The hard work had officially begun. We were scheduled for a 2 week tour of China from 7/1 – 7/15. So the month of June was full of preparations not to mention all the activities I had to attend, some one which you’ve already ready about. I had to sacrifice many nights and weekends for training and so forth. I spent no less than $1,000 on clothes, shoes, cosmetics, and not to mention weight loss supplements – expensive but worth every penny for the experience.
I caught wind of the brand NUTRILITE at a dance rehearsal where we were learning a Latin number at a studio in Flushing. A nutritionist came in and spoke about being smart when it comes to losing weight. She spoke to my own experiences in the past where it was much easier to lose the weight in high school than later on, especially this year in particular. Obviously your metabolism slows as you age and that’s one factor. But the other factor is around % body fat. I’ve written about it earlier, but it’s so true. We all know muscle cells burn way more calories than fat cells, but this concept is important because it’s a better metric of health than BMI.
From them on, I stopped obsessing with weight and began to build up my muscle mass. It helped that I had hired a personal trainer and I had trained. I also kept a log of all the workouts we did at each session to help me map my future workouts on my own. Crunch gym is very well equipped with machines and weights, but also add to the price. At $75 a month (student discount and 1 gym membership), it is not cheap. On the bright side it motivates you to go everyday because you don’t want to waste the $2 a day, but then again, it’s only $2 a day. I worked with a lot of equipment, but it’s not mandatory. On my last session with my trainer, he taught me 5 workout moves when repeated, would do the trick.
After daily rehearsals began in June, unfortunately I had little time to go to the gym, but I was too tired at the end of the day to even think about lifting, let along have the time. Immediately after work everyday, I would take the train to Flushing. The commute to and from Flushing added up to 2 hours a day. Then I was at rehearsal for 4 hours, most of the time skipping dinner and drinking a protein shake instead. I also began a strict weight loss regime.
I attended dance classes and learned Samba and Belly Dance. These days were my favorite. I love dancing in general, but I’m not great by any means. Keeping to the beat and mimicking the movements came naturally to me. Without years of training though, I’m like a monkey trying to copy the moves of a human. I’m clumsy but I try. This dance would be the dance we would use often during our two weeks in China.
Another favorite class of mine was singing. I’ve been told by my own mother that I suck at singing. I have been called tone deaf at some point. I’ve also been told that I tend to “screech” when I try too hard to hit the high notes. However, I still love to sing and in my head, Marie would insist that, I sound amazing. I have no idea what they are talking about. So we learned the song You Lift Me Up. It’s a really good song, but we don’t exactly have many great singers among us. At this point, we recognized who the strongest singer in our group was and she actually went on and won 3rd place – she’s amazing though. I learned my range tend to be on the lower end and I would often revert to falsetto to hit the higher pitches. I try to avoid it as often as possible these days and my singing has improved tremendously.
The most tedious class had to be catwalk but some girls really needed these sessions. 5 inch nude heels from Aldo was demanded for the trip to China, but they were extremely uncomfortable. Any shoe from Aldo in my opinion is uncomfortable, so I opted for a pair of nude pumps from Steve Madden. Madden shoes get more comfortable the longer you walk in them and its quality of leather is guaranteed. I, too, had trouble walking in them in the beginning.
Please don’t trip and break an ankle. Look forward, tuck in your tailbone, remember ballet training. Look at a point, okay walk. Don’t be scared, you’re okay. My inner cat is of course intimidated, but to mention Marie is also losing her balance and not liking it at all. This is so stupid, why do we have to walk in these shoes? I look like an idiot and I don’t like it one bit. These shoes are mad heavy! They’re not pretty either. So what if I look 5’9 now?
I like to internally complain and all smiles on the outside.
At least I got to shop for some new clothes. I bought 2 evening gowns (which I had yet had the chance to wear) and a blue cocktail dress. A new pair of shoes, new underwear and I was ready to go. Unfortunately for some girls, they had to buy all 10 dresses. Yes, I said it. 10 dresses were demanded of us to prepare. It was written in a 2-page addendum. No harm in sharing it now.
We had less than a month to make these preparations, but no one complained, too much. We were all excited to go and counting down the days!