Experiencing the Zumba Love

2 Jul

Hi, friends. Today is my sister’s graduation party. So, while I’m busy partying it up ;), I’d like to introduce you to LeeAnn, who blogs at Spreading the Zumba Love. LeeAnn and I went to the same school district for many years, but I got to know her when we began working together at the same summer camp.  Recently, LeeAnn incorporated Zumba into her daily routine, and lost 30 pounds! After hearing her inspiring story, I asked her if she’d be willing to share it with all of you. She agreed, so enjoy :):

I have never been a physically fit or even close to physically fit kind of person. I’ve been overweight my entire life and generally miserable. The earliest time I can remember being conscious about my weight is being a women’s size 16 in 4th grade. In case you were wondering, that is so very not normal. I weighed over 150 pounds then, I believe. I leveled out to a size 14 by high school but kept my weight around 160-170. I was constantly made fun of, which didn’t help my self-worth. I just had a rough childhood in general when it came to my weight and self-esteem.

I told myself that I would get healthy when I went to college. I did go from a size 14 to a size 10/12 into my sophomore year. But that kind of all went downhill this past fall. By the end of winter break, I was back into my size 14 pants and topped the scale at 170 lbs.

In the fall semester, I decided I was going to try out the fitness classes during free fitness class week at my school’s Recreation Center. It was the first time I had heard of it and was pretty excited, but obviously not motivated enough, because it totally didn’t happen then. This spring semester, however, I promised myself that I would go and at least try out one or two different classes.

I thought Cycling would be fun. Maybe Pilates. On a fluke, I ended up trying a Zumba class first (praise God for His hand in this!!).

Before my weight loss (I’m in front with the black pants and gray shirt)

I liked dancing; I thought I might like this Zumba-thing. When I got there, I was out of my mind nervous. The instructor was practicing a few of the moves before the class started. I couldn’t stop my jaw from dropping…I was going to be doing what??? I thought there was no way I could ever do what she was doing and as gracefully as she was doing what she was doing. I was intimidated, but then the class started and all of my fears disappeared.

I let loose, and it was exhilarating. The instructor was so energetic and fun. I found myself grinning from ear to ear the entire time, even though I could barely last the first 20 minutes. The song that sealed the deal was the Shakira “Waka Waka” song, which had been a favorite of mine since the previous summer. That was definitely a God thing. I’m so stubborn; He probably was nudging me to try this last semester (which I promptly ignored, being the frustrating child I am) and knew that a Shakira song was just what to get me coming back. I was hooked from that moment on. I wanted to go to her class every single day and started begging my friends to try this amazing workout.

I went to Zumba Monday, (Tuesday was full), Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday (it was originally a Hip Hop class but…. coincidentally, it ended up being another Zumba class) that first week during the special free week. I couldn’t get enough. I think it was even on Wednesday, my second class, that I decided that I had to do this for the rest of my life. I don’t know why or how in the world the thought occurred to me, because I have never ever been a fitness person, but it did, and I’ve just gone with it. 🙂

On the left, with my Zumba mentors

I now go to Zumba six or more times a week, not counting the unending dancing in my spare time. I’ve become utterly addicted to the different styles of my favorite instructors. I can’t get enough. I’ve lost 30 pounds (as of now) and gone from that crippling size 14 to a size 6/8, a size that I have never even touched before in my entire life. I had no idea I could ever be this size. I had no idea I could ever be this healthy and strong. I have Zumba to thank for a lot of that. These ladies are some of the sweetest, awesomest people you will ever meet in your life. Everyone that I’ve met at the Recreation Center this semester have been so supportive and kind. All the ladies in my Zumba classes I’ve come to get to know and the extremely encouraging instructors have made the major difference in me sticking with this whole healthy lifestyle.

Now, I’m set to become a Zumba instructor on June 4, 2011, and I couldn’t be more excited. LeeAnn is already a certified instructor (Congrats, LeeAnn!)- it took me longer than expected to get this post up!  Zumba has allowed me to become healthy and happy for the first time in my life. I’m so glad God guided me to this fitness class. It truly encompasses everything that I need to keep up on it. I’m so happy and even though I know I annoy most of my friends with all of my Zumba talk and constant Zumba music…I’m so glad I got this opportunity this semester.

After

My life will never be the same.

Thanks again, LeeAnn, for sharing your inspiring story. You look so strong and healthy :)!

Has a workout ever changed your life?

Have you tried Zumba?

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3 Responses to “Experiencing the Zumba Love”

  1. LeeAnn July 2, 2011 at 6:38 pm #

    I now teach in the Muncie area! Only $3/class and $25/10 classes! Please check out my website for class listings! 🙂
    wwww.zumbawithleeann.weebly.com

  2. Sara @ The Foodie Diaries July 4, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    I’ve heard so many great things about Zumba, I definitely have to go try it now!

  3. Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy July 4, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    You definitely should, it’s really fun!

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