Inspiration of the Month August 2014: Kili Maii
Of all the fitness regimes and diets I have attempted, SC Fitness is the only thing I have stuck with consistently for over a year, which for me is a pretty big deal. I first started taking classes with Sandy in February of 2013 when thanks to a sedentary desk job, my weight was at its highest ever.
My first attempt at Zumba was not pretty. We started with “Pa’que Lo Bailen Bien” (Sugarcane!), ended with “Pegate” (Freestyle!), and somewhere in the middle I damn near passed out attempting to keep up with the up-downs of everyone’s favorite, “En Sus Marcas Listos Fuera” (What! What! What!). I had a Groupon for 20 classes and needed to use them all so I kept coming back. Every time I picked up a little more of the choreography, took fewer breaks between songs, and very slowly inched my way from the back row to the middle row.
After I started mixing in some Body Sculpt, my stamina shot through the roof and I started looking forward to class as something to do for fun rather than exercise. I challenged myself to keep up with the ladies in the front row and eventually worked up the nerve to move there myself. All in all I have lost about 40 pounds and feel like I am just getting started.
Surprisingly, one of the things that has really helped me in maintaining my weight loss is not having a diet. Before starting with SC Fitness I spent a full year tracking calories and trying to stick to different diet plans with zero success. Now I pretty much eat what I want—wait for it—only the food I want to eat is food that I know will help me to look and feel better. Turns out that my body functions much better when fueled by proteins, veggies and fruits than when fueled by grease, sugar and starch (shocker!). I still eat the greasy sugary stuff, but I try to make those times the exception rather than the habit. My absolute favorite thing about living in Los Angeles is being able to discover new and exciting places to eat with friends. I have comfort in knowing that if I am reasonable with my food choices 80 percent of the week I can spend the remaining 20 percent not worrying about calories and just enjoy sharing a meal with people I love.
Sandy has been a tremendous motivator in my journey towards self-improvement. The little high-pitched squeaks she makes during class are plain adorable and never fail to make me smile and as anyone who has taken a class with her can attest her bountiful energy and enthusiasm are unerringly contagious. Even if I am exhausted and grumpy before class I never leave feeling that way. Optimism has never been a particular strength of mine, but at the first Zumba class of the New Year Sandy challenged us with her resolution to take our setbacks and view them as opportunities. One week later when things in my personal life imploded and I had to abruptly find a new living situation I remembered Sandy’s advice and took some comfort in knowing that this setback might just be an opportunity in disguise. I am forever grateful to her and to this amazing community.