Sunday, May 27, 2012

So much joy...

So this is a thing that ACTUALLY happened....

Matt, Sarah, Gina, Me, Tanya, MaryAnna
Friday I took a vacation day and prepped for going to Virginia for the Gina & Tanya Rock the Stage tour.  A 90 minute master class with two of the most amazing Zumba instructors possible. It was truly an AMAZING experience.

Let's rewind and take a look at the silliness of the day.  In the early afternoon I picked up Matt and we met Sarah and MaryAnna at the Cracker Barrel to head on to Richmond.  We listened to too many show tunes on the car ride and generally laughed our tails off.  We checked in to the hotel, got changed, and headed out to find food before the class.

We MAY have scared the waiter at TGI Friday.

MaryAnna likes to color.
Sarah's a helper!

Matt looks on, disapprovingly.
All between the lines and everything!
 After a very silly meal, we went on to the master class location.

So happy!
The energy in the place was out of this world.  I mean, what do you expect when you get a room full of Zumba fanatics in one place? What happens when you then play the Electric Slide? Or the Wobble?

Wobblin' during the pre-party.
Of course, we had to contend with Sarah's booty taking up all the room.  She and Nyeema apparently can't converse unless their booties are popped.

Too much booty.
We, of course, had to take the necessary self taken group photo.

Three headed Zumba monster!
Matt, getting silly!

Then it was time to rock.  And rock we did... 90 minutes of utterly amazing music, dancing and fun.

From the second they got on stage they OWNED the crowd.


Tanya looks at the crowd intently, looking for folks to drag up on stage.


The energy was just off the charts and they are twice as beautiful in person.  I hardly thought that was possible.  Look at that hair!!


Really?  How perfect do they look.  They make it all look effortless.


After the class was over we were psyched to hear they would be doing photos with folks afterwards.  I was on cloud 9 from getting to dance with them... but getting to meet them?  Shut the front door!

We waited in line, chatted with folks and I got to meet the awesome ZJ from Colorado - Dorie.  She's so awesome and I'm sad I missed the Jam session with her.  Sarah was teasing me about meeting my Zumba soulmate.

My Zumba dream?  To be a Jammer and get to share my choreography with other ZINs.  That's a long way away.

PLUS Dorie is a New Yorker, a Brooklyn girl!!, teaches Hustle and is a Chalene Johnson fan.  I was drawn to her immediately. She gave off such good energy and was a joy to talk to. Yeah... I totally have a new girl crush.

Then things got REAL. We got to take pictures with Tanya and Gina and talk to them for just a moment.  I said something to Tanya thanking her for helping to bring Zumba to us and that because of them I'd lost 180 pounds.  She shook my hand, congratulated me and said "...remember YOU did it."  I was a bit choked up.

Then Sarah comes up to me teary eyed.  Gina and Tanya had both called her beautiful.  Sarah hugged me and said something along the lines of "I look and feel this way because of the gift they've given us with Zumba.  Think about all the people we're helping to reach those goals.  All those women we're helping to feel good about themselves no matter what."  Yeah, we had a crying moment in the parking lot.

It was so much more than we expected the night to be.  I would honestly have paid three times what we did for that experience. 

Every time we go to a big Zumba event like this I am moved by the sheer love and community that has been built around Zumba.  People are kind, considerate, loving and sharing.

With the anxiety problems I deal with on a daily basis I have to psyche myself up for these types of things but I am always pleasantly surprised at the end of the day.  It's very rare that anyone makes me feel like the odd man out and I know most of that fear is in my head.  I'm always scared that people are going to think that I'm the fat friend along with the instructor.

I've had one or two people say catty things to me like "You do know this is for Instructors only, right?" before a Jam session. Those moments are so few and far between that it's getting easier to talk myself in to going to stuff like this. 

It's getting easier... some day I won't even think twice!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Measurements, Success and TAKE THAT!

