Zumba, Non-Scale Victories (NSVs), and other Fun Stuff

It’s super busy around here these days! I’ve got lots on the agenda, but wanted to come here and jot down a few things I’ve been proud of lately.

  • My new Zumba class is going well. So far I’ve only been able to make it on Saturdays, but it’s been a lot of fun and really kicks my butt! (See my Twitter feed for a post-class picture from Saturday). They are also affiliated with a spinning studio. I’m thinking I’ll give that a try one of these days as well.
  • R and I always sit in the front of our Pilates classes. On Sunday, we were the only two in the front and our teacher basically stood behind us to check on the rest of class as if she didn’t have to worry about our form! She even used us to demonstrate a few of the exercises.  I’ve definitely seen a huge difference in my core strength, so it was nice to have that progress more or less confirmed. On a side-note: I was secretly relieved that she wasn’t watching us so much, because my hamstrings and glutes were so sore from Zumba that I could barely do the bridge exercises! Phew.
  • Sunday afternoon I baked up some delicious chocolate peppermint cookies, using real peppermint oil, as a practice batch for a Great Big Oil Gathering that my friend and I are hosting on Friday. They turned out really well. The part to be proud of, though, was the part where I managed to not eat any batter and only have one cookie (one!). The best part was that I wasn’t even craving them or thinking about them once they were put away. I brought them in to work today and my office-mates have dutifully devoured them.
  • My “skinny” jeans refuse to stay around my waist and are too big in the thighs.
  • I’ve found a new allergy remedy using my oils! A drop each of lemon, peppermint, and lavender oil in a spoonful of honey gave me allergy relief for hours. It was pretty incredible. How nice to not have to deal with that hazy, tired feeling I get from my regular allergy medicine.

Bridal Shower Fun and Victories over Emotional Eating

The bridal shower went off without a hitch yesterday. We all had a lot of fun!

Here are those favors made by my cousins that  I mentioned in my last post:


We had some cute accessories for the bride to wear. Those are sunglasses with the words “Bride to Be” at the top, and a crown with a veil.


And here is the delicious cake I was saving all my extra calories for. It had chocolate and vanilla layers with chocolate and vanilla mousse filling. Yep, it was an amazing as it sounds.


After the shower, I high-tailed it back to NYC to relax and revel in the fact that I don’t have any more traveling on the agenda until the actual wedding at the end of September. Phew! It’s been a rather hectic summer with all of this dress buying and party planning.

Reflecting on the weekend, there were a few moments of food choices that I am really happy with. Often when I visit my family I instantly revert back to the insecure, out-of-control emotional eater that I used to be. No matter how much I would coach myself on the way there, it seemed like all of the motivational quotes, mantras, and plans just flew out the window. This time, however, I was able to stop myself from falling down that slippery slope before I even crossed the state line.

While waiting for my train in Penn Station on Saturday morning, I decided to buy an iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts. As I got closer to the counter I started thinking I should get a doughnut, too, even though I had already eaten a healthy egg-filled breakfast. The internal dance of reasons for and against a doughnut began. After a few minutes, I caught myself and recognized that I only wanted the doughnut because I was feeling anxious about the shower and all of those feelings that can come up when spending time with family. I reminded myself that a doughnut was not going to help the situation or make me feel better. On the train, with only my iced coffee in hand, I was proud of my decision.

That night we went out to dinner which is usually another time when I let old habits and emotions get the better of me. Not this time! This time I ordered grilled chicken, baked potato, and a salad. I was actually satisfied with my choices and happy that I was able to ignore the fried food beckoning to me.

The meal at the shower was another victory of sorts. I decided ahead of time that I would choose the roasted turkey breast sandwich over the cheeseburger. Even though, many of the people around me ordered the burger, I was once again happy and satisfied with my choice. And I indulged in a piece of that delicious cake without one twinge of guilt.

These little victories are not so much about the calories saved, but more about not letting my emotions affect my eating choices. Those “comfort foods” never really leave me feeling comforted. In fact, they usually lead to some half critical/half joking comments from my mom (even if she just ate the same thing!) which leave me annoyed and wanting even more of them. It’s an ugly cycle that only I can break. I can’t control how the people around me treat me, or what kind of emotions/insecurities re-surface around them, but I can control how I react to those emotions. This time around, I think I did a pretty great job!

So Long, Plateau

Success! Last week I was FINALLY able to break through my month-long plateau. It’s only by 1.5 pounds, but I have consistently stayed there for a week, so I’m declaring it official!

I’m sure that adding in a few Zumba classes helped a lot. It felt so great to be back doing some serious cardio work. Happily, my stamina was pretty much the same as before. I was able to keep up with the instructor and do all the high-intensity variations. I also noticed how much more flexible and balanced I am. When we did jumping jacks in the past, I would favor my right side and put more weight on my left. Now I’m able to make sure my weight is evenly distributed.  I’m convinced more than ever that all of the yoga and Pilates I’ve been taking has really improved my core and alleviated some of my tight hip flexor issues. It’s nice to see all that time and effort paying off!

The first full week back to work was pretty good, but now we’re getting into the stressful preparation mode. I’m compiling check lists left and right. Also on the plate this week is the bridal shower I’m throwing for my future sister-in-law which is happening on Sunday. Everything seems to be under control so far (knock wood). Planning a shower from a different state is a little tough. Thank god for my amazing cousins who are helping out with the games and favors. They have been amazing.

My goal is to stay on track this week and really enjoy that slice of cake on Sunday. Here’s to another successful week ahead!