The bane of every bridesmaid's life

The bane of every bridesmaid's life

Today I am brimming with feel good endorphins, which can only mean one thing: Operation Bridesmaid (hereafter OB) has commenced.

OB is something I have been planning for a while. I am to be my sister’s bridesmaid in July and, as is typical of a lot of women, I am determined to look my best in the nipped-in-at-the-waist dress we settled on for myself and the other two bridesmaids.

Bought back in January, the dresses looked great (even if I do say so myself). But still, on getting back to Cardiff at the end of the Christmas break, I vowed to hit the gym to give myself plenty of time to get fit and toned for the big day (would you listen to me, I sound as if it’s my wedding).

But as is often the case, other things began to take precedence. I study the PG dip in magazine journalism and first there were exams, then there were two weeks of coursework deadlines, and before I knew it I was at the end of, an admittedly hardcore, term.

Spring had sprung and I was still sat on my backside

Spring had sprung and I was still sat on my backside

The spring daffodils were out and OB had been left languishing in the recesses of my mind, the area reserved for thoughts about deep-cleaning the bathroom and throwing out all the socks in my drawer which aren’t part of a pair. In short, the “I’ll get round to it soon” section, I’m sure you all have an equivalent.

Again, my plans were destined to be put on hold. I had three weeks away from Cardiff doing work experience and since I find it hard to maintain a exercise routine I am already commited to when away from home, the chances of me starting a new one were about as high as the Bank of England’s interest rates.

I was in despair, “I am never going to tone up and get rid of this study belly,” thought I. But every cloud has a silver lining: two weeks of my work experience were in the Men’s Health offices in London. A fortnight surrounded by buff men who eat, sleep and drink (literally, they are massively into their protein shakes) exercise. Surely that would leave me feeling even worse about my lack of fitness and nutritionally challenged diet?

Well, it did, but in a good way. As I scoured the forums on the website looking for article ideas, and subbed copy telling readers, “How to get a six-pack in six weeks,” the fitness furor began to permeate. A part of me which had lain dormant for too long shook itself awake. That’s right, my inner fitness fanatic.

I began to get ridiculously frustrated by the fact I could not workout and looked for small changes I could make while in London (the day I powered up the 193 steps at Covent Garden tube station will stick in my mind for a while, or rather the state of me when I reached the top of them will).

I spoke to the fitness editor, Wesley Doyle, about my plight, explaining that I had once been a lean, mean, fighting machine from hours spent punching and kicking (I was in combat classes and kickboxing, not a secret member of Fight Club).

He very kindly told me not to worry, informed me that muscles have good memories, and said he would email me a programme to get back in shape and shed those excess inches in no time. I had to refrain from kissing him then and there.

I’ve been back in Cardiff for two days now and I have done the routine twice. It is based on using interval training which means I am not suffering too much from my depleted stamina and the short, sharp bursts replicate the kind of exercise I am used to with boxing classes.

I have been adding some weight training to the end and went out yesterday to buy lots of high protein foods which Wesley says is crucial to success. The major difference between this work out and what I used to do before is that it is best done in the morning, on an empty stomach after consuming two cups of green tea (to give a caffeine kick).

This is my one concern. I am fine at the weekend when I can get up leisurely and mentally prepare myself for the onslaught but how will I fare during the week getting up at the crack of dawn to head to the gym before uni? I’m told the first few times are the worst and then my body will start to adjust, let’s hope so.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.