning to end) or topically, thematically? I think what I’m going to do is write it chronologically, but then I’m going to have to write separate blog posts for big themes that come up. Sigh. This could take a long time. Bear with me, people!

I have to start with the plane flight there because it was hilarious, “meeting” another Fitbloggin’ attendee by realizing (via Twitter) that we were both boarding the same flight from Salt Lake City –> Baltimore. While waiting at the gate, I saw on Twitter that another blogger, Julie had checked-in at Salt Lake City. I peered at her tiny little avatar photo and tried to match it up with people at the gate. I tweeted, “Are you at C-5?” but she didn’t seem to have her phone on. When I sat down, I tweeted, “I’m in seat 22F”! and then figured it would be a mystery. About halfway through the flight, a super friendly face stopped by my row and said, “Are you Foodie? I’m sorry, but I don’t know what your real name is!” It was @Juliejulie!! I think the guys in my row were like, “Uh….wha????”

At the baggage claim, we met up with Mara of Medicinal Marzipan and the party began! My roommate Karen was on her way to pick me up and we all got in the car together. Good times! Happy Times!

@juliejulie and @mmarzipan -yippeee!

Karen, our lovely personal Fitbloggin' driver!

Got to the Marriott. Wow, Baltimore is pretty. I hadn’t realized that during my last work trip in February. It’s totally cool! We checked-in to the Fitbloggin desk and got our GINORMOUS bags of swag which included New Balance running shoes (whaaat?), cute beanie caps with MP3 speakers at the ears, and a pile of other stuff. Also the coolest name badges ever which we got to decorate ourselves. Yay! I heart stickers! The opening social was kind of a whirlwind chaos of meeting people for the first time, eating yummy snacks, hugging (yeah I wore my Free Hugs shirt), jumping on trampolines, poking people with our Pokens (coolest little gizmo ever – you stick your little hand next to their little hand and when the palms turn green, voila! your contact info has been exchanged!) and just brain-exploding WOW WE ARE HERE!

@paolo and Luke getting their Pokens together

Really? For ME? Wowwww!

Friday night I had one of the awesomest crabcakes ever, at dinner with my roommates in the hotel restaurant. YUMMY!

ginormous lumpy crab cake!

Friday morning I woke up at 6am, to get ready for the 7am 5k. Mind you, this was 3am California time, and I’d gotten up at 2am California time to catch my flight the day before. I was running on pure adrenaline fumes!

I was wearing my Totoro hat, which I’d brought two of, one to share with my Asian twin/sister/buddy Jess. But sadly Jess could not make it to Fitbloggin and I had an extra, empty Totoro hat. (insert sad face)

missing @halfofjess

As other people have pointed out, Fitbloggin’ is not the most racially diverse event one could find. Which was why Jess and I were so excited to be Asian buddies together. Without her, it was lookin’ like just me and @Paolo. Did this matter? Not reallllllllllllly. But at the same time, there’s a certain comfort in not feeling like the only One of something.

A lot of people were not quite sure what to make of my Totoro hat. One person Tweeted that I was wearing a “manga cat” hat. Hahaha! NOT a cat. Then Kia (aka @bodhi_bear) went wild went she saw it! TOTOROOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! and I knew she was the one who had to have the twin hat.

Happy @bodhi_bear!The 5k commenced out back of the hotel. It was allegedly a run-walk thing, but I could immediately feel the SPEED in the front-runners and I knew people were going much faster than my norm. It’s hard for me especially in smaller race crowds to “find my own pace” and not want to keep up with everyone else. It takes a lot to FOCUS when it seems like everyone is passing you. And yet when I run too fast for my own body, I struggle, and that just doesn’t feel good.

It was a beautiful run along the water and past some cute shops and cafes. The weather was pretty much perfect, maybe in the 50s, not too hot or cold, and it didn’t rain as threatened. So it was pretty much an awesome run. But on the way back, the runners were so spread out, I couldn’t see the group ahead of me. I ended up getting a little lost (and taking a few people with me: SORRY!) and doing an extra half-mile or so.

5k Finishers! Yahoooo! Love the tutus.

This rockstar @dubyawife ran her first 5k at Fitbloggin! As did several others.

The sponsors at Fitbloggin were absolutely awesome. From the swag to the events to the meals to the giveaways, it was just so well supported. Yay sponsors!

@Attune foods gave us a yummy breakfast and nutrition lecture. And a cute bamboo spoon!

yummy cherry smoothies from the Cherry folks!

