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Anita Latte

Any other Zumba fans?

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I'm turning 40 in March 2012. My mom found an outrageous deal on a Spring Break cruise in March 2012, so we booked a big family vacation for my parents, my husband, my son and myself which will be in honor of my big milestone.


It's also the goal for life change including major weightloss.


I started taking Zumba classes the week of Sept 12. I'm up to 3 Zumba classes a week and 2 Pilates classes.


I LOVE Zumba. I know it has a lot to do with my instructor, who I also love. I've had great success so far losing 4 inches around both my hips and bust and 1 inch each around each thigh. I'm totally pumped and more motivated than ever to continue getting healthy.


Anyone else out there a Zumba fan? Or doing Pilates? I thought we could exchange stories, songs, encouragement...


WARNING...I love to talk...A LOT...and I will also be using this thread as a kind of record of some other changes I have going on around the house...including, but certainly not limited to, cooking healthy homemade meals and breaking the restaurant/eating out cycle.


I hope anyone interested in these topics will join me!

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My parents stayed with us during the holidays. My Mom came to Pilates and Zumba classes with me. It's so sad that they don't live nearby. Mom really enjoyed my instructor...she's been looking into classes in her area.


Zumba instructors are all different though. My first instructor seemed to stick with the routines that she was given and the music that she was given. My current instructor does a ton of choreography of her own. And likes to use current music as well as some from the Zumba people. She loves the more Latin sound.


I've been working on getting the songs for Zumba...Zumba class is my first experience with most of these songs...I usually listen to Christian music. Toby Mac. Skillet. Jars of Clay. Third Day. Newsboys. Etc. Etc. These are the bands I know...


It would be interesting to know if other classes are using the same music. And what other classes use. I'm going to post my list of songs here...


Warm Up Songs


Put It In a Love Song by Alicia Keys


Oh My Gosh by Usher




This is Tha Song by Hip Hop


Noche de Entierro


Jai Ho (It's from the movie Slumdog Millionaire)


Big and Chunky by Moto Moto



Soy Mexicano by Barrio Zumba (this one is a fast cumbia during the verses)






Que Te Pica by Notch


Loca by Shakira


Muscles by Diana Ross


Hips Don't Lie 2006 World Cup by Shakira (usually follows Muscles to stretch out the arms)



La Tortura by Shakira


Drummer Boy by Debi Nova


Ven a Cumbia by El Simbolo



Salsa by Slumber Party Girls



Bon Bon by Pitbull



Jump in the Line by Harry Belafonte



Drop it Low by Ester Dean




Chiquilla by Kumbia Kings



Iko Iko by Captain Jack



La Despedida by Daddy Yankee



Cha Cha by Chelo



Cool Down Songs


Happy by Leona Lewis



Feeling Good by Michael Buble



Somewhere Over the Rainbow (we use the recorded version though)


Faith by Jordin Sparks



Pilates and Zumba was last night. Same instructor. We do Pilates at 5:00 and then Zumba at 6:00. I've been gradually increasing my exercise frequency since September.


I'm not a learned dancer. But we had dance in high school as a P.E. alternative. You had to try out for it. There were different levels of ability. So I was able to do dance in High School. But I've always loved to dance. Doing Zumba feels like "Mom's Night Out". I leave my men at home and enjoy myself. Which is the first time EVER that I can say that I ENJOY exercise.


Eventually, I'm going to do Zumba at home also. The classes I take are offered at the area rec center. The same instructor also teaches a drop in class at a dance studio. I like the one instructor so much, AND I just can't really afford to pay for any more classes, that the home workouts are what I'm going to add when I need to increase my exercise load.


Hence, the reason that I am collecting these Zumba songs. And also the reason why I'm interested in what songs others use. Because I wouldn't mind having a bit of fun with my own choreography if I could find some fun songs.


So if anyone wants to share what songs they do in their Zumba classes...I'd love to read it!:)

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Today's research is about facial exercises.


It's sad, but true. I have droopy jowls. My DL picture is the worst highlight of the problem EVER. I was so irritated that day. I have on the most unhappiest face in the world, and as a result the droop in my jaw line is over pronounced.


I've noticed that with the decrease in fat (the weight hasn't really moved that much, but inches lost indicate a major change in fat/muscle ratio) that the jowls are smaller. I've also noticed that if I push up on my cheeks ever so slightly, the jowls completely disappear...and I have a much more youthful jawline.


I recall having stumbled upon the idea of working out your face in the past. I found someone selling their information on how to do resistance training on your face. A medal-winning body builder (woman) had designed the exercises. Unwilling to spend money on the idea, I tried checking out some books through the local library.


The books were yoga books. It was too much. I couldn't get through all the pages to get to the info that I really wanted.


So, today, with thoughts of two planned future vacations where there is sure to be a plethora of picture taking opportunities (Extended family Disney trip in June 2011 and the 40th bday cruise in March 2012), I really hope to see pictures of myself without repeating the oh so lovely DL photo.


I'm pretty please to find these things on line:


This lists 5 general overall toning exercises using your hands placed on your face to provide resistance:



The ehow videos are a combination of infomercial with one unique exercise each:







The following youtube videos each are like a talk show format with a yoga instructor who has written a book showing how to target specific facial muscles. I included the cheeks and neck here. (Unfortunately, my library doesn't have her book).



This appears to be an excerpt from a larger video series that is made in the UK. You could exercise along to this video, which is about 5 minutes. It focuses on the muscles that are just below the chin line.



I love to take an evening bath. Especially on my workout nights (Monday and Wednesday). These exercises seem like just the thing to do while I am in the tub. If I can just remember what they are!


If I can get these little exercises in my memory bank, then I'm thinking that I could just whip them out here and there, whenever the thought crosses my mind.


