My Three Favorite Gym Classes: The 411 on Zumba, Yoga, & Spin

I mentioned it a few weeks ago kinda of casually (and I’ve shown a few pictures of myself), but I’ve lost 95 pounds. Yes, I post A LOT of super yummy treats {and unless it has bananas in it I taste them all!} on here, but I also work my butt off and watch what I eat the rest of the time.

Earlier this week I posted this picture on Instagram and 100+ people liked it (Thank y’all, by the way, it made my day).

And I got to thinking that maybe I would post a little bit about fitness and weight loss and my favorite classes and gym clothes and gym hair and ask some questions myself (I have so many questions about weight lifting!).

Before I talk about HOW I lost the weight with PCOS, I thought I might just dip my toes into the fitness pool first and talk about my favorite classes if that’s okay with y’all.

And to do that I have a little admission to make: up until August 1st (yes, right at six months ago) I had never done a class even though I was in the gym six days a week. (Well, I did step aerobics during fourth period personal fitness in high school, but I don’t think that really counts.) So know what I’m about to say is totally coming from a novice, kinda like a beginners’ guide from a beginner herself.

You see, I didn’t take classes because I was so so so so SOOOOOOOOO self conscious of my stomach & upper arms I was afraid people would stare at me. That they would flop everywhere. Or my belly would peek out from under my shirt in yoga. Honestly, I was petrified.

It wasn’t until I had 5.5 pounds of excess skin removed {and a muscle repair–my ab muscles had a hand-width separation between them} in June that I felt confident enough to finally do a class. (And yes, I realize this surgery warrants SEVERAL posts on its own and I’ll get to that eventually. Promise.)

What I discovered was that I love classes.  I haven’t tried that many honestly, I’ve found three that I like and stuck with them (and plus with working and three little kids it’s hard to fit many more into my schedule, ha!). So I thought I would run down my three favorites and give you the 4-1-1 in case you were like me and didn’t know where to start: the good, the bad, the materials you need, and the average amount of calories I burn. (This is the fitness watch & heart rate monitor (but in pink because man, I wish I had it in pink!) This is it in black (just like mine.) It’s two parts: a watch/step counter and a band you put around your chest with a heart rate monitor when you exercise. It’s also waterproof and you can swim in it!)

january 31. playground. double doozies. rolls. pink hot chocolate. february 2. yoga_0001_edited-1

I totally worked out BEFORE this picture and am all sweaty and stinky and gross here. Oops. 

{Outfit details: GapFit top {check out the back! Also on sale!}. GapFit leggings. *Note: Gap is 35% off with the code ‘SWEET’ and an extra 10% off for card holders with the code ‘Bonus’ right now.}

Spin (RPM is what I do)

This was the very first class I did. I thought it would be be the easiest in terms of skill needed and I was right. I’ve never been a coordinated person {understatement of the year} and I didn’t learn how to ride a bicycle until graduate school. But I can rock a stationary bike. 😉

The Good: You don’t have to be coordinated. As long as you can pedal while you hold on to the handle bars you can do RPM!

The Bad: There are two.

The first bad is that your hoo-ha and your woo-hoo and your yee-haw will feel like they have been kicked by a donkey on steroids after the first class. You will realize you have bits and pieces down there you didn’t even know you had before! There are two things you can do to lessen this. First, show up early to your first class and ask the instructor to help you decide how to set your bike (I’m a 5 on the seat and a 7 on the handlebars)–that will help keep your bottom from constantly hitting the seat the wrong way when you sit back down. Second, get you a cheap pair of padded riding shorts. I got these off Amazon for $11.99 shipped! {Note on sizing: I bought a pair that were XXL and I was a size 12 in August. They fit perfect. I’m now more of a L or XL (size 6/8), but I haven’t bought a new pair.} You look like you’re wearing a diaper in tight pants, but your hoo-ha will want to give you a hug!

The second bad thing is the possibility that you won’t burn a lot of calories. YOU control the intensity {there’s a “dial” on the bike you turn throughout the class} and so the only person that truly pushes you is YOU.

Average calorie burn for me: 650-800/hour


I remember when I thought stretching before and after a workout was no big deal. I totally didn’t think you needed to do it. Boy, was I wrong. And yoga has taught me that. The whole hour is spent stretching {along with some ab work and some balance} and it’s amazing how your body opens up. I can’t describe it.

I ran into Target fifteen minutes before my first class to grab a yoga mat. I got a Gaiam 3mm similar to this one {mine is sold out}. I asked my instructor a couple of months ago if it was okay and she said her own mat was a $20 “cheapie” too. {A month ago I did buy this ribbon strap on Etsy to carry it back & forth to class. Isn’t it cute?! $9 and it’s monogrammed.}

january 31. playground. double doozies. rolls. pink hot chocolate. february 2. yoga_0005_edited-1

january 31. playground. double doozies. rolls. pink hot chocolate. february 2. yoga_0003_edited-1

The Good: You will become more limber. Do you know that I can put one leg behind my head now {*after* an hour of yoga warming my body up, of course}. It helps me reconnect with my body, it calms my mind, it’s one of the highlights of my week.

The Bad: You don’t do yoga for the calorie burn. Also, I think you need a good sports bra if you’re larger chested. Going from a downward-facing dog into a plank into a crocodile into a…well, you get the idea. You want to be focusing on your body’s movements and not on keeping your girls in your shirt {trust me on this one}. I finally found a sports bra that it’s extra high cut and now I wear it every time I do yoga.

And I’m about to show you a picture of it. And my bare stomach.

I just deleted a whole paragraph where I apologized for being bloated and my stretch marks and my scars, and blah blah blah. Because you know what? My body is pretty amazing. I don’t mean to look at, I mean what it can do and what it has done {fought cancer & grown two babies for instance!}. I saw this meme and this is exactly how I feel.

