[Hooping.org columnist Shea Brock finds out hooping is in her blood – literally.]
by Shea Brock
I’m overweight. It’s a big shocker I know, most of America and much of the civilized world is. I’ve been this way most of my adult life. I like to eat, but I hate exercise. It’s a bad combination I know. That’s one of the reasons I started hooping. I was hoping that hooping would be a fun way for me to lose a few pounds. I was hoping it would be something I would enjoy doing and could carry with me throughout my life. I was hoping it would be something I would even be able to share with others, something to give them as well to spin joy and health into their lives as well. So far, I have been right.
I’m not stupid though. When I talk to people about hooping, there are usually three types of reactions that I get. There’s the person who gets excited over how excited I am that they are just dying to try it as well – my favorite response. I also get the person who is hesitant, but curious about wanting to give it a try. Then there is the third type – the non-believers.
I see the way they look at me sometimes when I start talking about the benefits of hooping. They are curious as to why I love it. What it does. How fun it is. How it is a great cardio exercise. How many calories you can burn. But I see the shift in their eyes as well. I see the wheels start turning in their brains and the question they are dying to ask is, “If hooping is all that, than why are you still fat?” Health is much more than a simple number on a scale or the size of my ass. It’s more than skin deep and recently I found out just how much. You see, I got hooping in my blood.
Walking into my nurse practitioners office for my yearly physical I was a bit nervous. In all honesty I didn’t expect more than a comment on my weight loss. The door opened, in she walked and the first word out of her mouth was, “Congratulations Shea, you are doing so well. Wow!” I thanked her with a big smile on my face. She asked what I had been doing activity wise and almost didn’t believe me when I said that all that I’ve been doing was chasing after a toddler and hula hooping. That’s it. No jogging, no hours spent pounding my knees on a treadmill. And it turns out that even if I haven’t lost a lot of weight that hooping is making all the difference in the world.
You see, in the last year, almost to the day since my last physical, I have decreased my glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides so drastically my own physician almost didn’t believe me. No drugs. No surgery. Just diet and hooping. Check out these numbers:
Cholesterol: From 251 to 166
Triglycerides: From 729 to 159
VLDL cholesterol: From 77 to 32
Glucose: From 99 to 74
Blood Pressure: 160/80 to 110/58
They even took me off of a blood pressure medicine. What do all those numbers mean for those who aren’t more medically inclined? I went from someone having high blood pressure, dangerously high cholesterol and being a borderline diabetic to someone of normal health. Yes, I’m still overweight, but I’ve drastically reduced my risk of stroke, heart attack and diabetes thanks to a small circle of plastic I spin around my waist.
So the next time someone gives you that look that says, “Girl, you are crazy, hula hooping isn’t exercise”, remember this story. Remind them that being healthy is more than the way you look on the outside, it’s what happening on the inside. Getting healthier doesn’t have to be something you kill yourself over either. It doesn’t have to be a punishment. So keep your head up, keep preaching the joy of the hoop, and give em crazy right back.
Hooping.org columnist Shea Brock loves hooping and sharing the joy of it with everyone she meets. She has a hooping business of her own as well – Boro Hoops – and she lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA, where she’s slowly building an army of hoopers so she doesn’t have to hoop alone.