Monday, November 19, 2012

Food for Thought!

I totally recommend you watch both, "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" & "Forks over Knives", on Netflix or Hulu. It will really get you thinking about what you put into your body. Try to take in less processed foods and more all natural foods. i totally recommend adding more raw fruits, vegetables and even add more water to your fluid intake. Remember, we lose weight in the kitchen and get fit in the gym. Eat to live, not live to eat.

Also, have fun working out whether it's Hot Hula, Zumba or Muay Thai (...etc) Doing something fun or a workout you enjoy will keep going back to burn more! Stay motivated by rewarding yourself with things you like. For example, I have a bit of a shoe fetish, and I'm obsessed with Accessories, Makeup and Fragrances. I set my goal and if I reach it, I'll hook myself up with a new fit, purse, boots or heels! ;) Do NOT wait until after the holidays or hold off for a new years resolution. Take initiative now! Get yourself ready now to tackle that new years resolution. Listen to your body and work now to maintain that healthier lifestyle.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My "ZEE" TiMe!

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday  
  8:00pm - Zumba American Fork Gold's Gym- MeKette 9:15am - Zumba XSI Factory Lehi - Amy $5 9:30am - Zumba American Fork Gold's Gym- Stephanie 9:15am - Zumba XSI Factory Lehi - Amy $5 5:00am - Zumba EMZ Glendale (optional) 8:45am - Zumba University Gold's Gym - Heather   
  11:00am - Zumba North Orem Gold's Gym- Hettie 10:30am - Zumba University Gold's Gym - Kass 10:30am - Zumba University Gold's Gym - Kass 10:30am - Zumba University Gold's Gym - Kass 10:30am - Zumba University Gold's Gym - Emily    
  4:30pm - Zumba University Gold's Gym- Emily 7:00pm - Zumba North Orem Gold's Gym - Heather  8:00pm - Zumba American Fork Gold's Gym- MeKette 5:45pm - Zumba American Fork Gold's Gym - MeKette 4:30pm - Zumba University Gold's Gym- Angie    
  9:00pm - Zumba Provo Sweet's $3 - Jenny (optional)   8:15pm - Zumba North Orem Gold's Gym- Hettie        

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Who feeds my love for Zumba?

Emily Engemann
MeKette Ford
Kass Martin
Netta Lealaitafea
Heather Delaney
Jenny Uyema
EMZ Crew
Tui Aiono
Amy Edwards
Betzabe Villalba
Hettie Hansen
Latin Ladies

We continue ditching our workouts and joining your parties at the gym. We have so much appreciation & admiration, for your individual SWAG & FUNK. You are always creating that electrifying atmosphere, that we’re all hyped about. Your Positive energy has us coming back for more . Keep ROCKIN the Vibe that has us all in a dance trance! One Love! #ZumbaLove

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Today's Tips!

YouShouldBeDancingUtah 09/01/12

Too much excitement kept me from acquiring the proper rest for such an electrifying event. Unfortunately, a late night resulted in my failed attempt to attend the Yoga & Zumba Twins Class.

However, I did force myself out of bed at the right time, to make it to Kass Martin's Master Class. YES!!! If you haven't been to a KM (ZES, Celebrity Zumba Fitness Presenter and Amazing Instructor) class, then you are totally missing out. I feel super privileged to even have her as an Instructor at our Fitness Center. Loved the energy, all the routines, music, smiles and fun, fun, FUN!!
(Photos c/o Alex Valente Photography)

I honestly have so much LOVE for ZUMBA! I totally did not want to leave or miss anything and honestly stayed the rest of the day. Call me nuts, but I was there from 10:00am to 11:00pm, dancing my day away, burning over 5000 calories, while having jamming to all my favorite ZIN routines. LoL! Although I wasn't the best partner, I had such a great time working it out with the Phiney's. I even enjoyed the Zumba Gold, Sentao and Toning classes that followed, whaaaaaaaa? Ha! I got down and popped, dropped (like it's hot) and locked it to some Hip Hop Hustling, and also swayed my hips to some Hot Hula Fitness, CheeeHooo! I packed for the day, so I wasn't going anywhere until the end. Stuck it out, even though my legs and feet suffered the consequences of my love for dancing. My own personal instagram pictures shared on my FB wall.

