A mum has revealed how she lost 50kg with the help of pole dancing and has since gone viral on TikTok, sharing her incredible body transformation.
Jessica Wilson, from Canada, struggled with her weight in her teens and even joined a weight loss program when she was just 14 years old.
But the now 26-year-old instead got stuck in a cycle of yo-yo dieting and disordered eating habits for a decade, before finally discovering intuitive eating as well as her new sexy hobby.
“I was always either on a diet, cheating on a diet or getting ready to start a diet,” Jessica told Jam Press.
Jessica says her “all or nothing” mentality meant her weight fluctuated drastically over the next decade.
She gained significant weight during her first pregnancy, but had a better relationship with food during her second. Unfortunately Jessica struggled with depression after giving birth to daughter Milah, now two, and the loss of close family members in February 2019, so she found herself binge-eating again – though she vowed to continue her boycott of diets.
Her weight shot back up and by August 2019 to 130kg before she finally found a healthy outlet that didn’t involve dieting and, after spotting a home pole on Amazon, she took a leap of faith and ordered it.
“What attracted me to it was the spinning – it looked fun," Jessica said.
“I didn’t realise there were actual moves that had names and combos and flows – plus an amazing community online.
“I decided to order it on a whim and, if nothing else, thought it would make good entertainment at our parties.
“I thought it looked like fun and losing weight honestly didn’t enter my mind.”
She got her pole in October 2019 and immediately set about practising, while also returning to intuitive eating.
Jessica said: “My first time was so disappointing. I was expecting to be able to hold myself for a spin but realised pretty quickly that it wasn’t going to be easy.
“I felt weak and unnatural – it was like learning to use a new tool and it felt awkward trying to teach myself moves.
“I worked at it every day and it helped me feel like myself again. I could feel the depression lifting.
“I was moving my body every day joyfully and had a hobby for the first time that I was gaining confidence in.
“I focused on building the strength needed to lift myself up and almost every day I went down to my basement and used the pole, free weights and my own body weight as a tool to help me gain strength.
“Eventually, I was able to learn two or three basic spins and that is what kept me going – I was so proud of myself.”
When the pandemic hit a few months later, Jessica had more time than ever to dedicate to pole dancing, and she often used it multiple times a day – which led to a dramatic weight loss.
Jessica said: “After lockdown I started seeing friends and family again and they began complimenting my weight loss.
“I had noticed some of my clothes getting bigger so I decided to weigh myself and found that I had lost 16kg in seven months.
“By intuitive eating, I listened to my hunger and fullness cues and made sure I got enough nutrition and ate foods that gave me enough energy for my pole sessions.
“The more I used the pole, the more energy I had and I got stronger.
“The stronger I got, the more moves I could do – and through it all, my body just kept changing.”
Jessica also noticed everyday activities were getting easier too, including walking up the stairs, bending down and playing with her daughters.
As she continued using the pole, her weight continued to drop until she found her “set point” of 77.5kg, wearing a UK size 14 – a total weight loss of almost 50kg in 18 months.
She said: “I can still feel it [my body] changing and getting stronger but I think it’s found the size it likes, and I’m happy still with it no matter what size it is."
Jessica now uses the pole up to six times a week for anywhere between 20 minutes and an hour at a time – something she looks forward to every time.
After sharing a video of how her body shape has changed over the last 18 months on TikTok, Jessica shot to fame with more than 10 million people viewing the clip.
Her story left thousands of users inspired.
One fan said: “This is literally proof that finding your way to exercise is the key.”
“Wow the fact that you lost so much weight doing it is so impressive, you are amazing,” another person commented.
Someone else agreed: “The way that weight just melted off. I’m sure it was tons of hard work and sooo much perseverance. Amazing work, keep on killing it.” [sic]
One person even called it the “most inspirational thing I have ever seen”.
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