Friday, January 25, 2013

Lealah on a Mission

I know I "promised" (really I just stated, but I hate saying things and not doing exactly what I say) a Finish Line post next, but I feel moved, no rather compelled to write about something else tonight.

The Ragnar Relay with all my new friends was so incredible and I do love each and everyone that I've bonded with, but I hate for other important people to fall to the wayside while I recap that amazing experience. So that post is put on hold for the moment. Tonight, I wish to write about my welcoming committee.

When we got home, my family and coworkers of course made me feel missed and happy to be home. But the people that really stood out in my mind were a entirely different group of people. The week before I left for Florida, one of the ladies in my Zumba class asked me to bring some sunshine home with me. (Because Florida is so damned hot they could definitely spare some!!!!!) I laughed and replied, "Well how about I just try and bring some into the classroom?" Her response was that I already did that. Wow. That meant so much to me; I am not sure if she has any idea exactly how much, but it made my day. In fact, it makes my day just thinking about that. Another one of my Zumba ladies posted this on my Timeline in Pictures page: "What an amazing job! Your story is inspiring to all of us. I'm so thankful to have such a bubbly zumba instructor. You make me want to continue to workout more. I'm learning everyday that healthy weight loss is a one day at a time battle. I know with determination one day I can be where I want to be :)" Again: wow. You know what, not just wow, HELL YEAH! Now, THAT is what I am talking about! That is my MISSION! That is what I am passionate about now! Just knowing that I can die one day saying I've touched even one life will make this blog and all the struggles I still to this day go through worth it. I have another young lady that smiles, waves and says "Hi, Lealah!" every time I see her in that gym, and numerous others that smile and truly seem glad to see me. These people are starting to become pretty near and dear to me. They brighten my days. I could have the longest, crummiest Monday and I will come in, visit with people and start the class and by the end of the first song I'm glowing and oh-so-glad to be there. The same goes for my Thursday night classes, I could go into class all wound up and stressed from a long week, and leave refreshed and ready to enjoy my weekend. 

Right before the first class I instructed after returning from Key West, I joked around with one of my Zumba ladies that they might have it easy yet since I was still fatigued from our arrival the day before. I honestly thought I was too drained to give it my all. Do you know that was one of my favorite classes yet? My excuse quickly flew out the door and I was reaching into energy stores I didn't know I had! This is what pure awesomeness looks like:

How lucky am I to have a class that will do that?!? Guess what? We did it again last night! ;) 

Now I have a confession to make. After the holidays and vacation, I gained three pounds. Now I have already confessed that part, the part that I am embarrassed to share is exactly how ashamed I felt. Through three holiday seasons of living a healthier lifestyle I had yet to gain weight like that (weight that was actual weight gain), it's been hard to deal with this notion. I feel guilty, fat, ugly. I went into Zumba feeling humiliated because I am supposed to be a good influence on them! I am not supposed to show them that gaining weight is okay! I left Zumba that Thursday night feeling on top of the world and on fire. I had forgotten all about my initial apprehension to them seeing me "fat" (for crying out loud, three pounds???) I LOVE my class. I have a great bunch of men and women that enjoy Zumba and come into class and give it their all! And not one person asked why I let myself get "fat". :-P Who could ask for a better group? What I have realized since coming back from Key West? 

A.) I'm one vain biotch.
B.) I'm still as insecure as ever.
C.) It is OKAY to gain weight, I'm not super human!
D.) The most important example to set for my class is not to never gain weight, but to lose it healthily when you do. Shit happens.
E.) I was reminded once AGAIN that I am my own very, very, very worst enemy! I am not fat, I am normal. And who gives a flying crackhead whether or not I'm fat? Just me. No one else is staring at me, judging me, criticizing me. Except for myself. (Okay, some people are mean and do just that, but you feel me.)

The difference between gaining weight the first 24 years of my life and gaining weight now? I know exactly how to get it off and I know that it works; it's not some scary situation that I am not in control of. So for the new year I have set a few goals. They all fall into line with my mission of bettering myself and encouraging others to do the same, health wise and otherwise.

1.) Get to goal size, there is no particular number on the scale that I want to see, I just want to fit into the rest of the goal jeans that have been hanging in my closet for a year now.
2.) Blog more frequently - how can I spread the word and inspire/encourage others unless I'm sharing?
3.) Forget completely about the scale and focus on leaning up.
4.) Last and just about most importantly to become a better Zumba Instructor. This includes getting new music out faster and trying to learn everyone's names (I'm SO horrible with names), which I have already started by having people wear name tags. These people have become an important part of my life and motivate me to be better - a better example, a better instructor, to have better knowledge of fitness and health - and they deserve my all, it's as simple as that.

So here is a call out to all my Zumba ladies and gentlemen, you all are so special and I'm so glad to have you all in my class! Truly thank you for being a part of that! 


  1. The name tags are great not just for you, but for everyone else to get to know each other's names. I'm terrible with asking people's names and now, 2 years later, I'm friendly with people and I don't know their names! How do I ask now?!? (In my defense, they don't know my name either!)

    1. Haha, I know the feeling... Hence the name tags! At least if you ask, they know that you care? :P

  2. Great post Lealah. I am up a few pounds this week (and not being able to run because of the mystery calf injury is really not helping!) I have felt myself spiraling into those dark places of calling myself the fat word, feeling insecure and feeling like a 'fraud' as a health blogger.

    Ironically, gaining a few pounds and now knowing how to manage them is exactly what makes us non-frauds and role models. No one can relate to someone who never stumbles or faces a set-back. Thank you for reminding me today that it's not about the fall, it's about the recovery. :-)

    1. You are exactly right, Jen! I'm glad my blog could help! Sometimes I have to bash myself over the head before I remember what is important!

  3. I think you are amazing and wish i could take your class!

    1. Awww, I wish you could take my class!!! Maybe one of these days you'll come run a race in Oklahoma and we can arrange for it! :D