I Lost 75 Pounds After Falling in Love With Zumba and Trading Soda for LaCroix

Paula Scott says Zumba was "the only workout that I could bring myself to do."

lost 75 pounds

Paula Scott lost 75 pounds after finding a workout she loved. Photographs courtesy Paula Scott.

Changing your body takes hard work, persistence, and dedication. Here’s one local’s story. Want to share your Transformation Story? Email ccunningham@phillymag.com.

Who: Paula Marie Scott (@_paulaspins), 27, veterinary sales manager from Rittenhouse

Why I wanted to make a change: “I decided to make a change in 2012 when I couldn’t button my size-12 jeans. I vividly remember jumping up and down just to get the pants on and then laying on my bed struggling to button them. I felt so defeated. Growing up I was always very active. I played sports my whole life, but once college came and I wasn’t playing at the collegiate level, I gained the Freshmen 15 and then some. For the next few years it just kept getting out of control, I would go through repetitive cycles of crash dieting, then going back to my bad habits. It wasn’t until those pants just wouldn’t budge that I decided enough was enough and made a promise to make a change. And from that day on, I kept that promise to myself.”

Height: 5’4″

Starting weight: 210

Current weight: 135

What changed: “Besides the physical aspect of weight loss, I FEEL amazing. I am stronger, more energized and happier — and those non-scale victories are the best feeling.”

How I changed my eating: “When I started my weight loss journey in 2012, I had to completely revamp my diet. I swapped sodas for sparkling water (LaCroix obsessed), processed food for nutrient dense or ‘clean’ food, and sweets for fruits. I eat a ton of greens, I honestly think I love veggies more than fruits now. I am pretty conscientious about my diet and keep my body fueled with nutritious foods, but I totally support everything in moderation!”

How I changed my exercise plan: “I started my weight loss journey with Zumba. It was really the only workout that I could bring myself to do because it didn’t feel like exercise and group exercise held me accountable, the support was exactly what I needed and I felt so great after going. Since I was only doing cardio, I did hit a plateau in my journey and had made the decision to incorporate strength training. Like most women, I feared getting ‘bulky,’ which didn’t end up happening. In fact, I broke through my plateau and started losing more while strengthening and defining my muscles all over. Now, I do a combination of different workouts. I LOVE spinning, especially SoulCycle. If I’m not spinning, I exercise either on my own, a class at The Sporting Club at the Bellevue or taking a dance class at ARX with Alexis Rose.”

The hardest part: “There are hard points during any transformation. For me, revamping my whole diet at first was very tough, I figured I’d get bored with eating healthy and eating pretty much salads all the time. Since starting my journey, I have actually found a passion for cooking and creating healthy, easy meals and adapting recipes to be more nutritious.

“Another challenge I had was remembering the long term goal and that while in the beginning I had set a goal to lose 80 pounds, I had to break that down into smaller goals so the number didn’t seem so daunting and unrealistic. I measured success through the scale. In my head there was a number and if I reached that number I would be happy. One week the number on the scale would go down, the following week I would be up maybe 0.3 pounds or no change at all. Those weeks were hard, but I was losing inches. The scale cannot give you the full picture, nor can it measure your success. I was showing up for my workouts, I was giving my body the right foods and consistency got me to my goal.”

“The scale cannot give you the full picture, nor can it measure your success.”

What I’m proud of: “That I show up for myself. I made a commitment in 2012 and have remained consistent through the happiest and most stressful moments in my life. On days where the last thing I wanted to do was work out, I showed up, I got it done and that workout changed my mentality for the day. I became one of the people that I always aspired to be — a morning gym-goer — and a great day starts off with a workout.”

What I want everyone to know: “Be patient and be grateful for everything you have accomplished thus far in your journey, whether it is weight loss, or anything for that matter. Celebrate your victories, big or small!”

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