Melanie Chusing

Before                                                                    After


     My weight loss journey started summer time 2011, 6 months after I was diagnosed with Chiari malformation type 1, syringomyelia, and herniated discs in my back. This made an everyday living a nightmare because I lost control of movement in my legs and arms had constant headaches that were so painful that I was barely able to talk or think. Keeping a track of medication for headaches and back pain was literally crazy. I was depressed and going through a hard time. After the birth of my second daughter in 2003, I gained so much weight little by little which caused me to keep buying bigger and bigger size clothes. On August of 2011 I weighed myself at 235 lb. which was the heaviest I had ever been in my life. I was not an active person and I noticed my health kept deteriorating even though I was taking my meds on a daily basis. I did not feel better physically nor emotionally. My self-esteem was on the floor and I was not happy with the person I became, so I decided it was time for a drastic change. I had a peep talk with myself and said “well Melanie, you are extremely blessed and lucky to be alive, to have a supporting family, and two beautiful kids and you have allowed yourself to be overweight and depressed. Come on now! Wake up and realize that you are taking your life for granted and the fact that you are still able to move and breathe and have been blessed with two arms and legs. You got to make a change in your life.” Then I looked at myself in the mirror and I did not like what I saw, so I sat down and made a list of what I wanted to change in my life and all the things that I needed to improve. After crying and getting mad at myself for 2 weeks, I decided it was time to enroll myself at the gym 5 min away from home. I tried to do some running, which I was only able to do for 20 min because my legs kept giving up on me and I was out of breath. I honestly wanted to give up but kept trying to get a little more familiar with the gym and got in the routine of cardio. One day my best friend Ellen asked me if I have heard of a dancing class they had at the gym, which I had no idea about so I decided to give it a try. I was afraid and embarrassed to go to class because I did not know if I was going to be able to stay the full hour taking in consideration that 20 min of running at 235 lbs. seemed like a marathon but I pushed myself to do it anyways. I have to say that I looked so funny trying to follow the routine the first 3-4 classes, but the instructor (Carmen) kept making eye contact with me and slowed down so I can catch up with the steps. I enjoyed that class and fortunately lasted the full hour, but I’m not going to lie, I had to take like 10 breaks. I started going every Tuesday and Thursday. After the first month of eating healthy and going to Kaliente class, I dropped 10 lbs. Every time I left that class I felt energized, happy, and even sexy. Now it has been almost 2 years after joining the gym, eating healthy, and going to Kaliente class at least 4 to 5 times a week. I can proudly say that I lost 91 lbs. it takes time, patience, and hard work to achieve your goal but all the struggle, pain, soreness, and sweat it’s worth it. The Kaliente instructors are the best because every one of them comes to class with such a positive attitude. They are always with a smile from ear to ear that it is so contagious you just can’t stop going. Don’t give up, push yourself to the limit, be active, eat healthy, and go to the Kaliente Dance Fitness classes as I can assure you that you won’t only feel great, but will burn calories while having fun and enjoying the workout.