Anyway, this is a link to this sports bra ($23 plus 30% off with code ENJOY). I LOVE it and my taataas never fall out. Woohoo!

Average calorie burn for me: 275-450/hour


I was so intimidated to try this class. I think I mentioned how uncoordinated I am earlier, but y’all, IT’S BAD. Like, I’m even tone-deaf. I don’t have two left feet, I have two left feet that are upside down and backwards. 🙁

I’m telling you this because if *I* can do Zumba then I promise you CAN do it too.

It’s fast-paced and loud and all the songs are choreographed {it makes me giggle to even think I can do choreographed movements–I basically failed tap dancing when I was 7 & did like four classes before the instructor told me that dancing just wasn’t for me, ha!}. The first class I toughed it out for the full hour. I didn’t die. I liked the songs, I liked the instructor. So I went back. And back again. And now it’s six months and I go three times a week!

The Good: It’s so fast-paced and each song is so different that the hour goes by ridiculously quick. It is also an intense calorie burn. (And did I mention it’s fun?)

The Bad: I think of the three classes I do Zumba is where I could get injured (I tried BodyPump and stopped going after three classes because I could just tell something was up with my wrists and knees afterwards…& I’m too old to be dealing with that!). All the sliding back and forth, the jumping, the pivoting, etc. is pretty rough. I bought new tennis shoes (these are a different color than mine, but I like the colors better!) about six weeks in–I was fitted at a running store–and that has been great (before that the top of my foot had started to hurt). A couple of weeks ago I bought these…uhm, things (I have no idea what to call them!) that go around my sneakers…to get rid of the traction under the ball of my foot. They make turning and twirling so much easier!

Average calorie burn for me: 925 – 1150 calories/hour (and over 7,000 steps)!

And if you’ve made it this far, thank you. That was one doozie of a post! 😉

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! MM and C. are going on their annual daddy-daughter date to Chick-Fil-A (oh-la-la!) and our town’s annual Daddy-Daughter Dance. She got a new party dress and some miniature sparely heels (lordy!) and C. is giving her a corsage. Pictures to come!

(Tomorrow my gym is having RPM at 9:30 and Zumba at 10:30 if you want to come join me!)

And Sunday we have the Super Bowl with our hometown team in it. And, yet again, just like every single year EVER, we are not invited to a Super Bowl party.


Hopefully your weekend is exciting and you have more Super Bowl party invites than you know what to do with! 😉

I would LOVE to hear about any classes you enjoy. Seriously. Fill me in on what you like because I like trying new things!


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11 Responses to My Three Favorite Gym Classes: The 411 on Zumba, Yoga, & Spin

  1. Sarah Beth Toms February 3, 2017 at 9:54 am #

    Thank you for posting this! These were a lot of concerns I have always had for doing Zumba. It intrigues me. ( but I have no rhythm!) I’m worried I would look like a moron!! It looks so fun though.

  2. Sarah Beth Toms February 3, 2017 at 10:02 am #

    Thank you for posting this! These are some very reasons that I will not try Zumba. It looks so fun but I have no rhythm! I may give this a go.

    So I’m actually doing keto and I’m a month in. I finally cheated last night. ( I’m on a family trip! How do you not??) how often Allow yourself something high carb while going through your journey? I’m concerned it will be difficult to get back on it. Any time I’ve done low carb it was so hard to get back into it after a slip up. At the same time I think I could have done with out the cheat. I feel really good!

  3. Natalie February 3, 2017 at 10:49 am #

    Well, know that it takes a while (depending on your body, etc.) to get back into ketosis. Usually by three days you’ll be back in again. The way to get back in it quicker is to do intermittent fasting (let your body get hungry and start burning the stored fuel before you eat again), exercise, drink lots of water, and do a bigger deficit of calories than normal.

    Now I’m in “maintenance mode” so I eat carbs every day (usually in the form of dessert). I still do intermittent fasting though. I don’t lose weight, but I don’t gain either. If I DON’T do intermittent fasting (meaning: if I don’t wait until my body is hungry again to eat) while eating carbs I will gain. I gained 7lbs over three days at Christmas (and I worked out 2 of those and watched what I ate!) from eating at “regular” meal times and not being hungry. It was not 7lbs really (that would have been 14,000 extra calories I would have had to consume!)…it was bloating from the carbs. Ugh. PCOS is so hard.

    I’ll post about Keto next week, I think! 🙂

  4. Amanda February 3, 2017 at 11:48 am #

    Such an inspiration! I would love to hear more about your success with weight loss with PCOS. I was diagnosed almost a year ago and have still yet to get the weight loss thing under control. Metformin has helped me stop gaining but even with cutting carbs my weight isn’t budging! So proud of what you’ve accomplished!

  5. Sarah Beth Toms February 3, 2017 at 1:56 pm #

    Looking forward to it thank you !!!

  6. Kelly February 3, 2017 at 4:48 pm #

    Way to go girl!

  7. Gayl kirkpatrick February 3, 2017 at 5:00 pm #

    Love this!

  8. Eryn Tyrrell February 4, 2017 at 2:24 am #

    Girl, you are Amazing, this story is making me want to work out again.. I’ve lost the weight, now I need to tone and try and Eat correctly, not sugary and Dr. Pepper all day.. I’m going to read your blog all day tomorrow and Get Excited About Getting Healthy Again..
    Thank You, Natalie

  9. Natalie February 4, 2017 at 10:39 pm #

    Thank you so much, Kelly! 🙂

  10. Natalie February 4, 2017 at 10:39 pm #

    Thanks, Gayl! 🙂

  11. Natalie February 4, 2017 at 10:39 pm #

    Awww thanks, Eryn! I miss seeing your sweet face!

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