After breakfast there commenced a huge number of other fitness sessions, none of which I wanted to miss! But I was sweaty. And shivery from the air conditioning on top of cold sweat. And TIRED! But as I said, I wanted to miss nothing. Except the Zumba.

There was an awesome kettlebell demonstration by my roommate Karen, @fitmommy and @girl-heroes. WOW they knew how to swing those things. I was inspired.

@kclanderson in her Rather Provocative Shirt

Woo! GIrlHeroes was amazing!

But there was more! My hero and friend MizFitonline (aka Carla Birnberg) gave a great demo on resistance training with bands and the UgiFit ball. (a huge, soft, 8 lb medicine ball that smells just like a new car)

another contender for "best T-shirt" @mizfitonline

The awesome thing is there was a drawing for an Ugi ball (NOT CHEAP!) and… I won! I won! I won!!!!! I can’t even describe how happy this made me.

And… with that… I’m gonna have to take a break. Midmorning Friday! Oh man. I’ll be back. There’s so much more to talk about. But this little recap has taken the better part of 3 hours and I got much else to do this sunny Sunday.

If you were at Fitbloggin, I know you have your own recaps but please feel free to chime in about ANY of these happenings! And if you weren’t there, ask questions. It was freaking awesome.

Back later!

 

The Power of Art May 8, 2011

Two years ago, the same week that I received my diabetes diagnosis, I attended a night of solo performance. I was going to see a friend of mine, but as is often the case, she was performing in a showcase with a few other people I didn’t know. One of them was a woman named Lisa-Marie. I had no idea what her show was about, but as the lights came up and she started acting the part of her mother, “Lisa! Lisa! We have to check your numbers!” I knew that it was about diabetes. And it was. The friends I had come with started tossing concerned glances my way. They knew I had been fairly traumatized by this news from my doctor.

Turns out that Lisa-Marie has Type 1 Diabetes, what used to be called “juvenile diabetes” because she was diagnosed as a child. And in one scene, she was ranting about how frustrating it is to be misunderstood for that “OTHER” kind of diabetes, the kind that fat people who eat too many cheeseburgers get.

Ouch.

I remember slumping down in my seat, my face burning with embarrassment. I think I had a bit of an out-of-body experience for a few minutes. Yeah. That’s the kind of diabetes that *I* had. The kind that you bring on yourself. The kind where it’s all your fault (you disgusting pig). I died a million deaths during that 15 minute show, and when it was over I fled the theater like I’d been set on fire.

Well. Funny how life turns out. Last week I did a performance of my own show, and guess who else was in my lineup? Yes, none other than the same Lisa-Marie, who did an amazing piece about breast cancer (entitled “Nice Rack.” It was fabulous). And I knew that I had to talk to her about her show, and my show, and my life, and how it all linked together.

And I was talking to her, I realized (huge flash) that even though seeing her show had been absolutely excruciating back then, it also solidified in me a feeling of “HELL NO. Nobody is ever, ever, ever going to talk about me and MY diabetes that way.” And I realize now that it was a very very real and clear catalyst for my getting healthy. She was one of the things that pushed me into my journey in a very real way. And while her show had upset and embarrasssed me, it also was one of the greatest gifts I could’ve gotten.

Right in the midst of my own performance on Wednesday night (dress rehearsal for my performance at Fitbloggin next week!!), I added a line just for her.  :-) “Oh no. I brought this on myself. I can’t tell anybody. I’m so embarrassed. I know what they say about people who get Type 2 diabetes – that happpens to people who too many cheeseburgers…. but… I don’t eat THAT many cheeseburgers. Do I?” It’s sort of a poignant/funny line, and now I know it’s going to stay in there.

It’s kind of amazing to me how many people come up to me after a performance and say, “I have prediabetes. But I haven’t done anything about it. But now…” Or the same thing about a family member or friend. And I hope that maybe my show can be the same kind of catalyst for them.

I didn’t make myself have diabetes, not 100% anyway. Genetics does that. But once I have it I can choose to ignore it or manage it and be as healthy as I can anyway. That’s what I choose.

Now I’m dreaming up ways that Lisa-Marie and I can do our shows together, the voices of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes coming together. How cool would THAT be.

Has a performance/book/movie/painting or other piece of art ever influenced how you lived YOUR life?

