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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

OK, we all know how great I am at sticking to a diet (insert maniacal laughter here). But since I broke my foot two weeks ago I have been eating nonstop and all I can think of is how by the time I start teaching again I am going to be a bloated cow. And I really wanted to be smaller for my studio class in January, not bigger, y'know?!

So, even though it is going to be a huge drag, I am going to put a little section in the sidebar where I record every frigging thing that goes in my mouth. Every Hershey's Kiss with Caramel Filling. Every pumpkin bagel with cream cheese. Every gingerbread man, woman, and child. Ideally, the thought of having to post it all up there will discourage me from eating that kind of junk. But let's face it--if you see me posting nothing but tea and lettuce leaves day in and day out, you can be pretty sure I'm full of crap. So do me a huge favor and keep me accountable, OK? Nobody likes a fat, puffy, sugar-crashing, grumpy Zumba instructor. ;)

Speaking of food, I'm eating my "last meal" right now. How many times have I done that--pigged out on junk food the night before starting a diet? It's so ridiculous. And I'm soooo stuffed. Bleeeeeh.

Hm...there was something else I wanted to write about. I'm sure of it. Hey! Only 8 more days until my next podiatrist appointment, at which point the doctor will take an x-ray and declare me miraculously healed!!! ;) I feel pretty good. Working 8 hours on my feet sucks, but that's only on Saturdays, with another 6 hours on Sundays. The rest of the week I only work 4 hours, and most of those are spent leaning on the counter playing Sudoku waiting for someone to come in, or sitting on my butt watching TV in the breakroom. And when I'm home I rest as much as possible, cram in some chores a half hour before work, and things seem to be OK. So, I'm praying for a miraculous recovery that defies precedence. :)

OK, I'm off to get some lovely healing sleep, and to digest the massive amount of carbs I just ingested in the name of pre-diet indulgence. Gah.

***

Ack!! I'm such a dunce!! I meant to tell you!! They extended the date for the choreography contest entry!! So I get to heal better before I go trying to dance on my gimp foot! Yayyyy!!! Now I have until the last day of the year to get my entry in, and I am veeery excited...in case you couldn't tell from all the exclamation points. ;)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Oh, I drank too much soda and now I cannot fall asleep
I drank too much soda and now I cannot fall asleep
My thoughts are kinda buzzy
and my vision's kinda fuzzy
But I drank too much soda and cannot sleep

...

Hey, I did a bad thing today.

I taught a class.

*cringe*

I know! I know, don't yell at me. I'm supposed to be at home with my foot up, icing it or something (mmmmmm, icing). But my friend Tina called me this morning too sick to get out of bed, and our boss wasn't in today so she couldn't cover Tina's 9am class, and the only other instructor we know has another class at that time so it was either limp through it or cancel class. And the girls in that class have been going forever so I knew they'd get through it pretty well. And they did! We had a great class and I don't regret covering it. So there. ;) But I won't do it again, OK? I want to make sure I don't screw my toe up for the studio class in January.

Speaking of which...I have got to get some promotional materials! And that takes money!! And I don't have any! Gah! :)

How are you all doing? I know a couple of you just taught classes--how did they go? Did you love it? It's great, right? That Zumba high...

Ooh, and word is that the new Zumba DVD set is coming out very soon via a brand new infomercial. I can't wait. I hope they give us ZIN instructors a discount...but even if they don't I am all over it.

OK, now...who wants to come over and videotape my entry for the choreography contest? Right now I have three options:
  1. Have my 8-year-old hold the camera and hope the video doesn't make the judges seasick
  2. Attach my sister's videocamera to my tripod with duct tape and hope I can get it off OK afterwards
  3. Put the camera on the ground and videotape myself from far enough away so that I fit in the screen. Or at least my feet. And maybe part of my arms.
None of those are really workin for me so let me know if you're in the area. ;)

OK, 2 am. I have a newsletter I might as well work on while I'm up, since it should have been done a long time ago. With any luck I'll remember to proofread it once I've gotten some sleep--I always come up with interesting stuff at this time of morning.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Hey did I tell you? I just got a call yesterday from the woman at the dance studio--you know, the one I went to about renting space to teach a Zumba class? Well, she really wants to do it! I'm so excited!!

Of course, it was less-than-exciting having to tell her I broke my foot and won't be up and running for several weeks, but we would need at least a month anyway--to get past the holidays, into new-years-resolution time, and to promote adequately. So I guess I'm thankful--I could have broken my foot just as we were about to open. Which reminds me to order those steel-toe boots...

This is for my friend Lee, who's feeling under the weather:

Thursday, November 29, 2007



Oh, and another thing I didn't even think about until after I made the video? I have to go on a diet. Seriously--I'm so used to eating pretty much whatever, and burning it off in class. But now that I have to miss my 4 or 5 Zumba classes a week, I can't really do that. Unless I want to get fat again. And, um, I don't. So it's salad, soup, and tea for me.

Gag.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I hit my foot

My foot done broke. I walked into the couch, and apparently I was going kinda fast cuz now it's broken.

My foot. Not the couch.

I'm going to call a podiatrist tomorrow. Normally? I'd just throw some ice on there, whine for a day or two, and call it good. But dude! I have classes to teach! And I can't even walk!

*whimper*

i call this video "don't let my dimple swallow your house"




OK, that was scary, right?! But what really bothers me is that the sound doesn't match up with the video. How am I supposed to submit a choreography video if the sound doesn't freaking match up? I'm checking out my copy of Microsoft Movie Maker--which I was amazed to discover I had! I've had this laptop for four years and never new I had that! I am SO asking for a digital camcorder for Christmas--to see if I can add the music in later.

This is going to be a project! :)

for those of you who asked about getting certified...

OK, lets see, getting certified to teach Zumba. No gym will hire you without a group-ex certification from either ACE or AFAA. Around here, at least, AFAA seems to be the preference. I am blessed to be able to work at the Y under a YMCA group-ex certification, but that won't fly anywhere else. So I am studying for my AFAA cert. And whoo! it's a lot of money. I mean, most professions have certifications, and I think they all are in the same-ish price range, but when you consider that fitness instructors really don't get paid very much...it is a lot.

The Zumba certificate you get for going to a workshop is just a certifcate of completion, which gives you permission to teach a class, call it Zumba, and use the Zumba logo and promotional materials. That's all it does. As of right now, it doesn't guarantee that you know what you're doing, and it doesn't include a group-ex cert. I can't even call myself a "certified Zumba instructor", just a "Zumba instructor", because it's not really a certification like we normally think of things.

That's all going to change next year, I'm happy to say. Right now you can take a Zumba class only to find out it's really LatinCardio in disguise, or the teacher has no rhythm, or worse. But soon we'll have to take a test to show we know what we're doing, and stuff like that. Very exciting! :) I want Zumba to be around for a very long time, and keeping instructors accountable, making sure their classes are really Zumba classes, is so important in making sure we don't dilute the Zumba name, or worse, make it a joke.

If you want to teach Zumba, here is my advice: Start saving for the AFAA Group Exercise certification. Get your First Aid and CPR certifications. The whole time you're doing that, be taking Zumba classes somewhere, or get the DVDs (at least Zumba Advanced and Zumba Power, not so much the Beginner and Abs Buns Thighs, really), and practice practice practice. Then get yourself to a Zumba workshop once you've done all that, because after your workshop you are going to be pumped to get out and spread your Zumba Love to the entire world. :)

Eventually you may want to save up for liability insurance and a good portable sound system (not a boombox--you cannot teach Zumba out of a dinky boombox. Got it?) so you can teach independently, whereas those things are taken care of for you when you are employed with a gym or Y. But those can wait until you've got some experience.

And then? Let me know how you're doing! ;)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

So, how was your Thanksgiving?

Mine was great. I ate a lot. And during dinner, I was too busy feeding the baby, who eats more when she doesn't have to try to get the stuff on her fork herself, to finish much of my dinner. When I turned to finish it, someone had cleared my plate away! So I was starving by the time we set out dessert. I won't go into the gory details, but lets just say it's a good thing there weren't any of my favorite things there. No brownies, no pumpkin cheesecake. So I didn't completely stuff myself. :)

Have you all heard of thethingsiwant.com? It's a great site because it lets you create a wishlist of anything you want, from anywhere online. You can even manually enter random stuff you don't see online. So, like, I can enter "Hugs and Kisses every day" with a quantity of "100000000." Then you send the link to everyone you want, so they know what to get you for Christmas, or your birthday, or your wedding, whatever. No more rubber dish gloves for Christmas, yay!

I'm not kidding. I got those for Christmas just last year.

So I was just working on my own list for Christmas. I'm not allowed to look at it anymore, because hubby sent the link out and once people buy you something on it, they can mark it as bought so no one else will buy it for you too. And do I even need to tell you how painfully hard it is not to look?

Anyway, my list is all Zumba stuff. Of course. Zumba pants (through the website you can order these excellent Zumba logo cargo pants. Want. Need. Now.), zumba shoes, zumba gear, dance clothes, money for liability insurance and a sound system so I can teach independently. iTunes giftcards so I can get more music for class.

