Today’s thrift store cosplay is a minimalist version of Disney’s Rapunzel. It’s more of a bounding, if you will. For those of you who have never heard of Disney bounding…look it up. It’s a simple way of representing your favorite characters at work, at Disney…basically anywhere you are, and still seem like a fairly normal person to the outside world.
This outfit could easily be worn anywhere and people would not automatically suspect me of cosplaying. That’s the beauty of Disney bounding, it’s more of an internal cosplay and the people who get it are the ones you discover to be kindred spirits!!
So…8 weeks ago I embarked on an adventure to share with you my homemade fitness plan: Disney Princess Boot Camp. I told you at the beginning that I wouldn’t be stepping foot on a scale and I haven’t…for the whole of this 8 week plan, I have listened to my body and really relied on my senses to guide me.
Foods that didn’t sit well got cut out, surprisingly that included a lot of breads and dairies. Foods that energized me will be added to my permanent shopping list, like spinach and pork cutlets and all things coconut.
This week I shopped the diet of a 18th century peasant, lots of staple foods, very lean cuts of meat and fruits and vegetables that might be grown in an English garden. And the fitness routine this week included: deep cleaning my parent’s garage and pool, running down stairs and ball room dancing.
This week’s meal plan was all about the ocean. Fish, seafood, seaweed, vegetables that might translate like cabbage and lettuce. And the only activity I did was swimming. But I utilized a variety of strokes in order to change things up. This was the week that my arms really started to feel the burn!!
For Pocahontas Week, I faithfully followed a traditional Native American diet. Lots of foods that come from the Earth. Nuts, grains, game meats like pork, berries and vegetables that might be grown by Native Americans like Pocahontas. The activities this week included rowing, running and canoeing. And I fell in love with canoeing. I really felt like it was the kind of full body workout that was both energizing and relaxing at the same time!
This week I paid homage to China. The foods they eat, Chinese movies and fitness that one might find in China. My shopping list included things I had never eaten before like: bitter melon, rambutan, lychee, ya pears, bok choy and napa cabbage. The fitness routines this week really kicked my ass as I tried Tai Chi and Shaolin Kung Fu!!
This week, my shopping list had a lot of items inspired by Rapunzel and the Disney movie Tangled, more than an actual diet Rapunzel might have eaten. Whimsical things like angel hair pasta (get it!) and flax seed items (a food that promotes hair growth) as well as other proteins good for hair growth and of course, Rapunzel’s favorite, hazelnut soup! For fitness I tried rock climbing and folk dancing (line dancing…I live in the South!)
Merida Week was spent eating a classic Scottish diet consisting of cabbage, leeks, berries, shellfish, wild game meats and yes, even Haggis. And while Merida didn’t exhibit a love for Scottish dancing in her movie, Brave, I felt I just had to add it to my fitness plan after seeing an ad at the local community center! As well as Scottish dancing, I went horseback riding and tried archery. This week was very active and exciting!
I thought Elsa Week might prove a little harder for a Florida girl like me, seeing as how Elsa is all Frozen and stuff and in the middle of summer, a cool breeze is hard to come by in the sunshine state. But with a Scandinavian diet of foods like: root vegetables, nordic yogurt, whole grains, beans and fish and the surprising discovery of a virtual reality Winter Ski Club as well as ice skating at the RDV Sport’s Complex, I felt all those cool, frosty, Frozen vibes even in the midst of a balmy Florida summer!
I finished my plan strong with Moana week and a Polynesian diet of tropical fruits like pineapple and mango, chicken, pork, fish, coconut, starchy fruits and nuts. For fitness this week, I did a lot of paddle boarding and hot hula. This was one of my favorite weeks!
Because I’d given up weighing myself from day 1, I can’t actually tell you how much weight I lost. I like not weighing myself. I like listening to my body and not some number on a scale. Don’t ever forget that muscle weighs more than fat and numbers don’t tell the whole story!! I’m gonna go ahead and estimate it to around 20-25 pounds. What I can tell you is how I feel. I feel stronger. I feel happier in my own skin. I dropped 2.5 pant sizes and feel confident when I look in the mirror that what I’m seeing in myself is what I’m presenting to others.
Don’t read this and think that you need to change! Don’t read this and think that I don’t believe with all my heart that all sizes and shapes are beautiful…they are and I do believe that! But I also know that I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin anymore. The 20-30 pounds I had gained were from stress and sadness. And I couldn’t seem to get over the hump of releasing that garbage from my soul and from my body.
