FRODSHAM resident Bev Carter is always being asked about her “weight loss secret” after shedding an amazing 10 stones.
Bev has transformed from a large size 24 to a healthier, happier size 12 and has now been inspired to help others.
She explained: “I have the side by side photographs and the compulsory ‘standing in one leg of my old trousers’ picture and my story has recently gained national interest featuring in the Uk’s weekly Bella magazine.
“It’s now been over three years since I reached my initial weight loss target and people are keener than ever to know what my secret is. Unfortunately, the most honest answer I can give is ‘it’s complicated’.
“For those who have never battled with their body; weight loss can be condensed to a simple equation of ‘burn off more calories than you consume’. Many of us know that in reality, there is absolutely nothing simple about it.
For the whole time I was over weight, I wanted to be ‘thin’ more than anything. I would have times of weight loss, but always found myself piling it back on, mainly because I’d never got to a point where I was happy with myself.
“In 2012, I finally managed to break the cycle, after losing the first few stone through a change in diet, I plucked up the courage to attend my first Zumba fitness class. In the past I’d avoided group work outs, the thought of being
in a mirrored room full of skinny ladies and a scary instructor shouting at me didn’t appeal! But I knew that I wanted to burn off some calories, so I arrived at my first class feeling selfconscious in baggy joggers and t.shirt.
I took my place nervously on the back row, overly aware that I was too heavy to jump and was severely lacking in coordination. I was soon put at ease, the instructors were amazing; strong, accepting, encouraging and definitely not
snooty! I spent the hour going in a different direction to everyone but the music was uplifting and I’d worked up a sweat which felt good.
“As I continued to attend Zumba fitness classes, each week I found that I started to move more easily. I was possibly the biggest person in the room, but I was pretty sure that nobody cared. Through these classes I started to learn that beauty is generous, there’s no one size fits all. There was a whole array of body shapes moving, shimmying, shaking and giggling. Zumba isn’t about size it’s about energy, feeling free and letting go of your body hang ups. With this shift in mindset, dieting, and the regular calorie killing work outs, I soon found weight loss a lot easier. I started seeing results. I reached my initial weight-loss target and became a size 14 in October 2013 having lost 9 stone. Since then I’ve dropped a further dress size and shed an extra stone, making my total loss just over ten stone. Physically I look very different, there was an amusing occasion in Chester city centre when someone accused my lovely husband of having an affair only for the lady to realise mid sentence that he was holding hands with me! I had lots of fun purchasing clothes in smaller dress sizes, and receiving compliments about my new figure. But more importantly than any changes in my physical wardrobe, mentally, I began to wear my skin with gratitude rather than self loathing. Zumba was just what i had needed; It’s hard to be at war with your body when it’s pumping adrenaline, you’re making moves, flying on endorphins, and having so much fun!
“So my secret can’t really be condensed to one thing, but if someone is really wondering where to start, I suggest finding something that makes you happier with your body, something that makes you feel strong and beautiful!
“For me that’s Zumba fitness, which is why I’ve become an instructor, hoping to inspire others. I know what it’s like to enter a fitness class full of fear and trepidation, which is why I’m committed to doing everything I can to make
people feel at ease.”
Bev now leads classes with fellow ZIN member Stella Hughes, every Thursday, 7-8pm at Frodsham Manor House, Langdale Way Frodsham.
In September Bev is taking her commitment to an extra level and along side Stella, are bringing Zumba Kids (7-11yr olds) and Zumba Kids Jr (4-6 years old) to Frodsham.
Bev added: “Stella and I both have a background in education and over 18 years of experience of working with young people so combining our two passions (fitness and children) is an exciting venture and we’re confident that it’s going
to be a success. Zumba Kids is all about establishing happy and healthy attitudes in young people, we get them moving through weekly energetic, play and dance parties. We teach the children to be body confident, to not just accept
themselves but to celebrate all that that their bodies can do. Like adult Zumba, there’s no such thing as a wrong move, when the music begins kids are encouraged to move to their own beat with their own flavour.
That said, they will learn new dance moves as we travel around the world introducing the children to salsa, soca, merengue, pop, hip hop, and reggaeton grooves.
The Zumba program is fantastic; parents love it because it’s energetic and implements a healthy lifestyle at a young age; Kids love it because they get to hang out with pals, throw funky moves and most importantly it makes them feel
good. Having been on my own health journey, I realise just how important it is for children to love their bodies and to enjoy exercise from an early age. I’ve recently been sharing my story in a local sixth form college and leading
sessions with pupils. Together, Stella and I are hoping to make a real impact on our local area, showing people that exercise can be fun as well as effective!”