Pre-Intoxication Guidelines for Zumba Fitness

Dear Zumba Fitness International, (and fellow Zumbaranians)

Having regularly attended a 9 am, Saturday morning, Zumba Fitness class, I have, unintentionally, acted as a lab rat for the hypothesis. “Just how many hours before a Zumba class do you need to stop drinking without experiencing a long list of side effects that would rival the average prescription drug disclaimer on a TV Commercial. You know, like (insert deep baritone announcers voice here) “common side effects include: (announcer speaking a 250 words a minute now) nausea, projectile vomiting, loss of bowel and/ bladder control, hives, rash, anxiety, numbness in hands, feet and nose, sinusitis, rhinitis, OMGitis, hair and fingernail pain, sensitivity to light and noise, dehydration, flatulence, lack of coordination, walking into walls, mirrors or windows, intense perspiration of alcohol, loss of memory,  desire to lose some memories, and pleading with a divine creator for assistance with promises of not repeating the behavior”.

It occurred to me this morning, after a lengthy birthday celebration which started early and ended late at a Waffle House, that maybe you had already covered this and I should check your website.  Seeing you have not, and assuming this was an oversight, I am happy to share my research with you (my non scientific, non controlled, not stistically valid sample of ‘one’, research)    BTW, I think law enforcement should drop the BA level testing and consider the “Waffle House” (or IHOP or Denny’s) Test. As in, you are pulled over late at night on the weekend and the officer asks “have you been drinking?”   You: (I’ve had a couple”.  Him:  are you on your way to or coming from a diner for breakfast at 1 am. You: (sheepishly) yes, am on the way there now to meet some friends. Him: “you are under arrest for driving under the influence, get out of the car”. (Disclaimer:  at all times mentioned herein, Uber or Lyft was used, do not drink and drive).  Anyhow, here’s my Zumba fitness class pre intoxication guidelines.

1. It should not need to be said that you should not have a cocktail DURING CLASS.  Most instructors frown on that because….-their insurance doesn’t cover them or you and, they want to be drinking to and are not allowed and you’re just going to make your class mates envious. (If anyone DOES know of an insurance policy that covers drinking while exercising , please let me know- I’m going to that class, at least once). And then everyone is going to have mimosas and what would THAT look like?

2. Drinking ends 24 or more hours before class. Again, you would think this doesn’t need comment, but if you’re experiencing “symptoms” 24 hours after your last drink and you’re blaming alcohol, you’re in denial about just how out of shape you are and you need more exercise. And less excuses. Or therapy.

3. 24- 12 hours before class. This what I have come to term the “reasonable zone”. The probability of avoiding symptoms within this time frame involves a number of variables like whether it’s closer to 24 hours or 12, whether you’re measuring your consumption by number of drinks,  or liters, or some either percentages or multiple of liters thereof and whether the circumstances of your consumption has video which either you or your companions think is “the Hangover” , the movie, worthy.  E.g, if there is a live tiger in your house, or you are missing a tooth, Do Not Attend Zumba class, regardless of the time period between your last drink and class.  Call your attorney.

4. 12-7.5 hours before class.  I confess this is the time period with which I have most consistently experimented. I will also say that in this time frame, class attendance requires a very dark pair of shades, and at least a Grande sized, extra shot espresso.  Don’t worry, with practice, you can Zumba with a Starbucks in one hand without spilling it.  My experience is that depending on consumption and whether you’re closer to 12 hours or 7.5, this time frame will involve some of the side effects mentioned above.  Most frequent:  the conversation between you and your Divine  creator. Second most frequent?  Let’s just say I measure those classes by whether they are a “no trip, or 1,2 or three bathroom trips during class”  (and severity of side effects) experience.

5. 7.5 to minutes before class.  Again, I confess that today is the first, and last time I try the 7.5 hour zone.  You do NOT want to be leaving a Waffle House at 1:30 am in a Uber and be in Zumba class, 7.5 hours later.  Do not try this at home.

However, science is a community affair where the many build on the research of pioneers. I pass the baton to my millennial Zumba friend who by virtue of age and or fitness, like our astronauts, are prepared to boldly go,where no one has gone before”. (If however, you drink consistently from 7.5 to minutes before class, please attach video.  Thank you).