I think I'm obsessed. Have I mentioned that before? ;)

So go make your list. Even if you get nothing on it, it's kinda fun. And your friends and relatives will thank you for taking the guesswork out of giftbuying.

Hey guess what? I bought a belt. I finally have enough of a waist to wear one again without scaring people. ;) And the compliments have been rolling in. I'm so thankful (speaking of Thanksgiving), so thankful for Zumba. It works. Have you found something that works?

Oh, and coming soon: videoblogging! If I can figure it out. I have my sister's digital camcorder so I can make a choreography video for the contest. See you soon! ;)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

zumba on the today show

I got the clip of Beto, Tanya, and Gina on the Today show for you. Thanks to the person who posted this!



I'm telling you, people: Zumba is exploding. Get on it! ;)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

ever get the impression that Zumba is ALL i talk about?!

Just a quick little post--I taught one class and went to another today and I'm a little sore and in desperate need of another shower. :)

The other day I passed a brand-new dance studio on the main street near my house. I thought, "Hm, wonder if they'd want to add a Zumba class?" So today after Tina's class I stopped in. The woman seemed really receptive; said there were a lot of people asking about the availability of Zumba classes, asked about rates, how many people, stuff like that, and said she'd call me after the holiday weekend. EEe! She asked how often I'd want to hold a class: once a week, twice, as much as I could. I said I'd love to do as many as I could get! :)

Tina and I talked for a long time after class. She wanted to hear about Tanya's workshop, and we talked about developments in Zumba, the upcoming stuff I told you about last post. We mentioned how if we could open a StudioZumba, that would be a dream come true. We both know we've been called to do this, so that would just rock.

One woman came up to talk and at first we were happy to see her. She was telling us about an Afro-Brazilian dance class at one of the local colleges and we were gushing about how badly we want to go. Especially since it's, like, free and stuff. But then she started knocking Zumba a little, in that nice way, like you only know she's talking trash if you listen to what she's saying, not how she's saying it, y'know? Saying Zumba is controversial, this big corporate conglomorate making money off half-assed versions of traditional rhythms without giving credit to those cultures, and messing with the rhythms in the meantime. That put me in full-on defense mode! Tina mentioned how Beto, the guy who started Zumba, is from Columbia himself. Still ramped up on Zumba juice from the workshop this weekend, I told her Zumba is a fusion of dance and fitness, and isn't supposed to be just dance. You don't wanna go politicizing Zumba. Not to me. Not right after a workshop with Tanya! ;)

OK, I'm off. Gotta soak, or something. ;)

Monday, November 19, 2007

sore. and excited. and sore.

OK, so like you saw in the pictures, yesterday was the big Workshop With Tanya.

All I have to say is, my class is in SO much trouble.

Oh, and ow.

Yeah,
Tanya totally kicked all our butts. It rocked. At the end of the day we sat down to fill out the class evaluations and I just collapsed all over the floor, like a big puddle of me.

Oh, and when I got there, one of my students was there! We had talked about what it takes to teach Zumba a few weeks ago. I'm so excited she decided to go for it! Go Maggie Go Maggie Go!

I could have seriously done without the "group work" (gag choke gag) but it wasn't nearly as painful as it was in my first workshop. And I have to tell you, people, Tanya is SO freakin cute! And so freakin good at what she does! I came away very sore, but also very inspired to be a better instructor. I wish I knew more of the songs she played, so I could just bust it out, but hey, I can do that on my own time. I did get pulled to the front for a couple of songs. That was cool. [The dirty looks I got from the only other ZIN instructors there, who were next to me? ("What are you doing here?!") Not cool. ]

So yeah. My class. In trouble. Notice has been given.

In case you were interested, this is a wicked time to be part of the Zumba family. We learned about some great stuff that the company has in store for 2008. Um, I'm not going to tell you everything, because you're just gonnna have to wait and behold the awesomeness for yourself, but lemme just say Zumba is not going away anytime soon.

One of my very favorite new things is the way they're changing the training workshops. The way it is now, anyone who goes to a workshop and stays for the whole thing gets a certificate of completion, which gives them the right to teach. But starting next year you will actually be tested, by a panel of three ZESs, to prove that you know what you're doing, and that you're not going to go home and start a Zumba class that isn't really Zumba. Like, a step class disguised as Zumba, or whatever. It'll be huge for protecting the Zumba brand so we can stick around. Because let's face it--while you may be a great person, and a great step instructor or a great spin instructor or a great person-off-the-street, you might not be right for teaching Zumba. Or it might not be right for you. Or whatever.

So after yesterday's workshop I fell much more prepared to do my own choreography (remember? we mentioned? I suck?) which reminds me I still don't have a digital camcorder. Anyone got one? Anyone? I have a contest to enter, people!

Alright, I'm going. I'm taking Tina's class in, oh, four hours, and while all I really want to do is sleep, I know Tina would never forgive me if I'm not there to tell her about yesterday's class. So I'm already dressed, I've got my new Zumbafied shirt on, I'm drinking some tea (gotta hydrate gotta hydrate gotta hydrate), I'm good to go.

But first? A nap. Hey, I got up all early to post this for you! I'm going to limp back to bed now.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Guess who


Oops, I didn't realize this would come out sideways, and now I can't fix it! I'm so technologically stupid. Anyway, this is Tanya and her best friend Jim. They're so cute!

Lunchtime

On my way


And I had to take a picture of the pretty pretty foliage. Such a safe driver. Good thing no one was out on the road this early on a Sunday--I was veering all over trying to work the camera and drive. I'd like to point out that I've never been in an accident!


...well, not a serious one.

Testing


Hey y'all, this rocks; I just posted this picture from my phone. Now that I know how to do it, I should be able to blog from Tanya's workshop tomorrow. I mean, later today. Crap, I have GOT to get to bed. If I go to sleep now I can still cram in four good hours....
The Message could not be adapted to your terminal

Friday, November 16, 2007

Accidently posted on both blogs:
So...two more days until the most-excellent workshop with Tanya in CT. I'm excited!!!! I have to figure out what the heck to wear, since Tanya's email suggested bringing two sets of clothes.

Did I mention she sent me an email?!

Oh, alright. She sent the same exact email to everyone else who is going to the workshop, but hey, I felt pretty cool anyhow. ;)

So yeah--two sets of clothes that I can be comfy sweating in in front of lots of other people and my very favorite Zumba instructor. Hm...I'll definitely be wearing as much Zumba gear as possible--the tee and tank Lee sent me, my bracelets if I get them in time, my jacket...gotta represent! :)

Oh and the contest...Get a load of this! All us Zumba instructors have been challenged to a choreography contest. We have to pick a song from the new CD we just got and develop our own choreography to it. Then we videotape ourselves performing the song and send it in. There are five songs to choose from, and one person will win for each song.

The song winners will win some Zumba gear and I think a chance to show their video on the instructor website, and the best of the five will win mucho Zumba gear (!!!) and a primo link on the general public's zumba website, or something like that. I forgot the rest besides $200 in Zumba gear. I want pants, shirts, bumper stickers, a bag... gotta get working on that choreography!

I've talked about how I'm not so great at doing my own dance steps yet, being new and all, but I think I might give it a shot anyway. Who knows, they might like me! :)OK that's all for now.

Gotta do chores if I want to get off with leaving my family all day Sunday.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

snape, snape, severus snape, dumbledore!*

Whee!

I get to sub for my new boss's Zumba class this Tuesday and next Tuesday!

Um...it's at 9 am.

And it's at least 20 minutes away.

Not counting the time it takes to get the kids in childwatch.

And Jo doesn't get on the bus here until 8:35.

I can make it, I can make it, I can make it, I can make it....

In other news--I'm starting another junk food fast.

I'm just not sure when.

My original plan was tomorrow. I made sure I had enough food planned out for a few days, until I go grocery shopping again. I bought lots of yummy eggs for breakfast with enough peppers, onions, jalapenos and shredded cheddar for lots of yummy omelets. I bought lots of yummy organic soup with names like squash soup and carrot cashew ginger soup for lunch. I even bought yummy Clif bars to eat after my workouts. They are organic and have no refined sugar, just a lot of cane juice and stuff like that.

I even pigged out on enough junk food tonight to make myself sick.

Well, OK, that wasn't really part of the plan. That was just me being stupid and impulsive and gluttonous. Yeah.

Anyway, tomorrow hubby and I are having a little mini date to celebrate our eighth wedding anniversary (aww) and he wants to order Chinese food.

Yum. I love me some Chinese food. But it isn't exactly healthy stuff, y'know?

Maybe I'll pick up the menu from the local Thai place. Slightly healthier, and with the track record from the Chinese places around here, most likely better tasting. Mmm, Thai food.

Oh, and then I'm getting together with my sister and brother for coffee Saturday morning. That shouldn't be too bad. But then I'm going to my sister's potluck dinner that night, and I'm supposed to bring dessert from work. And my work makes dang good desserts.

And then there's Thanksgiving.

And then there's Christmas.

OK, OK, let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. One thing at a time. That's why this blog is called if not now: it's all about taking things one decision at a time, right? Right. OK. I can do this.

Thai food tomorrow.

Some kind of nasty dessert I don't like for Saturday night. Hey, they do exist--I'm not crazy about anything too apple-y or too lemon-y, so we'll go with those.