 

Weakly Ushering in 2011 January 3, 2011

Filed under: emotions,Fitbloggin',friendship,running,solo performance — Susan @ 3:45 pm

Kleenex Box

I spent the weekend sick in bed, watching a ton of junky TV on hulu.com. Where I came to the conclusion that the Barefoot Contessa is soft porn, and Paula Deen is like … a snuff film. Really. It boggles, but for a few hours I couldn’t tear my eyes away.

I’m still feeling pretty weak. My throat is a mess, and I have absolutely no energy. Taking a shower just now just wiped me right out. I am going to work from home today for one job, and probably calling in sick tomorrow for my physical job. Or at least taking a short day.

It is almost making me cry reading everyone’s energetic posts about New Year’s goals, and getting out there running! and weight lifting and boot camping and the like! Right now the idea of a WALK makes me very, very tired. Sadly, I am missing the inauguration of Oakland’s mayor Jean Quan, the first Asian-American woman to be mayor of a major US city! And I even had a VIP ticket, darn. But I realized after my exhausting shower that it was just out of the question.

I don’t want too many days to go by before I post a New Year’s post. I am going to say what Pubsgal said  in her post: “More of the same.” I want to stay healthy. I want to go a third year. I want to do some races – at least one more half marathon and maybe a few 5-10ks scattered around. I want to be the best Weight Watchers leader around! I want to just, you know, KEEP IT UP.

It’s not as exciting as reaching goal weight or lifetime or running a race for the first time, but it sure beats the alternative, doesn’t it?

I’m really looking forward to going to ‘Fitbloggin11 in Baltimore in May! and am working on a brand new solo performance to bring there. I’m psyched about meeting so many of my invisible friends.

My 2nd healthaversary is coming up (officially on Jan 17th, but celebration will be on the 30th). I feel really good about this. Last year, it still felt kind of tentative. I was pinching myself, like, is this real?? This year, 24 months after I began this blog, I believe that this is real. I am a healthy person committed to fitness. I’m in it. Which feels good.

I’m definitely committed to being part of the Oakland Running Festival here in my home town in March! But I haven’t yet decided if I’m going to do the half-marathon or the team relay. I’d love to do the relay with my family, but not everyone has committed (Junior might do the half) so… I don’t know yet. But I’ll be out there March 27th no matter what!

And speaking of March, I also signed up to do the Lung Association Stair Climb on March 26th (yeah, the day BEFORE the ORF!). Thanks to @travelgirl007 for talking me into this. 104 flights of stairs on the B of A building! (thinking about it now makes me want to crawl back into bed) Want to join my team?? Or sponsor me??? Click here!

I’m also planning to return to Las Vegas for the Rock and Roll Las Vegas Marathon in December 2011. Because I know it’s an awesome venue and it’s gonna be FUN! I hope a lot of my friends will join this party.

Okay, I’m tired just typing all that. Back to bed! Happy New Year, everyone, and may you have a great and healthy 2011!

 

Taking My Skin Off June 27, 2010

Filed under: emotions,food,solo performance,writing — Susan @ 9:55 pm

Well, if my first solo performance show was a little bit like getting up on stage naked, my next show is going to be like taking my skin right off. It feels uber naked. But also important.

This piece is a continuation of the show I developed this spring, and includes a bunch of outtakes from my original. I was just trying to jam too much into that first show, so it got pared down to my diabetes diagnosis and subsequent return to Weight Watchers, to blogging and couch to 5k.

THIS piece is what I’m calling the Underbelly of how I came to gain that weight in the first place. It’s an exploration of emotional eating. Because I felt like to just focus on Weight Watchers and running as the “cure-all” left a lot of the story out. This is the rest of the story – of how that emotional eating began, and how I worked to get away from its grip.

It’s intense stuff, man. I feel really vulnerable. But at the same time, I feel like putting this out there is really important. Because it’s not a simple manner of counting calories/points and getting in a bit more exercise. It’s a lot more complicated than that.

I absolutely adore my Solo Performance Workshop group – my gifted, brilliant teacher and my amazing classmates. I feel utterly safe with them and know they are going to support me as well as PUSH me to make this the most amazing show ever.

For anyone who’ll be around these parts, this performance will be debuting on Monday, August 9th, 7pm at Stagewerx Theater in San Francisco. As always, or perhaps more than ever, I’d love supportive audience members!

 

Happy Goal-Day to Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! June 23, 2010


Party day

Originally uploaded by j_jyarbrough

Today is a big day! It’s a celebration day! I’m bringing a bunch of balloons to my WW meeting tonight. Because ONE YEAR AGO, on June 23rd, 2009, I got to my goal weight!

