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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Rewarding Yourself - Experiences

   Chocolate is amazing, isn't it? But if you're trying to lose weight while rewarding yourself for hard work or great accomplishments, it can often leave a sour taste. Maybe you chose something decadent that left you feeling a little too guilty afterwards, or perhaps you chose something that sounded nice but ended up being wasted calories because it left you disappointed. Neither are great situations, and I'm speaking as someone who loves to reward myself with food - but when I'm rewarding myself for hard work related to weight loss, that's the worst kind of rewarding I can do, and it's made worse by being so easy.
   No, treating yourself to something scrummy every now and then is not a bad idea. If it's that infrequent and you eat really well most of the time, then rewarding yourself with something decadent should not be overlooked. But there are so many better ways of rewarding yourself that will last beyond licking your ice cream bowl clean as well as providing none of the guilt.

   I'm the kind of person that gets swept away by music and dance. I can't help it. I love a good sing-along and I get stupidly teary-eyed over impressive dancing. I can't understand it, it just overwhelms me. Irish step dance in particular gets me every time, and it's why I used Jean Butler's Irish Dance Masterclass last year - I loved every bit of it, and my legs were transformed!
   I was thinking of revisiting the DVD soon, and in my excitement I rewatched Lord of the Dance, and it reminded me just how desperate I am to see it live.

   There are a number of shows I'd love to see, all slightly different from each other but no less grand, but, as a full-time carer, it's so much trouble to arrange to see them that I'll be lucky if I ever manage to see all of my top five. As a result, however, they are my top-level reward type. When I strike the body of my dreams, one of these will be my reward! And I'd be happy with any of them; they're all quite close - in fact I'd almost say that number 1 and 2 are equal, but I've put them as they are by how long I've wanted to see them


   I'm a dinosaur nut; we all know this. I love dino documentaries, be they CGI or more fossil-based. I love it. I'm utterly fascinated by it all and I take a lot of what I learn from it for my writing - no, my books are not filled with dinosaurs, but the basic lessons of evolution and raw power are incredibly useful when creating fantasy creatures.
   The Walking With Dinosaurs TV series is one of my favourites, even though I'm sure the graphics looked better at the time than they do now. So imagine my desperation when they went on a live tour with fully robotic dinosaurs a couple of years ago. Supposedly they were only going to do one tour, but they did two, so there's always the possibility that they'll do another since they went back on their word once.
   This is a show I would love to see; it's unconventional and would keep my attention.



4. English National Opera
   Like Billy Connolly, I was surprised to find that opera wasn't as dull as I had expected - it can be surprisingly passionate, in fact, and all the singing is good fun, even if the songs or subjects are gloomy - I especially love it when they make a cheerful song out of a bad subject.
   The English National Opera is one of the best, performing all kinds of things from tragic dramas to Gilbert and Sullivan. I'd love to see The Mikado! Theirs are some of many opera shows in London, but having heard that they're the ones most worth the time to see, they make it onto my list. Everyone has to watch an opera in their life time!



3. Wadaiko Yamato
   I've had a passion for Japanese history that's expanded into present day and recent culture, from games and entertainment to food and clothing, and to be honest, even my favourite instrument is Oriental. My interest is primarily the history, however, so I love seeing traditional Japanese cultures given a modern twist. Taiko drums are amazing, they're huge loud things that can be as loud as jet aeroplane, which is sheer madness. I just want to be in the room and feel that vibration in the air, and Wadaiko Yamato are one of the biggest taiko drum troupes. They were in Bristol back in April but I was unable to attend, which sucks, but because they perform in smaller venues, they are the most likely on this list for me to catch.



2. Lindsey Stirling
   My favourite musical artist, and I'm not one to enjoy the music of an individual; I prefer soundtracks from games and movies more often than not because they can be moving, calming, energetic and easy to ignore in the background, but in all honesty, Lindsey Stirling is just as good. I absolutely adore her style, she is stupidly talented with a violin, it makes me sick, and the dubstep overlay is amazing. I don't really like dubstep all that much, but the mix of dubstep and an incredible violin is just awesome. I love to listen to it casually, I love to listen to it while strength training, I love to listen to it while doing yoga (though, in fairness, I hate calm music while doing yoga, it makes me impatient and I start breathing quicker just to move onto the next move and finish the sequence).
   I would love to see her live. She's such an amazing performer, she loves what she does, she's a real person and she's immensely talented. I don't know what kind of size venues she plays at so I don't know what kind of crowd I'd be up against (yikes) but it's an experience I'd love to have. Plus I wish I could move like these people.



1. Lord of the Dance
   Nothing else could be at the top. Call me lame, whatever you like, I don't care. This is the stuff. I've always loved villains in books and movies, and I love the villains in the Lord of the Dance. Their music is amazing, their moves are amazing, and I start shaking just from watching 'Warriors'. It's my favourite sequence from the whole show and I've watched the DVD to death.
   One thing people say about Irish step dance is that you can really feel the movements of their feet, the noise they make just goes right through you, and I want to experience it. I know I'll be in tears quickly - I mentioned already that it overwhelms me more than I expect, giving me the shakes and I really don't know why. But this is the one show, above all others, that I must must must see. I love the sound, I love the sight, and the syncronisation is just mind boggling - and the speed! I learned a few simple moves from Jean Butler's DVD, and I'm still dead proud of what I can do, even if it is little, but rather than take away some of the magic like Seeg said it might back when I used the DVD, it's just given me a new found respect for such dancers. It's insane.



   I've only seen two shows. I saw Mindless Self Indulgence in London about 7 years ago, which, if I'm honest, isn't that memorable at all, and Billy Connolly in Bristol with Seeg's family about 3 years ago, which I loved. I'd definitely go to see him again! But as it stands, these are my top five, and I have to see at least one of them!

   Have you seen any amazing shows?



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