So, I'm a bad Sam and forgot to take pictures this weekend but those are coming.  Measurements, however, I completed.


Measurement 08/21/11 11/21/11 02/21/11 05/21/11 3Q Change
Weight 340 329 310 301.4 38.6
Wrist 6.75 6.33 6.25 6.25 -0.5
Upper Arm 16.75 16 15 14.75 -2
Chest 50 48.75 48 46 -4
Ribcage 43 42 41.5 40 -3
Waist 48.5 45 44 43.5 -5
Hips 68 64 61.5 60 -8
Upper Thigh 34 33 31 31 -3
Calf 17.5 17.75 15.5 15.75 -1.75
Ankle 10 9.75 9.25 9.5 -0.5


What's that?  Almost 39 pounds and 27.75 inches lost in 9 months?  HELLS TO THE YEAH!

Also? My body fat percentage? Decreased 3.8% since January. 

On top of all of that, I had my Peak Health appointment today and, according to her scale, I was 299 today and was allowed to do the bike test to determine my cardiovascular health.

She had to write down FAIR because of my total weight but she was SHOCKED at how little that bike impacted my blood pressure and pulse.  She said the % change would have me in the EXCELLENT category at a healthy weight.

This annoys me and delights me at the same time.  I mean, really, why is my cardiovascular health level dependent on my weight? 

My blood pressure was 118/80. My pulse was 80.  Neither showed any measurable increase during my bike test.  Obviously, I am taking care of my heart and doing all of the things I'm supposed to do and I handle the basic stress test perfectly then, obviously, my heart is freaking healthy. 

Just another reason to hate being this fat.  I am tired of doctors making me feel like my efforts aren't enough.  I know I'm not thin but, damnit, I am doing everything possible to be healthy and being told I'm in FAIR shape only makes me feel even worse about everything I'm doing.

However - HA! Talk about progress since much of that was since January.  In January I was 324 per the Peak Health scale.  I'm kicking butt and taking names this year!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Recipe Time - Pizza Soup

Want a delicious pizza for dinner?  Don't want to order or make one yourself?  Want to eat pizza without killing your diet?  Try Pizza Soup!

This started out as something we made one day because we were lazy and were just using what was in the pantry, but it turned in to something I love to make.  It's quick, easy, tasty and can be made with whatever random ingredients you have on hand.

Tonight's pizza soup - Pepperoni Pizza Soup:

Ignore the mess on the table, please. :)

 In the soup:

1 large onion - chopped.
1 large green pepper - chopped
1 large red pepper - chopped
1/2 bag of baby spinach - chopped
1/2 bag of pepperoni slices - chopped
1 can of Campbell's Tomato Soup - Family Size
1 can of water
Black pepper - to taste
Oregano - to taste
Garlic salt - to taste

In a large pot, I first cooked the onion and peppers for about 3 minutes on medium heat until the onions started to look a little translucent.  Then I added the soup and the water.  Then I added the rest of the ingredients and brought it to a boil and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. 

Makes about 6 servings (1.5-2 cup servings)

Serve with warm bread (tonight it was honey brown bread) and topped with your favorite Italian cheese. 

Stats per serving -

Calories - 215
Carbs - 27
Fat - 9
Protein - 8
Fiber - 3

6 weight watchers points!

Absolutely delicious and a hit with the guys too! 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sick of being sick...

Frustrated beyond belief, I sit here trying to figure out what the deal is with my body and not wanting to be healthy and non-injured. 

Rewind to last Thursday.  Towards the end of 3 hours of Zumba I started to feel truly exhausted and I said YES! I've kicked my own tail! ... Not so much.  After eating a bowl of soup, I got home and immediately begin vomiting.  So began over a week of feeling awful.

I slept ALL DAY Friday.  I woke up long enough to go to the office (Marshall drove) and grab my laptop and some work stuff so I could get work done over the weekend.  I slept from 9am to 1pm, showered, watched GLEE and then passed out again until just after 5pm.

