The day was 2/15/13. I was at a doctor’s appointment for the flu just like the rest of America. The doctor began to triage me and I was mortified to find that I was tipping the scale at 204 pounds, which is a lot on a 5’2 frame. As the doctor and I continued our conversation, we discovered that I was pre-diabetes and pre-high blood pressure. I was beginning to exhibit a lot of the symptoms associated with these conditions. I began to cry and ask myself how I got there. I am just like many mothers, wives and women. I work in a job where I am constantly driving and grabbing fast food to keep my day moving. Then I get home and run my handsome boys to their various activities and of course grab more fast food because it would be too late to cook. I enjoy providing my family with a good ol’ traditional Southern meal every Sunday. That is how I ended up on 204lb Street. I was mortified to look on my summary report to find that she had diagnosed me as “Obese”. What an eye opener! I asked the doctor for help right away. She and I came up with a 1,000 calorie a day diet with exercise 3 times a week for 30 minutes. That is where Moves2Inspire came in. I had heard from all of my friends at Springfield Baptist Church what a wonderful and energetic class that this little firecracker named Cherisse was teaching, but I made so many excuses for not going. I was too busy, or I was fine the way I was. The truth was, I was afraid to fail. I have tried every diet pill and diet in the world and have never had any success losing more than a pound or two.

My friend, Diona Dent had been attending the class and kept on bugging me to come. She would not stop inviting me, so I finally went. I felt awkward, not knowing the steps, or afraid to look foolish, but Cherisse's enthusiasm was contagious, and the other members of the class were very encouraging. I thought I would not make it through the first class, but I did. Then I made it through the second and third, and now I go every single chance I get, no less than 3 times a week. It is so much fun and I look forward to meeting Cherisse on the Zumba floor and dancing and exercising with my Zumba family. I have lost 24 pounds and 5 inches from my waist. I am continuing on my 1,000 calorie a day diet until I get where I want which is 150 pounds. I could not have done it without Cherisse at Moves2Inspire and my Zumba Family. I have a long way to go, but this is a lifestyle change for me and I have come too far to turn back now. I have exited 204lbs Street and am on the highway to health and fitness.

Moves2Inspire has more to offer than Zumba with weight loss challenges, Body Fit classes, Chick Boxing and more. I can’t wait to do it all. Thank you Cherisse and Moves2Inspire! Here is to feeling good on the inside and looking good on the outside.

Amelita R. Sims
M2I Babe

Zumba with Cherisse is fun and exhilarating. I was looking for a fun place with positive energy where I could get cardio at least two days a week. My stamina for Zumba has greatly improved, I am keeping the weight off, and having fun doing it! Thanks Cherisse!

Jackie McGee
M2I Babe

So many people approach me giving me wonderful compliments on my physical fitness and my appearance. It’s a blessing to know that some people look up to me and I always receive it in love. But on the flip side, many only see my physical fitness and my appearance but don’t know MY STORY. Everyone has THEIR STORY but today I want to share with you who I am and how I came this far with my physical fitness and appearance. I want to be real with you about how truly blessed I am and I only dream to become a blessing to many.

In December 2010, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The news was a kick in the gut for me as well as my doctor…as he just knew I was only suffering from anxiety at the time. I was showing symptoms like extreme fatigue, dry mouth, constant urination, and blurred vision. My 393 blood sugar and test results confirmed that I had developed type 2 diabetes and I thought my world was coming to an end. The only person I knew with diabetes was my maternal grandmother who died from complications of the disease when I was in high school. Later that evening, I had a meeting with my husband and children to discuss what was going on with me….I remember how hard I cried. We all gathered in the middle of my kitchen floor crying together. I just knew it was over. I was angry. I was scared. I felt helpless. I felt like a failure. I felt alone. These were the emotions I went through.

Later that month, after sharing the news to my parents, aunts, and uncles, I found out that diabetes ran throughout both sides of my family but more on my dad’s side. Once I found out that my paternal grandfather had diabetes I was stunned! I knew then…I could beat this…I knew because my grandfather lived 103 years and had a great life. He was one of my role models…his gentle, patient spirit. His wisdom and his grace inspired me. I knew then I had to stop complaining and throw away my self-pity. That day I took a stand…that day I chose to fight and I fought hard. I immediately changed my diet and was going to the gym for 2 hours almost every day and within 3 months…my diabetes was controlled! A friend told me, “Cherisse…you may have diabetes…but diabetes doesn’t have you!” and those words have stuck with me till this day.

So when people compliment me and I smile…it’s because I know that I am beating this disease. If it wasn’t for this disease…I wouldn’t be where I am today…a fitness instructor, life coach, business owner, and friend to many wonderful men and women….men and women who bless me each and every day. God gives me His love and grace every day and He is allowing me to use my gifts and talents to bless others. Every day is a fight for me but I am so grateful. I am so peaceful.

Well this is my story 🙂 Use it to bless yourselves or others you know. Size (big or small) doesn’t matter with this disease. I wasn’t an obese women and I wasn’t in bad shape when I was diagnosed. Get tested for diabetes and catch it before it catches you!!!

Cherisse Atwater
Owner, Instructor

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