It makes sense to me that exercising your face would make a difference. Muscles are muscles. Work them out and they get toned. Don't use them and they flab out. Since I am home alone for most of the day, I realize that I don't really smile much or use much facial expression. I think that this has contributed to my subtle but steady lack of facial tone over the past years, which became most noticeable in an unhappy (unsmiling) photograph.


One other thing I read, but don't think that I linked, was about smiling. The idea of smiling, throughout the day, and often. I can recall times when I would be smiling a lot for pictures in the past (the far distant prom nights and the somewhat distant wedding day) and my cheeks would literally ACHE. I remember my face HURTING from smiling so much. I know that I don't smile to myself all day long...but perhaps I should...perhaps I should give those cheeks that workout so that my newly toned cheeks can naturally raise my jawline!

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So one definite challenge that we have in our schedule is dinner Monday through Thursday nights.


My son has tennis lessons from 5:30 to 7:00 on Tuesday/Thursday. I have Pilates/Zumba from 5:00 to 7:00 on Monday/Wednesday. This isn't something that we have really figured out in a way that keeps us on the path of weightloss, fitness and health.


On Monday, I prepared chicken wings (buffalo style) to a certain point and left the recipe for how to bake them with DH. The men ate while I was gone and I ate when I got home. (For anyone interested, I cut my own wings and drumettes from full chicken wings and bake them according to the directions on the first comment on this recipe. I had the wings in the fridge and the sauce already made.)


On Tuesday, I did crock pot chicken. (Sweet and Sour Chicken from the Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook, which is fabulous btw). Before leaving for tennis, I cut up veggies to make a fast stir fry after tennis. This worked out great.


So great in fact, that DH and I decided that we should just make 7:30 our regular dinner time. This is much later than we would normally think to be okay for our family, but we could handle it. So the plan is to have a mini-meal at around 4:00, especially for DS, who is ready to eat something after coming home from school.


On Wednesday, then, we put the plan into action. DS had a planned, substantial after school snack. DH had a snack when he got home from work. And we had dinner after I got home from exercising. Left over chicken wings and another veggie stir fry.


Today, though, the prep plans didn't come together. I did good to bring DH's snack to DS's tennis lessons. (DH arrives at the club early to play with his Dad, so he go straight to tennis after work). So he wasn't starving while we watched tennis. I had a plan for dinner though, even if it was take out.


We have this great little Mexican fast food chain called Taco Cabana. DH and I have been eating there for about 20 years. We absolutely LOVE it. They make tortillas on site. Fresh salsas and picos on site. The grilled meat and chicken is so good. And during the winter, they have super yummy tasty tortilla soup.


So DH and DS went to TC's (we call it) to pick up soup, chicken fajita tacos on corn for DH and me, and beef fajita on flour for DS. I went home to make salads for all of us.


We still sat at our own table. This is somewhat novel for our family still, whose habit has been to eat in front of the TV, unfortunately.


This little thread is helpful for me to gather my thoughts and analyze how things are going.


First, the crock pot night was GREAT. Crock pot should definitely be a part of future M-Th dinners.


Second, leftovers were also a winner.


Third, SOUP was a great lighter meal for so late in the evening, especially on a colder night.


Now that we have a definite idea for WHEN dinner is supposed to be...how we are having the 4:00 mini-meal...my goal is to actually have a PLAN in place for next week. Based on what happened this week, I will create this plan tomorrow, so that I can get any necessary shopping done tomorrow, BEFORE the weekend. (I hate grocery store shopping on the weekend).

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Getting geared up for a crazy Zumba weekend...


There is a makeup class Saturday at 10:00 AM; then the normal Sunday at 9:00 AM; then the normal Monday 5:00/6:00 PM Pilates/Zumba. I'm going to give it a go to do this three days in a row! Should be quite challenging.


Mom tried going to a Zumba class today at the 24-Hour Fitness in her area. It was horrible. Mom said it wasn't Zumba, it was Dancercize, and it sounds like the instructor was having them do unreasonable moves...


Like in the Loca Shakira video...jumping in the air and kicking straight legs out to the side...no...that's not Zumba...and apparantly, the instructor just really liked jumping...she said so...and this was not good for my Mom...


Also, the instructor didn't have choreography that was the essense of the fat burn of Zumba...the intermittent intervals of high and low pace...she just got your heart rate up and kept it high for 60 minutes...Zumba is great at confusing your body...high and low heart rates...within songs...for different songs...a big mix, which throws your body into mass confusion and causes it to start burning fat stores...but this was missing from this particular instructor.




Meanwhile, I got the grocery shopping done today. I'm not really great with PLANNING. I'm too much of a what do I want to eat now kind of person...but I got several things that I will use to make different soups & chili...roast a chicken...etc.


And today, I made my third turkey of the season. It's just such a good deal...0.79/lb gets so much cooked turkey (I bought a 20lb one) to use in other recipes, sandwiches, leftovers...it's fabulous...and we LOVE it...and it's SO EASY...I use a disposable pan...I put cut carrots, onions, and celery in the bottom...I stuff the turkey with cut lemons, cut onions, (like big wedges for both), fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs...slather the whole bird in butter...and then following the roasting instructions by Alton Brown of the Food Network, found here. In a short amount of time, I have tons of cooked turkey.


So tonight, we had turkey, leftover mashed sweet potatoes. I don't do the shallot part of the recipe. I use the batter attachment for my stand mixer to mash the sweet potatoes. Make a lot, because there is no added dairy or fat, they are super healthy and they last in the fridge.