The vomiting ceased pretty quickly but the exhaustion, chills, fever and overall feeling of GROSS continued on and seemed to leave my stomach and something vile settled in my sinuses and throat.  Breathing was painful because my throat was so raw.  However, being me, I knew I couldn't sit still and I was back at Zumba Saturday morning.  I read books and stayed still as much as possible. 

Sunday my ears began to feel awful, my right ear became useless and I started getting dizzy when I sneezed, coughed or changed position abruptly.  Crap!

Yet... me being me... I waited until THURSDAY to go see the doctor.  Diagnoses? Sinus infection. Laryngitis. Pharyngitis. Double ear infections. Inner ear infection causing intermittent vertigo.  Handed me high dose omnicef and sent me on my way.

It's now Saturday and I still don't feel great and my voice comes in and out.

So it was a tough week for me, but ended on some very big high notes. 

Truth be told, aside from this sinus/ear/throat crap, I know I'm healthier than I've ever been in my life.  Tomorrow I will take my 2nd set of quarterly measurements, pictures and my weigh in.  I'm STOKED to see what the numbers have to say because my clothes all fit differently and I can see little things like the way my thighs move when I teach certain Zumba songs has changed.  I can see how much stronger my back already looks to me.  I can't wait to see the overall numbers though.

Back to reading and resting for me.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Book Binge!

Reading - one of my favorite escaped.  It's been hard lately to find the time to just sit down and devour a good book, but I finally made the time and read 4 books in one week and am working through 2 more.

First up - Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.  For soft core, romantic porn, it doesn't get much better than this.  It's right up there with the Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by Anne Rice.  It is the epitome of all the things that women look for in their erotica.  Christian is a strong, powerful, rich and enigmatic character with a deeply troubled past looking for more than the empty professional life he has.  Anastasia is a meek, tender hearted, giving woman who wants to save the world and lives in the world of books surrounded by the works of Jane Austin and Thomas Hardy.  When their world collide mixed with wonderful writing and a clever use of many of the major romance novel tropes that will keep you reading rather than doing the things you should be doing.  Also... it's hot.  It just is.  Well worth the time to read.

Then I devoured the most recent Sookie Stackhouse novel.  Charlaine Harris has got to do books more than once a year! I cannot wait until next May to find out what's going to happen to Sookie and Eric and the Bill and the rest of the Southern Vampire crew.  Ahhhh!

I'm also working through reading A Clash of Kings but as much as I love the story, I'm finding it hard to keep reading.  It's just difficult to get through. 

Since I loved the Fifty Shades trilogy a friend recommended Whip Smart which I've just gotten downloaded to my Kindle.  I'm looking forward to digging in while at the court house today for my car accident. 

After that, I don't know what I want to read.  Any recommendations out there? I like a little bit of everything and am always hoping to broaden my horizons with another great book!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Ego Check

Over the last few months I've had to consistently step back and just marvel over where I am and what is going on in my life. 

I've spent years of my life hiding, not wanting to be seen for fear of people judging me on how I look.  As I got in to Zumba that changed but I still fight with that anxiety on a daily basis.  It's hard to let go of all of that stress and fear.

Things are changing for me though.  I find myself craving the lime light and the attention.  I've done Zumbathons and Zumba demos and I teach 10-12 classes a week and I'm always in front, on fire, and partying my tush off.

And people like it. They like me.  Yet, I'm still having a hard time reconciling that with how I feel deep down inside of me. 

I know that I do a lot of self defeating talk sometimes and that makes me my own worst enemy but I have gotten better about it.  I'm slowly getting rid of the negative self talk and replacing it with positive self talk.  I'm trying to work on my self esteem from the inside out.

So why is it so hard for me to believe that people love me and what I bring to the Zumba classroom?  Over the last few weeks I've had people tell me the same things over and over again.

