Strictly fabulous!

How I found the confidence to dance – and lost 4st 7½lb

Julia fell in love with salsa and tap dancing – and revamped her social life as well as her body.

Julia, Age 56, Lost - 4st 7.5lb
Height: 5'2", Start weight: 14st 9lb,
Current weight: 10st 1.5lb

I found my motivation
I was at the theatre with my mum and sister – who were both considerably smaller than me – when I bumped into an acquaintance. She looked me up and down, and then across at my mum and sister, and asked: ‘Who do you take after for your size?’ Her comment devastated me, but it also made me want to lose weight. I’d first joined Weight Watchers 25 years earlier, after my daughter, Hollie Beth, was stillborn. I was big and the baby was big, and I blamed myself for her death. I felt I owed it to her and any future babies to lose weight. I lost 4st and went on to have Heidi, now 23. But, as time passed, bad habits crept back in.

Taking small steps helps...
Motivated by that comment in the theatre and the approaching 25th anniversary of Hollie Beth’s birthday, I decided to return to Weight Watchers. I’d always wanted to try salsa dancing but, when you’re big, you feel exposed. So, after losing 2st, I went to a class with a friend – and I loved it. It’s high impact, so it really tones my legs, giving me the confidence to wear dresses for the first time in years.

My social life spurred me on
Having conquered salsa, I then signed up to an adult tap class as a way to stay in contact with some former colleagues. We’re all aged over 40, and some of us are over 60. It really works the legs and ankles – and it’s fun!

Have fun, feel more fabulous
Dancing is relaxing and you have a giggle because you don’t always get the moves right. It’s not about doing it perfectly – we’ve come to it too late for that – we just have a blast. The other dancers have said: ‘You’re disappearing! Every week your waist is getting narrower.’

I’m proud to have come this far
Dancing has given me a new lease of life and helped me to take control of my diabetes. Now I’m a Leader, and I take meetings at the hospital where I had Hollie Beth. I feel like I’m paying tribute to her every week.