real women reveal: how Zumba changed my life

by MrsFatass on February 16, 2012

zumba

MrsFatass rocks the red carpet at Zumbathon

Yesterday, I learned that this piece on Shape.com went live. I, along with 7 other women, answered the question “how did Zumba change your life?”

I answered that question in about a zillion words, and that answer was boiled down to just a few, and as people always say when somebody writes down what they think they said – I don’t love the quote. But I do love the message – Zumba has changed my life.

I got a lot of questions yesterday like this one: What is it about Zumba that changed things for you? Was it the exercise itself? Making you feel better about your body and thus yourself as a whole? etc.?

You’d think I could spout off eloquent answers to this kind of question without even thinking about it. I’ve written here many times about my promises to myself. Do cardio, see my doctor, wear a bikini. And I’ve written about the different ways that music has held me up when I’ve wanted to lay on the floah.

But I fumbled through long, wordy answers all day.

Here’s what it is about Zumba. I found a kind of exercise that makes me not dread doing it. I do a lot of different things to get exercise that I like okay – TurboKickMyAss, Spinning, Walking – but I still had to fight the sit on my sofabuttdentwatchingBravo demons in order to get there.

Zumba drew me in with music, and music is what keeps me there. I’m sure I could get on The Google and find some scientific information about music therapy or something, but I don’t really care. It’s my own experience that matters most to me right now. Music was the bridge between me doing exercise just to try to get in shape and me really loving what I do enough to do it consistently, and to push myself to become stronger. And it truly exercises my crazybrain. I crank up the volume, and in 15 tracks a class can work out the rollercoaster of thoughts and emotions and worries and stresses that I hang on to every day.

Especially the irrational ones. That’s the kicker. Anxiety is an irrational response to a situation. Whether the stress or fear is real or perceived makes no difference. And something about the marriage of the music and the exertion helps me let go of all of that. And makes me tired enough to sleep.

I stumbled into my first class so long ago simply because I knew I liked to dance, and now I walk taller and smile more genuinely and feel more sexy and get to go dancing at least 5 times a week. And I get to encourage an inspire other people to do so. I love that.

So. That’s what I wish I could have said. I can’t stop being blown away that I am actually part of a feature about how Zumba changes lives. Because I’m living proof that it can. Zumba, or any passion you uncover. I’m very thankful.

 _____________________________

Don’t forget tonight’s TwitterChat about the Georgia Billboards from 9-10pm EST. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Click through #Ashamed, Still #Ashamed, and all the links therein. It will be a good conversation!

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Trish @I_am_Succeeding February 16, 2012 at 9:08 am

Look at you!! Beautiful!

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JennieMc February 16, 2012 at 9:24 am

Loved this post – I always enjoy reading about your Zumba adventures, and I *LOVE* that you embrace who you are now, at this moment, and celebrate and share it.

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Chibi Jeebs February 16, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Hotty! 😉

You make me want to get over myself and just TRY. (I’m ashamed to admit that I own the Zumba game for the Wii and have since LAST YEAR. It is still sealed in the package. I’ve been too ashamed/self-conscious/hate-filled to even attempt it at home in the privacy of my own living room.)

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merri February 17, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Yay for your article!! I totally agree, music is SO IMPORTANT to my workouts. Most of the classes I take, the moves are choreographed to go with the music, even the weights and such. Music is an enormous part of my life, and even something like my chill elliptical Friday workouts are done with my ipod, where I listen to awesome music and it lifts my mood SO MUCH. In fact, if I don’t have music, I can’t work out. I just leave the gym. There is a zumba class I want to go to but its at the same time and across town from my bodypump class that I like, so I probably won’t be going anytime soon, plus when I did a preview of it with that teacher (my turbokickboxing teacher, she’s awesome) we jumped and hopped and such so much it injured my knee. Zumba is fun though and dancing is too!

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Brittany February 17, 2012 at 7:04 pm

So proud of you! And so honored to have been able to be at the Zumba at Fitbloggin last year! It was SO fun! Can’t wait for you to lead us through some Zumba-tastic times this year 🙂 Love you!

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Deborah (Schmiet) February 19, 2012 at 3:27 am

That’s a gorgeous picture. I love dance classes myself and like you it’s the music etc. So motivating!

Deb

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Jaki (Slim Down U) February 22, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Great post! Music keeps me going when exercising too.

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workout mommy February 24, 2012 at 3:03 pm

I’m a zumba virgin. I need to travel down your way to take your class! 🙂

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