- Freelance performing arts teacher and food blogger Amy Greaves (32) started dancing when she was 14 but never felt accepted at school which led to her struggling with her self-esteem.
- As a result she became an emotional eater and put on some weight, however after she gave birth to her daughter, she decided that it was time to lose the weight.
- She then started on a program that encourages walking 10 000 steps a day instead of counting calories and has since moved from a size 22 to 10.
Despite her passion and incredible talent for dancing, Amy Greaves (32) who lives in Nottingham, UK, didn’t think she fit into the expected body type of a dancer or theatre performer because she had the idea that she would have to be really tall and slim to be successful.
She would use food as an emotional crutch to help her process feelings of self-doubt and low confidence but she remained active and successful in her field and went on to study 'theatre arts' at university. Amy frequently ate out or had easy-to-grab food to keep her energy levels topped up and could not say no to a sweet treat of cake or chocolate most days.
Despite this, Amy tried every fad diet to try to shift the pounds with limited success as they did not fit in with her lifestyle and were too restrictive. It wasn’t until Amy gave birth to her daughter Maia (3) in April 2018 that she decided that she needed to lose weight to be a positive influence on her child and to be able to live life to the fullest with her without shying away from photo opportunities or activities because of her weight.
Amy Greaves dropped an incredible seven dress sizes in just five months by walking ten thousand steps a day and not counting calories. All photo courtesy MDWfeatures/ @amys_sw_journeyx/ Magazine Features
Weighing 15st 6lb (almost 100kg) and wearing a UK size 22, Amy decided to join Slimming World in January 2019 and hasn’t looked back since. Without counting calories, a typical day of meals for Amy now consists of a healthy cooked breakfast, jacket potatoes for lunch, and delicious pasta salad or stir fry for dinner. Amy was in disbelief as the weight dropped off within the first five months whilst being able to eat delicious meals and after incorporating these meals with 10 000 steps a day, she is now a super svelte UK size 10 to 12 and weighs 10st 13lb (about 69kg).
“From a young age, I enjoyed performing arts. I started dancing when I was fourteen and my passion led me to a career in teaching performing arts,” said Amy. “At school, I never felt accepted and academically I struggled. I was diagnosed with dyslexia which lead me to believe I wasn’t capable of achieving much. Physically, I could achieve most things through hard work and determination within dance and theatre, but I struggled with low self-belief and confidence."
She found it difficult to fit into the body-type of a dancer or theatre performer and had the idea that to be a successful dancer she'd have to be really slim and tall. But she's now proved to herself and hopefully others that that’s not the case.
“After the birth of my daughter, I realised that I wanted to be a positive role model and I wanted to be able to look back and see myself in the memories, to not hide from pictures or moments because of my weight," Amy says.
"Since having my daughter, I teach a lot less so I try to hit ten-thousand steps a day and keep my body moving. I’m more conscious of what I eat obviously and I practice mindfulness to keep my mindset healthy."
Amy says the hardest thing was believing in herself and she still struggles with emotional eating. “I’m working on recognising the thoughts that trigger this and overcoming them one step at a time,” she shares.
“My confidence has grown and although this is something I’m still working on through therapy, self-development and diet, I’ve truly changed my own life. My closest friends tell me how happy I look and I think overall that’s the most important goal for me, to feel truly happy and content within myself."
“Start with your reason why, make sure it’s for yourself and not for somebody else," she says.
"I started this for my daughter but soon realised that I needed to be my own reason to keep going. “Surround yourself with people who genuinely support you and cheer you on every step of the way.”
Have you managed to change your body image? Tell us how you did it here.
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