3 Remarkable Weight Loss Stories

The following stories include massive weigh loss from three Nia users. In their own words they tell us about the journey of awakening and transformation that goes deeper than just losing weight.

Three people in San Antonio, TX, at the Synergy Studio owned by Adelle Brewer, stumbled upon Nia while searching for a Yoga class.  Dacia Lee, Debra Garansuay, and Dan Alonzo were each looking for a way to feel better. Nia proved to be much more than just an exercise class.  Below are their stories.

Debra Garansuay

In November of 2009 I weighed close to 200 lbs.  I had been having some health and was instructed to see an Endocrinologist. Soon after, I was diagnosed with a hormone disorder PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) which I discovered was a direct result of my weight and lack of physical activity. During that time I was also having issues with anxiety and depression. Of course the usual risk factors were associated with being overweight (heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure) were discussed between my doctor and me, but the one aspect that really got to me was when he told me that if I did not lose the weight, I may not be able to have children, and/or face a possible total hysterectomy. I was only 25 at time, so the idea of not having the option of being a mom sacred me. I decided to finally try something that was not only physically satisfying, but emotionally and spiritually satisfying. I googled “Yoga in San Antonio” and stumbled across Adelle’s homepage for The Synergy Studio. I read about the yoga classes, looked at schedule, and found one that fit. However, before I closed the browser, I saw a page titled, “What is Nia?” I was intrigued.

I stepped into my first Nia class with Joanie Brooks that following Monday, and knew I had found something special. I kept going back for more. I lost 80lbs and gained a new sense of self-confidence. Nia changed my life.

In 2010 I stopped taking class and basically withdrew from everything, personal issues caused me to isolate myself. It was Joanie who asked me to come back to be in a video, and I made my way back to dance floor after being gone for almost three months. Once again, Nia saved my life. I consider it a gift from God. The White Belt was transformational, and I realized it was more than a workout. It was a way to live my life for the better. Now, I teach Nia, and I’m getting ready for the Blue Belt Intensive in November. I am very excited. Nia is the real deal. It helped to reshape my soul. For a long time, especially after my Mother’s sickness, I was very scared to do almost anything: drive, shop, I could barely be alone. I didn’t have a sense of self-worth or meaning. I would constantly focus on what I wasn’t good at and fears about the future. What would I become? What would I do? Would everything be okay? Nia gave me strength to leave what happened behind me, not to worry about what was in front of me, but to focus on the here and now. Right now. Once I began to think different, my self image and self esteem changed. I realized I was special, I was unique, I was worthy.  Most of al, I would be okay. It’s a feeling that gives me such a deep sense of peace.  

What also amazes me so much about Nia is the community. I was welcomed in immediately, and received so much love, support, and encouragement. I have formed life long friends with my fellow Nia brothers and sisters, it’s like a language we speak to each other. The community also allowed me to not only witness my own transformation, but the transformation of others. I saw Dacia and Dan change before my eyes. We all became inspirations to each other. The bonds of Nia stretch globally. All who share in this practice have a connection to each other. Nia knows no boundaries, no restrictions. There is a universal bond we share with the world. Our dance we dance not only for ourselves, but for each other.

I really must thank Adelle and Joanie for helping me find this amazing community of friends, and be a witness to all of our transformations.


Dacia Lee

My story is about weight loss and transforming my life. In 2011 I weighed almost 300 lbs. Today I weigh closer to 160. Pretty big changes, I know. When people ask me how I did it I say that I ate less and moved more. If someone really wants to know my story then I tell them about why I was successful and how I have been able to maintain this loss. The reason is that at 260lbs, when I first met Adelle and started attending classes at Syngery, I was able to find my self-love and acceptance immediately. I realized t I didn't need to be a certain weight or size in order to feel good about myself.

I finally believed I am more than just a number on a scale. Through Nia, and the amazing people I have met in class, I finally saw in myself what others have always seen in me – a kind, loving, strong woman who is a faithful friend. The best part is that I truly believed it. I began to not only believe it, but know it deep in my heart.  I was amazing regardless of what my outsides looked like. That led me to become courageous and spontaneous and it led me to seek joy in every moment. I learned to  love myself first and foremost and to be a good human, always. All of this came from Nia. My body and my soul is a reflection of that happiness, that acceptance, and that love.

Dan Alonzo

Nia has truly transformed my life. I received a gift certificate from my best friend, who wanted me to take some classes. She recommended it to me as something that had profoundly made an impact on her life.

I am a big kid at heart that has always loved to play and have fu, so Nia fit me well. The idea of enjoying myself, getting in touch with who I am, working out and above all, healing my body was a revelation to me. At first it was just a way to heal the aches and pains that plagued me. Suddenly I realized it had a greater impact on my well-being. Once I committed to it is when I really started to see the changes.

I have now lost 70 lbs since February!! I am a happier and much healthier person in all aspects of my life. I have left behind the model of "no pain no gain" and embraced having fun. I think the results speak for themselves.