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Mother-of-two says pole dancing helped her drop ten stone

A mother-of-two who once tipped the scales at 19 stone 7 lbs and was left with mounds of excess skin has credited her sensational new figure to pole dancing. 

Mel Lovell, 48, from Plymouth, Devon, battled crippling confidence issues after coming out of a ‘controlling’ long-term relationship and piled on weight after binging on crisps, pastries and biscuits.

After ballooning to a size 24, Mel’s embarrassment over her physique forced her to pretend her seat belt was fastened during flights as she was too upset to request an extension belt.

After finally leaving her relationship and beginning her weight loss journey in September 2014, Mel says her exercise progress stalled with worries over ‘horrible loose skin’ holding her back from the gym and swimming.

But Mel, who is now a healthy 9 stone 7 lbs, claims taking up pole fitness just over 12 months ago has completely changed her shape – helping to rid her of loose skin and filling her with confidence.

Mel now

Mel (pictured before her weight loss with her grandmother Mrs Milton, left, and now, right), has dropped 10 stone and credits her toned new figure to pole dancing

Strong: Mel's fitness regime now consists of three hour-long pole classes per week, plus an hour of 'boot camp' training ¿ and she even has a pole at home

Strong: Mel’s fitness regime now consists of three hour-long pole classes per week, plus an hour of ‘boot camp’ training – and she even has a pole at home

And the size 10 mother of two, Mel, who manages her own cleaning company, says the unconventional exercise has given her a rock-hard core that proves she is strong both inside and out.

Mel said: ‘At my induction lesson I couldn’t even lift myself up the pole. But I felt like I needed to know how to do this.

‘You just build it up, it’s about how much you want to do it. It took me about four weeks before I could even lift myself upside down. Now I’ll do it thirty times a lesson.

‘It took me about six months to be able to climb from the bottom of the pole to the top. I can’t stop doing it. My body has changed so much just from doing pole.’

Mel added: ‘Before pole my body looked a mess. I looked old. Now I feel tall when I walk and my body feels tight.

Mel before her weight loss in 2015, with Sydney and Lucas,  felt awful about her loose skin, and her confidence demons were holding her back from obtaining her dream toned figure

Mel before her weight loss in 2015, with Sydney and Lucas, felt awful about her loose skin, and her confidence demons were holding her back from obtaining her dream toned figure

Mel before

Mel now

Despite losing a little weight, Mel (pictured before, left, and after, right), revealed: ‘I really couldn’t notice the difference with my shape. I was unhappy with my body and with horrible loose skin’

‘I just feel so strong inside, being able to climb up three metres and hang upside down and do all these tricks. You need so much strength, you’re lifting your whole body up.’

In September 2014 she left her relationship and underwent a gastric bypass, which kick-started her incredible 10-stone weight loss. 

But despite making a little progress, Mel claims standard forms of exercise weren’t working out for her.

After shedding so much weight, she says she felt awful about her loose skin, and her confidence demons were holding her back from obtaining her dream toned figure.

She said:’I didn’t really lose any more weight or change my shape. I had bingo wings, loose skin at the tops of my legs, my tummy was just dropping and dropping.

Mel on the pole. Speaking about her newfound hobby, the mother-of-two said: 'If I can help just one other person to give it a go and feel the same way then I'll feel like I've achieved something. It's just so positive'

Mel on the pole. Speaking about her newfound hobby, the mother-of-two said: ‘If I can help just one other person to give it a go and feel the same way then I’ll feel like I’ve achieved something. It’s just so positive’

The company owner said of her new hobby: 'I feel motivated and so much more confident. I've got a couple of pictures of me on the pole in my bedroom. I'll look at them and say, "look where I've got to"'

The company owner said of her new hobby: ‘I feel motivated and so much more confident. I’ve got a couple of pictures of me on the pole in my bedroom. I’ll look at them and say, “look where I’ve got to”‘

Mel show off some of her moves

She said: 'I've changed my life completely. I know I am strong because you need to be strong to pole, I'm strong inside'

Mel show off some of her moves in the studio. She said: ‘I’ve changed my life completely. I know I am strong because you need to be strong to pole, I’m strong inside’

‘I liked myself with clothes on, I thought I looked nice, but I didn’t like myself without clothes.

‘I didn’t really enjoy any of it. I really couldn’t notice the difference with my shape. I was unhappy with my body and with horrible loose skin.’

But when she saw a social media post promoting a women-only pole fitness with coach Jo Greer from Pole Dance Plymouth, Mel was determined to give it a go.

Mel said: ‘I enjoyed it that much that I wanted to go back. I do one-on-one sessions. I didn’t have the confidence to do a group because I didn’t like the way I look.

‘When you’ve lost so much weight as well it’s in your head that you are still big.

‘I’ve still got some of the loose skin around my belly, but it’s getting tighter all the time.

‘I’ll only give up on doing a move if it hurts too much or I can feel myself getting too wound up with not being able to do it.’

Speaking about how the sport has given her newfound confidence, Mel says: 'I'll pole [dance] with shoes as well, it gives you that bit of sass. It's such hard work. Afterwards I'll be aching for days'

Speaking about how the sport has given her newfound confidence, Mel says: ‘I’ll pole [dance] with shoes as well, it gives you that bit of sass. It’s such hard work. Afterwards I’ll be aching for days’

The pole dancing supremo says: 'I'll only give up on doing a move if it hurts too much or I can feel myself getting too wound up with not being able to do it'

Mel believes pole dancing could one day be an Olympic sport

The pole dancing supremo says: ‘I’ll only give up on doing a move if it hurts too much or I can feel myself getting too wound up with not being able to do it’

Mel’s fitness regime now consists of three hour-long pole classes per week, plus an hour of ‘boot camp’ training – and she even has a pole at home.

When it comes to any ‘stigma’ attached with pole dancing, Mel is quick to point out the sheer skill and strength it requires.

Mel said: ‘It’s so much fun, and it is an absolute art. There’s a lot of stigma still associated with pole, it’s the older generation that attach the stigma to it. But it’s just a different type of exercise. We could be looking at an Olympic sport soon.

‘I’ll pole [dance] with shoes as well, it gives you that bit of sass. It’s such hard work. Afterwards I’ll be aching for days.’

Spreading the word: Having plucked up the courage to finally join a group lesson, meeting new friends as a result, Mel says she hopes that her story can inspire other people struggling with their self-image

Spreading the word: Having plucked up the courage to finally join a group lesson, meeting new friends as a result, Mel says she hopes that her story can inspire other people struggling with their self-image

After she saw a social media post promoting a women-only pole fitness with coach Jo Greer from Pole Dance Plymouth, Mel was determined to give it a go - and her new figure (pictured) shows just how far she's come

Mel now

After she saw a social media post promoting a women-only pole fitness with coach Jo Greer from Pole Dance Plymouth, Mel was determined to give it a go – and her new figure (pictured) shows just how far she’s come

And having just plucked up the courage to finally join a group lesson, meeting new friends as a result, Mel says she hopes that her story can inspire other people struggling with their self-image.

Mel said: ‘I’ve changed my life completely. I know I am strong because you need to be strong to pole, I’m strong inside.

‘I feel motivated and so much more confident. I’ve got a couple of pictures of me on the pole in my bedroom. I’ll look at them and say, “look where I’ve got to.”

‘f I can help just one other person to give it a go and feel the same way then I’ll feel like I’ve achieved something. It’s just so positive.’ 

 



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