Favorites of the Night! (09/01/2012)

My most memorable moments of the electrifying (4-Hours) YSBDU Concert through the eyes of Alex Valente Photography

Alex Valente Photography: You Should Be Dancing Concert  YSBD 2012-23
  Alex Valente Photography: You Should Be Dancing Concert  YSBD 2012-50
Latin Ladies
Alex Valente Photography: You Should Be Dancing Concert  YSBD 2012-77
Alex Valente Photography: You Should Be Dancing Concert  YSBD 2012-134
Alex Valente Photography: You Should Be Dancing Concert  YSBD 2012-188
Alex Valente Photography: You Should Be Dancing Concert  YSBD 2012-210
Alex Valente Photography: You Should Be Dancing Concert  YSBD 2012-267
Z Life Story
Alex Valente Photography: You Should Be Dancing Concert  YSBD 2012-309
Alex Valente Photography: You Should Be Dancing Concert  YSBD 2012-308 Alex Valente Photography: You Should Be Dancing Concert  YSBD 2012-306
EMZ vs Xscape
The Battle
Alex Valente Photography: You Should Be Dancing Concert  YSBD 2012-349 Alex Valente Photography: You Should Be Dancing Concert  YSBD 2012-324 Alex Valente Photography: You Should Be Dancing Concert  YSBD 2012-350
Alex Valente Photography: You Should Be Dancing Concert  YSBD 2012-371
Alex Valente Photography: You Should Be Dancing Concert  YSBD 2012-416
The Zumba Twins
Alex Valente Photography: You Should Be Dancing Concert  YSBD 2012-465
Alex Valente Photography: You Should Be Dancing Concert  YSBD 2012-478
Clifford & Aisake
Alex Valente Photography: You Should Be Dancing Concert  YSBD 2012-516
Alex Valente Photography: You Should Be Dancing Concert  YSBD 2012-529

Schedule (Darker Shaded Boxes = My Favorite Classes)

"A" Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday  
Round 1 9:30am - Step Interval American Fork Gold's Gym- Lori 9:15am - Zumba XSI Factory Lehi - Amy $5 8:15am - Yoga American Fork Gold's Gym- Shauna 9:15am - Zumba XSI Factory Lehi - Amy $5 9:30am - BootCamp American Fork Gold's Gym- Kayla 8:00am - PowerPump American Fork Gold's Gym- Lori Family Fitness FunDay  
Round 2 7:00pm - Pilates Sculpt American Fork Gold's Gym- Yara 5:45pm - TurboKick American Fork Gold's Gym- Natalie 9:30am - Zumba American Fork Gold's Gym- Stephanie 5:45pm - Zumba American Fork Gold's Gym - MeKette   10:30m - TurboKick American Fork Gold's Gym- Darise Walk, Hike, or Bike  
Round 3 8:00pm - Zumba American Fork Gold's Gym- MeKette 7:00pm - PowerPump American Fork Gold's Gym- Lori 8:00pm - Zumba American Fork Gold's Gym- MeKette 7:00pm - PowerPump American Fork Gold's Gym- Carisa 7:00pm - Zumba Party RPM Studio Sandy $10   Family Fitness FunDay  
"b" Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday  
Round 1 11:00am - Zumba North Orem Gold's Gym- Hettie 10:30am - Zumba University Gold's Gym - Kass 10:30am - Zumba University Gold's Gym - Kass 10:30am - Zumba University Gold's Gym - Kass 10:30am - Zumba University Gold's Gym - Emily 8:45am - Zumba University Gold's Gym - Heather  Family Fitness FunDay  
Round 2 4:30pm - Zumba University Gold's Gym- Emily   7:00pm - TurboKick University Gold's Gym - Darise   4:30pm - Zumba University Gold's Gym- Angie 10:00am - PowerPump University Gold's Gym - Kristen Walk, Hike, or Bike  
Round 3 8:15pm - KickBoxing North Orem Gold's Gym- Leslie 7:00pm - Zumba North Orem Gold's Gym - Heather  8:15pm - Zumba North Orem Gold's Gym- Hettie 7:00pm - KickBoxing North Orem Gold's Gym- Leslie     Family Fitness FunDay  
  9:00pm - Zumba Provo Sweet's $3 - Jenny (optional)   5:00am - Zumba EMZ Glendale (optional)   GNO Event - Zumba Function (optional)   Swim, Walk, Hike, or Bike (FHE)  


