Fitness competition winner unveils new look on wedding day

Sunderland Echo fitness winner Alexandra Reay after her final workout at the Fitness Bank

Sunderland Echo fitness winner Alexandra Reay after her final workout at the Fitness Bank

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Our fitness competition winner has unveiled her new look after walking down the aisle a stone lighter.

In a bid to look her best for her big day, Alexandra Watson née Reay, 21, entered our New Year New You contest, in which we teamed up with fitness specialist Tim Ford to change one reader’s lifestyle.

Sunderland Echo fitness winner Alexandra Reay going through her final workout with coach Tim Ford

Sunderland Echo fitness winner Alexandra Reay going through her final workout with coach Tim Ford

As part of her prize, Alexandra, from South Hylton, was given 12 weeks of one-on-one personal training and advice with Tim, plus free use of the Fitness Bank in Douro Terrace, Ashbrooke, where the health and fitness coach holds his training sessions.

Over the course of the three months, Alexandra juggled working out with 12-hour shifts at EE and managed to lose 21cms from her body, a stone in weight and three per cent body fat.

Not only did it alter her look, she felt so confident thanks to her new-found energy that she ditched the dress she planned to marry in for one she never thought she’d be able to wear.

She donned the new frock at the weekend as she married Mark Watson, 22, at St Mark’s Church, Millfield, ahead of a reception at the Quayside Exchange.

Alexandra before and after

Alexandra before and after

“I have so much more energy and feel a lot healthier,” she said. “I feel so different that I ended up getting a new dress with an open back. Everyone at the wedding noticed the difference in me, they said I was glowing, and Mark loved the dress.”

She added: “It was difficult managing to get to the gym with my shifts but I’m so glad I entered the competition. I really enjoyed the sessions and it’s something I definitely want to keep up with. I’ve just signed up for six months at a gym.”

Tim, who runs Live Well Training, said that rather than a quick fix, he wanted to change someone’s approach to fitness with the competition.

The trainer, who also offers specific wedding packages, said: “Anyone can lose weight through a crash diet, but it’s not sustainable. I want people to do it the right way.”

Alexandra and husband Mark

Alexandra and husband Mark

Over the past 12 weeks, Tim has varied Alexandra’s workouts with a mixture of cardiovascular and weight training, as well as healthy eating advice.

He said: “Alexandra did really well working around her shifts. She lost a stone in weight and it was all fat, she maintained her muscle mass. She stuck in and it paid off. On her last session we had a chat about moving forward and she says she feels so much healthier and confident.”

Alex and Mark on their wedding day

Alex and Mark on their wedding day