For now, I'm off to get some sleep.

Did I mention? Four days until my workshop with Tanya?!

This Tanya?!


This Tanya?!!?!


Girl is smokin hot, and I need to be able to keep up!!

...Sleep, eat, vitamins, exercise. Sleep, eat, exercise, vitamins...


*I've got this stuck in my head now.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Just for the record, I have not given up on my NaBloPoMo efforts. I posted yesterday to my other blog, which you can find here.

Zumba class tonight! Woohoo! OH and I have to tell you! The Y got a request from our town for all us Zumbadoras to ride in a float in the Santa parade! As I told my boss, I really can't think of much I'd rather do than Zumba on a float in a parade in front of the whole town. And I am not being sarcastic, here.

Normally I work on Sundays, so when I saw that the parade is on the Sunday after Thanksgiving I was all upset. Especially since I'm taking off the Sunday before that for the Zumba workshop with Tanya B. and we get paid time and a half on Sundays so one off in a month is already a lot.

But after thinking about it, getting an email from my Zumba instructor friend Tina begging me to be there, and talking to my hubby and one of the managers at work, I decided to try to get it off. I wrote a letter to my manager asking him if I could get it off and, to make up the extra hours, work all day on Black Friday (gag) plus maybe a sixth day or two sometime between here and Christmas.

Considering all that--dear God, did I just volunteer to work all day in a store the day after Thanksgiving?!--I'm almost hoping my boss says no. But man, do I want to shake my boo-tay all through town! ;) Oh, especially since the gym near us that is kind of our competition in the area also has a float in the parade but, as of yet, no Zumba instructors of their own. Just a bunch of weight lifters in reindeer antlers.

Speaking of Zumba (as opposed to all the other things I talk about here) I need to prepare a mix for tonight's class. We should get new music any day now, yay!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I went to the "other" Y today to take the class taught by my new boss:
  • I was late. Big surprise there! The class was at 9, and I can never get to my own Y for the 9 o'clock Zumba class without being 15 minutes late. I don't know what I was thinking would be any different here.
  • Bek was totally fascinated by the people working out in the cardio/nautilus room. I couldn't get her to move! She just wanted to sit there, watching the people on the elliptical machines and stuff, all stinkin morning. I had to drag her to childwatch.
  • Finally got to class. The instructor, aka my boss, seems like such a sweetie! But her class is a lot different than I am used to. It's still good. It's just very reminiscent of other aerobic classes you've been too. When I'm working out, I want to forget I am working out. I don't want to be reminded by anything that would be at home in a step class or something. Turn up the music, and let me dance. And oh! She was off the music, which bugs meeeeee. But that's just a matter of my own control issues, so we'll let that one slide. ;)
  • I finally got warmed up and was getting into it when the childwatch workers brought Bek down. She pooped. Haven't we been through this before? You don't poop when mommy's in Zumba class! I just don't understand these kids, they don't listen. :)
So anyway, that was the end of class for me. I got Bek changed, we grabbed Devy, and then came home for a snack and some videos. It's one of those days--pouring out, gloomy and dark--where you just want to curl up with a book and a hot beverage in a cozy mug and vege all day. So if you'll excuse me, that's just what I'm off to do.

P.S. So far so good on the no-junk-food redux.

Monday, November 05, 2007

We didn't have any food in the house, so I just ate whatever was around.

Less than a week after Halloween, just what do you think is still lying around?

Well...not anymore. ;)

Oh well. Tomorrow's another day, and I just went food shopping. I'm headed to the Y where I just got hired in addition to the other Y first thing in the morning to take the class that I may be subbing for now and then. Tell ya how it goes!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

OK, so starting (again) tomorrow, I'm giving up junk food and sugar. At least, as much as is reasonably possible on the sugar--you know how it's in everything from coffee to ketchup nowadays. I can't wait to start feeling good again! Whee! ;)

OK, that's enough blogging for now...just had to get in my nablopomo entry, y'know. ;)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

on the road

How is it that I can get on Blogger at one Panera but not another?

Anyway...

I'm here at Panera Bread right around the corner from where I work. I am supposed to be working on my novel. I am procrastinating. I am procrastination incarnate.

Considering "carne" means "meat" in Spanish, I suppose "incarnate" means "in the meat," right?

OK, now I'm just being stupid.

Hey, I think there might be something wrong with me.

Haha, you in the back. No comments from the peanut gallery.

I mean something really, actually wrong with me. I might have mentioned how I've been way overdoing it on the junk food lately, after going three weeks with none. Well, today at work I felt discombobulated, out of it, so "off" that I couldn't do my job right. Everything seemed fuzzy. Of course, I was munching on Brownie Bites (mmm, Brownie Bites, the best brownies on the planet). And the other night teaching Zumba, I felt really off--off beat, off rhythm, off the groove. Just off.

Then today I got a salad for break and, except for a brief digesting period in which I felt freezing cold--we've got a lovely fall hurricane up here and it's cold and rainy and raw. Perfect weather for writing or reading with a hot cuppa, not so great for working--I miraculously felt better.

Now I'm no hypochondriac. Well, maybe when it comes to my kids (Me: "It's a staph infection!!!" Hubby: "It's poison ivy.") but not for myself. But one of the girls at work listened to me describing how I felt and she said that she feels like that when her blood sugar is out of whack. Now, any mention of wacky blood sugar just sends me into a fit. Part of my motivation to finally get serious about losing weight (OK, semi-serious, y'all) was my fear of becoming diabetic. So now I'm all freakin out and ready to cut out sugar again. I felt so good for those three weeks I was on that self-induced fast. So good!

So, here I go again. I hate it! I hate having to be so vigilant about everything that goes in my mouth!

But I have a pretty good feeling I'd hate being diabetic even more. Y'think?!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Whee!

I just got back from my interview and audition at one of the other local Ys. It went really well; since I already teach at a Y affiliated with that Y, all I had to do was show that I could move and cue, and fill out a few papers. And the woman asked me to bring a couple of songs to do, but I got, like, five seconds into the first one when she said something I didn't hear and went to stop the song. I thought maybe she just wanted to move along to the next song but then she took the CD out and said I did great and that was her favorite Zumba song anyway. Hee, yay!

I'm so excited--I wish I could start today! Unfortunately though, I won't get on the schedule until January, when they start their new schedule for the winter. I do get to sub when they need me, though. Yay!

I got a couple of really big compliments last night at class. One of my students, who has actually been taking Zumba with Tina as long as I have, remarked on how much weight I've lost. And a couple of teenaged girls asked me how I learned to dance "like that". I said, "Um, I've been taking Zumba for a year...but that's all." They seemed to think I'd been dancing for a while or something. Gee, I hope they come to every class... :D

Oh, hey! You can expect to see a lot more of me, at least for the month of November. I signed up for NaBloPoMo, in addition to my annual attempt at NaNoWriMo. That means that in addition to writing a novel at the pace of about 1,667 words a day for a month, I'll be posting here every day. Whether you like it or not. :) I can't guarantee greatness every day--you might get one or two posts about, like, stepping on gum with my dance sneakers or something. But I'll be here! Every day! :)

In other news: Halloween candy has invaded my house. I have succumbed to its wily charms. I expect to be bloated and grumpy for the entire month til it's gone. The end.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

new pictures



Sigh...it's been so long, and I have such a long way to go. Anyway, these are me at 170 and a size 14. Check out me at 180 and a size 18 here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

mmmmm, sugar...

Er...I have a confession to make. I broke my 40-day junk food fast right around day 23, and I've been eating "whatever" for the last week or so. Which kind of sucks because if I'd kept at it, I'd be at day 30 now. Whatever.

Good news is, I've realized that I feel and look much better when I'm not eating junk food all the time. (Revelation!! And there was a light shining from the heavens with much angels rejoicing...) Hey I never said I was bright. ;) So I'm making a deal with my family: I am not buying junk food from the grocery store anymore. No cookies for school snack. No fruit roll-ups. No juice. No after-dinner ice cream. And in exchange, I will take the family out once a week for a treat of some sort.

I don't really want to have to do this. I'd much rather be able to have the junk in the house for a sometime-treat. But when it's here, it's the easiest thing to grab. And it's being grabbed way too often, and not just by me.

I expect something of a rebellion. My dear, sweet hubby grew up on crap and I know he's not going to take this well. Especially about the juice. "What's wrong with juice?" he says. Nothing--unless the kids are drinking it all the time when they should be drinking water.

This is a really hard decision for me. The way I grew up was much like hubby. We always had cookies and ice cream and juice in the house. And additional treats were how we socialized--ice cream cones with dad, coffee and donuts at the mall with mom, cake for special occasions. Even now when my sister, brother, and I get together, it's always over food. Food = love in my experience, so saying "no" to having this stuff around feels like I'm denying my family something they enjoy. But really, loving them means keeping them healthy and teaching them healthy habits. I wish we could just keep treats in the house as part of our normal eating habits, but since we can't...I'm thinking this is the way to go.

The other thing that helped me with this decision is that I can't afford all the healthy food--fruit, salad, fresh chicken, all that good stuff--on top of the junk. Either I buy all good food, or I buy junk and we end up eating Chef Boyardee for dinner. Something's gotta give. We're straining our budget to the limit with the groceries lately, and I need a way out.