Leave it to Disney to inspire me to get off my ass and get fit in a really fun and magical way (it’s not like magic is their thing or anything!) But listen, this worked for me!
I’m not a doctor…don’t do what I said and think that this is medical research. But guess what…if you take the pressure off of yourself by putting your focus on something fun, eat a moderate and healthy amount of foods that are good for you and up your fitness level…you’ll probably lose a little weight or at the very least feel a little happier in your own skin. That’s all I can offer. That’s all that I did! And damn…it feels good!
If you want to try my Disney Princess Boot Camp, let me know!! I am a great encourager and would be happy to send thoughts, memes, gifs, encouragement and inspiration your way, as well as offer the tips and tricks I used to stay motivated!! If I can feel this good…you can too!
This week’s playlist is whimsical and, like Mulan playlist, is great to listen to from top to bottom for a full musical story or on shuffle for a smattering of great Rapunzel inspired tunes!
Fairytale – Harry Gregson-Williams
Once Upon a December – Liz Callaway
Castle – Halsey
Fairytales – Alex Preston
Nolita Fairytale – Vanessa Carlton
Hair – New Broadway Cast Recording “Hair”
When Will My Life Begin – Mandy Moore
Lights – Jef Miles
Lights – Ellie Goulding
Shooting Star – Owl City
Almost There – Anika Noni Rose
When Will My Life Begin (Reprise 2) – Mandy Moore
Take on the World – Rowan Blanchard, Sabrina Carpenter
Try Everything – Shakira
Wildside – Sofia Carson, Sabrina Carpenter
Whip My Hair – Willow
I’ve Got a Dream – Tangled Soundtrack
Dreams – Fleetwood Mac
Dream On – Aerosmith
Dreaming – Smallpools
Healing Incantation – Mandy Moore
The Glow – Shannon Saunders
Kingdom Dance – Alan Menken
Flowers in Your Hair – The Lumineers
Fireflies – Owl City
Bubbly – Colbie Caillat
At the Beginning – Film Score Orchestra
I Can See the Light – Hamilton Cast
I’m Beginning to See the Light – Michael Bublé
Long As I Can See the Light – Creedence Clearwater Revival
I See the Light – Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi
Terrified – Katharine McPhee
See the Light – Matrimony
Lanterns – Birds of Tokyo
A Sky Full of Stars – Coldplay
Counting Star – OneRepublic
When the Stars Go Blue – Tyler Hilton & Bethany Joy Lenz
Lost Stars – Adam Levine
Starlight – Empire Cast
Starlight – Neverest
Seeing Stars – BORNS
Journey to the Past – Liz Callaway
Wind in My Hair – Mandy Moore
Tangled – Thomas Rhett
Hair – Lady Gaga
Castle on the Hill – Ed Sheeran
Something That I Want – Grace Potter
It’s Not Just Make Believe – Kari Kimmel
The Frying Pan – John Prine
Here’s your movie watch list for this week. A mix of Rapunzel inspired fairytales, musicals and random other selections that I added to the list for fun! (My list, my rules!)
As usual, we start with the inspiration for the week. Tangled burst onto the screens in 2010, though at times it feels like she’s been part of the Princess line up for far longer.
Speaking of princesses who don’t know they are princesses…Anastasia is the story of a young orphaned girl, Anya, who has no memory of her past. After meeting a couple of con artists who want to use her to trick the Grand Duchess into believing that she is the long lost Princess Anastasia, little orphan Anya starts to recall things long forgotten. And in the course of remembering who she is, Dimitri, the boy who once saved her from certain death, starts remembering her as well. With voice casting from Meg Ryan, John Cusack, Kelsey Grammar, Christopher Llyod, Bernadette Peters, Kirsten Dunst, Hank Azaria and the one and only Angela Lansbury as the Grand Duchess. If you didn’t grow up watching this movie, then I’m not sure it’s one you’ll love in this age of Disney animation. Nostalgia really has to be on your side!! It’s the Disney movie that isn’t Disney. And it shows.
And yet another princess who is not aware of her royal roots…the Princess Aurora is whisked away in the night by her 3 fairy godmothers, after the evil fairy Maleficent places a curse on the baby Princess. And all because she wasn’t invited to the party…beware using that red pen on evil fairy godmothers. Trust me, it’s safer just to invite them.
