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Weight ain't nothin' but a number, right?

Zumba convention party 2012
Yep -- that's a tutu-clad Zumbaholic checking out the action at the Saturday night party at the Zumba Convention.

Since Wednesday afternoon, I've been in Orlando, Fla., covering the annual Zumba Convention, where I've been surrounded by 8,000 energetic, vibrantly hued Zumba instructors, not to mention the DVD instructor superstars, Zumba top brass and Zumba creator Beto Perez.

The convention took place at the Peabody hotel, which, for the uninitiated, is freaking huge.  I wore my Fitbit all weekend, and I averaged around 19,000 steps a day. I literally moved myself out of my jeans. I spent much of the weekend lamenting the state of my baggy-ass jeans.

Most days I hit the hotel gym for a morning cardio and weights workout (the gym is huge and well stocked with cardio and strength equipment). But on Saturday, we (the media) got to demo some of the newer workouts (Zumba Gold for older/newer exercisers, and Zumbatomic for kids), plus we did an hour-long workout led by Beto, which combined the Sentao workout, which uses a chair, and Zumba Toning, which uses those maraca-like 1-pound Zumba toning sticks. I felt like a pro, since I got to try out Sentao in May.

So I nailed the working out part of traveling.

As for food, I stuck to turkey sandwiches and salads. I had stocked the hotel mini fridge with baby carrots, apple wedges, hummus and Greek yogurt. I had also stashed a few protein bars in my bag and a few packets of instant oatmeal. Breakfast consisted of what I call Hotel Overnight Oats – oatmeal mixed with Greek yogurt and a half a sliced banana mixed the night before. It’s super filling, loaded with protein and a decent source of fiber. I had one glass of wine the entire weekend, and my one big splurge was a dish of mint chocolate chip ice cream Saturday night while I attempted to get work done on my laptop in the hotel diner.

Got on the scale this morning expecting all sorts of success – and I gained 4 pounds.

I was shell-shocked for about 5 minutes.

Then I decided that the number on the scale was NOT going to undo all the good I did with eating, exercise and movement. I have no idea why the scale showed that number but it might be a combination of restaurant food (the sodium monster) and maybe a little muscle gain. I pushed it hard in the hotel gym.

Why does a number on a scale have so much power? I know I did the right things, I know my jeans are baggy as heck, I know I drank lots of water and got a good night sleep every night. But the number looms over my head like a big, blinking #FAIL.

But I’m home now, completely in control of my food choices and more than ready to jump feet first into the Lighten-Up program that actually started last Monday. I’ve been reading the materials and getting into the “head” part of the program. Now I can finally get into the food component – lots of plant-based foods and no “diet foods.”

I didn’t want to half-ass the program last week, because I think what the Good Life Coalition is doing is important – trying to change the way people look at losing weight from one of denial to one of positive change.

One of the concepts that we'll be working on is finding a "soulmate workout" -- exercise that you want to do instead of something you feel you have to do. I love dance workouts as well as technology, so I'll leave you today with a sneak peek at the new Zumba game that's coming out this fall for Xbox and Wii. It's called Zumba Fitness Core, and targets the midsection while giving the rest of you a great cardio workout. Dance plus core plus Xbox? Definitely on my to-do list.

You might spy some of the Zumba superstars dancing to the game -- Kass Martin, Gina Grant and Beto Perez were there dancing along with the crowd.