Beauty, Body and Wellness

Jaxie James in BeginnersThis topic is one that comes up often with pole dancers because let’s face it, most of us started pole dancing because we heard it was good exercise and wanted to get in shape, or we heard it helps with self confidence and we want to feel and be sexy.

When I started pole dancing I was 15kg heavier and not in good shape at all. As time went on and I got better at it, I started caring more about how I looked and felt. From pole dancing alone, I managed to lose around 6kg. Once I got to that point I looked at my teachers and my biggest inspirations and I decided I wanted to be lean and toned just like them.

So I decided to seriously get in shape, which was when I started the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation. The first round of the program for me was just about losing weight and getting to a stage where I could grow from. I lost about 7kg in the 12 weeks and at the end was much fitter than when I started.

Since then I have done so much research about health and fitness, nutrition and how the body works in general. I have done round after round of Michelle’s lean and strong program and with every piece of knowledge I gain, the results I get are better and better. I’ve also now started studying a cert III in fitness, just so I am able to make informed choices for my body.

The biggest improvements I’ve made as a result of the changes are:

Cooking – the use of clean ingredients in my cooking, cooking meals that are still very tasty but super healthy and not eating processed foods. I’ve also cut out added sugar from my diet and started drinking 3-5 litres of water each day. As a result of this, my skin looks like it did when I was 20 and my body does not retain water. If I have a day where I dont drink enough water I can tell immediately in my stomach and my legs. I’m also far less gassy than I used to be. If I have even a little bit of sugar, my body absolutely hates me for it. Last week I was sick and felt sorry for myself so I ate a packet of runts (they used to be one of my favourite lollies) and solemnly regretted it. I was nauseous for 2 days afterwards. Never again. Sometimes you just gotta remind yourself why you don’t eat it anymore I guess.

Macronutrients – I went to get a dexa scan to find out how much fat and muscle I have, to find out how many calories my body burns at rest and to find out what amounts of macronutrients would be best for my body to function at 100%. Eating to meet these macros I can notice the difference in my body within a matter of days. My strength, tone and overall leanness is visibly different when I meet them.

Strength – Since I started doing weights 5 days a week, I notice my strength is phenomenal, and not just in terms of pulling myself up the pole or holding myself up, even things like needle splits and kicks and holding my legs up, going upside down with straight legs etc has improved immensely. A lot of girls think that if they do weights they will get huge. The levels of testosterone in our body don’t really allow us to get as big as a guy, so ladies pick up those weights! My only piece of advice is to stretch out your muscles for a good 15 minutes after you have finished your session so that your muscles do not become short. When they become short they will hinder things like your splits as your muscles will not be able to stretch as far. Building the muscle in your legs can help splits because you will have muscle to stretch out and making the weak supplementary muscle stronger will help you get down into your split, but you do need to stretch it out. For example if your hip flexors are tight, making your glute stronger will help stretch out the hip flexor and get you lower.

Jaxie James in Intermediate 1    Jaxie James in Intermediate 2    Jaxie James in Intermediate 3    Jaxie James in Prep

Above left to right: Intermediate 1 | Intermediate 2 | Intermediate 3 | Prep Advanced

These are just a few things. Of course not everything has been about how I feel. I also am looking the best I’ve looked in my whole life. And a huge news flash: I moisturise on a daily basis, even if I’m poling that day! I have managed to find a moisturiser that helps me stick to the pole if I use it in the morning so there is no excuse for me not moisturising. I also find that when I don’t moisturise, my skin becomes dry and that is when I have the most trouble sticking to the pole.

Over the years I have also altered my sticky routine from nothing at all when I first started, to straight hairspray, to pump hair spray, to shaving cream and pump hair spray, and finally to shaving cream only on the legs and dry hands on the hands. I find that dry hands helps me get calluses too which in turn helps with my grip on the pole as well as my grip strength when it comes to weights (grip strength helps to lift heavier weights). Embrace the calluses!

On top of all this stuff (you’re probably thinking how does she even remember it?!) I have tried laser hair removal because I was sick of shaving every second day. Under the arms and the bikini and I’m very happy with the results. I still shave my legs, just because I feel like when I have a couple of days growth I stick to the pole much better. Weird huh? :p

One thing I’ve found the most difficult about pole dancing is dancing with my hair out. To this day I have never been able to do it. I just cannot master the head roll without having ten tonnes of hair in my face, so if someone has an amazing tutorial on that, please send it over to me! In my first competition I wore a short bob wig, but that is the closest I’ve been.

So these are the things that have shaped my pole experience, not necessarily all to do with pole dancing. If you have any tips and tricks, send them over to me! I’m open ears on anything that will make me a better pole dancer 🙂

Jaxie James in Advanced

This blog post is part of a blog hop that a group of pole dancers contribute to each month. Please be sure to check out the other girls posts here. JJ xx

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