Run Clinic: Run for your life, not just for your wedding day


Q I am getting married at Christmas and I need to lose about three stone. I know you are not a real doctor but please help me as I need a really strict diet in order to achieve this and I’ve heard the Grit Doctor is really strict. Which diet would you recommend for me? I am 32, 5ft 5in and weigh 11.5 stone. I should be about nine stone but want to be thin on my wedding day, like eight or eight and a half. Help.

Sharon M

A The choice of diets upon which you could embark during the build-up to your wedding day is as long and complicated and confusing as all the other wedding-related decisions that may fall upon you to make: the dress, the flowers, the guest list, the seating plan, the order of service, the bridesmaids’ outfits, how to deal with the deranged uncles and batty in-laws – the list is endless.

The “in” diet today has to be the 5:2 diet (500 calories-a-day twice a week and eating more or less normally for the other five days). And sure, you are bound to lose weight on such a diet, but when does it end, when can you go back to eating normally for seven days a week – and what will happen when you do?

I suspect, as is common to all diets, that the weight will creep back on unless you stick to it forever.

I don’t know about you, but the idea of having almost a third of my life spent on a severely restrictive calorie-controlled diet that might have even a person with anorexia struggling on a bad day makes me more than a little sad: 500 calories will buy you a slice of wholemeal toast and a limp salad for lunch, with the rest of your day spent chewing your fist and feeling faint.

For the sake of one day?
The more important question that I’d invite you to ask yourself is: Why do you want to lose three stone just for the sake of one day in your life in a white dress that you will wear only once?

Who wants their kids to look at a picture of their mummy on her wedding day years from now and have to be prompted to recognise her? Kids who can only say, “Wow mum you looked so different then.”

And it is not because of the wrinkles and the grey hairs, but because you are about four times the size. We all know women exactly like this, who looked totally different on their wedding day from how they look at any other time in their lives – both before and after the event. I think this is daft.

It is incredibly stressful to put your body through a gruelling dieting regime in the lead-up to your wedding, and then gorge on everything in sight the moment the dress comes off.

Not to mention the stress on your heart, and mind too, already fraught with all the other anxieties that planning your wedding day can bring.

The Grit Doctor says:
All diets are a complete con and are as empty and vacuous as the gigantic hole they leave in your stomach. I refuse to recommend a single one to you, Sharon. The only “diet” I can ever recommend in good conscience is of the “run and drink more water and eat less crap” variety.

Turned off already? Hate it? Can’t do it? Don’t have time? Too difficult? Too boring? All of the above? Great.

You have passion, and with the Grit Doctor’s help, you can transform that passion into hard-core motivation for your running programme.

I want you to really relish the minutiae of all those other wedding day decisions, and to make good ones, powerful ones, ones in which you have utter clarity: running will give you that.

I want you to walk up the aisle glowing, not just because you had the best makeover of your life, but because you’ve just been for a run and have blood and endorphins fizzing around your body and are bursting with life and vitality.

I want you to be able to get even more mileage out of your honeymoon, because you have the confidence and energy to go off on your own for a four-mile beach run barefoot at sunrise – just to celebrate the joy of being alive and having married the man you love.

I want you to look more or less the same, every year, while getting the most out of yourself and your life.

Running brings all this and more. It is the answer to your wedding day dreams and the cure for all of its nightmares.

Take the stress out of planning for your big day – and get a strong, lean, powerful and beautiful body along the way – by embracing The Grit Doctor and the six-step programme set out in Run, Fat Bitch, Run.

Tweet your running queries to Ruth at: @gritdoctor

Ruth Field is author of Run, Fat Bitch, Run