Tuesday, 2 September 2014


I'm getting married in 10 months. 10!? Last time I checked I was newly engaged and had 18 months until my big day. 

So after realising that time is going very fast, I need to get planning and part of my plans is to get a bridal bod! Don't shake your head and assume I mean living off celery sticks and hopping on a PowerPlate at every possible moment until I am ultra skinny. I also don't mean trying every fad diet in the book or signing onto Lighter Life (saying that - you guys know how much I love VB6!). I'm talking about getting a lean, mean athletic physique.

There are athletes I aspire to for this dream body. Those that are slim, but strong. I really admire women who don't have this obsession with being 'thin'. A few years back, I was one that fell under the spell of being 'skinny'. In my second year of University, I lost a lot of weight. I had broken up with someone and was also working ridiculously long hours at a local pub. The combination of this with my studies saw me drop to 7st 12lbs. I lived off apples, Slim Fast cereal bars and bowls of peas. I really don't joke.

I remember shopping in TopShop and slipping into a pair of size 8 thick demin slim leg jeans and feeling high from this achievement. But, at the same time, I felt awful. I was constantly tired, calorie obsessed and quite frankly, not much fun. My grades also started slipping and I knew that things weren't right.

I then started dating a guy. I guess love picks you up as my attitude towards food changed. We would cook together and I remember the first meal he made me was spag bowl (romantic ha!) and I ate it all. I also vividly recall a time where he came round one evening with a family size bar of Dairy Milk and I cried as I felt guilty for eating it. Slightly baffled by my attitude towards food, he told me to grow up and just eat a slab of chocolate - so what if it's bad for you!

This guy is the man I am marrying and I couldn't be happier. Except that now I am looking at my body and thinking that I could put some effort into 'fine tuning' it into a body I feel proud of. We are in a very comfortable relationship and he loves me no matter what but I still want to walk down that aisle and be in the best shape of my life! Not the 7st 12lb shape that I once was but definitely not the 9st 5lb self I am now!
(I couldn't find a decent picture of the thin me but this gives an idea. Here I am in 2009 on the left and right is me today, June 2014)

I need to find the in-between. I really liked a post I read on Challenge Sophie - Fit Not Thin. Sophie's feelings and mine are totally mutual and reading this post really put into perspective that I actually have a great figure. I have limbs that are all fully functioning, I have no disfigurements and I certainly am not fat. But I am a woman and one of the typical types that obsessives over her appearance despite looking perfectly normal. So, keeping in mind that what I have is great, I am now going to work to make it greater and that I think, isn't at all a bad thing.

So, Operation Bridal Bod is me trying to achieve a strong, athletic figure and one that will look smokin' in a wedding dress! There are women athletes who I think look incredible and they are definitely people I aspire to look like. I've even stuck my head on their own bodies and made myself a 'perfect figure' comparison checker. What do you think?
(L-R: the always enviable Jessica Ennis Hill next to the strength and power of my favourite athlete, Jodie Stimpson)

(L-R: rowers Helen Glover & Heather Stanning, sprinter Jodie Williams)

These women are real women to me. Those that have used their natural body shape to their advantage. For example, Jodie Stimpson has sculpted her broad physique into a triathlon power house and Helen Glover has used her upper body strength to her advantage to become a Olympic Gold medallist rower. 

Now looking at my body, I am curvy but in a muscular/fat way. I don't think it's that bad front on but from the side and from behind, the lack of toning and sculpting is clear to see. What gets to me is that when I look at this body, I don't see a runner. I see someone who's had one too many cupcakes but managing to hold back a hugely expanding waistline through some form of exercise. At 5"3, I am also carrying all my weight on a rather short frame, so weight gain is easily noticeable. 
Focussing on my legs, my sprinting past is evident. Nicknamed 'thunder thighs', I will never have trim pins. But I can have strong legs and this is better than fat legs. My main goal is to cut the wobbly bit in the upper inside of my thighs as this does get me down. I also know this is a very hard area to blitz fat so I will need to ensure I incorporate specific exercises to sculpt this area of my legs more. Legs 11 here I come!

My stomach is well, rather mehhh. It's not amazing but it's not horrific either. When looking at it, you can see that there is shape and definition potential and that it is more the lower part of my belly that needs working on. I also tend to carry fat on my lower back, which does really bug me so targeting this area of my body will really help to add more of a leaner shape to my midriff. 

Boobs are boobs. They aren't the size of peanuts but not melons either so I am actually more than happy to keep them the way they are. TICK! Arms however - they need to shrink badly. I loathe looking back at pictures where I am shot from the side and my upper arm flab is the most striking part of the image. This feature of my body is genetic so I'm not expecting miracles but if I can definitely tone up my arms even a teenie tiny bit, I'll be happy. 

I feel like I have waffled on a bit here but it's been nice to write down my feelings on body image. Posting these pictures online was something I was a little indecisive on doing. But it is my reality check, that anyone in the world can now see so having these live on the web will be my motivation and reminder on the journey to gaining my ideal bridal bod. Plus, it's a special occasion and I get to wear a pretty dress and who doesn't want to look their best when walking down the aisle?

Keep up to date on my fitness and weight loss journey through my social channels (listed on the right side bar). I'll also post here on my updates and how I am reaching my goal. 

Lipstick Runner.

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