Growing up, Lisa Martin – a stay at home mother of two living in Oaklawn, Illinois – was never really overweight but she felt like she was. In truth, it wasn’t until college that she started putting on weight, but that slow, gradual gaining pattern snuck up on her. Despite trying a number of diets including Weight Watchers, she was stuck in a body that she felt was not her own.
At her heaviest Lisa weighed 226 pounds, but she never really felt that heavy. Reflecting on how her body has changed over the years, Lisa has only recently held an accurate view of her own shape and weight. ”In high school I thought I was fat, yet looking back I wasn’t,” she admitted. “If I only knew back then what I do now.”
Though her weight had begun to leave her inactive and unhappy, a change came when she least expected it. Being a stay at home mom enabled Lisa to begin dabbling in blogging. It all started in 2006 when Lisa lived in Chicago and her family was in Wisconsin and the two wanted to stay in touch without crashing their email servers by sending too many photos back and forth.
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Equal parts dance and aerobics, Zumba has taken over the fitness world. Maybe the secret ingredient to making exercise fun has been discovered. Zumba was just named Inc. Magazine’s Company of the Year this week. This following this summer’s accolade of being named the largest fitness brand in the world.
While Zumba holds its own as a fitness class, it clearly stands up as a very successful business as well. Inc. reported this week that the Zumba company has an estimated valuation of more than $500 million. That tally comes from some very rapid growth. The CEO, Alberto Perlman, stated in the Inc. article that the company grew 4,000 percent from 2007 to 2010. Additionally the company grew 750 percent in the past three years. Holy Zumba, Batman! Is anything else in the business world, anything at all doing that well?
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Betsy Schow’s weight struggles began early on in life. She recalls her childhood, growing up with two parents who both struggled with their weight and three siblings who were the stark opposite.
“I have three older sisters and they were always skinny little whips. It was obnoxious,” she joked. “When I was 12 my dad lost quite a bit of weight – 150 pounds – with Atkins and Fen-Phen. It was at that point that he not so politely pointed out that was I fat.”
Perhaps not so aware of her weight before that moment, Betsy’s struggles all of the sudden became a preoccupation. She did everything she could to try and lose the weight, testing out various diet and fitness programs but they all ended up leaving her heavier than she was before. It didn’t take long before this pattern left her fed up and willing to do just about anything to lose the weight.
At 5 feet 7 inches tall, Betsy weighed just shy of 220 pounds at her heaviest. A big push came when she tried to eat better over one summer in an attempt to finally get in a swimsuit and feel comfortable. But when she stopped nursing her youngest daughter that year she gained an unexpected 10 pounds in one month, which sent her to a sinking point.
“Between that 10 pounds and the scale I lost it. I broke down and realized I had to change,” she recalled. “Even then it started out pretty much the same but I needed to do something drastic because my doctor was warning me I was pre-diabetic.”
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If you’ve got a Zumba fanatic on your holiday shopping list this year, look no further. We’ve gathered a list of goods that every Zumba lover out there would be ecstatic to receive.
Exhilarate Body Shaping System (DVD set of 5)
These at-home workout DVDs will get their body dancing into shape. The original set contained only four DVDs, but this bonus set includes a fifth (20 minute warm up) plus a set of toning sticks. Each DVD contains a different workout with multiple intensity levels for the beginners, intermediates, and advanced. Also included is a 10-day weight-loss program for the Zumba lover to take advantage of. What a deal!
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There seems to be a great chasm between those who workout and those who do not. But does anyone really know why that is?
Often surrounded by people who don’t love working out as much as I do (admittedly, I’m an enthusiast), I’ve asked myself this question many times but to no avail. It seems that the path to fitness is narrow and few find it, but I wish that wasn’t so as exercise is such an essential part of a long, healthy life. Not to mention it can be a blast once you find your groove!
Perhaps there are some insider secrets that ‘insiders’ wrongly assume ‘outsiders’ already know. This slideshow is my humble attempt to “crack the code” and unveil those tips, tricks and secrets so that everyone can find their way to fitness and establish a routine that truly sticks.