Have I got your attention?
Body issues. Everyone has them. Tell a girl she’s beautiful and she’ll jump straight to what she perceives as her worst flaw and focus on that instead. Throw in a wedding and it gets so much worse. As soon as I announced my engagement, the question I was most often met with was, “So, how much weight are you planning on losing for the wedding? You have almost two years so you could lose a ton if you get started right away!” You have no idea how hurtful and insulting it was to hear this at every turn. It got to the point where I actually started dreading announcing the happy news because every congratulations came with its own little footnote: PS, you’re fat.
For the record: I’m not fat, I don’t think. I mean, I’m definitely not skinny, but I’m also not plus-sized or anything like that. I have huge boobs…and an ass…and my thighs are bigger than my legs. But overall I look proportional and dare I say it? Good.
Image via www.tumblr.com
At first I would shrug it off and politely answer that I wasn’t actually planning on any drastic weight loss for the wedding, that I wanted to look like myself, only better. Apparently, though, my normal self wasn’t good enough, wasn’t pretty enough or thin enough. It didn’t help that the comments were coming from the people I valued most, like family and close friends. Even my maid of honour offered to help me lose weight. Help. Like I was so set in my fatty ways that I couldn’t figure it out on my own.
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.
I’ve been an athlete since a very early age. Wait, I’ve been semi-athletic since a very early age. No, I’ve participated in sports teams since a very early age.
Soccer, basketball, biking, roller skating—you name it, I’ve at least tried it once. While I enjoy being active, I’m really quite awful at most things considered “active,” which is why I quit the soccer team, joined the drama club, and never looked back!
The older I get, however, the more important being active really is. Not only to help with weight loss and maintenance, but to keep my energy up and keep myself feeling great.
Last year, I rustled up all the coordination I could and joined the BBRC. The Buzzards Bay Rowing Club!
Our fleet out on the water! / Image via BBRC
At the beginning of the year, Mr. Rucksuck and I committed to living a Paleo lifestyle. It’s been over seven months now and we could not be happier with our diets, waistlines, and the way our insides feel.
Our road to Paleo was pretty long and even included a trip down a vegetarian lane that left us several pounds heavier and feeling generally yucky. After realizing we’d each gained quite a bit of weight in our year and a half together (foodies and winos in love is a bad weight-loss combination), Mr. Rucksack joined a local Crossfit gym in December. The Paleo diet came along shortly thereafter, and I jumped on the bandwagon too.
Sometimes vaguely called the caveman diet, we can really only eat meat, fruits, veggies, and nuts. Nothing processed, no dairy, no gluten, no soy. Basically, if I can’t hunt it or forage for it, I can’t eat it. (This is obviously super oversimplified, but if you’re interested in learning more I’d suggest checking out Robb Wolf’s site and Everyday Paleo to start.)
Image via Hunger Games DWTC Fansite
I think it’s fitting that I read the Hunger Games trilogy during my first few days being Paleo, even if I don’t really hunt my own food.
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?