16 July 2012
After a lifetime of yo-yo diets, highs and lows on the weighing scales, accepting that I was now the biggest I had ever been in my life, in fact I was morbidly obese. In May of 2009 I walked through the doors of Weight Watchers. – a daunting task. This was the first time I had been weighed in a very long time; I simply hadn't wanted to face up to what was staring back at me in the mirror. The results were shattering. I had to lose 6st 11lbs to be considered within a normal/healthy weight range.
I was getting older, so any attempt to lose weight was going to be harder than ever before. Diet alone would not fix this! Yet I have hated exercise, of any type, all of my life. I skipped any form of PE at school and avoided any form of physical activity at great lengths! Where on earth was I going to start? I needed encouragement and support if I was to succeed.
But, slowly but surely the weight did start to come off. Following a healthy diet, smaller portions and some easy walking, the results started to show. But to keep the weight loss coming I needed to increase my exercise tolerance.
My GP referred me to PALS. I had huge support from them & great exercise suggestions. The next move was aqua fit – a non weight bearing exercise that wouldn't put any further strain on my already struggling joints.
After a weight loss of 3-4 stone, I started to cycle. I also discussed further exercise regimes with my PALS advisor. She suggested step-aerobic at Holmfirth High School with an instructor called Anne. Little did I realize that this meeting was to change my life.
The weight just kept falling off. In February of 2010, 9 months after my journey started, I reached my goal of a 7st weight loss.
Anne then mentioned this new Zumba class she was about to start. Having loved to dance all of my life, this new form of exercise sounded like something I wanted to be part of. The classes began, and I haven't looked back since. I hate missing even one class. After only a short while Anne asked me to be part of the team, I was blown away. No one has ever asked me to be part of their team.
I was always left on the bench at school, always picked last. Zumba dance has changed my life. Anne has been inspirational in motivating me and helping me stay focused. I would encourage anyone to come along and join in, it's great fun, and doesn't seem like exercise.