That's the reasoning I'm feeding my budget-minded hubby the next time he grumps about no Coke in the fridge, anyway...

Thoughts?

In other news...I got my new dance sneakers in the mail today!!! I got them off ebay and only paid for them two days ago, and I wasn't expecting them for another week. But now I'll have them for class tomorrow! YAY! ;)

Here they are, in the picture I stole from the ebay guy just to show you:



They are Nike Shox O-Drive dance sneakers. I wanted white but now that they're here I love them. They're a little lighter than they look in the picture--I thought they were black and hot pink but really there more like charcoal and medium pink. Still cute though. And comfy!

Monday, October 15, 2007

sorry, can't talk now...

...I'm practicing the new zumba choreography I just got in the mail. But! You have to click here and check out the coverage of Zumba on the Today show!!! with Beto, Tanya, and Gina--who all look fantastic by the way. And I want those boots. ;)

Just follow the link and scroll through the featured videos until you come to the Zumba one. Enjoy! But oh, you might want to stay away from the Zumba website today. Apparently everyone went straight from the Today show to their computers, and the website is slow as all getout. But, yay!!

Friday, October 05, 2007

"So...what IS Zumba, exactly?"

I get asked this question a lot.

Here's the boxed-up answer: "ZUMBA is a fusion of Latin and International music - dance themes that create a dynamic, exciting, effective fitness system!" But that doesn't really begin to explain it.

Zumba is...a PARTY! It's rockin music, thumpin rhythms, dancing, jumping, sweating, and totally forgetting you're getting exercise. Doing Zumba, you'll reshape your whole body without even realizing it!

I'm not just talking the talk here--I'm walking the walk, people. A year ago I was a total couch potato. At 5-foot-2 and 185 pounds, I was obese. And how that word scared me! I was tired all the time, depressed, and never had energy to play with my kids or get together with friends, or do anything else that wasn't sitting on the couch in front of the TV eating junk food. I would go to the gym for a couple of weeks here and there but it never stuck.

Then in the fall of 2006 my YMCA introduced a Zumba class once a week. My sister had raved about Zumba to me in the past, and I was friendly with the instructor teaching it, so I decided to go.

The morning of the class I was so nervous. I was scared of how I would look shakin my boo-tay in front of what I figured would be a class of mostly thin, fit, pretty girls. But my girls were taking gymnastics for the first time that week, and the way they just jumped into it, without worrying about if they fell or didn't know something, and how they just had fun, gave me the courage to go anyway, no matter what other people might think.

From the first class, I was hooked. I wasn't the only one! Our classes every week were so big, we had to move them to the gymnasium, and eventually the Y added a bunch more classes. I went to every class I could. I bought the DVDs so I could practice at home. I played the music in the car--and I've been a cardancer ever since! I just couldn't get enough.

I quickly took off 10 pounds, going from a size 18 to a 16. The next five pounds have been more stubborn, coming off only recently when I started avoiding the junk food I love so much. But even while the scale wouldn't budge, my size was still dwindling, and in about 10 months I got down to a size 14. That's before I made any lasting change to my diet!

At some point the thought of teaching Zumba myself occurred to me, but I was too hung up on my size. I thought, "No one will want to take classes from a fat girl. Heck, no one would hire a fat girl to teach, anyway." And when the classes moved from the gym back into the studio and I got to watch myself Zumba in front of the mirrors? Oh heck no. "That's what I look like?!"

Over time other Zumba students started telling me I was really good at it, and some people asked me if I taught it, or if I'd been taking dancing. The seed of maybe teaching grew. Finally I heard about a certification workshop in my area and said, "To heck with it. I'll just take the certification and maybe no one will hire me until I lose weight but at least I'll be certified already." So I went. And came home. And it got out at my Y that I went. Suddenly the fitness director wanted me to apply for a job!

So now here I am, Zumba instructor, when a year later the very thought would have made me laugh so hard I'd snort ice cream out of my nose and onto the couch cushions. And the TV remote!

I always say that if Zumba could get me off the couch, you have got to try it. Just give it three classes--enough time that you can get used to the idea of party-as-workout, and get the moves down a little.

You will not regret it!

interesting article

I got this from the Gold's Gym website:

Exercising in Segments Helps Burn Fat

Study finds benefit in 20-minute rest between half-hour workouts

08.31.2007


Sitting for 20 minutes between 30-minute workout sessions burns fat faster than exercising without a break, Japanese researchers are reporting.

The researchers tested the blood of seven men -- average age 25 -- during and after exercise on a stationary cycle. The men participated in three different activities: one hour of exercise and one hour of rest afterward; 30 minutes of exercise followed by a 20-minute rest and then a second 30-minute workout followed by an hour of rest; and an hour of rest without exercise. The men sat in a chair during the rest period.

The workout that was broken into two half-hour segments resulted in more fat breakdown than the other two activities, the researchers report in the June issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology. The second half-hour workout also showed a greater boost of epinephrine and a rapid decrease in insulin as a result of lower plasma glucose. The researchers theorized that these chemical events contribute to the fat breakdown.

The researchers noted that the American College of Sports Medicine recommends moderate exercise for 45 to 60 minutes to burn fat. However, the researchers argue that their results show the benefit of a rest period during the workout.

"Many people believe prolonged exercise will be optimal in order to reduce body fat, but our study has shown that repetitions of shorter exercise may cause enhancements of fat mobilization and utilization during and after the exercise. These findings will be informative about the design of [future] exercise regimens," lead researcher Kazushige Goto, of the University of Tokyo, said in a prepared statement. "Most people are reluctant to perform a single bout of prolonged exercise. The repeated exercise with shorter bouts of exercise will be a great help [in keeping up with fitness]."

Article written by Madeline Vann
Originally published at Healthday News

More information
To learn more about exercise, visit the American College of Sports Medicine.

SOURCE: American Physiological Society, news release, July 18, 2007


Interesting, right? Gee, maybe I have to change my class to an 80-minute class so we can have a rest in between. :)




drink more water!

Ugh...I have a Zumba hangover today.

You'd think by my fifth class (fifth? I think so...) I'd remember to drink water all day.

Uuuuuhhhh.

So now I have that stiff-neck, vise-grip-around-the-temples hangover headache.

But hey! Class was superfun! :)

And I have great news, thanks to my pal and fellow zumba instructor Lee--she pointed out that, according to our messageboard, my favoritest Zumbadora, Tanya B. (she of the video I posted a while back) choreographed our next ZIN (Zumba Instructors Network) DVD.

So that means it's totally gonna rock! I'm so excited! But yet, still so hungover! So, I'm excited on the inside, while remaining as still as possible on the outside.

uuhhhhh...

What was I saying? Yeah, so class was fun. A really good workout. You know, all you people out there looking for a workout? Especially you--you who do not like to work out but know you should? I dare you to try Zumba. Go to the Zumba website and use the Geolocator to find an insructor near you. And if there aren't any, click on "products" (or on ebay) and order the DVDs.

Oh! That reminds me! There is going to be a new DVD set soon! With new infomercials!! Now, I am not a huge infomercial fan, but I AM a huge Zumba fan, so I'll make an exception and watch the new infomercials when they come out. I hope they are on at decent times, and not just at 3am when you're supposed to be sleeping but you can't so you get up and turn on the tube and vege in front of it and then buy whatever is on there because your sleep-deprived brain can't perform higher decision-making skills so you just grab the credit card and the phone and when they say "would you also like to order such-and-such for three payments of $99.99?" you say "Sure!"

Uuuhhhhh...

I'm going to bed.

PS...It is now junk food fast day seventeen. Only 23 days to go. I'm praying it won't even matter by then.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

junk-food fast: day frikkin 12 or something

It's almost 1:30 am, and I'm still wide awake.

Diet Rockstar. You drink that stuff, you can go 3, maybe 4 days straight. Freakin crazy.

Anyway...I am getting very frustrated.

We have a very strict budget here in the If Not Now household. We're paying off debt, saving for a house, all that good stuff, so it's all for a good cause. But it makes grocery shopping a royal PIA. Seriously! You try buying for a husband who refuses to eat any kind of health food, three kids who eat like kids and need school snacks, juice boxes, and the occasional treat, and yourself, especially when you're trying to lose weight, and you do it on a budget, and I swear your sanity will start to ebb.

I don't really know what else to say about that. (Hey, gimme a break, it's way past bedtime here.) How do you save on groceries? And don't give me the grocery game crap--I have no time or patience for any of that. You know what I mean--those people who clip coupons and pour over the sales fliers so they can match the coupons to the sales, then buy up the entire stock so the next, normal, person to shop can't get a single one. I always love hearing about the people who walk out of the grocery store with a cartful of stuff for 20 bucks but that would never be me, right?!

