First of all, it hit 86 degrees here today. It does not feel like fall! I got my cardio in today. Last night I started a new month of workouts with my small group. Last night’s workout was called “Leg Endurance Challenge” and boy was it! My legs felt okay all day so I decided to hit up my hip hop cardio class. I’ve been so busy that I haven’t gone in ages but have been running in the mornings instead. Man oh man! This class was all legs tonight. So many “drop-it-low” songs. My legs were screaming for sure after yesterday’s workout. So if y’all need me, I’ll be crying in a bubble bath. Wearing heels tomorrow is not going to be fun.
I have blogged some over the past month about how I’ve been having body confidence issues. I’ve lost faith in myself at low points and am not happy about weight I have gained since going off of the pill. More and more, I’ve been turning a critical eye on my body. I don’t like the way I look in a lot of my clothes. However, I realized that there are still certain things that make me feel sexy. I’ve forgotten that sexy is definitely a state of mind.Last Tuesday I returned to hip hop cardio after two weeks off (the first week because of my back and the second because I was in Vermont). It felt so good to get back in class, and not just because of the endorphins from a good work out. I had forgotten the feeling and confidence that I gain from that class. No matter what I look like in the mirror at the front of the room, the way my body moves in that class makes me feel so sexy and beautiful. I’m a pretty decent dancer, and I definitely know how to make my body move in a way that gives my curves the glory they deserve. I cannot drive the point home enough, that this sexy confidence does not come from the way I look in the mirror when I am dancing. It comes from the way I feel when I’m dancing — the way that I feel so free and sure of myself and my body. I need this class each week. I encourage each of you, especially those of you with body confidence issues, to find something that you can do for yourself each week where you feel beautiful. Whatever that may be, I encourage you to set aside the time each week and relish in your beauty as only you can. Take the time to do something that makes you feel free.
Coinciding with the return of my hip hop class, was the delivery of my first Gwynnie Bee box. For those of you who don’t know, it is a plus size clothing delivery service where you can keep a certain amount of clothes for a time. You wear them as much as you want and either buy them or return them. It is kind of like Netflix (back when they would mail out the DVDs) for clothes. I had three pieces delivered and loved 2 out of the 3. As much as I love the idea of a tulle skirt (or tutu), I realized that I really hate the way they look on me. The skirt I ended up returning right away was a beautiful lilac tulle skirt. It was gorgeous, but I hated how it looked on me. So back it went. I also got a really awesome and vibrant skirt (with pockets!) and a dress shirt. I wore both last week and loved the way I looked in each of the items. Tomorrow, I’ll get a really pretty Igigi dress that I can’t wait to try. Again, the pieces were beautiful, but it was more about the way that they made me feel. I felt so beautiful and put together in each outfit. It really drives home the point that sexiness (and feeling beautiful) is really a state of mind. It doesn’t matter about whether someone else thinks you are, it is about whether you think you are. I needed this reminder so much lately. Be who you are and own it. You don’t have to wait for permission to feel sexy and beautiful, and you definitely don’t have to conform to societal standards of beauty.
So today has kicked me in the (metaphorical) balls. It’s been a bad day. This day has totally hurt my feelings. A day that made me want to curl up with a bottle (yes, I said bottle) of wine and Lord and Lady Grantham. But, I’m all about this healthy kick I’ve got going on, so I changed clothes and decided to dance it out at the gym. I needed some endorphins pumping and dancing makes me happy.
Those that know me, know that I don’t hang out on the back row. Of course, I was right on up front. I was totally into it, lost in my emotions and letting my body just work it out. I stay in my head entirely too much, so this was my hour to get outside myself and not think of the things bothering me today. Well, my body got a little full of itself, and I about bit the dust. Right there in front of everyone in class. I even made a little screeching sound. But I quickly righted myself, and got back into my grove.
I discovered something as I glanced up in the middle of one of the songs (I know I do it, but I forgot), I’ve got a twerk face. There’s a certain face that I make when I’m popping my booty to and fro. It’s fierce and proud. So I’ll remember my twerk face when I’ve had a bad day. And hey, burning 1100 calories in the process doesn’t hurt either.
