It’s Not a Diet. It’s a Lifestyle!

I’ve been trying to keep from talking too much about our diet and exercise routine on this blog. I don’t want to be that girl. The one that is always “Paleo this” and “Crossfit that.” You know, the Paleo wedding blogger. It’s a big part of our life, but it’s not like it’s completely informing our wedding-related decisions.

Sure, we wanted to have a menu that we could actually eat and we didn’t want to give out sugary favors that we wouldn’t eat. And yeah, our changes in diet and activity have helped us become more in shape than ever. But it’s not like we’re forcing our guests to eat beef jerky and bacon grease. And even though it would be amazing, I won’t be tossing my bouquet in kettle bell form.

That said, it’s driving me crazy when people say, “Wow, you’ve lost a lot of weight for the wedding!” or try to explain “Miss Rucksack doesn’t eat sugar because she’s getting married soon.” Ugh, no!


Image by Bye Calories

Depending on the offender, I’ll either smile and nod or I’ll get up on my soap box and explain that actually we are making a lifestyle change based on what we’ve learned about our bodies and all this cool science-y stuff. I don’t eat sugar because it’s bad for me. I don’t eat soy because it makes me break out in hives. I don’t eat gluten because the cramping it gives me is so not worth it. I lost weight because I was getting kind of chubby from sitting on my butt and eating cookies all day. Giving up cookies and starting to work out naturally meant extra weight lost. I’ve stuck with this “diet” for eight months because it makes me feel really damn good.


Image via Quick Meme

Of course, the aesthetic benefits are there too. I lost 12 pounds within the first couple of months through Paleo and then started changing my body through Crossfit. I sort of had to stop looking at the scale because muscle weighs more than fat and all that stuff, but I know my weight yo-yo’ed a little in the beginning. But all sorts of other amazing things happened that the scale didn’t show. My butt got higher and tighter. I developed abs! It started with two and I’m now up to five. Sometimes I just stand half-naked in front of a mirror and flex my abs because it still just blows my mind. The circumference of my legs is so much smaller. I use so much less lotion now! I have biceps and really awesome triceps. I still like to rub them just to make sure they’re actually there and not a figment of my imagination. And you guys, I actually completed a five-mile race over Father’s Day weekend.


Considering I was the girl that faked menstrual cramps every day of high school gym class, this is such an amazing accomplishment. My family still can’t believe I ran the whole thing. And I was shocked that I didn’t come in last!


Winning! / Photo by Capstone Photography

I plan on sticking with Paleo for the rest of my life. Now that we’ve been doing this for a while and we know how different foods affect our bodies, we have a much better sense of the sorts of treats we can allow ourselves. (He’s fine with soy, I’m not. Occasional dairy hasn’t hurt me, but gluten is painful for both of us.) So I’d say we eat pure Paleo 99% of the time with the occasional treat of goat cheese on a salad or chocolate that’s not quite as dark as it should be. Oh—and alcohol. I do like to treat myself with a glass of wine or hard cider after a particularly long day. So really, I don’t think I’ve given up too much. And the fact that I get to walk down the aisle being the best version of me is such a reward.

Have you made any lifestyle changes recently?


Mrs. Rucksack

May 16
Branford, CT
Wedding Date:
August 2013
Gallery of the Day: August 12, 2013
The Proposal

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  1. Guest Icon Guest
    Jessica, Guest @ 8:44 am

    You look great! Congrats and keep doing what is best for you. :-)

  2. bluewhale Member
    bluewhale 638 posts, Busy bee @ 8:47 am

    Omg I had so many people ask me if I was dieting for my wedding. I’m not even doing a special food plan like Paleo. Mr. Whale and I are just trying to eat healthy food. But people always assumed that I was dieting for the wedding. I feel your pain. It’s hard to explain that you’re just living your life, and it just so happens that your wedding coincides with a healthy you. Okay, end vent :)

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    dcgirl655, Guest @ 8:58 am

    You look awesome, and it sounds like you feel even better, which is most important. I got a lot of comments about eating better for my wedding, and I had actually made a big lifestyle change a few years prior and was just sticking with it. Getting married usually coincides with settling into a little more of a healthy lifestyle because we are getting older! Can’t eat chips and not feel like crap anymore!

  4. wellies Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:13 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I love that you’re proud of being Paleo and aren’t afraid to explain it to others. Congrats on everything you’ve accomplished! 😀

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    eye makeup, Guest @ 9:20 am

    Getting married usually coincides with settling into a little more of a healthy lifestyle because we are getting older! Can’t eat chips and not feel like crap anymore!

  6. Member
    jilleeann 409 posts, Helper bee @ 10:26 am

    Eating breakfast within 30 minutes of getting up in the morning. We each do this and there are goals to get X amount of protein in first thing to start off the day. Right now I’m avoiding sugar and simple carbs. We’ll step it up once we’ve got these habits locked in. I’ve learned the hard way, create and hold to one good habit, then start on the next one when you have the first one down.

