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A decade in the making: Shredding for the wedding

07 Feb 2019

Bride-to-be Alicia Dunning discusses her amazing weight loss in preparation for her big day and shares her top tips for wedding shredding

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Image gallery

I typically blog about the different elements of organising a wedding and the hints and tips I’m learning along the way, but this month I’ve decided to make it a bit more personal and talk about my wedding weight loss. I’ve never met a bride who hasn’t done some ‘shredding’ for her wedding, even if it’s just a couple of pounds and to tone up – it’s the one day of your life where you know all eyes will be on you.

I was a serial yo-yo dieter, always had been. For years I’d lost and found the same couple of stone and never really got to a place where I was happy to just maintain my weight. When Phil proposed, I was a size 18 and on day 12 of a 14-day all-inclusive holiday so the my size 18s were feeling a little snug. At my heaviest I was a size 20, that’s the photo below where I’m wearing the green dress at a friend’s wedding at Thornton Manor. I actually bust out the back of that dress that day and had to have it safety-pinned together to last through the evening. It was really embarrassing but what can you do but laugh it off and hope that people forget?

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When we got engaged, I thought to myself 'no more excuses'. I was (and still am) determined to look the best I ever have when I walk down that aisle. I started with WW and tried building in gym classes and managed to lose nearly two stone, but then went on a couple of holidays and put a little bit of that back on.

Around August last year, I knew I had to step it up and fully embrace a lifestyle change... so I did. I joined a fitness course called LivFit run by a local PT, Darren Moss, and have never looked back. My entire lifestyle has changed. As part of LivFit I now do intensive workouts at 6am four days a week. I’ll even go and do extra weight training sessions of an evening. I eat a high protein diet and count calories and macros to get the absolute most from my nutrition and I drink a lot less alcohol... although I’ve not given it up entirely, everyone needs a G&T at the end of a hard week.

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I’m now eight months away from the big day and have lost 3 ¼ stone (45lb). I’ve still got another 30lb to lose before I hit my target but I’ve got the same level of drive and determination as I did when I first stepped on those WW scales back in March 2018 and I know I’ll get there. It doesn’t get any easier, in fact the more weight I’ve lost the harder I’ve found it because you constantly need to be pushing yourself harder. Little food slips that I might have got away with two stone ago now could prevent me from getting a loss that week. But I know it will all be worth it, not just for how I’ll look on our wedding day but for how I’ll feel and how much better my life will be because of it.

I know how daunting it can feel to have a huge weight loss target and when you add that to the pressure of planning a wedding and the expectations you feel as a bride to look amazing, it can feel very overwhelming. However, if there’s one bit of advice I’d give to any new bride-to-be, it’s to throw yourself into it. It’s your day and you deserve to feel amazing.

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Here are my top tops for shredding for the wedding:

  • Find a weight loss programme that works for you and that you can see yourself sticking to long-term. There are loads of options: Slimming World, WW, calorie counting etc. Just make sure you pick something that will last.
  • Forget all the fad diets you’ve tried before; if it promises amazing results in the blink of an eye it’s probably too good to be true.
  • Set a target that feels realistic to you and one that you know you’d be happy with.
  • Make it a priority – it’s a hard balancing act with work, home, wedding planning and trying to maintain some sort of a social life, but don’t let your weight loss be the thing that slips through the net.
  • Remember that you’re doing this for you and you deserve to look and feel amazing on any day of the year, but even more so on your wedding day.

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Follow Alicia's weight loss journey on Instagram: instagram.com/shredding_4_our_wedding

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