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ZUMBA!!! I always want to write it in all caps. Want to lose weight with Zumba? Read on!

I love this class but had no idea how it could change lives. Well, let me back up a second. Read on…

My friend Lindsay and I have had an inside joke since we were freshman in college. Simply put, we will randomly say or text each other “www.Ihateskinnygirls.com.”

I know, it’s not exactly uplifting. It started out in college when we’d go to the bars and roll our eyes at all the perfectly tiny sorority chicks — when we were both a bit more on the curvy side shall we say. And, yeah, we were a little jealous.

As the years went by, we both battled our bodies for different reasons, in different ways. I’ve made a lot of peace with mine. But, Lindsay had an especially hard time in recent years. It’s a story many of you may relate to — and the battle was won with something a lot of us think is a pretty darn good time: Zumba!

50 pounds lighter back inside her larger sized jeans. WOW!

Check out Lindsay’s interview on how she lost 50 POUNDS with this awesome workout called ZUMBA:

1. What made you decide it was time to lose weight? 

As a typical yo-yo dieter, I’ve always struggled to lose weight and the weight crept up after being in a serious relationship — though I lost SOME weight before my wedding in Spring 2010.

After my wedding — literally the next day — I started eating whatever and whenever I wanted. I gave up caring about my weight. I had planned on getting pregnant and thought it was silly to “diet” while trying. I ended up getting pregnant and the weight just piled on. I had the typical mindset “I’m eating for two now” so I did just that. Eating unhealthy foods, and in quantities that matched my 200lb husband, who has the metabolism of a horse.

After three months of pregnancy, I was at my highest weight of my entire life even size 14’s were tight. I weighed in at 180lbs. I went in to the doctor for my 12 week check-up, and my world spun upside down. I had lost the baby. A few weeks later, the reality of what I’d done to my body set in.

2. Describe other diets/workouts you tried that didn’t work. 

I started trying to lose weight with Slim Fast and 3-4 days of workouts. A few months of that, I saw no weight loss. I switched to a low-carb diet, with lots of protein, fruits and veggies. Again, no weight loss. After 5 months of trying with no results, I was angry and confused.

I also tried Nutrisystem and was able to lose about 10 lbs, but it was slow and VERY expensive, and the food was not very tasty. I also tried a protein shake diet from the Metabolic Medical Center. This was a diet of NO carbs or sugars, and very little dairy.  It was a horrible diet and I was constantly hungry. I lost weight fast, but couldn’t do the diet for more than 6 weeks and it was SOOO hard not to cheat. As soon as I came off the diet, the weight started to come back on.

Lindsay (on right) before losing weight, still struggling.

3. How did you get into working out as a solution? 

It started with a boot camp class I signed up for. This is my chance to do something totally different and actually start losing some weight. After 8 weeks of twice-weekly bootcamp, and an additional 3 days a week doing my own workouts (mainly cardio), I had lost ZERO lbs. I tried again for a second session and again, saw NO weight loss.

I thought there was something wrong with me. I was eating healthy and exercising so it didn’t make sense. I can’t even describe the disgust I had with my body. I couldn’t bare to look at myself in the mirror. SOMETHING had to work. I was sitting at home one night watching one of my favorite, very inspirational shows, The Biggest Loser. How did all those people lose so much weight  and I couldn’t even lose ONE pound? I had to be doing something wrong.

I joined their online website, Biggestloserclub.com. (joined end of July 2011, Day One of starting the program was August 1st 2011) It provided meal plans, logging your food and tracking your calories for the day, as well as your workouts. I soon realized I wasn’t eating the right kinds of foods OR the right combination of foods. I could write a whole other post on this!

A typical Zumba class — gettin’ their groove on.

4. How did you discover Zumba?

Two weeks into BLC, a co-worker announced she wanted to hold an employee zumba class twice a week. I had never done zumba, but I had heard so many great things about it, so I wanted to try it.