  7. Member
    missamysmiles 802 posts, Busy bee @ 11:12 am

    I am not in the ‘she’s getting married’ boat yet… but I stopped eating gluten over a year ago and avoid a lot of dairy (I still eat cheese occasionally). It’s SO annoying how everyone refers to it as a diet!!

    “How’s the diet going with gluten-free?”
    “Tell me what you’re doing!”

    It’s pretty frustrating. I just want to be healthy and feel good.

    Losing weight in the process has been a bonus and whenever I go a little less clean (summer is a challenge I’ll admit)… I feel it. I gained a bit of weight. I am sluggish.

    I wish that everyone would finally figure out that YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT and that when some of us decide to just fill our bodies with healthy nutritious food that we’re not on a dang diet.

  8. mswaterfall Member
    Mrs. Waterfall 1403 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:28 am

    You look so strong and fit, girl! I’m jealous :)
    I really hate when people ask if you’re losing weight for the wedding, I actually have a post going up about it soon. Just, UGHHHHH.

    Good for you, sticking with it!

  9. Member
    lealorali 4827 posts, Honey bee @ 11:28 am

    Very inspiring to read about your Paleo journey! I think people need to realize what, essentially, a toxin sugan can be to our bodies,
    But damn, I WISH people commented on my (meager, but tortuously hard-to-attain) weight loss. Isn’t that a large part of why we do it?!

  10. Member
    blonde17jess 1290 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:36 am

    My fiance started doing Crossfit in January and he loves it. He’s been trying to eat cleaner, though he wouldn’t be able to stick with full Paleo. I’ve recently gotten back into working out and trying to eat healthier, and I can tell things are starting to change. Good for you for finding something that works for you and sticking with it, wedding or no wedding!

  11. Member
    lisaelanna 530 posts, Busy bee @ 3:07 pm

    My husband and I tried doing the Paleo thing – it was fantastic for him, but I gained 10lbs (of fat, about 99% sure). It was hard to cut out all the carbs in the beginning, but when I decided, after 3 months, that it just wasn’t working for me I found that I’d gotten so used to meal planning and eating Paleo style that it was actually hard to switch back to eating carbs and I don’t really even like them that much anymore! So I guess my point is – if you’re thinking “I wouldn’t ever be able to do and stick to the Paleo diet” I encourage you to just try it. Commit to doing your best for a couple months and you might just be surprised how easy it becomes!

  12. msmongoose Member
    msmongoose 264 posts, Helper bee @ 5:56 pm

    You look fabulous and congrats on finishing your first marathon!!

    @jilleeann: That’s great advice–starting off one step at a time.

  13. rucksack Member
    rucksack 518 posts, Busy bee @ 6:41 am

    @Jessica: Thanks so much!
    @Mrs. Blue Whale: There’s so much “pressure” to be thin for your wedding that part of me felt guilty about losing weight – even if mine wasn’t entirely wedding related. Every time someone commented on it, I felt like the worst feminist ever. And then got over it and showed people my muscles instead! Props to you for getting healthy for married life!
    @dcgirl655: So true!
    @Miss Wellies: Thanks, Miss Wellies!
    @jilleeann: I think that’s a great method!

  14. rucksack Member
    rucksack 518 posts, Busy bee @ 6:51 am

    @missamysmiles: I really think it takes giving foods up to realize what they were doing to your body. I thought it was normal to be bloated and hivey all the time. Poor past tense Miss R! Glad you’re feeling great too!
    @Mrs. Waterfall: Dude, I can actually lift things now! Can’t weight to read your similar post!
    @lealorali: Haha, as much of a pain it can be sometimes I guess it is nice to have people notice too! For what it’s worth, I feel like sometimes people don’t want to comment on weight loss because it implies that the “before you” wasn’t good enough or simply because they feel it’s rude to make a weight loss comment. I’m sure you look awesome – and if you feel awesome that’s even better!
    @Blonde17Jess: It’s a cult, I tell you! So addictive!
    @lisaelanna: I agree! Sometimes I try to cheat and I can’t even do it because the food doesn’t quite match up to memory of it.
    @Mrs. Mongoose: Ha, marathon! You flatter! (It was only 5 miles, but it sure felt like a marathon to me!) And thanks for the compliments – I feel fabulous for sure!

  15. Member
    cosmo_gmr 488 posts, Helper bee @ 12:45 pm

    Awesome! I will have to look into this Paleo thing. You have inspired me!

  16. Member
    mexicalijennie 371 posts, Helper bee @ 7:03 pm

    Paleo- friend over here! I’ve been eating paleo for over three month now.and am loving it. I keep on getting the “oh, it’s just a phase
    ” comments from mostly ignorant people accompanied by a ” whatever” look when I tell them I intend on eating paleo forever. Oh well, they can think what they want I know I found what works for me! I have one cheat per week, usually on the weekend. It’s helped me stay on track and that way I only cheat on something that’s totally worth it! Glad to hear paleo is working for you as well!

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