Marie: How I belly danced my way to fitness and fun
Weight loss: 1st 11lb
Was: 10st 8lb
Now: 8st 11lb
My husband, Gerard, works in the oil and gas industry so we have lived abroad a lot. At times, this has proved challenging for my waistline, especially living in America where I gained more than a stone thanks to large portions. Wherever we’ve lived, though, WW has been there for me; the app has been a constant travel companion.
A fun hobby can become a healthy habit!
But it hasn’t been my only companion. I’ve also belly danced around the world for over 20 years. It all began when we moved to Azerbaijan in 1994 and I was looking to meet new people. Belly dancing is a huge part of the culture, so when I saw an ad for lessons, I went along – and have been hooked ever since.
Exercise really can boost your confidence
Belly dancing makes me feel so much better about myself – it’s great exercise, I’m always learning, and there’s a fun, social aspect to the classes, too. When we moved to South Korea in 2014, I struggled to find a belly dancing class so I started teaching some ex-pat ladies some moves. I’m not qualified – we just do it for a bit of exercise and fun. No-one takes it too seriously, it’s just a sociable way to spend time.
Getting sociable has the feel-good factor
Whenever we return to the UK, I go straight back to my belly-dancing class and my WW Workshop. And I always try to make sure I’m back in the UK in early summer for the region-wide hafla – a belly-dancing party for people from Yorkshire, Newcastle and Leeds. We share food and drink and show each other our new costumes and dances. I’d encourage anyone to try belly dancing, it's magical!