Note: This post is entirely about my thoughts and opinions. You are welcome to disagree! Please do so in a respectful manner, however. Weight is a touchy subject!
I’ve heard a lot of people talk about wanting to lose weight for their wedding. I think this is great if it helps improve their self-esteem and general pride in themselves. That being said, I don’t think losing weight for a wedding is sustainable.
I don’t know why you’d want to weigh yourself in a wedding dress…those suckers are HEAVY! / Image via Brides.com
If you lose weight and use your wedding as a marker for a milestone of healthy changes: awesome. If you use it as your be-all-end-all, that makes me less happy.
Weight loss entails change. For some this is a diet change or an exercise change or both. But if your goal is weight loss and weight loss only and you stop trying once you pass your marker, chances are you’ll revert to old habits.
When I got engaged, I was in pretty good shape. Several weeks after our engagement I ran a sub-22:00 5k for the first time ever and had high ambitions of cutting a minute off that time in my spring 5k. I was working out consistently, eating well, and really happy with my weight—honestly, for one of the first times in my life.
Personal photo / After the race
I bought my wedding dress and was super happy with the way it fit. It was snug but comfortable and flattering. In a conceited way, I thought “Ha, I have this in the bag! All I have to do is stay my current weight!” Of course, I also had visions of getting more toned and looking incredible on my wedding day.
Then real life happened.
We tend to lose a few things during the wedding planning process, but of all the things I’ve lost (free time, spending money, quality sleep, eating whatever I want), I think I miss my self-esteem the most of all.
I’m sorry, but I’m going to talk about body image. I don’t want to, but I need to get this out somewhere and I figure this is the most ideal place.
Last week I picked up my dress for the rehearsal dinner and not only did it not fit, but the shotty zipper broke while they were trying to get me in and then out of it. Talk about depressing. I’ve now had TWO horrible first experiences with ordered dresses and I’m pretty frustrated/annoyed with my body.
This is a 200+ dollar bridesmaid dress from a shop* in downtown Chicago. I wouldn’t normally spend so much on a rehearsal dinner dress but it was a gift from Boss Lady. During the summer of 2012 Boss Lady bid on a gift card to this shop and won! We didn’t have time to go shopping until this past January and we brought Littlest C with us to try on their flower girl dresses as well. I had Littlest C take a few photos of some of the dresses we looked at that evening.
I’ve luckily never had serious struggles with my weight. Growing up, my parents put me in all kinds of activities from swimming and track & field to numerous dance classes like ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and even gymnastics, which kept me in serious shape for the majority of my life. But now that I’m over 25, that metabolism that was SO good to me all those years has started to slow down and all of a sudden; I can no longer eat cupcakes, Sour Powers, and Doritos whenever I want (if only I had a time machine…).
Image via FitBottomedGirls.com
So with the wedding coming up, I suddenly had a tangible goal to strive toward—I’m not necessarily trying to lose a ton of weight, BUT I do want to look and feel amazing on my wedding day. Oh, and I want Michelle Obama arms in my pictures. So here are the workouts I’m currently doing to get myself in shape.
The dreaded diet and exercise—two words that can strike terror in the heart of any bride- or groom-to-be! But if you have specific goals in mind and stick with a plan that works for YOU, it might not be as bad as you think. It might even be rewarding and make you feel healthier than you’ve felt in a long time. Remember that there is no magic bullet—fad diets don’t work nor does starving yourself. (I’ve had several friends who refused to eat any real food in the months/weeks leading up to their wedding. Please don’t do that.) It’s all about making small changes to your lifestyle and habits and eventually finding the ones that work best for you. Here are some food-related changes I’ve made.
Image via FaithfulProvisions.com
Cooking more meals at home.
It’s the New Year, and you know what that means…the gym is so crowded that I can’t find a parking spot!! Thank goodness that won’t last for more than a few weeks. Actually, I kind of wish that it would stay crowded. I love that the new year inspires everyone to be healthier, but it’s such a bummer that many Americans’ resolutions don’t stick past January.
Like basically everyone I know, I face the constant struggle to stay in shape. And now that I’m a bride-to-be, the pressure is cranked up. Fortunately, I don’t really have any extra health-related goals for my wedding, because I’ve been working hard at it for several years now. My only goal is maintain maintain maintain! I think of myself as being in relatively good shape. But I didn’t get to my in-shape goals without a lot of work and a lot of trial and error. I am a girl who has struggled like everyone else to be healthy, and I really think I’ve finally found a lifestyle that works for me. So I thought I’d share the things that have worked for me. (Disclaimer: I’m not any kind of health professional. I’m just another girl trying to be healthy.)
