Real life weight loss: I used food as an emotional crutch until I discovered dancing

Erin from Arizona lost a massive 200lbs of weight through pole dancing, healthy diet changes

Real life weight loss
(Image credit: Getty Images)

"At my heaviest, I weighed 350lbs. I abused food: it was like a crutch."

An Arizona woman has turned her life around after losing 200lbs – and it’s all thanks to pole dancing, hiking and healthy diet choices. Losing over half her body weight, Erin has also gained a new level of confidence through these sports, changing her life for the better. Want to follow in her footsteps? Check out her story below, then browse our lists of the best workout leggings for dance and yoga, along with the best shoes for walking.  

"I would go through the drive-through, eat a whopper and feel better about life for a while, before I realised again I was this gigantic weight," Erin told our sibling YouTube channel, Truly. "This is a fucked-up life, and I deserve better."

Following a difficult divorce, the 30-year-old decided to turn her life around with a better diet and more exercise, weighing in at 140lbs. She preferred dancing and pole to going for a run. Poledancing is a great way to stay fit, requiring flexibility, core strength and muscle tone in order to hit (and hold) difficult poses. It helps that you get to learn a skill, rather than simply curling weights or running mindlessly on a treadmill.

There's an important lesson here: doing an exercise you enjoy makes you much more likely to adhere to your workout routine. Hate running? Opt for a different kind of cardio such as dancing, or try resistance training. 

Watch Erin's inspiring weight loss journey below:

She also goes on hikes and walks with her two children, who convince her to go out even when she doesn't want to. There's a lesson here too—having a workout partner means doing more exercise than we otherwise would working out alone, according to researchers at the University of Aberdeen

Whether that's your family members, a friend, spouse, or even a personal trainer inspiring you to make good choices, having someone to keep you accountable is truly valuable when it comes to losing weight.

Since then she has had a tummy tuck and breast correction surgery. Erin told Truly: “When I look in a mirror I am really happy and pleased with my results. I am very happy with the way I look – I had to work damn hard.” 

Matt Evans

Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.