How I’m using smack talk with my girlfriend to help get my bubble butt back. by Ben Weston

I want my bubble butt back.

After a year of squishing it flat by sitting down and staring at a glowing screen for hours on end, I’m ready to get my half-Asian badonka-donk back.

Knowing that I might get intimidated by the task of going from Chinese pancake to bootylicious bao buns, I wanted to eliminate will-power from the equation so I proposed to Alyssa a 1-month challenge:

Whoever can do the most kettlebell swings in 30 days gets treated to dinner and, more importantly, bragging rights. Also, if she wins, she gets to require me to wear these absurd mesh undies that we were both forced to wear during a massage in Thailand.

No, I am not going to show you what they look like but trust me when I say that they do NOT fit me.

So where are we at now?

She’s fuckin woopin my ass. And with a kettlebell only 5 lbs lighter than mine no less. 

 

Alyssa - 1,500

Ben - 700

She’s routinely been hitting 150 to 200 swings a day. And the kicker? She’s not feeling a damn thing. No soreness. I think she’s actually getting bored.

I maxed at 180 swings one day and the following day I felt like someone went berserker mode on my hamstrings and ass with a mallet. 

Why am I sharing this? I committed to sharing with you guys my progress, good and bad. This is both. 

Good = I don't have to think about working out because just the thought of wearing the nut-crushing mesh undies is enough to get 50 swings out of me.

Bad = My girlfriend is pwning me =)

For those of you that also said that you’re working on getting back into your body, I want to challenge you to find a way to make your practice as easy and fun as possible.

And if you need help coming up with creative ideas to keep you accountable and on your toes, just hit me up. I got you ;)

Sample smack talk

Ben: (after asked when we'll be starting the challenge) Let's start today!  But if you need a bit of a head start, don't hesitate to ask...

Alyssa: Oh, baby.  I know you're in denial about those 150 swings I did on my first day, but it's OK.  We'll get you past the bunny slope of swings in no time. . . . I'll create the Google doc later this afternoon!

Ben: Just did 25 swings, FYI.  Make sure to log that as the first entry in the Google doc.  Thanks, sweetie.  You're the best.

Alyssa: Log your own swings, bitch!  The only reason I'm creating the Google doc is so I can get the first bit of smack talk on there! . . . Have a great day, love.  Don't cry too much when I beat you on our first day.

God, I love her. 

I’ve had my TED talk online for 2 months and I’ve shared it with only 5 people by Ben Weston

I’ve had my TED talk online for 2 months and I’ve shared it with only 5 people.

At a dinner party last night, people were asking why and it felt like there were a flood of reasons why I hadn’t shared it with more people.

But it really only came down to two reasons.

One is that the talk is something I’m really proud of but what if I’m sharing it only for the ego boost and validation?

The bigger reason, if I’m honest with myself, is because I didn’t get selected to be put on their site.

I prepped for months, every day, for hours on end. First thing in the morning, I recited it 2-3 times, while walking through Union Sq, I practiced it out loud (with my phone to my ear so I didn’t look crazy), and last thing before going to bed.

I put every bit of my soul I could have put into it.

And it didn’t bomb.

In fact, it was a huge fucking success. Everyone from the other TED speakers, to the TED content directors, and even Chris Anderson himself raved about it.

After my talk, Chris came up on stage and said, “If we were to put that video up on our site, I’m betting it would quickly get 1,000,000 views. And most of those views would be coming from me.”

I was even being told by one of the TED curators how to best leverage my talk to present at the global conference!!

God I was pumped.

After months of not hearing back and only seeing other fellow speakers get put up online, I was finally told that my video wasn’t selected because, despite being well received live, the editorial team felt that it didn’t translate well on video.

Fuck. That hurt. And it was my birthday too.

I still haven’t seen the video. What if it isn’t as good as I thought it was? Nah, that’s stupid. It was good. I know it was good. But that’s a thought that still plagues me.

So, the reason I’m posting it now?

Alysssa sent me this quote recently from Martha Graham about sharing your art.

As nice as it is to be validated, I want this post to be a part of my practice of producing and sharing my art, regardless of whether I think it’s good enough or not.

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open... No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”

I'm Not Comfortable Sharing This by Ben Weston

I’m going to try something new here. Something that I kinda, definitely am uncomfortable with publishing. Instead of a celebration, I have a confession.

I fell off the band wagon. Big time.

For the past year, I’ve had the privilege to help men feel powerful and confident in their bodies through dance. And, I’ve been quite good at it.

Yet somehow, along the way, I stopped feeling it myself. I’d slowly gone from moving through every day with hours of playful dance, tumbling, and all manner of good circus fun to spending the majority of my waking hours in front of a computer screen, sitting.

It didn’t hit me until my recent trip to Thailand when I was told that I had lost my energy, my vibrancy. I have been almost chronically sick, or at least on the edge of sickness for most of the year. And, as of a month ago, was down to my high school weight of 155lbs. That’s close to 30lbs less than my healthy standard weight. (See photos for comparison)

My mother even commented recently that I have a flat butt now. And my half-Asian bubble butt was once a thing of pride for me!