We also had sauteed mixed greens, which aren't my fav, but they are so healthy and CHEAP because the greens are in season right now. I use the recipe from The Balanced Plate cookbook, but I only use apple cider vinegar to dress them at the end and also add fresh cilantro for the parsley. After getting involved with Fat Flush, I learned about the liver benefit of greens...and your liver is your metabolic organ...you need a good one to burn fat...so I do what I can to get greens in our diet. We ate kale, chollards, and spinach. (I'm going to use the leftovers in the morning with scrambled eggs to do like an eggs florentine type thing).


If only DS would eat the same things we do...I'm making more of an effort to get him to eat the same colors we are eating...so he had carrots and a ceasar salad (which he randomly decided he liked a while ago, for which I am SO GLAD). Tonight, I added some raw spinach to his salad...he didn't notice. YAY!


I realized that I didn't really introduce my fitness goals or anything when I started this thread...


I did mention that I'm trying to get in shape before my 40th birthday in March 2012. I currently weigh 191 pounds according to the Wii Fit, which is more accurate than my scale. I just made it into the "overweight" section from obese...:( I'm a very strong person. I am almost 5'8" and I wear my weight well. People are shocked when they hear my weight.


I wear a size 12 pant now.


I've been able to make a major lifestyle change with Zumba, because I really love to dance...I love the style of my instructor...the ladies that attend the class are older, wonderfully supportive...so for the first time ever, I've got the exercise part of the equation covered in spades.


Pilates is just amazing...and I'm so excited to have added it to my exercise regime.


Now if I can only get the diet end of the deal down...I will probably start losing some actual weight in addition to inches...not that I am complaining. I love to cook. I hate to clean.


I grew up in California. I'm a product of a health conscious Mom. I eat healthy. I cook healthy. I don't really know how else to cook. I'm a good cook. I cook from scratch A LOT, buying minimally processed things with ingredients that are real...and I try to buy organic, especially for the list of the worst 12 offenders in produce.


In the past, I have suffered because I haven't had a good plan for the kitchen...and because of my health conscious, perfectionistic self, I don't buy easy food...and somehow my family will end up eating fast food because of it. Which is a total contradiction. So I've learned to cut myself some slack in the kitchen. But it's a process still.


I don't really enjoy planning a menu, because I like thinking about what I want to eat each day. I like choices. And the menu planning never really ends up working for me. How to deal? It's a process. But this weekend is a prime example.


I keep thinking that I need to make a menu, a plan, and stick to it. But everytime I go to do just that, I can't...HOWEVER...in the store, I make better decisions, because I can cook and have a fairly good cookbook collection...and a great library...and a good memory for the recipes...I can buy what looks good...what is cheap...what is on sale...and figure it out. But somedays are better than others at "figuring it out".


Noone seems to join in this thread...but comments are welcome at any time. I'm going to be discussing the success of my meal planning...recording Zumba songs...monitoring my weightloss progress...and also probably talking about clothes at some point. (I'm totally involved in the whole "What is your season" discussion and have gotten so much benefit from discovering my EARTHY self.) As I mentioned earlier, and as these long posts confirm, I am a talker...but I like to share. So if anyone wants to jump in...


Anyway...that's my story.

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Wow! Thanks for sharing such valuable information!


I bought the Zumba Fitness DVD set so that I can do it when the mood strikes me. It is such fun, but unlike going to a class, you have to be self-motivated and THAT is a problem. I have no excuses, so maybe reading your posts will give me that push to pop in a DVD and do the routine on a daily bais. I have to admit that I feel better and more energetic when I do it!


We cruise again in 20 days, so I have no time for miracles, but I am going to try to stay on target until then. Wouldn't it be nice if you could take a Zumba class on the ship? The idea of burning 1000 calories in an hour workout would be helpful in the land of endless buffets and dessert at every meal!


I am really interested in the facial exercises. I'll look at the links you posted.....They are worth a try, right?


Keep up the good work; it sounds like you are on the right track!



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Just joined a gym! I have 45-50 lbs to loose :( I have only been to one class "spin" - it was so hard I could not keep up at all. The Zumba class is not called Zumba but instead Latin Heat. My friend told me it was the same as Zumba so starting next week I am going to try one of those classes :) Congrats on your weight loss this far, I will be cruising in March also :D

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Paula: I've wondered about the Zumba DVDs...I'm glad they work for you! When you do them of course...:cool: It is much harder to get motivated to do it at home...the benefit of the class is a definite time on a definite day...and accountability.


Funny question...but do you have a belly dancing skirt? The kind with all the coins and jingle jangles? It is so much more fun to do Zumba with one of those. If you don't have one, I totally recommend getting one. Especially for a home practice...I think it would help to have that kind of "work out" uniform...gets you all ready for exercise...and the mental aspect of it all is so important.


Sandy: Report back on the Latin Heat class. It is probably very similar, if not the same, as Zumba. What I have discovered is that the instructor is the big thing. If you can find one who is inspiring, who has a way about them that speaks to you, then that alone can be such a great motivation. Be sure and take your measurements...because you may lose inches before you lose weight with Zumba/Latin Heat...and the lack of scale movement could be a downer.


ALSO...remember these words...move it to lose it! It can be quite embarassing to shake your body and see how much your body shakes when you do...but don't let yourself be embarassed...


And also...don't be surprised if the class kicks you in the you know what...I was so shocked after my first class...I just couldn't keep up...and afterward...I just crawled into bed and cried...because I did try hard...I had a bit of a Jillian image in my head...thinking that so long as I didn't pass out, puke, or die, that I would survive and end up doing more than I thought I could. And I did...and it made me cry I was so sore afterward...and also cry because emotionally, it was such a wake up call to how out of shape I was.


I guess I share because we have similar weightloss goals...and getting started can be discouraging. And we're here to encourage eachother.