So Flora, Fauna and Merryweather secret the infant girl out of the castle and into the woods where she is raised as a young peasant girl who had to have questions about her parentage! Come on, 3 maiden aunts raising you in the woods? Questions are bound to pop up. But no, Aurora lives her quiet life and unlike Rapunzel, we don’t get the sense that she wonders too much about the world outside of her little forest. The only thing Aurora dreams of is her dreamy prince. Spoiler alert…she meets him…in the woods! And guess who he happens to be…the Prince. It’s a Disney fairytale, these things write themselves!
Into the Woods
Into the Woods could easily have been put on Cinderella’s Watch List, but that list was pretty full, so I saved it for this week. Into the Woods is a musical by Stephen Sondheim. And while I really enjoy this movie adaptation, it’s the stage production starring Bernadette Peters and Joanna Gleeson that I love most.
This musical takes a whole slew of fairytale stories and throws them into the same woods. What if Rapunzel’s Prince and Cinderella’s Prince were brothers? What if Jack from the Beanstalk met Little Red Riding Hood? And so on. What this story boils down to is the general theme of “careful what you wish for.” It’s not the bright, fluffy Disney story that you’re used to. Sondheim often poses questions about good and evil in his musicals. What if the villain has redeeming qualities? What if the hero is flawed? It’s a unique take on these fairytales and my second favorite musical of all time!
Ok, Barber Shop has little in common with Rapunzel, other than the over arching theme of…hair. But I’m putting it on the list, so deal! Barbershop is the story of a man, Ice Cube, who has had enough of running his father’s barbershop and decides to sell it to a man who wants to turn it into a strip club. Without telling anyone of his plans, Ice Cube sells it and sells out.
Ice Cube soon comes to realize the error he has made and how truly important the barbershop is, not only to the surrounding community, to his employees and patrons, but also to himself. And he goes about trying to get it back. Solid movie…go watch it! And if you get hooked on the franchise, give Barbershop 2: Back in Business a try as well as…
Beauty Shop spins out of Barbershop 2, where we are introduced to Queen Latifah’s Gina. Gina is sick and tired of her boss and his criticism and decides it’s time to open her own beauty shop. But things aren’t as easy as they seem. She finds herself up against clients who are set in their ways, prejudice, vandalism and the day to day struggle of raising a daughter and being a business owner. This movie, like Barbershop, is the story of community, of friendship and of overcoming struggles.
Another movie with little in common with our Disney heroine, but is full of magical hair! Hairspray is the story of Tracy Turnblad, a young girl in 1960’s Baltimore. All Tracy wants is to be on The Corny Collins’ Show and to have mile high hair, is that too much to ask? As fun as this musical is, it also takes time to challenge race relations in the 60’s. They explore integration, not only on the dance floor, but in the budding relationship between Penny and Seaweed. I saw this show 4 times on Broadway and love the movie adaptation starring John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Queen Latifah, Christopher Walken, Zac Efron, Amanda Bynes, Elijah Kelley, James Marsden, Allison Janney and new comer at the time, Nikki Blonsky as Tracy.
Mandy Moore (voice of Rapunzel in Tangled) stars in this frothy teen flick about the First Daughter running away to experience the world outside of the White House walls. She, like Rapunzel, feels that there’s more to life than what she has experienced. And she, like Rapunzel, takes the first chance to run away with a handsome dark haired stranger when it comes along. (Ok, it’s a stretch to say that this movie and Tangled have anything other than Mandy Moore in common, but that’s enough for me!) Also see First Daughter starring Katie Holmes which came out at the same time. Same movie, different cast!
Sure, Rapunzel is sort of hemmed into her location and that could make it seem like her fitness game wouldn’t be very strong. But the girl has enchanted hair, don’t count her out just yet!
As we see in her opening song, “When Will My Life Begin,” she has become quite good at finding ways to keep busy in her little tower in the forest. She cleans the tower, does ballet, climbs, rappels, dances, stretches, and so much more. When you are limited, like our girl Rapunzel is, you start to get creative.
This week we are focusing on climbing/rappelling and folk dancing. When Flynn Rider and Rapunzel finally make it to the kingdom town they start to explore the marketplace with it’s charming fare, adorable villagers and impromptu folk dancing which Rapunzel is immediately good at. So that dancing in the tower really paid off.
The best place in Orlando to go for a good Rapunzel climb, imo, is Aiguille Climbing Center. But you can find a place close to you! A lot of gyms have climbing walls, though not as extensive as what you’ll find at an actual climbing gym. Other places to look to climb, other than the mountains in Tennessee, parks, fairs and attractions. Wherever you can find to climb…make sure that you are doing it safely, especially if this is your first time climbing! A lot of gyms require a safety course before you jump on the rock. Don’t miss that helpful climbing information!