Zumba Class and Codeine Cough Syrup

I was going to write that there is some controversy about working out when sick but a quick 10 minutes on the Internet demonstrates that yet again, there was only controversy between my ears. So let me say the clear consensus seems to be that if your minor symptoms are from the neck up, it’s ok to work out. If your symptoms are from the neck down, stay home. This was not my recollection of the rule.

I did however have a previously scheduled unrelated routine doctors appointment two days ago. This is the same family doctor I’ve had for 35 ish years. (Who’s counting). Having a doctor patient relationship that long is a little like being married. He knows I only think medicine should be taken recreationally. I know he’s very conservative. I know when he ignores me, tunes me out, whatever I’m talking about isn’t important. When I mentioned in passing my sore throat just on one side (I know- how bizarre is that?) and my cough, he ignored me and tuned me out.

The cough and chest congestion (or lung clearing from not smoking- whatever) got annoying enough over the last couple of days to turn to the codeine cough syrup (which qualifies as a both a medicinal and a recreational drug). I took the day off to rest, but then though it would be a good idea if I went to Zumba Class to detox whatever this was and move around. I did not give any thought to the codeine. There are some differences to taking Zumba “sober” and taking Zumba with several good doses of codeine cough syrup:

1. Julio Iglesias sounds like Jerry Garcia. After he died.
2. The hour FLIES by. Einstein was right. (And high I think)
3. While it was harder to manage my breathing, it was in a more of a passing out, lose conciousness kind of way. Rather than take breaks to catch my breath, it was take breaths to keep from passing out. Very college freshman like
4. Zumba potentiates the buzz. This is “pharmacy speak” for the exercise makes you twice as high as you were when you started. AWESOME!!!
5. Everybody is soooo friendly when you’re on codeine.
6. Zumba is very relaxing. Weeeeeeeeeeee.
7. I could not coordinate my hand or feet movements
8. I could not keep up with the instructor of the rest of the class
9. I could not follow along with the music.

O wait. I can’t coordinate my hand or feet movements, keep up with the instructor or the rest of the class, or follow along with the music when I’m NOT on codeine cough syrup.

Now that I know what the rule REALLY is, I’m thinking I’m skipping yoga class tomorrow. Although down dog and codeine has potential………just kidding.

Work Out Clothes

Eros-Sport-Collection-Page-6-up_1024x1024There is no version of this universe and no alternate universe, no matter how much weight I lose, or how “svelte” I get that I’m wearing any version of those clothes to yoga class. Or any other workout class. Or zumba class. Or a gym. I just don’t get workout clothes.

I’ve toyed with this subject, albeit briefly, once before, a litle over a year ago. My fellow Zumberanians have a penchant for belly scarfs. https://humorforthehorizontallychallenged.wordpress.com/2013/06/29/zumba-class-an…he-belly-scarf/ They want me to get one. I’ve been debating for a year between the camouflage, image< and the Pirate Skull:
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I’ve been taking votes most of the last year. The pirate skull won out. I actually modeled some for the Zumberanians. They brought a purple number for me to try on.
zumba purple belly skirt<

While purple may be my color, pirate is definitely the way for me to go here.

But workout clothes just puzzle me in general. About a month ago, in workout class, a woman had the words “WHINING” in all white caps emblazoned on her ass, with a circle around the “HINI” with a line through it. I found myself thrust back in Philosophy class for the rest of the next hour. Is that “NO Whining?” or “no Hini?”, I asked myself” and if the former, was that for her kids, and if the latter was that for her husband, and what did that have to do with working out? If the “whining” had to do with working out, who was the admonition for? I mean, if it was meant to remind HER not to whine, shouldn’t it be somewhere where SHE could see it, like on the FRONT of her shorts, so when she bent over, she, or bent down, she’d remember, “no whining?” If it was meant for all of us behind her, I was wondering when all the whiny people in a workout class had gotten on her class. Maybe I should hyperventilate a little quieter. Maybe I should gasp for air with a little less enthusiasm.

And why didn’t the circle go around the ENTIRE word. The shorts were big enough. Why just for the “hini” part? And they seemed to very male gym shorts at that but I didn’t even want to go there. After class, I asked the girl next to me what they were all about and she simple said, ” Motivation, no whining”, so I guess I was making too much out of the whole thing. Or she missed the whole, “no hini” part.