I mean, I guess on one hand, I'm not eating as much so I don't really spend money on my food. But I have to buy the kids' school snacks in pre-portioned bags--no ziploc baggies here!--so the teachers can make sure nobody brings contraband peanut-contaminated food, and that's expensive! And hubby needs lunchmeat but I would like him to stick around for a few years so I try to buy the healthier (more expensive!!) stuff as opposed to, say, pimento loaf. And snacks. And treats. And meat for dinner, because you know, it's not dinner if there isn't some kind of meat. And holy crap three kids eat a lot of dinner! Oh and apparently because I want to do so much crazy Zumbando and not go into starvation mode (another possible reason I've been so worn out lately) I should be taking some kind of protein shakes twice a day on top of my meals and if you want the stuff that isn't loaded with sugar you're going to payyyyy for it. I practically have to buy one set of groceries for hubby and kids, and one for me because while I think this stuff is healthy and yummy and wholesome, my family just thinks it's inedible to an extent practically bordering on unAmerican.

Some weeks we need a lot of "other" stuff that still has to come out of that grocery money, like laundry detergent and deodorant and shampoo and whatnot. So those weeks we have less fruit, less chicken, less fresh veggies, and more spaghetti, mac n cheese, chicken nuggets, and hamburgers. Tell me how I'm supposed to raise a healthy family like this?!

OK whatever, I'm done talking about that.

I measured myself the other day and nearly choked when I saw what it said. In a good way. My hips are now down to what they were four years ago--for the first time. I'm still not fitting into some of my old clothes from back then, so I guess I'm carrying the weight a little differently (the joy of having kids and getting older, yay!) but still, I couldn't believe it. So exciting! And the other day at work a girl seemed to be jealous of me for her husband! That was really weird.

We should get a new Zumba set--music CD and choreography DVD--soon, woohoo!! I can't wait, although the thought of trading out some of my stuff from the last one just doesn't compute. I really need to get some more classes just so I can play all my favorite music. Every song that comes on, I say, "You'll love this one, it's fun!!" Haha, I'm such a dork!

My brain is staring to fuzz out so I'm headed back to bed. More Zumba tomorrow after bible study, and on Wednesday I'm thinking of skipping the mothers' group that I do the newsletter for just so I can try out another instructor's class. Did I mention her before?? I might have--she was at the Master Class I went to at a nearby Y and she had a really high-intensity, nonstop, fun routine so I wanna go. Plus I ran into a fellow Zumbadora in the grocery store last week and she said the class rocks. Plus my mothers' group is spending that meeting talking about how to cook once for the whole month and freeze it all--boring!! Although maybe it will give me some insight into the grocery dilemma.

Gee, the things I never thought I'd be concerned about before I had kids and became all domesticated and stuff. Gag. ;)

Friday, September 28, 2007

junk-food fast: day whatever

OK, so what's it been now? Eleven days? To tell the truth, I'm not missing the junk food too much. But what is killing me is just the feeling that I can't have it. Like, "Hm, I could go for a little something sweet. Maybe a Hersey Hug--Oh! Wait! Noooo."

Grr.

But! The good news is I lost a few pounds, from bloatiness and whatever. I'm still super-sleepy, though, so I'm thinkin I have to pick up an iron supplement.

Iron supplement. Bah. Nothing makes me feel old like needing to take some kind of pill, I tell ya. At least my vitamin and my calcium come in yummy chewy chocolate and caramel varieties.

Not that I ever remember to take them.

So freakin tired.

I had my fourth Zumba class last night. I'm just lovin it SO stinkin much. I had a great, energetic class last night, which was good because I'd had a bad day and I told the class they'd better be ready to move because I was gonna just pump up tha jamz, yo. :)

So I brought it and they took it. Felt good. Felt goooooood.

Then when it was time for everyone to leave I cranked the music back up (I turn it down for cooldown) and was bopping around the room, still full of energy. I have this really great Shakira mix that's, like, 8 minutes long that I'm trying to get a routine for. It's a really energetic, spastic, all-over-the-place, non-stop mix, though, so I'm not sure what to do besides just jump around a lot. Which is fine by me, y'know, but might not inspire much confidence in my students. :)

I stopped by the office for a new gym that's opening up in the area. I asked if they were hiring instructors (holla!!) but they said they didn't actually have any group-ex staff.

So I said, "Huh? Really?! So um, what do you have?"

They showed me the floor layout. Roughly 1000 square feet of nothing but cardio and nautilus and free weights. No studio space for group exercise classes. Which, correcct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't that kind of alienate a whole group of mainly women clients who generally like to exercise in a group?! Who rely on the group for accountability to get out of bed in the morning? Oh well, guess they're not catering to that kind of clientele.

Next up is World Gym. I got a number for them from the woman who offered me (and a thousand other women, apparently) her Zumba class. I would love to find something early-early Saturday morning, before work, with still enough time in between for the occasional Dunkin Donuts meetup with my sis and bro.

zzzzzzzz

Whoops, sorry. Fell asleep there for a second. The only reason I'm still here and not in bed is I just ate dinner and thought I'd, y'know, digest for a minute before hitting the sack.

...digest digest digest...

Mm...OK well my brain is done for the night.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

shut down orkut

Hey y'all:

There is this website called Orkut. I won't go into what it is but read up on what's going on with it here: click here and click here

And then click here to sign an online petition to get rid of it: petition

It's about protecting our children, so please check it out.

Thanks.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

that? that's just the sound of my legs crying

I had a great, very active weekend. I went to a retreat up in NH. They fed us well--lots of salad and grains and fruit and stuff, I had NO problem sticking with my junk food fast--and I got lots of exercise. Not only is the campground extremely hilly (UP down UP down UP down--my thighs are killing me) but there was a rock wall (I rocked it, haha) archery and rifle ranges, volleyball until 1 am, and oh yeah, Zumba!!

OK, I know I'm supposed to leave work home on things like this, but c'mon, we're talking Zumba here!

I wore my instructor jacket all weekend and finally my bunkmates asked what it was so I told them. They asked if I would show them so I got out the CD player and music that I just happened to have in my car and we had an impromptu mini Zumba class in our cabin. They loved it! So that night, after evening festivities were over, we played volleyball and then Zumba'd some more! They liked it so much that I think we might even have a new instructor or two on our hands!

Then yesterday, on roughly 5 total hours of sleep for the weekend, I took Tina's Zumba class and then tried taking a new Gliding class after that. Yeah, the gliding class lasted like 10 minutes before I had to leave. You're standing on these little circles that let you slide around on the hardwood floor, and then you're doing lunges (upon lunges upon lunges) to the front to the side to the back, all while using hand weights.

SO. Sore.

Speaking of Zumba, I got an offer to take over a class from a woman who was teaching but is now going back to work full time. I emailed her back saying (Yes! Yes!!) I would take it but unfortunately she had offered it to several other women too and someone else responded before I could. Dang. It would have been at a rec center in a nearby town, and it would have roughly three times what I get for my class at the Y. But I guess the full time job that she is taking is as fitness coordinator at one of the other nearby Ys so if she needs an instructor there, she'll call. Sigh...I really wanted it. But maybe this is just the inspiration I needed to get myself out there and market myself.

Time to go--I've got to get the girls off the bus.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

junk-food fast: day two

Still tired and cranky. It's weird--the times when I might otherwise reach for some kind of junk food are now spent walking into the kitchen, pausing, saying, "Oh yeah..." and then going back to whatever I was doing. Makes me realize just how often I was shoving some kind of crap into my mouth.

I have Zumba class tomorrow night (yay!) so I really need to go to bed and then spend tomorrow drinking glass after glass of water so I can not die the next day. Seriously, the morning after a Zumba class can feel just like a hangover! Sore, headachey, nauseous... but I don't want to go to bed yet because I want to go over my music and adjust my playlist.

I guess it will have to wait though...I'm starting to see two of everything. A sure sign (yawn!!) that it's time fo---zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

junk-food fast: day one

Wow, today totally sucked!!

OK, well, it wasn't really that bad. I had no energy, took a nap--almost missing getting the girls off the bus in the process--and got absolutely none of my overwhelming to-do list done, but I had a nice enough day. Went to bible study this morning. Ate fruit and pita and hummus because the bible study ladies are doing a "Daniel" fast as it happens. Dropped Devy at the bus. Took Bek Halloween costume shopping. Napped. Had to drink a Diet Rockstar if I wanted any chance of making dinner and getting through work. Did both, barely and with the help of my handy dandy mp3 player.

Really wanted junk food though.

Monday, September 17, 2007

You know how, whatever your profession, if you care about what you do, there is someone who does what you do, better than you do it, because they're more experienced/more talented/whatever, and that person is an inspiration for you in how you do your thing?

This is Tanya B. She is my very favoritest zumbadora:




I don't know what it is that makes her that ideal mentor-type--something about her style, and every time I watch her I am struck by how body-aware she is. The thought that always comes to mind is, "...she always knows where her hands are,"--y'know, in relation to her body. She's not just flailing around, I guess. Plus, she can mueve la colita like nobody's business! ;)

Anyway, she is coming to NY state. Not super-duper close to me, but close enough considering I thought I'd have to go to Florida to take a class with her. But yeah, she's coming to NY this fall to lead a certification and I have to be there! I would so love to be able to learn from her. I've been trying to take different classes in my area from different instructors to get a feel for how different people teach, but if I could take Tanya's certification class? That would rock. It would be like a real estate guy taking a class from The Donald.

