Wednesday, December 30, 2009
2) Weight-train. Dear Lord, I am a fitness instructor. I should know better.
3) Blog every day. OK...three times a week. You know you miss me when I'm gone.
4) Make more time to be active with my kids. (Thank you, in-laws, for the Wii Fit!)
5) Reach out and mentor a new instructor.
6) Go out and take a salsa lesson or two.
7) Get over The Fear and go salsa dancing. At a club.
8) Be a positive role model for lifestyle change to my class participants, including modeling an attitude of exercising to feel good, not just to look good.
What are your resolutions for 2010? Do you make them? If not, why not?
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Well...I think it was siwne flu. I'll say it was, because it sounds better. And with their symptoms, it could have been. And...and, if I think they had swine flu already, I won't spend the rest of the winter worrying about when they're gonna get swine flu.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Wolf Like Me by TV on the Radio
Thriller by MJ
Hell by Squirrel Nut Zippers
Time Warp from Rocky Horror Picture Show
Oh La Ley
La la la by La Banda Loca
Cumbia de los Muertos
La Vida es un Carnaval
Danca do Vampiro
A Dios le Pido
Sally's Song from Nightmare Before Christmas, sung by Fiona Apple
My Immortal by Evanescence
Don't forget: 10:30 at the Stoughton YMCA. Come in costume and if I like yours the best you'll win a prize! Why? Because I'm the instructor and I love Halloween, that's why! ;)
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
- Took a class with Beto and Tanya last night. It rocked. Totally unleashed my inner Beto on my class this morning. They ate it up.
- My friend Lee came up from California, where she has her own amazing Zumba classes. Had a whirlwind 24 hours with her before she left to see her sis. Miss you Lee!
- Big plans for Halloween: great playlist with plenty of fun Halloween flavor, and a costume contest!! Be there!! Stoughton YMCA! 10:30! Halloween morning!
- And one more big thing that I can't even tell you about! Aaaarggghhhh!!
OK. So. Last night I went into the big city--New York City--with my good friend and fellow instructor Lisa. The plan: to take a class with Beto, the man himself, the founder of Zumba, at Equinox, a gorgeous (gorgeous!) chain of gyms over there. Some most-excellent aspects of the class:
- It was a small class; instead of being a tiny speck of humanity in a sea of a thousand sweaty bodies, we were two in a class of forty or fifty. Very cool.
- Tanya was there!! You know I ♥ her! Equinox is where she teaches, and so that's where she was. She didn't teach--she left that to Beto, and was just a student like the rest of us.
- It was Beto. He was right there! He's beautiful.
- Did I mention the gym was gorgeous?
- And the class was free!!
So yeah. It was fun. I was soaking wet ten minutes into the class, and by the end of class I looked like that Dove commercial where the girl showers with all her clothes on. You know the one? Yeah that one. And oh! Beto pulled me to the front! Which was kinda funny cuz there was so little room. But he pulled up one guy...then another guy...then the other two guys in the class...then me. So when I got up there I looked down at all the guys and then looked at myself and felt my chest just to make sure the girls were still there, if y'know what I'm sayin.
And he did the split-the-room thing. I really have to do this more. My excuse is my classes look all freaked-the-hell-out when I try it, but that's just cuz I don't do it at all. So, classes: you're on notice.
So fun. So worth the three-and-a-half-hour drive each way. So worth the three hours of sleep I got last night. I mean this morning. I may have to ask Tanya if I can get on the guest list again for one of her regular classes one time soon. That would be nifty.
Wow I'm such a dork.
And so my friend Lee came up! Yay! We've been friends for two years--since we took our Zumba workshops the same weekend--and we've only met in person three times. The second time, we roomed together for Zumba convention. The third time we drove three hours to take a friend's class in CT. That's love.
I was so nervous to have her come to my classes. She's never seen me teach before! And you know how it is, when you have a colleague you respect and you want them to think well of your own work. It's like that. I was so nervous! And I'm so glad she came to the classes because she challenged me to be an even better (oh boy, get me: "even better!") instructor. And she's just all-around good to be around. And she buys me food my husband won't eat.*
So for Halloween. Big fun playlist. Wolf Like Me for the first warmup. Thriller, claro que si. Some other stuff. I've been doing bits of it for the last couple of days to see how people liked it. They liked. So now I'm all excited for Saturday! I've got my costume ready...I've told all my YMCA classes to get their booties there...I've told everyone else to pony up the ten bucks for a day pass and come... I, uh, I really like Halloween. ;) And did I mention? Costume contest?! With prizes?! Well...a prize. I can't afford multiple prizes. And the one prize might just be from the dollar store. I dont' know. I haven't picked it out yet. ;) You'll just have to dress up and get down and find out!
*No! I lied. He did eat my leftovers. Indian food. It was hella good.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Joined a Biggest-Loser-style weight loss competition.
The motivation: the $1000 first prize, enough to send me to Zumba Instructor Convention next year.
Been a month.
Weighed in tonight.
Lost two pounds.
Kinda hatin' on how it seems like I have to work so much harder--than I used to, than other people do--to get anywhere. Have I mentioned I teach eleven classes a week? Even if I'm just not burning as many calories as I used to, even if my body is "used to it" as people tell me it must be when I complain about this damn plateau--Zumba is supposed to burn between 500 and 800 calories and hour. Even if for some reason I'm only burning 300--and you've seen me hauling ass in my classes, I know you have!--if I did that eleven times a week that would be almost a pound of weight loss a week!
