Monday, December 22, 2014

ZINspiration Mondays with Brenda

Today's ZINspiration comes from Brenda Rivera, who lost almost 50 pounds with the help of Zumba (and was featured in Prevention magazine!).

The Z Beat: When did you get your B1 license?
I got my B1 license in April of 2012. Didn't tell anyone I was going to do it because I honestly did it for me, to give back to what Zumba fitness did for me.

The Z Beat: What was your life like when you felt like you were at your unhealthiest?
Scary. I ended up in the ER three times due to my ankles swelling. Doctors were concerned I had blood clots in my legs. It was my wake up call that I had to do something. My son was young, and I didn't want to die or have anything happen to me.

The Z Beat: How did Zumba change your life?
Zumba fitness changed my life in many ways. Take my confidence as an example. Simply put, I went from the back row to the front row. I wasn't scared to shake it and a lot had to do with my amazing instructor (and now my best friend) Jabari Warfield. He lit up the stage. When he would teach the confidence he showed up on that stage was contagious. I wanted to dance like him. He made everyone no matter what body type feel comfortable in their own skin and people gravitated to that. He made Zumba fitness feel like the party it is supposed to be and that helped my confidence to be who I am.

Once the weight started to drop off, there was no stopping me! I had confidence,  I loved who I was, and I wasn't scared to be in the front row anymore. Becoming an instructor changed all of that.  I made amazing friends and it also got me back into photography. I have shot some amazing events and people including Gina Grant and Kass Martin. Zumba has opened the door of opportunity for me and I am humbled and grateful for it. I now get a chance to inspire others the way Jabari inspired me.

The Z Beat: What was the hardest thing about getting healthy?
Eating is the hardest. I have learned that for me, I have to focus on portion control. And it took a while to figure that out. I love food and I don't believe in diets. Its a lifestyle change. You have to do it for yourself and once you have the balance everything becomes easy. 
The Z Beat: What advice do you have for others?
You have to want to change for you, no one else. The word diet cant exist - it's a lifestyle change. You have to find what works for you. Zumba changed my life and now I teach each of my classes with passion and heart because it's about giving back to what saved me.

Believe in yourself, be happy with who you are inside and out and share that with the world. It doesn't matter if you are a tiny size or a plus size, be healthy and be you.

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