My name is Tonya England. I have struggled with being overweight most of my life. I never fit in at school or anywhere I went because I was always afraid of what people were saying about me or the way people looked at me and made me want to just go hide in a dark closet sometimes. The kids at school were really bad about making fun of me all the time. So I began staying to myself all the time and I hardly went anywhere or did anything because I had no friends at school. Many of my cousins my age did not want to do anything with me either. I was always left out while they would all get together and do things with each other. I eventually got to where I did not want to even go to family gathering. I just wanted to stay at home. It just seemed like I did not fit in with my family and seemed like no one cared about me or if I was even alive. It was like I was dead to some of them.
I got so depressed by the time I got to high school that I tried to commit suicide because I did not even want to live anymore. After that I had such a hard time at school that my parents and the school thought it would be better if I dropped out of high school and try something else. So I ended up doing school at home and getting my G.E.D. Then I went to see a counselor for a while and I started having anxiety attacks. At that point, I began avoiding most people and I decided to move away for a few years. I got married and had a baby. After a few years I found myself still overweight and unhappy. I did not want to be that way anymore. I was tired of being overweight and not feeling good about myself. After going through a divorce, my son and I decided to move back to Indiana.
That’s when some of my family talked me into trying Marcee’s Zumba class in March 2011. After the first class I was hooked and I loved it. I started going to every class. I also started feeling better and changing my eating habits. For once in my life I was starting to feel good about myself. I have a lot more energy. I find it easier to walk up stairs without being out of breath. I find myself taking the steps more when I can.
Due to being overweight and having my son, I developed type 2 diabetes. However, that is finally under control and my A1C levels are normal; they are at 5.4 instead of at 7. My blood pressure has even dropped and I’m hoping to get off a lot the medicines that I have to take.
Since I started Zumba, I have lost 55 pounds.
I still have a long way to go. Going to Marcee’s class has gotten me on track to changing my life for the better and for my son. I want to be around for him for a long time to come. I owe it all to my mom for always being there for me no matter what. If it was not for her, I probably would not be here. She was the only friend that I really had.
Thanks to Marcee for helping me with changing my lifestyle, the way I eat, helping me with Weight Watchers and for being there to hold me accountable every week at weigh-ins. I just love her class and can’t wait to go back for more every time. So many people in her Zumba class keep me motivated and encourage me just about every class; if it were not for these few people, I don’t know if I would still even be doing Zumba. I am thankful for these people because my life is better because of them.
This was a hard thing for me to talk about to anyone. I hate talking about this and have kept it bottled up for years, but now I feel more confident about myself and I felt like it was time to share with other people. Hopefully my story will encourage more people to be nice to others no matter what they look like and be their friends and try to help them. Thanks Marcee for your Zumba class and also all the encouragement I’ve received from you, my mother and my Zumba family.