Tag Archives: Zumba

Peace Out 2014

Hey there, long time no write! I feel like I’m virtually dusting off this blog in order to write this post. I’m almost embarrassed that it’s been three months since my last entry. But, no use dwelling on the past, let’s look to the future.

It’s that time of year again when we all write down resolutions, renew the gym membership and swear we’re going to make this year the best one yet. Well, that’s wonderful but it’s something we should be doing all year-long, not just in January. So while I wasn’t blogging as much this year, I was:

– Developing my personal brand at work. As a young professional new to my role, I had the perfect opportunity during the last year to build my brand and network. I think I’ve done a fairly good job of that. Now it’s time to refine and focus on specific areas of interest.

– Volunteering. This was a big theme for me in 2014. I coached my brother’s little league team this spring. I also taught grammar school through a program at work and became a big sister through Big Brothers, Big Sisters. I find dedicating your time versus your money to be so rewarding.

– Traveling. I mean, we’ve discussed this already. California, Colorado, Chicago, Myrtle Beach, Florida, Philly (my second home) and the big ones: London and Paris. How many 20-somethings have that list of travel on their resume in just one year?! Not many is the answer. Traveling, whether it be for work or for pleasure, broadened my perspective and gave me some unforgettable memories.

– Sweating it. Exercise played a big role in 2014. I refound my love for Zumba and created a mini family there. I also stretched myself both literally and figuratively during yoga and continued to run, completing five races in 2014. While all the weight hasn’t fallen off, I do feel better both physically and mentally.

Looking back, 2014 was pretty awesome. I learned a lot, grew in ways I didn’t know possible and kind of, sort of figured out a plan for the future. A couple of areas I hope to focus on in 2015 are:

– More travel! Shocking, I know! The first vacation of 2015 is already in the works. I also plan to take more advantage of my work trips. Travel is just good for the soul.

– Being more mindful. This is going to be in all areas of my life. I’ll share more about how this is going to happen later with a book review. But, generally, I want to focus more and be reaching my maximum potential at all time (or almost all the time). What does being at my best look like? That’s the big question for 2015.

– This blog! Unfortunately, this blog has taken a backseat in my ever busy life. That’s going to change in 2015. I have plans for a redesign, several mini series including one about Lean In and some book reviews. It’s going to take time but it will happen! The next post you can expect is my second entry in Jessica Lawlor’s Get Gutsy essay contest!

I hope you take the time to review your 2014 and plan for 2015. Let’s make a deal to check-in throughout the year on our progress. Wishing you another rockstar year!


Punching My Card

At the beginning of the year, I made a promise to myself: to be healthy. I know most everyone starts the new year off with diets, new workout routines and juice cleanses. While all of that was part of my resolution, it has become so much more than that.

mentalityI knew being healthy was going to mean a change in behavior and a shift in mindset. I like to eat really good food and finding time to fit in a workout is always a challenge. But 2014 was the year when it had to change. I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life and knew something had to change. I found Zumba classes close to the train station, making it easiy to get there after work. My job also offers a strength training class after work in the cafeteria. These classes combined with a close-by yoga class and a run makes for a successful exercise week.

Each of my classes gives their participants a card to punch at each class. This card punching process has become addictive. I look so forward to class each week that I have on occasion flipped out when I couldn’t attend. Take last Wednesday for example. I couldn’t get to my strength training class because I didn’t take my car to the train station. I was in full tantrum mode by 6 a.m. After a few deep breaths, I realized that whybeing so upset means my fitness routine has become a priority for me. This was a shift in behavior as working out was never a constant priority; now it is. I look forward to my classes and want to order a salad for lunch. Of course priorities might have to shift some days and I will miss a class. But in the end, my overall well-being ranks high on the priority list now.

Since I’ve built working out into my weekly schedule, my body feels better and my attitude is more positive. I don’t huff and puff up the subway steps and actually look forward to my walk to Penn Station after work. Now I just need to stick through it during the spring!

Has fitness always been important to you? If not, what changed? Feel free to share your thoughts!


Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Every January like clockwork, my mother and I kick off our weight loss, eating right campaign. We set goals, pack our lunches and track our progress. We’ve been doing this forever as our battle with weight loss has been a lifelong journey. This year, however, something felt different.

zumbaAs I planned out my healthy living 2014 campaign, I wanted to find exercise classes that worked different muscles and were convenient. If I went home after work, the probability was high that I’d be on the couch and not working out. Enter Zumba class, held Mondays and Saturdays, right by the train station. I started in mid-January and am fully obsessed. I had taken Zumba in the past but this class was different, probably thanks to my super energetic instructor Maria. I leave class each week feeling energized, happy and healthy.

Our Zumba class is held in a room that has a giant mirror on the front wall. It’s great to watch the instructor in the mirror, but class after class, I hide behind the pole to avoid seeing myself. I could not bear to see all of me jiggle in the mirror. When jumping and dancing around, it’s very clear where ALL of my problem areas are. I literally cringed for the first couple of weeks. Then I saw the Aerie “Real” campaign.

Aerie, the sister clothing company to American Eagle Outfitters, launched their “Real” campaign for the

One ad that is part of the #AerieReal campaign

One ad that is part of the #AerieReal campaign

spring collection of underwear and bras. The campaign highlights real women, without makeup or Photoshop touch-ups. Their slogan reads “Because the real you is sexy.” I saw this campaign and thought they have a point there. The following Saturday at Zumba, I wore a see-through razor back tank that read “Fun, Free, Fearless.” It was big deal for me, to wear something so transparent that did not cover me up.

Like many women I know, body imagine and self-confidence is a HUGE issue for me. Most days, I don’t feel insecure or worry about my body. I used to work out, at the gym or in a class and feel SO self-conscious in my spandex and tank top. Going to Zumba has taken me out of my comfort zone and helped me to see there’s no need to be self-conscious. I am working out, bettering myself, making myself stronger. There’s no need to compare myself to the Barbie-like instructor at the front of the room. While I still don’t stare at myself in the mirror, I’m learning to care a little less about what jiggles.

The Biggest Loser winner Rachel. Healthy or sickly?

The Biggest Loser winner Rachel. Healthy or sickly?

As a society, we typically focus on being skinny, not healthy. Take the season 15 Biggest Loser winner, Rachel. Yes, she lost a bunch of weight, but now she almost looks sickly, not healthy. Yet, she won the competition and is praised for that. We need to shift popular thinking like Aerie did. Women are beautiful at all ages and sizes. That message needs to be consistently reinforced in our younger generations of girls and to all women. We need to face the mirror and be happy with what we see.

Christina Aguilera’s powerful ballad below reminds all of us that we are beautiful. In case no one else tells you today, you are a beautiful, strong woman!


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