Kinda on the fence between giving up, eating everything in sight, and becoming a champion for fat women everywhere and kicking it into gear hardcore, giving up any enjoyment of food at all, and working out five hours a day.
I'll let you know the plan tomorrow.
For now I'm going to bed. I need my bed and my hubby.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Friday, October 09, 2009
Right now I'm rotating between the BFree dance boots and my new pair of Nike Air Max 90s. I love the BFrees (designed by choreographer and dancer Brian Freedman) but because they're a split sole shoe, I don't recommend them to my students. I never recommend dance sneakers with split soles because I've heard of too many people hurting their feet. But I use them myself. Hypocritical? Maybe! But they're SO CUTE!
I love my Nike Air Max 90s. Partly because they're so funky and partly because after wearing the BFrees, it's so good to put on something with shock absorption. Oh Nike, I love you and your crazy Air/ Shox technology. And oh yeah! also because they're what my favorite favorite instructor is wearing in the latest choreography DVD!! (...stalker!) I would like to point out that these happen to be the best thing I found when I went to all the stores. And mine are a different color. So there! ;)
Now, I've been a Nike girl for a while. I don't know what it is. Oh wait--yes I do. Nike shoes are cute and professional-looking and supportive, all rolled into one. And it just so happened that when I first started teaching, Nike had just rolled out its Dance line of sneakers and clothes. (So cute...I miss that line!)
First it was the O-Drive. Then the Electro. Then the Cameo. They were all pretty good, and the nice flat bottom and turning spot worked well...for a while. Then my O-Drives wore out, and my Cameos were stolen...(STOLEN!!!) so it was on to the Air Turf Max.
This shoe had it all. The look. The support. The cushioning. And little ball-type things on the sole that let me turn on ANYTHING. Oh how I loved those shoes. And they were marked down! Bonus! I ordered them online and when I got them, they felt a little snug. I didn't think anything of it because my past shoes have always been a little snug and I figured I would just wear them in.
Well, I know now that you shouldn't have to "wear in" a good pair of sneakers. After teaching in them for a month I had to finally admit that they were too small. They were practically crushing my feet, and every night I would have trouble sleeping because the pain in my feet was so bad. In the beginning I told myself it was because of the crappy cheap shoes I wore for two weeks after my Cameos were stolen...but that wasn't it, or not all of it anyway.
So I went to order a bigger pair because I loved them SO much. But haha! they were discontinued!! So I searched high and low for these shoes. An instructor friend, who also wears and loves the Air Turf Max, called distant parts of the country, trying to find this stinkin shoe. But alas, it was all for naught. I don't know why you would discontinue such an obviously popular shoe...but what do I know? I'm just the consumer!
Anyway, it turns out they've come out with a similar shoe. IMO it's not the same...but I'm sure I'll end up trying it anyway. I do have a quest, after all, for the perfect Zumba shoe. Or, as some of my students have pointed out, possibly some kind of shoe fetish. Possibly!
Here's the new one, the Nike Air Team:
Pretty, yes? It's a little unfortunate that Nike seems to assume that all its female consumers want pink in their shoes. I like pink enough...but it's really, really not my color. I'm a purple girl. But maybe if enough of you buy this shoe, they'll come out with it in another color! Like purple!
And here is where we meet the true intent of this post. Go buy this shoe and then call Nike and tell them you'd buy a second pair if it were black and purple.
OK OK not really; I want to hear about what you're wearing on your feet. Go ahead, don't be shy! A blogger loves nothing more than comments, you know! ;)
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Dance Dance [Lindbergh Palace Remix] - Fall Out Boy
That's Not My Name - The Ting Tings
Cuz I Can - Pink
Latinos - Proyecto Uno
Boro Boro - Arash
El Rompe Cintura
Yo Quiero Bailar
African Beat 2*
La Muy Muy
La La La
Quiere Mas - Angel y Khriz
Que Hay de Malo
Move it Up*
Jaleo - Ricky Martin
A Dios Le Pido
One Day - Matisyahu
Three Little Birds (B is Version) - Bob Marley & the Wailers
Freckles - Natasha Bedingfield
Breathe Me - Sia
I think you should be able to find everything on iTunes, except for the things marked with an asterisk (*), which are Zumba originals. And as usual, while I've listed artist names where I can, the versions you find on iTunes may sound very different from what we use in class, because Zumba does covers of many popular songs. And unfortunately, the sound on my computer is not working right now ($&@(*#&!*&@^$!!!!!!!) so I can't verify artists on iTunes for you like I normally do, so download with care and listen to the 30-second previews before you buy. :)
Thursday, September 24, 2009
It wasn't crazy-packed like I was kind of expecting it to be, but there were ten women there so at least I wasn't teaching to, like, myself. I'll definitely have to do a better job promoting for next week. But everyone was so nice and there were a few women I didn't know from other classes, and we had a great time...once we got the air conditioning going! ;)
Did I tell you we're having a huge master class with northeast Zumba Educational Specialist Ann Saldi tomorrow at Patriot's Place? I think I might have mentioned it...once or twice... I can't wait!!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I kind of wanna puke just saying that. I mean, fan page? Give me a break!!
