Tag Archives: Zumba

Fitness on the mind

This past weekend I began officially instructing Zumba at the local YMCA and since then I have lead two classes. This little change in my routine has created a snowball effect of activity—I have worked out all but one day in the past week! This is definitely more than my norm, but I think my body is happy for it.

And since I have fitness on the brain, I thought I’d fill this out. I saw it on Cardio Pizza a while back and now actually feel like I have something to say in response to these questions! Seems like fun to me!

Five Fitness Things I can’t Live Without:

    • iPod/iPhone
    • ponytail holders (I am not one of those people who can tolerate working out with hair on my neck!)
    • water bottle nearby (I am not on of those people who can tolerate going more than 5 minutes without a drink of water, and even that is a really long time for me!)
    • dancing!
    • group aerobics. I’m so unmotivated on my own sometimes.

Most Embarrassing Song I Listen to While Working Out:

  • That totally depends on who I’m telling it to. I teach/do Zumba, so it’s understood that there’s a lot of dance/club/latin/world music going on. But it’s not generally music I listen to for the sake of listening to music. I suppose any top 40 songs, like “Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO or “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5. Though “Drop it Low” by Ester Dean and Chris Brown is a contender!

Favorite Pre-Workout Snack or Meal:

  • Dates and almond butter! Eating exclusively carbs leave my stomach feeling empty not long after, but I don’t like to eat a lot right before working out. The date and almond butter combo gives me energy and staying-power without risking stomach cramps or lethargy!

On My Fitness Bucket List:

  • Get more Zumba certifications (Basic 2 and Toning)
  • Get group fitness certification
  • participate in a bike race
  • be able to touch my toes with my knees straight (my hamstring flexibility was shot with puberty)

Must-Have Tech Tools:

  • iPod/iPhone. That’s about it. hehe.

Best Workout Song:

Top Exercise Gear:

  • I generally avoid buying clothing from Walmart, but the other day I managed to find a sports bra with cups that was NOT racerback! I’ve tried, but I simply cannot tolerate a racerback sports bra. I know Lululemon is famous for their Ta-Ta Tamer which isn’t racerback, but $80 I have not. I did have $15, and the Walmart bra has been a godsend ever since I bought it.
  • Comfy tanks/tees/capris/shorts. I do really love my running shorts, but it was 33 degrees today…

Motivational Mantra:

  • “I’m getting paid to do this…” HAHAH!

Next Big Exercise Goal:

  • Getting involved in more strength training. Since I have access to the YMCA now, I’m hoping to actually take advantage of the weight rooms. I also figure since I’m doing so much cardio between my own classes and the one or two other Zumba classes I still want to attend every week, I need to balance my fitness with some strength exercises.

Favorite Cardio Exercise:

  • ZUMBA!
  • Dance! I miss swing dancing dearly…

Favorite Strength Move:

  • Mot a “move,” but pilates and yoga are my favorite strength-building activities.

Happy Exercise

I have spent the last several hours listening to Swing era music via Pandora and iTunes, and it really brings back memories.

Did I tell you that I did swing dancing in high school? Well, it was only during my senior year. My homeschool group started offering classes in social dancing. I learned square dancing, cha-cha, rhumba, waltz, foxtrot, and various forms of swing dancing (west and east coast, balboa, shag, charleston, lindy-hop, etc.). Before long I was visited the Southside Preservation Hall every Tuesday night for an evening of swing lessons and dance with several of my friends! Unfortunately, this habit died off when I moved away to Plainview, which is a full hour away from the nearest Swing club.

I consider swing dancing to be a major "happy exercise" for me. I’ll go into the details of my "happy weight" musings some other times, but now I’ll discuss how I like to exercise.

The best exercise-related advice I ever heard was that the most effective exercise is the one you’ll stick to. It doesn’t matter that running burns a kajillion more calories compared to ballet, if I hate running, I won’t stick to it. If I love ballet, I’d be more likely to stick to it and create a long-term healthy habit. In the end, I’d burn more calories overall during ballet than I would in running. Make sense?

But calories isn’t the point of "happy exercise." During my weight loss, I considered exercise for the sole purpose of burning calories. It earned me an ice cream cone or a Dr Pepper. But over time I learned to focus on what I love doing and slowly stop focusing on the calorie burn and focusing on fitness, flexibility, strength, a personal connection and awareness to/of my body, and fun!

When I’m zapped of energy or in an inactive slump, I remind myself of the activities I particularly enjoy, and it isn’t hard to get back into activity! For me, I love:


Though in this 100+ degree heat, I admit the last thing I want to do is hop around a sweaty aerobics room. Just sayin’. But when it’s chilly out, I could do Zumba all day long!

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Social Dancing

I haven’t had the opportunity to do this in almost five years, but I’ve enrolled in an evening social dance class for the fall! And I may or may not have been practicing my lindy step in front of my computer a few hours ago.

(Ryan and me dancing the Jitterbug in 2006)



Another activity to not do in hot weather, but otherwise awesome!



I could honestly stroll around all day long.

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Okay. “Frolicking in water” is more appropriate. Swimming laps ain’t my thang.

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My bum hurts for days after every visit to the bowing alley.



I’m slightly addicted to this instant stream video on Netflix, especially since it’s too hot for me to enjoy more cardio activity. I love this because it combines everything I love about the ballet-ish-ness of yoga and pilates, but doesn’t bore with me unnecessary details or endless downward facing dogs. Seriously, my short hamstrings aren’t getting any longer. I’ve given up being able to form a right angle with my body.

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I enjoy a more leisurely ride. Though, again with the current heat thing…

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Running 5Ks

I honestly don’t understand this, because I really dislike running. But for some reason, participating in races and competing against myself in that event just gets my endorphins moving at a strength greater than my distaste for the general practice of running. I’ve run three so far and I’ve got the Race for the Cure in Lubbock in mind for this coming October.


Climbing Trees

What? This is totally exercise.

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What do you like to do for activity?

Ubi Caritas

Quick post. Mondays are crazy for me. My day began at 7am and between work, three choir rehearsals, and Zumba, I didn’t get to rest until I got home at 8pm.

I regret not the incessant choir, though. We get to sing this:



And not to mention a billion other songs.

I’m thinking of limiting my dairy and/or switching to goats milks for the time being. Having a mucus-y throat while singing is no good.

Anyway, I’m tired. Off to bed. It’s good for my health!

Sweating it Off

Quick post before work, but I figured I hadn’t done a weight progress update in a while…

Starting Weight: 176.8
Current Weight: 143.8

Lost this week: 4.6 lbs (mostly water weight, mind you)

Total Lost!: 33! (not including the four I lost on my own before Weight Watchers!)

Left Until Goal: 5 lbs!!

That’s right. I’m within half a pound of where I was before my adventures to the Metroplex, so I believe I did well this week. And I’m not looking bloated anymore, so that’s definitely great!

Spinning class took a lot of out me yesterday in the form of sweat! I’d never been to a spinning class and will still partially unaware of what it was. I got to the YMCA last night in time to change clothes and try recklessly to find the Spin room. I had to go through a maze to find it, but I got there just in time to claim the second-to-last bike. It was hot. It was stuffy. The air was wholly impregnated with the stench of sweat. And the lint off my brown t-shirt fluoresced under the black light!

It was a hard workout, but mostly because of the condition of the room. I sweat more in that one hour than I did in Honduras in the middle of June in 115 degree weather with 80% humidity. Intense, man. Intense.

Will I do it again? Maybe, maybe not. I’m not in love with it like I am with Zumba, but it could be a fun option for a workout if I really feel like doing something different from my usual.

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