Friday, August 31, 2012

Join the Party!

                                How Happy? 
                             .... OH just the Happiest!!!
Yes, I'm just OH SO excited about tomorrow's event. Utah's biggest Zumba Event, whaaaaa??? I just registered for the All Day Pass, along with the photo shoot. Why not? Thank you Kass Martin for even providing a promo link to attend her master class for free tomorrow morning. Nice! So, I'll be packing some healthy snacks, water and a change of clothes, because you can count on me being there all day. Hope to see you there! 

7:00am – 8:00am — FREE “Zumba® Meets Zen” Morning Yoga
8:00am – 8:00pm — FREE Vendor Booths and $ Concessions
9:00am – 6:30pm — $ Photo Shoots
9:15am-9:45am — FREE Zumba® – Clash of the Twins, Party Battles and More
10:00am – 10:55am — $ Zumba® Fitness Celebrity Master Class with KASS MARTIN!!!!
11:15am – 11:45am — FREE Workshop: Glutten Free Living with Roxanne Weir
12:00pm – 12:30pm — FREE Zumba® sampler class: Partner Party with the Phinneys
12:45pm – 1:15pm — FREE Workshop: ‘Fat to Phat’ with Jenny Grothe
1:30pm – 2:00pm — FREE ZumbatomicTM with Cecilia Mills
2:15pm – 2:45pm — FREE Zumba® Gold with Michele Bell
3:00pm – 3:30pm — FREE hiphop HUSTLE™ with Shukria Stewart
3:45pm – 4:15pm — FREE Zumba® Toning with KarinĂ© Ganom
4:30pm – 5:00pm — FREE Zumba® Sentao with Carly Brecheisen
5:15pm – 5:45pm — FREE HOT HULA fitness® with Lisa Loomis
5:45pm – 7:00pm — FREE Mix and Mingle and Professional Networking
7:00pm – 11:00pm — $ Dance Fitness Concert taught by 50+ Utah Zumba instructors!!

The Spoon Theory

This blog post by C.M. clearly explains what I feel everyday. My perfect day, would be a day without pain. It's exhausting to carry the burden of chronic pain. I  can still remember the day I read this post and fell in tears, because I appreciated the fact that there was another who understood, because they too live with such circumstances. I was in awe in how she described ever so perfectly, the difference in an average day for a chronically ill individual and a healthy individual,  who does not have to worry about such things. I feel such a  strong need to share these things, so that readers understand, what makes my  journey so unique. 

