Maybe it’s time to go back to Zumba

How important is exercise in a weight loss program? I know for me, food has always been the most important piece of the puzzle but of course, exercise helps. From June 2011 to February 2015, I was teaching at least two Zumba classes a week, often more. For the majority of the four years, I taught 3 or 4 Zumba classes, 2 Aqua Zumba classes, and did a beachbody program at home. Other than ChaLEAN Extreme, they were all cardio-based, Insanity, Les Mills PUMP (kind of both strength & cardio), T25, Insanity Max 30, Turbo Fire HIIT workouts. Since, I don’t teach anymore, my cardio has slacked. I have focused more on weights and while I get to the gym sometimes and get on the elliptical or stairmaster, I definitely do not get in three or four sessions a week. A couple of weeks ago I spent an hour on the stairmaster and some ski machine in the cardio cinema and I only burned 640 calories. I could have gone to Zumba class earlier that evening and probably burned the same amount and had a lot more fun (I use to burn between 500-600 calories a class). So that got me thinking. maybe it’s time to go back to Zumba. I was certainly slimmer and Zumba was great cardio because that’s all I did before starting Insanity and I was in was good shape. I got so burned out from Zumba and I felt like my body was used to it (which it probably was) so I haven’t even done Zumba at home. And I kind of figured I was too “advanced” for Zumba. But seriously, I’ve had a hard time finding cardio activities where I burn more than I did in Zumba. I hate the Stairmaster, and the elliptical, and the stationary bicycle. After six months of taking kettlebell classes two times a week, I am no longer doing that anymore either. I couldn’t justify the expense ($135/month) once I got married. I thought I would get up and go to Body Pump and Les Mills Grit classes instead. Negative. I went to one Body Pump class and one Grit class. So for August, I am focusing on cardio. We are doing a 30 day plank challenge at my hot yoga studio, working up to a four minute plank! I decided to also incorporate a pushup challenge. Starting at 40 pushups a day and working up to 100 by August 31. And I’m doing a yoga challenge, yoga everyday. That WILL be a challenge, but I am coming up on two years since my yoga teacher training and it is absurd that I do not have a home practice. So how am I going to get cardio in, too? Well, I have about 30 ZIN (Zumba Instructor) DVDs that have not even opened. So there is no time like NOW. I might be able to get to a class on Sunday afternoons or Thursday evenings, depends on hubby’s sleep schedule, but three or four cardio sessions a week is the goal. Here is to a very active August.


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Snacking on the Pounds

My problem is without a doubt: snacking. I eat all the time. I don’t have to be hungry and most of the time when I eat, I’m not hungry. I just want food. And it’s always carbs or fat. But mostly carbs. Today: Sunspire Sundrops, Hail Merry lemon tart, Two Moms in the Raw truffles, and kettle chips. Yesterday: six slices buttered millet bread, yogurt almonds, almond butter, almond flour crackers, Steve’s  coconut milk ice cream. Thursday: Sundrops and who knows what else, I can’t remember. Wednesday: an entire container of gluten free chocolate chip cookie dough.

So now that I have a problem, I need a solution. One option is intermittent fasting. I can do 16/8, which is 16 hours of fasting and eating in an eight hour window. I can do 5/2 which is fasting 2 days a week. I’m thinking a combination of the two, 16/8 with one 24 hour period of fasting weekly. In Ayurveda, breakfast is optional for Kapha types, which whether I am or not is debatable, but I definitely have a Kapha imbalance. I tend to snack the most in between breakfast and lunch and mid-afternoon. I know eating from only 12p-8pm will not completely fix the problem so carbs gotta go. And no nuts. 

As I type this, I’m watching the documentary Sugar Coated. It’s really not useful to try and moderate sugar/sweets/desserts/grains/starches. I’m sure I wouldn’t dip into depression occasionally if I would kick the carbo habit. Goodness knows my digestion is 90% better when I go grain free (the other 10% is dairy). My skin is clear when I don’t eat sugar. WHY ON EARTH DO I CONTINUE TO EAT IT!!! 