AAAAAAAAND……(drum roll) I have maintained it a whole year! A year of maintenance. But this also means that I have ACHIEVED one of my big New Years goals for 2010: to be eligible to join the National Weight Loss Control Registry, a group of people whom all the weight-loss scientists study when they want to know how and why people lose weight and keep it off. Yahooooooooooo!

I really did not believe I would get to this place. I kept anticipating bumps and holes in the road and kept expecting to fall off. And I did, more than once, but I always got back up on QUICKLY and recovered. Thanks to the amazing supportive community/family that has surrounded me this whole year. Both online and in person.

I’m making a speech now! I’m wearing a tiara! I’m getting up to the podium with my little slip of paper and nobody is going to drag me off this stage until I’m done!!!!!

(ahem) I would like to thank first of all my amazing ONLINE friends who were the FIRST ones to ever meet Foodie McBody. Who embraced me and supported me when nobody else even knew I existed. Shannon (and Angie!), MizFit, Dinneen, Dr. Mo, Pubsgal, DailyKat, JeninRL, Karen, Mary and Kepa, Jack Sh*t, Trish, Josie, Kenz, KathyK, Sweeter, Marsha, PatBarone, Mara, Mrs Fatass, Hanlie, Diane, Lavagal, Fitarella, Miche, HealthyLoserGal, shrinkingjeans, WorkoutMommy, PhatBFF, Tisfan, Damon, Lori, SweatingItOff, Ryan, Bookieboo, Terre and Roni. You all are AMAZING and I truly could NOT have made this milestone without you. And for any of you who want to be healthy and are NOT on Twitter yet, join the party. It is one of the most incredible weight-loss, fitness and healthy living tools out there. I am not kidding.

I would like to thank my awesome Weight Watchers family: my BFF and buddy (and first mentor who taught me how to tackle those insane paper tallies!) Bethany, my boss and friend Stan, my roommate from leader training Roz, and Roger Z and Lori H, Linda and Julie and Jiggs and Creamie and Lynn. Y’all are the best and make me so glad to be part of this organization.Oh yeah and BIG SHOUTOUT to the BEST CEO in the universe, the one and only Dave Kirchhoff, aka Mr. Man Meets Scale! Thanks to the awesome members who show up to my meetings and inspire ME and keep me going.

I would like to thank everyone who has ever walked, run, lifted weights, danced Nia or otherwise sweated with me. Starting with my amazing trainer Doug Jones, who not only trains my body but my mind and heart as well. My workout buddies Ericka, Lisa Marie and Christine (when she can). Then Team Penguin: Mary, Kathy and Michael-David. Thanks for an amazing experience at the Oakland Marathon. Nia people! Alexandra, Terre, Danielle, and Alexis.

Thanks to my family. I’m doing this with you and for you, so we can all be together a really long time. Love love love to my mom, Mr. McBody and my girls.

Thanks to Martha and Kamau for helping me develop my solo show. Thanks to everyone who CAME to my solo show (part 2 is in the works right now!), and to all the other awesome solo performers who inspire me so much. Thao, Nicole, Sarah W, Enzo, Paolo, Ericka, Lisa Marie, Coke, Julia, Mz Debra, Kim, Deirdre, Benjamin!

I’m getting carried away. It’s kind of corny. But it’s my blog and nobody can stop me! I’m just incredibly happy and grateful for this year. I know this post should include about a thousand links but I just don’t have time for the linkfest this morning.

—————————-

EPILOGUE:

So I bought these beautiful balloons! and was so excited to bring them to my meeting bc there are often a bunch of little kids there with their moms. But as I was unlocking the door, I was fumbling with my key and they just… flew away! I stood there with my mouth hanging open, watching them fly off into the sky. WAH!

I got in there and Bethany was in there playing Kool and the Gang “Celebration!” very loudly. She gave me a present: a REAL TIARA! That lights up and blinks! So I dried my tears and forgot about my lost balloons.

Right before the meeting, I said, So Bethany, when is YOUR Goalaversary? And she says, with a straight face, “June 24th.” Uh huh. Like, TOMORROW!!!!!!? We laughed and laughed. Our goalaversaries are one day apart! How cool is that!  Only she has been at goal for THREE YEARS so she is even awesomer!! We had a great time at the meeting.

 

When Imaginary Friends Become Real May 18, 2010

It’s a funny thing about online friends. Some people have lots of them, but never meet them. Some people basically can’t imagine befriending someone they’ve “never met.” But I’ve been making friends like this for over 15 years now, and a few of my nearest and dearest I once met in cyberspace.