My Mom said that there were Zumba classes on her recent cruises! You are sailing in March 2011, but I am not sailing until March 2012...so definitely report back on those cruise classes if they are on yours.




And here is a story that I love to repeat...over and over again...I read it in one of those "blurb" type paragraph like stories in an issue of Self Magazine.


There was a study done on hotel housekeepers...half of the hotel's housekeepers were educated as to the fact that their jobs satisfied their daily requirement for exercise.


The result was that with no other changes in diet or lifestyle, the group that was educated as to how their jobs alone satisfy their daily exercise requirement LOST WEIGHT. The other group that did not receive the lecture/education did NOT lose weight.


The conclusion drawn was that your mental outlook and expectation makes a HUGE difference in the results of your activity. You have to go into doing exercise with the expectation that your body is getting healthier, stronger, fitter, trimmer, and that the scale is weighing in less and less. Where the mind goes...the body follows.


So keep your mind POSITIVE...do not EVER berate your performance...if you MOVED, then you LOSED...so to speak...and keep your expectations HIGH. And with that in mind...be motivated to move knowing that moving WILL bring results...so long as you believe it does.

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I have unofficially dubbed this weekend the marathon weekend because it will be Zumba 3 days in a row! This should be pretty intense. And I'm interested to see how my body responds.


Kelly is my Zumba instructor...it will be so much easier to refer to her by name...


On this make-up Saturday, unusual Saturday, in the before class chit chat, Kelly lets me know that she has decided that we are going to really push it today...new year and all...it's time to shock the system...and today she is going to shock the system...


So I pushed it today too...rising to the challenge...giving it my all...


I'm hoping that I can remember what our playlist was...for future reference for a push it kind of day...


Put It In a Love Song (Warm Up)

Jai Ho


Bon Bon

Ven A Cumbia

Cha Cha


La Despedida

Drop It Low

La Tortura

Hips Don't Lie 2006 World Cup

Just the Way You Are (Cool Down)


I'm not sure that I have remembered every song...but I hope I have.


I LOVED the new song for the cool down. One thing that Kelly always does, it to pick cool down songs that have great words...and this one is no exception. It's the first time we did it...and we left feeling great.


Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars


The workout was AWESOME. I sense of achievement work out. I feel myself stiffening up a bit this afternoon. I'll definitely be taking a hot bath tonight.


About food...


If you can handle eating greens...I have to say, they make for GREAT breakfasts. Throw some leftovers into your scrambled eggs...top with salsa...you won't miss cheese. Canteloupe were on sale for $1 each, so we also had that. AND last night, before going to bed, I set the breadmaker so that we would have hot, fresh bread in the morning.


The meal was geared to be filling and light all at the same time...something good for myself before class and for DH who is playing in a tennis tournament this weekend...playing singles and doubles.


I got my breadmaker as a wedding gift. I've had it for 13.5 years now. It comes and goes in use...I've most often used it for making pizza dough actually...but lately, as I've tried to clean up our food, I've been putting it to good use.


More than the dreaded HFCS, my family has issues with soy. Soy and issues with thyroid do NOT mix. My Mom and my Great Aunt both had a goiter. My Mom has to take synthroid now. Soy interferes with synthroid absorption. You try to go find processed bread without soy. Good luck. The loaves are few and far between, usually baked in house, if available.


Soy has infiltrated almost every imaginable thing. My Dad had to take BBQ sauce back to the store because he didn't bother to check ingredients first on it...I mean, it's BBQ sauce...why would it have ANY soy? But it did.


For myself...soy, flax, chia seeds...these all fall into the phytoestrogin family...and use of these is not recommended when you have goiter history in your family. You need to regulate, be aware, and be deliberate when, and if, you eat them.


Soy is also a known allergen. While it has health benefits...because it can have benefits...and because it's cheap...and because it is used to make many other things (like emulsifiers)...it is being added to EVERYTHING. Ugh. This is what starts to cause a kind of allergic reaction in your body that is counter to any weight loss/fat loss progress. You get an inflammed body. Bad news.


SO. I've been making more of an effort to get out that bread machine and use it. Mine happens to have a setting on it so that I can prepare it in advance and have it be ready up to however many hours later. I find I do best when I get it done the night before. And fresh bread is a real treat.


On a side note...if you buy whole wheat flour...be sure to keep it in your fridge...it goes rancid very quickly...and for years I didn't get that the funny taste of the flour was because of age not inherent flavor. Also...I found that my family like whole wheat flour made with white wheat better than red wheat. So experiment...have fun with your food.


Homemade bread is way more filling and hearty than store bought. You end up eating so much less of homemade.


The rest of this day has been all about picking at the leftovers to eat when hungry. DH is playing tennis based on performance, so who knows what the schedule will be. DS is at a friends house this afternoon. So food is pretty relaxed, and thankfully, the fridge is stocked with left overs that are easy to eat. And the homemade bread makes everything better...

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Hmmmmm....A belly dancing skirt? I hadn't thought of that! And where does one buy such an item? It's not like you can pop into Macy's and pick one up. But with today's e-commerce society, I suppose I can find one with the click of a mouse. Maybe when the abs are in better shape, I'll search for one.


I did record a couple of Bollywood dance workouts from FIT TV. They are fun as well. I can see where a coin jiggling skirt would be necessary for those moves.


Your observations about food are right; it is so hard to eat healthy these days, with so many bizarre additives hiding in our food. It bothers me when I buy something and discover that it has a shelf life of 3 years! And skirting around the hidden trans fats and HFCS is often difficult. I think that the years and years of consuming this stuff has affected our taste buds (not to mention our health).


Keep up the good work. I am digging deep for some much-needed motivation.



