June 23, 2011

Zumba- Can I Get A Hell Yeah!

After months of consideration and posts from my friends about how much they love it, I gave into my inner party girl and tried out a Zumba class.

BEST DECISION EVER!!

Not my class or club but you get the idea.
I have really enjoyed the challenge of running and while I'm not giving up on it, I knew that I had to start incorporating some truly fun things into my fitness. I started taking Group Fitness classes about 11 years ago and started out with Step. Invigorated by the music and choreography, it became a regular part of my workouts for the better part of the last decade. I had tried a couple Hip Hop and Latin Fusion classes and loved them. Always more of a "specialty" class held only every once in awhile, I think I have been hoping for something like Zumba to come along and be a regular part of the schedule. I'm not sure what took me so long to try it, but last night, despite the fact the rain held off, I just did not feel like running. Nervous to try something new, I bolted into the club (a few minutes late, ugh) and walked into a VERY packed studio full of energized, excited women. Always a little shy when trying a new class (and not wanting to screw up other people around me by not understanding the choreography... yes... us self-proclaimed "experts" do get annoyed by people who don't get it. Ask any stepper.). I made my way to a spot close to the back row and got into it quickly. My worry about knowing how to do the choreography quickly vanished when I discovered that 80% of the class really didn't know how to do any of the choreography and most people were there pretty much to have a good time. I think that is what I loved best about Zumba- there are really no rules other than to shake what your mama gave you! Determined to be a superstar however, I tried my best to perfect my choreography, pretending I was some kick ass dancer on So You Think You Can Dance. Unlike Step, I wasn't staring at the clock willing it to go faster as my legs became weaker and more tired. Before I knew it, an hour had gone by. Besides dripping from head to toe and the absent bottle of Mich Golden Light, it had felt like I was at a club getting my party on.

Here's a great little preview on what a Zumba class looks like. SO MUCH FUN!! 



I have felt a little bit of guilt over the past few days for the abandonment of my running program. Between a 2.5 year old that has been refusing going to bed and the shit-tastic weather lately, the road hasn't been exactly beckoning me and the thought of getting on the hamster wheel (a.k.a. treadmill) does not exactly inspire. I think it is important for me to have alternatives ready. FUN alternatives. I opted to break out my old EA Sports Active for the XBox Kinect last night. I had fun and it was definitely a challenge. The great part? I hadn't used it since about March and it didn't recognize me (it scans your body so all you have to do is stand in front of it for body recognition). I would say that is a HUGE ego boost considering my stagnant weight loss lately. The last weight I had entered in on it was also 10 pounds more than I weigh now which is also proof that I have made progress this year.

I never thought that halfway through the year I would only have lost 16 lbs. Yes, much of that has to do with the medication I'm being forced to take, but it still doesn't feel like that good of an excuse. Trying to look at the bright side however, despite the fact that I'm not halfway to my goal like I expected to be at this point, I know I look different. I feel better. I have made making healthy choices a true part of my lifestyle and am so conscious about everything I eat now. I have also made fitness a real part of my life. I can honestly (HONESTLY) say that I workout 3-5 days a week and have done so since the beginning of the year. THAT my friends, is a pretty awesome goal for me to achieve. I hope I never have to go back to saying "Time for me to get back on the wagon," because I am already on it and never getting off.

I love that I have inspired others to be healthy. My husband, my co-workers, my family. Just today, my colleague told me she wanted to join WeightWatchers. She's been working out with a trainer for over a year, but has done nothing about nutrition. It will be so motivation to have someone sharing the journey with me. My office neighbor has seen my transition (not to mention many others who have had significant weight loss in our workplace) and he has lost 60 lbs already (he has probably close to 150 lbs to lose). I'm so proud of him.

The most important thing I did in my journey is be verbal about it. I told everyone (and then some) about my ambitions and it has helped to hold me accountable in not giving up. One other important step I have taken is to stop the excuses. The kid. The weather. Weddings. Events.Work. They are no longer excuses for cheating. Just because I seem to have hit a wall these last few months doesn't mean that I get a free pass to stop. It may take me a year or more to get there, but I will make it. I will not give up.


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