Norwich woman is pounding away the pounds

Many of us will want to lose weight at some time in our lives. For Vicky Woods, from Norwich, her impending wedding has spurred her to lose weight by getting active. Emma Harrowing finds out how she is getting on.

In theory there is a simple solution to losing weight – burn more calories than you eat. In practice, however, many struggle to lose the weight we want to lose simply because we struggle to cut out foods deemed bad for us or we find it difficult to cut down portion sizes.

For 29-year-old Vicky Woods, from Norwich, her love of food is her biggest downfall when it comes to losing weight for her wedding in September.

'I've been trying to lose weight for a long time but I never really put much effort into it,' says Vicky. 'Then the thought of what I would look like in my wedding photos made me decide that it was time to do something about it.

'I started to diet on my own in January last year and managed to lose a stone, then I joined Weight Watchers in June 2011. I finally decided that what I really needed to do to lose the pounds was to get fit and burn more calories so in October I went to my first personal training class.'

Vicky approached personal trainer Matt Philpot from ATP Health and Fitness in Norwich in her bid to lose weight. Matt has worked with many people from all walks of life and over the past six months has noticed an increase in the number of brides-to-be joining his exercise classes.

He explains: 'I think the reason brides are choosing my classes is because they are not tied in for a year like the majority of gyms. I offer a pay-as-you-go system and a one month's membership so that you can do as many classes as you want such as bootcamp, circuit-training, kettlebell, boxercise, to name a few.'

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It is this variety of exercise that appealed to Vicky.

'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. As of six weeks ago I now do five classes a week. Tuesdays is legs, bums and tums followed by aerobics, Wednesday is boxercise, Thursday is boot camp and Saturday morning is circuit-training.

'The reason I love Matt's classes is not only the variety of exercises but how he changes the content of the class from week to week. For example, in legs, bums and tums this week we did mat work and last week it was circuit-based – he rotates the classes so I never get bored. I never ever thought I would enjoy exercise as much as I do now and the more weight I lose and fitter I get, the better I feel and it pushes me to do more.'

Like anyone who is trying to change their lifestyle to include more fitness and activity it has not been plain sailing for Vicky. Although she lost 14lb just before Christmas the festive food proved too much and the weight piled back on.

'I have had my ups and downs,' says Vicky. 'I'm someone that cannot have a small piece of cake or chocolate, instead I will eat the entire thing, so I have to be really strict with myself.

'Considering that I couldn't even do a star jump at my first aerobics class I have come a long way already. I weighed 17 stone and 10lb at the beginning of my quest to get fit and lose weight and I'm aiming to get down to 11 stone 10lb. I'm already noticing a difference in my body and have lost inches especially in the bust and hip areas.

'At my last wedding dress fitting the dress that was three inches too small across the back now fits me perfectly. However, that's not going to stop me losing more weight and I'm sticking to my five classes a week – the dress can always be altered!'

Matt offers a range of classes from bootcamps, circuit-training and kettlebell to boxercise, aerobics. legs, bums and tums and over 50s keep fit. Classes can be on a pay-as-you go scheme or a monthly membership of �32 allows you to take as many classes as you want. Call ATP Health and Fitness Norwich on 07785 105381 or visit

Life Matters is following Vicky in the run-up to her wedding. Keep reading the lifestyle pages in your Norwich Evening News to find out if she reaches her goal.