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How zumba helped this mom dance her way to a 230-pound weight loss

Posted September 6
Updated September 7

Zumba instructor Cynthia Ortega strives to motivate her students to keep moving. She understands how her students may feel overwhelmed by living a healthier lifestyle. You see, Ortega used to stand in their shoes. When she first started Zumba, she weighed more than 400 pounds.

Ortega struggled with her weight for most her life, she told PopSugar. She looked to crash diets to help get the excess weight off. However, she never tried to get her body moving. The results never lived up to the hype and she began to worry about even everyday activities.

“I used to dread going to restaurants with my husband because I knew I wouldn’t fit in the seat,” she said.

Inevitably, Ortega’s weight started to cause health problems. After contracting swine flu in 2009, Ortega experienced a number of side effects. She needed an MRI but could not fit into the machine. Doctors had to put her in an induced coma to help treat her, according to PopSugar. Recovery from her illness was long and hard; she needed to learn to walk and even eat again. Then, doctors told her she had sleep apnea and diabetes.

The health scare pushed the wife and mom to start making changes. Ortega decided to document her change with videos. She created a YouTube channel called Best Friend Fitness BFF and posted weigh-ins and first workouts. Even though she struggled, she kept at it. She started losing the weight she wanted.

Then, she found something that would change her life.

Finding Zumba

One day, Ortega saw a Zumba class taking place at a local gym. She decided to stop and see what was going on. "It just looked like a lot of fun," she told Zlife, the official Zumba blog. "And it looked like something I could do."

She started going to two classes per week. And within a month, she lost 30 pounds! She documented her progress after about seven weeks in the class as she neared the 100-pounds-lost milestone.

Her motivation kept bringing her back to class. And the weight kept coming off. She lost 23o pounds over two years. Now, not only does she go to 12 Zumba classes a week, but she’s become an official instructor.

"If I can do this, anybody and I mean anybody can do it!" says Cynthia. "I love that I can share my experience with my students now and hopefully inspire them to feel confident in their own skin."

Of course, Ortega has had ups and downs, which she faithfully records for her followers:

But she’s not giving up, and she continues to push forward toward her goals. With an attitude like that, we’re sure she’ll see success!

This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Checkout Simplemost for other great tips and ideas to make the most out of life.


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