BEFORE: When I first started, I was over 200 pounds, very rotund. I think I was sort of in denial about the fact that I was obese because I would dress nicely, but I really was not healthy. I already was at a weight that was heavy for me when I got pregnant, and then I added the additional weight after the pregnancy. And I kept it on for about a year and a half and then I finally was able to get it together and decide I want to be the me that I always have been, the vibrant me, not the tired, out-of-breath me.
THE TURNING POINT: I could feel the weight around my stomach. If I was driving, trying to walk up stairs or chase my son, I’d feel it jiggling. It was becoming sort of problematic breathing or catching my breath. And so I knew that there were issues. I wanted a nip in a bud before it got to be too bad. So I did. I mean, like I said, it took three times, but I finally got to the point where I was ready to make a serious lifelong change.
THE PLAN: Zumba is like the best thing ever because it doesn’t feel like exercising. It’s a party. You’re dancing. I don’t ever feel like I’m exercising. So Zumba for me has been something that’s my go-to exercise. If I don’t even feel like exercising, I love to dance, so let me get up and dance. And so because I love it so much, I wanted to share that with others. So this year I became a Zumba instructor so that I can share the Zumba love with everyone.
THE BEST REWARDS: I definitely developed a lot of muscle weight and I’m just in better condition. When I first started running, I could run like a minute. And now I run 2 ½ hours to complete half marathons and so my body is definitely becoming adjusted to being more in shape, more conditioned. And overall, I feel better, I look better, and my clothes fit great.
BEST ADVICE: Muscles are your friend. One of things about muscle is that muscle burns more calories. So the more muscle you have, the more calories you’re going to burn. And you don’t have to be a super muscular woman. I do strength training. I highly recommend that people strength train at least two or three times a week, especially as you get older, because it helps build your muscles. But in addition to that, it builds up your bone strength.
WORDS OF WISDOM: The third time it was the charm for me and so I really got into the mindset where I wanted to make a change in my life. I wanted to live healthy, I wanted to lose the weight. So the third time for me was a charm. It might be the 10th time for you, but you can do it. Just stay committed. Get accountability partners and you can really be successful.
TOOLS OF MY SUCCESS: Wii. SparkPeople.com, Zumba, exercise DVDs.