The Spoon Theory - by Christine Miserandino

My best friend and I were in the diner, talking. As usual, it was very late and we were eating French fries with gravy. Like normal girls our age, we spent a lot of time in the diner while in college, and most of the time we spent talking about boys, music or trivial things, that seemed very important at the time. We never got serious about anything in particular and spent most of our time laughing.
Cartoon image of Christine Miserandino holding a spoon
As I went to take some of my medicine with a snack as I usually did, she watched me with an awkward kind of stare, instead of continuing the conversation. She then asked me out of the blue what it felt like to have Lupus and be sick. I was shocked not only because she asked the random question, but also because I assumed she knew all there was to know about Lupus. She came to doctors with me, she saw me walk with a cane, and throw up in the bathroom. She had seen me cry in pain, what else was there to know?
I started to ramble on about pills, and aches and pains, but she kept pursuing, and didn’t seem satisfied with my answers. I was a little surprised as being my roommate in college and friend for years; I thought she already knew the medical definition of Lupus. Then she looked at me with a face every sick person knows well, the face of pure curiosity about something no one healthy can truly understand. She asked what it felt like, not physically, but what it felt like to be me, to be sick.
As I tried to gain my composure, I glanced around the table for help or guidance, or at least stall for time to think. I was trying to find the right words. How do I answer a question I never was able to answer for myself? How do I explain every detail of every day being effected, and give the emotions a sick person goes through with clarity. I could have given up, cracked a joke like I usually do, and changed the subject, but I remember thinking if I don’t try to explain this, how could I ever expect her to understand. If I can’t explain this to my best friend, how could I explain my world to anyone else? I had to at least try.
At that moment, the spoon theory was born. I quickly grabbed every spoon on the table; hell I grabbed spoons off of the other tables. I looked at her in the eyes and said “Here you go, you have Lupus”. She looked at me slightly confused, as anyone would when they are being handed a bouquet of spoons. The cold metal spoons clanked in my hands, as I grouped them together and shoved them into her hands.
I explained that the difference in being sick and being healthy is having to make choices or to consciously think about things when the rest of the world doesn’t have to. The healthy have the luxury of a life without choices, a gift most people take for granted.
Most people start the day with unlimited amount of possibilities, and energy to do whatever they desire, especially young people. For the most part, they do not need to worry about the effects of their actions. So for my explanation, I used spoons to convey this point. I wanted something for her to actually hold, for me to then take away, since most people who get sick feel a “loss” of a life they once knew. If I was in control of taking away the spoons, then she would know what it feels like to have someone or something else, in this case Lupus, being in control.
She grabbed the spoons with excitement. She didn’t understand what I was doing, but she is always up for a good time, so I guess she thought I was cracking a joke of some kind like I usually do when talking about touchy topics. Little did she know how serious I would become?
I asked her to count her spoons. She asked why, and I explained that when you are healthy you expect to have a never-ending supply of “spoons”. But when you have to now plan your day, you need to know exactly how many “spoons” you are starting with. It doesn’t guarantee that you might not lose some along the way, but at least it helps to know where you are starting. She counted out 12 spoons. She laughed and said she wanted more. I said no, and I knew right away that this little game would work, when she looked disappointed, and we hadn’t even started yet. I’ve wanted more “spoons” for years and haven’t found a way yet to get more, why should she? I also told her to always be conscious of how many she had, and not to drop them because she can never forget she has Lupus.
I asked her to list off the tasks of her day, including the most simple. As, she rattled off daily chores, or just fun things to do; I explained how each one would cost her a spoon. When she jumped right into getting ready for work as her first task of the morning, I cut her off and took away a spoon. I practically jumped down her throat. I said ” No! You don’t just get up. You have to crack open your eyes, and then realize you are late. You didn’t sleep well the night before. You have to crawl out of bed, and then you have to make your self something to eat before you can do anything else, because if you don’t, you can’t take your medicine, and if you don’t take your medicine you might as well give up all your spoons for today and tomorrow too.” I quickly took away a spoon and she realized she hasn’t even gotten dressed yet. Showering cost her spoon, just for washing her hair and shaving her legs. Reaching high and low that early in the morning could actually cost more than one spoon, but I figured I would give her a break; I didn’t want to scare her right away. Getting dressed was worth another spoon. I stopped her and broke down every task to show her how every little detail needs to be thought about. You cannot simply just throw clothes on when you are sick. I explained that I have to see what clothes I can physically put on, if my hands hurt that day buttons are out of the question. If I have bruises that day, I need to wear long sleeves, and if I have a fever I need a sweater to stay warm and so on. If my hair is falling out I need to spend more time to look presentable, and then you need to factor in another 5 minutes for feeling badly that it took you 2 hours to do all this.
