In January 2012, our neighborhood newsletter did an article on our neighborhood Zumba instructor (we have a neighborhood fitness center that offers different classes) and I recognized her as someone I used to dance with! We were on the same competition team but only for a year because she was a senior when I joined in 7th grade. We didn't have much interaction but I remembered looking up to her and the older girls and that she had been a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader (they had her signed picture in the studio). I was excited to read in the article that she was about to start a night class. I figured who better to take Zumba from than someone in my neighborhood who I knew was a great dancer!
I went to my first class February 7th (I was able to look it up because I posted about it on Facebook that day). I introduced myself to Brandi and reminded her that we used to dance together. She remembered me (or so she says!) and I really enjoyed the class. Basically an hour of dancing that focuses on getting you a good workout! I was hooked. Last Spring, I was only able to make the one evening class she taught and I made sure I was able to make it as much as possible. The classes are always so much fun and I swear I burn over 500 calories in an hour. I tried visiting other Zumba instructors because Brandi only taught 1 class a week I could make it do but none of them were the same. Not that they were bad by any means but I always felt like I got a better workout in Brandi's class and I LOVE her choreography. It always is on the beat, flows, fun, and challenging!
That summer I was a Zumba machine! I tried to make every class I could (sometimes 6 in a week!) and even scheduled my professional development around my Zumba classes. :) Of course I was on vacation for 3 weeks that summer but even then, I tried to do some Zumba dances while I was away in our hotel rooms. As I learned the songs better, I was able to focus more on making sure I was engaging all my muscles as much as possible. Of course, along with all the exercise, I was trying to eat better. By the end of the summer, I was fitting into clothes I hadn't worn in years.
Unfortunately, once the school year started, I started to gain some of it back. It is a lot harder for me to eat right while I'm teaching. I know it can be done but it takes a lot of time and preparation which I don't always have. I also am a stress eater so that didn't help and of course I went from 4-6 classes a week to 2sh a week. That is part of the reason why I went so hard core this summer because I knew once the school year started, it wouldn't be easy.
Of course at the beginning of October I found out I was pregnant! Luckily for me, whatever you were during before you were pregnant is what you can continue to do while pregnant (with modifications of course). I was excited to continue Zumba to help keep me in shape. The main things I had to keep in mind was not getting my heartrate too high and I got winded more easily. Then the sickness and exhaustion hit. This meant I was lucky if I made it to 1 a week. :( It also was frustrating going to class and not being able to go full out like I'm used to. I also hated not getting as good of a workout because I have to watch myself. I used to get home and be drenched and have jelly legs and now I sweat and am sore, but it isn't the same. Now that I'm feeling better, I'm trying to make sure I go at least once a week. It has also helped that one of the night classes is now a toning class which is "easier" for me to do. (It still hurts! but it helps that it has less cardio). The main thing I have to fight against now is making myself go to class after a full day's work. The good news is that I never regret it once I'm there. :) Exercise is good for me and the baby and at my last appointment, the midwife commented on my strong ab muscles! They are all thanks to Zumba because I definitely don't do any other workout!
I'm so thankful for everything Zumba has brought into my life this last year (including new friends!) and look forward to using it to help me lose the baby weight when the time comes!
|Brandi and me (How can I not be inspired with an instructor who looks like this!)|