I’m always leaving things until the last minute. I’ve spent the last three years since I met my future husband getting very comfortable. A little too comfortable.
I’ve been promising myself since the pounds started piling on that I would start a diet on Monday.
Over the years I have signed up to various gyms with wavering levels of commitment, but have never stuck to one plan.
Just over twelve weeks ago I gave up giving up and decided that from that point up until my impending nuptials I would be working hard in diet and exercise to get back to the body that I was comfortable with.
This journey was not about weight loss, it was about happiness and health. I wanted to feel confident walking down the aisle and posting an inevitable bikini snap to instagram on the honeymoon.
Also, I wanted this to be a lifestyle change. I know fad-diets don’t stick because I’ve tried them. However, I’m no fitness guru, I knew I needed help, so I turned to a fitness studio and a nutritionist in Swansea.
The studio I started attending was Bodystreet, which can be found on Princess Way in the city centre. They are no ordinary gym. They use electrical muscle stimulation, basically you wear a suit during a workout that sends electrical pulses to your muscles making them work harder. According to Bodystreet you only need to do 20 minutes for EMS training once a week. A claim I now can vouch for.
On the nutritional side of things I turned to Tara Hammet, a Body and Lifestyle Transformer based in Swansea. I became part of her Life TARAsformation programme, which involved being part of a Facebook support group and having access to workouts and recipes.
So I gave myself a challenge, to get as fit as possible before the wedding, but in order to show the difference and changes, there had to be some pictures. My journey started, but standing in the middle of Swansea, in a glass fronted studio in shorts and sports bra. It was really scary, but seeing the photos and hearing my vital statistics shocked me into motivation.
I’m 27 years old and this was the biggest I has been in my life. I used to be under 70 kg, but I’d managed to feed my way to 74kg (11.67 st).
At Bodystreet they get more than just measuring you with a tape measure and looking at your physical weight – they give you a full body analysis which includes telling you how much of your weight is just fat that can be lost.
Mine made for some shocking reading. Of course everyone needs some fat in their body, but I had 3.75 st of it. But the worst statistic of all was my metabolic age. In summary, this is how old your body is when digesting and processing food – I was 37 – a whole ten years older than where I should be. What had I been doing to myself.
It just goes to show, you don’t need to be morbidly obese to be putting your body through a time of it. I wanted to make sure that I was back in my 20s in time for the wedding.
On top of going to Bodystreet every week, I tried to do come cardio training whenever I could. I joined a gym in Swansea and would go for a run over my lunch break. I set myself another challenge – to be able to run 5 km by the end of the 12 weeks. I’ve never been a runner, so this would be quite a big deal for me.
To say I was daunted at the start is an understatement, so much to try and achieve and I was piling the pressure on myself. On top of this, I was working lots, commuting lots and trying to organise a wedding. I knew in the 12 week period that there was lots of celebrating to try and behave through; my birthday, two hen parties and other family celebrations.
Out of everything, Bodystreet was probably the easiest part of my lifestyle change. Although the workouts were hard, they were over before you knew it in 20 minutes, and I didn’t even have to take my gym kit. The beauty of Bodystreet is that you can just show up in whatever you are wearing. They provide all the kit and give you a towel, body wash and deodorant for a shower after. You can leave your desk at lunch, and be back half an hour later having completed your week’s workout.
In terms of food, the first week was detox; no dairy, no red meat, no sugar, no carbs, nothing processed, just lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and obviously no booze. This was a shock to the system that I desperately needed.
After the first week I saw initial bloating reduce and foods were slowly introduced back into my diet, starting with dairy and carbs. Preparation over the 12 weeks was key. I’d prepare lunches and breakfasts a few days in advance and leave dinner to each night. My rule was to only have carbs if I’d worked out that day, and it seemed to work.
During the three month period I probably lost most of the weight in the first 6 weeks, and felt as though I was making little progress. However, the scales may not have been changing at all, but the body measurements were getting better each week.
12 hard weeks later and the results are in. I’ve lost weight, but my main question was whether I had managed to turn back time with my metabolic age. I was now weighing in with a metabolic age of 29.
This hasn’t just been a diet that I’m going to do for the wedding and then chuck in the second the ring is on my finger. This has truly been a lifestyle change. I’m so aware of what I put in my body now; there is sugar in everything, I know far better when is best to treat myself and when I actually deserve a treat. Looking back, I can’t believe what I used to eat.
I wanted to make sure that the before and after photos matched in every way possible apart from my body – my clothes, hair, poses all stayed the same. I refuse to get a tan or pose to tense my muscles. This is what 12 weeks of healthy eating and exercise actually looks like.
My wedding dress when I bought it, it was a size 14, but in the last week it’s had to be taken in 1.5 inches each side. I feel as though I have so much more energy and I’m fitting in dresses that haven’t seen the light of day for three years.
This is just the beginning, I still want to tone my arms and stomach more, but I want to carry on feeling this way. My next aim is to run further, I managed to get to the 5 km mark by week 9, so now I’m starting to push myself towards 10 km.
Megan before her transformation
Megan after her transformation
The Total Losses
Start – End – Loss
94 cm – 91 cm – 3 cm
35 cm – 31 cm – 4 cm
82 cm – 77 cm – 5 cm
94 cm – 87 cm –7 cm
100 cm – 97 cm – 3 cm
63 cm – 58 cm – 5 cm
Total weight loss
74 kg to 69 kg
37 to 29 – 8 years
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