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Harsh Dose of Reality

I can’t think of many things worse than getting on the scale at the doctors office. Today was especially horrible. I haven’t been on the scale since before I went to Jamaica last fall. According to MyFitnessPal, I weighed in October 16 of last year at 169.5 lbs, which was bad enough. Today…180.6 lbs. OUCH!! Let me be honest, I know I’ve gained weight. My fat clothes are all tighter or just plain tight. I was expected 175, but to be back in the 180s is horrible. My weight hasn’t been this high since pre-HCG in 2010. Forget a plan at this point, I’m just doing straight up juice. I juice five days a week at work anyway. I just can’t believe I’ve gained 40 pounds since December 2013. My new husband must really love me because I’ve gained all that since we’ve been together. 

I’m disappointed. I’m disgusted. I have no one to blame but myself. But I haven’t done all of this mind work through yoga to beat myself up a thousand times. I screwed up, I have to fix it. I plan to report back July 31, I plan to be down 15 lbs. 


Fat, Not sick, and nearly tired

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The Vegetarian Experiment

When I got back from Yoga Journal Live in January, I was inspired and determined to be vegetarian. After 40 days and tighter pants, I went back to eating meat. This was my third attempt to be vegetarian or vegan in ten years and each time the results have been the same. I am very aware I am a “protein type”…parasympathetic dominance, thyroid gland dominant, type o blood type…they all require animal protein to thrive. I was bloated constantly for weeks, my bowels barely moved despite the vast increase in fiber. The goal was not to lose weight or feel better it was to practice the yoga yama, Ahimsa. Ahimsa means non-violence, which most yogis translate as non-violence to animals and are heavy advocates of veganism/vegetarianism. However, one can practice ahimsa by being kind to others and to self. So the goal of being vegetarian was to be kind to myself, which I was for about 36 of the 40 days, the last three or four days was a challenge because I could feel the weight gain. So I am back to eating meat and no more bloat and bowel movements are much better. And with all the carbs, I was constantly craving carbs, sweets, and my appetite was so much stronger. No surprise there, thats what carbs do. And while it is entirely possible to be vegetarian and not be a starchitarian, it is incredibly difficult. Vegetables, fruits, and nuts sound good in theory but makes for a pretty limited diet. I could take meat or leave it, I didn’t miss it but I’m not going to get fat to practice ahimsa perfectly, I will just have to find other ways. After all, I’ve got a wedding to get ready for, I don’t want to be rolled down the aisle!


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My new workout Fè Fit & Spike TV’s Sweat Inc

 Fé Fit (pronounced Fay) is not my new dog but my latest workout program. It is a 90 day workout program made for mommies (which I am not). It’s three different workouts per week with one day of cardio of your choice. The workouts are 30 minutes or less and that includes warm up and cooldown. They are pretty tough. It incorporates a lot of toning movements which is different from the programs I have been doing in the past with Beachbody. There is a lot of core work and endurance work, which I think is good for me. I like the change of pace and despite no heavy lifting or plyometrics, the workouts are pretty tough. The lead trainer is likeable and I like that none of the participants are exercising in sports bras with their six pack abs on display, they are clearly in good shape but they aren’t fitness models or part of a “test group”. 

I had never heard of Fé Fit before, I found the program on Amazon while searching through their highest rated exercise DVDs. I bought the program off their website for $74 during a Black Friday sale. I considered Rushfit, which is a program I’ve thought about before and Beachbody has a new workout, Hammer & Chisel, but I’m happy with my choice. I’ve just completed week 1, Total Body Toning 1, Core 1, and Lower Body 1. 

Sweat Inc.

I came across Sweat Inc on Hulu three weeks ago. I had no idea Jillian Michaels had a new show. I do not subscribe to her podcasts anymore and I don’t think it’s been promoted very well, if at all. I checked my local listings and it comes on at 3am! Too bad because I think the show is pretty good. 

