As a child, I was never athletic. However, like a lot of girls, my mom enrolled me in dance classes at an early age and I fell in love! Despite ballet, tap and jazz classes though, I was always overweight as a child. I preferred reading books and watching television (and, let’s face it, eating!) to playing sports and riding bikes. As I got older, I became even less active and developed some very unhealthy eating habits. The heavier I got, the less active I became, and by my junior year in college I was a size 20. I knew then that something had to change!
I started out with small goals, to lose 5 pounds at a time. I increased my activity a little bit each day and tried to make conscious healthy choices. Slowly, I began losing weight and feeling better about myself, but working out was still a chore and I dreaded going to the gym every day after work. Then, one day in the spring of 2008, I decided to check out a Zumba class. I had never heard of Zumba before and didn’t know anything about it except that it was the only dance class offered at the gym. Even before the class started, people actually looked happy to be there! I didn’t understand… happy to work out?? But then the music came on and the shaking/jumping/twisting/pumping started and when the hour was over, I was out of breathe and drenched in sweat and smiling from ear to ear! I finally understood why everyone was so happy! After one class, I was hooked! For the first time, I found myself excited to work out! Exercise suddenly became the highlight of my day, not the bane of my existence! Zumba once a week soon became Zumba four times a week, and I began to feel muscles and see definition in places I never knew existed!
Nowadays, I don’t exercise to lose weight; I exercise to FEEL GOOD—mentally, emotionally and physically. Zumba makes my mind and body happy and has helped me get in the best shape of my life. It also helped me relieve stress and anxiety and gave me a new-found self confidence that I never had before. Zumba has been such a gift in my life and I became certified to teach Zumba and Zumba Toning because I want to “pay it forward”. I want to help motivate people to make the healthy decision to get off their couches and out of their comfort zones and to join the Zumba party!
I’ve never heard anyone say they wished they hadn’t come to Zumba class. :)
Here is my before an after!