Eda Marbury spins round a pole with considerable ease – despite her 260lb frame.
The 25-year-old, from Missouri, USA, wows her friends and family with her athletic turns, defying gravity by hauling herself to the top before gracefully spinning down to the floor.
Overweight Eda’s rise to the top is remarkable as she has only been dancing for two years – and never did any form of exercise before.
The young accountant coordinator has always had issues with her body and went a year without looking in the mirror.
‘I was in denial about how much weight I had put on and how I looked,’ she says. ‘When I walked into the pole-dancing studio for the first time I weighed 330lb and the entire room was covered in mirrors. It was quite a shock.’
Brunette Eva has always had issues with her weight – she battled with anorexia for eight years as a teenager and young adult.
Her lowest weight was 135lb and she shunned whole meals. She would eat just a few bites of food and convince herself she was feeling sick and then fill her belly with at least three energy drinks.
She felt alone and depressed, until she met her husband, Terrik, 26, who helped her overcome the disorder.
But instead of eating healthily, Eda binged and her lack of exercise meant her weight began to balloon.
After five years of fizzy drinks and junk food her weight reached 330lb.
Eda’s confidence plummeted to rock-bottom and she couldn’t stand to see herself in the mirror or a photograph.
Although Eda’s self-belief was at an all-time low, Terrik tried to make her see why he adored her, constantly telling her that she was beautiful just the way she was.
Two years ago Eda decided it was time to make a change.
She looked into joining a gym but the equipment and muscly men pumping weights put her off.
She came across the all-women Pink Lemon Studio near St Louis and decided to try pole dancing.
Her first experience was nerve-wracking and Eda dreaded the worst. She was surrounded by mirrors that she was too terrified to look into and she felt self-conscious on the pole.
But after a few classes Eda was hooked. Soon she was climbing the 11ft pole and twirling gracefully to the bottom and shaking her voluptuous hips.
‘I was not good when I first started,’ she says. ‘I was afraid to take my feet off the ground. It took me a year and three months to climb the pole because I’m afraid of heights.’
Eda’s old fear of mirrors disappeared and a pole was installed at home to practice day and night.
And as Eda’s talent progressed, the pounds began to fall off her. She has shed 65lb and hopes to lose a further 35lb by the end of this year.
While she could see the physical changes her new-found hobby had given her, it was the internal changes that meant most.
‘I felt more confident and I have friends,’ says Eda. ‘The way I dressed changed, I started to care a little bit more about what I was wearing and how I would do my hair.
‘Before I started pole I wouldn’t wear make-up, I didn’t like to take the time to look after myself.’
But one of Eda’s biggest accomplishments was performing her routines at a showcase in front of 45 people, including her husband and parents-in-law.
Eda’s greatest supporter has been Terrik, who has known Eda for seven years.
‘Her pole dancing is sexy to me. I know a lot of people don’t like it and a lot of people talk bad about it and frankly I don’t care,’ says Terrik.
‘It makes her feel sexy, it makes her feel happy and that’s what I like about it.’