EMZ is a non-profit, fitness organization dedicated to inspiring members of the community to unite in becoming healthy, fit, and active by providing and promoting free and low-cost fitness classes and health education opportunities.

EMZ Instructors:

Beti Tua'efe, Betsy Vakapuna, Billie Sosi, Dana Rossi, Lila Latu, Liu Vakapuna, Maki Yamagata, Meliame Vaikeli, Satomi Biggs, Sela Misinale, Sinai Pauni, Sisilia 'Iongi, Twig Larkin

Donations kindly accepted :)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Upcoming Events

We are doing a few FREE night classes this week. See Facebook Group page for info on that. Here's what we have coming up:

 July 4th: One hour class. Same time - 5:30 am. Please come dressed in your patriotic colors (red, white, blue...stars, stripes..).  

July 6th: Super Hero Day. That's just how we do it at EMZ. Please come dressed in your favorite Super Hero costume. It's Friday and we like to change things up a bit.  

July 13th: As promised, our very own EMZ instructors get to do the entire class. On this particular day, Beti & Betsy will be sharing the hour. Looking forward to a dose of B & B.  

August 3rd: Our very first EMZ master class. It's Friday evening and we have some fun things planned for this evening. In usual EMZ style, we will have some giveaways from our sponsors.  Here's what you need to know: location is in SLC, it will begin at 7:00 pm, it's an hour and half. VIP - $35 (some great things in store for you) & $10 advanced purchase / $15 at the door.  We as a group of instructors would love to attend the Zumba Convention in February of next year. Money earned from this master class will go towards the cost to get us to convention. We truly appreciate all the love and support from you all and definitely looking forward to this event. More details to come!

Monday, June 18, 2012

EMZ & M.A.N.A.

On May 28, 2012 - Memorial Day, Uilisoni Angilau came out and shot this footage for M.A.N.A. (Thank you Soni & M.A.N.A. for letting us be a part of your challenge!)  I absolutely suck in front of the camera. It doesn't help that we're shooting it so early in the morning -- well, that's my excuse.

Anyhow, to elaborate a little on my so called "health tip", breakfast is the most important meal and it is the meal that always gets skipped. Why is breakfast so important? 

 Some people skip breakfast in an effort to lose weight, but the practice is more likely to cause weight gain than weight loss. Skipping breakfast is strongly linked to the development of obesity. Studies show that overweight and obese children, adolescents, and adults are less likely to break the fast each morning than their thinner counterparts. 

According to research, skipping meals, especially breakfast, can actually make weight control more difficult. Breakfast skippers tend to eat more food than usual at the next meal or nibble on high-calorie snacks to stave off hunger. Several studies suggest that people tend to accumulate more body fat when they eat fewer, larger meals than when they eat the same number of calories in smaller, more frequent meals. To teens, especially teenage girls, skipping breakfast may seem like a perfectly logical way to cut down on calories and lose weight. It's important for moms to educate their kids about the importance of the morning meal and the role it plays in maintaining good health and preventing obesity.  LINK

For those that like to workout super early like us, it's probably not a good idea to eat a full breakfast right before your 5:30 workout.  Save the 'real breakfast' for after.  However, due to your body coming out of a state of fasting (sleep - thus the term break fast = breakfast), it is important to get something into your system.  Eat something light so you don't get light headed, dizzy & what not during your workout.  That's what I meant to say for my tip -- but obviously it didn't come out right...bwuahahahaha!

Routine led by Beti Tu'aefe 
Original choreography by Teresa Auva'a
Song:  Drop It Low by Kat DeLuna


Saturday, June 16, 2012


I thought...maybe I just want to share :)
As much as we have 14 EMZ instructors, it's VERY rare that we get to hangout. Or even, we all be at the EMZ.  As far as I know, it happened only twice in the past with in almost 2 yrs.  That doesn't mean that we don't communicate. We do. Thank goodness for modern technology :))  So, when the summer comes and a little time that we get to hangout together like this in the pictures after EMZ, it is PRICELESS for me.  In other words, one of my high lights of the day.  If I quote Beti, "I love how we get to take turns to make each other laugh," it is truly lighten things up for whatever we all each have in our lives.  We shed our tears for hearing inspirational experiences, too.  Do I know each member well?  No, not yet. That is another reason why I look forward to this time, where I get to know each of my fabulous instructors.  That goes same with any events that we get to go as a crew.  For example, our recent 70th birthday party for Sinai and Sisilia's pup.  I may not talk with you (because most likely I will be chasing after my boys at those events, and on top of that...I am the shy and the quiet one, hahaha), but I do see and hear about how wonderful you are.  And that is so precious to me. Of course we get to read our FB and blog posts, but real interaction get something more, without twisting the writing, etc.  So, time like this = PRICELESS!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Water, yes Water!!

