Wednesday, February 27, 2013

This girl can't dance.

Well, I think it's fair to say that I suck at Zumba. I have given myself multiple opportunities to look like a fool, and I have decided that Zumba should probably be reserved for my living room only. I bought one of the Zumba games for Xbox Kinect, and it is a lot of fun! If you have a Kinect, then I suggest giving it a try. I believe they also make one for Wii.

I was lucky enough at the Zumba for ALS charity event to be only one of two people who showed up. I am sad that more people didn't participate, but it ended up being more like a mini personal Zumba lesson just for me. Despite having my own private lesson, I left with the feeling that I wasn't very good at Zumba. The instructor insured me that I did a good job, but when I thought back on the class, I couldn't think of a single dance I did well. I am not smooth enough to do the Salsa, Samba, or Mambo style routines, and I lacked the attitude for the hip hop routine. Sadly, I think the belly dancing cool down may have been even worse. The instructor did encourage me to come back on a Wednesday night though, so I decided that if I ever made it home from work early enough to go, then I would try it again.

Of course that means that the very first Wednesday following my self-deal-making, I just happened to get home with plenty of time to eat dinner, let my dinner digest some, change into gym clothes, and head to Zumba class. I figured since the instructor was new, and she said they were adding a class, that it would probably be pretty empty after Saturday's showing. I was most definitely wrong. Full class, my friends. Oh, and the new instructor, the one who actually explains the dances before she starts in with complicated moves, she wasn't even the one who was there.

I literally hesitated in the first 30 seconds of the first routine as I tried to decide how noticeable it would be if I walked  out right then...but my resolve kicked in, and I stayed through the class. I still suck at all the dances I said before, but this instructor also did more calisthenic exercises added in the dances. At one point, it felt like I was the kid on the playground who they tell to pat her head and rub her tummy...She had us doing stationary lunges while doing the salsa-like hip shaking that I suck at so much. I had fun to an extent, and I was glad there was an old man who sort of made me look good, but I know for sure, that only my empty living room should be witness to my Zumba endeavors from now on.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Getting Real and Getting Results

I went in today for my one month check in at the gym today to monitor my personal training results, and although I was feeling like I hadn't made much progress, I was happy with the results I have achieved so far. I explained my reasoning behind getting a personal trainer in a post last month. It has been a great experience so far with both physical and mental ups and downs as I continue on my path toward living a healthier life.

I know that I am a stress eater. Because I know that about myself, it is something that is a continuing war in my head, and this month I won some battles and lost some battles in that war, but the important thing is that I continue to fight for myself. And when I lose a battle, it doesn't mean I get to beat myself up about it, but I have to accept my failures and do better next time. I've said before that I have realized that I get to choose how I live my life, but I have to choose to be healthy, and not just once. I have to choose every day.

I have also been working hard to begin eating several small meals a day, which has forced me to be more organized and prepared each week. I work at a job where I do not have access to a fridge or microwave, and I work during normal lunch and dinner hours. I have accepted the fact that I need to just adapt my diet to that situation, which means being prepared, and packing a lunch and snacks. It also means knowing what's for dinner and preparing ahead as much as possible so that there is no guessing when I get home because guessing leads to going out to eat. I give some ideas for things I do to be prepared in another recent post.

So, where am I now physically? Overall, I have lost 6 inches. That's not my waist people, it's my overall body measurement of hips, waist, shoulders, neck, thighs, calves, chest, and biceps. I already have more definition in my arms and legs, but I am excited to see how things progress for me with even more work. My body fat percentage went from 30.2% to 27.5%, which I am excited about improving even more. That was one of the saddest realizations from my initial evaluation. And I saved the things I am most excited about for last. I can tell that I am getting stronger, and it showed in my strength test. My max upper body strength was at 65 lbs, and it is now at 85. My lower body strength was at 295 lbs, and it is now at 315 lbs.

Watch List
First, I am still holding off on doing lots of running, but I am really looking forward to seriously training for my spring half marathon, which I am sure will come with both insightful and funny experiences for me to share with you.

Secondly, I am going to try a Zumba class today for the first time despite my knee still recovering. Thanks to my handy KT tape I am going to give it a try for charity to support the Augie's Quest campaign from MDA. As I am not the most coordinated person, I am sure this will be quite the experience to share.

Lastly, I am still working on getting everything together to start fundraising for a charity that I will be running my marathon for in memory of my grandmother. I will probably be getting all of that together and ready to share later this spring or early summer.

Monday, February 18, 2013

2013: My year of thanksgiving

Ok, so I've been pretty busy lately. I haven't had a whole lot of time to post, and I haven't been able to think of anything that I should share since my workouts have been fairly uneventful. It is that time again to start Spring Half Training, but I managed to hurt my knee walking up an escalator last week, so I am hitting the stationary bike and starting my training a week later. I am the type of person who tends to let things like that really get to me. I have realized over the time that I have been writing this blog that my health involves more than just the physical workouts. I have to work on my mental and spiritual well-being in order to have a balanced life. Which is why I made my new year's resolution to make this my journey toward being a more positive person.

When I was home for Christmas, I told my Anything for 10 Sister about my intent to spend this year becoming a less stressed and more positive person. I also told her that I could feel a difference during the month of November when I did the Facebook Month of Thankfulness challenge in November. I could tell that when I spent my days focusing on what I could and should be thankful for, that things just seemed to roll off my back a little easier. She gave me the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp to read as I started my journey of thankfulness and positivity. I highly recommend the book to anyone looking to take a good hard look at their life.

I have been keeping a journal since January 1st of things I am thankful for. I am making a list of 1,000 things, big and small, both easy and hard things that I am thankful for. I spend a little bit of time each morning either before or after my workout looking through the list and spending time actually being thankful for the things I am so blessed to have and experience in my life. Obviously people don't  change over night, but I am slowly making progress, and I am thankful for that as well.

What's Up With Michelle?

Spring Half: 10th Annual Delaware Marathon Festival Half with my fiance Matt! Yay! Running with Matt is never dull. Thanks for running with me, Matthew! Training technically starts this week. Check out my training schedule!

Zumba for ALS: I have never done Zumba, but I am going to do a Zumba class on 2/23/13 because the proceeds go to the MDA Augie's Quest Campaign to fund ALS research, which many of you know is a cause close to my heart after my Grandma's battle with ALS. It is a nation wide partnership event between the MDA and LA Fitness. It is open to members and nonmembers, so if there is an LA Fitness in your area, then sign up now!

Personal Training Update: I will keep you in the loop as I get closer to my goals working with my personal trainer and in working toward becoming a personal trainer myself.

Marathon Madness: I am simultaneously pumped and terrified to run my first Marathon this fall with my Anything for 10 Sister, Grace, and one of my awesome cousins, Choppo! Tulsa, here we come!