Patti Pollock (far right) tried Zumba once before but has stuck with it this time, mainly because of her attachment to Janice Center instructor Lori Karadontes (left).
Story by Kristina Sumfleth
JEFFERSONVILLE July 5, 2013 For the past year Patti Pollock has been driving down from her home in Chenango County and staying with her friend Shirley Felder while going to work here in Sullivan County.
She also attends Zumba classes three times a week. Four if possible.
This has been the routine that has amazingly helped Pollock shed 95 pounds.
“It works. I just saw the changes in my body and I enjoy it with Lori (Karadontes, her instructor at The Janice Center),” Pollock, 49, explained. “I like the energy.”
Zumba is one of the most recent additions to the world of exercise and has garnered a large crowd of followers. Instead of gym circuits or floor exercises, Zumba workouts are high-energy dance routines to the latest music, incorporating fun and dynamic moves.
“I love it, it’s so much fun and it is healthy for you,” said Pollock enthusiastically. “It keeps me motivated because I see the changes and the weight coming off. It takes time but I just feel amazing.”
Pollock tried Zumba a few years ago but never stuck with it. She says it’s different now because of the instructor.
“I really like the energy and enthusiasm that Lori brings to each class,” said Pollock.
After quitting 32 years of smoking and gaining thirty more pounds, she decided that something had to be done. That’s when she decided she would give Zumba another shot. Patti is now only 35 pounds away from her goal of 195 pounds and is determined to continue.
“You have to get committed and stay committed,” said Pollock. “I have tried other things before and lost weight but nothing has toned my body the way Zumba has. I went from a 28 to a size 16. I haven’t been this size since high school!”
Pollock says she has achieved her weight loss through hard work, better diet and no surgery.
Support from family has been anything but sparse as Patti’s daughters Nicole and Rachel encourage her to continue Zumba as does Felder who even cooks healthy meals and teaches her how to eat healthy as well.
Patti also credits her Zumba instructors (and new friends) Karadontes and Janice Center owner Tanya for getting her hooked on Zumba and making it possible to reach her goals.
“Patti is like the incredible shrinking woman,” said Karadontes. “I've watched her transform her body for the past year and she's amazing. She's a dedicated "no excuse" woman and that's why she was able to lose the weight and inches she has so far.
“She has such a passion for zumba and literally revolves her life around it! She's an inspiration to every one of us. She’s even inspired me to join her in doing 5ks!”
The dedication to changing her body also has had positive implications in other aspects of Pollock’s life as well.
“I was always very shy, I don’t like crowds and wouldn’t go out and do something like this without people I know,” Pollock said referring to her Zumba classes. “I have always had self-esteem issues and was always overweight.
“Now I don’t care, I’m dancing around and so proud of myself. It brought my self-confidence and self-esteem up. I see myself as pretty. I am so impressed with what I have accomplished.”
Zumba may have opened the door to change, but Patti’s determination and drive to stick with it made her weight loss, new friends and positive attitude possible.
“If you can get motivated and try it, you’ll see the changes and you’ll be amazed,” said Pollock of Zumba. “It has been an amazing journey, it changes everything. I am a completely different person.”