So, we hear a lot about drinking water. We do need water intake for our health. I think we already posted benefit of drinking water here before or on our FB page, so I am not going to re-write again here. But, to be honest...drinking water is one of my struggles.  It's not that I rather drink soda or sugary drink, I just don't drink as much as I should. Also, even I was raised in tea-culture (hello! I can't even tell how many kinds of tea we have in Japan), I didn't drink much as I grew up. It could be because I was able to intake liquid through soups and other food. So, when I moved in Utah, that was the first thing I noticed in my body. "I am so thirsty and my skin gets super dry here!!"

When I started to change my water intake, it was winter and I absolutely HATED drinking water out of fridge (built in water filter in the fridge). I thought, "How am I going to keep drinking boring water with out feeling like I have to rush to bathroom every 3 min.???"

One thing that helped me was getting a good water bottle. In fact, I had two of them. One for refiled and keep it on counter so it's not so freezing cold water, the other for 'drinking.' When one is empty, I take the one on the counter and refill the empty one and put it on the counter.  I also got a water bottle with straw (Camelbak is one example). Why straw? Because it helps me to keep sipping the water instead of gulping the entire glass of water. (not to mention that I spill a lot...and that's another story for another day, hahaha).  Before I even know it, drinking with strew was helping me to intake water gradually and easily.  The entire bottle was gone quite faster than I use for a glass of water and I didn't feel so much frequent to go bathroom.

Some people likes ice cold water, and others don't.  Unless I am working out, I usually drink room temperature water for my body to intake easily.  When I was taking CPR/First Aid certification, that was one of the things I learned about dehydration.  I was told by my instructor, "Instead of giving cold water, room temperature water helps."

But do we HAVE to restrict ourselves to only water?? I feel like no...or it's up to you.  Especially after I take 64 oz of water daily, sometimes I want to add a little flavor such as lemon, honey with a little bit of apple vinegar (this one I learned from my mission to prevent heat exhaustion), essential oil (I use Doterra oil), or crystal light where there is no sugar.  Just to change things up.  Now that I wrote my little tips of drinking water... I'd like to know, what's yours??

Satomi Biggs      

Upcoming Events

June 15 (Friday 5:30 am) - One thing we always try and do as instructors is give our class notice if we are having a guest, especially if the guest is teaching the full hour.  No guest on this day, it's just me - Sinai who will be teaching the entire hour.  Just giving you all a warning in case you come Friday expecting the entire team.

For a double dose of Zumba, join us again Friday night.  EMZ instructors will be team teaching w/me for my dad's 70th birthday celebration - yes, you got it - ZUMBA!  Refreshments afterwards.

June 16 (Saturday 8 am) - This event hits close to home.  The individual the event is for is related to two of our instructors - a sister in law & aunt.  Come out and support if you can.  For more information about NFT (National Foundation for Transplants), or to make an online donation in honor of Uina, please visit www.transplants.org.  Select FIND A NFT PATIENT and search for Uina Vakapuna.

Prior to the 5K Walk-a-Thon,
from 6:30 am - 7:30 am
EMZ in the park!


June 20 (Wednesday 7 pm) - Zumba / BBQ

June 21 (Thursday 5:30 am) - tentative - One of our favorite guests - Jocelyn DeCorte.

July 6th (Friday 5:30 am) - SUPER HERO Day!!! Yup, wear your favorite Super Hero costume!

July 13th - 14th (Friday 6 pm/Saturday 9 am) - Relay For Life - Team EMZ!  Stay tuned.  More posts about this event in the near future.

August 3rd (Friday 7 pm) - EMZ Master Class - Details to come.  Definitely an event you don't want to miss!!!

EMZ Loves,
~ Sinai ~

Monday, June 11, 2012

June 9, 2012 - Zumbathon w/ Lindsey Taylor

This past Saturday, a bunch of us participated in Lindsey Taylor's charity event for The American Cancer Society. She had an hour and half Zumbathon to raise money for this event. The event itself was personal for many, including Lindsey. She lost her father to cancer. 

We had a good number from out group that attended. It was a lot of fun and in the usual EMZ style, lots of craziness. A few of us instructors were able to share the stage with her. When she asked if we could, I asked her, "are you sure you want us on stage with you?" Hahahaha. 

We definitely had a good time on stage. Thank you Lindsey for always showing EMZ lots of love, even when we get down & crazy.

A great workout & great cause.  Happy we were a part of it!

Here's the video from this past Saturday.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

20 Healthy Weight Loss Tips From People Who Have Lost 50 Pounds or More

It's been awhile since we've posted.  Hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend.  Here's a copy of an article I read recently.  Check out the tips below! 

Direct Link is found HERE.

Drink Water

One of the biggest common denominators amongst people who lost over 50 pounds is they all switched over to drinking water. They gave up the sodas and sugary drinks and instead quenched their thirst with water. This tip alone helped hundreds of people lose weight.

Keep a Food Journal

Write down everything that goes into your mouth. Most people were surprised to see how much they were actually eating. It wasn’t until they wrote it down that they began to realize the cause and effect of what they were putting into their bodies.

