Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Journey Back into Greater Wellness This Year

Yesterday: I engaged in a real non-dance workout for the first time since I hurt myself at work last October

Today: My legs are so sore and I’m walking like a woman in a knee length pencil skirt made of steel! I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M THAT OUT OF SHAPE!

While I admit to never being a fitness freak or gym goer, I’ve always been generally active and don’t eat too much of anything for the most part except for chocolate and chicken, *tee hee*! I’ve danced regularly almost all of my life, rode my bike almost daily for many years, used workout DVD’s and have done toning and stretching exercises at home. In 2010 I worked out at home for 2 hours a day, 3-5 days a week, made fresh vegetable juices and fruit smoothies almost every day and followed what I call a moderate diet (I eat anything I want, just aim to do it in moderation). That actually was my best and most consistent year. Theeeeen, I started a new job. If trying to get used to a new schedule change wasn’t difficult enough, a lil’ accident at work resulted in constant tinnitus. There's absolutley NOTHING you can do about that as far as my research has offered so far. It took 3 weeks for the head and neck pain to chill out a bit, but waking up to loud ringing noises that switch levels throughout the day is not much of a motivator. I just dropped working out almost all together.

I really love to eat! This is after dancing for many hours on set for a music video.

Welcome 2011:

By the new year, I couldn’t take it anymore. I hadn’t been to a dance class in over a year since my move, hadn’t done a real workout since October, my healthy wonderful relationship with making fresh juices and smoothies had ended completely and I slowly started giving into the food that was available to me at work. ‘No bueno’ as my co-workers would say (heeey, is it because I'm Latina guys?#that-just-in-via-late-reaction). To top it off, I reached the maximum amount of depression I could bear (because we like to bear depression at all, right?). I then finally started using my Masala Bhangra DVD’s regularly. I had used Zumba primarily on DVD and mainly Belly Dance as exercise in the past, but decided that by the end of 2011 I would get certified in Masala Bhangra…teaching would be a surefire way for me to keep exercise in my life regularly, and a form of exercise that is unique to the area that I am currently living in. My Masala Bhangra workouts were working fabulously well for me and with only a month and a half into it I took a chance and signed up for the certification course with Mickela Mallozzi earlier than what I planned. After an exciting and exhausting weekend long training, I passed the practical, received my certification and became a proud Masala Bhangra-ist. I had every intention of making it into the city every other week to take lessons with the Queen (Sarina Jain) or Princess (Mickela Mallozi) of Masala Bhangra themselves so I could start teaching by summertime. Naturally, of course I hurt myself again at work during that week (it’s ok, you can laugh at my accident prone-ness) and this time worse. With my head and neck back in excruciating pain, I again lost all motivation to workout. Within a month I started trying again, and could only make it through a ½ hour of a workout before I couldn’t go any longer. I would say that would make my teacher worthy status loooooow. The image of me being the kind of teacher who can hardly breathe past the warm up and spending half a class massaging her neck was not-so-shnazzy. Unless of course I was going for the role of  comical Masala Bhangra Instructor (imagine Chelsea Handler as your instructor, who'd undoubtedly have a fun class but not lead to one meeting their fitness goals most likely: see her visit to an S-Factor class). I continued practicing at home to rebuild my strength and stamina until my family members started to complain that my dhol drumming dance aerobic endeavors were making the house a little too “masala” for them. They seriously thought my jumping around would make the TV that is nailed into the wall, fall off the wall and that the dancing would blow up the speakers. Seriously. All 140lbs of me dancing around can do all that. Would you believe me if I told you they weren’t dramatic? Anyways, that was more than enough for me to throw my hands up in the air and agree with the universe that this was clearly not meant to be at the time. The only problem is I went back into my unusual lifestyle that lacked physical fitness activities which didn’t help my depression and naturally it did not help the pain or my energy levels. Life without Masala Bhangra and belly dance is ALOT LESS FUN!

Dancing, especially belly dancing, has always been a multi-outlet for me and my favorite form of exercise. Here I am after a performance with my talented friend Elektra and Christina from Iron & Silk Fitness Center gym in NYC.

Getting properly introduced to Vemma:

At the end of March I was honored to be chosen as one of the 6 faces of Divas in the City. My friend Cynthia came out that night to support me and above the happy voices, music pumping and yummy food (sing it: “these are a few of my favorite things!”) Cynthia noticed the change in my usual demeanor. Living close to two hours away from most of my framily*, I hadn't really detailed anyone much on my “new” life since I moved away. Since it was my neck pain that threw a wrench in my swag that night, I filled Cynthia in on how that came to beb. She told me that she had something that she felt would help me and to give her a call during the week when I had time. I did, and that is when she told me about her experience with Vemma and how she came to sell it. Although I already knew that Cynthia was a brand partner to Vemma for quite some time, I had never asked her what it was exactly and she’s not the type to “force” sell a product. My response to her that night was that I trusted her so much that she could sell me a gum wrapper off of the floor. *Giggle, giggle* Also, considering the fact that Cynthia is a psychotherapist, life coach and COO of MujerPower, Inc., she is a chock full of knowledge in the many facets of well being. That topped with the reality that she is one of the most amazing friends I’ve had, it didn’t really matter to me if she had salesperson charm or not, I was sold on Vemma before she even gave me the details. I was going to give Vemma a shot because she breathed the word and that was that.
Cynthia Santiago of Vemma and MujerPower!, myself and my cousin Kelly at the Divas in the City Paint the Town Pink event where I was chosen to be one of the 6 faces of DITC

Enter my new crazy blond gym addict co-worker:

Aka, #wannabepersonaltrainer. At this point it was clear that it was going to take a little bit more than self motivation to get me back on track. I was in desperate need of outside motivation; a class, a focused exercise buddy...something! While waiting for other financial obligations to be taken care of, I still needed to do something productive for my health until (and after) I was able to make my Vemma purchase. Healthy habits needed to be re-developed ASAP! While chitating* with my friend, Turkish Warrior, about our plans to go to the beach and how we both wanted to start working out, the Dumbo ears of crazy blond gym addict co-worker/#wannabe(andgonnabe)personaltrainer flew up sky high. Her response to us went kind of like this: “Oh nice, I go to that beach every day after the gym, so I’ll probably see you there and we can work out on the beach.” Um, work out after a work out, on the Long Island “eeeew” Sound? All I thought was “This beatch is craaaaazy.” Either way, a new chapter began and those of you who know me most likely know how that particular beach work-out went. I’ll just save those details for my next post on this topic, but in the meanwhile rest assured that I am getting my work outs back into my life ;)

Thanks for reading, til next time!

Lisa xo

*Friends that we make family I call <3 framily <3
  Chit and chatting has an offspring and she's called chitating :)

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