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Oooo...the belly dancing skirts are ESSENTIAL IMO. ;):D


It's just too fun...and as the weeks go by, you can see the way the skirt starts to fit better and better...that the space between where the skirt hangs down gets smaller and smaller...it's hard to explain, but for those of us that have wider hips...there's a bit of a gap in the jingle jangles...but it's fun to watch the gap decrease!


I see you are in GA...don't know if you are near Atlanta, but I found this place online, which happens to be in Atlanta:




They call the belly dance skirts "Hip Scarf". You don't need a super fancy one. If you go inperson to a class ever...the instructor will usually have ones that they bring for the class to wear...it's all a part of the fun. I heard there is a store here in my area that sells them for $6 each, so look around. I'm sure you could find more online, if you spent a little time cyber shopping. Maybe call some local dance studios to see where they might get theirs? Or if they sell them?


Thanks for the encouragement Paula!


Kelly walked in this morning...saying that she enjoyed yesterday's routine so much...that we would do it again. She warned this class that we would be hitting it hard today...and she said to the 3 of us that would be doing the repeat...that we would REALLY be shocking our systems by doing this particular routine two days in row!


So the good news is that I was able to confirm the playlist. I did remember it all! Woot woot. And we had time to do one extra song today...so today was...


Put It In a Love Song (Warm Up)

Jai Ho


Bon Bon

Ven A Cumbia

Cha Cha


La Despedida

Drop It Low

La Tortura

Hips Don't Lie 2006 World Cup

Baila Esta Cumbia by Kumbia Kings synced with Selena**** (New song)

Just the Way You Are (Cool Down)


There was a point during the workout (Gasolina) where it felt like, UGH, and felt a bit exhausting...let's face it, that song IS exhausting...but pushing past that feeling...it was like experiencing the euphoric runner's high (which I have never personally experienced)...but I understand it now...it's like your body taps into an unknown energy source and you just get ENERGIZED!!


Making it through these two work outs was just an ego boost...an "I did it!" feeling.


Paula...I hope you find that motivation!


Let me share this...when my Mom came to visit, she went to classes with me. She went to 5 classes maybe? She said, when she didn't know what to do...she would just do belly dancing like figure 8's with her hips...she lost an INCH around her waist! It doesn't take much when you get your mindset on and shake your booty.

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Just got in from working my weekend shifts and just glanced at this thread -- interested in reading up on it tomorrow about the bellydancing skirts. My gym offers a bellydancing class :eek: Also sry I read wrong that your cruise is in 2012 but I will report back.

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Bellydancing is A LOT of fun!


I was able to take a belly dancing class about a year ago. I really enjoyed it. Of course, I believe that the instructor makes a big difference in all classes...they can make or break any class...my instructor was a young college student who had gone on a missions trip to Malaysia...she was a dancer already...and learned to belly dancer there. She came back and taught a class for a couple months at a local dance studio.


Belly dancing was NOT what I thought it would be. I guess I was picturing it as more of an aerobic activity? And I was under the illusion that I would really be working my abs...WRONG.


The most surprising thing that happened with belly dancing was how much my CALVES hurt after the first class! Have you ever learned how to hula dance? Or have someone try to teach you that has? They will tell you...it's all in the feet. It's the way you stand on your feet that gets your hips to do what they do...same with belly dancing...and so your CALVES get a totally unexpected workout.


The soreness and use all around the hips...even that traverse muscle that wraps around to your back...was expected...and yes...I could feel muscles that hadn't been used in a while after class.


The other unexpected thing was the shoulders...because you hold yourself in a very particular, upright, elegant...and dare I say slightly haughty and even sensual....kind of way. Your arms are just so...and so your shoulders also get in on the action.


I would compare belly dancing more to yoga or Pilates than anything else. It is all about muscle isolation...moving one part of your body while keeping other parts still...it requires a bit of concentration...definitely some body awareness...and one result definitely, is a greater awareness of posture after taking the class.


Don't misunderstand...you can get your heart rate up...once you figure out how to shake your booty...but I would say that there is more of a toning element involved in belly dancing than I had ever realized. If you have any interest...I would definitely recommend giving it a try!




The good news is I can walk today! I'm not loving the fact that I live in a 2-story house...and I am more sore from doing Zumba alone than I have been for a while...but things are going well. I'm pumped to do Pilates and Zumba tonight.


Speaking of...my Mom wanted me to clarify...she attended both Pilates classes and Zumba classes...she attributes her 1 inch lose around her waist to the shock to the system of doing both...especially doing both on the same night, one right after the other. The major toning and muscle development followed by the high energy, intermittent dance. She didn't want anyone to have the impression that it was Zumba alone...so I'm clarifying.


On the food front...yesterday I made turkey chili with some leftover turkey. I have to say...if there is ever a reason to have 3 cups of leftover turkey in your house...this recipe is it! I add way more tomatoes than the recipe calls for though. AND this time around...I was running low on my chili powder and ended up supplementing with 1/2 tsp of chipolte chili powder...OMG...wonderful heat if you like it...


I also made Spiced Lentil Soup from Gordon Ramsey's Healthy Appetite Cookbook...which is a fabulous looking cookbook...I admit to being something of a cookbook junkie...I love great cookbooks...and this one is very...how can I say...bright, vibrant...lot's of pictures...fun fonts...it feels like a magazine...except that the pages are super duper thick. This link has British measurements...it's a generous 1-1/3 c of lentils and 3-1/2 cups of chicken stock for the recipe...but I just end up using the whole box of chicken stock. And FYI...my favorite brand of chicken stock is Kitchen Basics no salt added...EXCELLENT. Look around for the best price...my local Safeway store charges a fortune for it, but Target carries it for much less, and Kroger/HEB will put it on sale for less than that.