But I needed to give my friends and family a break from all the Zumba news. Most of them are all over it...but I'm sure I've got to be losing friends and alienating people. So, in comes the fan page. I'll try to keep my Zumba excitement limited to that one space, so please add me if you want to keep updated on all the happenings! You can find the link right over there----->
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Well, OK. It's not myyyy studio. It's the studio I am renting for my Thursday morning class. It's the Dance Academy in Stoughton, MA. Isn't it pretty?!
- FREE outdoor class at Patriots Place, Wednesday (that's tomorrow!) from 6 to 8 pm. Just show up outside of the Patriots Pro Shop. We'll bring the music.
- FREE demo class at the place I'm renting in Stoughton. 10:30 am on Thursday. 75 Tosca Drive, Stoughton. Just show up.
- FREE Master class with fabulous Northeast Zumba Educational Specialist Ann Saldi!!! and me and some friends. The Rhythm Room will also be on hand to accompany, percussion style. Also at Patriots Place, outside the Pro Shop, Friday from 11:15 to 12:45ish.
There they are! Lots of stuff going on; be sure to check out one or two or all of them. You know the drill: wear good supportive sneakers without a lot of tread, bring lots of water and maybe a towel to wipe off all that sweat. Dress to move, people! Bring a friend! Bring all your friends! ;)
OK I'm off!
Sunday, September 06, 2009
Hi there. You know, I'm studying for that little Group Exercise Certification exam and I was just wondering, since I've been teaching for two years... Well, see, I get a lot of people in my classes and they have lots of fun and they're getting more and more fit and no one's getting hurt... So I was thinking, maybe we could just
ps: Either way, I'm totally burning that stupid muscle-man diagram in effigy this weekend. Just sayin.
Monday, August 17, 2009
It's so good. Love the music. Love the choreography. Can't wait to do it all!!!
OK. So. We have twooo new songs for today. Then one or two next week. Then
To my classes: I just want you all to appreciate what kind of restraint this is taking from your loyal dedicated Zumba instructor. ;)
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Did you read it?
What do you think?
Is exercise a myth?
Are my classes going to be totally empty from now on because people read in Time magazine that exercise for weight loss is useless and decide that since it's from Time it must be true so why bother going to the gym anymore?
Let me make this clear. You cannot lose weight from exercise alone. You do need to modify your eating habits. Tosca Reno says, in her book The Eat-Clean Diet, that losing weight is 80% what you eat, and only 10% exercise (the other 10% is genetics, because I know you were adding it up).
But exercise is so vitally important! Take it from someone who would weigh 300 pounds if she'd never started exercising with Zumba. Exercise builds muscle, which burns more fat all day than a deconditioned body. It tones up your body, so that even if your weight doesn't change, the way your body looks does. It makes you feel good, so you'll take better care of yourself. It increases your ability to take in and process oxygen, which makes your body more efficient at everything it does, including metabolizing fat. It lowers your resting heart rate and puts you at lower risk for pretty much every type of disease. It physically makes you happy. And when you exercise, you're more likely to eat the types of food that will fuel your body and less likely to treat your body badly with crappy food.
This magazine is hoping you'll buy their issue because you're looking for an excuse to drop the workouts. Don't stop exercising because of one magazine article hoping to cash in on your hatred of the treadmill. Find a fun way to get in your workout. You know mine, but don't be afraid to find your own.
Then use the magazine for puppy potty training.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
I've never done that before!!
And the best part? I totally could have kept going...if I didn't have to pee so badly! :)
Oh and also I spent some quality time with the weights. I'm sore. And oh-so exhausted.
I teach three classes on Thursdays, so maybe today wasn't the best day to go all crazy with the morning workout.
But OMG! I ran a mile!
And tomorrow I'm going to run two!!
Sunday, August 02, 2009
15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:15-25)I hate this dieting business. It can just go jump off a cliff. Seriously.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
July 28, 2009 (Foxboro, MA) - AC/DC was in town tonight, playing at Gillette Stadium as part of their world tour. This is the band's second North American leg of the tour.
Fans flocked to Patriot Place early in the afternoon to shop the shops and hear the sound checks...and avoid paying the crazy parking fees for everyone else who didn't get there early enough.
Of the show, local student Jane Smith says, "Yeah, it was pretty cool...but what really rocked the house was that awesome ZUMBA demo on the plaza at lunchtime!!"
Sunday, July 19, 2009
It's time. I'm ready.
For a long time I didn't think I was ready. I went and grabbed Tosca Reno's book from the library, and halfway through it I had to put it down so I could cry pitifully about all the junk food I'd be missing without losing my page.
"Waaahhh! Poor me!! Why can't I be one of those people who can just eat whatever they want and not gain a pound? Whyyyy meeeeeeee?!??!"
Poor baby. Nauseating, really.
But! I finished reading the book, still not sure I was ready. I planned my meals, still kind of sniffling and snorting and leaking about the whole thing. I went to the supermarket and filled up the cart with crazy produce and tofu and stuff, because here in the If Not Now household we're doing clean eating, vegan style.
Well, I am anyway. My family, not so much. Moving on...
Checked out with my stuff, still unsure. Brought it home and put it all away, getting kind of grouchy now.
Spent the last day and a half pigging out on gross stuff in the hopes that eating-til-I-puke would finally get me ready to give it up. And I have to say, I'm there.
Just to be sure, I watched Nike commercials all day on YouTube. Dang if they don't have the most motivating commercials! They speak to me. They say, Just do it, girlfriend!!
