Monday, April 20, 2015

ZINspiration Monday with Bonnie!

Bonnie has a very special passion for Zumba, one that she found when trying to get healthy after her husband's passing. I'm so glad she shared this story. Here it is.

I got my start as an instructor by taking Jump Start Gold and currently only teach Gold. I took it in July of 2014. I really thought it was a crazy idea as I had a really hard time keeping up in a regular class. But I love teaching Zumba Gold.
I had tried and failed at almost every diet. I have been overweight since my mid twenties and still I kept trying to lose weight only to regain it. My husband and I had foodie relationship. He loved to cook and sometimes we had contests of whose food was the best. We did everything together. Then in '97 he found out he had kidney failure.

I wanted to lose weight to be able to donate a kidney but I was over 340 lbs and I just couldn't get it together. Food was stronger then love, and I failed to lose weight. He really didn't want me to lose weight, it made him feel worse(I know this because we talked about this) When he died I realized just how bad our food addiction really was. He died in 2008 but it wasn't until 2011 that I finally hit the bottom and started my road to recovery from food addiction. I found a website that is called and it helps you figure out your emotional attachment to food and how to overcome it.

When I hit bottom I was dealing with a bad knee and ankle. My dog had run into the back of my knee cap and it messed up my leg. I was limping around for 3 years. Then I twisted my ankle. I run a small pet grooming business with both mobile and in salon service. I couldn't walk so I had to stay at the shop. I borrowed a wheelchair from one of my customers. I realized, during that time, that I had to make a choice. Stay in the wheelchair, become disabled or get off my butt and change myself. I had nobody to cook for, no reason not to chose healthier foods.

It was during the summer of '11 when the first Zumba instructor came on the block where my business is. Right across the street so while I'm in the wheelchair, trapped at my shop, I get to watch all the women having fun at Zumba. There were 3 sessions per night and one in the morning. After my leg was better and I could walk, my friend Vicky insisted that I try Zumba with her. I said I couldn't stand, how did she expect me to dance? "We will find you a chair." Ok, so I went and would sit and stand and sit and stand. No instructor ever acknowledged me or my effort to attend class. But I kept going. I kept going and got a little better, and then a little better because I didn't have to sit the whole time.

Zumba is so different from other exercise so it makes me want to come back. The music, the fact that nobody cares how you dance, or even if you can dance. That allowed me to just move and enjoy the music. I didn't know about how good it would make me feel. I can lose myself in the music and worries just disappear. My grandson would tease me about I would never be able to do Zumba because I couldn't move that fast or dance.

I decided that someone I knew or a family member should become a Zumba instructor so I paid for my grandson's wife to get her B1. She never followed through. I didn't know how much work was required. Then I found out about Jumpstart Gold. I had see some Gold videos on youtube. I thought and thought about it. Then decided I should go ahead because at least I would know how to do Zumba correctly.

In addition to Zumba I also changed everything about my lifestyle. I work with a personal trainer, I shop for fruit and veggies at a Farmers Market, I took a year long class to become a Health Coach. I know that it is slowly coming off. I didn't put it on in one year and it was on my body for almost 40 years. But my inside body is healthy, blood work, blood pressure, blood sugar, liver, everything is good. Just waiting for the outside to catch up. Which it will. I am down 90 lbs from my highest weight. I can walk, run, dance, stand up for an hour. I don't need a cane or a wheelchair to get around. I am proud of what I have been able to do to improve my health. It is not as easy to do this when you are in your 60's so I would encourage anyone who has weight to lose or life style changes to make, do that when you are younger.

Bonnie and her family at a Zumba party!
It took time to make the changes so my advice is to be sure that you don't have a time frame to accomplish your life style changes. To make them last, you have to go slow. Pick one thing you can change, whether it is going to exercise or adding more water daily, or cutting out one thing you want to stop doing too much of(like watching T.V.) or eating candy. One Positive change.

I am 67 years old. I have been a pet groomer for 43 years and own my own business. My grandson is my business partner. My lifestyle changes have had a positive impact on many people in my circle. As the oldest member of my family I feel that helping the rest of my family make positive changes is my responsibility. I want to see my GREAT-GRANDCHILDREN grow up so I am motivated to continue to improve my health.

Need more ZINspiration? Check it out here!


  1. Bonnie you are freaking AWESOME and an INSPIRATION! Keep up the great work honey. I'm so proud of you!