(If you happen to use that brand...add 1/8 tsp of baking powder to the stock to cook the lentils properly. I read that sometimes water can be too hard? or something, and lentils can't absorb it properly to cook right...and for some reason...this chicken stock does the same thing. So add the baking powder to help the lentils be able to absorb the water.)


I found these recipes to really be complementary to make at the same time...both requiring chopped onions and garlic...some same spices...the use of a blender...etc. Chili fit in my big pot...Lentils fit in the smaller pot. In terms of added effort/time/mess in the kitchen...not bad at ALL.


So the plan is to have the turkey chili for lunches for DH and myself...the lentil soup for our 4:00/afterwork mini-meal...


Tonight...I've decided to make a Turkey Linguini Alfredo for the main. I did this before...I use quinoa noodles...which really ups the protein and lowers the carbs...tonight, I'm going to try my hand at homemade Alfredo sauce...I'm going to use this recipe as my base...and add the cheese of my choice...which technically turns this Bechamel sauce into a Mornay sauce...which I THINK is just a fancy name for cheese sauce.


I still have a bit of left over cooked greens...so DH and I will have Flourentine Alfredo...a side salad and that's dinner. If I make the sauce when I make my lunch...it should come together quickly tonight after class.


Oh!...I wanted to share a sweet find courtesy of Mom...




We have been doing this project of gathering all the Zumba songs. It's quite a collection. Mom found this website which has the ability to extract the mp3 file out of a you tube video. You need to find the best sounding video of the one you want...but it works really well...well enough anyway.


Mom said that you have to avoid all the advertisements on the site...and pay attention to where to click to get the job done...It took her about an hour and a half to extract all the songs from the videos of the links that I have provided in this thread.



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I just bought the zumba for the wii today. So I will update you and tell you how I like it. My honeymoon is in Jan 27 and I want to lose at least 10 pounds.

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It's been said over and over...you have to keep track of what you are eating...keep a dairy...log your food...whatever...just DO IT!


Once upon a time ago...as my DS used to say...I did this. I got all serious around the transition from the old year to the new...and I found a calorie logging, exercise logging website that works for me.


I think everyone has their favorite.


I didn't really shop around too much...because this one was recommended on a forum I was reading. And there are things about it that I really like...like FREE...with NO ads...and it was still FREE!


The thing that I really liked about this particular website right off the bat was the picture it gave of the nutritional value of the food that you are eating...in addition to tracking calories...fat...protein...carbs...this site tracks fiber, sodium, cholesterol, vitamins and minerals...and looking at your daily log...it makes a pretty...or not so pretty as the case may be... picture of what your nutrition looks like.


And all your values...for all the tracked items...including all those vitamins and minerals...is shown in bar graph form...the bar is either GREEN...and happy...or RED...and not so happy...showing where you need to improve your nutrition.


You can be in the RED for two reasons...depending on the tracked item...you can be OVER for things like calories, fat, sodium, etc etc...or you can be UNDER for things like fiber, calcium...etc etc.


It is a very good motivation to not only eat within a certain calorie range...but to eat WELL. And I like that.


If you are interested in checking it out...




I also happen to like the story behind the creation of this website...which you can read for yourself if you are interested.


So this topic in on today...because I have started logging in my food today. And let me tell you...this is a PITA!! :eek:


I repeat. :eek:


I'm eating home cooked food...so I have to enter the recipes...and some of the ingredients for my recipes aren't in the data base...so I have to enter the ingredients...then add those ingredients to the recipe...THEN I finally get to log my food.


I remember this from a year ago...it really encourages you...as a food logger...to eat a lot of the same foods...because it just makes it easier to log your food.


On a bright note...I calculated that by making my own Cinnamon Dolce Lattes...nonfat, no whip, of course...and using a special milk called Mootopia from my local HEB grocery (sorry you can't get it Mom:()...I'm not only saving over $4.00...I'm saving about 70 calories! How cool is THAT?! Even in the little things...homemade is better...it's worth the effort...


I have to keep reminding myself of this fact...over and over again...because it is an effort...no doubt about it...it can feel like a Herculean effort to just keep up with the kitchen...which is full of dirty dishes calling my name as I type. But I encourage myself with these posts...almost like a journal for me...and I hope that any readers find them encouraging too.


I feel your pain...I empathize...I truly do...all this business about being healthy is a piece of work...it takes time and effort...it takes doing things that you don't really want to do...it's self discipline...it's a sacrifice today for a better tomorrow.


I made my son eat canteloupe with breakfast over the weekend. Yes, folks, I MADE him eat it. I cheered him on even...supporting him as the brain kicked in...the gag reflex wanted to start...as he valiantly tried to take little bites of that horrible...super sweet, juicy, utterly delicious...wet, soft, orange MELON. It's all in the brain...


I critiqued his methodology for eating this breakfast which consisted of cheesy scrambled eggs, homemade bread with some butter, and canteloupe...which he knew he would have to eat.


I was like, DUDE, you need to just get that melon over with...why would you leave it for last?...clear it off your plate...chase it with good bites...drink water after each bite...anything it takes to get the job done...and I literally cheered him on...told him to not pick at it like a little bird, but take a bigger bite...GET IT DONE!! Wow...all that for about 5 chucks of cantelope. :rolleyes:


In contemplating the situation...I realized that it was a fairly accurate picture of how I had also been dealing with health issues...I'll do what I WANT to do first...mmmm, cheesy eggs, homemade bread...maybe, even, SOMEHOW...what I don't want to do...MELON...will just magically GO AWAY...or be at least postponed...there's always tomorrow right?


Is there?


You have to grab hold of whatever it is that will just GET THE JOB DONE! Suck it up! Do it! If it were easy to do...everyone would be doing it. I want to be healthy...I want to achieve my goal...I know that I have to do these food logs to get the job done...I KNOW it...