I like to dance. Zumba has always been a fun cardio activity for me. However, when I took a dance class when I was younger, I felt so insecure about my body. It pretty much took the joy out of it all. Now that I’m older, I can enjoy dancing around like a fool in zumba class. Last Thursday, I took it a step further and took a hip hop class. It felt totally different from a zumba class. First of all, it was in a small group setting — there were about twelve of us. The room was small and I felt front and center. It was a little intimidating. However, everyone in the class was so nice and seemed a little nervous. The instructor broke the dance down into 8 counts, and off we went. I’m a pretty decent dancer, but I do a lot of the moves backwards. It’s really weird, and I’ve had an instructor tell me that I do things the harder way. I don’t know why I do it, but that’s how I’m wired. I’m not the best when it comes to a group routine for that very reason. And yes, I know we weren’t auditioning for broadway or practicing for a performance, but if I’m going to do something, I want to at least be able to fake being good at it. So, I was intimidated.
However, I tried something out of my comfort zone, and it was so fun! I felt such a sense of accomplishment after we finished up, and I kept wanting to do the routine over and over again to get it down right. So I am going to try out a new workout class this afternoon that mixes dancing and bootcamp together. We’ll see how it goes. Try something new this week. It might just surprise you.
For any readers who go to Zumba, you know that the bumping music is half the fun. It really gets you revved up and helps you go that extra mile in class. Tonight, the stereo system was broken at the gym. I was pretty upset because I had a bad day, and I was really looking forward to de-stressing in class. The instructor was not told about the busted sound system beforehand so she had to improvise. Someone had one of those tiny portable speakers (and I’m talking tiny). You could barely hear the thing. Some people walked out of class. However, I’d say forty or so people stayed and danced the entire hour, even with music you could barely hear. I have to admire their dedication. It would have been easy just to go home because there was no music, or the instructor could have easily canceled class. But we all stayed and rocked it. I’m proud of my workout group. Plus, I somehow managed to burn 700 calories, even with minimal music! So this post is dedicated to my fellow Zumba goers on Tuesday night. Y’all are awesome!
I know that I should be happy that I’m healing and am out of the boot. Last night, I ran for the first time since being diagnosed with the stress fracture. I made it one mile. I’m proud of that. However, my foot was pretty sore. I know the doctor said there would be soreness for another month, but it’s still frustrating. I’m taking things slow and modified plenty of my movements in Zumba tonight. It’s just so much less fun when I’m doing things halfway. I want to jump and kick and do all the moves as if my foot was back to normal. I’m trying not to pout, I promise. I’m just ready to run and dance 100% free. Part of it is fear that I’m going to re-injure myself. I really hope that fear goes away with time. Two months ago, I never would have thought I’d be talking about my feet so much! Thanks for hanging in there with me! I’m hanging in there, but there is still that haunting shadow of the boot.
I read an article recently that discussed a study showing that it takes a person 66 days to develop a habit. So, I decided that I really want to make being active a habit. Except for New Year’s Day (for obvious reasons), I have been active every single day of 2015 so far. I ran around like crazy today, running errands etc. I then went to dinner with a friend. After I get home and get all cozy in my fleece-lined leggings, I become filled with sadness – I have a broken heart currently but more on that another time. As I mop up the tears dripping from my face to my chest, I realize: Shit! I haven’t been intentionally active today (walking around Wal-mart doesn’t count). So what do I do? I put on a Spotify playlist titled: “Teen Party” (I kid you not) and dance around my living room like a mad woman. I can’t even tell you what my body was doing. There was lots of flailing, I’m sure. I do know that I was grinning like an idiot from the sheer joy of cutting loose. It was fantastic! However, I did end up with two battle wounds: a chunk of skin missing from my wrist and a four inch scratch down my chest. I have no idea how those things happened. The injuries were worth it though.