Monday, 29 October 2007

I'm back!

It seems like I have spent the last week on a motorway stuck in traffic, firstly there was the trauma of mine and Jo's trip to Brighton, then I travelled to Bradford only to get stuck in one traffic jam at 2am and then to endure another seven hour trip back last night! Apart from all that I am feeling good and am feeling a little happier with events in Brighton last week. (for more info on Miss Pole Dance UK check out Glamour puss's entry for Thursday 25th October - High life highlights.)

The good news from Brighton was that Saints fighter Christi won her fight. Christi dominated Debbie over 5 rounds with a unanimous win given by the judges. Also whilst in Bradford I managed to get some private lesson in at a gym called Kents. I taught two lovely ladies, one instructor and one of her students and they were a real pleasure to teach so all was good.

I have several bits of health and fitness news to share with you, firstly an interesting thing from BBC's street doctor on treating dry skin, I commented recently on the problem with over application of cosmetics and beauty products and also the problems that us pole dancers have with using moisturisers and oils, therefore I was pleased to know that rubbing the inside of a banana skin onto your own skin is a brilliant cure for dry skin. Apparently the enzymes in bananas react with the skin and help many dry skin problems without the need for chemicals and this method does not leave the skin feeling greasy. I tried my first application yesterday but will keep you posted in my progress!

I was disturbed to learn that the NHS now has a programme for treating obese babies, I can't believe that obesity is becoming such a problem for all ages. The situation now is that social services are facing having to remove children from their homes as their obesity is not dealt with, the argument is that the parents can be done for cruelty due to overfeeidng, lack of exercise and failing to react to obesity. What exactly is our society coming to.

After spending far too much time in Motorway service stations it is hardly surprising that we are all becoming obese, I perused the food on sale at the various stations and decided I would rather starve than eat the overpriced rubbish on sale. The only slightly encouraging factor was the Marks and Spencers shop at one such service station that sold food products that could be regarded as healthy and came in environmentally friendly packaging, may be there is some hope.

Anyway it is great to be back in Plymouth and not to have any motorway driving to consider in the near future. Looking forward to teaching in my own studio again tomorrow and catching up up with all my students.

Stay healthy,

Sam x

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

I suppose it wasn't all bad, I got at least one good handstand in the routine! Sam x

When things go bad.

The last 48 hours has been a rollercoaster of emotions with more dips than peaks. I will keep it brief today as I have had less than enough sleep and a seven and a half hour drive back from Brighton. There were two crashes,roadworks and road rage finished with part of the M5 being closed for a high speed police pursuit which was breifly entertaining to watch. You may be wondering how the competition went and the answer is it didn't as there was no fitness section.

Right now all I need is a good nights sleep then I can explain all tomorrow. If you want to know a little more check out puss's blog here. I am still angry with the way things turned out yesterday and driving back, or sitting in traffic as we did for most of the time, has not helped my mood so I will reminisce for now and rant tomorrow.

Thanks to Jo for accompanying me, supporting me and stopping me punching anyone.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

The nerves are here!

As expected I did have nightmares last night, I dreamt that I didn't sleep! In my dream people kept turning up at my house asking if they coudl stay over and I kept making up extra beds and whinging as I wanted to go to sleep - funny things dreams. Anyway I am just about to set off and I think I have not forgotten anything essential. I will let you know how I get on.

Stay healthy,

Sam x

Monday, 22 October 2007

The big day is looming.

Tomorrow I leave to drive to Brighton for the finals of Miss Pole Dance Uk, I am sure that I will have nightmares tonight about oversleeping and missing the competition or turning up at the competition naked. I have just done my last run through of my routine and everything seems to be going OK. Fingers crossed that I will perform well tomorrow.

Also Thanks to Christi for the lovely e-mail that she sent to me this morning thanking me for my sponsorship and for cornering her, Believe me it is a pleasure to work with Christi and I am looking forward to being in her corner next week as she fights in Manchester against Debbie Mullock from the John Steele gym in Stoke.

Whilst I am mentioning fighters a big congratulations to the two Saints boxing stable fighters who have fought recently, A great win for Ben Cunnif, age 13 and a close miss for Curtis Betteridge, age 21. Click here for the full review from today's Herald. Well done to their trainer Carl Robson.

I think I have found a man with the fittest fingers in the world! At the weekend we watched local band The Wildcards featuring Vince lee playing his guitar like you've never seen before. What was great was watching lots of people get up and dance, lots of fun to be had by all and lots of cardio vascular exercise - All Good. Dancing of another form was on the agenda when I visited my nan yesterday afternoon as she reminisced about the days of tea dances and commented on the fact that they were great exercise and an opportunity to socialise and build friendships and relationships. It seems a little sad that for many people going out dancing involves getting so drunk that you dont know what you are doing or going out and fighting - If you want to fight or dance then please visit us at Saints first and at least learn how to do it properly!

