I actually met Vanesa in July of 2009. At the time I didn't really think much of our casual meeting. We are the Friday night social at our dance studio. She was giggly, seemed very young and new to the dance studio. This is the picture of the first time I actually spoke to her.
What in the world was I thinking wearing that red dress?
It WAS a sad attempt to camophage how big I was. Ironically, I weighed less there than I do today.
By late Fall of 2009 she and I had become good friends. I discovered that her giggles are her defense in uncomfortable situations. They now make me laugh really had since I know that it is giving her true feelings away in any situation. She had overcome a very abusive childhood and hard teenage years to become a wonderful woman.
Little did I know, that summer evening in 2009, that Vanesa had already started her incredible weight loss journey. By the time I had met her she had lost 50 lbs and was working on losing more.
When Vanesa started her weight loss journey she immediately got a trainer, Ms. Jen. I haven't had the pleasure of meeting her but oh the wonders I hear about Jen! With Jen Vanesa discovered her own strength, despite her weight! Watching Vanesa workout is quite an experience. She is intense, works really hard and sweats like a beast!During the early days of In the summer of 2010 Vanesa decided to have plastic surgery (arm tuck and tummy tuck). She had hoped to wait till she got to her goal weight but she realized that she was feeling do disappointed that she couldn't "see" her work. She couldn't see the muscle definition in her abs, back or arms.
By this point she was down to 220 lbs and had lost 77 lbs. She traveled overseas and had the surgery done in July 2009. I picked her hubby and her up at the airport. Broke my heart to see her come out in a wheelchair and then walk so slowly. Her arms were in compression garments and swollen. Ouch!Immediately after arriving home she started the countdown to when she could work out again. I think that all of city heard when she was able to get back to the gym. She was that excited!
In the late fall, we both realized that we weren't going to be able to compete in a ballroom competition this year. Vanesa, almost immediately, changed her goal to become a Zumba instructor. She had been taking Zumba classes for a few years and had even introduced me to my newest addiction. :)At the start of this year she was at 220 lbs Today Vanesa is not only a Zumba instructor but also down to 188 lbs. I am so proud to walk to walk in her pants! She is such an inspiration!!