I love how things can flip on a dime. I love how all it took for me to get things back into gear was a step on the scale and a moment of honesty with myself. I just had to see for myself the result of going off plan. I have a goal in front of me again, I know where I am and I’m totally trucking. I’ve settled at a solid 206 for the time being, which is a few degrees better than the 208 of several days ago and light years better than the brief, yet terrifying, return to 212!!!

{Rocking the hats at Zumba}
I’ve been rock solid on exercise and nutrition since last Wednesday or Thursday at this point. I’ve worked out every day and I’m glad to say that I’m back to pushing myself a lot harder. The first few Zumba classes I ever took in the spring were exhausting, but then, over time, they started seeming easier somehow. I thought it was because I had adjusted athletically- which is definitely part of it- but I also stopped putting the same level of effort into many of the moves after I gained fluency with some of the routines. I wasn’t raising my arms as high or hopping and skipping as much or with vigor. I was doing that thing that I do where I simplify exercise until it’s easy for me and doesn’t build or burn like it should (to be fair, it’s ok to dial it back when I’m authentically exhausted, I just shouldn’t sustain that). I turned it up last Friday and haven’t backed off of exercise at all since then. I’m feeling just amazing. I love how life feels when the good fuel I put into my body aligns with the solid work I’m having my body do. I seriously feel like Wonder Woman or something.

After running such mileage this weekend, I thought my legs would be dead for Zumba on Monday, but I was all excited for hat day and didn’t want to miss it so I rallied and went. It’s funny how the smallest things can motivate me…. I had the option of a cool or funny hat, I chose my girl, LSP (Lumpy Space Princess) from Adventuretime for my hat. I say, given the choice, always choose funny when working out is involved.
I was super glad I went, though, for a few reasons:
*First, it was hat day. It is funny how wondering what hats people are going to wear can motivate a whole new feeling for Zumba. If you were wondering, there was a variety there, but sadly, not sombrero or cowboy hat. Next time I’ll wear my big, white Stetson… And yes, hats make you sweat a lot. Now I’m looking forward to what else my clever cat teachers come up with to make it even more fun for us!
* In the middle of Zumba, our teacher, Camille, had us all face the center of the room and walk toward it. When we were about six inches from one another and we just stood there waiting for the next step, she looked at us like we were two year olds and reminded us to introduce ourselves! Like, that was the entire purpose of having us face one another! It took us all by surprise, but I took advantage of the situation and tried to introduce myself to as many people as possible. While I’ll likely only remember one or two names, if that, at the very least I made actual human contact with these people I work out with on a regular basis. Wanna know something? The last few dances after that were even more fun now that I was friendlier with the peeps around me. I know. More fun?! How can that even be possible? (Have I mentioned how much FUN Zumba is and how much I like it??? Yes? Again and again?!?!?! Over and over?!?!?! Sorrynotsorry that I’m a broken record. 😉 )
* The last thing that I’m going to say about Monday Zumba is that I got to go to the front of the room and be a leaders the song Worth It by Fifth Harmony. It was a song that I’ve done every flipping time I’ve been at Zumba, but it’s one of the last songs we do; the one when my body and brain are at their end, running on fumes and have I have little to no memory of. It’s the one song that, when I’m running and it comes on through my earbuds, I’m not breaking into moves as I run down the sidewalk. (Side note- imagine the moves I’m breaking into, on the sidewalk, mid-run when the song Booty by J.Lo comes on!). Anyhow, I decided to just go with it and headed up to the front of the room. I’m sure I smiled the whole time, because, well, Zumba makes me wear a perma-grin, but I will once again, state for the record that I am really only qualified to lead ‘running in place while using jazz hands’- my signature move. But I was awesome at leading that and had a fantastic time. I realized how important the cues that Camille and Emily, my primary Zumba teachers, give actually are. Some songs I’ve got down and maybe, just maybe, by the end of the summer, I’ll be an authentic Zumba Badass who can just go with it without needing so much leadership.
A girl can dream.

The next morning I woke up at 5:30 AM because I was at stooooopid level of excitement over trying out the spin class that was at 9:30 that morning. The guy at the counter told us that it can be competitive to get a bike and advised that we arrive at 9:00 to insure a seat. I think it caused a little anxiety in me and I was worried about oversleeping which caused the excitement… Anyhow, the spin class was bomb. Drea, a new friend and colleague from my newer school, is an experienced spinner and she agreed to walk me through my first class. I was really glad she was there because there was a lot to manage as we twisted the resistance down to stand up and sit down over and over while we pedaled for almost an hour. Sweat was dripping down my face like crazy and my thighs and butt were burning then and are still aching now in that ‘I got a killer workout’ kind of way.
I think it’s nice to try out new ways to keep fit. It’s fun to discover that, contrary to what I used to think, it’s fun to have a variety of abilities and ways to exercise. I kind of thought that once I found running that I would just forever run for my exercise. Like, I’m a runner. A hiker. Those are the boxes I sit in. That’s what defines me. Then I found Zumba and from there a whole world opened up! Boot camp entered my life, then weight lifting, we started yoga at home and now spinning! The world just keeps getting bigger and wider, friends! Isn’t it marvelous?!
Follow the jump for yesterday’s menu