At this point, I went looking for something on the internet about the recent Lulemon see through yoga pants fashion disaster to illustrate some point in my brain when I found this: http://www.fadedindustry.com/hot-girls-wearing-yoga-pants-happy-hump-day/

By the time I got to the end of the pictures, I had no idea what my post was. In fact, I have no idea what my objection to work out clothing is. Hmmm, maybe purple is my color. In the meantime, I’ll just wait for the pirate scarf. And keep wearing baggy clothes.

Zumba Update, Tourette’s, and Common Core Math

I’ve discovered just this week, much to my joy, that the music in class is actually so loud, I can actually blurt out some of the ridiculous things that come across my brain and nobody can here them. Well, except maybe, once in awhile, the woman standing right next to me. But she pretty much ignores me. Most of the time. I call this “Zumba Tourette’s”.

For example, we have a “cool down” routine that’s the same for the end of every class. One position is a squat with cactus arms. Like this.

IMG_2585.JPG. When we did this yesterday, I thought of Ferguson, St Louis, so I blurted out, “Don’t Shoot”. Mary said “what?!” I said, “don’t shoot”. Zumba Tourette’s. Most of my other Zumba Tourette’s comments are more predictable.

Tuesday one of the veterans said, “You’ve been coming for awhile, you’ve been seeing results!” I said, “16 months, and no results. Well, consistency is a result. I’m very consistent. I may lack timing, balance, grace, athleticism, flexibility, strength, agility, stamina, wind, beauty, progress or demonstrable results but I’m proving I’ve got balls and obsessive compulsive disorder. Otherwise, I’m just as bad as when I started”

After 16 months of attendance, I’ve been tracking some patterns, and can now reasonably explain why, on any given day, I only really know the routines for, let’s say, three songs. Here’s the math, in both “old” and Common Core Format. Zumba class is 55 minutes starting 5 minutes late and ending on the hour and each song is roughly 3 minutes each leaving approximately 18 songs per class, give or take. One of those is a cool down song leaving 17. Even with rapid changeovers between songs, you can subtract one more song for beaks between songs leaving 16. You old folks divided 3 into 55, you common core folks grabbed your iPhone, a stop watch, an abacus, started playing music, stoping songs after three minutes, moving a bead on the abacus for each song, watching the clock as you go. We’ll wait till you catch up).

The instructor to her credit, regularly rotates the playlist to provide a change of pace, different routines, work out different muscle groups, blah, blah blah, so the songs change somewhat each class. Of the 16, at least three are brand spanking new routines (to me). Depending on whether the choreography is easy (then it takes me 4 weeks to learn it) or of its hard (she was motivated to create it by some road rage incident that day- I generally call these songs – “road rage choreography”) then those take me more like 8 weeks to learn. An average song will not be in the rotation more than 8’weeks so some will actually rotate out before I’ve actually learned them.

Three of the remaining 16 are older songs (meaning they have dropped out of the rotation but are being brought back). Per the above paragraph, it takes me 1/2 as long to forget a routine as it takes me to learn it. In any case. Most songs are rotated out long enough so that when they are recycled, I remember the song, but not the routine. hence, we’re now up to 6 of the 10 I’m incompetent to perform.

The remaining ten are some variations of these two rules above, resulting in another 3 or 4 that are either so new I can’t do the routines or have been off the playlist for so long I can do them. Using old math, this would result in a answer of 6 songs I actually knew the routines to at any one time. If you’re still using common core math standards to compute this answer, then take double the recommended dose of stool softener with a large glass of prune juice. When those take effect, walk into the bathroom with some hand rolled incense, light it sit down, and the number which comes to mind is the correct answer. According to common core standards.

I like watching new people in class. 75% of anyone who comes to class for the very first time does a better job than me. I’ve already decided if I ever go to another Zumba class and they ask if I’ve ever been I’m going to lie an say it’s my first time, so I won’t be embarrassed,

So, I was leaving class Tuesday, and walking out tot the little parking lot. In daylight. Of the daycare. And happened to be parked next to one of the new girls who showed up that day, who was sitting I her car on her phone. She saw me… And locked her doors. I wonder if Zumba international sells any shirts with Zumba on the back and “I’m not a serial killer” on the front?

