Love the most important person in your life

Today is Valentine’s Day, and depending on how you feel about it, it is a great way to tell your partner how much you care or a great way to decry commercialism or it can make you feel sad and lonely about being single.

I want to put forward another idea- I would like this to be a day where you can celebrate and show love to the most important person in your life.

YOU!

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So many people are in a toxic hurtful relationship with themselves, especially with their bodies. They “HATE” this or that about themselves, they wish they looked like someone else and they have nasty toxic thoughts about themselves. (Yes toxic as negative thinking can play a role in physical health and definately has a role in mental health).

It seems that loving ourselves is the hardest of all things to love. However most people will readily love someone else despite the fact they may have a pot belly, back hair, uneven breasts or cellulite etc…

How do you do that? Well for me it was a process of telling myself I was gorgeous and showing love towards my body.  It wasn’t easy- it took years to be honest. But some of the things I did is to dress up and take myself out on dates, get pedicures, massages, buy myself a nice outfit, rub lotion onto my body and treat showering and bathing as a treat instead of a chore. After a while I did start loving my thighs, despite the fact they are huge because they are strong, powerful and shapely. I loved my huge bum because it feels so awesome. I started loving my legs which I always called trees because of their curves. I’m even slowly starting to love my belly despite the fact I want it to be smaller. Yes you can still love your body even if you want to make healthy changes to it.

My recommendations-Touch your body! Yes do it. Rub lotion in slowly and feel how amazing your body feels! Get pampering massages from professsionals (I would highly recommend a ha kuna massage). Stand in front of a mirror naked and tell yourself all the things you LOVE about your body. Let the negative thought that come to you wash away in the shower and hold onto those love thoughts. If you want to improve things in some small way develop a fitness routine doing things you love- for me it is cycling and recently swimming).

Less than 1% of the world has what society considers a “perfect” body. You don’t hold your partners up to those ideals so why subject yourself to them.

As that corny Whitney Houston song (Written by Michael Masser / Linda Creed) says:

“The greatest love of all

Is easy to achieve

Learning to love yourself

It is the greatest love of all”

Much love to you all on this Valentines Day

XOX Cherry

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YOLO

Back when I was little the phrase was Carpe Diem-Seize the Day!

A good friend of mine is always saying YOLO so it is stuck in my head: You Only Live Once.
So simple yet so very true.

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If you take any notice of what I post on instagram and Facebook you will see I’ve been travelling a bit lately. In fact right now I’m on a yacht in the Greek Islands. Sounds amazing and it has been, but today the weather is bad and we are stuck in the main cabin so I have some time to write! 🙂
Last year I was offered the chance to take voluntary redundancy from my State Government day job where I was an Environmental Manager. A job that bored me into mental numbness. A job where my skills where not being used well and I spent a large amount of time thinking about burlesque and singing and absolutely anything else that would stop my brain turning into mush. I had tried to make more of my job but the public service can be very limiting and my job was a dead-end. Some of my colleagues in the same role had been doing the same job for 10+ years… The redundancy payout was good, and it seemed like a lifeline. A chance for change. Change has been a big part of my life for the last 5 years. I live in a different area, dress different, look different and do different things but that is another blog post. My job was the only thing that hadn’t changed.
So I applied and was accepted to take redundancy and negotiated a leaving date that was 8 months away, July 2013. It seemed like forever but I knew it would leave me time to plan.
So what to do next I thought?.
I could get another job in my field and have a great deposit for a flat.
So I started looking for a flat to buy. But… it was like something in me baulked at this decision.
I thought about other options. Perhaps travel. A change of career. Study.
Hmmm
What to do?
I thought about what I am good at. I am a good communicator, I am a confident public speaker and I am a good teacher. These are useful skills to set me up for a career change.
But first I thought TRAVEL! For the first time in my life I have Energy, Money AND Time. The trifecta and I plan to make the most of it.
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When I get back from this trip I don’t really know what I will do. I have a trip to South America booked for autumn 2004 but beyond that is the unknown.
Wow
Scary
But exciting!
I see so many possibilities. So many paths and doors that have exciting plans beyond them. For the first time in over a decade I have no idea where I am going or what the future has in store for me.
I am excited about what that future may hold.
But like I said Carpe Diem: I am going to enjoy the now! Summer in Sydney.
What a fabulous plan! 🙂
XC

How to get a Bikini Body

I was recently in the Northern Territory at Litchfield and Kakadu National Park  and one of the things i loved was swimming in fresh water rivers and under waterfalls.

