The whole truth and nothing but the truth.

In February of this year, I felt like crap. Everday, all day. I had headaches, my joints hurt, and I was tired all. of. the. time.

I decided to try to get myself into better shape, and see if it helped. I was SICK of feeling like a blob. I started going to the gym. I'd never taken classes at a gym before, for fear of not knowing what to do and looking stupid in front of others. I decided since I hadn't really worked out in a long time, and I had major pain in my joints, to the point where I couldn't even straighten my left leg- so I signed up for Aqua Cardio classes. I went twice a week at first, then 3 times a week. I started to have a little more energy, but not a ton.

Come March, I decided to try Zumba class. A fellow gym member told me that it was a ton of fun and a great work out and based all around latin dance moves- and I LOVE Latin dance. Whether I'm good at it or not is still out for debate, but I REALLY enjoy it. So, I started taking 1 Zumba class and 2 Aqua classes a week. I would sweat SO much in Zumba- it was crazy. I never sweat like that from a workout- mainly because I never really pushed myself hard enough before because, well, I'd always say "I hate to get all sweaty!". But you know what? Turns out, working out to the point of being drenched is what turned on the "gain energy" switch in my body, and I quickly switched to 2 Zumba and 1 Aqua classes per week, and then 3-4 Zumba classes a week.

In early June, I was feeling much better- my joints weren't stiff anymore, no more pain, no more headaches, I had energy... but I wasn't really losing any weight. I thought I was eating pretty healthy- and for the most part the foods I ate WERE healthy- unfortunately- I ate too large of a quantity OF them. So after seeing HORRIBLE pictures of what I really looked like on a trip with friends, I decided it was time to FULLY commit to losing weight. So, I started using Weight Watchers online.

It was hard to follow the points plan for about the first 3-4 days, then it got easier. I was eating more fruits and vegetables and I gained even more energy. I rarely ate to the point of being stuffed anymore, and that helped me to feel more energetic too (now I HATE the feeling of being stuffed!).

I continued exercising 3-4 days a week, added a weight routine, nothing complicated, just 3 arm machines, and 3 leg machines, two sets of 12 reps per machine each time I did Zumba at the gym. I also got help from my Zumba instructor, who set me on a circuit training plan that KICKED MY BUTT, but WORKED. Rosa, my instructor was SO instrumental in my weightloss. If you would like to find out more about Zumba and where Rosa teaches, check out her website at here!

By October, I had lost 20 of the 30 lbs I'd set out to lose, and had gone from a size 12, feeling like a bump on a log- constantly feeling unattractive and sore to a size 8 with energy, a semblance of self-esteem that came from being able to try on clothes that I actually LIKED on me and knowing I did it myself, the hard- but TRUE way. No cheating. Just eating properly and exercising regularly.

I still have a ways to go, and with the holidays coming, I am a bit nervous- but I REFUSE to go back to where I was before. I am SO much happier now- and I FEEL so much better- that I can't imagine going back to where I was before.

I have been afraid of writing this post for so long- because to be quite honest- I've been so nervous to post the before pictures and allow the world to see how far I let things go- but the truth is, I want other people to know they CAN lose weight and be healthy- and that if I can do it- they CERTAINLY can do it too!

So, yikes, here it goes....
This was taken in February, while visiting my friend Jen in South Carolina. (Jen, if I ever look like this again? Smack me, k? lol) I look so much older despite my attempt at cute clothes, I just feel so frumpy here:This was taken in April, while hosting my friend's baby shower. My face and arms look outta control! I don't even really recognize myself here. My face looks so swollen.
This was taken while on vacation (no, I usually did NOT get whipped cream on my drinks- but we were on vacation) but, in this picture, it looks like I was ALWAYS getting whip!
And this is at my me heading to the high school reunion, with some dignity restored
And this is me, at a Zumba demonstration that I did with my AMAZING and wonderful instructor, Rosa Martinez.


  1. Thanks for you honesty Nat! You are truly are truly inspiring. A couple of questions for you: How in the world do you find time to go to the gym? Do you put Keegan in the child care?

  2. u r AMAZING 4 having the courage 2 post ur pics, dont know if i could do that. i am so happy 2 c a woman lose wt the healthy way instead of starving herself. CONGRATS 2 u natalie! u r a amazing woman. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! U LOOK AWESOME!

  3. Good for you, Natali!! You really have been working hard this year--you can see it through your blog this year! You are an inspiration to all of us!! Keep going--you can make it through the holidays!

  4. You. Look. Hot.
    'Nuff said.
    Love you girl!

    PS-I promise to smack you if you put the weight back on ;)

  5. That was so awesome of you to share your story Nat... you look GREAT!

  6. Great post! I am so proud of my Zumba buddy. :) You really look absolutely amazing... I almost tried to kill you for posting that last picture, but you look awesome in it, so I let it slide. :)

  7. I stumbled across your blog and enjoying it:) I see Zumba as an option for a class at my gym but have avoided due to my lack of hand-eye coordination. Does it require coordination and skill? You encouraged me that eating healthy and going to the gym will eventually have results! Thank you!


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