Friday Fun w/ 21-15-9

  • 21-15-9
    • leg kickbacks with opposite arm raise (each side)
    • bent over dumbbell row
    • oblique side bend (each side)

Confused about any of these exercises? Check out Fitness in a Minute to find out!

Here’s our base workout for the day, but I’m curious to know what you add to it. My ‘plus’ today was doing 3 pull-ups before each round of exercises (I’m trying to build back up to a higher number!). I also usually practice between 30-60 minutes of my Zumba routines for practice and cardio whenever I can, even if it’s just around the house when I’m cleaning or getting ready to go somewhere. (Although I don’t recommend doing that too often, I usually end up having to rush out only half ready!)

And for our Friday Challenge this week (I think it’s been a while….oops!), I challenge everyone to think of  a bad habit you’d like to give up or a positive change you’d like to make and start planning the steps to make it happen. I’ve recently been doing more research on foods and have been reminded why I chose to be so strict several years ago with the foods I was eating. We all need reminders now and again and I have fallen back into some bad habits the last couple months. But no more!

cheese

With that being said, my “bad habit” that I’m giving up is going to be cheese….I know, I know, that was half of the ‘Plus’ of Paleo Plus! But after being reminded of why I committed to being Paleo to begin with, I have to make the change. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s a little better each day. (I’ll report more when I write a post specifically about why I decided to completely give it up.)

What change are you going to make?

Jammin’ with Jackie

You know what’s even better than regular Zumba? Having a jam session with another crazy talented Zumba instructor! Jackie is the instructor who helped me come out of my shell when I was first attending classes, and now I’m jamming with her and sharing routines. Dreams really do come true!

Jam with Jackie Collage

I’ve been volunteer teaching while on vacation this summer and it’s been a blast and a wonderful learning experience. It’s difficult to go into someone else’s class and take over with new music and new routines. But you just gotta keep smiling and dancing and hope that your class loves your routines as much as you do!

The key to success is letting your love of dance, fitness, and Zumba show because the class will feed off of your energy. If you don’t love the routine, chances are your participants won’t either. I choose music that gets me pumped up every time I hear it! As the instructor, I take pride in putting a playlist together that has me saying “Oh, I love this one!” every time a new song starts because I know that I’m going to put my all into every step.

Thanks Jackie, and happy Zumba-ing to everyone out there!

Why is change so difficult?

Living in the Los Angeles area and always on the go (and I mean always), I rarely have a moment to just relax and breathe. Having spent the last two weeks focusing more on family, nature, and requiescence, I’ve had more time to reflect on life in general.

Without getting too deep, the last 5 years of my life have seen a lot of change. While some circumstances were out of my control and I had to adapt, there were other times when the choice was mine to make. Those moments were never easy and I’ve second-guessed my decisions. A lot. But the thing that keeps me moving forward is the knowledge that I’ve learned so much about myself and this thing called life we’re all trying to understand.

A few days ago, my 10 year old asked Google “what is the meaning of life”? While Google had many quotes and memes from others who were trying to decipher life’s purpose, I don’t think either of us was really satisfied with the answers. And if no one really knows, why do we spend so much time worrying about what other people do/think when we ourselves are searching for answers to the same questions as everyone else? How often are you (and I am actually speaking to you as an individual) held back by the fears of what people will think, what the consequences will be, or whether you’ll succeed/fail when you want to improve yourself by making drastic changes to your life?

Will my loved ones make fun of my choices or support me? Will they hold me back or try to boost me up? What if I can’t do it? Why would anyone listen to me? What happens if I fail?

The list of reasons “not to” is endless! At some point you need to let go of the fears and embrace whatever is going to come your way after stepping outside of that comfort zone. There’s no need to wait for a New Year’s resolution to make the needed/wanted changes in your life.

Let us all embrace both the scary and wonderful parts of shifting our lives around to make them better and more fulfilling in the long run!

21-15-9

  • 21-15-9
    • Reverse fly
    • Back extensions
    • Oblique twist squats

Confused about any of these exercises? Check out Fitness in a Minute to find out!

It’s hard to believe it’s already July! How is everyone doing on their summer goals? Do you even have any? There’s so much emphasis put on “summer bodies” when our goal should be to feel our best all year long, not just during 3 months out of the year.

