My Journey to Health and Fitness

What can I say? I’ve struggled with my weight for years. My struggles were definitely the result of both too little activity and too much of (and not the right kinds of) food. Also, four straight years of alternately being pregnant and nursing had also taken their toll on my body.Being a stay at home mom with two small kids left me little time to myself and it didn’t help that I could never stick to a “diet”. I’ve always loved to cook and loved to eat and to feed others. It’s an intrinsic part of who I am. I figured that instead of eating less, the solution had to be to burn more calories, but “working out” had never appealed to me. I’ve never been a gym rat, or one for jogging, or slogging away on an elliptical machine.If I didn’t actually love it, I knew that I wouldn’t stick with it and I struggled to find an activity that I enjoyed, but that would give me great results. I started walking every night and very slowly the weight started to come off. I managed to lose about 35 pounds in 18 months or so. But the progress was slow and as the weight came off I wasn’t toning up at all. It was frustrating.I decided to try something new after hearing about a workout called “Zumba”. I signed up for a class and five minutes in, I was hooked! The hypnotic combination of the music and the moves had totally sucked me in. Week by week, not only did the weight start to literally fall off, but left behind were muscles…real muscles! My waist had a brand new shape, my legs became strong and my arms were toned…bye bye bat wings! I no longer had lower back problems, thanks to all of the core work that’s naturally a part of Zumba and I had more energy throughout the day. I finished classes feeling invigorated, with a spring in my step and a smile on my face. I felt like I had stumbled upon a secret and had found something that I could do and love forever.As time went on, I looked forward to “Zumba Days” more and more. They became some of the high points of my week and I started going to two, then three and sometimes even four or five classes every week. I couldn’t get enough! Instead of dreading “working out” I was trying to figure out where in my week I could squeeze in an extra class! At the end of five months of Zumba I had lost an additional 25 pounds, gained muscle and was easily, at 33 years of age, in the best shape of my life. The best part? I hadn’t clock watched once…every class was so much fun that I now understood why Zumba is sometimes described as “exercise in disguise”! Not only that, but going to class became “My Time” during the week…a time when I left the kids, my husband and all of my stresses at home and did something just for me.I decided to become an instructor because I truly believe in this program. It’s designed to be effective and fun and great for everyone, regardless of their fitness level or age. I want to help other women achieve what I’ve managed to and to feel as great about themselves as I’ve come to feel about myself. Come and party with me and see for yourself why 10 million people take weekly Zumba classes!Words I live by:”Zumba fitness is more than just a fun exercise program. It’s a celebration of our bodies,no matter what their size or limitation. It’s a celebration of music, from near and far. And it’s a celebration of a journey which can be enjoyed long before the final destination is reached. I am a Zumba instructor. You, and you alone, are why I teach.”

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