Or something. ;)

So...I'm saving up my money. Gonna buy me some nice new Zumba shoes and some UFO pants...cuz thats what Tanya wears! ;) Then I'm gonna try to registere before it sells out, and then I'm gonna figure out how to get off a weekend day from work.

Or call in sick, if it comes to that. Hey, we're talking Zumba vs. my j-o-b. I have priorities. ;)

In other news...

I am putting myself on a junk-food fast.

No, that's not a diet of all junk food. That would be a fun junk-food fast. We're talking the opposite here, sadly. No junk food. For 40 days. I've got to wean myself off the stuff.

I don't know what it is, man! Since I started getting serious about Zumba, taking four or five classes a week, I didn't really have such an appetite for the junky stuff. Here and there I'd have a treat, but it was just that--a treat. An extra.

Lately? It seems to be my main food group! It started out with a piece of chocolate here and there, then more , then more, and now I'm eating crap almost constantly. Truffles, candy bars, fast food, milk shakes, ice cream...

So while I don't plan on giving up junk food totally for very long--I'm not really an advocate of denial as diet plan--I do think that a short fast is in order. I just have to get this crap out of my system so I stop feeling like it's a necessary every-day thing. I've been so sluggish and tired lately. Gee, y'think?! ;)

Tomorrow is day one.

Tonight this pint of Vermonty Python and I are saying a long, sweet goodbye.

Friday, September 07, 2007

thursday night zumba

So my first class of my very own was last night.

It. Was. Awesome!!

Everyone seemed to have a great time, there were a lot of familiar faces from other classes, and therre was a lot of energy going on.

There was a really great song that I'd been practicing nonstop for three days in an effort to bring something special to my class and I totally rocked it! That made my night; after that there was no stopping me. :) And my instructor friend Tina stayed even after having just taught cycling for an hour. Girl's gonna waste away to nothing one day, I tell ya. :)

People kept stopping by the class to peek in on their way to the Nautilus room, and one woman came in after stopping to peek. Zumba, man, I tell ya. It sells itself!

I felt really good; I bought an outfit I looked good in, the lighting in the room and the sound system in the room I'm in now are superior to the other (bigger, darn) room, and there were like 10 or 15 people there.

SO much fun.

I really need to gett insurance though. So I can go teach outside the Y for anyone who wants to come in. I need to share this with everyone! ;)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

people like me shouldn't blog

Why do some people just have to try to bring other people down? Are they SO miserable?

That's it. I'm way too sensitive for this internet crap.

I was on YouTube browsing through videos looking for choreography videos for Zumba class. There was this one chick who make a whole series of videos on how much Zumba sucks/is stupid/should tell people they look bad in tank tops before letting them up on stage. She was so mean! I couldn't help wondering what she was doing there if all she was going to do was make fun of people.

Oh. You mean, like, maybe that is why she was there? Do people really suck that hard? Part of me really, really, wanted to comment and point out that she's no prize-winner herself. The better part of me argued that that would just make me like her. So I totally started a flame-war on her butt.

OK, kidding. I kept my mouth shut.

And then I commented on this other video to tell the girl how great a dancer she was and I would love to try some of her moves in my class. Someone replied and said "whatever, Zumba sucks anyway, it's not real choreography" except they said it in the too-cool-to-spell-correctly way that all the hip kids do (gag).

Like I freakin asked you?

GRR!

I would never dream of trying to cut down someone I don't even know. It's bad enough being mean to people in person who you might legitimately have some kind of beef with. But anonymously online? Pretty tough when you're just some empty faceless voice, right?!

Life is hard. Instead of making it harder for each other, how 'bout we go through life buoying each other up?

Just a thought. Oh, and have I told you I like your hair like that? You look nice. ;) hehe

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

my class starts in two days!!!

OK so I subbed for another instructor's class last Thursday and today (today's went sooo much better, by the way...I didn't say "oops" once!), but these have been practice. My very own class is on Thursday night.

That's two days away!!

I've spend every possible free moment on my first class, making up a playlist, learning new songs and choreography (like the song I just took a break to practice because it just came up in the playlist I'm listening to as I type--I just did the whole thing all the way through without looking for the first time and only messed up once!!), and practicing practicing practicing.

I have become a car dancer. Hey, I've gotta squeeze it in where I can!

I want to prepare a class that's my own, rather than a carbon copy of anyone else's Zumba class, which is a bit of a danger for me, having attended the same classes for the last year. I want my class to be as nonstop as possible, rather than have lots of breaks in between to explain choreography to the class. I know that's what people are used to in aerobics class but Zumba is so different. You gotta feel the music. Zumba baby. And I want lots of reggaeton and neo-classic stuff mixed in with the classic, cultural stuff.

I'm also going to start dragging my rear end out of bed extra early on Saturdays to take classes at some of the other Ys in the area--they've got some great instructors I want to learn from.

My hubby laughed when he came in to say goodnight and I was on YouTube, searching for more and more videos of new songs and choreography.

"Don't you ever quit?" he says.

"I'm a professional!" I say. "I must be forever learning!" :)

I hope I get a good young crowd Thursday night. I want my class to be a party. Like we say in Zumba: "Ditch the workout. Join the party!" ;) I'd love to have a class, maybe once a week, where we all get together to teach the class. I saw a video (on YouTube, 'course) that had three instructors, and it seems like that would be awesome because even if the class comes in with maybe a little less-than-pizazz, your co-teachers would bring it for you.

OK I have to go. I have so much to do...and then I get to go practice.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

workout clothes

Let's talk workout clothes. Specifically, what you wear to work out when you're not a size 4. Even more specifically, what you wear to work out when you're an instructor and you're not (yet? hehe) a size 4.

When I first started Zumbando a year ago I wore big baggy pants and big baggy t-shirts. Then I realized I felt a little better about myself if I wore closer-fitting clothes, so as I got a little smaller I started wearing loose-fitting workout pants and a close-fitting tank top. Usually all-black, to better conceal the rolls. :) I wasn't crazy about people being able to see my arms, but it was the compromise I made--either swim (and sweat!) in a huge tee or be cool(er) in a tank.


Then as I got a little smaller I went for even closer-fitting clothes and was feeling pretty good about myself. I mean, I sure don't go out in public in my workout clothes but they were cute enough for the gym. And I ventured out of the world of all-black and into color. I think that stemmed from my increasing body confidence and my excitement at getting certified, getting a job, all that.


Then...teaching yesterday...it all took a biiiiiiig dive! Ugh, I wore what I usually wear but I was in front of everyone, and right in front of the mirror, and yuck, my self-confidence went south with a quickness. I think it's back to the all-black for a while.


Is there anything out there that is a little more flattering for us instructors who need our students to be able to tell how we're moving--not so easy if we're swimming in huge clothes--but not be turned off by the sight of us shakin' it in skimpy clothes? Bleh.


I just need a pair or two (or three) of these:


Mmmm...UFOs. These, and some Zumba tees, and some dance sneakers, pretty much make up my entire Christmas wish list this year.
I wonder if they come in an XL. ;)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

ow

So I just got home from teaching my very first class all by myself.

Lemme tell ya. Teaching? Is a lot different from just going.

I am going to be so sore tomorrow.

Scratch that. I'm sore now.

There were only three people in the class, which is pretty much the norm for summer afternoons at the Y. I was hoping for five or six, but whatever. We did ten or eleven songs. Halfway through the hour-long class I was already clock-watching, which never happens when I'm in someone else's class. With other instructors, it's always like, "Oh no! It's over already!" But it's way different when I know exactly what the moves are going to be so I can give them everything I've got. And when I'm worrying about what songs to play and trying to get the CD player to work (you can't press the buttons too nicely or too hard...you have to massage them or it won't play) and flipping through CDs to get to the songs I want because when I tried to make a mix CD last night it wouldn't work and let's not forget looking at songs I meant to do but realizing I was huffing it already and if I tried to do that song I'd probably die so coming up with another one when all I have is three CDs to choose from.

Oh, and I kept saying "Whoops" every time I messed up. Which I did, frequently. Especially on the new songs. And every time I put a new song on, I said, "This is such a fun song!" like a lame-o. :)

In the end I had a lot of fun, and I'm a little worried about my likeablility with people who haven't been taking the other instructors' classes with me since last September--the new girl who came today didn't seem to like me much but knowing me I'm just overreacting--but I got a great workout, anyway, and isn't that why I did this in the first place? So I'd get a workout, and get paid to do it?! :) OK OK, I think the other girls got a workout too.

I need a massage. That should come as part of the employment package. Maybe it does, once you start working more than one hour a week. ;)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

on the schedule

I just got a copy of the new fall schedule at the Y and there's my name! In print! WooHoo!

I can't believe it. Not that long ago I was telling myself that I would never teach Zumba, or any other fitness class. That was for fitness nuts. And I wasn't one of them.

Then I took Zumba, and loved it, but I told myself I could never teach it unless I lost fifty pounds. "No one will take a class with a fat instructor," I told myself.

Then I got certified, but I told myself no one would want to hire me because I'm forty pounds overweight and I have no background in this sort of thing.

