Norwich bride’s not so big day

Back in July Life Matters followed Vicky Woods from Norwich as she embarked on a boot camp fitness challenge in order to lose weight for her wedding. So did she reach her goal? Emma Harrowing finds out.

Walking down the aisle in St Mary and St Margaret's Church in Sprowston 29-year-old Vicky Woods looked and felt elegant. Like many brides she had been watching what she ate in the run-up to her big day so that she would look her best and like an increasing number of brides-to-be she turned to a hardcore fitness regime in order to get in shape and lose weight.

'My biggest downfall in losing weight was my love of food,' says Vicky Woods, now Smyth. 'Anyone can lose weight by eating the right food, cutting out the sugar in your cup of tea, but I knew that this wouldn't be enough for me and that if I wanted to see better results I needed to exercise.'

Vicky turned to fitness coach Matt Philpot from ATP Health and Fitness in Norwich who offers fitness sessions on a pay-as-you-go or monthly basis so that you can do as many classes as you want. Classes include bootcamp, circuit training, kettlebell and boxercise to name a few.

'Before I started the classes with Matt I had done very little exercise so I started with one class a week and gradually increased to two. I peaked at five classes a week. Tuesdays is legs, bums and tums followed by aerobics, Wednesday is boxercise, Thursday is bootcamp and Saturday morning is circuit training.

'My work commitments can be demanding but I found that by joining Matt's monthly membership it meant that I could do any of his classes throughout the week so if I missed one day I would always try and do another class on a different day.'

Vicky says that the variety of exercises on offer kept her interested which in turn made her stick to her new exercise regime. The hard work paid off as Vicky lost three stone four pounds just by increasing the amount of exercise she does and eating a well balanced diet.

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'I'm more aware of what I eat now,' says Vicky. 'I still have fish and chips and a chocolate bar but where as before I would have large amounts my portions are a lot smaller. The way I eat now is the way I want to eat for the rest of my life. If I was to cut out everything and eat no sugar or fat and eat only 'boring foods' I would probably lose weight a lot quicker but I couldn't keep that up forever and would just end up putting the weight back on.'

So will Vicky also keep up her fitness regime now that she has lost weight and is happily married?

Vicky says: 'Throughout my fitness challenge my friend Vicky Hull has been with me all the way. It helps having someone to go to classes with as you can motivate each other and it also becomes a social event.

'Vicky is getting married in May so the role has changed and I will be doing the classes to support her. This will be my motivation as well as I still want to lose a bit more weight.

But even after she is married we will continue because we both enjoy doing the classes – now that is something that I would never thought I would say.

'I felt fantastic on my wedding day and the dress I bought that was too small for me fitted me perfectly on the day. The money I spent on exercise classes was cheaper than it would cost to have the dress altered which was great!'

For more information on the range of classes Matt offers call ATP Health and Fitness Norwich on 07785 105381 or visit