So here I am. The night before it starts. I'm chock-full of ice cream, cake, pizza, brownies, caramel, and all other kinds of nonsense.
I'm so ready.
;) That was my game face. It's on.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
It was a good dream. A really really good dream.
I dreamt I won tickets--all-expense-paid tickets--to the Zumba Instructor Convention in Orlando Florida this September.
Then I woke up.
It took me a second to realize it had all been a dream. Then disappointment hit, like when I was little, dreaming it was Christmas morning, only to wake up and realize we still had a month left.
So I went back to sleep.
And had the same stinkin dream again!! which started the cycle all over again.
I must have done this like five or six times through the night. Dream. Wake up! Crushed. Back to sleep.
OOOOoooooh my head. Not a recipe for a good night's sleep. But man, I fully enjoyed the dream while I was in it!! Every. single. time! :)
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I'm so tired.
My head hurts.
I can't shut off my brain.
My feet hurt.
My legs hurt.
My frigging wrists hurt, for crying out loud. Dang bellydancing routine. Dame jaleo.
I think I need to see a podiatrist.
And a sports nutritionist.
And a chiropractor.
And a masseuse.
I'm teaching way too effing much.
But I need the money.
Oooh, in following that line of thinking, instead of just killing you with my random stream-of-consciousness crap, I'm studying for the AFAA group exercise exam!
*blank stares from the audience*
OK, so, AFAA stands for...something. Hold on, it's late. I gotta go look it up. Ooh, OK, it stands for Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, and it's kind of the big deal when it comes to fitness certifications. Well, one of the big two, the other being ACE, the American Council on Exercise. And if I want to teach anywhere that pays more than peanuts, I need that group ex cert.
SO! After putting it off and putting it off and making all these excuses like and It's too much money and I'm not ready I finally just booked the date, paid for it and everything, so now I have no choice but to study my butt off from now til September 11. Go me! Eeep!
It's not easy. There is a whole lot of crazy crap to learn. Like, anatomy. Can I just say something about anatomy? When I was in high school, anatomy was an elective. You could take anatomy, or you could take something else, like physics or something. I don't really remember, because high school was a long-ass time ago. What I do remember is watching my friends walk around with these gi-freaking-normous anatomy books and thinking, Sucks to be them!!!
But you know what? If *I* had taken anatomy back then, I wouldn't be struggling so freaking hard to learn it now!! Funny, isn't it?? HAHA! I'm dying from laughter!!
So. Lots of stuff to learn. But I need it, if I want to reach my goals of being an awesome instructor and maybe even a ZES when I grow up. And I do. I really really do.
I just wish my goals didn't involve freaking anatomy!
Although maybe if I study for a while, I'll finally be able to get some sleep...
Monday, July 13, 2009
Me: Is it OK if I interview you for my blog?
ZES: Your what?
Me: My...blog. Don't you know what a blog is?
ZES: Well, yeah. I just didn't know anyone dorky enough to have one.
ZES: I mean, do you really think that people care enough about what you're doing all day?
ZES: I mean, isn't that kind of self-centered?
Me: Well yeah, but that's the world nowadays. Don't you tweet?
Me: Oh, well, anyway... Can I ask you my first question?
Me: OK. Hey...you get to work with BETO!!!
ZES: That's not really a question.
Me: Um, right...What's it like working with Beto??
ZES: Well, I don't really work with him that much--he travels a lot and is all over the world, you know, but we worked on a project last week and--
Me: --Did you get to touch him??
Me: Well? Didn't you?! He's so hot...
ZES: Yes, well, he's a sweetheart and recently we were in Brazil filming for...
Me: Was Gina there?
ZES: Gina? Yes, Gina was there.
Me: And Tanya??
ZES: Yes, a bunch of us ZES were there and the Albertos...look, is this a real interview or are you just gonna go all fan-girl on me?
Me: um...Is that a real question?
ZES: Excuse me, I have to go, I have a lot of paperwork to do.
Me: WAIT!!! Do you like being a ZES? Because that's what I want to do. I want to teach people how to teach Zumba.
ZES: Well, if that's what you want to do, you need to work hard and--
Me: ...and be on TV...
ZES: Well, that isn't really part of--
Me: ...and travel the world and stuff...
ZES: Yes, well, once you've taught for a few years and you've earned--
Me: and touch Beto!!
ZES: OK, I'm gone.
Me: OK but take my card. I'll Facebook you, OK? Add me!!
Thursday, July 09, 2009
I teach three classes on Thursdays, so it is simultaneously my favorite and least-favorite day of the week. But the great thing about this Thursday is that it is the day before tomorrow, which is the day I get to drive the two hours down to Connecticut for a master class with Tanya B.! Yay! Add to that plans for dinner with a bunch of friends afterward and you have the makings of a great start to the weekend. There may even be a margarita or two involved. Mmmmmmmm...
Did I tell you about my new Zumba shoes? I don't think I did, because I have been so ridiculously bad at updating. So...Guess what! I got new Zumba shoes! Yeah, I totally did! I know, you're surprised.
I needed new sneakers anyway because my old Nike Shox Cameos were six months old and when you teach eleven or twelve classes a week that's, well, pretty old. But the money wasn't really there, so I kept putting it off.
And then, somehow (I'm still not sure how), I lost my Cameos! Um, like, one day they were there and I wore them to class, and the next day I went to teach and they were gone. So I taught for a week in my cruddy old Target clearance specials and by the end of the week my feet totally wanted to kill me in my sleep, with my calves a willing accomplice, so I broke down and ordered whatever was on clearance at Nike.com.
