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When you’re struggling with your weight, it can be harder to believe in yourself – and that can hold you back from doing all kinds of things. For our Miss Slinky 2020, Amy Hodgson, it meant almost giving up on her teaching dream. Here’s how she found ‘that Slimming World feeling’ and rediscovered her career confidence…

Watching the PE lesson from the back of the hall, I heard one of the kids shout, “Miss, will you race with me?” My stomach tightened. At almost 15st, I couldn’t climb a flight of stairs without puffing and panting – and I didn’t want my pupils to know how unfit I was. “I’m sorry, I can’t right now,” I muttered, looking at the floor and hoping the other teachers hadn’t noticed.

It wasn’t the first time I’d let worries about my size hold me back as a trainee teacher. My weight had been creeping up since I’d started university, and the bigger I got, the more self-conscious I felt standing up to teach a class. While the other trainees on my course were excitedly applying for jobs, I was convinced no school would hire me because of my size. I started to question if teaching was the right career for me.

Amy Hodgson - Slimming World Blog

My weight loss leap

Then came the turning point. My boyfriend and I were on holiday in Iceland, and I was excited to visit the Blue Lagoon. But when we went to collect our robes, I was handed an XXL – the same size as my boyfriend. For the rest of the day I felt really self-conscious about my size, and I didn’t even get out of the pool to go to the bar in case anyone saw me in my swimsuit.

We came home with only a handful of photos because I just didn’t want to be in front of the camera. A few days later, my sister asked if I’d join Slimming World with her. She wanted to lose her baby weight but didn’t want to go to group on her own. I decided to stop putting it off and just went for it.

Amy Hodgson - Slimming World Blog

From the start, I made sure I stayed to IMAGE Therapy to get lots of support, ideas and inspiration from my fellow members to help me with my weight loss. When, after a month of losing 3-4lbs a week, my weight loss slowed down, my Consultant reminded me to keep filling a third of my plate with Speed Food – and it worked! The next week I lost 5lbs.

The Slimming World app was a lifesaver, too. If I was ever stuck for what to make for dinner, I’d use the app to search the ingredients I had in the fridge and find loads of tasty recipe ideas to try – like my favourite Mexican burgers with fresh salad.

Achieving my dream

I had another reason for wanting to lose weight, too: my graduation day. I knew I didn’t want to look back at the photos from that day with regrets – I wanted to look and feel my best – so I focused on following the plan and, by the time the big day arrived, I’d lost 4st. I wore a beautiful fitted dress – in a size 10! – and as I strode across the stage to collect my diploma, I felt incredible.

Losing the weight gave me the confidence to start applying for teaching jobs. When the chance came up to become a full-time supply teacher, I grabbed it! Not only did I feel comfortable introducing myself to other teachers, I found I could enjoy running around with the kids during PE lessons – a few schools even invited me back just to teach that lesson!

Amy Hodgson - Slimming World Blog

When I first joined Slimming World, I thought getting more active would help my weight loss, so I signed up for a spinning class. But halfway through the first session, I felt like my legs were on fire and I had to stop. I felt so disheartened by my level of fitness that I didn’t go back the next week.

It wasn’t until I’d lost 2½st, that I decided to give Body Magic another try. This time I surprised myself by getting to the end of the spinning class, and even though my legs burned for days afterwards, I came back the next week. As the weeks passed I felt fitter and fitter, and before I knew it I was doing three spin classes a week, as well as two weight-training sessions.

Amy Hodgson - Slimming World Blog

I weigh 9st 9lbs now and I feel more confident than ever. I’m even applying to become a permanent teacher next year, and my long-term goal is to become a headteacher. I want to inspire children to achieve their dreams – just like I have.

It’s fantastic to see Amy confidently pursuing her dream of being a school teacher after losing weight. If you feel like worries about your weight are holding you back, you’ll find so much support at your local Slimming World group or on our friendly Community if you’re a Slimming World Online member. All you have to do is go for it!

Whether it’s finding your dream job or enjoying an activity that you couldn’t do before, we’d love you to share #thatfeeling with us on the blog or on social using #theSlimmingWorldblog

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