In only two easy steps!
Your wedding is fast approaching and you want to look amazing. Great! Here is a foolproof system to get your best body for the big day:
Step One: Find a mirror. Any size will do.
Step Two: Look at the stunning human being in the reflection. The kick ass curves, the strength, the beauty in the small details. Take a moment to celebrate all of the things that body has allowed you to do. Maybe it housed an entire new person for 9 months. Maybe it carries a whole week’s worth of groceries from the car without having to go back for a second trip. Maybe it gets up in the morning, works a demanding job, and then makes a cake for your bridesmaid’s birthday this weekend. Pat yourself on the back, gorgeous, because you’ve got the perfect wedding day body.
We put SO much unnecessary stress on “shedding for the wedding.” Here’s the truth: you are beautiful. You are beautiful not in spite of, but BECAUSE of the number on the scale. Your friends, family, and fiancé love the beautiful person that you are right in this moment. Not the beautiful person you are 5, 10, 20, 50, or 100 pounds less. Not the beautiful person you are with “sculpted” arms or a bigger booty. Dropping pounds, fitting into a smaller size, or getting “ripped” won’t make you any more beautiful than you are right in this second, as you are reading these words. You are a bride, and all brides are beautiful. Full stop.
So, instead of torturing yourself with one more thing you feel you have to get done before the big day, I offer up these do’s and don’ts to bring your best, most present, most beautiful self down the aisle.
DO: Drink enough water
DON’T: Waste money on overpriced supplements or go on a “detox”
Our bodies are made up mostly of water, around 60% or so, and it’s vitally important to our functioning that we stay hydrated. Water carries nutrients to our organs and cells, stabilizes our heart rate and blood pressure, regulates our body temperature, and maintains our electrolyte balance. When we become dehydrated, we put ourselves at risk for a host of issues including headaches, decreased concentration, and altered mood. So get yourself a “future Mrs” water bottle and carry it around while touring venues!
As for that “detox” your friend keeps pushing on her Instagram stories, skip it. You’ve already got a highly advanced detox system in place: your liver.
DO: Listen to your body
DON’T: Starve yourself or follow a fad diet
Our bodies are very good at telling us what they need, if we’re paying attention. Our stomach will growl if we’re hungry. It might even crave a burger if we’re deficient on iron or other nutrients. Practice mindful eating by paying attention to your body’s signals- when you’re physically hungry, eat. When you’re full, stop. For most of us, that’s a lot easier said than done, (especially when we’re under stress- HELLO wedding planning!) so treat yourself with some loving kindness and take it day by day. Make sure you’re getting sufficient amounts of all macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat). Free Apps like MyFitnessPal can help you get an idea of what that looks like.
Stay away from obsessive calorie counting, excluding entire food or macronutrient groups from your diet, or relying on shakes and prepackaged food- it’s not healthy overall, can be very expensive, and might cause more harm than good in the long run. For more information on mindful eating practices, pick up a copy of Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch.
DO: Find an activity you love and make the time for it
DON’T: Force yourself into a workout you hate because others swear by it
Our bodies were built to move, and there are a million and one ways to move them. It’s been proven time and time again that getting physical has a boatload of benefits far beyond “burning calories,” so trade the weight loss mentality for a new point of view: focus on physical activities that are fun and that you look forward to doing. Your workout of choice should leave you feeling de-stressed, reenergized, and strong. It could be a SoulCycle class, or a Yoga video on YouTube, or a walk through the neighborhood with your fiancé. Don’t be afraid to try anything and everything, and don’t be afraid to keep looking if something you’ve tried doesn’t check all your boxes.
When you find what does check them all, put it in your calendar as a non-negotiable. It’s an essential part of your self-care and will help you stay sane, especially as the numbers get lower on your wedding countdown. Remember: it’s not about inches lost or muscle gained, it’s about doing what you love and what makes you feel good.
If you’ve never been particularly active and you’d like to try it, great! Start small, like parking your car a few blocks from the office and walking, or waking up 10 minutes early to get in a good stretch before your shower. If you’ve tried it all and can’t stand any of it, that’s okay too! Pick another activity you love and make time for it, whether it’s meditation, reading a book, or knitting a blanket for your friend.
Also important to remember is that we’re all beautifully different and our interests vary. Just because your MOH is a die hard Orange Theory gal doesn’t mean you have to be. If it’s not your vibe, DO NOT DO IT! Exercise should be a celebration of what our bodies can do, never a punishment. And, as always, make sure you check in with your doctor before starting any type of workout routine.