NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Braidi Murphy tried everything: Dieting, walking, going to the gym to lose weight, but nothing seemed to work.
"I was tired a lot, and needed a change in my life and I'm looking at my boys and how active they are and I felt like I needed to step up and lose some weight and be active with them," said Murphy.
That's when a friend referred Braidi to Zumba, a Latin dance-inspired fitness program.
Braidi, a single mother to four boys, began Zumba last June, and has since lost 50 pounds.
She now attends Zumba classes four times a week.
"It's a lifestyle change. you have to actually watch what you're putting in your mouth and choose wisely on some of the things that you do and zumba is my, my main thing- it's what's keeping me going," said Murphy.
She says the support for her boys hasn't hurt either.
"I make it a requirement. I have a good family-they help me out with my boys but I make sure this is the one thing that I do for me. it's my goal and in order to do the goal, you have to put the time into it," said Murphy.
Braidi says the people who attend Zumba with her also give her encouragement.
She's especially motivated by Zumba instructor Shay Reynolds, who lost over 65 pounds with the program.
"I just got on the scale and I was like 'woah'-something needs to change. so, I wanted to live healthier," said Reynolds.
Shay teaches Zumba four times a week at the Court Club in Nacogdoches.
Every other Saturday, you can find her motivating others to be active.
She doesn't observe from the sidelines. Instead, Shay's right there with the room full of women, dancing with them.
"When I took the training, I was like 'Woah- what am I signing myself up for', but now it seems to be easier, but at the same time continues to push me, challenging me to challenge them….we're working together as a team and it does puts me out of breath sometimes," said Reynolds.
Shay has maintained the weight loss by not only doing Zumba, but by weight training and eating right.
"After you lose a bunch of weight, you have to end up doing some weight resistance because if not, you'll still have that flabbiness, but you just have to make time, it's something you want to live correctly for," said Reynolds.
Braidi tells all women to find the thing you love the most and make it fun. And Shay agrees… and says to stick with it.
"They have to make it up in their minds, because it's a mind thing. I went through a lot of pain and a lot of struggles losing a lot of weight, but the end results are worth it," said Reynolds.