“I’ve struggled with my weight for practically my entire life, but had managed to get to a healthy weight before my wedding in 2013. Well, no one told me that along with gaining a husband, I was also going to gain 100 pounds! It got to a point where I wasn’t doing any form of physical activity and I even dreaded the stairs in our new house because walking up just one flight would get me winded. I needed to make a change.
I went to Weight Watchers to help get my eating habits under control, but I knew I needed to exercise. The gym and all the people in it were so intimidating to me. I felt like I was being judged every time I walked in the door. I would find almost any excuse to skip the gym, until I decided to try a Zumba class.
The group exercise environment was a tad intimidating at first, but the people in the class and the instructor were so welcoming! I left that first class red-faced, covered in sweat from head to toe, and feeling completely exhausted but hopeful. I started taking three or four classes a week and as I began to lose weight, I slowly made my way from the very back row to the front, encouraged by the other ‘front row divas’. Eventually, my instructor would point to me for people to follow when she wanted to roam the room. That helped me gain confidence as I lost weight and became more fit.
I began my journey in 2015 and have lost 100 pounds since then! My sister and I actually decided to become licensed Zumba Instructors and I’ve been happily teaching several classes a week. It’s not only a great workout, but also a creative outlet after spending a long day at work.
I never imagined I could stand in front of a group of sometimes 80 people and feel invigorated and free. I just have so much more confidence now!
My biggest piece of advice for anyone struggling is to start small. Make one change at a time, whether it’s to eat healthier or to start moving. Slowly, those will become habits. Just know that you can do it!”
– Bri DeMattia, licensed Zumba® Instructor; lost 100 pounds, gained a ton of confidence, and a new job teaching Zumba classes!
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