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One Womans Amazing 155-Pound Weight Loss Story

8/29 11:53:43

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Alena Shifrin spent much of her life overweight, checking in at over 305 pounds as far back as college. She was smiling on the outside, but felt trapped and sad on the inside.

Her husband Seth, whom she met and fell in love with in college, always found her beautiful, and never made her feel uncomfortable or pressured her to lose the weight. He said, "losing weight is not something you do for someone else; you have to do it for you." After nearly a decade of a blissful marriage and giving birth to two adorable girls, Gabby and Serena, Alena found herself struggling to even walk her kids to the bus stop or be active with them at the playground. "I lost that glow for life," she recalled. "And wanted to hide behind the curtains."

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In 2011, she learned of her exceptionally high cholesterol and was denied life insurance. At that point, her husband, a recognized doctor of Sports Medicine in Mount Kisco, NY, sat her down and said, "this is no longer about your weight—this is about you being healthy and having a future with me and our girls."

Depressed and feeling like she had hit rock bottom, Alena knew it was time to make a big change, so she could one day be at her girls' wedding and around for their future.

She first stepped into a Zumba class, disappearing into the back due to embarrassment and low self-esteem. "All the other participants were fit and beautiful and I felt so big and ugly," she recounted. Her Zumba instructor Shahidah Ansari immediately noticed Alena, specifically her bright spirit and affinity for dancing, and befriended her.

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Over the next few months, 300-pound Alena saw her shyness slowly dissipate as she moved to the front of the class. This was a workout that she really felt connected with, that made her feel better both emotionally and physically. It didn't matter what she looked like, it was the feeling that Zumba class gave her. And along the way, she created friendships that have become life-long, even getting the courage to go on stage with Shahidah to lead a song.

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After nearly a year of dancing and getting lost in the music, Alena lost weight, 100 pounds, and felt like there was new hope in life. She once felt stuck at the bottom of the mountain, but now could see a clear path to the top—the picture of a new, healthier version of herself, who had confidence and energy.

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Now, Alena is 155 pounds lighter and finally feels like she reached the top of that long, steep journey up the mountain. Her mom and best friend is so proud of her and says "you want to know something funny? I want to be like Alena when I grow up!"

Watch Alena's exceptional story.

This article originally ran on ZumbaStories.com. 


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