I think this Zumba Tourette’s is going to get worser.

Zumba Causes Narcolepsy

For the first time, I made it to 3.75 Zumba classes this week. Here’s what happened. Fourteen months ago, I started going once a week. Loyal readers, both of you, know that after 10 minutes, I was gasping for air and praying for death. As the months wore on, and the pounds fell off, I started going twice a week. A couple of months ago, I dabbled a couple of times with going THREE times a week. In order to fit this on my schedule, this necessitated going to class two days in a row. How can I prosaically describe the effect this had on me? What words will convey the true effect this had on my body, mind, and soul? I know, it KICKED MY ASS.

As April and May approached, I saw my six month July doctors check up looming on the calendar which coincided with my celebrating losing 30 ponds since last July. At the same time, this rate of loss is nowhere near my type A, overachiever, obsessive compulsive addictive personality that wants to be losing 2 pounds a week is satisfied with, so I’ve been constantly been tweaking what I’ve been eating and my Zumba/Yoga/tango regimen trying to get the weekly weight loss up to what I consider a respectable level.

So, this was the week I decided I’d try FOUR Zumba classes and two yoga classes. Here’s how the week went starting with last Saturday.

Saturday June 7: Go to zumba class 9 am as usual. Come home, shower, head to Lowes, buy potting soil, drainage rock, two pavers. Set pavers, level for new outdoor table purchased by GF, plant new deck plants (also purchased by GF), and paint one of two outdoor corner shelves built by GF. Shower, put on costume, attend tango Milonga. 17,000 steps for the day.

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Sunday June 8: go to yoga class: already beyond exhausted. Fall asleep in savasana, or deep relaxation at end of class. I think I snored.

Monday June 9: Go to Zumba class: this is the class I don’t normally attend. I am fired up. Gonna make three in a row this week. Woooo Hoooo.

Tuesday June 10: Can’t get up for work. Go to office. Fall asleep at desk at 2:30. Give up. Take entire day off. Go home. Go to Zumba class at 5:45. This building where she has class doubles as children’s something or other and, I think, large oven for baked goods the size of SUV’s. Or it must, judging from the usual temperature in there.

Wednesday June 11: What day is it? I want to take today off too. Am exhausted. Make it to office. Am really excited about making it to THREE Zumba classes in a row. leave work early at 4 pm. Get home change clothes. Can’t. Keep. Eyes. Open. It’s 5:45. I have 30 minutes before I have to leave for class at 6:15 which starts at 6:45. Ok, I can take a power nap. Set alarm on I phone for 22 min. Close eyes. Pass out. Alarm goes off. 6:07. Great, I can sit here for 5 minutes. Next thing I know, I wake up and it’s 7:45. YUP, ZUMBA CAUSES NARCOLEPSY!!!! (Or maybe I need a little more rest, or a little more time to get used to this schedule- whew,). I dash out the door, race to class and get there 15 minutes late….so, I made it to 2.75 classes this week.

Thursday June 12: regular yoga class. Maria, the teacher, has left for her summer vacation. Who do we get for our sub? The yoga instructor who is also the marathon runner. You can’t make this stuff up. Insert your own punch line here. I pray for a quick death during savasana.

Friday June 13: No exercise today, but I do have to drive four hours round trip to teach the last two hours of a certification class. Have also noticed my weight has fluctuated three pounds this week even though my diet has not changed at all. I assume this is analogous to how terminal patients, as they approach death, will refuse food and water. I’m guessing by the end of the week, my body, from the Zumba overdose, has started hoarding water for the coming apocalypse. I get back to charleston at 7 pm and meet a friend for dinner.

Saturday June 14: I make it to Zumba class no 3.75 this week. I don’t know my name, I swear, just by looking I have 6 fingers on my right hand, I can’t get enough sleep but I woke up at 5:30 am and could not get back to sleep. Class was great. I did notice by one of the last songs, I was having trouble distinguishing between my right and left foot.

You know what I keep thinking, don’t you? She DOES teach a class EVERY DAY at the senior center at 8 am. Lemme google narcolepsy drugs…….

How to tell you’re making progress in a weight loss and exercise program?