Sitting on the riverbank I noticed something. All the thin young women were in bikinis. They looked so free and happy in them.
However all the bigger women and older ladies were in navy (navy blue is the new balck?) swimsuits and even shorts and t-shirts. I suddenly got pissed off. I was in a navy swimsuit, that didn’t really fit and I wanted to wear a bikini!
So I was determined to get a bikini but my efforts to buy one in Sydney were thwarted because of a lack of time and so I went shopping in London at Bravissimo. I must have tried on every one in the store and in desperation the girl even broke out the new stock but I found 2 I liked!
Yesterday in Croatia I finally got to wear it.
What a JOY!
I also noticed many women around me; young, old, thin, fat, tan, etc etc all wearing them and in bright colours.
Amazing. For the first time I was wearing a swimming costume (or cossie as we call them in Australia) that fit and supported me!
So here are some pics and a video.
Pics! (Yes it is blue- but it is cute and I also have a pink one) 🙂
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Krka Waterfalls Croatia
And as those memes all say-
How do you get a bikini body. You simply buy a bikini and put it on your body!

Why I hate before and after pics.

Over the last 9 months I have been losing weight. Actively not accidentally. Not by starving myself or dieting. But by simply looking after myself more. It’s not been easy for many reasons. I’ve done it for personal reasons related to hereditary health conditions. It’s really no-ones business why and unless you are a close friend it’s really not up for discussion.

It’s been slow but the improvements to my health are already showing. People have started to notice the changes to my body too.

However you won’t see me posting before and after pictures here or posting pics on Facebook showing how much I have lost.

There are many reasons for this. Personally I think before and after pictures are a world-class rort. The before usually unflattering and poorly lit/clothed. After with nice clothes makeup etc…

Another is that a lot of people are perfectly healthy at a bigger size. Body size and health are not in my belief always related. I am a big supporter of the Health at Any Size Community.

And finally these before and after pictures are trying to say that look at the hideous creature before and look how amazing she looks now… But you know what, I think my body looks pretty fucking awesome no matter what size I am! It is strong, capable, curvaceous, has the ability to cycle 40km,  move furniture and give my 8-year-old Niece piggy backs! 🙂 So I won’t post any pictures comparing myself negatively to myselfImage

Pic by http://www.duskdevi.com  This happens to be me near my biggest and it also happens to be one of my favourite ever images.

For the people who comment how much they love my body- well don’t worry I am never going to be skinny. 😛 I have a large frame, very wide hip bones and a high muscle mass. After many years I’ve come to accept it, and I like it that way!

Trying.

Once again I haven’t been blogging enough. I was taking a little break 🙂

Aug, Sept and Oct passed in a blur and I was physically and emotionally exhausted. A full-time day job, the myriad jobs that a performer does everyday and trying to see my family and friends took its toll. I decided to take a little break!

I booked into Blush Bali Bliss– a pole dancing and yoga retreat in Bali. I had done Yoga twice and never tried Pole dancing…

It wasn’t planning on doing the pole dancing actually… I needed to relax!

I got to relax. I ate great food. I woke each morning to a view of the sea and fresh sea air. I started the day with Yoga and fresh fruit juice. It was heavenly.

I even decided to give the pole dancing a go. It was one of those things that was on my “never do” list. But I don’t like to say never and I decided to just give it a go.
It is hard work! Great fun but hard. I cursed my arms for not being strong enough. I cursed my inability.
The point is though- I kept trying. Each day I went to the lesson. Each day I listened and tried. By day 3 I was able to briefly hold on for a millisecond. By day 5 I could hold on for a few seconds. No, I was not elegant but I felt like I had achieved something and was so proud of myself.

My point is, you  never know if you can do something until you try…

So many of the things I have done in the last 3 years used to be on that never/can’t list.

Last year during the last Miss Burlesque heats and final I had so many people come up to me and ask me why I hadn’t entered. I replied- “Oh I wouldn’t ever…”, Or would I???

Hmm, yes that never word. It goes in the same basket as can’t. Dirty dirty words!

So as some of you may have seen, yes I have entered!
If you like this go to my entry on the Miss Burlesque page and make a comment: http://missburlesquecompetition.com/blog/2011/12/cherry-lush/#

So other than defeating that “never” word why else am I entering?

Well it is to push myself to my limits. To try things I haven’t done before. To work on new routines and hopefully have fun.

I am already in the midst of preparations. I hope you can join me on the night!

https://www.facebook.com/events/140102419432720/?notif_t=event_invite

Time flies when you’re having fun!


