Lisa Busza from Inverness is the first to admit she is the stereotypical stage mum.
Her 11-year-old daughter Jaya goes to Performers UK and for years she has sat on the sidelines and encouraged her to sing and dance her heart out.
‘When they were looking for adults for Fame last year I was desperate to audition – but just too scared,’ admits 31-year-old Lisa. ‘and only now, having lost 4 stone, do I realise all the opportunities that I let fly by me because I was overweight.’
Now single mum Lisa has decided 2017 is going to be the year to do all of the things she never thought she could and first on the list is to take to the stage like her talented daughter!
‘I’ve just auditioned for a production of Grease – and I got a part in the ensemble,’ says this bright, bubbly mum, ‘the auditions were at the beginning of March and I didn’t tell anyone but I felt the experience of doing it would be good for me.
‘I’ve never lost this amount of weight before or had the confidence to stand up in front of strangers – but once the opportunity arose I just had to do it.’
Now Lisa will be one of the cast in Starlight Musical Theatre’s production of Grease at the Eden Court Theatre, Inverness in August this year.
Lisa admits she was always quite big – ‘I like to say cuddly!’ – but she didn’t realise how big she had become until she saw pictures of herself at her Christmas works party at the end of November 2015.
‘When I saw the photographs I realised how much weight I had actually gained. Too many takeaways and comfort food over the years had added to my weight and I never really weighed myself to be honest, I tended to go by my dress size.
‘Squeezing into my dress for that works party I was shocked to find how tight it was,’ admits Lisa who works as a hire co-ordinator. ‘I realised as my dress size went up, my confidence went down. It was a vicious circle as the more I ate the bigger I got, and the bigger I got the more I wanted to eat and hide away.
‘On the surface I had a big, bubbly personality – as big as my appetite! – but inside I felt horrible about myself, I just saw myself as the fat friend.’
Describing herself as a yo-yo dieter Lisa says she wold lose a stone or so and then go back to her old eating habits. Chocolate, cider and takeaways all contributed to Lisa’s weight gain.
‘The Christmas party was on the Saturday night and I joined my local Scottish Slimmers class on the Tuesday. One of my friend’s Lois had been to the class and done really well and I just knew I had to do it,’ explains Lisa.
However with Christmas looming Lisa admits she got off to a rocky start!
‘I ended up pretty much gaining what I had initially lost over the Christmas break but when I came back in January 2016 I was focused and determined to make this a success. I had booked a holiday to Corfu for June so I knew I had to do it, I visualised myself sitting on the beach and didn’t want to be the size I was.
‘Despite my bumpy start I started losing weight and I realised it was so much more than just about the holiday, it became a way of life. I changed the way I viewed food and drink and became more aware of what I was putting into my body,’ continues Lisa.
‘I have become happier in myself, I have a much more positive outlook on life and even though there are days when I want to hide away and eat loads, I can shake it off and appreciate how far I have come.’
Lisa says she is most proud of the effect her weight loss has had on her 11-year-old daughter Jaya.
‘She is so supportive of my weight loss and is very enthusiastic about healthy eating – she can talk about the Scottish Slimmers eating plan as well as I can!’