So instead of the usual celebrations and highlight reel, I want to give a genuine look into where I am now. I’m literally giving the “Before” photo before the “After” photo shows up.

I feel like I’ve been hiding this process and I’d rather share throughout my journey, instead of only when really good shit happens.

P.S. If anyone wants to join me in the process, just know that I tend to put down large chunks of money for personal growth challenges. That or Slap Bets.

P.P.S. I won’t lie. I’m already really excited for when I get to take my “After” photo and share it.

Do You Get Frustrated When You Can't Think of the Next Dance Move? Yeah, Me Too by Ben Weston

Dancing sometimes frustrates me. 

Dancing knowing that other people will be watching me usually frustrates me.

Dancing in front of a camera, knowing that other people will be watching me ALWAYS frustrates me. 

I put this post off for several months because I didn’t want people to see me dancing when I’m frustrated and unable to look “good” and creative. 

I wanted to put out a video that perfectly highlights and showcases my unending well of creative movement and will prove that I am indeed, a dancer. 

This video wasn’t it. Watching this makes me cringe.

I went outside with the best of intentions. I put on my white pants (my dancing pants), some good shoes, and well-fitted sleeveless. I almost put on a fedora. 

That would have been too much. 

I was all set with my outfit, tripod, and music. I pressed play on the video and my music and then nothing. The music came on, felt good, and I  was ready to perform, to come up with moves, and make it look good and effortless. 

Instead, I ended up getting frustrated as hell. I couldn’t think of anything to do; what I did didn’t feel good; and the damn red light on the camera wouldn’t stop taunting at me. 

[You can see it in the video when I silently scream and dejectedly walk to the camera to turn it off]

The reason I decided to finally share this is because I want you to see that even though my profession is teaching men to feel confident on any dance floor, I still get frustrated as hell with myself when it comes to dancing. 

I still get frustrated when I can’t think of the next move to do. It’s like self-loathing quicksand, pulling you in to a deeper and deeper cage of “Why the hell can’t I do anything?!” the more you resist. 

So the next time you’re out dancing, feeling like you’re running out of moves, and getting frustrated with yourself, remember that it’s normal. Everyone experiences it. 

And hell, you can also be confident knowing that I’m probably off somewhere in my tight white pants also feeling the same frustration. 

You’re in good company, brother. 

My Dance Student Almost Made Me Cry by Ben Weston

Several months ago, I was contacted through my site for a private lesson.

All he said was that he was a beginner and wanted to learn the basics of dancing. 

I asked him why he wanted to learn how to dance and his answer floored me:

[Paraphrased]  

"My wife and I have been married for more than 35 years. We still go out to clubs and parties but I feel self-conscious when I try to dance her with her. It usually takes me a few vodka's until I stop caring and loosen up a little. 

But I want my wife to have fun. I want her to have a good time when we go out and not have to worry or feel like I'm holding her back. 

I may not have much rhythm or talent but I would do anything to make my wife happy. I love her just as much today as I did when I met her 35 years ago. 

I don't care how embarrassing this is for me. I would do anything for her."

I was literally holding back tears when he said that. 

I told him he's my hero. Seriously. 

And yes, he did end up learning some new moves and gaining some rock solid (sober) confidence with dancing. 

With love and funk,
Ben

P.S. His wife loved that he did this for her. 

 

How To Be a Better Dancer Than 80% of the Guys At Clubs by Ben Weston

A few weeks ago I was invited to visit some new friends I made that DJ'ed every Thursday night at a Bulgarian bar in the Lower East Side. They said that there was dance music and space to dance.

Give me space to dance and I'm an easy sell. 

Of course I get there at 9pm when there are a total of about five people: the bartender, my DJ friend, and a few people hudled together in the darkest corner of the room.

One of the few advantages of arriving uncomfortably early (and solo) was getting to see who actually gets on the dance floor. 

Now what I'm about to reveal is not meant to put down the guys that did get on the dance floor. If anything, I want to give kudos to them for getting down on the dance floor while relatively sober!

That being said, after seeing the following scene unfold in literally every public dance space, I can confidently say that it takes VERY little for a guy to stand out as a good dancer to women. 

- There's the guy doing the requisite Hitch two-step dance. There's nothing wrong with the two-step, but if you look as if you're bracing to get punched in the gut by Rocky, nuh uh. 

- There's the guy that looks as if he's in physical pain and is counting down until he can get off the floor. This night in particular, it was Mr. tall, dark, and freakishly buff that brought a cute girl on the dance floor and proceeded to two-step while literally cringing.

- My personal favorite - the Creeper. This guy will stand on the dance floor while sort of swaying to the music. He's not on beat at all. I'm pretty sure he's unaware of the beat. Instead, he's surveying the land, scanning for his prey. 

With all of that said, here's how to be a better dancer than these guys:

A. Move to the beat in a relaxed manner. It doesn't have to be fancy at all! Just try to actually enjoy the music.

B. Smile. Seriously, almost no guy smiles while out dancing. You want to be approached by women? Stop staring, start smiling, and actually enjoy the music.