So I will continue on...


My logs may be incomplete for a while...my perfectionistic self with just have to get OVER that...


I must at least get started...


My pictures may have a bunch of RED on them...


I must believe this will improve as time goes by...


Hopefully...eventually...there will be a routine in the kitchen...and perhaps the PAIN that it is to do this will actually be the motivating factor I need to make a meal plan!

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I just bought the zumba for the wii today. So I will update you and tell you how I like it. My honeymoon is in Jan 27 and I want to lose at least 10 pounds.


Oooo....please do report back on that! I was wondering about that game...


Be sure to take your measurements! You may be surprised to not lose weight but still fit better in your clothes...and the measurements will confirm changing body composition.


I wish you well getting ready for your honeymoon.:)

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I warned everyone that I like to talk...:o


My DH has a hard time getting away from work so that I can make it to Pilates right at 5:00...sometimes I'm a little late...I dislike walking into the class late...but Kelly understands that I have to wait for DH to be home with DS before I go...and she's the kind of person that encourages everyone to do whta thtey can...


So tonight...I was able to do a Pilates move that I haven't really been able to do before...which made me TOTALLY pumped up!


Kelly changed up the routine...we did a LOT of arm work tonight. I felt so strong. I mean...I was EXHAUSTED in a way...and each song...I was glad that they ended! But it was an accomplishment kind of a night...I feel like I finished the race strong!


I have a goal to remember the playlists...here goes for tonight...there were two new songs...new as in new to this thread...we have done the routines in the past...but it's been a while.


Oh My Gosh (warm up)

Jump In the Line


Moto Moto

Bon Bon

Ven A Cumbia

Bachata by Lou Bega **** NEW

Que Te Pica

Drummer Boy

(I don't know the name of this song!)**** Must ask about this one!

Feeling Good (Cool Down)


I made the sauce tonight after class. I didn't make it before...it took about 30 minutes to cook dinner altogther...the sauce was AWESOME. I used the sweet Mootopia fat free milk...and added 1/4 cup each of Romano and Parmegan cheeses. OMG...SO worth cooking.


This is what DS will be taking to school for lunch this week.


I entered all my food in my food log...


One thing I have noticed before is the calculation that this program will do for you....probably because I never entered a goal before...but after entering my goal weight...and based on losing an average of 1 pound a week...the food log will let you know what calories you can eat to maintain your current weight...what calories you need to eat to meet your weight loss goal...and it will automatically take into account any exercise entered.


I'm not thrilled with the lack of Zumba option...I know that the calorie burn is higher than any of the dance options available in the program...BUT...what can you do?


Today...I made goal calorie-wise...way under infact...with oatmeal, a flavored latte, turkey chili, veggies, lentil soup, 1/4 apple, and the turkey liguini alfredo...I ate 1521 calories...


I made goal for fiber and Vitamin A...and I came close...but did not meet goal for Vitamin C, Calcium, and Iron. Something to work on...


I still have calories I could eat... but I'm totally full...so it's time for a soak in a lovely HOT bath...


Night all!

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I was at my first ZUMBA class last night at a local dancing school.

It was a pretty small group, just 4 of us and our instructor Anny. Maybe because christmas vacation just ended that day.


It was fun. i moved some muscles that seem to have done no movement in a pretty long time and I was absolutely tired afterwards so I went to bed at half past 9 hasn´t happend in a very long time.

This morning I still notice that I did a workout yesterday, but due to stretching and enough rest I feel great :)


My next Zumba class is next Monday, gotta start slowly. But as that is not my only sport I hope these lbs that cling to me are finally loosing their hold.

As it is this is my schedule:

Monday: Zumba

Tuesday : fitness at the gym

Wednesday: Winsor pilates in my living room

Thursday: Yoga

Friday : Nothing


I´m planning to add swimming and another trip to my fitness center. Letßs see how that works out.

I need a bit more endurence to really enjoy our excursions on our upcoming cruise which are a bit strenous.


Let´s see.

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Zumba does that!...it works those muscles that normally don't get too much action!


You may be starting slow with Zumba, but it looks like you have a great workout week planned. Lots of variety. I'm not sure I know what the difference is for Winsor Pilates and other Pilates? I'm going to look that up...


How is it doing both Pilates and Yoga? The breathing is so different for the two...is it hard to transition? Or do you really concentrate on your breath?


I'd be very interested to know what songs you do during Zumba...I wonder if they are similar to ours...we are an English speaking class but so many of our songs are Latin with Spanish lyrics...some English...if you are familiar with the music...will you share?


I hope that Zumba does help lose the pounds...but don't be surprised if you maintain your weight for a time while your shape changes as your body composition changes...Zumba is a very good fat burning workout...even once a week...I highly recommend that you take your measurements!

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Today is a rest day.


I'm sorely tempted to think that I SHOULD be doing SOMETHING today that involves physical exercise. I've been here before. If I give into the urge...then I head for burn out.


Today is a well-deserved day of rest. My body will thank me for it. And it will confuse my body...this sounds wrong...but I know this is a good thing. In terms of exercise...we want to keep our bodies confused.


It's laundry time...clean the kitchen time...research time...


Which leads me to today's topic...WATER.


DH suffers from bulging discs in L4 and L5. We are constantly in pursuit of knowledge that will help combat the pain....which is how I ran across this article.


If ever there was something to read that would encourage you to drink water...I'm thinking this article is it. Very factual. Very blunt. DRINK WATER.


What is surprising is the amount of water you should be drinking. Seriously?


At a recommend 0.5 ounce of water per pound you weigh...


That's 191/2 for me...or 95.5 ounces...