And here they are:
My babies! These are the Nike Air Strike Turf Womens Training Shoe. They don't have the fancy-dancy spin-spot like all the other Nikes ("all the other" Nikes being the two others I've owned) I have used since I started teaching, but they were heavily recommended among my fellow Zumba instructors and, hey, they were on clearance, so I figured I'd give them a go. They couldn't be worse than my Target specials.
I also bought these babies, because they were so cute, and I reasoned that I was getting two pairs of shoes for the price I normally pay for one, and then I would be able to do what all the big-time trainers tell you and switch back and forth between two pairs. Plus they were so dang cute:
So cute! Unfortunately for me, 1) my husband balked at all the money I spent this month when, y'know, teaching full-time for the YMCA isn't exactly raking in the dough and 2) I look totally ridiculous in them. Like that saying goes, I lived through the high top sneaker craze the first time through, so I should know better than to wear them the next time. Sigh...they were totally cute though, and it almost physically hurt to return them. Poo.
So anyway, I have been wearing the Turfs for a week and a half and I lurve them! I was having trouble with sticking to the floors in the studios of almost all my locations, but these turn on anything. I wish I bought half a size bigger, but since I can't exchange them--Nike's website is all sold out--I'll just deal.
Now, I know, I know, this is kind of a sticky follow-up to my last post on world hunger and facing my ugly consumerist ways, so to counter that, I'm donating a bunch of my old sneaks, and some of my kids' not-too-destroyed shoes, to a charity right here in MA that gives shoes to people who need 'em, for various reasons including poverty and earthquake. After I wash the feet-stink out of them. Seriously...how the heck do my kids stink up their shoes so badly?
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
1. Ojos Que No Ven by Alexis y Fido
2. Dance Bailalo by Kat DeLuna... Read More
3. Dulce Nina from Zumba Megamix 12
4. Kulikitaka Ti from MM 12
5. Como Si Na from ZIN 21
6. Caliente from ZIN 20
7. El Sonidito by Hechizeros Band
8. Galactic Blues by Don Omar
9. Ran Kan Kan from ZIN 20
10. Estas Perdida, ZIN 21
11. Cumbia de los Muertos, MM 9
12. Marcha Re by Terra Samba
13. Jaleo by Ricky Martin
14. Lucky by Colbie Caillat and Jason Mraz
15. Closer by Kings of Leon
Hey...anyone ever done/been to a Zumbathon for a good cause? I'm thinking...and this is just in the baby phases in my head, so I'm almost afraid to say it...I want to have a huge outdoor Zumbathon and donate the money to something. I'll tell you what, but first I want to do some research first.
A couple of weeks ago my husband and I volunteered at a World Vision: AIDS in Africa exhibit, and with our child sponsorship we got the book, The Hole in our Gospel*: The Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World from Richard Stearns, the president of World Vision US. I read it in no time, and my heart just broke. I alternated between feeling all fired up and needing to do something and feeling utterly despaired of ever being able to ever make any kind of difference in the huge global issues of AIDS and hunger, and also conflicted about why I should care about what happens "over there" when there are terrible things going on right here. I'm still conflicted, and I am in constant prayer for God to use me in something.
So while I pray for doors to open where I am needed, and research ways to help--because I don't really trust that just throwing money at an organization is the best way to go about things--maybe you could tell me your experiences with Zumbathons, organizing them or going to them or promoting them, or any other related stuff you don't mind sharing. And as I learn stuff and feel led, I'll share with you where I might be going with all this. ;)
One more thing about this--if you ever need help with, like, ridiculous binge eating or just eating the wrong things and can't seem to break through cycles of overeating and self-disgust, or any other eating...issues... I gotta tell you. Seeing videos and reading about people who struggle to get clean water and any kind of food makes it very difficult to scarf down a huge meal with a gallon of soda and follow it up with a chocolate cake. Let me tell you. Even other issues like buying cute but very not-sensible shoes looks a lot different when seen through different eyes. I don't think that we should ever feel guilty for having...but we all should think about what we do with the incredible blessings we all have. And we should all ask ourselves whether we can get by with a little less--less food, less drive-through lattes, less cute shoes, less whatever--if it means that someone else gets by with a whole lot more.
* I totally hate this title, but it's still a really good book.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I'll try to keep this updated in my sidebar...but knowing me, that probably won't happen.
Calabria 2008 -- Enur (featuring MIMS & Natasja)*
Eres Para Mi -- Julieta Venegas*
Pasarela -- DJ Nelson & Dalmata*
Dance Bailalo -- Kat DeLuna*
I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) [Radio Edit] -- Pitbull*
Mueve La Pompa -- DJ Kuri*
Dulce Nina -- A.B. Quintanilla y los Kumbia Kings*
Galactic Blues -- Don Omar*
Caliente -- Los Pericos*
Mi Gente -- original by Marc Anthony, can't find a public version of the one we do in class
La Cumbia -- found a version by Cuba Club on iTunes, not quite like the one we do in class.
Sigue la Cumbia -- can't find for you
Marcha Re -- Terra Samba*
Hecha Pa'Lante -- I think this is original Zumba music; can't find it for you.
Si Yo Fuera Un Chico (If I Were A Boy, Spanish Version) -- Beyonce*
* = available on iTunes, but the version we do in class is likely a cover and not the original.