So it was two years ago yesterday that I got onstage for the first time and performed burlesque in front of my parents and friends. I write more about that in an earlier post.
What a time for reminiscing!
Recently I watched a video of that first performance. Oh did I cringe! There were many things that I did not do well, some of which I still need to work on.
But it made me think.
I saw the absolute joy that I felt. I could see what I am naturally good at: audience interaction, conveying emotion and meaning, having fun, presenting my body the way that suits it. It felt like yesterday. I can’t believe it has been two years. But as the old saying goes, time flies when you are having fun.
After those first couple of performances I was hooked. I wanted to do it again but it took many months for opportunities to arise.
Still to me it was just a bit of fun. I will perform every few months I thought. It is a fun hobby…
HA!
I can’t say when that changed, when it became part of who I am. When I started to say that I am a Burlesque Performer… It was probably this time last year when I returned from my first solo trip overseas and I spent days thinking about what I wanted to do. See I knew by then that being a performer is not all sequins and glitter. There is work, disappointment, it is expensive, time-consuming, I see my non-burlesque friends less and less.
But I know that I made the right decision to pursue being a performer. Life is so much fun. I meet interesting people who do what is their passion. 

Just a few of those burlesque peeps- so many more not in these pics.

Tonight I recalled a blog I used to write many years ago. I read a bit of it tonight. I frequently commented in it that I was unhappy. I wrote a post in 2005 saying all the things I wanted to do. I wanted a cat, I wanted to travel, get singing and dancing lessons.  All of which I now have/do!

And life is good!

So what is next? Well there are a lot of things coming up in the next 6 months. Many exciting things. Things that will push me as a performer,  as a person and will be hard. However I am lucky enough to have so many friends and family around me who support and help me.

BOOBS!

Well.

It had to happen. I needed to write a blog about them.

Breasts, especially mine seem to dominate the conversation when I am around. The reasons well they are obvious.

I got to thinking about them a lot last week. I was asked to go on Can of Worms. The topic-“If a woman gets a boob-job, is it an invitation to look at them.”

It was a rather humorous day! I took along the rather fabulous Rita Fontaine and we dressed to impress. When we arrived we were seated up the back, but soon someone came up to us and told us we were being moved right to the very front. We obviously looked too fabulous!

So there we were up the front myself wearing a red top that frames my (natural) abundant chest and a Black and Cherry wiggle skirt and Rita in a daringly low-cut and high thigh slit dress. Dicko and Jamie could not stop looking and giving us little grins.

What did I say? Well I said a lot. I have spent more than half my life thinking about the subject. They cut most of what I said – but you can watch the result here: http://ten.com.au/video-player.htm?movideo_p=45071&movideo_m=128111

And the advert that was played several times Monday night: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150275783311366

So to tell you more I have to start with my turbulent history with my Breasts.

It all started when I was 11 and in yr 6 at school. Overnight it seems they grew, going from nothing to a C cup overnight. When I went to go shopping with my Mum for my first bra (which I had avoided as I didn’t want to admit that I needed one) I tried on one owned by my older (by 3 years) sister and to her disgust I spilled out of it. My sister has a lot to do with how I felt about my breasts in those early days. As a small chested teenager, looking back I can see she was jealous and would comment on mine frequently. She was just a teenager herself and knew no better really.

So by the age of 13 in year 8 at an all girls high school I was an E cup. I didn’t dress up much, wore no makeup (indeed wasn’t even shaving my legs yet) but I still managed to get a lot of attention. Sometimes from other girls but often the attention got disturbing especially from men who were old enough to be my father and even grandfathers. With my 13-year-old mind, I was ill-equipped to deal with the attention. So I hid under baggy high-necked t-shirts and boyish clothes, ashamed almost and wanting to repel some of the attention. I was scared of older men and avoided looking them in the eye. On the rare occasion I showed a bit of cleavage I felt self-conscious and uncomfortable.

Time went on and I slowly learnt that dressing like this only made me look fatter, and did nothing to repel attention from the sleazes. It wasn’t until I got into burlesque though that I started to accept them, then appreciate and celebrate them.

Yes they are sexy and men (and a lot of women) go gaga over them.

But they are also comforting. I have many a time held a friend to my bosom while they cried. My Niece in particular is a fan, she once said whilst cuddling up to me ” You’re so comfy Aunty”.

So you may ask why I put them on display so much.

Well why not! They are fabulous! It looks better when I wear low-cut tops. I have to admit I do like most of the attention they get.

Also in a funny way I feel like I have re-empowered myself by displaying them. It is a bit of a f*ck you to those old creeps who hit on me and the girls who teased 13 yr old me.

So many people don’t really know what breasts look like. Except in porn or movies (or if you are a burlesque performer where backstage can be a boobfest) most people see few boobs and may negatively compare themselves to what they see in these idealized formats. Here are some web sites that I really like who look a breasts in different ways.

The first is a photographic site that tells stories about breasts in a photographic medium. Show Us Ya Tits

The second is a frank almost medical site. This site was a great help to me. It has all types on it including those that are somewhat “unusual”. Normal Breasts Gallery

finally for those who want to support a worthy event I will be making a short appearance at this F*ck Cancer- A Fundraiser.
X Cherry Lush