Something happened the other day to make me realize I’d made significant progress in Zumba class. Except in steps, timing, musicality, balance, speed, grace, stamina, endurance, appearance, dance, or choreography of course. On my way to class, the drive though line at Starbucks was excruciatingly slow, and it took a half hour to get my coffee, getting me to class five minutes before it started. As I walked through the door, Dale said, “the women were asking where you were?”, which I interpreted to mean that the other two women who got there early, and Dale, had recognized my ability to get to Zumba Class early. Significant progress. Lala gets to Zumba class early on a regular basis.

Today I took a spot on the OTHER side of the room. You know, not in the spot where I stand EVERY week for the last forty-six. We are creatures of habit. We like the same pews in church, the same parking spaces at the grocery store, the same place for our yoga mat in yoga class. Don’t you get a little embarrassed when you go to yoga class to meditate, and get pissed because someone has their mat in your spot, or because someone has your parking spot or pew in church?

I Loved the comments I got this morning as I stood on the other side of the room. “You’re in a different spot”. “Yes”. “You”re switching sides?” “Just looking at the world from a different perspective.” “You”re on the wrong side.” “I’m bi-sided.” Sometimes it’s good to see room from a different point of view. Or people. Or things.

Went to a 3 day business convention last week. Went to one of the night business convention dinners with client and assorted vendors of client at Italian restaurant. One long table, and one short table with me and four others. The four others had driven. Over from the convention hotel. I knew one of the four a little better the. The others she sat next to me. The other two men and the other female sat opposing us. Me and my seat mate had fitbits so we were asked about our fitness trackers. I Confessed to calling mine “that fit bitch” due to her constant nagging” we explained how they worked, you input calories etc. We had a wonderful, typically Italian Roman 37 course meal of Antipasto. Bruschetta. Hot Italian Rolls and dipping sauce, soups, salad, etc, etc. The thin, 117 pound 25-year-old blond, kept up well with all this. As she finished off the last bite of her porterhouse with vodka cream sauce I asked, “do you run 40 miles a day?” She said. “I have a really good metabolism, I do exercise, and I’m only 25”. “Are you staying at the hotel?”, I asked. “Yes”, she said. “I’m going to come find you later and stab you. Beat you with a baseball bat and throw you in a dumpster”.

I always wanted to do that just once. I told her when I left I really wasn’t coming looking for her and I hoped her good metabolism and 25 heard old luck and exercise lasted her whole lifetime. My fitbit seat mate was still giggling on the inside however as I could see, she wanted to stab her too.

I input the entries from the dinner in my fitbit the next morning. A two thousand calorie dinner that was more than I eat in a day and half, normally. It started to beep like a cheap timer in those blocks of putty meant to look like C-4 In a bad action flick. I was speaking that morning, so I told them this story and apologized in Adana CE and told them that if my fitbit actually exploded. Severing my right hand and spraying them with arterial spray, it was the fault of fitbit and veal Parmigiano (which was excellent, by the way).

How to tell if you’re making progress in an exercise and weight program? Same way you do life- accentuate the positive, let the negative go, and maintain a sense of humor.

Zumba One Year Anniversary Wednesday April 23rd 2014

WOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOO I made it a year, and like yoga, and Argentine Tango, I have never been so happy to be doing something I am no better at than when I started. I think Anniversaries are a time for reflection, so I wanted to share what I’ve learned and accomplished in a year. Let’s start with just a little of what I wrote exactly one year ago today:

“Just got back from my first ever Zumba class. Thankfully no scarlet letters or getting tied to a stake was involved. Yes, if you’ve never been, the rest of the class looks like those happy, healthy people you’ve seen on the infomercials dancing to a joyous, driving beat. I, on the other hand, looked like a cardiac patient playing Charades to the same music and my word was “epileptic seizure”. ….. Thanks Dale Ellison. Can’t wait to come back. Maybe for my next class of charades I’ll try “drunk on a electric fence”.” (The rest can be found at https://humorforthehorizontallychallenged.wordpress.com/2013/04/)

So lets reflect on the progress made and things learned over one year:
1. Out of about 79 completely different routines I am pretty confident on 3. Well maybe 4. But definitely 3. And, if she leaves any one of those off her playlist for two long, then I have to relearn it. It’s a constant Alzheimer’s exam. And I’m failing.