Then I got hired and here I am, anxiously awaiting my first class! Can't freakin believe it! ;)

I want to say thank you to everyone who has been so nice and encouraging, like the girls in class who told me I was good, and asked if I was a dancer or an instructor before the thought of teaching ever crossed my mind, and the other instructors who have been so helpful and nice and complimentary and who've given me so much to work with from their great and diverse classes. Maybe I'll write thank-you cards and hand them out in class. :)

I'm so excited.

SO EXCITED!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

studying

Studying for my Group Exercise Certification sucks.

And I'm pretty sure I'm just going to forget everything after I take the test anyway.

That is all.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Just got back from zumba class and my instructor friend Tina let me lead one of the brand-new songs with her. It was SO fun--I love the new stuff. It's rockin. Complicated, but awesome. Tina and I practiced on Saturday and I've been playing the CD nonstop, causing my kids to say things like, "Mom! Is this Zumba again?!!"

I was so excited cuz Tina told the class I'd be teaching on Thursdays and after class several women asked what time my class would be. So it's good to know that there are some people who won't mind taking my class. ;)

So mostly I'm feeling pretty good about my upcoming teaching job. I'm even calling some local gyms to see if I can pick up some more classes (but not too many because I don't want to kill myself). I did have one moment tonight where I thought it's a good thing God gave me red hair because then when people talk about my Y's Zumba instructor, maybe people will refer to me as "the redheaded one" instead of "the short fat one", but other than that I'm feeling pretty confident. ;)

I was on the Nike website drooling all over the fitness dance line. Yum. I want all the pants and all the cute tops and some new quality zumba shoes and...drool. ;) I'm hoping by Christmas all my current workout clothes will be too big--I'm already working on it; my pants were falling down all night tonight, I kept trying to yank them up while keeping my feet moving--so I can justify my huge Nike-and-UFO wish list. ;)

Oh bleh it's late and I have stuff to do. And lately around here, if it's not Zumba, it's not getting done.

Friday, August 17, 2007

the hump factor

The humps. You know I hate 'em.

Most women, and certainly any mom trying to lose weight, knows what I'm talking about. The big hip-humps that make wearing low-rise jeans a thing of the past. They also make it extremely difficult to track a girl's weight loss progress by measuring tape.

So, I've been trying to track my weight loss. The scale doesn't help because I'm losing fat and gaining muscle and the numbers on the scale stay in just about the same spot. Very discouraging so now I just stay off the scale altogether. I'm keeping an eye out for a decent price on a good fat analysis scale though--that would be nice.

And measuring doesn't seem to work either because apparently I suck at trying to measure in the same spot each time. Like I need tattoos around the various parts of my body so I look like the body-measurement diagram in clothing catalogs. Y'know, the things that help you determine your size but don't really help because you order what should be your size and you get it and it still doesn't fit?

I think part of the measuring issue is that my hips have gone from big and humpy to more rounded like they should be. Like this:



With, of course, the fat humpy "before" hips on the left and the cute "after" hips on the right. So if I measure at the same spot, there isn't much difference (so far) in the circumferance but there isn't as much...um, height, I guess. :)

I'm experiencing bagginess in the waistband of all my pants, though (*angels singing Hallelujahs*) so hopefully pretty soon the circumference of everything will start going down too. Because seriously, somethin's gotta give. Right?!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Yay!

Guess who just got offered a class at the Y?!!

No, guess!!

Me! Me! I'm going to teach Zumba!!!

I still have to get with my "other job" to get Thursday nights off but it shouldn't be a problem. I'm so excited!!

YAYYYY

Now I have to go practice. I hope my new music comes soon so I can start my new class off with some new stuff no one's seen yet.

So freakin excited.

Go me, go me go me go mee!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

getting a jawb

Well, this doesn't have so much to do with weight-loss but it has to do with Zumba so oh well. See, I'm trying to get a job teaching Zumba--trying to be proactive in my job hunt like my marketing materials tell me to be--and some of the places I've checked out want a resume, as opposed to a job application.

Now, normally, this isn't a big deal. I have a resume I keep on file that I can update every now and then in case a really juicy deal comes along. Not that I'm expecting it to--I'm too comfy with the whole home-with-the-kids-all-day thing--but y'know. Just in case. Because someone might bust down my door wanting to thrust a writing-acting-graphic design-making lattes job at me as long as I have my resume immediately available.

Where was I?

Oh yeah. So the thing is, I have zero experience in the fitness industry. And now, all of a sudden, I want--I need--to teach Zumba. Is that so crazy? I love my Zumba like (trying very very hard not to use low-blow analogies like "like Whitney Houston loves crack" here) ...like (forget it, nothing nice is coming to mind) ...like Lindsey Lohan loves the bottle and I just want a job! So I need a resume that will convince someone to hire me despite my total lack of fitness degree, sports background, relevant certifications, or anything like that.

C'mon. Isn't 10 months of rockin the Zumba classes 1 to 5 times a week good enough?!! How about references from all my instructors and fellow Zumbadoras, who tell me I "neeeeeed to teach!" because I'm "sooooo good!" Can I put that on a resume? ;)

Yeah. So...how do I go about doing that? Anyone? Anyone?

...I really need to be prevented from blogging past midnight...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

this is zumba

After you watch this, you're going to go to zumba.com and find your nearest class. It's that good. Just trust me, watch:

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

i did it!

I got certified to teach Zumba on Saturday! Uh huh, oh yeah, that's right, I'm hot, you're hot, she's hot...

But oh, what a day. The woman teaching it--her name was Ann--was totally somethin else. She could MOVE and what made it great (for me, at least) is that she's not this tiny little thing either but she's so comfortable in her body that she made everyone want to move! She rocked the place. Cuz, remember, I was so nervous about being the biggest person there, no one wanting a "fat Zumba instructor", blah blah blah? Well, I'm not nervous about that anymore.

The class totally pushed me to the edge. It was great to work with an instructor who has been doing it for so long and who has made her class really hers. She also teaches cardio strip so we did an...interesting...cool down. :) By the end of the class I felt like I was at the very end of my endurance, and I don't ever push myself that much. If my legs and arms and abs and lungs didn't tell me how hard I'd worked, my apetite sure did. If I could have deep-throated my sandwhich just to get it to my stomach faster? I would have.

And oh after the nine-hour thing there, I had to go to work because it was inventory night so I was there until MIDNIGHT but on the good side my managers realized that I can 10-key so for half the night that's what I did. Sat on my butt in the office and keyed inventory totals into the computer. Aaaah it felt SO good to sit. ;)

But the next day? I cried I was so sore! And I had to go to church and work as if I didn't want to just lay in a bucket of ice all day.

Oh and today I went to what was supposed to be Jill's class but Jill's car wouldn't start so Jill's BOSS taught the class and she was saying how she didn't want to be so sweaty because she had to give an interview afterwards and I piped up and said I'd teach it since I just got certified. She said "Oh yeah?" and while she taught most of the class she let me lead one song! The whole class I felt like she was watching me, like I was auditioning for a job or something. So I was really thankful I showed up on time for once. :)

And after the class she said she wanted me to fill out an application at our Y and another nearby Y and she wants me to take a couple of certification classes that are coming up for Group Exercise and Cardio Dance. And oh yeah she said I did a good job and gave me high fives. :)

If it sounds like I'm a little excited and all over the place? It's cuz I am. Excited...and sore.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The eating. It has to stop.

My Zumba certification class is Saturday (Saturday!!!) and in some seemingly backwards anticipation of it all, I've been eating nonstop for two or three days. The other day? I had FOUR ice cream cones. Seriously. I had one before work, one at break, and TWO on the way home.

I don't know what the hell is wrong with me but it is stopping NOW.

NOWWWWW.

So help me, if I have to start wearing my old fat clothes. I'm kicking my own butt.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

zumba and my booty

My Zumba certification class is in 10 days, and I still haven't registered.

So for the love of all things Zumba and for the reduction of my rear end, go to ebay and bid on all my stuff. You want my stuff, don't you?!! You give me money, I give you my stuff, and I get to register for the certification class I've told everyone I'm taking!! before it sells out.

Last night it was hot as hell out and the studio at the Y has been mad hot so I wore some shorty mcshort shorts to Zumba. Boy was that fun! I was in the front of the class and staring at my pasty thighs the whole time, plus I got to try picking the shorts out of my behind without anyone noticing! Fun!! :)

(Oh, you're sorry you started reading this, aren't you. Sorry. Anything I write after 1am needs to be approached with caution.)

Apparently all my hard work is paying off because an old high school classmate came into the store I work at today and told me he liked my booty. He was quick to assure me he didn't mean anything, me being married and all, y'know. Phew, cuz otherwise we'd'a just got it on right then and there. Mm-hm. But my point is that if that had been not-too-long-ago, he'd'a just been in wonderment at how fat my butt got. :) So, a somewhat backhanded compliment ("Mm, y'got a booty there, now..."), but hey, a compliment nonetheless. ;)

Blogger needs some kind of eye-rolling emoticon. That would come in mighty handy right about now. :)

Friday, July 06, 2007

back to reality

Hey, did I mention I came back from Florida thinner than when I left?

Yeah, that was pretty cool.

For the last few days since we came home I've been trying to replicate whatever it was that I did while we were away. Eat breakfast? Check. Lots of sex (because sex=exercise, people!!)? Check.