I think she was starting to understand when she theoretically didn’t even get to work, and she was left with 6 spoons. I then explained to her that she needed to choose the rest of her day wisely, since when your “spoons” are gone, they are gone. Sometimes you can borrow against tomorrow’s “spoons”, but just think how hard tomorrow will be with less “spoons”. I also needed to explain that a person who is sick always lives with the looming thought that tomorrow may be the day that a cold comes, or an infection, or any number of things that could be very dangerous. So you do not want to run low on “spoons”, because you never know when you truly will need them. I didn’t want to depress her, but I needed to be realistic, and unfortunately being prepared for the worst is part of a real day for me.
We went through the rest of the day, and she slowly learned that skipping lunch would cost her a spoon, as well as standing on a train, or even typing at her computer too long. She was forced to make choices and think about things differently. Hypothetically, she had to choose not to run errands, so that she could eat dinner that night.
When we got to the end of her pretend day, she said she was hungry. I summarized that she had to eat dinner but she only had one spoon left. If she cooked, she wouldn’t have enough energy to clean the pots. If she went out for dinner, she might be too tired to drive home safely. Then I also explained, that I didn’t even bother to add into this game, that she was so nauseous, that cooking was probably out of the question anyway. So she decided to make soup, it was easy. I then said it is only 7pm, you have the rest of the night but maybe end up with one spoon, so you can do something fun, or clean your apartment, or do chores, but you can’t do it all.
I rarely see her emotional, so when I saw her upset I knew maybe I was getting through to her. I didn’t want my friend to be upset, but at the same time I was happy to think finally maybe someone understood me a little bit. She had tears in her eyes and asked quietly “Christine, How do you do it? Do you really do this everyday?” I explained that some days were worse then others; some days I have more spoons then most. But I can never make it go away and I can’t forget about it, I always have to think about it. I handed her a spoon I had been holding in reserve. I said simply, “I have learned to live life with an extra spoon in my pocket, in reserve. You need to always be prepared.”
Its hard, the hardest thing I ever had to learn is to slow down, and not do everything. I fight this to this day. I hate feeling left out, having to choose to stay home, or to not get things done that I want to. I wanted her to feel that frustration. I wanted her to understand, that everything everyone else does comes so easy, but for me it is one hundred little jobs in one. I need to think about the weather, my temperature that day, and the whole day’s plans before I can attack any one given thing. When other people can simply do things, I have to attack it and make a plan like I am strategizing a war. It is in that lifestyle, the difference between being sick and healthy. It is the beautiful ability to not think and just do. I miss that freedom. I miss never having to count “spoons”.
After we were emotional and talked about this for a little while longer, I sensed she was sad. Maybe she finally understood. Maybe she realized that she never could truly and honestly say she understands. But at least now she might not complain so much when I can’t go out for dinner some nights, or when I never seem to make it to her house and she always has to drive to mine. I gave her a hug when we walked out of the diner. I had the one spoon in my hand and I said “Don’t worry. I see this as a blessing. I have been forced to think about everything I do. Do you know how many spoons people waste everyday? I don’t have room for wasted time, or wasted “spoons” and I chose to spend this time with you.”
Ever since this night, I have used the spoon theory to explain my life to many people. In fact, my family and friends refer to spoons all the time. It has been a code word for what I can and cannot do. Once people understand the spoon theory they seem to understand me better, but I also think they live their life a little differently too. I think it isn’t just good for understanding Lupus, but anyone dealing with any disability or illness. Hopefully, they don’t take so much for granted or their life in general. I give a piece of myself, in every sense of the word when I do anything. It has become an inside joke. I have become famous for saying to people jokingly that they should feel special when I spend time with them, because they have one of my “spoons”.
© Christine Miserandino