The premise of the show is each episode they bring in three entrepreneurs to present their fitness programs. Each episode has a theme such as circuit training, fight based workouts, interval training, etc., and the judges are looking for “the next fitness phenomenon”. I can’t say I have seen anything revolutionary by the entrepreneurs in the six episodes I have seen but I have been entertained. Jillian is a judge along with the creator of TRX and Obi, some fitness writer. In some episodes, they bring in a celebrity to try out the workouts and they add their perspective. The celebrities have included Terrell Owens, Lolo Jones, Tito Ortiz, and Kit Hoover. My favorite episode so far has been the fan based workouts. That episode included the cowboy guy from Shark Tank. I seem to remember Daymon John admitting that was not a good investment…

I don’t expect this series will have a second season, which is too bad because I think they could make some improvements and a second season could be really good. Jillian is apparently a pretty savvy businesswoman, she was one of the investors of Flywheel and show opening says Jillian’s empire is worth $100 million…dayum girl!

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Oats, Gluten, and Why I need to go Paleo

I give up trying to eat Gluten Free Oats. I’ve tried every brand: Bob’s Red Mill, Glutenfreeda, Arrowhead Mills, Purely Elizabeth, steel cut, rolled, bran, etc., the results are always the same…bloat, inflammation, misery. Oats are gluten free but they have avenin, a protein similar to gluten but apparently 99% of celiac can do oats, NINETY NINE PERCENT! I just have to be the 1% 😥 I have the same problem with quinoa; turns out they have proteins similar to gluten also and can illicit the same reaction. I love tapioca rolls, unfortunately tapioca doesn’t love me. Millet and I broke up over a year ago. That leaves rice, buckwheat, amaranth, corn, and really random grains like sorghum and teff. Let’s be honest, I don’t need those either I’m five pounds overweight and 15-20 pounds from actually being able to wear the majority of my wardrobe. I hear you food gods, no grains. No grains. No grains. No grains. Perhaps I should get out my mala beads and chant that 108 times. Everyday, for forty days. Then maybe I can stop eating carbs. I hate carbs. My thighs like carbs and so does my belly, the more I eat, the bigger they get. I’m not really sure what my belly looks like since it changes daily based on whatever I eat. Oh yeah, it likes dairy, too. 

So, we come to Paleo. A diet free of dairy and grains, the perfect fit. And for now, that’s the goal….just to let go of those two food groups. I mean if take out more than that, there really isn’t enough left to be successful. There’s sugar, but Paleo is free of that too, at least the granulated stuff, legal crack. So that’s the goal. No grains. No grains. No grains. 

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Where have I been, where am I going

Good News: I got my 200 hour yoga training in January and my 85 hour prenatal yoga training in August.

Better news: I just got hired at my favorite hot yoga studio and I got my own class, I start teaching next week!

Best news: I got engaged last month!

Bad news: none, positivity rules the day.

This has been a year of a lot of changes.

January: Completed my yoga teacher training. Teacher training was an up and down ride but it was a transformative experience. I see life much differently. Most things that have bothered me in the past, no longer affect me. I am able to separate my feelings in regards to other people. I live less in the past and worry less about the future.

February: Stepped away from being a Zumba instructor. I still teach Aqua Zumba, but no more land Zumba. Nine months later, I still don’t miss it.

March: Attended Art of Assisting, a three day training with Baptista Yoga. Another experience that was more mind than physical, and it was very physical.  Fulfillment and tears all in the same weekend. I am a better person and instructor as a result. Started teaching at a new gym, Olympus.

August: Pre and Postnatal Yoga Training. The best yoga experience yet. I had no thoughts of teaching prenatal yoga before my group ex director brought it up in March but I am SO glad I went for it. I am a much better teacher. My instructor, Jessalynn was amazing and I really connected with her. She has been a great resource for yoga, meditation, chanting, pregnancy, and of course, pre and postnatal yoga. Stopped teaching at the MAC, after three and half years.