This weekend I got to meet one of Foodie McBody’s first friends. Someone who reached out to me when I was in a vulnerable and shaky spot here. When I didn’t have any confidence that I could reach ANY of my goals, and who has basically cheered me from afar, invisibly, for over a year.

I finally got to meet Superwoman Spirit Shannon. She IS a superwoman in my eyes. And when we met, the fact that we first knew each other online just vanished in about three seconds. First I hugged her. Then I began laughing hysterically at the GIANT suitcase (plus another smaller one) that she had lugged with her for her visit of 3 days!

We had the most amazing time together. Working out (every day!), eating, talking, laughing. It was very very hard to let her go last night. Here’s a little photo album/recap of our time together.

Fresh off the plane, she came to my WW meeting!

First she came to my WW meeting. This was such a big deal because the weekly meeting topic was “The Importance of Support.” How timely, right? My “prop” to open the meeting was a box of Kleenex because every time I looked in her direction, I started tearing up. I told the story of how she had supported me for so long and how I never could have kept it up without her friendship. I almost started bawling. All true!

Shan, DJ and me!

Shan is killing the Ropes of Doom!

The next day, I took her to see my awesome trainer Doug Jones. He welcomed her with open arms and a killer workout. She did GREAT. She totally beat me on the jumpropes (my personal nemesis) and held her own on the ropes of doom. DJ loved to yell, “UTAHHH in the HOUSE!” LOL.

After she spent a day at work with me, we visited her first Whole Foods where I introduced her to Fage yogurt and other delights. That was a trip! Friday night, I took her to her first author reading  - Kate Moses reading from her very foodie memoir, Cakewalk, at the awesome Great Good Place for Books. We ran into a friend of mine. I introduced Shannon and the friend asked how we met. When we said “online,” the friend gave us the most CURIOUS look, like WTH?! Really?!?! Yeah really! The reading was really powerful. I am looooving this book and will be reviewing it as soon as I finish.

On Saturday, we took a hike through the foggy forest near my house and I got to point out the Imaginary View. (how apropos!) Then we took off for a super whirlwind tour of San Francisco that was truly only the tip of the iceberg. She has to come back! There is so much more to see and do (and eat, LOL).

First stop: Chinatown. Dim sum. (her first) YUM!

yum yum dim sum!

Then we drove around San Francisco. We had to do Lombard Street.  It’s so ridiculous and cheesy and touristy (and CHOKED with tourists wielding cameras) but I love it. Views of Alcatraz. North Beach. Japantown. FUN: I took her to get some (first time) manju at Benkyodo, then we went to the best stationery store on earth, we snarfed down a strawberry & ice cream crepe at Sophie’s Crepes, and had a riot in the Pika Pika sticker booth. (oh that reminds me I have to scan our pics!) Then I took her through the Haight, Golden Gate Park to wave at the buffalo, through my old neighborhood (outer Richmond, 43rd & Balboa!) and to my favorite park in the world, where I introduced her to my favorite tree (she has the photo of this, will have to link later!). Then we went to the almost-completely fogged in Golden Gate Bridge and nearly froze our tootsies off walking about halfway across and back. BRRRRR!!

brrrrrr Golden Gate Bridge is in there somewhere

After that we hightailed it back to Oakland for a yummy Indian dinner (another first for Shannon and hey Mikey! she liked it!!) Then home. Collapse.

mmm veggies!

Sunday morning! Farmers Market. Shannon bought some super-juicy mandarin oranges and some sugar snap peas as healthy souvenirs for her family. Then I had to bring Shannon to her very first Nia class. Of course she LOVED IT and is now scheming how to get to one in Utah. It was truly an awesome class (thanks Danielle!) which featured TWO Michael Jackson songs, the theme from Flashdance, Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On” (which totally flipped me out with its mention of Gollum) and a song about being grateful for friends that got me ALL choked up. Good good times! Great sweat!

The rest of Sunday I hunkered down with my script and prepared for my show. Wow that was great. I was the headliner (which I didn’t find out till I arrived at the theater)! Woo hoo! So many awesome friends showed up, including Pubsgal (another type-2 diabetes and 5k runner kindred spirit!) and Dailykat from the blogger/Twittersphere. (hey, you know, any Twitter or blogger friends who come to my show will get a SHOUT-OUT from the stage – I’ll write you into my script, no kidding!) It was a little nervewracking waiting to go last, but my other performance stars ROCKED and were just amazing. (note to locals! or visitors! LAST CHANCE to see show this Sunday at City Solo! Buy tickets QUICK before they sell out!)