Have fun with it!
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Yum yum yum!
I drained a can of chickpeas and a can of black beans and mashed them together in a bowl. Then I poured in some oats. Yeah, you know, like for oatmeal. Then some olive oil so they'd kind of hold together, and some spices: crushed red pepper, salt, and a random Italian spice mix that's been sitting in the cabinet forever. And then I threw in some split red lentils, just because I had them sitting around.
I mushed it all together, formed patties (which didn't really hold together so well, but OK), and heated them in a frying pan until they were hot. I ate them on whole wheat buns with lettuce, tomato, and Veganaise, which, for you uninitiated, is the vegan mayo substitute I am now totally addicted to. Really. I put it in my coffee.
It was so good! I'm begging you to go try it. You could even crumble it up and put it on salad. Mmmm, now I'm hungry...
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Like, a LONG while.
Here's the thing. This is my weight loss/Zumba/vegan blog right?
Well, the Zumba thing is going great. I've got lots of classes but there's not much to say besides, well, I have lots of classes. :) I could bore you with details on what songs I'm doing, what routines are off of the ZIN volumes and what are my own choreography or what I'm using from other great instructors...OK, actually, that wouldn't make such a bad post I guess...but maybe just to other instructors? And to think that this time last year I was busting out with mad posts about how I was going to Convention. What am I going to write this year? How I am NOT going? Trust me, I'm fully capable of whining on and on and on about that subject...but you do not want to hear it. You're welcome. ;)
The vegan thing is not going so great. I was doing just peachy keen until just after Thanksgiving, and then it all went to poo. And as much as I hate to admit it, I'm only just starting to get dedicated again. My vision, my ideology never changed. I just got lazy. Super lazy. And gee whiz, I have ten pounds to show for it, back from the land of the lost. Goodbye for now, size 8s.
Which brings me to the last thing--the weight loss.
Oh. My. Head.
OK so I knew I needed to go back to being strict vegan, because once I allow myself all kinds of animal products, I dive head-first into cheesy pepperoni pizza with an ice cream sundae for afters. Gross. Going vegan isn't just good for the earth, good for the animals, and all those other reasons I took up the cause in the first place--it helps me be mindful of my food choices and what they do for my body.
So I'm working on that.
But it's so hard!! And I would think that at least trying to be mostly vegan with, like, the occasional bite of cheese deliciousness here or there would at least, like, help. And last week, for the whole week, I eschewed all forms of sweetener, natural or artificial, from the full-on nasty high fructose corn syrup stuff to the meek and mild agave nectar, and just ate whole, fresh stuff. And maybe even drank a, ahem, cleansing tea every night. And then allowed myself some Tofutti soy-cream sandwhiches on Sunday and gooey nasty (delicious) brownies on Memorial day. And then weighed myself Tuesday morning.
Did. Not. Lose. A. Pound.
Have I mentioned that in that same, aforementioned week, I taught twelve Zumba classes? TWELVE?!?!?
What the hell is wrong with me?!? What the hell kind of person can eat like that and teach twelve crazy one-hour classes and drink frigging flushing tea and not lose a freaking-ass pound?!??!
Do I sound frustrated? I'm frustrated.
Back a few weeks ago I saw a doctor and told her I was feeling weak and sluggish, and a few other things. She threw out some scary possibilities that I thought she might say but really didn't want to hear, like "thyroid" and "hormones" and "anemia". She suggested I get some sun for the Vitamin D, and take some iron supplements.She took my blood and suggested I come back for my physical next month and let her know how I was. I missed my appointment and now I have to wait, like, forever, for another one. But in the meantime I'm going to try something. I have a plan. Here goes.
- Take a daily supplement regimen, including a vegetarian multivitamin, kelp for sluggish thyroid (which, yes, I am self-diagnosing just as a test. I bet doctors love the internet for that kind of stuff. Heh.), and vitamin C for better iron absorbtion.
- Keep on teaching, because I need the money. (Totally haven't told you yet that I got FIRED from my other stupid job, have I?? Doing a happy dance, doing a happy dance...but still need the money.)
- Include 3 days a week of strength training. How many times have I said I would do this? If I searched the blog, it would be scary how many times I have said it but not done it. Scary, but not surprising. I'm the queen of saying stuff and not doing it. Ask my 3-year-old, who for some reason thought we were going to Chuck E. Cheese's today. But that doesn't count because I didn't understand her when she asked. I thought she was asking if I liked cheese.
- Possibly...possibly...start running. I know. But I need some cardio that is not Zumba. I need a new challenge. I hate running. If I come up with something else that isn't too painful, I will go with that. But for now, that's the plan. I'm hoping to include my 10-year-old, since soccer season is just about over and she might want something active to do besides chase the puppy around the neighborhood with a poo bag.
- Eat well. Not super strict like I tried last week--that was a long, miserable week. I even drank unsweetened soy milk. Gross. But well, enjoying what I eat and appreciating God's bountiful creation. Using food as fuel.
- Getting off the soy dependency. It's everywhere when I'm eating vegan--soy milk in my cereal and coffee. Soy tempeh on my salad. Soy tofu in my sandwhich. And I read something today that said that for people with a crazy thyroid--I can't remember if it was hyPOthyroid or hyPERthyroid so I'm just gonna say a crazy thyroid--soy can be bad. So, while I'm not sure there really is anything wrong with my thyroid, I'm going to work this into the plan as a test, kind of like the kelp.
