I’m not shredding, but I like the hashtag so thought I’d add it in here! I was also really struggling for a title, it’s surprisingly hard.
Throughout my college years I definitely indulged in too many lunch breaks gorging on cheesy chips, too many late night subways to soak up a stomach full of WKD blue and apple sours, and way too many apple crumbles with ice cream and custard courtesy of my wonderful Nanny Vi (featured below), with only the occasional walk from the bus stop to QMC as exercise. Even when I started full time employment, my diet and overall health was poor – people were always bringing in cakes, doughnuts, crisps and I was still out most weekends not exercising. It just wasn’t on my priority list and, somehow throughout this period, I didn’t realise that I weighed well over 10 stone (just shy of 11 stone actually) and was a size 14.
When I met Ryan back in 2009 I was comfortably bordering 10 stone. He was an avid gym goer, much to my annoyance back then, and not long after we moved into our first home in 2011 my brother, a professional boxer, opened his own gym in our village. This would be the beginning of a gradual lifestyle change and weight loss. Matt opened his gym, Matt Goddard Fitness, initially running BoxFit classes twice a week to allow sufficient time for his own training as a professional boxer. I watched for a number of years as he trained tirelessly, ate methodically and with restraint to achieve his goal – success at a professional level. Sadly, he was forced to end his career prematurely due to an eye injury. Happily, however, he won all of his 7 professional fights 🙂
Although I’d always done a little bit of boxing, thanks to our Dad and tagging along to a few of Matt’s training sessions during school years, BoxFit was entirely different. These classes were intense, there was no room to pace yourself or do anything half hearted. Once Matt retired, the classes became more frequent and I found myself going 4 nights a week. Where before, I would come home from work and sit in front of the telly watching One Born Every Minute or 16 and Pregnant, I was now exercising and actually looking forward to it. The classes were full of enthusiastic, lovely people and it was always an enjoyable and supportive place to be – you could hear people cheering each other on from outside the building. These things are still as true today as they were 6 years ago – it’s just a great place to be and work out.
Over the years, thanks to BoxFit, I’ve lost most of the weight I put on during my late teens and early 20’s (this process slowed significantly by nights filled with brie, caramel nibbles and melted chocolate on strawberries). I definitely enjoy exercising more than cutting down naughty foods and, although my diet is better, I’m still a sucker for a ‘treat night’, or 3! I am now slimmer and stronger than before, sitting just under 9 stone, and am generally content with how I look. However, I still have lots of hard work to go to get to where I want to be for my Wedding Day and this is very much at the forefront of my mind (along with the weather!). I wake up every morning and go through the same ritual in front of the mirror (I’m not the only one who does this – Ryan does it, too!), switching from one side to the other, sucking in and pushing out. Every time I exercise, I’m imagining myself in my dress, repeating ‘wedding dress, wedding dress’ in my head.
When I first saw my dress online, I knew I’d love it as soon as I tried it on, but I also knew that I’d want to lose weight and tone up to feel my absolute best in it if I did buy it. I’d always planned on losing a little weight anyway (I want a flat stomach) but now that I’ve fallen in love with this dress, the pressure has significantly increased. Wedding weight loss seems to be a complete minefield; some brides are offended by the mere suggestion of losing weight or toning, others embrace it with balance and others become a little obsessed. I think I’m balanced, at the moment anyway – my Dad may disagree, he worries. The pressure I feel is in no way ruining my experience of being a bride to be, and I hope that as we get closer to the big day, that won’t change – I really don’t want to ruin any of the journey being upset about weight or not living up to my own expectations. I’m sure I could get married tomorrow in my beautiful dress, at our beautiful venue, surrounded by beautiful people and be happier than ever, not thinking about the chubby bits on the back of my arms or the leftover podge from the aforementioned cheesy chips that stubbornly sits on my hips. Honestly, I don’t hate my body, I just don’t love it. But, on my wedding day I’d quite like to wake up in the morning and when I do check in the mirror, love what I see in the reflection for the first time.
At the minute, I’m attending BoxFit classes twice, doing weights at the gym twice, one Boot Camp class and PT each week. Weirdly, even though it does feel like there is a (self-asserted) pressure looming over me, I’m enjoying the exercise more than ever. We are tracking my progress through monthly measurements, targeting specific areas, the focus is really helping me stay on track, and seeing good results on paper is a boost.
We still have 106 days until the big day and I can feel and see changes already, I’m excited to see where I can get with dedication and hard work over the next 3 and a bit months. Matt has a wealth of experience, and although you could say I’m biased, I am confident that with his guidance, and dedication and hard work from me, I will get to where I want to be.