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May 2012

Tunes for Tuesday: Marry the Night, by Lady Gaga

I'm choosing this song because the only exercise I've gotten this week has been dancing to this song while we waited for my kid's cheeseburger at the Marlins game on Sunday. I'm entering Day 10 of the Cold from Hell and exercise is still off the menu, but I think I'm getting to the end of the ridiculous congestion. Fortunately, I'm still at 4 pounds down in two weeks.

Still, a cold couldn't keep me from grooving to Gaga -- and neither could the "Mom! Stop!" protestations from my son.

Rest and recovery, with a little weight loss thrown in

How best to heal exercise-related injuries? My body decided that I should catch a big, stinkin' head cold. That way, if my exercise guilt got the best of me, I wouldn't be able to breathe through a workout.

Smart, eh?

Sneezy face
This has been the extent of my physical activity this week.

So I'm sitting on my can, blowing my nose and re-evaluating my workout choices.

I've been jogging once or twice a week with absolutely no issues, plus doing various strength, yoga and aerobics DVDs the rest of the week.

But three weeks into my weekly Zumba class, my left shoulder ached, my left elbow burned and my right knee feels like someone wrung it out like a wet sock.

Yes, I'm wearing the right shoes and the Zumba class is on a smooth surface. But I dance like nobody's business and tend to fling limbs with abandon.

(Can you get Zumba Elbow?)

I haven't done anything active since the weekend, which was 20,000 steps at Universal Florida and mini golf the next day, and all the wonky parts are feeling better.

But I'm bummed, because I really like Zumba. Perhaps I like it too much.

But all is not Sudafed and moping -- I actually lost 4 freakin' pounds this past week. QVC had a sale on a Nutrisystem Weekends Off plan and I bought it. I've been trying to "automate" my meals anyway with a lot of healthy no-brainers like smoothies and protein bars, and Nutrisystem has come a long way in the quality of its food, even including a daily whey protein shake to the plan to pump up the protein. 

Nice thing about weekends off is that on the weekends, I'm not really off off. But if there's something I want during the week that's not on the plan, I say to myself "fit it in on the weekend."

This feels do-able, for the first time in a long time.

I like the idea of "not right now." In fact, there's a blog post that I frequently refer back to year after year, from The Skinny Daily Post. There are so many quotable passages from this post but I'll leave you with this:

When it’s always available, choosing not to have it right now is just a choice.

Weight of the Nation: Please watch it

I'm giving you Part 1 of HBO's documentary series "The Weight of the Nation." The cable network wants as many people to see this as possible, so if you don't subscribe, you can watch the entire series on

I'm making it even easier -- watch Part 1 right below, then head over to HBO's Weight of the Nation website and watch the rest there. I just watched the last two parts this morning and spent a good time of it either yelling at the bureaucrats and food companies or slapping my face, "Home Alone"-style at some of the statistics.

Have you watched it yet? What do you think?

Analyze this: My Madonna dream

I'm not really into dream analysis -- just too "woo woo" for me. But the dream I had Sunday night had me waking up Monday morning with a big smile on my face and a renewed sense of purpose to get to my Happy Weight.

{Cue the "dream sequence"...}

OK, not that Madonna dream.

Here was mine: I was organizing a huge aerobics class in a football stadium, and Madonna was going to lead the exercisers. I was concerned that there wouldn't be enough room to move around up in the stands so we could only use the floor area of the stadium.

After Madonna had her routine nailed down, I went into the green room where my posse (huh?) was hanging out. I told them that everything was set and that I was going to change into my workout clothes to exercise along with everyone else.

As I was putting on my workout clothes, I took a look at myself in the mirror. I was totally fit, like fitness model fit (something I have never been). I stopped by the green room to tell everyone I was heading out to the stadium and everyone looked at me with admiration.

OK, what the heck was that all about?

Anyway, I loved the feeling that I awoke with, and decided to make my workouts more fun and less stressful. I have a habit of overthinking my workouts (and everything), so since I have Mondays nailed down (running, no matter what), I'm working on other "no matter what" workouts. I checked out the Tuesday morning Zumba class at the gym and loved it, so if I can wrangle my way into the crowded room, that'll be my Tuesday workout.

I threw in a yoga DVD on Wednesday and decided that it'll be a good mid-week stretchy break. I don't do enough yoga-type workouts and always feel great after I finish.

DVD pileThursday was supposed to be a strength-training workout but I started overthinking which workout to do so it didn't happen. And today? I've gotta do something. Maybe I'll do upper body Thursdays and lower body Fridays for strength training. I certainly have enough DVDs to choose from.

My evening with Zumba's Beto

"Wow, you're purple!"

That's what the front-desk guy said to me last Tuesday night after my workout. I admit, I do turn a little, uh, purple after a really hard workout. No biggie, I'm not dying, I'm just pushing hard.

Zumba djs setup
The DJs set up before the workout. (It was loud.)

Last week, I had the most awesome opportunity to take a class at Crunch Fitness in Miami Beach. It was a Zumba class led by Mr. Zumba himself, Beto Perez, in celebration of Fitness magazine's 20th birthday.

And immediately, all the wrong stuff started going through my head.

"Will there be cameras there? What should I wear to 'look thinner'? Will I be the biggest one there? Can I keep up?"

Fortunately, I got over myself in the drive down to South Beach (I focused instead on yelling at idiot drivers).

I got there early, so I played "fitness paparazzi" and took out a camera I had stashed in the teeny pocket in my workout pants. Beto showed up and made sure the room was set up properly -- no diva attitude from him at all.


Beto sets up
Beto makes sure the chairs are in the right place.


Beto and me 0512
Beto and me (the purple one), post workout.

The room had to be set up because unlike a traditional Zumba workout, this was the new Sentao workout, which uses a chair. We danced around it, hovered over it for squats, held on to the back for lower-body toning and even spun it on one leg. And it was a killer workout. After the workout, when I got to take a picture with Beto, I said to him "I thought it would be easier with a chair but I was wrong!" He just smiled.

(If you want to see a Zumba Sentao workout in action, check out the video below.)