Mother reveals how pole dancing helped her embrace her body after she battled bulimia and trolls who called her 'pig'
Kimmi Leahy was always conscious about her weight but it all changed when she started pole dancing. She has been dancing since 2010 and has found new love for her curvaceous body.
Kimmi Leahy often starved herself for days in a bid to shed weight but after she started pole dancing, not only has she embraced her curves, she has also hit back at the trollers who called her a 'pig'. Kimmi first decided to give pole dancing a chance after she gave birth to her first child, Erebys and she was terrified that she was going to be the 'fat one' in the class. But now, things have changed. After practicing four days a week and even buying a pole for her home, Kimmi has learned how to embrace her curves. "I feel powerful and free in a way I have never done before. Any hangups I had about my body have disappeared," she said. "Now, I strip down to my underwear without even thinking about it."
Speaking to Daily Mail, Kimmi noted that she realized every size is beautiful. "I have realized all sizes can be sexy. Anyone can twerk around that pole, no matter what your size," she said. Kimmi first started pole dancing in 2010 and ever since then, she has never looked back. She has gained so much confidence that even she posts her routine on social media for the world to see. Despite this, Kimmi is not immune to social media bullies.
From hearing things like the pole 'must be the strongest one in the world' and saying she looks like 'a pig that has got stuck', at first Kimmi felt upset about these comments but her hobby has given her the strength she needs to face these trollers. "When I first got the comments I would feel really angry, but now I don't pay attention, it's a waste of time," she said.
"I just delete them. The pole is for everyone and it's for no one to say what type of body type should be doing it," she said. Kimmi admitted that earlier she had an unhealthy relationship with food. Between the ages of 15 and 24, she would often starve herself for days and would binge eat later and make herself fall sick. "The doctor said I had disordered eating, abnormal eating patterns which are not classed as an eating disorder," she said.
"I hid it from my family and only told one friend and my now husband. I just was so insecure about how I looked and was desperate to be thin," she added. "At school, it was all about looking good, so I thought I should look a certain way with toned arms and legs and a flat stomach. I would fast, binge and then purge, making myself sick. In six months, my weight dropped from 17 to 10 stone - a size 12 - which was slim for me."
Even though Kimmi's husband, Shannon Leah often encouraged her to stay healthy, it wasn't until Kimmi gave birth to her first child that she realized she needed to bring her life under control. I really thought about my life and how I needed to be healthy and mentally well for my kids," she said. "Pole dancing was always something I wanted to do but never thought I looked the part. It was only when my little one was six-months-old that my husband said I should have a go."
After finding a pole dancing class, Kimmi signed up for the first session but was so terrified of going in for her first class that her husband had to walk her in. With one class Kimmi felt her fears wash away and immediately signed up for more classes and over time her confidence grew. "Gradually, I felt better about wearing skimpier clothes and now think nothing of stripping down to my underwear," she said.
After months of attending sessions, Kimmi finally got a pole for her house. Now, she dances four days a week and her husband and family are her biggest fans. "Erebys has even signed up for pole classes for children because he sees how much fun I have whilst I am doing it," she said. She has also undergone counseling to help her eat healthily. "I can't actually believe how I used to feel about myself before, thinking I was fat and shouldn't be showing off my body," she said. "I want to show that plus size pole dancing can be done and anyone who is bigger and wants to give it a go should go for it. It makes you feel amazing, empowered and so confident."