I could probably just write one sentence to sum up all of my advice, and that would be “Make it work for you.” I apply this concept to basically everything. So with that in mind, here are my tips.
Image from Bride.net
Back in my college days, I rarely got more than five hours of sleep on any weekday night. And I sometimes got as little as three or four hours. These days, I feel only semi-functional if I get less than eight. That’s not because I’m weak now. It’s because I finally discovered what fully functional and fully rested feels like! And it’s a glorious thing.
I’m not skinny, it’s in my genes. I don’t think about myself as plus size, but I’ll let you decide by yourselves.
I’ve come to terms with my body. I’m curvy and thick, and as much as I exercise (which I don’t, but I’m saying this hypothetically) I would never look like this:
There’s a myth that the perfect women’s measures are 90-60-90 (or 36-24-36 inches for those in the English system).
Weddings and weight pressure somehow seem to go together—and not just because they alliterate. There is a huge amount of expectation for brides to look their “best” on their wedding day, which is somehow equated to being skinny and losing weight. The focus is on the bride.
Has anyone else seen this Verizon commercial?
There’s one snippy comment I’m tired of hearing. You all know what I’m talking about. It can be worded several different ways, and it usually comes up at mealtimes, especially if you spring for a second helping of your absolute favorite Godiva chocolate cheesecake. It typically sounds something like this:
“Don’t you have a wedding dress to fit into?”
At first, I just laughed it off. As time went on, I found it less amusing and more offensive. Why shouldn’t I treat myself to the decadent deliciousness that is Godiva? With all the stress of planning my own wedding, changing jobs, house-hunting, and keeping up with classes, I felt I deserved a tasty reward if I wanted it. My dress fit to perfection when I bought it. How could a single slice of chocolatey heaven affect that?
I was convinced my haphazard, unstructured, twice-monthly workouts would keep me in decent enough shape.
Well, ladies and gents…
I was wrong. Dead wrong. Incredibly, horribly, shockingly wrong.
I realize this is mostly a wedding blog—however, I think most brides will attest that they want to look their absolute best on their wedding day. I know I do. Like some brides, I have tried to be more diligent about what I’ve been eating lately and how often I make it to the gym or exercise.
I’m content with my weight right now—but I’m not happy with it. A couple years ago I switched jobs (only to come back to my previous employer a year and a half later). During that time I put on about 15 pounds—blame it on working too many hours, not enough sleep, lack of willpower with respect to all the food in the office, sheer laziness, no time for fitness, and a lot of stress.
With the wedding right around the corner, I know I could be a little more diligent about getting back to the weight I used to be at. Not only is it a healthier weight for me, but working out and watching what I eat just makes me feel better. And I know that will be very helpful to my morale the last couple months before the wedding!
With that said, I’ve turned to my iPhone for an extra boost to eat right and work out. There are so many great wellness apps out there, and I’ve included a few of my favorites.
Image via RunKeeper
This app is great for all the runners (or wannabe runners) out there. The app will track your distance, pace, and overall time. I love that while I’m listening to my iPod I will also get updates on my progress every five minutes during my run. It also tracks all of your runs, so you can go back and see how often you run, any improvements, and notes about your run. It’s a much cheaper alternative to a Garmin (which I would love someday).
Nike Training Club
So, I’m about to get real with you today Hive. I hope you’re ready!
You may or may not have noticed by now my little badge of honor. Honestly, you probably haven’t. It’s glaringly obvious to me, but we are our own worst critics. I have been told many times that it’s not noticeable (but the self-conscious part of me thinks everyone is saying that just to be nice).
Anyways, I’m done being vague.
Here it is:
See it? No?
How about now?
And no, not for 7-11. Even though a slurpee would be pretty awesome right now.
No.. this is a bit more personal than a delicious, cold, icy drink. Bedroom talk, if you will. Me-yow. So consider yourself warned.
