SO here we are in the middle of body tyranny season – the time of year when we women are supposed to be starving ourselves ahead of our holidays.
For me, this year was no different.
The prospect of appearing in public in a bikini had me frantically researching the latest novelty diets and dashing to the gym.
I know I’m not alone. It is something done by women every year across the globe.
With three weeks to go until my summer break, the idea of looking like a Victoria’s Secret model in just 504 hours was quite frankly ridiculous.
Of course, a strict diet plan and extra sessions at the gym would help to shed a few pounds and I would be able to put that new bikini on with confidence but let’s face it, those few pounds are not enough.
Not these days when the standards set by supermodels and celebrities demand that no woman should weigh more than her lipstick.
These women go to ridiculous measures to look the way they do.
But without a full-time personal trainer, nutritionist and home gym, we non-celebrities must rely on will power, of which I have none.
So this year I have ditched the unhealthy practices of fad diets and enlisted the help of a personal trainer.
Dave Marsh, who is based at Fifth Dimension gym in Stroud, has put me on a strict meal plan which mainly consists of protein, protein and more protein and I am put through my paces three times a week alongside my friend Leah.
These sessions are fun and involve a combination of high intensity interval training and weight training.
And although I am missing crisps, chocolate and bread, the meal plan actually allows me to eat a lot more than other diets I have tried.
The diet industry is famously good at pilfering our money, especially in the run-up to beach judgement day, but personal training has already proven to be a good investment.
The results have been fast and noticeable. In less than three weeks I am “bikini ready” having lost three centimetres from each thigh, two cm from my waist, one cm from each arm and 1.5kg in weight.
A core of steel and cellulite-free thighs are still a long way away but the most important thing is that I feel healthier and fitter.
Before, crash diets made me feel very unwell and unable to function properly, but not this time.
My aim of running a half marathon under two hours might just be achievable this year.
I am so guilty of comparing myself to others and I know I will never look like Cara Delevingne or Miranda Kerr.
It is important to realise that we all have different shapes and sizes and we don’t need to resort to unhealthy practices to conform to an imaginary standard. I am losing weight the healthy way by making permanent changes to the way I eat and exercise. Now I just have to keep it up.