Yes. I was doing Zumba classes 2-3 times a week at the gym that i was attending in the year before i got pregnant and during my pregnancy. I was part of the group of "regulars" that joined in when the classes were first offered and i loved the social side to the class. The instructor, Inez, is amazing! So full of energy and with her hip-hop, sexy-chick attitude you couldnt help but laugh through half the class.
- Have you ever taken a Zumba class before this?
Once pregnant my obstetrician said i was fine to continue Zumba until it got uncomfortable. I just had to keep an eye on my heart rate and make sure it didnt go too high (there are different limits per trimester). I kept going until about 7months when the relaxin hormone started to kick in and i felt that all the hip-circling, booty-shaking was probably no longer a good idea.
I am excited and really feeling 'alive' for the first time in a long time. I am gathering a group of girlfriends to come do Zumba with me at my house and i am as excited for them and their weight & fitness goals as i am for my own. It is such a privilege to be in a position to help out my friends, many of whom are struggling with weight and/or esteem issues too, in a fun, social but healthy way.
- How are you feeling about embarking on this challenge over the next 8 weeks?
Physically i am aiming to lose 10% of my body weight. So that is 15.5kg. The main reason for this is because we have been trying unsuccessfully to conceive baby number 2 for about six months and i believe that my weight is playing a big part in that.
- What are you hoping to achieve? Emotional? Physical?
Serendipitously, we have an appointment with the Fertility Specialist that helped us have baby number 1 booked for Wed 19th Dec... the day this challenge ends!
I would love to get back into my "large" work shirts. I went into "XL" half way through my pregnancy and havent gone back down even though i havent been pregnant for over 18 months now! If i got pregnant now i dread to think what size shirt i would need!
The nature of my job and the crazy-busy schedule that i have means that i still have a half-decent level of basic fitness but i am keen to increase my stamina. Five minutes kicking a ball soon wont be enough to satisfy my son and i want to keep ahead of him.
I also hope that as my physical body changes, that the opinion that i have of myself will improve. At the moment i dont feel comfortable in my own skin and that has flow-on effects into my relationship with my husband, the way i behave at work and how willing i am to leave the house if i dont have to. Home is safe. I can wear comfortable clothes and eat my lunch without feeling the judgement of the eyes of society. Society makes me feel like a hypocrite. My job involves talking to kids about healthy lifestyles and yet i dont have the appearance to match that. Society doesnt care that your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood cell count, etc, etc are all "good". It only cares that you take up too much room on the bus and wear "fat-lady" clothes.
I want the outside packaging to match the inner athlete so that people will hear my message, not be distracted by my appearance.
Because i have done Zumba before i skipped over Step-by-Step and straight into Exhilarate. My previous Zumba experience helped with many of the key steps but not all of them. I nearly fell over trying to Tango! The workout itself was great, with a warmup track, varying degrees of intensity and style throughout and then a cooldown track at the end. I was red faced, sweaty and breathing heavily but didnt feel like i was going to die
- Of the seven DVDs (Step by Step, Activate, Ripped, Exhilarate, Rush, Mix, Fitness concert), which ones have you tried so far and what were your first impressions?
I next did the Activate DVD as my available time was less. This would have been a much better choice for me to start with as it has a slightly slower pace and more explanation than Exhilarate. The steps are less complicated but the overall structure is the same. I still got sweaty and red but i didnt feel like i was floundering behind the steps as much. I could focus more on injecting my own "flavour" into the moves. Activate is what i plan to use when my friends join me twice a week as they have very little (if any) Zumba experience.
I did Rush when i was doing my workout while my son slept. It was action-packed, just as energetic and just as worth-while as the other DVDs. The only thing that concerned me about was that it didnt include a cool-down, stretching track. On the other DVDs Beto & the other instructors are always sure to mention the importance of cool-down and stretching so i was surprised there wasnt even a short one on Rush. So i made up my own from what i could remember from the other DVDs and the classes i used to attend.
Tonight i did Ripped. I loved the Toning Sticks section and intend to buy the larger sticks as although i could feel my muscles working, i know they can work harder.
The Sentao section was a lot more complicated than i expected. My chair was the wrong size and material for some of the moves and the steps that didnt involve the chair were so fast that i couldnt pick them up before we moved on to the next step. I can absolutely see how when done correctly this routine will speed up the strengthening and toning of my core muscles but i think i will hold off from doing it again for a few weeks. Just until i get more familiar with all the body movements, free up my hip and knee joints a bit so my legs will move faster and get a different chair.
Thanks again for giving me this opportunity. I plan to do everyone proud!