James Jordan had become so unfit that he struggled even to tie up his shoelaces, but the former pro dancer – and his wife Ola, who once lifted the Glitterball Trophy on Strictly back in 2009 – had a “wake-up call”, and resolved to lose the extra pounds they’d piled on, and are now teaching their combined 566,000 followers how to do the same.

In a video released today, in which the slim, trim and toned dancing stars wished fans a happy Boxing Day, Ola announced: “We are so happy to finally tell you how we lost six and half a stone between us!”

James then explained that he’d become so out of shape, he was worried about no longer being able to play with the pair’s two-year-old daughter, Ella.

“We needed a kick up the bum, and for us personally, we were doing it not only for ourselves, but for our daughter,” he revealed candidly.

“Ella’s a massive part of our lives and we felt [concerned that] we were unhealthy – myself in particular.”

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He added: “I couldn’t even do my shoelaces up, and for someone who used to be a professional dancer, it was a big shock.”

Ola looked at her partner tenderly and sympathetically, as he admitted he’d even had acid reflux “when I was bending over”.

This prompted Ola to make a change, as she decided to take the plunge and post a “not very flattering picture of us” to give the pair the “wake-up call” and impetus they needed to make a change.

They had been standing together by the pool in their swimwear, and Ola felt she had a bulging belly, while James was “disappointed” with his “dad bod”.

Ola explained: “You just want to be able to be with your child and run around with her and not be out of breath!”

James then took up the story, sharing: “[Ola and I] used to train with each other a lot during our Strictly years, when we were in our best shape.

“We used to not only dance but go to the gym with each other. [Then] we stopped moving and started indulging in too much food, too much sweets, too much sugar…”

The result was more weight gain than either might have intended, as they focused more on raising the new baby they loved and exercise took a backseat.


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They decided that the only solution was to “go back to our roots and start dancing” – and James even twirled a delighted Ella around in the kitchen.

After two years of not exercising, they had to step up their regime, and combined the new routine with putting smaller portion sizes on their plates.

The results were dramatic, with James exclaiming that the pair had lost a stone each in just two weeks.

They have now launched a new exercise plan, Dance Shred, to inspire and encourage followers who want to replicate the results to do the same thing.

The pair made it clear yesterday that they weren’t advising their fans not to indulge at all, with James’ Instagram Christmas message being: “Don’t feel guilty. Eat everything!

“Eat the Christmas pudding, eat the chocolates, have extra stuffing, have a drink – a nice Baileys, why not?!”

Yet for those looking to burn off some of those Christmas calories, they have launched a website, Dance Shred, together.

James and Ola have promised to teach followers how to dance “fun routines”, improve their fitness, and embark on “a delicious diet plan based on the science of calorie deficit”.

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