Success Story - Meet Yahaira (Yari) P.

Name:  Yahaira (Yari) P.
Age:  34
Height:  5'2"
Before Weight: 204
Current Weight: 145

How did you gain your weight?  I became complacent in my everyday life. I would workout on and off,  but then go home and have a huge plate of rice, beans and pork chops.  My biggest issues were definitely eating and partying.

What made you change your lifestyle?  When I turned 32, I realized that it was the same age when my mom was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and she had suffered a mild heart attack soon after.  I knew right there and then that I needed to make a change - if it happened to her it could definitely happen to me.

How did you lose your weight?  Have you hit your goal weight?  I met a group of wonderful people who motivated me, and started taking Zumba® classes, resulting in me losing 25 pounds.  The Zumba® Instructor also obtained his Insanity® certification, and I decided to join his Insanity™ classes - that helped me lose the remainder of my weight.
As far as my nutrition was concerned - I stopped eating rice, bread, cut out juices and sodas, and started taking Body by Vi™ shakes.  I started substituting two meals for these shakes.  Each protein shake contains antioxidants, vegetables and fruits. I also incorporated more fresh vegetable and fruits into my everyday meals.  Looking for healthy recipes and meal prepped also helped immensely.
I have not reached my weight goal yet, but I will.  My goal weight is 135 pounds.

What was the hardest obstacle in you weight loss journey?  The winter! It may sound funny, but I started my weight loss journey during the summer months.  Those are the months when we are always moving around and food was the last thing on my mind.  During the winter months, we are a bit more sedentary and I tend to eat when I am bored, so I find myself making all these yummy, but fattening dishes.  Along this journey, I have however learned to make healthier alternatives.

Any advise you would like to offer to people that starting this journey?  Be patient, stay off the scale. Know that there are going to be times when you hit a plateau and feel like quitting - DON'T - those are times when you need to dig deeper, switch your workout around, and your meals.  Always plan-- keep your gym bag stocked, write down your gym sessions in a calendar, and plan all of your meals.  It will help you a lot.

What kept you and keeps you motivated?  My kids - they have seen the change in me and they keep me motivated.  When I want to skip a class, they push me out of the house to go.  
Also, the way I feel and the change I have seen in myself has made me more confident.  I have accomplished things that I have always wanted to accomplish, yet I was never able to before because I was always too scared or felt that I was "too big" to do it.

Who inspired you or supported you through out the journey? My mentor, my instructor, Al Rodriguez Jr., has definitely inspired me throughout my journey.  My family has been a huge support system, as well as all of the wonderful friends I have made along the way via my Zumba®/Insanity™ classes.
My friends and I have the same goals and ambitions and we keep each other grounded and on track when we feel like giving up.

What is your secret indulgence?  My biggest indulgence has to be Twix ice cream bars :)

Do you have a FB page, IG and/or Blog you want to share with us?  I have an Instagram account:


Yari is a current Shape Up NYC Instructor and will be teaching a Bootcamp Class at the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center-- 3101 Kingsbridge Terrace, Bronx, NY 10463 Saturdays 11am starting January 10th, 2015.  Classes are FREE!!!

Editor's Note:  I want to thank Yari for sharing her success story.  I know without a doubt that she will reach her ultimate goal, and exceed in whatever she chooses to do in the future.  I met Yari a couple of months ago at the Shape Up NYC Fitness Instructor Training where we were in the same group.  I immediately was drawn to her - in an awkward way she reminded me of ME -- I saw in her the same determination and spark that I had when I discovered the passion I never knew I had-- the passion for fitness and the desire to help others obtain their own fitness goals.  Kudos to you Yari - always reach for the stars. xoxo

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