The battle

Weight has never really been an issue for me, well not before I had children anyway. From a young age I was a dancer – I went to classes, did exams and performed in so many shows. When I was 18 I went to uni to study dance and then when I graduated I was lucky enough to land a job teaching dance – first in Budapest and then in a secondary school in the north east.

I had basically been moving constantly for over 25 years by the time I fell pregnant with Big M. This meant that I could pretty much eat what I wanted as I was always burning it off.

I bounced back quickly after Big M (even with having a c-section) but that didn’t really amount to much as I fell pregnant again when she was 7 months old! I danced until I was 8 months pregnant with my second pregnancy so I felt quite confident that I would be able to bounce back to ‘normality’ fairly quickly.

That wasn’t to be.

My school had been taken over by an academy chain by the time I came back and they very swiftly disintegrated the dance department. This meant not only was I going to lose my job but my active work life had also disappeared.

I gradually began to gain weight. At first I didn’t really see it. To be honest it wasn’t until my brother was getting married and I was to be a bridesmaid that it became an issue. I had tried a dress on 6 months before the wedding and it was perfect and then about 6 weeks before the wedding I tried the dress back on again and surprise surprise it didn’t fit! A crash diet and a panic to find a seamstress followed – which wasn’t fun!

Fast forward another 6 months and I had a new job. Now this school had 2 great things…gorgeous school dinners and free toast at break times. This was a bad combination for me. I ballooned. It didn’t help that I wasn’t really enjoying teaching there so eating was my only pleasure.

I decided that I would do something about it in the summer holidays when I left the school. It was tough. The weather was amazing so it was unbelievably tempting to have a bbq and beers every day! I managed to shift 3 inches from my waist – this felt like a huge amount and I wanted to continue with this progress.

I was going to Zumba at least once a week and I saw that my instructor was starting a drop a dress size programme for a set fee for 10 weeks. I knew that this was for me. I was starting a new school and I didn’t want to go backwards after the progress I had made in the 7 week summer.

In the first week we were all measured and weighed. We won’t be measured again until the programme is finished but we are weighed every week. The whole weighing thing didn’t sit very comfortably with me as I know that I’ve always weighed heavier than what people think. But I knew I wanted to stay focused and on track with this so I threw myself into it.

We are now 6 weeks in and I am proud to say I’ve lost just over a stone. I had to be strict with myself but if I’m really honest the shift from eating huge bars of chocolate to non hasn’t been that much of a big deal. My fitness has improved massively and I’ve able to do some of the things I was able to do (like hold the plank position got ages) before I became a mum.

There are just 4 weeks left and I’m dreading not having to focus there of the group. But I’m hoping that I will have the will power to continue. I now know how good it feels to be able to wear clothes comfortably again without feeling as though they’re going to pop open. I know how good it feels to have a waist again. And I know how good it feels not to be so out of breath after doing a class.

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