2. I now look (make that gasp) at the clock every 15 minutes; First quarter – “ugh”. 30 minutes – “damn it, I’m running out of gas”. 45 minutes – “I am soooo toast, but I can make it 15 more minutes”. (or maybe not). But a year ago I was going once a week and now I’m going three times a week. Which probably suggests I need therapy.

3. All of the songs are fun and I like them all and all of the choreography is my favorite and I like it all. Do NOT tease/satirize the songs/choice of songs/choreography of songs or in anyway appear to do so in your blog ‘cuz the instructor (Momma) owns the playlist and the choreography and she will get even. Consciously or unconsciously. All of the songs are fun and I like them all and all of the choreography is my favorite and I like it all. Having done that several times, there are now several songs in which the movements of a hummingbird look like an old person on Quaaludes to me. No matter how fast you think a song is, or hard the routine is, there’s one out there that’s faster and harder. Note to self – Shut up. All of the songs are fun and I like them all and all of the choreography is my favorite and I like it all.

4. This is a lesson I started doing in yoga class, which I have transferred to Zumba class. When in intense pain, I tend to curse loudly and vociferously, (but silently, very silently) in my own head. I know, this is not very Zen and I am working on changing this habit. While I am working on finding a better mantra, for now, when I do this, I smile broadly. The instructors love this. I love that I’m smiling, all the while thinking “MOTHER fu%*er” in my pain seared brain. It also makes the pain more tolerable.(Sometimes I think other things, but you get the idea, and I do try to keep this as PG as possible, which is why I post so seldom as this seriously limits what gets past my filter)

5. All the women in class are smart, lovely, joyous, friendly, warm, welcoming, and interesting. Especially the Alpha’s, you know how you are. And the tango crossovers. And I’m not positive, but I think maybe the lady from Brooklyn is not going to have me wacked after all. However, after a year, I have just graduated to “token ‘dude’, ‘guy’ ‘man’. I’m not sure if that means my masculinity is or isn’t in question. Besides the “token” thing, its making me a little nervous, but I’ve kept my filter on. I’ve just “smiled”. Last night, in class, a girl walks up to me before class starts and says; “You’re a man taking this class!”. My mind immediately raced through a half dozen smart ass replies, but Dale has me on a very short leash, so I said, “Yes”, not sure if it was a compliment or not that she noticed. She actually had invited her Dad to class and was just excited there actually was a guy who had committed hari kari and had been going for a year.

6. Sheniqua is on the injured list, and is out for the season with a knee injury, but Dale has put up yellow crime scene tape around her spot, and we’re awaiting word from Marcus Lattimore’s knee surgeon as to when we can expect her return to the team. Go SHENIQUA!!!!!

8. They had a party tonight for my Anniversary. Ok, it wasn’t for my anniversary. Ok, it had nothing to do with me, they have a social get together a couple of times a year, and it just happened to fall on my one year anniversary, but hey, I got invited. It was a beautiful home. How beautiful you ask? Have you been to the Biltmore estate and toured the house? That nice, but updated, with nicer countertops and appliances. And on the beach. With a pool. My condo would fit in the kitchen. Both floors. I resisted all my favorite things, like chocolate covered strawberries and liquor filled pudding cups. On one of the refusals, someone was very sweet and commented on my 27lb weight loss ( I really don’t look any smaller yet, at this size, I need to lose ANOTHER 30 pounds before you can really see a difference but I had just posted about it that morning on FB) and I said, thanks, but I have 88 pounds to go. She said, ” were you 88 pounds less, recently? “Yes”, I said, “1979. And that seems very recently to me.”

I love these people. I love this class. I could NOT be any worse at it. All of the songs are fun and I like them all and all of the choreography is my favorite and I like it all.

Fitness Personal Accountability or “Take That you Fitbit(ch)!!

Several things lately have me pondering personal accountability in the fitness arena. I previously wrote that my paralegal gave me a fitbit for Christmas so I’ve been using that for three months. More on that in a moment. My one year Zumba anniversary is coming up April 24th, so anniversaries are always, at least for me a time for reflection. And my brave daughter just had gastric bypass surgery, and has been bravely and courageously posting about her progress, the first three weeks out of surgery, which I thought was particularly brave. As I’ve told her since she was middle school age, “thanks for being my reminder evolution works – you’re better than me”.