Eat only when very hungry? Stop when just satisfied? Drink lots of water?

Um...

OK so I still have some stuff to figure out. And how did the whole drinking large quantities of margaritas fit into it all? Oh, right. That might have been cancelled out by the 3 to 8 hours of walking I did just about every day. You didn't know theme parks were good for the hips, did you?! Well, as long as you stay away from those dang junk food vendors. But the walking--the walking is good.

Unfortunately I'm having trouble getting in the same amount of exercise as I did on vacation (see abovementioned 3 to 8 hours of walking per day). Because I can only take so many minutes on the treadmill or the arc trainer before I'm crying tears of boredom. And oh! I missed Zumba yesterday because they changed the time on me!!! And we won't even talk about the fact that my regular Zumba instructor is on vacation this week and some psycho ex-cheerleader is covering for her. You have never experienced energy levels like this chick's--it is seriously scary. ;)

Well, since getting plenty of sleep is one more part of what I am officially calling the Vacation Diet (check local bookstores for my new diet book--booksigning tour to follow), I'm off to bed. I'm meeting the sister and brother for coffee in the morning. Early in the morning.

Monday, July 02, 2007

How to lose inches off your hips, thighs and waist while on vacation:

  1. Get a room with no fridge. That way, you can't keep any food in your room. So when you want to eat, you have to go out to eat. Since you can't afford to be constantly eating out, you end up eating only when you are absolutely starving.
  2. Visit all the theme parks. Stay all day. Walk all over. Be sure to get there at the busiest time so you have to park really far away and things like parking-to-gate shuttles are all full and you have to walk 5 miles from your car to the gate.
  3. Try new stuff, like climbing at the local rock gym.
  4. Walk through all the funky and/or interesting and/or historical neighborhoods you can find.
  5. Go shopping. Walking around a mall is still walking!
  6. Two things not worth trying: the hotel fitness center and the hotel stairs. The fitness center is hot, smells like sweat, and only has one treadmill that's always busy. The stairs are hot, smell like sweat, and if you come out on the wrong floor you end up out a fire exit and outside. Locked out. Not sayin I did that. Just sayin, there are better ways.

So yeah, I was on vacation in Orlando, Florida all this past week and I lost mad inches. Not sure about the weight--I'll let y'know--but my freakin clothes were all falling off. Good when you're home and can find something else. Bad when you seem to be inching into a size 12 and all you've packed are your comfy old size-16s. But then, good if you don't mind going shopping for some new clothes. But then, bad when you go to pack everything up for the return trip. ;) The thought occured to just leave behind all my big stuff, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. :)

Hey. Speaking of size 12. Can you do me a favor? Go into your favorite Old Navy store. Don't tell me you don't shop there, I do. So just go for a second. You don't have to buy anything. Just try on their new jeans in your normal size. Do they fit? Or are they big? Because I was just in there trying on clothes and I know I'm not a size 12 and yet that's what I almost walked out of there with. The only thing stopping me was the feeling that it was way too good to be true and if I bought those jeans, I'd get them home and they would somehow stop fittitng. Probably right after I took the tags off and tossed the receipt. :)

So yeah. That feels pretty good! Now all I have to do is not think back to the days when a size 12 was beyond any size I ever expected to be in. ;)

Whacha doin for the fourth?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

my new way to eat

I have found my new way to eat, and it is tapas. :)

Have you ever been to a tapas bar? We went to one last night for the first time and it was SO cool. First off, the restaurant doubled as an art gallery for local artists. There was art hanging all over the walls. If it wasn't so expensive I would have bought some--it was really good stuff. But the coolest part was the food.

In tapas you get little bitty servings of food. So instead of eating a big entree, and hoping you like it, you get lots of little things and share them around the table. It would be a great thing to do with a group of friends because then you could get everything.

We had so much: duck quesedillas, spicy beef empanadas, these incredible roasted pears and so many other things. I can't write much more because I'm on rented time in a little internet cafe but OMG it was so good. Check out www.tututango.com for more. So good.

Oh, and the pitcher of margaritas had me under the table by my second little cup. Fresh made! Not from mix!

Definitely hitting the gym today...left the place SO SO stuffed...bad! :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

next time i'm staying in a hotel with donut delivery

I am going to the gym.

I am going to the gym.

It's right downstairs. I'm already in gym clothes. My hair is up. I just need socks and sneakers. It's right downstairs.

I need to go. I want to see 160s when I get home. I have 5 more hours til I have to pick up hubby from the thingie. Plenty of time to work out, shower, maybe even swim. And take a nap, if I really wanted.

But I really don't deserve a nap right now--I haven't done anything!

And dinner! How am I going to enjoy tonight's big, fancy, birthday dinner if I'm not hungry because all I did all day was sit around drinking coffee, blogging, and napping?!!

But oh, that bed. With its mattress pad, and the down duvet. And the big fluffy pillows...so inviting...

No! Remember the dinner! Remember that huge piece of cheesecake from last night! Remember the cheese, and the antipasto, and the beef, and the sushi, and the bread dipped in oil! Remember?!?!

OK. I'm going. Right now. I'm lacing up my shoes and going. Here I go!! Here I go.

Here I go...

OK I'm gone.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

eating on vacation, or, bring on the margaritas!

Well here I am in Florida, spending lots of money on shopping and eating while my dear hubby goes to his conference all this week. It's Tuesday now and we've been here since Saturday afternoon. We've been to Disney-MGM studios, SeaWorld, the Hard Rock Cafe, and a bunch of little eateries. Between all the walking around theme parks (the walking! ooh, the walking!! and the sweating! 95 degrees, people! Who goes to Florida in June?!) and the eating of good food and drinking of yummy alcoholic beverages (it's the bizarrest thing for those of you who live in MA or any other state where blue laws rule the earth: they just let you walk around! with alcohol! in the streets!) I think (I hope!!) I'll have lost weight by the end of the week. Of course, if I kept my promise to myself to be at the hotel fitness center every day that might be more certain, but...well, there are just too many other things to do.

Like get my nose pierced!!

Yup, I did. But that's got nothing to do with weight-loss so you can visit my other blog (you can get there through my profile, yo) if you want to read more about that. I will say, however, that I now have a near-constant urge to pick my nose.

OK, on that note--now more about the FOOOOOD. ;)

I have been so good at eating when I'm hungry and not because I'm bored or because it's just there or because it's something I really really want. Like Sunday night, after we'd walked around MGM all day (fun!) and we were starving, we went to Hard Rock (which totally, well, rocked) and we had two drinks (pretty much my limit if I want to walk straight) which were soooo yumm. I had a pomegrante margarita and um...shoot I forgot the other drink. Some kind of martini I think. And I had an 8oz steak that was soo good but too big to finish and broccoli which looked really good (nothing goes with steak like broccoli IMO) but wasn't cooked enough (which sucked--you know how you're like, MM! Vegetables! which doesn't happen very often but then you bite the vegetables and they're disappointing and you're like Hm, shoulda had the giant bread basket instead!) and what was I saying? Oh and then I was too full for dessert. Now, I normally would go ahead and eat dessert anyway because hello! Hard Rock Brownie Sundae is supposed to be the best! but I didn't. And I survived.

Part of that is due to the fact that there is a Cold Stone Creamery somewhere around here that we are going to re-find. We found it the other day and just stepped in and OMG the smeelllll...Cold Stone Creamery smells like I would imagine Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory to smell.

So yeah, I still need work on the "stopping when satisfied"--if I do manage to stop eating before I'm full I just get hungry again ten minutes later, like I stop too soon because I'm afraid to overdo it--but the "eating only when hungry" part? Doing pretty good there!

Today I had coffee at BadAss coffee. It was not so much a coffee: it was actually hot white and dark chocolate. Yum. Gave me a stomach ache @.@ but it was good. And every morning for breakfast I've had an omelet with peppers, onions and cheese, yogurt with berries and toasted oats and almonds, and toast or potatoes. Always just a little of everything. Then on my way out from breakfast I grab a banana, a NutraGrain bar, and a water, and that's lunch.

OK, this has seriously got to be one of my more convoluted, crazy, boring posts but you'll just have to forgive me because I'm excited!! I'm in Florida! :)

Monday, June 18, 2007

florida!!

(Bear with me while I try to type a post using hubby's dying wireless keyboard...)

So the hubby and I are leaving for Florida on Saturday.

(Cheers and the sound of the bubbly popping open.)

It's been so long since we've had a vacation together, just me and him. It's not exactly a vacation for him--more like a professional conference, actually--but still! We get a hotel room! To ourselves!! For a week and a half!!! I could die.

Now the only hard part is making sure we don't gain back all the weight we've worked so hard to take off recently. We both just bought new, smaller, warm-weather clothes so it would be really nice to stay in them for a while. Then, when we don't fit them anymore, it'd better be because they're too big. :)

Hey, just about one month til my Zumba certification class. I sold my dvds and cd on ebay to save up for it, and now I'm going through withdrawl. S'all good though, cuz they give you another set when you get certified. Then for only $30 a month I get new stuff all the time! That's so cool, I don't even care that I'll probably only make $30 a month! :)

Anyone need Zumba instructors? I do private lessons! Located in MA, pending certification July 2007. ;)