OH and we all know that bribery works wonders, so here is my little reward plan.
- Lose 5 pounds (Starting small here, I know. This time last year, five pounds would have come off in like a week. Well not really, but close.)
- Lose 10 pounds
- Lose (can I??) 15 pounds
- Lose (dare I think it??) 20 pounds, bringing me to high-school weight
- Lose (why not?) 30 pounds
...plus a whole new stinkin wardrobe. As in, $600 shopping spree. To...um...somewhere that only thin people can shop at. Yeah. Yeah! Any suggestions?
Friday, May 08, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
But!!! For your viewing pleasure I am VERY proud to give you this clip of my BFF Lee, who teaches out in Santa Cruz, CA (holla!!). She's beautiful, she's talented, she shakes it like nobody's business...and, well, see for yourself!
I tried to embed the video and couldn't get it to work. So please follow the link on over to YouTube, k? Leave nice comments, now! ;)
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Walked out with a tank top. Zebra print. Very cute. Five bucks.
Oh yeah...so I'm always looking for fun, funky new things to wear. And as a Christian, I'm always looking for ways to spread the Good Word without being all, "REPENT SINNERS!!! The END is NEAR!!!" Because that's just so not me.
So...I was reading one of my favorite-ever bloggers and she had a link to this tee shirt site and I fell in love with the shirts there. They are super-cute in great designs, with a comfy vintage burnout feel and Bible verses on the backs. <3 loooove.
And then, the site had a link to their blog, so I checked that out and lo and behold, they're giving away free tee shirts!! And all I have to do to get 5 entries into the drawing is blog a little about the site and put up a little button for it and voila!! So, while I probably would have told you about them anyway, I probably would have told you after ordering and getting a shirt or two. Or three. But now you get to hear about them ahead of time. So maybe I can get my shirts for free. Because, you know, I have to shop at Wal-Mart. ;)
...In other news...
I have two tickets to take a Master Class with TANYA B. later this month!! Woooooo! Can't wait. Gonna be fun. I'm taking my instructor friend Tina and she's never taken a class with Tanya so I'm so excited she gets to come this time!
I love taking classes with Tanya. It would be so easy to leave her class and think, "I will never, not if I live to teach a hundred thousand Zumba classes, never ever be that good." (Really, the girl rocks out loud.) But I never feel that way. Instead, I leave inspired to be a better instructor. Pumped up. My first few classes after a Tanya class (or a Beto class, for that matter) are always a little bit in-for-it, and they always know I must have just taken a really rockin' class. They always say something!
I have more to write. But...it's 1:20 am, and 1 o'clock has always been my Cinderella hour for writing. Anything I write after that comes out sounding like I let my 3-year-old dictate. But I want to ask you something. So I'll ask you, and you can think about it until I post about it: How do you treat yourself? Would you treat someone else the way you treat you?
Friday, March 06, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
This is footage from last year's Zumba convention. Unless something very radical happens, I am not going this year.
At first I was all broken up about it. Then I started to calm down.
"OK," I thought. "Next year. I'll be there next year."
Then I saw this video. And broke down all over again.
I need to be there! NEEEEED!
Thursday, February 05, 2009
My friend Lisa pointed this out:
"I just realized that some friends may not know much about step dance---yet (not the aerobic step class or the Irish step dance but the Stomp the Yard movie kind of step dance).
So here's a link that tells a little more about it:
Step Dance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Step_dance
Also, here's a link with more info about Zumba, a fun Latin-based fitness dance that gives you a great cardio workout along with sculpting and toning---all without your even realizing you're exercising!
Zumba Fitness: www.zumba.com
And then there's Hip Hop. Just 'cos it may be interesting to know more about it:
Hip Hop: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hip_hop
Thanks, Lisa, for the links. :)
When: Saturday nights, starting 2/21/09.
Step/Hip Hop at 7 pm, Zumba at 8 pm
Where: The Dean College Fitness Center (60 School Street, Franklin, MA 02038), Second Floor Studio. Come in on the side entrance.
What: One Hour of Step or Hip Hop Followed By One Hour of Zumba (Take one class or take them both)!
Zumba Drop in: $5 per class. Come anytime; no need for a membership!
Series of 5 Classes: $20.00 for 5 classes (one class will be essentially free)
James Runner and His Step & Hip Hop Crew Captains will be on hand to get the party started with a step lesson on February 21, 2009 from 7:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.
Step/Hip Hop Drop in: $8.00
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
I braved crazy blizzard driving on unplowed highways--I can't even tell you how long it took me to get to work; good thing I had a latte and some good music for company--just so I could get to work wicked late and do crosswords all night long. You wanna know how many customers I helped? Freakin none!! Gah.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I WANT to wear a BIKINI to the BEACH this summer!!
Yup. That's what I want.
Can I do it? Well...I don't know!!! But I do know that this time last year I was a brand-new vegan, I weighed about 170 pounds, and I was a size 14/16, and by the time last summer came around, I was about 150 pounds, and a size 10/12. So if I could do it then, why shouldn't I be able to do it now?
Just for reference, right now I am about 150 (again, after getting down almost to 140 before the holidays, but anway) and a size 8/10. And in order to get into a bikini by summer I would really like to be a size 4, but I might have to settle for a size 6. If it weren't for the stubborn post-baby-bearing area of my stomach I would--well, I'd probably be wearing a bikini right now, sitting here typing. I'd probably wear a bikini to the grocery store. But, and I know you moms hear me, that shit is stubborn!!
