Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

July Wrap Up: Dancing and Dining

Holy hell, how is it August already?  And August 3rd at that.  I get married in 2 months and 1 day.  I turn 31 in exactly 7 months.  How  did that happen?  *runs around and panics*

Ok, whew, feeling better now.  July was an eventful month.  I had finally let go of the fact that I wasn’t on a strict training schedule and enjoying my more free and easy workout schedule.  I worked through a lot of mental stuff, remembered how far I’ve come, and also worked up a new eating strategy with lots of advice from you out there!  I took the plunge into a new fitness venue: dance classes.  I had a huge shakeup at work and though change scares me, I think I’m standing even taller than before.  I figured out why I had no desire to run and I’ve been doing ok ever since.  Oh yeah, and a lot of wedding planning.  So I suppose it is status update time!

Just Dance:

What fun this has been!  Our goal going in at first was “lets take as many classes as we can this month and see what we like”.  However, once you start getting two sets of steps in your head (at least as beginners), it’s hard to keep them straight, so we stopped at salsa and west coast swing for partner dances.  As Zliten said one day, “stop fucking with my one!”.  In salsa, count 1 is going forward for the boys, and in west coast swing, it’s backwards.  The first few minutes was always fun trying to get used to which style we were doing.

Each week felt different.  The first week, we felt lost and confused and stepping on toes and everything.  The second week, we struggled at first but both came out of the class feeling like we could maybe dance the simple steps ok.  The third week, I found that I could start talking a bit during dancing and things started flowing.  Like I could possibly go out salsa dancing and I might not have to screw up my face in concentration the entire time and count 123, 567.  The last week, I was able to hold conversations and not freak out when some partners switched it up from the pattern we were doing and actually had some people in the class compliment me on my spins.

I’m torn as to which I like better.  The West Coast swing instructor was probably more fun.  She didn’t mind that Zliten and I wanted to stick together in class instead of trading partners.  We would dance and giggle and play around the entire time.  I like that you can pretty must West Coast Swing to any song out there (anything with 4/4 time, which the vast majority of songs are).  However, I really like salsa.  I like the one and a half spins.  I like the music.  There are plenty of places to go salsa out in the world – and not many to go swing dancing (unless I’ve missed the boat, or maybe Austin has…).  But… the class is more like work because she makes you switch partners and some people are fun to dance with and some aren’t.  The girls in the class boss poor Zliten around.

Zumba has been awesome.  The lady that leads it is an ex-marathon runner who’s philosophy is everyone comes to Zumba to sweat, and if you want to tone it down, you can.  I was pleasantly surprised that I was pretty worked after the first class (though I did continue on to the gym and ran a mile and did weights).  I like that it pretty much eliminates ever having to do squats and lunges because we do that action a lot (but without it being torture).   The first class was INTIMIDATING, because it was me, the instructor, and 3 other people who knew each other and were regulars, so there was no hiding in the back.  But I held my own.  I still get off beat and miss steps but I realized – I don’t give a crap.  It’s fun, it’s a great workout, and anyone that wants to judge can go to hell!  I even got to be on the local news when they filmed our Zumba fiesta party and food bank drive! Let me tell you all, I was so incredibly thrilled that I remembered to shave before the class because there was a closeup of my underarms in the segment that played all weekend long…

The New Plan:

I wish I could say that I’ve lost weight and I found the secret sauce mixture and life is wonderful again.  It’s just not that simple.  I compiled last week’s numbers and I came up with an average calorie burn per day of 561 (so actually about 150 more than my goal) and an average intake of 1668 (which I’d take with a grain of salt since I am a notorious under-tracker, but still even with +100 calories per day, it’s not bad).  By the numbers, I should have had an average deficit of 934 per day, equalling 6500 calories per week – which essentially should mean just under a 2 lb loss.

Unfortunately, the lowest weight I’ve seen is 152.  My body is just not cooperating.  However, I have learned a lot and actually feel pretty zen about it.  I *feel* better at this calorie range/macronutrient ratio.  I eat more healthy things.  I crave less junk (or at least, I crave junk in little snacky quantities instead of drooling over unhealthy meals).  I think if I keep at it I’ll see weight loss eventually.  I think my body is probably trying to repair itself.  I think I was undereating during half-marathon training, or at least undereating important stuff like protien and fat.  Though I felt like I was eating all the time then, and I feel even more like I’m eating all the time.  I can’t even imagine what I’ll feel like when I ramp up again.  I might as well get myself a feedbag.

So what’s up for August?

1.  Giving this 1700 calorie plan some time to work.  I’m going to keep working towards the 40/30/30 ratio as well.  While I’m not down any weight yet, I am regularly seeing weights in the 152-153 range instead of once a week lows and bouncybouncy up to weird numbers so I’m thinking I might actually see some progress here.   Obviously what I was doing before wasn’t working.  It will take some work to find the right ratio of foods that will make the bod shed some weight, but I’m not going to give up.

2.  Keeping the workout schedule flexible.  I have really enjoyed just doing *something* most every day but nothing crazy.  Dance class is 250-350 calories in an hour.  Circuit training is about 350-450 depending on the weights sets I’m doing.  I’m trying to burn about 400 calories on average a day.  I don’t have to do a hour long run with an hour long weights set just to feel accomplished.

3.  More dancing!  I want to keep going with Zumba because it is a blast and I am sore in new places every time I go.  We are doing really well with salsa, and though we missed some west coast swing I think as a couple we are best at it.  This month also starts tango, which is what we really really are excited to learn (the plan is to make a Gotan Project song our wedding dance).  Below is for your dancy/listeny pleasure.  Enjoy!

What’s on tap for you in August?  Inquiring minds want to know…


Resolution Round Up


NOLA Bound


  1. Good luck in all your goals! And don’t worry. However much you weight, I’ll bet your husband-to-be will still find you beautiful 🙂
    And I’ve got to check out that zumba!

  2. you KNOW I am a firm believe in the 40/30/30 and Ill spare you the BUT IF YOURE EATING THAT WAY —SO CLEAN METHINKS YOU CAN EAT MORE THAN 1700!!

    let me know if you want it 🙂

    Id say 18 at least…

  3. cat

    Man I know what you mean. For my current weight and activity level I eat about 1300-1450 per day and burn about 300 a day just in workouts. Yet I hover at 127 and I aim for 122. I don’t work out every day tho, maybe 3-5 a week between running and surfing.

    I’ve increased my water intake a ton tho at the recommendation of some friends, like 80z a day or so, so I’m kind of curious if that’s messing with my numbers…

    40/30/30 is hard, I’ll have to check out your spark thing so I can see how you manage it because I am just a carb loader!

  4. WHoo! 2 months. It will be here before you know. Good luck with the goals. Enjoy the wedding planning!

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