Way back in 2010 sometime, I decided to count out the weeks until the wedding to see if I would end up having my “lady friend” on the day of. I’m counting on the fact that you’ve all done it or thought about it, too. I mean, no one wants that, right? Not just for sexy reasons, but because I’m pretty sure the last thing you want to worry about is your period and taking care of that whole situation down there in a nice white dress. Either way, this is definitely one of my favorite things about birth control: you can predict to the day when you will or won’t have Aunt Flo in town. As such, according to my precise counting of every four weeks from 18+ months out, I landed on the conclusion that I will indeed have my period the day/week of our wedding. Well, that’s no fun.
I kind of forgot about it since then (ignorance is bliss?), and figured that the month of the wedding, I would likely just start a new pack of pills before my old one runs out. I’ve never tried it, but I’ve heard that this is a good way to stave off your period for another month with no side effects. The problem for me is that I seriously bloat in that week before my period arrives, and just starting a new pack may just make that worse. I’d much rather not be a bloaty mess for my wedding and pictures and following vacation, thankyouverymuch. So…now what?
With about three months to go, staying healthy is a top priority. It’s definitely hard during the winter months, too, with colds, stomach bugs and the flu running rampant in the office. Yuck.
Since there are things you can do to ward off illness, the Turkeys are doing everything possible to keep from the sick bed. We are drinking lots of water, taking our vitamins, eating well (and at home more than out), getting lots of sleep and exercising several times a week. I also swear by Zicam every time I feel a sniffle or tickle in my throat (yes, it’s likely mind over matter that I end up OK, but whatever).
However, it’s not just health that we’re worried about in the Turkey household. This concern comes with a confession: I am a giant klutz.
I realize that many of us have our moments of clumsiness, but somehow I manage to make it a nearly daily occurrence. Some of my more unfortunate (and recent) examples: cutting my leg open on a bike (when walking with it), breaking my toe on a chair and, in a moment of career brilliance, tripping over a phone wire at work and skinning my knee. That’s the short list.
As you can see, many of these injuries have been minor and generally easy to hide (with more sensible footwear, a band-aid, etc.). Yet, there have been also been more visible injuries in the past that would be fairly obvious in a wedding dress (think exposed arms).
And then there was the injury just before Thanksgiving…
|Just about to celebrate our annual Friendsgiving dinner|
Can you spot it from afar? No? Let me give you a closer look…
This past Wednesday, Project Wedding sent me their daily email (where they count down every. single. day. – gotta give ’em credit) with the title “Start Building Your Immunity Now.” At first I laughed – this? thrown in among the reasons buttercream tastes better than fondant and what to gift your bridesmaids and how to find a photographer? – but a second thought made me stifle that laugh. We all focus on wanting to look our best for the big day, but what about feeling our best, physically? I’d say that should rank pretty high, as well.
Image via Project Wedding
Of course I was extra sensitive to this whole immunity/feel-your-best stuff since I just went through a pretty terrible bought of food poisoning on Monday (fabulous way to lose 5 pounds, by the way). I distinctly remember a moment, in the midst of all the grossness, that I thought “god HELP me if I get food poisoning the night before the wedding,” or heck – even the week of the wedding.
…even worse than the one I used to know. It’s been said, extremely misogynistically, that once you put a wedding ring on a woman, she blows up like a balloon. This statement makes me extremely angry. First of all, maybe women tend to get fat post-wedding because they’re having kids or their metabolisms are slowing down. Maybe it’s because women tend to have a higher percentage of body fat than men. Regardless, it’s really not anyone’s business, and it’s horrifying that not only do women have to struggle to look perfect on their wedding day, but now we also have to worry about gaining the newlywed nine and becoming a statistic.
That being said…I am really looking forward to being able to eat whatever I want after the wedding. OK, I’ll be real: my diet since the proposal hasn’t changed that much, but I am definitely depriving myself of some of my old favorite artery-cloggers, and my patience is wearing thin (unlike my waistband—not fair). Before the ring (B.R. from now on), I ate Frosted Mini Wheats with skim milk for breakfast; now I eat a banana. B.R. I ate a salad, two servings of fruit, and a bag of Triscuits with a Diet Pepsi for lunch. Now I’ve replaced the Triscuits with another serving of fruit (who knew those little buggers had so many calories???), and I’ve done away with the pop. B.R. dinner was a free-for-all, and weekends? I’m too ashamed to mention them. Now I try to eat a Lean Cuisine for dins. Weekends are still too shameful for me to write about. I may or may not be eating chocolate chips from the bag as I type…
Image via Kells Craft / Edited by me