“I Didn’t Want To Be A Size 10, But I Did Want To Get To The Stage Where I Felt Comfortable In My Own Skin”
This isn’t the story of a Bride who lost 5 stone for her wedding so that she could be a size 8.
Instead, this is Nicola’s inspirational story of how she got to size 16 for her Wedding Day…and loved it!
I am super excited to share this success story with you as, unlike mass media, it isn’t about someone who has undertaken the strictest of regimes to become a skinny-bride. It is instead about a real woman, with real struggles and the story of how she overcame them to feel confident and comfortable in front of the camera on her wedding day.
My path crossed with Matt’s in January 2014. I’d just moved job, moved house and was 7 months away from getting married. I thought that despite my busy lifestyle, I had a pretty healthy life but I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t the shape that I wanted to be. I *hate* having my photo taken and wanted to ensure that I felt comfortable in my wedding dress on our big day.
Matt is part of the Pro-Fit team at my gym in Huddersfield. He was running a 12-week programme to help people to lose weight. I thought it sounded like exactly what I needed so I signed up.
It turns out that my “healthy lifestyle” was a bit of a joke really. I was having loads of fruit/fruit juice every morning and then wondered why I slumped at my desk every afternoon. My 30 minutes on a cross-trainer or exercise bike wasn’t really training me at all. It was time to accept that things had to change.
I signed up with Matt for PT sessions after the programme had concluded and I can remember our first session well. I expected to pick up some weights straight away but instead, we talked about me, my life, the goals that I wanted to set and why I wanted to achieve them.
He really got under my skin and wanted to understand my motivation. We took photos that we could benchmark against and we did a series of exercises, which he filmed so that he could work out what my areas of weakness were. I had no idea that I had weak hips and that this was affecting my posture but after a few weeks of core exercises, I could really tell the difference.
I have done Weight Watchers and lost 7 and a half stone on that “diet” (and put most of it back on). However, I wanted to make sure that whatever I did with Matt would be something that I could stick with. I didn’t want to be a size 10, but I did want to get to the stage where I felt comfortable in my own skin and could have my photo taken without wanting to cry.
Matt created a two-pronged approach for me. We tackled nutrition and my gym based training in a big way! I love cooking but by making simple adjustments and focusing on single ingredient based food (i.e., nothing manufactured), my complexion improved and I had tons more energy. I thought that I would struggle to eat when I was travelling around for work but again, Matt taught me tricks and cheats that I could take with me wherever I was.
From a training point of view, I said goodbye to my beloved cross trainer and I said hello to… me! All of the exercises that went into my programme were body weight-based and focused on high-intensity interval training.
There were a few key areas that I told Matt that I wanted to focus on…
I was a size 18 and hated my arms and my stomach.
I wasn’t bothered about losing loads of weight, but I had bought a size 16 dress, with no sleeves and which was quite figure hugging.
Matt factored these goals into my programme and we had regular review sessions to assess my progress and to tweak my programme to make sure that I smashed all of my goals.