Last night, I tried my first Zumba class and. I. Friggin'. LOVE IT! Omg. I've had quite a few people tell me over the past few months that I should give it a try, including the owner at my [now] old gym. For no good reason, I just took everyone's excitement with a grain of salt.
I like to dance for fun, but never gave much thought to dance-based workouts. And in all honesty, I threw most of them into the "Lame" and/or "To Be Ignored" categories when it came to trying new fitness routines. Don't ask me why I thought this because I have absolutely no good reason, other than maybe I thought they wouldn't be challenging or worth my time... Yeah, I can be a jerk sometimes.
Well, I had previously made plans to go grocery shopping, but I also hadn't worked out yet and was on the fence about whether or not I wanted to. I was feeling pretty restless but not in the mood for treadmill or step mill stuff, or DVDs or magazine routines... So, I looked at the 24 Hour class schedule and whaddya know, a Zumba class was on for 5:30. Needless to say, my curiosity (and boredom) got the better of me, so after work I went home to change and made my way to the gym.
Once I figured out who the instructor was, I immediately thought that yes, maybe I could indeed benefit from this class. Why? Her ass was amazing. There was some old-school Michael Jackson playing while we waited for class to start, so that put me in a good mood while I did some stretching. As expected, the mic system was still out, but whatevs.
Unlike TurboKick, I think there was maybe only one other person besides me who was completely new to Zumba. That made me a little nervous, but again, whatevs. All nervousness quickly vanished as we got into the warm-up because I was totally workin' it! Within seconds, I thought "Omg! I can do this! This is actually fun! OMG!"
Definitely a small learning curve. And our instructor (Larissa) did a good job of giving us rundowns of each routine beforehand. Plus, the moves themselves were pretty basic, so it all felt really natural. That's not to say that I didn't completely f-up from time to time... I still can't comprehend Salsa. I've tried it a couple times before and the stepping just seems so difficult to me. Maybe I'm putting too much effort into it? I don't know.
Love, love, loved the whole workout (minus Salsa, haha). The soundtrack made it easy and fun. And the tempo helped me break out a respectable sweat.
The only downside is that I am completely sore and busted today. I still had some lingering soreness from TurboKick on Wednesday, so all of the extra squatting, hip-shaking and booty-rumping (yeah, I made that up) from Zumba has left me in pathetic shape today. At one point during last night's session, I felt the most miserable cramp in my right side that I actually said "Owwww!" out loud. Had to slow down a bit at that point. It's mostly my back and sides that are bothering me, but I think between walking around the grocery store tonight and taking some advil later, I should still be up for 24 S.E.T. tomorrow morning.
So now, not only am I a Group Fitness Class convert, I'm totally a Zumba convert. I'm already looking forward to next week's class! Still debating on doing it again on Tuesday, but I also want to try the 24 Cycle class too, so I need to pace myself! If I wasn't so sore and didn't have plans tonight, I would probably try Zumba again at 5:30, heh. It was so much fun! AHHH!
Anywho. So it would seem that I'm already getting my money's worth on my new membership just based on classes alone. I'm so glad I made the switch and finally decided to break my group-class prejudice. They aren't lame and the are fun and challenging. See what you've been missing all of these months, Stuffy Old Tam?
Food/Mindful Eating Progress
On the food front, I've made some progress this week as well. I only "discovered" it a couple of days ago, but instead of fighting my hunger or giving into it too much, I've finally put the following Mindful Moment tip from Eat What You Love into practice: If you're only a little bit hungry, you only need a little bit of food.
For so long (even up through the beginning of this weeK), I've fought with how many meals/snacks I should have throughout the day and when. Well, this week I decided to throw the idea of snacks and meals out the window, in a sense. My hunger patterns throughout the day vary slightly, but remain pretty consistent for the most part since my schedule rarely changes. That said, the past couple of days, I've found that breaking up my meals (particularly breakfast and lunch) into 2 parts seems to work pretty swell. Because when I do get hungry, I'm usually only a *little* bit hungry, not full-fledged starving. I think I got used to the idea of packing a lunch and eating all of that lunch at whatever time I designated as lunch time. It's not like I pack a ton of food, but by eating my entire lunch at once, I noticed I was full, but within the next couple of hours, I was kinda hungry or just feeling needy for some type of extra food.
By breaking my first two "meals" into two "parts" (or snacks, or mini-meals or whatever the heck you want to call them) I not only get the appropriate amount of fullness satisfaction, but also quite a bit of psychological satisfaction because I'm enjoying "more" foods over the course of the day ("more" being in quotes because I'm not actually adding more food at all and in some cases, am eliminating mindless and/or unnecessary snacks and nibbles).
For example, today I had a corn tortilla with 1/4 cup of egg whites and some diced tomato at around 7 am. I was indeed hungry, but still not quite ready for a full-fledged breakfast. And instead of forcing myself to not eat anything at all and going hungry for another couple of hours and having a full-fledged/complete breakfast around 9 am (like I had practiced the previous 2 weeks), I figured something small and light was fine for now and I would have something else later. A little after 9 am, my stomach started growling, as expected, so I finished "breakfast" with some Greek yogurt, Kashi cereal and some chia seeds.
At around 12, a little hungry again. Instead of having all of my lunch, I just had a slice of Flax Oatbran bread with berry jam. That's held me over so far, and in about another hour or so, I'll have the tuna/hummus/feta salad I also packed.
I know it probably sounds simple enough and probably not worth mentioning, but it's made quite a difference for me this week and has taken a lot of the guesswork (and stress) out of figuring out when I "should" or "shouldn't" eat. I can eat whenever I want, as long as I eat the appropriate amount of food for the level of hunger I'm feeling. I feel so much more in tune with my body this week, it's amazing.
Feels good to end the week on some positive notes. May/may not check-in over the next couple of days, so enjoy the weekend ladies & gents!