The Fashion Editor at Large (in Falke) with The Wedding Trimmer Suzanne Mallaghan (in Sweaty Betty)
Being naturally tall and slim is akin to winning a genetic lottery. You can happily stuff your face with food, live an inert existence and nothing visibly bad or ugly happens to your body. The downside is running out of breath when dashing for a bus. Then you pass the 35 years on earth mark and everything changes. For me the upper arm wobbles came first. Years of naturally taut and tiny upper arms (a large wrist bracelet was a snug fit up there) collapsed when, over the long winter, a loose hammock of flesh took residence there. Then my 28waist skinny J Brand jeans wouldn't go further than my hips. I did not recognise my own thighs or rear. These physical events wiped out half of my wardrobe, and with it my identity. In a flash I could understand all those women who favour dresses over trousers and wear long tops with leggings. Which makes me sound like a stupid skinny bitch with no idea about what it is like to have a real woman's body; and I was.
All this forced me to find a personal trainer. With a personal trainer there is no option but to turn up, especially when said PT is pressing your doorbell and saying "come on!" three mornings a week and if you cancel you pay anyway.
Suzanne demonstrates how to build triceps using a Kettle Bell.
My search for the perfect PT ended when I found Suzanne Mallaghan. Suzanne runs two programs - one is straight personal training, the other targets brides-to-be and is more deadline driven. When I began working with her four months ago I was not planning a Civil Partnership this summer. I was thinking of a December event, but when Mary surprised me by setting the date for next Sunday (heyulp!!!) The Wedding Trimmer side of her business kicked into play. Suzanne is a qualified personal trainer and Pilates instructor as well as a nutrition consultant. Being the daughter of a poet plus a brainy ex-city girl and an ex-national league Basketball player I reasoned she would be perfect for me. And she is! The sessions are varied, and fun, and hard. Mary also gatecrashes a session at least once a week.
The Fashion Editor at Large using theTRX resistance contraption
My training has been difficult. I was weak as a kitten at the beginning, Suzanne had to build me up slowly. It took ages to get the feeling I was fit, but at the beginning of April when she announced "You now have a basic level of fitness, next step is to pump out workouts three times a week until D-Day" I nearly cried with happiness.
The biggest change is in how I hold myself; my posture is improved, I feel more together and confident, and I can get my arms out again. They don't look like SJP's, but rather appear just like how they used to. I can run for 30 minutes no problem, and also be able to conduct a conversation while running after 30 minutes and sound normal, not remotely out of breath. My strength is now considerable, and I can booty dance and bogle to Beyonce and Dizzy like the best 22 years olds, but obviously only do this home alone.
The Pilates work is the most difficult, and where I need to focus my energies. My stomach is not wash-board by any stretch, but come next Sunday, I'm ready for my close up.
WHAT I DO WITH SUZANNE:
We do three sessions a week incorporating cardiovascular, resistance, flexibility components and she splits sessions according to muscle groups
Day 1: Cardio = boxing, Resistance training = chest, triceps, shoulders
Day 2: Cardio = interval training (walk, jog, run), Resistance. Training = back, biceps
Day 3: Cardio = hardcore kettlebell training mixed with ladderwork, stepwork etc. Resistance training = legs, core, abs
What I like about the sessions is that while they are working set muscle groups, the work itself is extremely varied. She says it is to keep me distracted while I work hard. So we might be using TRX suspension training, weights, kettlebells and resistance bands one day, and medicine balls, dumbells, a bench press, skipping rope or ladder the next time. Suzanne loves to go shopping for new equipment; she gets as excited about a new contraption - eg. TRX I am using above - as I do about a new Celine handbag. So it is all good.
The Wedding Trimmer
So there you have it. The best kept secret PT in London is no longer a secret.
Photographed on location in Paddington Recreation Ground by Fashion Editor at Large