After the show we went over to Mel’s Diner for a bite. I was raveeeeeeeennnnouusssly hungry after expending about a million calories of nervous energy. Big fun to hang out together!

It was an incredibly special weekend. I loved every minute I spent with Shannon. We have so much in common, even beyond health and fitness, it’s almost surreal. The time went by WAY too quickly and now I can only wait hopefully for the next time. For any of you who have not yet met an “imaginary friend” in real life, I really recommend it.

 

Showtime Tonight! May 16, 2010

Filed under: other great bloggers,solo performance — Susan @ 5:51 pm

I’ve been having the most amazing weekend with Shannon. I wish she didn’t have to leave so soon. She’s coming to my show tonight and I am soooooooooo excited. (but not completely Prepared, so I gotta run!)

 

From Blog to Stage April 9, 2010

This Tuesday night was truly an amazing experience for me. It was the night that this blog, I don’t know, turned 3-D. I showed a theaterful of people what FoodFoodBodyBody was all about. And I have to say, I loved every minute of it.

I had already done a mini-version of the show for my friends in Costa Rica. They enjoyed it a lot and gave me some extremely helpful last-minute feedback, so I could do some little tweaking before the Big Night.

I wasn’t very nervous. I was just happy, and excited. I got a little bit of butterflies in my stomach while I was on the train going to San Francisco, but then I took a look at my notes and it calmed me. When I got to the theater I discovered that I would be going last. Which was both exciting and nervewracking. The great thing about going first, of course, is that you get to relax and then enjoy everyone else’s piece. But I was okay. I just felt good about all of it. My classmates went and I was just so excited for them, and thrilled to see THEIR amazing work.

Finally it was my turn. I don’t know. It just… happened. I know this story so well. It just went, and I could feel everyone so WITH me. At one point, I came to a scene where I was about to get on the scale. It’s a big moment. I cross my fingers, and I say, “Cross your fingers!” (unplanned) And I looked up and saw this sea of arms up, fingers crossed!!! It was just… wow. And it made me feel EXACTLY like I do when I post something here, or on Twitter, and ask for support, and everyone comes forth. It was just so great. The show was videotaped so I am hoping to have a little trailer to put up on YouTube at some point.

After the show was over, I got to talk to my awesome friends who had come out, and that made me really happy. But THEN a bunch of people who I DIDN’T KNOW started coming up to me and saying really nice things.  One guy said, “You made me LAUGH my ASS off.. but then..” his face got serious. “I have prediabetes too. And I guess I better pay attention to that.” It got really serious, really quick. And he thanked me and it just made me get all choked up. But then someone ELSE came up to me, this guy – and he said – “This is my story, too.” And he gave me his card – and I was like, OMG.  This dude has lost a ton of weight and really changed his life. Check out the documentary movie about his life! And his blog! (Note that he had his change-of-life-moment at Cafe Gratitude, which I actually made a lot of fun of once – but hey, if it worked for him, I am glad for him!)

This kept on and on. THREE MORE people came up and said they had prediabetes. Which was like, freaky, in a not very big theater. But it made me super glad too. That not only had I provided some entertainment, but maybe I could make a difference in someone’s health too. That REALLY made me get a lump in my throat.

Really amazing things have happened since then. People had such a great response, it made me so happy. THEN…

Yesterday I was invited by the two producers of City Solo, an amazing solo performance series in San Francisco, to be part of their May lineup!  Yahooooo! Do you know what that means? That means that the wonderful Superwoman Spirit Shannon, formerly of the Fabulous Fatties (who have cameo role in the show!!) will be able to attend when she comes to visit in May! I am beside myself with excitement. So, I will be performing on May 16th AND on May 23rd! Woooo!

Today I got my hair cut. I am still, er… getting used to it. But tomorrow I am going to have a professional PHOTO SHOOT (publicity for City Solo). I think the photos are going to be really fun. Seriously, if you would have said the words “photo shoot,” “headshots,” or “marathon relay” to me at any point in 2008, I would have laughed until I keeled over. And then cried.

I’m just… I don’t know. Overwhelmed with excitement and happiness about it all. Here’s a pic of me and my fellow performers (and awesome director/teacher) right before showtime. Yahoo!



 

 
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