You rock! You're the best instructor ever! You kick my tail every single class! Your choreography is the best! You can shake it better than anyone! I wish I could move like you! You're so flexible! You're an amazing dancer!

And I am flabbergasted every. single. time.  It's hard for me to see myself the way that they see me.   I feel like I have to downplay those things all the time and brush it off.  (Oh, I was a dancer when I was kid, I used to do a lot of yoga, it's the Zumba formula that kicks your butt, not me.)

Maybe it's time for me to own some of that though.  I've been holding back on recording my self choreographed routines because I don't believe that they're good enough to share or that people are going to laugh at me for it.  I still think of myself as a backup more than an instructor in my own right sometimes.  I have to talk myself in to new teaching opportunities because I think the folks in a new place will look at me and laugh. 

However, the people I trust and are closest to me have been telling me how good of a choreographer I am and I trust them... so I'm going to try to get some time at the studio with folks to record videos. 

People I trust and respect are always telling me how good my classes are and that they wish I taught more at this place or that.  So I owe it to them to try and get out there more and stop hiding as a second banana instructor.

I guess I just need to own my power.  I will always strive to be humble but I think it's time to be a little more secure in what I'm doing and own the fact that I'm sexy and I know it. It's a mental hurdle to over come and it won't be easy but I need to start enjoying the lime light and the attention.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Running towards a goal.


I know! Almost 2 weeks since my last post.  I've been a neglectful blogger! That ends today! I have big things to share and one post won't hold it all.

Today was a big day! My second ever 5k. 

It may not shock many of you to hear this, but I am NOT A RUNNER.  In fact, I tend to think of running as only a means to an end.  I will run under the following situations:
  1. I am being chased by a supernatural psycho killer
  2. There is something I absolutely need that can only be attained by running
  3. Zombies
So why in the world I have agreed to not just one 5k, but several?  Because I wanted to have a goal, something to fight for and if it's something that mentally taxes me, all the better.

I did my first 5k in October 2010.  I finished in BARELY an hour and I trained like a mad woman for it.  I did a C2 5K program but even my jogging was barely a slow walk at the time.  I was about 80 pounds heavier than I am now.

I finished though!
My feet were all blisters from my odd gait, I was the last person to cross the finish line and I hurt for days but I finished that race with a smile.  That smile said SCREW YOU EVERYONE WHO THINKS BECAUSE I'M FAT THAT I'M NOT TRYING! I vowed to do better the next time around.

Last year I missed the Robin Run because I was instructing during the Party in Pink Zumbathon that we did in conjunction with the 5k.  I was sad to miss the race but overjoyed to share the stage with so many amazing instructors.  Knowing that the Zumbathon will likely continue to conflict with the 5k, I looked for a new race to run. 

Enter the Junior Wilson Womens' Club Bookin' It 5k.  Raising money for books for the library while running?  I'll do it! A goal! A date! A problem!

How the HELL was I supposed to find time to run/walk/jog while teaching 9-12 hours of Zumba a week?  There's only so many hours in the day! So I signed up and vowed that I would push my limits, train when I could and hope that the change in my overall health and my cardiovascular training from Zumba would serve me well.  My goal?  Shave 10 minutes off my time and, maybe, not be the last person to cross the finish line.

I did it!
I did it! The route was actually longer than 3.2 miles.  As I walked up to the finish line my GPS sounded 4 miles. 51:57.  My time at 3.2 miles? 41:50. And my pace for the whole time was around 13 minutes.  There was ONE PERSON who finished after I did.  So, all things considered, I took my goals and beat them. 

I am a proud Sam today!

After the race and a shower I did lunch with Sarah and Marshall and it was delicious.  I drank a mango margarita, ate some of Chili's classic nachos and a delicious entree of habanero and sweet orange glazed chicken and, instead of rice, I had two servings of broccoli.  It was all just perfect to refuel my body. 

Then I napped ... for 3 hours. 

Now to catch up on the DVR and relax a bit.  I think I've earned it today!
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