IT'S all over and I'm pretty delighted that I've reached the initial (seemingly unattainable) milestone I set for myself -- and more. I've lost a total of 23lb and lots of inches, too, particularly from my neck, hips and thighs.
In fact, my entire body has shaped up. I'm now 10st 4lb, fitting comfortably into a size-10 bodycon dress and sometimes even squeezing into an eight.
However, I've managed to retain my curves, which was important to me -- I never wanted to get rid of the shape of my body, just tighten up what was already there.
I have also developed a determination that wasn't previously present and lost a lot of my laziness and "can't be bothered" attitude along the way. That could be even more important than the physical changes. I've always been a hard worker, but also played hard and taken full advantage of my down time to the point of being slothful. Now I'm more active.
I don't wallow in my hangovers (and don't really have that many any more, either, due both to lack of overdoing it and just feeling fitter). I don't spend the entire weekend lazing around and I visit the gym on my lunch breaks.
Anyone who knows me will know this is out of the ordinary, and I've lost count of the amount of times I've been told, "You've changed". But I
suppose I really have.
My attitude to food is transformed. I used to have an emotional attachment to junk and reward myself with carbs and fat. I felt like I 'deserved' them if I exerted myself even slightly. Now I know what I need to eat to feel good and I've even managed to sneak in some chocolate and still lose weight. Don't tell Pat, though!
On the whole I'm eating a high-protein diet with low GI carb accompaniments when I feel I need them and the odd treat thrown in for luck. I no longer live off sugary fruit, have increased my veg intake and cut out diet fizzy drinks altogether.
I don't feel deprived and never hungry. I do have certain cravings at that time of the month, but I'd say even the hardiest of fitness fanatics do, too.
Overall, this has been one of the most positive experiences of my life. I thought Pat was insane at the beginning for pushing me so hard, but I realise now it's only because he knew that as a young woman, I'd be well able.
Typically, in the last few days I've managed to injure my knee thanks to putting extra pressure on a sore muscle, but when it feels better I'll be back in the gym at least three times a week.
I don't want to ever put on a dress like this and feel like a lump again.