“I was a big little girl. I remember being in kindergarten and being in the 90th percentile for children my age. I also remember not being able to play hide and seek because I was the largest child in the class.
Growing up, my mother cooked a lot and the dishes and portions were out of control. When I was 13, I lost my father to gastric cancer and took immense comfort in my mother’s cooking. By the time I turned 21, I was 265 pounds and a size 22.
In 2012, I was exploring online dating. One night, an incredibly good looking and in shape guy messaged me and eventually started taking me on plenty of dates. I was surprised by how much he wanted to hang out with me. After a few months, I inquired about ‘making it official’. He then said that he would never date a girl like me because he was embarrassed of what his friends might think. That was my breaking point. I made it my mission to make him regret ever saying something so hurtful to me. I wanted revenge.
That was the start of my journey to happiness and to never allowing someone’s words to take over me. My journey started with my health. A co-worker invited me to try a Zumba class. I was skeptical. When the music began in that first class, I instantly fell in love. The way that everyone was moving, dancing, smiling, and laughing gave me goosebumps. I had never felt so comfortable in a crowd.
I went from a size 22 to a size eight and lost 100 pounds in one year. Initially, I started this as a way to get revenge, but throughout my journey I realized that I was doing this for me. I was the happiest I had been in years. In fact, because of Zumba classes, I was introduced to a man who believes in me, supports me, and loves me exactly as I am. This past summer, he proposed and we are getting married later this year.
Along the way, all of the people I’ve encountered have played a part in saving my life. You’re going to have good days and bad days, but what awaits you is beyond anything you can imagine.”
– Lacey Tanner, Zumba® Jammer; started off as a Zumba student and transformed her body, her career, and her entire life
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