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Lifetime Fitness dance class instructor loses 130 pounds

Sherry Watkins used to weigh 315 pounds

Sherry Watkins used to weigh 315 pounds, had low self-esteem, low energy and too much to do.

Watkins is the mother of two special needs children and had battled weight gain over the years to no avail. She said her final straw was when she couldn't fit the seatbelt on an airplane comfortably around her lap.

That's when she began working out as a client at Lifetime Fitness at the Rim. She joined in Latin Fusion classes, but remained in the back corner in shame.

"I didn't want to start another diet that was going to fail," Watkins said. "I had done that between babies and it just didn't work, so I just started eliminating things I knew I could live without."

Watkins said that meant more water, more grilled meats and eating vegetables. She said a bit of karma then went into play.

"A position opened up and the members actually encouraged me to audition, and so here I am," Watkins said.

She is now in front of the class, 130 pounds lighter after three years of instructing her own special dance class at Lifetime Fitness. It's called Dance Jam and it incorporates hip-hop moves into aerobics.

"I just take my love of creating and choreography so that anybody can do it and feel like a rock star," Watkins said. She said group fitness classes are the key to weight loss for women like her with low self-esteem and who have problems getting motivated about weight loss strategy.

Lisa Reed is one of Watkins' students and said her popularity as a teacher is well-known.

"She has a positive attitude and a determination that are simply contagious," Reed said. "She is a blast. She makes exercising fun. It doesn't feel like exercise."

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