I am currently waiting on an update on the mooncup that I mentioned in a previous blog, I am hoping it is the healthy alternative to the nastiness that is women's sanitary towels and tampons. I have a guinea pig testing (Cheers Babe)it for me so should have news soon on its progress. Apologies to any men Reading this blog but menstruation is a crucial part of our exisitence and like bowel movements is not something we can avoid!

On the subject of bowel movements - my thoughts go out to Jojo (pictured above left) who has been unwell again, after a huge operation last year Jojo health has been very up and down, he has written a lovely article in todays paper commenting on the brilliance of the staff at Derriford who work hard despite poor working conditions and under pay.
Well, enough writing for today, must save my strength for tomorrow, will keep you posted on my result,
Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Video footage

Sorry no words of wisdom today just a new picture of me doing a pose that is meant to be called the lunchbox but I just think it is a horrible name! Also as promised here is the video from my performance in June at the pole divas finals in Manchester, hopefully I can improve on this next Tuesday in Brighton.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Tuesday, 16 October 2007


Well it is only one week until the finals of Miss Pole dance UK and I have qualified for a place! The finals will be held at The honey Club in Brighton and I am competing in the fitness section. I have to up my training for the next few days and am feeling nervous already. I experience terrible performance nerves and dread the thought of my hands starting to sweat excessively during my performance. Jo will be accompanying me to Brighton and hopefully will keep from being too much of a nervous wreck. (picture shown above left is me at last years competition in Newquay.)

The following week I am hoping to be teaching in Bradford, I am there for three days and have been asked to do some masterclasses to some instructors who teach in the area. Whilst I am in Bradford I will be visiting my lovely mother in law Flo and watching Christi fight at a local show. Click here to view her latest video.

I see in the news this week that obesity is becoming as great a challenge as climate change and by the year 2050 over half of the population will be clinically obese. This is a truly disturbing study. I still feel that more emphasis should be put on those who sell high fat food products and salt and sugar laden snacks to improve their products or pay a tax to the government that can go directly to funding the NHS and dealing with obesity.. It would also be nice if some grant funding was given to Small business's like mine who are doing their bit to tackle obesity and boost general fitness and awareness of health. The cost of treating obesity through the NHS is estimated at 45 million pounds. If we follow America's trend we will all be looking at private healthcare as the NHS simply cannot afford the effect of over 50% of its population being obese.

One quick bit of news that relates to mental well being is a website I found - click here for amusement.

Stay healthy

Sam x

Friday, 12 October 2007

I'm back!

What an amazing holiday, my batteries now feel fully recharged and I am ready to take on the world. The picture left was the sunset from the roof terrace on the last night of my holiday and it was beautiful. I have lost 2kgs whilst on holiday which I put down to good diet and lots of swimming. I feel tanned and healthy apart from the 6 mosquito bites I got on the last night which are littered around my body.

Despite the bites I have returned with a few words of wisdom, firstly on cosmetics and skin products. I know that there is some debate on whether skin creams and lotions are actually good for you and my arguments for and against where altered after watching BBC 3 last night 'How dirty can you get' For those of you who did not see it there were two volunteers who agreed to spend a month without washing or using skin products or make ups. I have always thought that we overuse cosmetics and beauty products but this programme took it to the other extreme and looked at how quickly the teeth can start to decay if not brushed and how rapidly we can develop fungal infections, some of the images were not for the faint hearted. I think the programme just came back to the age old moderation argument that too much of anything is bad for you. I liked the quote from one of the researchers on the programme that 'the poison depends on the dose'.

Two products featured on the programme were tampons and deodorants / anti-perspirants. Lets get the tampons bit out of the way first, I have known for years that tampons are bad for me but had not found a solution that was practical to use whilst pole dancing and so to the
mooncup. The mooncup is a natural alternative to tampons that is supposed to be hygienic and safe. I am just about to order mine so I will keep you posted (no pictures on that blog!) Now on to anti-perspirants which supposedly are linked to breast cancer and believe me the statistics do seem to be backing up the theory. There are lots of natural alternatives ot anti perspirants ( I mentioned the zinc and dandelion alternatives in a previous blog). and deodorant is a much healthier alternative to anti perspirant. I use a product called pit rok, I think the pit rok works, although i only use it occasionally, but as none of my students have commented on me having a problem with body odour I am assuming that it has the desired effect, either that or they are just being polite or I have effectively masked my own smell with the aromas of my healthy diet i.e. garlic and fish.