5. What do you love about it? 

I love Zumba because it isn’t boring! I love that you can get an awesome workout from dance moves and listening to music that pumps you up! I have always struggled with gym workouts because they are SO boring to me. Sure, walking on a treadmill or exercising on an elliptical can make you sweat, but all I can think about is “how much longer do I have to be on this thing-ugh!”

In Zumba, you are constantly moving around. I find myself focused so much on nailing all the moves, that I forget about the clock on the wall. There’s no sitting on a mat doing situps. The moves of Zumba incorporate every muscle group.

6. How long did it take until you started seeing the weight loss? 

I started losing weight the first week. It was one of the best feelings in the world to see that number drop on the scale- finally!!

7. What kept you motivated to continue exercising?

I started losing 2lbs a week. I was so excited something was working. I added in 2 additional days a week of my own workouts to help the weight come off. The motivation came from truly enjoying the Zumba workout, and then seeing that it actually WAS working. It was intoxicating.

8. How much did your diet change as a part of your weight loss?  

As soon as I saw those first two pounds come off, it was that much easier to keep up with my diet. I knew that if I kept following my meal plans that I would continue to lose weight, and I was right!

9. How much weight did you lose? 

I honestly was hoping that I could lose 30 lbs. That number sounded impossible to me, but I also told myself not to expect a certain number, and to just give it my best effort. 30lbs would put me at my “normal” weight that I kept steadily throughout my mid-twenties. By Thanksgiving time (approx. 14 weeks after starting Zumba) I had lost 30lbs! I was elated!

I loved Zumba so much that I kept going. I added 2lb arm weights into the workout. I saw my body changing. Arms becoming toned, thighs shrinking… I honestly can say I was shocked at how the weight kept falling off. I had never experienced anything like that in my life.

I had to shop for smaller size clothes, several different times. By Christmas I had lost another 5lbs (which is a challenging time to lose weight with the holidays and family visiting). I kept up the workouts and by the end of March I had lost a total of 50lbs!!! It was unreal. I went from a size 14 to a size 4!!! People who hadn’t seen me at work in awhile were blown away. A few people didn’t even recognize me. Everyone asked me “how did you do it?” my answer was “Zumba!!”

Lindsay lookin’ hot after losing 50 pounds through Zumba!

10. Are you keeping the weight off now? 

I have kept most of the weight off. This summer has been one of the most difficult times in my entire life. Things fell apart with my marriage very rapidly, as well as my relationships with my family members, I felt alone, became depressed and started drinking a lot. I am going through a divorce and my Father passed away unexpectedly. All those things contributed to me not working out and that led to bad food choices.

I did gain 8lbs back but over the last few weeks, I have gained some emotional strength back and am back on my feet again. I love and miss Zumba so much (they discontinued the class at my workplace) so I emailed her and she has sent me the playlist that we danced to. I am working on my moves and plan to start teaching the Zumba class twice a week!! I need it for myself as much as I want to share my love for Zumba with others. It truly changed my body in a way I NEVER thought possible.

11. What would you say to someone looking to lose weight? Do you recommend Zumba? 

I would definitely recommend Zumba!! But even more important, I think its about finding something you love to do. it is amazing once you find a workout that you love, it isn’t such a chore, and you start looking forward to it. I’ve always read that in magazines, but I honestly never thought I would be able to find a workout like that for me. Zumba has given me just that.

12. Anthing else you can tell us about Zumba or your weight loss journey to inspire others? 

 What is amazing to me is that my whole life I have been a size 10. I did not believe it was possible for my body to shrink any smaller than that-EVER… but it happened. And I have Zumba to thank for that. I am also thinking about becoming a certified personal trainer and want to start helping others on their weight loss journey. It is extremely satisfying to overcome the weight-loss hurdle, and being able to help someone else do that, even just one person, would be worth the effort.

Lindsay and I recently — we’ve come a long way since Freshman year of college but Ihateskinnygirls.com may live on 🙂 (disclaimer: no disrespect intended for real skinny girls!!) 
QUESTIONS: Did we convince you yet? If you are struggling to lose weight, maybe Zumba is the answer for you! Do you have any weight loss weapon stories?