If you exercise...add more water...


If you drink caffeine...tea, coffee, soda...add more water...If you drink alcohol...add more water...In FACT, add 3X the amount of water for every ounce of caffeinated or alcoholic drink you drink...


I wonder if I would have to add water times the ounces in the ENTIRE latte...or just for the espresso?...I guess espresso IS highly concentrated...So for a day like yesterday...with one 8 ounce caffeinated drink... that would be an increase of another 24 ounces of water...


For a total of 119.5 ounces of water...oh please...120!


Not including what I drink during exercise, of course...


Oh! And if you live in a warm climate?...Houston????...YES...more water!


There are 128 ounces in an gallon...so we might as well use that as my required water intake with one caffeinated drink a day...




If I am up and about from 7:15 AM (hitting downstairs) to 10:00 PM (hitting the bed...HOPEFULLY)...then I have about 15 hours to drink a gallon of water...I need to average drinking over 8 ounces an hour...


I'm pretty sure that I don't come CLOSE to that...and here it is...two hours down in the day...and I'm behind already!


I urge everyone to get it figured out for themselves...and try to find a way to keep track of their water intake. The nutrimirror site that I use also tracks water...so if your does also...GREAT!...Figure out a way though...


Adequate water intake is essential for weight/fat loss...it's important to know what ADEQUATE is for yourself...today's goal is to meet my daily water requirement!


Meanwhile...for anyone who has checked out the facial exercises links...I find myself randoming trying to kiss the ceiling throughout the day...or sticking my lower jaw up toward it...looking over my shoulder to do the same thing...puffing my cheeks with air...smiling hard and looking like a crazed woman at random...and I SWEAR...that one exercise? where you look over your shoulder, tongue touching the roof of your mouth, and SWALLOW?...has gotten SLIGHTLY easier...and it could be my imagination...but my neck muscles seem stronger!:D

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I LOVE ZUMBA TOO!! I started Zumba about 2 months ago and I am hooked. I take 4 zumba classes and 3 zumba fit classes a week. I have 10 more pounds to get to my weight loss goal. I really enjoy the music but I can't say that I know what they are saying. But it has inspired me to take some salsa classes too.

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Congratulations Deanna!! That's awesome that you are so close to goal!


Is the Zumba fit class like a Zumba toning class? How is that different from a normal Zumba class? I'm not even sure if any are offered in my area...but that makes me curious...


btw...I LOVE Disney! ;) Grew up going to Disneyland...now we go to Disney World...we are going for our first extended family trip this June...it's my hopeful halfway point to goal...I'm hoping to wow the family members that won't have seen me in over a year.


My report for today...


I didn't make my water goal...things to improve...I should take water with me whenever I leave the house (left the house twice with no water:eek:)...maybe I should set an hourly timer when I am at home?


Tonight was the second day of our trial for the afterschool/afterwork mini-meals followed by dinner at 7:30 after our evenings activities...I did an experiment tonight...it worked out...


Before leaving for tonight's activity, after school, I did a recipe for braised chicken with red cabbage...sounds odd...I have the Cook's Illustrated Complete Book of Poultry from the library. It was the braised chicken recipe I happened to have all the ingredients for...


The experiment was...I cooked the recipe before leaving for tennis...I put the covered pot in the oven on the lowest setting...170 degrees on my oven...to keep it warm for 2 hours. It totally worked. We came home to a cooked meal. I made a fast green salad for DH and I...Ceasar for DS...


This is definitely a good idea...reviles crockpot, with needing to plan less...because I could get it started in a way that would be cooking a normal meal...not a "it takes half a day to cook" meal.


I've been tracking my food...I had 333 calories left in my day with dinner still to be eaten...my evening meal of braised chicken breast with a HUGE serving of the cabbage...and a HUGE romaine salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, and 1/4 an avocado...I managed a filling, satisfying dinner for 407 calories.


So, I'm over the target for goal by 74 calories. Not bad at all.


I made my fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C goals. I came to 94% of calcium! And again, around 80% of iron.


And as I'm typing this in...DH is serving ice cream to DS and himself...and though I am sorely tempted to have some...thinking about entering the calories into my food journal...no thank you.


I think I'll fix myself a nice hot cup of a fruity herbal tea...


Stay motivated everyone!

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Did my first Zumba class last nt. It was hard to keep up and I can't shake my hips like that, lol. Actually I have a bad hip and it did aggrivate it a little. I cant say that I loved it but I am going to go on Sat as my friend said it is a different instructor and she likes the Sat class better.


I also started using a free website tracker for weight loss that my iPhone has an app for it called myfitnesspal.com - its kinda set up like FB so you can make friends and posts show on your page when you update your meals and exercise. :D

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Even if you didn't love it...great job getting out there and doing it!


Like most instructors...Zumba instructors vary greatly...they may or may not take more or less time to teach, or give a preview, of the up-and-coming song...they can pick their own music...choreograph their own routines...and all have a different flavor. Try not to go with too many expectations based on the one instructor to the Saturday class, because the instructor is likely to be so different.


If the hip movements bother your hip...if you have an approachable instuctor, I'd ask about that. My instructor is very teaching oriented...and gives variations of moves used in the up-and-coming song to accomodate knee issues (because she has knee issues), in addition to how to move to do more cardio, more toning, ease your heart rate, etc. If anyone asks a question...she's very open to helping out...so it will depend, but I recommend asking about that...you don't want to aggrivate your hip when you are trying to get fit!


Also...some instructors will be more hip-py than others...mine happens to LOVE hip movements because they really engage your core...but we had a sub once that was all about quads/rear and spent almost an hour in a wide plie...not so fun. I didn't care for her style or her music...so keep shopping around! I hope Saturday is a better experience!

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