Having spent a week in the sun I have worn no make-up and no other beauty products and only used a light natural cocoa butter once a day on my skin to work into any dry areas. My skin feels great and the Mediterranean diet has certainly been a contributing factor. To summarise my argument I think we all spend too much on cosmetics and how many of us are guilty at looking at our toiletries bag or cupboard and seeing half empty bottles that we are never going to use. The problem is we are part of a throwaway society so if we can change that a little by cutting down on cosmetics and toiletries we are also doing our bit for the environment whilst saving money and feeling better about ourselves. More apparent words of wisdom (or ramblings) tomorrow.
Stay healthy
Sam x

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Greetings from Portugal.

I am certainly not used to getting up at 7am each morning but living with a 3 year old means that I get to see the sunrise each day. I am staying in a beautiful house on the mountains in Barranco de velho in the algarve. I am accompanied by my Mum, Adele ( an old school friend whom I have known since I was 15) and her daugher Ana. The weather is amazing, 24 degrees and no clouds in sight. Today I am off to a villa between Olhao and Tavira which means lots of fresh fish from the market. I must admit that despite the healthy diet over here I have been lured in by a local drink called Sagres Bohemia which is about as close to real ale as I am going to get.

Later we will be leaving Adele's house and going to stay in a luxury villa with its own pool and boules pitch. We have decided that we will be swimming every day and doing yoga. It is really nice to have a break from the high impact of the pole and a more gentle exercise regime fits the pace of life here perfectly.

Yesterday, to our amusement, we watched Cordozo (Adeles 84 year old neighbour) chasing his two escaped pigs up and down the valley, it was hilarious for us but less hilarious for Cordozo. What made it more amusing was the silhouettes of the two pigs followed by Cordozo followed by Adele's two kittens running through the trees. It does go to prove that this 84 year old man is certainly not past it, The man can run! So no excuse for the rest of us.

Conveniently I am constipated which has worked out perfectly as we ran out of water this morning. My bowels normally run like clockwork and I am more than regular but seeing we cant flush the toilet constipation isnt such a bad thing. I have already had my first dose of exercise today involving climbing a ladder to get to the roof to fill the tank, the bonus of doing this was that I got to see the most amazing view of the valley covered in a light mist.

I have just been informed by Ana that she has done a poo, I think she is telling me just to make me jealous! Enough talk of bowel movements and onto other topics. I wonder how my students are getting on back at home and I wonder how Jo is coping with the gargantuan task of manning the phones, trust me in the fact that they ring a lot! Dont wory Jo it is only 5 days till I come back and then we have the mammoth task of moving premsies (all will be revealed in due course).

Well miraculously whilst writing this I feel a poo coming on which is brilliant, probably more bowel info than you needed but it makes me happy. I dont think I will get to write again before my return so keep exercising and eating well and I will look forward to writing on my return to Plymouth,

IJust before I sign off I want to wish Christi good luck for her fight tomorrow in Birmingham against Ruth Ashdown. I am gutted that I wont be there to see it but I am sure that Christi will be amazing in the ring as usual.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Two days and counting till my holiday and already I am starting to feel more relaxed. My mood has been enhanced by a full body massage and an hour and a half of yoga - nice. I had a nice e-mail from Bret today with a link to his blog, interesting reading with some health and fitness tips thrown in - - cheers bret. No recent comments from Kenshi - are you still reading this, Hope you are well?

How many of you watch the community channel? I know sometimes the programmes can be a bit gushy but the other 80% of programmes are just fantastic and inspirational. It is only a few weeks ago i mentioned the schools project that used parkour to help open children's minds. If you are unfamiliar with the community channel then click here. I believe that health and fitness links in with community projects which improve social links as well as getting people active, motivated and involved with something. a few nights ago I watched a deprived area called Beeston entering the Britain in bloom competition. Everyone was in agreement that seeing people out gardening in the community was very refreshing and the vandalism seemed to be in decline as more of the community got involved - it made me smile.

The community channel also features lots of ideas for volunteering so you can get your workout by putting something back into your local environment.

Something else happened to me last night and it was also truly inspirational - I rediscovered St Peter's Brewery in Suffolk via a beautiful glass of Honey Porter, now if you are going to drink then you might as well drink something made from pure spring water and the finest organic hops. Even the Queeen has recognised how fantastic this little company is and gave them an award to coincide with her 80th Birthday celebrations. As usual I have to remind you to drink sensibly and if you are going to drink then please drink lots of water the day after! Oh and thanks to Moor and more beer for helping me rediscover St Peters!

Well it is sign off time now for me, I have my dressing gown on and my feet up on the sofa - sleep time awaits.

Stay healthy,

Sam x