Next time you want to skip exercising, remember Roni Tarver. The high school agriculture teacher from Fort Worth, Texas, shed 100 pounds off her 5-foot-6 frame by committing to a new fitness regimen centered on Latin-infused dance aerobic classes. The 29-year-old recalls how unhappy she felt with her weight in the fall of 2012, when she weighed 235 pounds, struggled with constant back pain and was plagued with insecurities regarding her appearance. That November, Tarver finally decided to take action, beginning to monitor her caloric intake and to pedal away on a stationary bike at home. And you HAVE to see her now!

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Still, it wasn't until January 2013 when she made the life-changing decision to sign up for Zumba classes at her local gym.  

For the first time, exercising didn't feel tedious--just the opposite: Tarver was having fun while working out. Within three weeks, she found herself spending longer stretches of time at the gym, taking a variety of Zumba classes and supplementing them with stints on the elliptical machine and weight training.

Though she'd taken great strides to lead a more active lifestyle, Tarver knew that, in order to lose weight, she'd also have to change her diet and make healthier food choices. She didn't rely on any regimen, but she did make wiser choices by eliminating fast foods in favor of lean proteins like grilled chicken or salmon, snacking on fresh fruit, and eliminating dairy from her diet. She also controlled her portion sizes and monitored her caloric intake via an application on her phone.

Fourteen months after beginning her weight loss journey, Tarver weighed 135 pounds (100 pounds less!), and she'd gone from a size 22 to a size 6. Her husband, Tom Tarver, had always found his wife beautiful, whatever her weight or size, but he was elated to witness how much better his beloved felt after reaching her goal weight and making some serious lifestyle changes.

Nowadays, in addition to taking Zumba classes, Tarver is teaching them, helping others to follow in her footsteps and embark upon their own weight loss voyages.  Her advice for others looking to shed some pounds: find a form of exercise you enjoy, remain consistent, and develop a support network to help you remain accountable and committed. Sound advice!

Images via Roni Tarver/Facebook

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About the author

Celia is the founder of the beauty and fashion blog SickaThanAverage.com, an on-air expert for Telemundo and Univision, and a seasoned journalist whose previous editorial posts include stints at In Style, The New York Post, VIBE and Complex. She lives in N.Y.C. with her husband, 10-year-old son, and an obscenely large collection of shoes.

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Add Comment Have you seen significant results with Zumba?

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