Not only is this blog about featuring loads of amazing weddings, vendors, people and friends, but it is also a place to offer advice and tips as I’ve gone through the process of getting married. (Hooray!) One of the big things for me in the last few weeks was definitely maintaining my health and sanity. Jokes aside, it can be very busy, tiresome, exciting and overwhelming. I loved absolutely every minute of my planning and organising and crafting, but as the day got closer I began to feel the pressures that anyone would most likely feel. “Was I going to look alright?” Slightly self centered, and very self conscious, but totally normal for any bride I would hope! Anyway, I’m not going to say I did everything perfectly, but I will offer some advice / tips that I tried to follow which contributed to making me feel better on the day.
No but really. I, like probably every other bride, had thoughts of extreme and not so extreme dieting especially when it came to the last few weeks before the wedding but its completely unsustainable and totally not fun. The last thing you want to be stressing about when you’re finalising details is whether or not an extra piece of toast is going to hurt you. Plus, the food you eat is directly related to your hair, skin and overall mood and you don’t want to be grumpy and look frumpy. Take advantage of seasonal fruit and veg that taste awesome, and stock your fridge and desk at work with stuff thats good for you. On that same note, if you want chocolate, have it. If you’re like me and try to restrict yourself, you will think about it all day and then have some anyway.
2. Find exercise that you enjoy
I hate the gym. I think the most pleasure I get from the gym is being able to tweet that I went and that’s pretty lame. I knew going in to the wedding if I wanted to tone up and feel healthy I needed to find something I enjoyed more than the treadmill. For me, the best decision in my “healthy wedding prep” was going to Bikram Yoga. It not only gave me a great work out but totally cleared my mind and recharged my batteries for any outstanding things I needed to address. It also completely resolved any sort of stress related neck / back tension I had which was an added bonus! It might not be for everyone, but definitely find something you WANT to go to, otherwise you just won’t.
3. Read food blogs
So I’m a bit of a blog advocate (can’t imagine why) but food blogs are awesome! They are so creative and the recipes are totally achievable. Once of my favourites, which happens to be a South Beach Diet blog, is Kalyn’s Kitchen. It is probably the most extensive archive I have ever seen and has sections called “5 ingredients or less.” I also love following “The New Vegetarian” column on the Guardian by Yottam Ottolenghi. In short, find good, healthy food inspiration online.
4. Sign up for daily emails from your favourite health website and actually read them.
So this sounds a bit like “sign up for spam” but think about the time you check your email. I read mine before I even get out of bed. If you receive an email with a top tip for staying healthy during the day before you even step foot out the door, you are probably more likely to make smart choices. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve signed up for quite a few and I don’t read that many, but find one that works for you and go from there. For some reason I really like the Eat This, Not That emails – they’re really telling of what’s inside a lot of American foods so it’s not even that relevant to me here in the UK, but it reminds me that somethings that appear healthy, really aren’t… and all that jazz. Women’s Health Magazine, Shape, and Prevention are also good ones.
5. Change your daily routine
I started walking to work about a year ago and I’m not sure how much it’s done for my actual physical appearance, but it’s now a super nice ritual I have at the beginning and end of my day that is a bit of extra exercise (if I have my spiffy gym shoes on) and also is a great time to clear my mind. I know not everyone can do this, but it could be as easy as walking up the escalator in the tube, standing instead of sitting on the bus, or getting off the tube 1 stop early. The point is, making small changes in your day to day life is a lot easier than drastic ones in the weeks leading up to your wedding – ie. crazy fad food diets that will turn you into bridezilla.
6. Get your man involved
Nothing is cuter than seeing your H2B doing pushups or rocking out in a Zumba class. It’s 10 times easier to get out of bed in the morning if you’ve got someone else to exercise with. There were plenty of times when I just wanted to rollover and go back to sleep and my (now husband!!!) made me get up and go. Yay teamwork.
7. Have an espresso before you work out
I feel a bit guilty about putting this one in here as it doesn’t sound “too healthy” but it sure works. As long as you’re not downing triple Americanos before the gym, I think its ok. Make sure to drink loads of water as well.
8. Stop thinking about it all the time.
It’s weird, but as soon as I decide “ok NOW I’m going to start eating healthy etc.” I can’t stop thinking about all the little things I should be doing which is totally exhausting. Approach being healthy like a lifestyle choice and not a temporary thing you’re doing so you can fit into your dress. Just changing your mindset will do wonders.
9. Forget the scale.
I hate the scale. It’s such a weird thing when you think about how important the numbers it displays feel. No one you know will be able to tell you’ve lost .4 of a kilo and vice versa so focus more on the way that you feel, how you want your clothes to fit and how much energy you have as a gage of how healthy you are. Ignore the numbers.
10. Find a way to reward yourself.
My reward now for going to the gym is the sauna. I love it. But it doesn’t feel the same if you skip the workout first, so I always go to the gym knowing I can have my time in the sauna afterwards.
Anyone else have good tips for brides to be trying to stay healthy? In the end, keep focused on the most important thing which is the fact that you’re marrying the person you love and they think you are beautiful no matter what.