Zumba!

6 Nov

In honor of last night’s kickass Zumba class, I want to dedicate today’s post to this form of exercise. Up until March 2011, I did not work out. I did not eat healthy. I was a student, and my day consisted of sitting, sitting, and more sitting. I was unhealthy, and sluggish, and overweight. In fact, I’d been overweight for pretty much my whole life. At this point, I was at around 230lbs and 5’11”. Not good.

My mom, also overweight, had begun working out, though. And that inspired me to follow suit (moms really DO know best!). I gave it a shot, and went to my apartment’s tiny gym a few days a week, and started keeping a food diary.

But this was boring. Good lord was it boring. 30 minutes not only had me gasping for air, but I just had no desire to keep going…one can only lift one’s legs for so long while staring out a blank window. Then, over spring break that March, my mom brought me to our first ever Zumba class. I didn’t know what to expect. Kelly Bullard, the instructor, KICKED OUR ASSES. We were drenched in sweat, barely breathing, and sore in places I didn’t think could become sore. But you know what? I LIKED IT. So much so that when I went back to school after break, I sought out a Zumba course at my university’s gym. And I found one! I started going to it, once or twice a week. I didn’t know anyone, the instructor intimidated me, and I was still self-conscious about my body. But the workout was incredible! I could really start to feel and see the difference in my body, inside and out. I made it work so that I could go as often as possible, making time between classes and papers to fit in Zumba.

By the time summer approached, I was getting pretty decent at it. I started learning the choreography and knew many of the songs (lots of them in Spanish, which I don’t speak, but who cares!) I went back home for summer, and started joining my mom in all of her Zumba classes, and we discovered Zumba parties! We began to make friends – lots of them. And an incredible support system along with it.

Oh, and the pounds were slowly but surely melting away! I was looking better, feeling better, and gaining self-confidence. How wonderful 🙂 I even bought and wore a two-piece swim suit for the first time! Once school started back up in September, I was much better at Zumba, and looking great. I worked my school and homework schedule around Zumba so that I could attend as many classes as physically possible each week. I became friends with fellow classmates and even the instructor! I was growing a great network of fitness supportive people in my life.

But I still hadn’t quite figured out the food aspect of weight loss. I thought I was eating fairly healthy, but came to realize I was eating too much, and of the wrong foods. By November 2011, when I hit a plateau, I decided to try out myfitnesspal.com. And boy was that an eye-opener! It helped me accurately gauge what I was eating, how much, and what I still needed in nutrients. Slowly but surely, I changed my diet to incorporate more fruits and veggies, less processed junk, more water and unsweetened tea, and more healthy whole grains. And THEN the pounds started dropping! I even managed to LOSE 5lbs over the holiday season! It was fantastic! By the time winter break was over, and 2012 was starting up, I was becoming a Zumba pro, who ate healthy and was learning how to bake healthier too! that semester (and the final semester of my graduate career) I went hardcore with the exercise and diet. Now, when I say “diet” I don’t mean eating packaged diet foods, but doing all the things mentioned above – eating healthy, REAL food, and plenty of it! During those few months, I got my total weight loss to about 50-60lbs. And I was getting stronger at the same time. Not to mention happier. I became very close with my instructor and those fellow-zumba goers. We were, and still are, nearly family.

Since then, my weight loss has slowed. But I’m much healthier – physically, mentally and emotionally. Zumba is now both a workout and a social event, and I get to do it multiple times per week! I’ve converted many a friend into Zumba-holics, and they love it just as much 🙂 It even gave me the confidence to give salsa dancing a try, which I have now been doing fro 10 months (and getting rather good at it!). That too has led me to making new friends, enjoying new experiences, and trying new things.

Because of Zumba, I’m more adventurous and an overall very happy girl. Zumba for life!

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9 Responses to “Zumba!”

  1. Cadry's Kitchen November 7, 2012 at 11:07 am #

    That’s awesome that Zumba has been such a positive force in your life! I have a friend who is an instructor (in another city), but I’ve never tried it. I’ve always been curious. It sounds like so much fun! Congratulations too on getting healthier! That feels so good!! 🙂

    • xtinaluvspink November 7, 2012 at 11:16 am #

      Thanks! I’m going to eventually get certified to be an instructor (with my mom) and then we’ll have our own class! I love being up in the front row, as many people often watch me for cues when they can’t see our instructor. And it DOES feel great to be healthy!

  2. pablpicazo November 7, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    You’re so right zumba for ever! I don’t get how luis for the last 4yrs tried to get me to come and I never did! And honestly you are a zumba pro I would definitely come to your classes!

  3. Jessica November 9, 2012 at 10:01 am #

    Seeing you check in at Zumba always makes me want to go lol. But I’m always at work so it’s a sad day ;(

    • xtinaluvspink November 9, 2012 at 10:01 am #

      Sadness! I’m sure you can find classes elsewhere that fit in your schedule?

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