In my 24 years of life I have never been one of those individuals who could be classified as “petite” or “dainty”. I’ve never had a thigh gap and lord only knows I was “well endowed” with a naturally thick lower body. I’ve always had the more athletic build and posture about my demeanor. It wasn’t until recently, within the past two years, that I’ve noticed that I actually like my strong, athletic, thicker in some places, body.
Sure, I could do without the stretchmarks on my thighs and I’d love to have a six pack despite my never-ending desire to stuff my face with carbs and cheese. But, at the end of the day, it’s all about perspective and all about how you choose to perceive yourself.
My perception of how much I truly liked my body was a bit caught off guard when I tried the latest fitness dance craze: Zumba.
Now, for those who are unfamiliar with what Zumba is, it is best defined as “an aerobic fitness program featuring movements inspired by various styles of Latin American dance and performed primarily to Latin American dance music.” My Zumba experience was the most fun, jiggly, bouncy, wild and free fitness experience I’ve ever had! I’m pretty sure I burned more calories in my one hour sessions than I have in any of my lifting workouts because you are constantly moving!
I was a bit nervous in the beginning because the entire class was facing a wall of mirrors (which is already intimidating enough!) and everyone could see me missing steps, laughing at myself, and worst of all…jiggling.
I was absolutely MORTIFIED! I was so incredibly sore the day after my first session because all of the parts that were jiggling the day before had been moved out of their normal routine — it hurt to stand, sit, walk, breathe, lay down, blink, you name it and it hurt!
After the first week flew by, I actually came to love my jiggle because I knew it wouldn’t be there long and I used the jiggle to identify where I wanted my focus areas to be. I felt myself getting stronger, more confident, and having more fun! The instructor was so knowledgeable, fun, upbeat, and energetic that I learned to love the class even more. The moves were fun, the pace was fast and engaging, I felt so great getting in a different form of fitness compared to my normal routine, and I absolutely loved how I was feeling.
The point of this long-winded entry is to not get discouraged by the parts of your body that jiggle and don’t let that stop you from putting yourself out there to try new things. Learn to embrace your body and its features, have fun learning what you are capable of, and use that as a motivator for your future fitness successes and fitness goals.
P.S. You’re going to shimmy and move your hips a LOT – tons of salsa and cha-cha so be prepared and stretch beforehand!!