Notice I didn’t say “look our best.” Too often ‘looks’ become so much more important than anything else. Of course making good impressions and feeling a certain pride in our appearance are worthy goals, that’s not what I’m saying. However, confidence and self-worth don’t come from having ‘magazine model’ looks. No one person is perfect, and no body is free of imperfections. Embracing the best of ourselves along with so-called “flaws” will go a long way in boosting self-confidence.

Let’s make the Friday Challenge this week to focus less on outward appearance and more on being comfortable in your own skin. What non-physical traits make you a special and unique individual? Is there something about yourself that you’ve always viewed as a ‘negative’ but could in fact be the reason why you’re so good at your work/schooling/relationships? I can’t wait to hear what thoughts everyone has on the topic next week!

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy being exactly who you are!

Musings from the Midwest

One of the unexpected benefits of choosing to drive cross-country rather than fly was being able to gain a greater appreciation for the beauty of the world. I haven’t travelled much and feel as though I still experience life (in some ways) through the eyes of a child. Everything was brand new to me and being able to see just how vast this small part of the planet is gave me a lot to think about.

Sequoia Blog
Sequoia National Forest

 

It’s easy and natural for us to get caught up in our individual lives, problems, relationships, routines, school, work schedules, and so forth. Taking a step outside of the norm and opening our eyes to new experiences and opportunities takes courage! The last several years have seen a lot of change in my personal life, some of which I never thought I could or would get through. Now I find myself more prepared to take risks and do what I really want to do, not lead a life that allows others to follow their dreams while mine are forgotten and abandoned on the roadside.

Part of why I started this blog in the first place is because it’s something I’ve felt compelled to do for years but never thought I could do it or anyone would want to listen to what I had to say. Now, even if only a handful of people are reading this right now (and thank you for those of you who are!), it still gives me a sense of personal pride to be achieving a personal goal. Health, fitness, and self-discovery are all things I am passionate about and want to help others in achieving the joy and personal achievement that I’ve felt on my own journey!

So, thank you for reading and I hope that I’ve touched a part of even one person who can take these thoughts and turn them into action like I have!

OMG, EN-R-G!

You know what I love? Waking up every morning after an uninterrupted night of sleep, ready to tackle each new day and spending every moment riding the natural high of life!

happy2

Wait, that’s not me. Who is that imposter??

Okay, admittedly I probably have an excess of energy at times, but definitely not 100% of the time or always when I need it. If that were the case, there wouldn’t be coffee, energy drinks, or afternoon naps. However, there is something else that can help…

En-r-gee

En-R-Gee

And for those of you who are skeptical about essential oils (my brother included), it really works! I use this on the days when I know I’m going to need a little extra boost of, well, energy but I don’t like to fill my belly full of caffeine. Not to mention, as a self-diagnosed, partial insomniac, this always makes an appearance following the nights when I can only seem to toss and turn.

En-R-Gee increases alertness and vitality. It’s a blend of rosemary, juniper, lemongrass, nutmeg, Idaho balsam fir, clove, and black pepper. All of these combined create an amazing blend that stimulates the mind and body, increasing energy in every system. It increases blood circulation, which also helps awaken the mind and elevates mental abilities.

 I like to diffuse this with a little bit of Wintergreen, which is also used to stimulate and increase awareness in all levels of the sensory system. Those two combined do wonders for me when I’m in need of a boost!

Zumbathon 2016

Welcome back! What an exhausting but fun-filled Memorial Day weekend.

I had the privilege of joining over 40 other incredibly talented Zumba instructors by participating in the Mid Valley Family YMCA Zumbathon. Two hours of music, dancing, sweating, and smiles! The YMCA was able to raise quite a bit of money for a great cause, and we were able to help people on the path to better health. I love being a part of the Zumba community!

Surf

With the Zumbathon following right behind the LA Salsa Congress, hitting the beach for some surf and relaxation was a must. My kids and I had cartwheel contests and played football. In general, just enjoyed our day off together before they get through the last stretch of school. I’ve got some big plans for the summer so hopefully they can keep up! But for the next two weeks at least, it’s business as usual and back to the work week.

How was your weekend??