October: JAMAICA. Will review my Fit Bodies vacation in another post, but it was awesome.

That’s pretty much everything in a nutshell.

I’m looking for a new workout program to inspire me. I have a 108-day yoga program that I need to do, but I want to get back to lifting, too. I did two months of ChaLEAN Extreme back in the summer and I enjoyed it, I actually bought some heavier plates. I am kind of tired of DVDs though, maybe it’s time to use that gym membership…


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Back from the Dead

It’s been awhile…

Actually it’s been forever. I was pretty non-existent in 2014. I can complain about being too busy but in reality I was too embarassed to post. After reaching my goal weight of 145 lbs in 2013, the pounds found their way back in 2014. I’m not exactly sure what the damage is, I haven’t been on a scale since I came back from SCW Atlanta Mania in July. I have a general idea of being somewhere in the neighborhood of 170 lbs seeing as I am back in all of my size 10 pants. It’s quite frustrating and devastating if I really allow myself to have a pity party. But I do not whine and cry about it constantly but other than my weight, life is pretty good. I completed my 200-hr yoga training this month and I am now an official yoga teacher…I am a stable relationship with a great guy..-I’ve paid off most of my student debt from my Nutrition Degree…I finally got my own Body Pump class…things are well, just not the damn waistline.

But those that live in the past are destined to stay there. I cannot do anything about the 20 lbs or so I have gained but it’s so hard to try and get them off. I’m on week 4 of Insanity Max 30. These workouts are CRAZY but I need to get my butt kicked. I’m still in great shape because I still teach a million classes and I’ve been into kettlebells for about 6 months. I did Sarah Lurie’s DVDs for awhile and I’ve taken live kettlebell classes at a local kettlebell gym, too. I still take hot yoga classes occasional but not as much as I used to, it’s hard getting up at 4:45 am.

My diet is, as always, my biggest enemy. I got an Ayurvedic consult in October (I was typed as a Vata-Pitta, always thought I was Kapha) and I’ve considered following the plan given to me but I just haven’t been convinced that a Vata diet is the right plan. So I continue to spin wheels. I paid $130 for the consult, I really should just follow the plan, huh? Hmmm….maybe so.

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Getting Back on the Bandwagon

I read this post this morning from Connie Bennett, author of Sugar Shock and Beyond Sugar Shock:

I confess. I, too, fell off the carb bandwagon and I have 15 extra pounds to show for it. I’m not happy about it obviously. I’m not devastated because emotionally I’m in a much better place. However, I’m sick of carrying this extra weight and having to squeeze into my size 8 clothes instead of wearing my size 6 clothes.

Weight loss is a job and keeping it off is a full-time job. It requires a lot of discipline that I have to develop. My weight loss last year was mostly an accident but I certainly had not planned on gaining most of it back. The buck stops here. A little honesty goes a long way. Day One.

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T25 vs. P90X3

I finished T25 last week by subbing gamma workouts for the beta workouts. I liked the gamma workout a lot better but I am still not impressed with the program. After 10 weeks of T25, I actually gained 4 lbs! Horrific. After starting P90X3 this week, I can already tell this is a much better program.

With X3, there is a lot of functional training. There are alternating levels of intensity. With T25, it’s mostly mindless (and fairly unchallenging) cardio with some core work and a little bit of weights. Now mind you, a beginner exerciser is going to think the workouts kick their butt, but if you are in good shape already and are looking for a way to maximize workouts in a minimum amount of time, this is not the answer. Do some tabata workouts or other HIIT style workouts for 25 minutes.

With X3, I feel like I will be stronger and in better shape in 90 days. With X2, the workouts were too long and while challenging, they were dull. The 30 minutes workouts are a perfect length. Tony is quirky but his personality does not get on my nerves like it did in X2. I actually find him like able this time.

I’ll be reporting on my results as I progress through the program.

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