Personal fitness accountability appears to be all the rage these days; check any diet program and they all advise a food journal of some kind. There are no shortage of apps now on the market to do that. As for fitness, it’s all about track, measure, goal set, weigh, track, measure. It’s enough to send a Type A with OCD into a delirium of delight from which there is no recovery.

However, in an effort to be a little more participatory myself, here’s something of a Zumba “before and after” photo. Technically, the before picture is from August, not last April. The after picture is from today.

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While I have lost the grand total of 22 pounds since last April, (yes, I know, that is an embarrassing 2 pound per month) I know some of you are looking at these two pictures saying, “I can’t tell a difference”. Don’t worry, I anticipated that and am not, in any way taking it personally. So, let me point out to you the obvious differences. Lets start with my upper body. If you will focus on my belly, you will notice that in the before picture, I have on a BLUE shirt and in the after picture I have on a YELLOW shirt. I think the yellow probably goes better with the dark shorts then the blue. Doing Zumba with 30 women twice a week certainly heightens your fashion sense in workout clothing and I think these before and after photos demonstrate that.

Secondly, in the before picture I have sunglasses on and in the after picture I have no sunglasses which demonstrates that after 11 months, I can actually stand daylight at 9 am on a Saturday morning without sunglasses.

Third, the before picture was taken BEFORE class, so all that sweat is just how much I perspired getting to and thinking about class. At least the after picture was taken AFTER class.

Lastly, in the before picture you can see that I am so fat, my feet ended immediately at the end of my shorts and I had no discernible calf’s or ankles. Hell, in that picture you can’t even make out my feet. IN the after picture you can clearly tell I have legs, which is a marked improvement. I also have no beard in the second picture.

I know some people take these before and after picture to demonstrate that they are actually “smaller” from their diet, lifestyle change, working out, but I’m trying to not be so narrow-minded in my approach to this fitness regimen less I look at the last 11 months as a failure.

Speaking of self-discipline, as I’m running into my self-imposed “number of word limitation”, I’ll have to save my “take that you fit(ch) rant for another post.

But hey, I’m not discouraged. Twice a week, I’m the only guy who gets to dance/work out with 30-40 hot, smart, crazy, motivated, fun, inspiring, terrific women. How cool is that?

Christmas Cruise Zumba, a Fitbit and a Happy New Year

Apologies to my legions of blog fans, (ok both of them) who have been complaining about my complete laziness and neglect of my blog for three months. (Actually, I think it’s really just the one, because I think Sheniqua is just being polite when she comes to Zumba class as there is only so much to talk about for the 120 seconds before and after class).

The GF and I did go on a Christmas cruise which did have a Zumba class!! They were excellent!! I watched three. I even dozed off a little bit during third. They were conducted at the pool in front of the entire ship. The first two rows clearly had experienced Zumberanians. The next two rows had folks who you could tell had been to a class or two. The last two rows had folks who had clearly had two too many tequilas, and would eventually regret both doing this in public and the advent of digital video. (I really need to devote an entire blog to this Christmas cruise on the ship with a two story library, but no bars with any music recorded after 1890. I can’t prove it, but I think the spa, salon and fitness center were former embalming centers. “Celebrity Cruise lines – come die on the water with us”).

A two week vacation was long enough to create a sense of excitement to return home. My law partner and paralegal and I missed our annual Christmas lunch and gift exchange before I left because they were both sick, so when I returned to work on Monday, I had my paralegals gifts waiting for me – a FITBIT!! For those of you that don’t know what a “fitbit” is, let me describe. A “fitbit” is a rubber watchstrap, with an insertable electronic device about the size of a suppository. (this is for another sci fi fitness blog). You download the fit bit app on your phone, and can access their website on your computer. From there you can set how many “steps” you want to take per day, (it defaults to 10,000), how much weight you want to lose if any. You can enter how much food you eat each day, how much water you drink, or what your activites are. It tracks how much water you drink, how many calories you burn, and will even track your sleep patterns telling you how much you slept and how restless you are.