I was looking for a variety of folk dances to partake in this week. What I really wanted was Contra Dancing…Google it! It’s a cross between a line dance and a square dance. But I couldn’t find any contra dances in my area (sad news.) So I settled for line dancing at the community center in my town. It was so much fun that when I went back for more, I brought my friends!
I really enjoyed this week, but it did feel far less challenging than the previous weeks. But sometimes the body needs a rest. If rock climbing wasn’t as expensive as it is, I would have gone much more often and I think I would have felt far more challenged with that level of physical activity. Lesson learned!
Rapunzel is a young girl who was taken from her family as a baby and raised by an evil woman in a tower. She is a hopeful dreamer who thinks that there must be something beyond the borders of her little tower. She is a trusting, happy soul who never once stops to question why she has to stay in the tower in the first place.
This week, we are focusing on Rapunzel as represented by Disney Studios in Tangled. If you are unfamiliar with the original, more gruesome version…look it up. That is not the one we are focusing on, but it’s interesting to read the original fairytales and wonder, how in the world Disney saw the happy, romance in such cautionary tales? I pose that question to you.
But aside from that, we are talking Rapunzel. She of the impossibly long and enchanted hair. For our meal plan this week, we’re getting creative. This is probably a province of England, though no one has accents…so choosing a menu based on region proves a little more difficult this week. Instead we are focusing on foods that are inspired by the movie Tangled and foods particularly helpful in promoting healthy hair growth.
Here’s our shopping list this week:
-angel hair pasta (get it!)
-flaxseed (great addition to smoothies and yogurts)
I used to blame Disney for my fanciful, romantic dreams. Princes and ballroom dances and true love winning out. Don’t get me wrong…I still occasionally dream those dreams and I still blame Disney for them!
But there’s something else and I didn’t even realize it was Disney’s fault till I saw Moana this weekend and that still small voice inside me was awakened by the song “How Far I’ll Go.” The thought of something out there calling to me, it hits home. It always has.
Disney characters have long been looking out and asking “Is there something more for me?” Some don’t have to go very far to find what they’re looking for. Others, like Moana, have to sail across the sea. Some are searching for princes and others for destiny.
Sure, I can’t blame it all on Disney. God’s the one who put that call in there to begin with. But the House of Mouse sure knows how to hit the chords that make you dream. And growing up watching the entirety of Disney’s animated film collection, well…they created a “monster.”
A “monster” who is constantly thinking “There must be more than this provincial life” and my life isn’t even provincial. But sometimes, when I’m doing something plain and ordinary like laundry or desk organization, I sing that to myself. I wonder what’s “Just around the river bend.”
If I was a Disney character, there’d be a perfectly timed song and the lyrics would help me realize my next steps and it would be inspirational and you’d be singing it for months. As it is, we mere mortals have to figure it out without catchy tunes and perfect hair. Darn it, Disney! What have you done?
I am 1 week into my Modern Princess Instagram Challenge. And I am already feeling pretty royal this week, more than usual! Here’s a look at what’s been happening on Instagram if you’ve missed it. And there’s still plenty of time to join my challenge and be entered to win a Disney Prize Pack!! Each picture, tweet, Facebook post, etc will get you entered!! What do you have to lose? No, the real question is, what do you have to gain! I’ll tell you…a Disney Prize Pack and a whole lot of Princess fun! That’s what. Let’s do this!
April is here! Spring has sprung. And when I open my window, woodland creatures come in and help me dress every morning! Life is a fairytale, dreams are rainbows and rainbows are real. Soon I’ll break into song and dance! Cause…Hey! It’s Friday. And what were Fridays made for, if not song and dance and fairytale romance.
Don’t fight that inner princess…or prince! Just embrace them! We all have a little Disney waiting inside of us. So come on over to Instagram where the magic is waiting for you!! Snap a pic using my Modern Princess prompts and enter to win a fantastical Disney prize pack. The more pictures you take, the more times you enter! Make sure to tag @NerdintheSand, use the hashtag #PrincessProblems and bring along all the plucky sidekicks and furry woodland creatures you want! There’s room for everyone in my castle!
And all month long I’ll be talking Princes, Princesses and the wonderful world of Disney. So if you have a specific topic you want to hear about…email me: firstname.lastname@example.org