Thursday, 6 February 2014

Sweating For The Wedding

Laura and I are not people who like to exercise or talk about exercising.

We are not fans of healthy options (generally, unless they are covered in unhealthy things).

We have very little time to dedicate to keeping fit! (Genuinely!)

We want to live a long, healthy and fulfilled life that does not have us depriving ourselves of our favourite foods or spending much free time in the gym. Simple. And we doubt we are alone in those feelings, so we thought we would put down a post about our experiences in sweating for our wedding. This is not a keep fit guide or a definitive guide to healthy eating, preaching about changing the way we live or urging you to do the same - this is our experience and the things we are trying.

Before getting together, we had a mixed history with eating healthy and weight loss. I swam for county up until the age of 12 so throughout my childhood I had spent up to 6 days in the swimming pool and survived on a diet of potatoes and unhealthy snacks - a diet I still prefer today. At the age of 8 I negotiated with my parents that as long as I had baked beans with every meal (British style not American) I wouldn't ever have to eat fruit or veg! At University my friends would buy me skittles and joke that it was the closest I’d get to fruit. I was coerced into trying fruit again in Uni but I am still discovering foods today that I haven't tried! Laura even used my eating habits to catch me out on my 27th birthday!

Until I met L I had no idea what calories were, or how many I should have, no idea what was good or bad for me, I just ate what I wanted and got lucky that I didn't balloon in weight. Part of me thinks that even if the diet wasn't great, the one thing I had going for me was that I was always on the move. After I gave up swimming I took up basketball from there to dance and then football. At University I played netball and did aerobics so I was always on the go or walking somewhere. That was all until the grown up world of work came about; with most days being office based, I have spent a large proportion of the last 8 years sat down – in a car, in an office, in front of the TV and that has taken a toll on my waistline. So my plan – get slimmer and get toned! I don’t want to lose masses, I want to look curvy and fit - without a belly!

I've always been a bit chubby, and I think that contributed to how incredibly shy I was for my entire youth. I have done most different diet and exercise combinations under the sun, besides things like the juice or shake diet, and luckily not had any eating disorders. I've always loved food WAY too much to give it up for juice. When I was 15 or so, I had jaw surgery, which basically forced me into a shake diet, because a straw was the only thing I could get into my wired-shut mouth for weeks. From then, I spent the rest of the summer dieting and exercising, and ended up a size 8. Which seemed tiny on my 5'10'' frame! Being 15 though, it improved my confidence, but not enough to counteract my extreme teen emotions and hormones. I didn't know how good I had it!

When I moved out on my own to college, then to the UK, I put on weight, and in turn was happier. I liked being able to eat! Most of the time. And then, I met Sarah, who (now) loves her food as much as I do, so naturally I gained a bit more. Which is all fine - I am confident in the way I am, love myself, most of my body, and am happier than I've ever been.

BUT - with a looming wedding, I want to look and feel my best, for the big day (and the photos which stay around FOREVER) and also for the week of Vegas and Boise fun beforehand. 

That brings you up to speed with the background, so on to what exactly we are doing about it? Our plan is a 3 pronged attack:

Diet (obviously)

a.       Sarah: with the help of myfitnesspal it’s not so much a restrictive diet more just managing what I eat and making decisions based on my daily intake. It’s fascinating for a geek like me to see how many calories things I used to snack on have but equally how many treats can be included in small amounts – wine gums anyone J
b.      Laura: Thanks to one of our bridesmaids, Julia, who has lost an incredible 25 pounds over the last few months, I'm trying keto - a high fat, low carb way of eating that should help me lose weight while eating my favourite foods (cheese and salami). In my first week I've lost 4 pounds, and am really enjoying it! I fear I'll become one of those annoying people constantly pinning recipes, and once I know more about it I bet there'll be a post on it!

HIT exercise or High Intensity Training. Don’t let the name put you off, this is meant to be the latest trend out there and there is a really simple reason it got our attention – IT TAKES 3 MINUTES A WEEK! Well 1 minute 3 times a week to be precise. Check out this video for the explanation but as we understand it by going crazy on a bike for 20 seconds you are forcing your body to break down muscle which will then need glucose to rebuild. Lowering your insulin sensitivity –good for potential diabetics and sugar addicts like us – and it improves your aerobic capability! While this obviously isn't a proper workout, we like the idea of doing this as during the week we don't get home until after 20:00 oftentimes, so at least we'll still be improving our health! (The article is here)

Tae-bo – we've brought back our friend Billy Blanks from the late '90s, to take us through an 8 minute workout that has you throwing your arms in the air, kicking like crazy and providing the perfect antidote to a stressful day at work. Did we mention it’s only 8 MINUTES! We do it while we are waiting on dinner or while we are loading up our laptops. There are loads of versions on Youtube but we got started with an old school VHS. We do this to tone up on the days we aren’t doing HIT. Seriously the arm ache tells you you’ve worked out!

And we're also going on walks at weekends and doing 'fun' exercise together. So far, from our heaviest last summer, but after putting most of it back on over Christmas, 3 weeks in Sarah has lost 9lbs and Laura is 25lbs down.

The diet takes WAY more effort than the exercise. It is amazing how a lack of sugar really affects you, and how different you feel after a few days drinking gallons of water.

The most important thing for us (other than looking good in our wedding dresses) is that we don’t get to June having hated the months leading up. We love dinners out with friends and family, we love takeaways and treats so giving them up entirely is not an option (as we'd be miserable!) and we will work hard to make sure we don’t have to.

Bring on the wedding!


  1. You girls are doing amazing... keep up the good work, I am sure you will look incredible in your dresses :)

  2. Is Keto low carb? I'd love to know what you are eating on that diet as I'm trying to lower my carbs but I'm running out of things to eat!

    Hang in there and enjoy the journey, you'll look great and love the day no matter what! - Sarah

    1. Hi hun, yes it is, and I'm really enjoying it! Eating about 20g carbs per day. Send us a quick email and I'll send you some yummy recipes!! Lxx


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