By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal
BALDWYN – Tonya Goodin says she’s been heavy most of her life. Pudgy as a child and obese as a teenager, she finally found weight loss her senior year in high school with diet pills.
“I got down to a size 12, but once I stopped taking them, and hit my 20s and then gave birth, I gained it all back,” said Goodin, 31.
In 2006, when she hit 306 pounds, the hair stylist at Shay’s Sassy Styles in Baldwyn had Lap-Band weight-loss surgery.
“I lost 60 pounds right after the surgery, but in my head, I thought Lap-Band was going to do it for me,” she said. “My doctor said it was just a tool, that I was still going to have to eat right and exercise an hour every day. I did try to eat right, but then I’d cheat. And exercise was the No. 1 thing I did not do. I gained it all back but about 30 pounds.”
Pretty soon, Goodin found she had trouble sleeping. She’d wake up coughing and out of breath.
“I figure I had sleep apnea, but was never tested for it,” she said. “It just kept getting worse and worse. It was hard for me to go to sleep, hard for me to get up. I was ill and grumpy.”
Finally last October, Goodin followed through on a promise to one of her customers: She went to a Latin-inspired dance class called Zumba at Orchard Northside in Baldwyn.
“That first class, I had to stop several times,” she said. “I was out of breath, out of shape. But I felt so good afterward – I had more energy with my son, Mason, I woke up feeling better – that I said I’ve got to do that again.”
Goodin made a commitment to go to Zumba class three times a week. She also started grilling, broiling and baking her foods and watching her portion sizes. By Christmas, she’d lost nearly 30 pounds.
In February, she picked up three more Zumba classes.
“I figured I needed five to six hours a week,” she said. “I burn 500 to 1,000 calories at a session. I wasn’t doing that at the walking track.”
By the middle of June, Goodin had lost 86 pounds. She’s gone from a size 22 to a size 12-14.
But she’s not through yet.
Two days ago, she earned her certification as a Zumba instructor.
“I’m not finished by any means,” she said. “I’d still like to take off another 40 pounds and then maintain, of course. My biggest thing is commitment. Once it clicked here – in my mind – I was there. I plan to stick with Zumba after the weight is off. I think Zumba will be a part of my life from here on out.”