‘self-be­lief got me a job’

Woman (UK) - - Women Like You -

michelle Smithies, 25, lives in Greater manch­ester.

The alarm was blar­ing as I reached out and hit snooze for the fifth time. Af­ter drag­ging my­self out of bed, I grabbed a cola from the fridge in the hope that the sugar would give me an en­ergy boost.

When I ar­rived at the bank, where I worked as a PA, I slid be­hind my desk. It was a hot Au­gust day in 2015 and de­spite feel­ing hot, I wasn't tak­ing off my jacket – no­body was see­ing my arms!

If I went clothes shop­ping, I rarely liked the way I looked in the chang­ing room mir­rors. Then one day, I went into River Is­land to buy my usual pair of size 14 jeans. They didn’t come close to fit­ting and when the 16s didn’t get over my thighs either, I de­cided to join Slim­ming World.

When the con­sul­tant, Aimee, told us about the plan, my jaw dropped when I re­alised I’d still be able to eat cur­ries and pasta dishes, and I soon started cook­ing ev­ery­thing from scratch

By Fe­bru­ary 2016, af­ter los­ing 2st 7lb, I felt ready to start do­ing some ac­tiv­ity. I started pole fit­ness classes and it took tremen­dous strength to spin my­self around the pole to be­gin with. Then, af­ter a few classes, I be­gan to find it eas­ier.

Con­fi­dence

By Au­gust 2016, I’d lost 3st 7lb and I saw a job ad­ver­tised for a cor­po­rate wear man­ager, re­spon­si­ble for the uni­forms of some 16,000 bank em­ploy­ees across the UK. I felt bold enough to put my­self for­ward.

I got the job, and not only am I con­fi­dent ad­dress­ing rooms full of peo­ple, I also model new work­wear de­signs – in a size 10 – and I’m happy for any­one to see my arms.

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