You've got to move it if you want to lose it.
A Kissimmee woman transformed her life and she credits the fitness dance craze Zumba. Just six years ago, Melissa Gonzalez weighed over 300 lbs. Now a certified Zumba instructor, Gonzalez has literally cut her original weight in half.
At the time, Gonzalez was an administrative assistant who had just been laid off. She was searching for a way to relieve stress and lose weight.
"I took my first Zumba class and fell in love with it," said the mother of two. "I never thought I'd lose 151 pounds (while) also inspiring people as a fitness instructor."
Gonzalez said that while shaking and shimmying she felt energized and noticed she was losing weight.
"From the back of the room, I gradually worked my way up to the front and my Zumba instructor asked if I've ever thought teaching I laughed about it," she said. But soon Gonzalez starting helping her teacher lead and her confidence soared. Three years ago she became a certified Zumba instructor, and a year after that, finally got up the courage to start teaching.
Now Gonzalez has a huge following. She teaches four classes a week at Lotus Fitness, and nine others at gyms around Orlando. Plus, she is studying to become a registered nutritionist.
Her story proves to be an inspiration for her students.
"I'm very high strung, a lot of anxiety and a lot of stress and my doctor suggested I find some way to work out that I could relieve that stress," said student Jennifer Wood. And while getting the steps confused Wood at first, Gonzalez encouraged her to keep dancing.
"The fact that she's able to put herself out there like that, she'll tell you it's not about looks for her, it's about being healthy and living long healthy lives," Wood said.
Soon, Zumba fans across the globe will hear Gonzalez's amazing story and get a chance to dance alongside her. Zumba Fitness has chosen her for a huge honor.
"I just finished shooting an infomercial with Zumba," said Gonzalez.
When asked what's its like to inspire other women, Gonzalez said, "It's the most amazing thing I do. I wake up every day and I love what I do."
That love and enthusiasm keeps Gonzalez and her students moving to the Zumba rhythm.