From fatty to fishnets!

Sexy moves helped me shed seven dress sizes!

Published by: Jai Breitnauer
Published on: 31 May 2012

Smoothing down my pink and black smock, I looked in the mirror and smiled. When I'd been invited on a mate's hen do, I'd panicked. I hadn't been out since having my second daughter Rebecca a year ago, and nothing fitted - but my hubby Steve, 33, had come to the rescue, buying me this flattering size 20 dress.
‘Mmmm, yummy mummy,' he grinned, as I twirled around.
‘Hardly!' I laughed. But I hadn't scrubbed up bad. Tottering into a wine bar, I waved at my mates and got a drink.
‘Ooo, that'll be your only one,' smiled the bride's mum. Patting me on the belly she smiled, ‘When's the baby due?'
Oh God! ‘I'm n-not pregnant,' I stuttered. Her face dropped and she slunk away, but I couldn't shake off that sinking feeling...
Truth was, I was used to people making comments. At age 14, I'd been bullied for being a size 16. And when I'd left school, my weight had continued to rise.
Steve had seen past the flab, though, and the day I'd married him wearing a size 18 red ball gown had been the happiest of my life.
Not long after that, I'd got the first ‘pregnant' comment. I'd been 22 and out with mates... ‘Should you be clubbing in your condition?' some bloke had asked.
So I never went dancing any more - I didn't like the bits of me that, well, jiggled. But I didn't do anything about it.
By the time Bethany was nine and Rebecca had turned six, I was refusing to do the mums' race on school sports day.
At least the girls were looking forward to their holiday. We were going on a cruise with Steve's family. But when his slender mum and sisters came out in their bikinis, I nearly died and spent the week in jeans and a t-shirt by the poolside.
A year passed. One Monday, I nipped into New Look. ‘Can I return these jeans, please?' I asked the assistant. ‘They're a bit tight.'
‘No problem,' she smiled, taking the size 22 jeans off me. ‘Just grab the right size.'
I tried the next size up... I could barely breathe! I'd have to have size 26. Then, when I went to pick up the kids from school, someone handed me a Slimming World leaflet.
‘Do I look like I need to lose weight?!' I cried to Steve when I got home again.
‘No, love, as long as you're happy....' he started.
‘I'm not happy really,' I sobbed. ‘How did I get this big?'
Steve put his arm around my shoulder. ‘I love you, Sarah. I'll support you, whatever.'
Finally, the penny dropped, I needed to lose weight. So I went to the Slimming World meeting. ‘16st 3lb!' I gasped at my weight. So I threw myself into the diet, and lost 4lb in the first week!
By the end of the month, I'd lost half a stone. ‘You'd shed the weight even quicker if you exercised,' the consultant Claire suggested. ‘Try Zumba lessons.'
Soon, I was half way to my target weight of 10st 3lb.
Then one of the ladies at Zumba asked if I was interested in burlesque dancing.
The next week, as I walked into the studio at DM Dance School, my heart was in my throat. The room was dimly lit with some jazz seeping from the stereo.
‘Come on, ladies!' the instructor smiled. ‘Straddle a chair and think sexy thoughts!'
Blimey! Sexy dancing? But what about my jiggly bits wibbling to the music? That wasn't sexy! I loved it, though - the flamboyance, the thrill.
Back home, I went upstairs to practise. ‘Beautiful!' I heard Steve's voice from the doorway. You're so sexy! Maybe I could have a private dance?' Too right!
‘We've been asked to put on a theatre show next month,' the instructor smiled at the last session. ‘There will be three performances to audiences of about 200 people.'
She produced the outfits...
‘Hot pants and fishnet tights!' I cried to Steve later. ‘It's one thing to dance for you, but I can't perform to 200 people wearing my undies!'
Trouble was, if I dropped out now, no one would be able to do it. ‘Come on, let's see you in costume,' Steve grinned.
Upstairs, I was so nervous, I nearly ripped the tights. Then I pulled out the hotpants. Size 14?! My heart sank, they'd never fit. Hey, they did!
‘You look great, love!' Steve said. ‘Except, you could do with those shorts in a smaller size.'
I was slim! And I was a sexy, confident burlesque performer!
A few weeks later, as I gyrated around my chair to a sell-out audience, I felt amazing.
Two years after joining Slimming World I've reached my target weight and, at a size 12, I'm the slimmest I've ever been. I was even voted ‘slimmer of the year' by my class!
But I don't need prizes to know I'm a winner - I just have to face the music, and dance.
Sarah Budd, 31, Southampton