I Lost an Entire Person in Weight

“Just a few years ago, I was obese and dangerously unhealthy. I had a very poor diet and mostly sedentary lifestyle. A huge wakeup call came for me in September 2013, when my mother suffered a massive stroke that took her mobility, speech, and any quality of life away from her. We were forced to acknowledge that lifestyle choices had led to my mother’s critical illness. The very same lifestyle choices I was making for myself.

I had very high blood pressure and was pre-diabetic. I was scared for myself and for my son, concerned about the example I was setting for him. I made a promise to not let my own health spiral further out of control.

I remembered trying a Zumba class and enjoying it, so I tracked down a class at my local gym. Like many people, I started right at the back of class where I felt no one could watch me and laugh. I realized very quickly I had nothing to fear and eventually made my way to the front row. After that, there was really nowhere left to go but up onto the stage.

I received my license to teach Zumba in August 2016 and started teaching a few months later at the very gym where my own transformation had taken place.

I find it hard to put into words how I feel thinking back to the exhausted, sick, and desperately unhappy person I was a few years ago, staring down the barrel of a life of preventable illness. But it’s not just physical. Zumba has boosted my confidence and feelings of self-worth in ways I never expected.

When I see a woman out with her husband and she tells him I’m that Zumba lady she takes classes with and he thanks me with tears in his eyes for the confidence his wife now has – you bet I’m taking that on board. I have never experienced anything like this before.

I don’t know what the future holds, but I credit Zumba for giving me the chance to find out.”

Charyl Doyle, licensed Zumba® Instructor who has lost more than 110 pounds

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