Count Calories

What a boring a tedious job, but probably one of the most effective undertakings for losing weight. There is no getting around calorie balance. If you want to lose weight, you have to eat less than you burn.

Control Portion Sizes

In our super-sized food culture, portion sizes have gotten out of control. Eating portions the size of your fist is a good start towards controlling your food intake. Don’t feel like you always need to finish off all the food on your plate. Leaving a couple bites will teach you self-control.

Don’t Diet

The best “diet” is the one that best fits into your lifestyle. Once you find that, it’s no longer a diet – it’s just a way of life. One of the best healthy weight loss tips people sent in was to approach weight loss as a lifestyle change, and not as a diet. Once you get it out of your head that there’s an end date, you can start focusing on the day-to-day realities of living a healthy lifestyle. Being fit is not a destination – it’s a way of life.

Be Consistent

No one is perfect. We are all going to make mistakes. However, successful people are consistently living a healthy lifestyle. Over a period of time, they are eating healthy 90% of the time, and they are exercising several times a week.  Make exercise and healthy eating part of your everyday routine and soon it will be as second nature as brushing your teeth.


A healthy lifestyle takes planning. Most mistakes occur from a lack of a plan. Plan your meals in advance so you know what to buy every week at the grocery store. Only buy what you plan on eating, and try to cook your meals ahead of time. The simple nature of reheat and eat makes it much more likely that you’ll stay on track.

Make Small Changes

Make small changes consistently until they are habit and you no longer have to think about it, and then make another change. There’s no need to completely change your lifestyle all at once. You’ll be much more likely to stick with your new healthy lifestyle if you make small changes. Try changing one thing at a time.

Educate Yourself

Learn the whys. Don’t just do something because someone said to. Understand the purpose behind it. Many people just want a meal plan or blueprint to follow for weight loss. However, the successful people that lost weight and kept it off long term started taking an interest in how nutrition and exercise impact their bodies. They learned the “whys” behind what they were doing, and they were more successful because of it.

Get Active

Nearly everyone who lost over 50 pounds added in some form of physical activity. Even if it was just a little bit, the fact that they were more active helped them lose the weight. The trick is to find an activity you enjoy. Not everyone likes the same exercise. Find an activity you love to do, and then push yourself out of your comfort zone. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

You’re going to mess up. We all do. Successful people don’t beat themselves up over it. They get right back on track. They don’t wait until tomorrow to do so either. Their healthy lifestyle and weight loss continues to move forward and make progress because they allow themselves to make mistakes, learn from them, and then end up stronger as a result.

Surround Yourself With Positive People

We are highly influenced by the people close to us. Many successful people had to move forward with their lives and leave old friends and lifestyles behind. It was a hard decision to make, but they understood how important it was to surround themselves with people who believed in their dreams.


How do you expect to accomplish your goals if you never start trying to achieve them? Beginning is half the challenge. Don’t be afraid of failure. People who lost over 50 pounds stopped waiting for things to happen, and went out and made things happen.

Stop Making Excuses

Successful people made the shift and realized that the reasons for why they weren’t reaching their weight loss goals were actually just excuses. It was a hard idea to accept, but once they were honest with themselves, they spent less time making excuses, and more time finding ways to accomplish their goals.

Do It For Yourself

Make ME #1. Lose weight for Me, not because of pressure from other people. We all have our own reasons for wanting to lose weight, but a common denominator amongst the healthy weight loss tips sent in was that the successful people undertook their new lifestyle because they wanted to. They weren’t pressured into weight loss by friends or family. They did it for themselves, and as a result, they inspired others to do something for themselves too.

Be Patient

You didn’t gain your weight overnight, and you aren’t going to lose it that way either. We all want the weight gone quickly, but once you realize that weight loss is a process, you can stop beating yourself up for not reaching your far-fetched weight loss goals. Stop looking at weight loss as a day to day challenge. If nothing changes, nothing changes. This is a lifetime commitment to changing.

Stay Positive

Negative thoughts lead to negative results. You are the result of what you think. Keeping a positive outtake on your weight loss journey increases the odds of your success. You will learn a lot about yourself during your lifestyle transition. There will be many challenges and difficulties, but it’s important to understand that even though it might not be easy, it will be worth it.

Discover Your Relationship With Food

Why are you eating bad? Make the connection between your eating habits and your emotions. Get to the root of your negative lifestyle choices. Know when your body needs food and when it wants food, and find new ways to reward yourself other than with food.

Don’t Try to Be Perfect

If your goal is to be perfect, you’re already setting yourself up for failure. No one is perfect. Even the people who seem to have the most perfect bodies didn’t get there by being perfect. Perfection is something many strive for, but ultimately something they will never achieve. Do your best!

Never Give Up

Weight loss happens the moment you don’t give up. Many people don’t realize how close they were to achieving success. There comes a time when things just click, but that doesn’t happen until you’re ready to throw in the towel and call it quits. The longer you stick with it, the higher your odds of success. Keep moving forward, and don’t ever give up!