Before & After 70 Pound Weight Loss Transformation
The Incredible Woman Who Lost 160 Pounds With Yoga
Spend a few minutes cruising Nancy Taylor’s blog, and it’s impossible not to feel inspired by the spunky, self-proclaimed “yoga princess.” Only 3½ years ago, Taylor, then topping the scales at over 400 pounds, decided that she wanted more out of life and nothing—not her weight or what anybody else thought of her size—was going to hold her back. Determined to make a change, the 45-year-old English professor signed up for a Bikram class near her home in Marina Del Rey...and the rest is history. Now 160 pounds lighter and happier than ever, we caught up with Taylor to talk about her amazing journey—and why true transformation has nothing to do with your dress size.
PREVENTION: People who decide to take control of their health have a moment when they realize they're ready to make a change. What was yours?
NANCY TAYLOR:I remember the moment clearly. I’d been looking for someone, anyone to care about me in a way I couldn’t yet care about myself. During the course of a conversation with a trusted confidant, this gentleman said to me, “You don’t have any more time, and I don’t want to see you suffer anymore.” Hearing those words from someone who didn’t expect me to be anybody but myself made all the difference and motivated me to work at figuring out how to live a healthier lifestyle.
Why did you choose Bikram yoga? Practicing in a room heated to 105° can be brutal.
I didn’t really choose it. It chose me. I was having a particularly difficult time in my life and my good friend MK told me to come to a Bikram class with her. I agreed because I felt desperate for change. I thought doing yoga in a 100+ degree room was nuts, but I would have done anything at that point to feel better.
How did you decide on a studio?
MK told me that I had to go to Loren Jay Cherrstrom’s class in Marina Del Rey because he was the best.
So often we let the reflection in the mirror tell us who we are. How did you learn to say “screw it,” and just live your life?
At my core, I’m a happy, joyful person. I spent a lot of time, while growing up, feeling that I had to meet the expectations of others to be okay, to be loved and to be accepted. But, at the same time, I always had a bit of rebel in me who would defy others’ expectations of how I should behave. That bit of spunk led me to make choices that make me happy. It’s still an ongoing process, but the more I live my life for me, the happier I am.
There are thousands of women that are right where you were a few years ago. Any advice?
To everyone, I would say that I traveled when at my highest weight. I flew to London by myself in December and had afternoon tea at the Ritz, sitting by the Christmas Tree in the middle of the room. Don’t wait to live the life you love and deserve. Don’t worry about what others think. You’ll never live up to their expectations. Just do what you want. Do what brings you joy. I did that. I’m doing that, and it makes all the difference.
Where's a good place to start?
Find an activity you love doing and do it. Even if you only do it for five minutes, just do it. If you can breathe, you can live. To say anything else is an excuse. If you can’t move that well, take five minutes and just watch your breath. Do nothing else but breathe. Or go sit outside. Be a part of the world. You’re worth it. You really are. That’s what yoga gives me. The power to know and realize just how very worthy I am.
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