The first day, I had 90 of my 10,000 steps. I calculated this was 3 of my 30 step trips to the bathroom. I posted on Facebook that I figured I only needed to go the bathroom 111 times a day to meet this goal. I tried to do this 10,0000 steps a day thing when it first became popular earlier last decade and got a pedometer back then. I never got over 8,000 steps on my best day. Dale the Zumba instructor told me I’d get 6500 to 7500 steps in her Zumba class, and I didn’t belive her. Until I attended her first class back and was greeted to her “happy new year” addition. A version of Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” – at 78 RPM, sung by the Chipmunks. This video will give you some idea.

Now, while THAT doesn’t look so bad, Dale’s choreography, which is soooo more appropriately challenging and destined to lead to fitness, looks more like a hummingbird on addeerall, who after accidentally taking a rock of crack back to its nest, just discovered a sugar feeder filled with pure Vermont maple syrup in your backyard.

This is not ACTUALLY me trying to watch Dale dance to this song, but it is close enough.

I DID get in 6000 steps than class though. Hummingbird steps. Ahhh, it’s good to be back. Happy New Year!!

Can You Be A Heterosexual Male and Take Zumba Classes?

After much thought, I’ve come up with the same answer to the question of, “can you be a heterosexual male and be married?” Maybe.

What launched me into this line of philosophical inquiry, you ask? Dale’s choreography to this song. Take a minute to get in the “mood” before I describe the “fitness” routine for you.

Now, imagine “castanet” hands high above your hands, walk forward, right foot, left foot, in time with the music, swish your hips right left, four steps then, at the end thrust your hips fast to the right like you’re Miss America in the swimsuit competition (or knocking your best friend off the end of the cafeteria table in the fifth grade). Oh HELL NO, I’m not doing that. not ever. You gotta draw a line somewhere.

Hey, don’t get me wrong. I like pink shirts, manicures and pedicures, a fine Beaujolais and a great art gallery as much as the next metro sexual. I’ve had gay friends since college, and I hope they can get married in all 50 states so they can be as miserable as the rest of us, BUT, – you gotta draw a line somewhere.

Comedians have been “joking” about sexless marriages since vaudeville. Or Pompeii, depending on how you interpret their brothel art. Or joking about marriages, period. Its all about having balls. Or none at all. It’s all about drawing a line somewhere. That’s why some guys will cook, or clean, or shop, or whatever, but when it comes to laundry, for example, they put the whites with the colored clothes, turn the hot water heater up to 240, add some bleach, lye and sulfuric acid to the tide, get them out of the washer, put them in the dryer on extra hot, dry them through 4 cycles and and wait for their honey to take out her all white disintegrated Barbie sized clothes: then say, “OMG, I can’t imagine what happened to those clothes!” And look very penitent when told, “you’re not EVER allowed to wash clothes again”. GRIN.

The amount of new songs and new routines each class is never ending. I feel like I’ve been sentenced to Dante’s first circle of hell, Limbo. (who ever liked dancing THAT at parties in the 60’s either), of endless line dancing and cheerleader routines. Reminded me today of when my daughter joined Girl Scouts. So I had to join Girl Scouts. THAT was interesting. Went to my first meeting and felt like they were looking at me like Anthony Hopkins, in the Silence of the Lambs. At the END of the movie. This is more than convention- line dancing Karma. I must have bludgeoned a court jester in 1502. Robbed and Killed a minstrel in 1287. And I look around the room, and everyone else is doing it, like they were driving a car. Even Sheninqua, who’s on class 11, is sliding comfortably in. Although, I did point out to her that the latest ‘new’ song, which has every arm flap known to man, made me think of the old shake weight commercial. (P.S. I’m saving this rant for another blog, but the Lantino mix of Ice ice Baby has GOT TO GO. Why not try Emimem’s, “Shake that ass for me”. Ok, maybe not a good substitute, bit ICE ICE BABY has got to go. WOW

But then, like a good relationship, it’s making me healthier and faster. Stronger. Slimmer. I sleep better. It nags me silently in my head when I read the menu or go to the grocery store And, it’s very accepting that I ‘m a happy/grumpy grouchy/joyful old pervert. So, I guess you CAN be heterosexual and be married. Or take Zumba classes. But you gotta know where to draw the line.

“Drawing lines since Etch-a-Sketch 1963”