Melissa Dunn, 35, of Park Hills, Missouri has seemingly always been overweight. She developed much faster than girls her age, which spurred a binge-purge routine to try and stay as slim as her peers. But each attempt only left her heavier than before, and Melissa eventually turned to yo yo dieting to try and lose the weight.
Compound those struggles with emotional scars from abuse she faced as a child and Melissa began using her weight as a shield to avoid getting hurt by others. “I found the bigger I got the less happy I was, and the less people wanted to be around me,” she said.
Two things eventually caused Melissa to change. First, her dad had grown so heavy that his doctors told him to lose weight or face death, and Melissa wanted to support him. And Melissa had gotten so heavy herself that she struggled to even walk through the store without getting swollen ankles which left her in too much pain to move for hours afterwards.
Out of these struggles came Melissa’s decision to change her health and ultimately her life, and no longer exist in a state of depression. Read Full Post >
Lisa Fox, 49, of Allen, Texas was an active and healthy child growing up. A lack of video games and computers in the 60s and 70s led her to constantly be outdoors, riding bikes and playing with friends. Despite a fairly healthy diet of mainly home-cooked meals, Lisa’s issues with food began early on as she would frequently overindulge when she really enjoyed something.
A little on the heavy side from grade school on, Lisa’s weight didn’t become a real issue until she reached her 30s and 40s when her poor diet and inactivity began to catch up with her. Snacking was her downfall, often reaching for things like chips and desserts. And for meals she loved anything covered in cheese and cream sauces. These unhealthy habits meant the fruits and vegetables she purchased would often go to waste as she rarely chose to eat them over more indulgent options.
Zumba stormed 2012. In fact, it’s stormed the better part of the last decade. The whole world was in on the fitness dance craze as it took Inc. Magazine’s Company of the Year distinction and last summer was named thelargest fitness brand in the world. It looks like they’re trying to maintain the momentum this year with a few new additions to welcome newbies or hold the interest of loyalists. One of the newest forms of Zumba is called Zumba Sentao.
Zumba Sentao has one major difference from the standard routines – it involves a chair. The Zumba website says the chair will become your dance partner and help amp up the results during routines that are supposed to help strengthen, balance, and stabilize your core muscles. The routines are being taught in classes, however, Zumba wants them to be easy enough to be done in one’s home, too. Read Full Post >
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) conducted a survey and discovered that for most fitness professionals, this career was not their first job. Many had pursued other avenues only to find that the fitness industry was where their true passions lied. It assumed that many find their love for fitness later in life. Many in the business will tell you that since they were devoting the hours of a full time job to their own fitness, they decided they might enjoy getting paid along the way.
“I was in banking for 15 years before making the leap to personal training full time,” said Pamela Hernandeez, a personal trainer at ThriveFit.com. “In 2009, when the financial services industry collapsed, I was fortunate not lose my job but a lot of people I worked with did. It made me step back and realize how much I had come to dislike my job.”
She kept both jobs for a while as she she pursued her ACSM CPT fitness certifications and to ensure her passion and the clients would be there to pay the bills. As a banker, she says she hated what she was doing and how it didn’t offer any real value for people’s lives. With a full-time fitness career, she gets to make a huge impact on the lives of others. “I knew I had found my calling. I was able to quit my banking career in June 2011. I have never looked back!”
Talking with people who have made drastic changes in their lives for the better is one of the most inspiring and humbling experiences I’ve encountered. Recognizing how difficult it is to lose 5, 10 and even 20 pounds myself, I sympathize with those who struggle with their weight. But after speaking with individuals who have lost more than 100 pounds in some cases, I am often left speechless.
In 2012 we shared the true weight loss stories of more than 20 remarkable individuals from around the world, and their combined total weight loss was 2,466 pounds! This an accomplishment we were truly humbled to be a part of. Though each person shares a uniquely inspiring story, we’ve gathered six of our favorites to give a glimpse into the truly amazing transformations we’ve witnessed on Diets in Review this year. Let’s start with the first true weight loss story I had the privilege of writing: Grace Goodman.