Like most plump women, I rifled through glossies featuring models with chiselled abs, looked at my protruding belly in the mirror and broke down, disappointed. The workout wasn’t helping, in part because I held back on going to the gym with all sorts of excuses: I was tired; I was trying to crawl out of post-breakup depression by sobbing my way through heart-breaking romantic movies and digging into tubs of cheesecake ice cream; It was XYZ’s birthday and I was busy stuffing my face with cake; Some moron at the gym was acting fresh. And when I ran out of reasons, there was always the good old shark week to my rescue.
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How was I ever to lose weight when I shuddered at the thought of running on a treadmill and the weights sitting on the rack seemed nothing but a burden? So three years ago, on my 25th birthday, I gifted myself a belly dance class – partly out of curiosity for this sensual Middle Eastern dance and partly in an attempt to learn some new moves to charm my partner.