OK so here is the plan. I need to do the following:
- Drink water. And more water and more water. 16 ounces every hour I'm awake. That's a lot of freakin water, but I'm always so dehydrated!
- Weight train. I started this on Monday, and was hella sore on Tuesday and Wednesday. I'll hit the weights after Zumba class tonight. Class, if you're reading this, make sure I head into the fitness center after Zumba!! Ideally it will be class with my awesome boss Cyndee on Mondays, kettlebell at home on Wednesdays, and class with my girl Jill on Friday.
- Eat better! Stop whining about it and just DO IT! I'm starting to sound like a broken record, stuck on the wehWEH wehWEHwah sound of the adults in the Charlie Brown movies.
- Get some damn sleep. Ever since we've been in this house I have had the worst time trying to sleep. My husband will tell you it's because I made him switch sides of the bed with me, after 9 years of sleeping on the same side of the bed. While I did do this, it was more to prove we were capable of change, than anything else. That, and to convince him we need a new damn mattress. Ahh, the exciting little things of married life.
- Switch up the cardio. I hate to say it, but a girl can only Zumba so many times a week without her body saying, "Been there. Done that." and not responding anymore. Soooo I have to find a new class. Is there anything out there as fun as Zumba?! I think not. This could very well be the hardest thing of all. I actually considered taking up running (mostly because Nike has these stupid cutetastic shoes) for about five minutes before I remembered I hate running and wouldn't mind dying with the knees God gave me. So, while I still think in a tiny part of my brain that I might give running a try--the last time I tried it, I weighed a lot more and was way more out of shape--I gotta find something else that's fun and not a chore.
- Be more active outside of the gym, like when I'm with my kids. Play. Run (there's that word again). Wrestle. Build snowmen in the absolute abundance of snow sitting right outside my house. Don't sit in front of facebook all day, eating crap (like you do not even want to know what I had for lunch today).
- Create a scrapbook of inspiration: people who look great, things I'd love to wear when I'm thinner but can't quite pull off yet (although I do have to say I love how much shorter this list is now than it was a year ago!), fun active things I love to do like hiking and rockclimbing and rollerblading, or that I want to try, like snowboarding. Sayings that inspire me. Old pictures of me.
- Most importantly, take some time out for prayer and reflection in the morning. I get so stuck in the thinking that I just don't have time for this, when I know from past experience that really, I can't afford to not make time for God and myself this way. It sets the tone for my entire day, in every aspect, from eating and exercising to fulfilling my role as wife/mom/employee, to being the best mom and wife. Everything!
OK so here's what I'm gonna do, so you can check my progress, just because I know that if I think someone is watching, I'll try harder to stick to everything. ;) I'm going to put a thingie in the sidebar listing numbers 1 through 8, outlined above, and note how I'm doing. Cool? You don't have to read it every day. I just have to think you are reading it. See how that works? At least, I sure hope it works.
Because, see that bikini up there? Is it not just the cutest?! ;)
Monday, January 26, 2009
It's just, we just bought a house.
And...there are boxes. Everywhere.
They threaten me when they think I can't hear.
And so, my husband and I are fighting a war against the boxes, and it takes up all our time.
I do want to check in tonight, after class, hopefully, maybe while the hub takes a shower. So...see you later? Hopefully?
In the meantime, I have to go fight some boxes. I mean unpack. Unpack some boxes.
Thursday, January 01, 2009
In 2008 my resolutions read thusly:
* Go vegan
* Make less of an impact on the environment
* Throw myself a huge birthday party
And my results were:
* Great for three months. OK for six more months. Miserable for the last three months. I totally blame the holidays, because my "vegan mindset", such as it is, hasn't changed. I still desperately WANT to be a good little Earth-saving, compassionate, super-humanly-healthy-and-energetic vegan.
* Pretty good! Ate out of reusable containers. Drank out of Neoprene bottles. Tried to not drive around needlessly. Turned the heat way down in the house, although that was admittedly more a wallet-friendly move than an Earth-friendly effort.
* UTTER FAIL. My 30th birthday went by almost completely unnoticed. I had huge plans in January, followed by moderate plans by March...then by June I was totally wiped out by all I'd been doing and decided a quite night in was just what I needed. So now I'm going to have to find another excuse for throwing a huge party...
AAAAND my resolutions for 2009:
*Back to the healthy vegan eating! Even if it means not eating, in the case of being somewhere with no animal-free food.
* I need to take my vitamins every day. Especially as a vegan, wherin the intake of vitamins B and D and iron can be an issue. I so suck at taking a daily pill! Which is why we always had to double up on the old BC...but that's another story...
* Weight training!! I added this to my resolutions at some point last year, but since it wasn't a big January 1st Resolution Superstar, I'm adding it here as a new one. I never followed through anyway, but this year I've got me a fun fun kettlebell, a Christmas gift to me from me.
SO! There they are. I can't wait to get back on track with the eating well, because right now I feel so cruddy. Sluggish and tired and lazy and dense and bleh.
Here's to a happy, healthy 2009!
Now, you're turn: make some resolutions. C'mon, everyone has room for improvement! ;)
PS: I would (not!) like to point out the change to the little meter up top there. A few weeks ago it read 143. It now reads 150. Yeah.
Not for long, not for long...