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Here we go .... again! I have to say that recuperating & recovering from my bummer summer in bizzy Bmore hasn't been an easy process. I feel like I'm struggling to get back in the groove of my daily routines, here at home. Before our trip, I felt strong. I didn't get rid of my pain or cure my Rheumatoid Arthritis, but I felt like I was really starting to thrive in my thirties. I felt healthy at 178 pounds fitting a size 12. 

A mixture of humidity, stress, poor diet, lack of vitamins and negligence, led to massive weight gain, depression, increase pain and loss of motivation. Entirely, my fault. With my self procrastinating promise to, "get back in my groove" when I get home, convinced me that I was okay to eat what I wanted and workout less than what was normal for me. 

Above, was the last Zumba class I instructed in Baltimore. I was home just one week after this photo was taken. I went in just 7 days after this picture, to find out that I had gained 20 pounds in Baltimore. My RA pain had been peaking, almost everyday since, my first week as an Office Administrator in Baltimore. None of the clothes I had packed fit comfortably. It's been hard to even attend some of the classes, I was once driven and excited for. Zumba has been the main workout, because it's low impact and fun. However, I'm dying to get to that level I was on, where my schedules included Pilate's Sculpt, Yoga, Spinning, Boot Camp, TurboKick and PowerPump. I want to get back to the condition that allowed me to ...


So, I have come up with a plan. It's going to be a bit difficult, but I feel that it's harder now, not being able to move freely and be as flexible as I want to be. I'm tired of the creaking in my knees, the crankiness after the medication, the fatigue, the headaches and all the swelling in my joints. I have been contemplating a dietary plan that would include all the nutrients needed, to assist the natural antibodies and immune system fight the diseases in my body, that cause so much discomfort. It was my goal to be off steroids by the end of the year, and I still feel it may be attainable. I thought about my previous diets, including the Master Lemonade Cleanse, Green Juicing and only considered adding Body by ViSalus into the plan, but then I watched...

If you're a fan of FoodMatters and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, then you are in for a real treat. It's an informative documentary that thoroughly explains why a Plant Based Diet with Whole Grains and Nuts are essential to living a long healthy and invigorating life. Everything explained in this film just made perfect sense. After my experience with the Master Cleanse & Green Juicing, I couldn't help but reminisce on they way I felt and the energy I had, when I had taken out meat and dairy from my daily intake. I will begin this plan on Monday, but have already started eating more vegetables & fruits since Monday, so I'm feeling pretty good about this. On Saturday, I plunged into a deep depressing state, when the scale said I was 205 pounds. 

I have worked hard this week and was super excited when the scale displayed 197 pounds. I was able to attend one TurboKick and one PowerPump class this week. The rest of my workouts, include 7 one hour Zumba classes at various fitness facilities. This Saturday is Utah's biggest Zumba All Day Event at the Utah Valley University Campus. So, I'm pretty stoked about hitting my health goals. Wish me Luck as I try to reverse the joint damage, I have grown accustomed to living with. Ready to be rid of the pain and fat. I am more excited finally feel free from the restrictions and limitations set by obesity & chronic illness. Awwwwready!

Before & After

Weight Log Up to Date

Weight Log Entries
Date Weight Lost so far
8/30/2012 199.0 lbs. 86.0 lbs.
8/25/2012 205.0 lbs. 80.0 lbs.
8/15/2012 198.0 lbs. 87.0 lbs.
5/5/2012 178.0 lbs. 107.0 lbs.
4/3/2012 185.4 lbs. 99.6 lbs.
3/7/2012 188.0 lbs. 97.0 lbs.
1/13/2012 200.0 lbs. 85.0 lbs.
11/8/2011 205.0 lbs. 80.0 lbs.
10/31/2011 210.0 lbs. 75.0 lbs.
9/21/2011 215.0 lbs. 70.0 lbs.
8/9/2011 225.0 lbs. 60.0 lbs.
5/25/2011 235.0 lbs. 50.0 lbs.
3/5/2011 237.0 lbs. 48.0 lbs.
2/28/2011 240.0 lbs. 45.0 lbs.
2/17/2011 245.0 lbs. 40.0 lbs.
2/16/2011 247.0 lbs. 38.0 lbs.
2/15/2011 251.0 lbs. 34.0 lbs.
2/9/2011 255.0 lbs. 30.0 lbs.
2/1/2011 259.0 lbs. 26.0 lbs.
1/27/2011 262.0 lbs. 23.0 lbs.
11/11/2010 265.0 lbs. 20.0 lbs.
10/22/2010 271.0 lbs. 14.0 lbs.
10/17/2010 285.0 lbs. 0.0 lbs.