Overall – what did you think of the Zumba Fitness Exhilarate DVD Collection?
I think it is amazing enough that I’ve recommended it to several people and even bought it for a friend as a gift. The thing that still blows me away is that Zumba doesn’t feel like I’m working out and yet of all the workouts I’ve ever done, it burns the most calories (according to my Bodybugg, so I’m not just speculating on that, it’s a fact!).
The collection is great in that it’s got some full-length workouts at an hour long, along with the shorter Activate and even shorter Rush. The DVDs I did the most were Exhilarate, Ripped and Rush. I love that Ripped gives you the resistance training which is so important when it comes to losing weight.
Is it something you will continue using now?
Honestly, somebody would have to pry the Exhilarate DVD from my cold, dead hands to stop me using it! The other workouts I could live without but I absolutely adore the Exhilarate workout and wouldn’t give it up for the world. Luckily I don’t think this will actually be an issue since I don’t expect that anybody will be threatening me with taking away my Zumba DVDs anytime soon so the answer is yes, yes I will continue using the Exhilarate DVD collection in order to lose the remaining weight and keep it off once it’s gone. :P
What changes have you noticed:
In your body?
I feel less heavy. My pot belly has gotten smaller and that’s one of the things I most want to lose. Aside from that, I’ve dropped two dress sizes so it’s really been an all over thing. In today's photos, I noticed that my butt has lifted lmao and everything has shrunk again since my week 4 photos! Also, at the beginning of this challenge, my wedding rings didn't fit me! I can now wear them easily and expect I'll end up having to get them resized!
Most of all as far as my body is concerned, I’ve noticed that I am more capable at doing the workouts but even little things like being able to take the stairs at work without getting puffed or walking to the office (which involves going up a steep hill) without feeling like I’m about to keel over is fantastic!
In your mind – your mood, outlook?
This is one of the biggest things I’ve gained from this challenge. The weight loss is great and I love that I’m achieving those goals but at the beginning of this challenge I was, quite frankly, a mess. In order to really gauge how far I’ve come to answer this question, I’ve just re-read some of the blogs I posted at the beginning and my heart broke for that girl.
I had been sad for so long before this challenge, even before my miscarriage. In fact, just before I got pregnant in February, I had actually been to see the doctor and got put on anti-depressants. After I miscarried, people begged me to see a counsellor but I refused, a big part of me just wanted to wallow in my misery. I was so very angry at the world for the hand I’d been dealt and I was carrying around a bone-deep sadness that wouldn’t go away. It scares me to think where I would be if this challenge hadn’t happened and I think I will forever be grateful that it did.
I’m proud to say that I am so much happier, more confident and secure in myself than I was before I got some Zumba into my life. Exercising daily obviously gives me the endorphin boost I need to stay sane but it’s also fantastic on days when I do come up against obstacles, I take out my frustrations in my workout and I don’t eat through them or lash out inappropriately at friends and family anymore.
In your energy levels?
I have so much more energy now than I did before which, you know, you’d think I wouldn’t considering I used to do zero exercise and now I do 1.5 hours a day but in that magic way that exercise works, expending that energy somehow gives me more for doing every other task during the day.
I absolutely love working out in the morning because straight away, I’ve accomplished something that day. I feel proud of myself and ready to face whatever gets thrown my way. Then I come home and top off my day with a workout to work out any frustrations from that day and have a laugh with my friend.
In your family? (Eg. Have the DVDs inspired any other family members to join in)
Baby steps. From last week, I started working out with DH in the morning. Unfortunately this meant that I had to give up my morning Zumba workout (I switched to doing the 60 minute workout in the evening with my friend from work) but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make to get my husband doing some exercise.
It hasn’t been family so much as friends and colleagues that I’ve inspired. It was something that grew over time as people began to see the changes in me. My friend from work started coming over to do Zumba with me and has become a total Zumbaholic but aside from that, I’ve started a bit of a fitness craze at the office. One of the ladies has started going to the gym, another is doing Jacob’s Ladder (272 steps of pure hell with a great view of the Perth foreshore!) during lunch, one has just gotten herself a personal trainer and another two started doing daily lunch walks. This all started because I wouldn’t stop banging on about how much exercise I was doing and how great I was feeling!
After I got back on Facebook, I’ve gotten quite a few people to try out Zumba from there. Like I said the other day, though, it’s kind of crazy to think that I can actually inspire other people to exercise. I think it’s one of those things where one person has to have the guts to start something and then others will follow but they need to see someone else doing it first. It’s like my favourite picture from the motivational thread I started says “At first, they’ll ask you WHY you’re doing it. Later, they’ll ask you HOW you did it.”, so very true.
In your approach to physical activity – have the DVDs inspired you to try another form of exercise – like walking or a gym class?
Absolutely. My lifestyle has changed completely. Aside from my failed attempt at the 53km bike ride, my husband and I are now aiming for a 70km bike ride in March and ride our bikes regularly. I also started taking an aerial silks class, which requires an absolutely ridiculous amount of arm/core strength. It’s just in general, though, I have become a more active person. I run and dance and laugh. I also added in a second workout to my day which I have never in the history of the world done, even when I was at my most active in my teens!
How much weight have you lost?
8.5kgs! More importantly, as of this morning's weigh-in, I am "overweight"!
Any final comments you would like to send to the judges?
I cannot thank you enough for choosing me to be a part of this challenge. I remember entering and counting the words in my entry over and over because it was exactly the amount of words that we were allowed and I didn’t want to risk going over. In case you haven’t noticed, I am quite prolific when it comes to writing and I was terrified I wouldn’t be chosen because I felt like there weren’t enough words for me to tell you how badly I needed this. So thank you for seeing that I did.
Every girl in this challenge is amazing. I love them all for supporting me and for allowing me to support them over the last eight weeks. Each and every one of them deserves this just as much as I do. Win or lose, I am incredibly happy to be able to walk away from this challenge a changed woman. I have Zumba to thank for that.
Measurement Type Day 1 Week 7 Difference Weight 86.0kgs 77.5kgs 8.5kgs Waist 99.5cm 84.0cm 15.5cm Hips 112.0cm 102.0cm 10.0cm Chest 107.5cm 98.0cm 9.5cm Right Thigh 61.5cm 57.5cm 4.0cm Left Thigh 63.0cm 57.5cm 5.5cm Right Bicep 32.5cm 29.5cm 3.0cm Left Bicep 34.0cm 29.5cm 4.5cm Totals Centimetres lost 52.0cm Weight lost 8.5kg
For the people on phones, here's a version you can read easier:
Measurement type - Day 1 - Week 7 - Difference
Weight - 86.0kgs - 77.5kgs - 8.5kgs
Waist - 99.5cms - 84.0cm - 15.5cm
Hips - 112.0cm - 102.0cm - 10.0cm
Chest - 107.5cm - 98.0cm - 9.5cm
Right Thigh - 61.5cm - 57.5cm - 4.0cm
Left Thigh - 63.0cm - 57.5cm - 5.5cm
Right Bicep - 32.5cm - 29.5cm - 3.0cm
Left Bicep - 34.0cm - 29.5cm - 4.5cm
It's not showing correctly on the PC because it's too wide so here's link to the full week 8 comparison photo including week 4.
I really wish I'd had the guts to take these photos at the beginning of the challenge because I'd love to see a side on Day 1 vs Week 8 but I didn't believe in myself enough to do that at the time!