My weight loss reboot began in 2013. I had kept my weigh manageable for many years, but the deaths of my mom (2009), my sister (2012) and especially my dad from bone cancer (2012) sent me into a emotional descend. I couldn’t sleep. I climbed into myself and withdrew from everyone.
I contacted a psychiatrist for help. With the proper counseling and medication, I made peace with my mental illness. This was all I was able to deal with. I wasn’t thinking about weight or appearance. I just wanted to return to some type of joy and return to the living. I wasn’t aware I had gained roughly 35 lbs. At the time I was 5’2 and 180 pounds, and couldn’t have cared less.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? After receiving the care I needed, I smiled. I try to resume some type of physical activity, but I was not at a place to deal with what was happening to me on the outside. I ‘knew’ I wasn’t fitting into my clothes. I was ready to accept the fact I was in that “middle-aged” place and that was it.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? It was early 2015 when I critically looked in the mirror. I could see I needed to make an attempt to get back into shape. I had to make an attempt to change myself. No one had to tell me what I had already known.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? I went to my nearest YMCA. I’d noticed a group of women in an aerobics room dancing, smiling and having a blast to some Latin music. I walked over and peered inside. I slipped in and found a place on the back row of my first Zumba class. I was hooked from the start. I couldn’t find a rhythm, but I loved every moment. My teacher encouraged each student to go at her own pace and at her own level; I did just that. I could have never guessed how this would transform my life. To my surprise, I began losing weight.
Because Zumba is not a traditional workout, I made time for 3 – 4 classes weekly in my schedule.
I amped up my weight lifting and do yoga once a week.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? I began Zumba March, 2015. By August 2015 I could see a major different.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? My hurdles were to eat properly as well as combat the negative messages I was giving to myself. I was always comparing myself to the more fit and younger classmates. I had to remember I was to start where I was and it was going to take time to burn off what I’d gained.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? Buying smaller clothes is a major motivator! I am stronger and more energetic. This encourages me to keep up what I’m doing
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? I am a plateau right now. I want to get to and maintain 135 lbs. I am getting there! I have to be more conscious of my eating and exercise. It will all come together!!
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? I’d say it has taken me almost two yeas to burn off 42 lbs.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? It’s’ the fit of my clothes and my attitude. I am much more comfortable in my skin.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? Once I felt a difference in my clothes, I wanted to eat healthier. When I was into my depression, I grabbed what I wanted. When I saw changes, I wanted to get back to better eating habits.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? Before, I couldn’t complete a Zumba class. Since I now teach 4 – 5 classes a week, I probably burn a lot more calories. My goal is to make sure everyone in the room has fun while moving to his/her own pace.
By far, Zumba is my favorite form of exercise. Next to that is a good weight-lifting session.
I am 55-years-old and in the best shape of my life!
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- I had my clothes laid out before I went to bed.
- I love watching ID Discovery. Alas, I had to cut back on it!
- When anyone told me I couldn’t “do it”, it made me dig in and do it more!
- Tea? I love tea for the extra water. I had to cut back on my coffee because it dehydrates me.
- I always reward myself with funky Zumba gear!