Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Caution: Wide Bride

For those of you that don’t know, Brawny and I met on the set of an independent film that he had written, starred in and directed, nearly seven years ago. The film was called Norwich and Saggers.

We were visiting our friends Chris and Laura (our Usher and Bridesmaid, respectively) last weekend and somehow we got to talking about Norwich and Saggers. The DVD was found and we began to watch. Small talk ensued:

“You were barely in the film,” said Brawny to me.

Chris and Laura looked at me. “You were in this film?!”

“Yeah,” I said. “I was the Receptionist.”

And sure enough, about twenty minutes in a girl who looked like she might have once been me appeared on screen. “You look really different!” said Chris.

As we tried to figure out if I’d ever been roofied and had my face stolen a la Face/Off, a full-body shot of my past self came on the screen. “That’s it!” I cried. “The reason I look different there is because I’m now about four stone heavier!

No sooner had I said it, my heart sank. But it was true: seven years ago I’d been a student who had been visiting the College gym weekly as well as practicing Karate. On screen I was the thinnest and fittest I had ever been: in front of the screen, I was the biggest.

Since we’re not only leading up to my wedding but also to my best friend Liz’s wedding, I decided enough was enough: I was going to slim down. I've had enough of looking back at my photos and going "Er. Wow. Ouch."

I’m a fairly sensible eater: I don’t eat takeaway every week (we can’t afford it for a start), I don’t eat chocolate and cake every day and there are no such thing as microwave meals in our house. My only problem is quantity. A short while back, I tried Weight Watchers and found it worked well for me, and so I decided to give it another go.

But eating well isn’t the only way to get trim. I need to do a bit of exercise daily to keep my weight loss on the boost.

Brawny and I sat down to discuss our action plan. Although we live near a lot of beaches and parks, our primary method of transport is a motorbike and it’s a little difficult to keep good humour when you have to lug around 12lbs of leather jacket and a 5lb bike helmet each. Going shopping in bike gear is bad enough. So we decided that we’d try and do a walk once a week, and supplement it with other exercise.

The other day I was tidying the lounge and went to put a DVD away. As I slotted it into place I noticed a DVD with a bright pink spine bearing the phrase “PUMP IT UP!!!!!” It could only be an exercise DVD. Maybe I aught to give these another try.

So I hit the ‘net to find a few good exercise videos, and shortly found out that typing “I want to lose weight by sitting on my ass for six months” into Google is not going to get you any results (or at least any coherent ones). My three rules were as follows:

1.   No Davina McCall I'm sorry, I hate her
2.    Read the reviews first
3.    Nothing too advanced

After ruling out several, I found ten workouts that I thought I might try out. And because I’m so nice (and willing to humiliate myself for ol’ Uncle Internet), I’ll be reviewing them just for you.

I'll start my reviews in a fresh post, so to finish up now I’d like to share with you a few things I found while I was looking for a fitness vid, which fall under the subtitle ‘Is This Really a Thing?’ So go ahead and enjoy, and remember kiddies: laughing burns calories!

  • The Lion”. I think this is more ‘Exorcise’ than ‘Exercise’. In fact, here she is again. Please don’t try this at home. You'll hyperventilate and die, or unleash Cthulu. 

^ user: kenny706, accessed 20/1/12
^ user: EmmyLuvsU08, accessed 20/1/12
^ user: tigertje67, accessed 20/1/12 
^ user: mathilda2046accessed 20/1/12 
^ user: memeregimeaccessed 20/1/12
^ user: satisfyinglife, (2vids) accessed 20/1/12
^ user: BBC, accessed 20/1/12

LADYBRIDE accepts no responsibility for user/site content other than the videos shown above.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

You've Got Male

OK, so this is my first attempt at writing for LADYBRIDE, and before we start, I would like to apologise for not being a lady. I am Brawny, the lucky groom who gets to marry the regular author of this blog, Neety. I would also like to apologise for the title of this blog post. I tried to think of a pun, and sadly, what I came up with would have been rejected by the Sun. So I know it’s bad. Anyway, let’s get on, shall we?

This time a year ago, I knew nothing about weddings, and I still don’t know very much, although I do know that there’s an awful lot to do, it costs a lot of money, and large chunks of it are to do with making sure clothes, flowers, centrepieces and other items all match.

Now first of all, colours that match is something I’ve never understood. For example, my favourite colours are green and red, and I would quite happily wear a green t-shirt with an open red shirt over it. However, according to my ever-reliable bride-to-be, these two colours are don’t go together particularly well. Personally I don’t see why, and that’s a brilliant metaphor for this whole wedding malarkey.

I don’t understand colours. I don’t understand flowers. I certainly don’t understand dresses. I’m not the most decisive person in the world even when I know what I’m talking about, so in this situation I am incredibly useless.

Luckily, as a man, there is very little of the wedding preparation that I have to take the lead in organising, as Neety is quite happy to take the first steps of organisation, with me by her side, saying “Yes”, “No”, or, most commonly, “I don’t know”, to a selection of questions to do with colour schemes, dresses, flowers, or other things that I don’t understand.

Don’t get me wrong, when we are looking at a venue (for example), I can look at it practically, at the size, at the location, see if I like it or not etc., but as Neety has discovered to her peril, if she asks “Can you think of any other venues to look at?”, then she is greeted with a blank stare and a silence only punctuated by the word “ummmmm…” So far, this hasn’t caused her to snap and start throwing things at my head, for which I am eternally grateful, and thank her from the bottom of my heart about.

So what am I in charge of? A few things. I’m planning the honeymoon (at my request), but that won’t appear on this blog at all, as I am planning on keeping the destination secret until the day. I’ve started making decisions about my suit (I want a top hat, tails and a cane. Probably pointy tails, but I don’t know what those are officially called!), and most importantly, I am the moneyman. Yes, I have to do the budget.

Now I find budgeting for anything quite an easy process, (The budgeting part is easy. Sticking to the budget? Now that’s an entirely separate kettle of fish,) but so far for the wedding, I’m faced with a couple of problems. Firstly, I have no idea what is a sensible cost for anything (although I have noticed the trend that as soon as you write the word “wedding” in front of anything, the price increases by at least 50%), and secondly, I don’t know what the budget we will have in the first place, as we haven’t yet planned our savings or discussed money with our parents.

I apologise, this blog appears to have rambled on quite a bit, and I’m not sure that I made any kind of point or entertainment whatsoever. I’ll try and do better next time, I promise.

In the meantime, I can’t emphasise how excited I am at the prospect of Neety being my wife in sixteen months and fifteen days time. Not that I’m counting or anything. ;)

Groom out.