At the start of the year, Jake, my fiance and I made the decision to get rid of all of the treat food in the house, get on a regular exercise programme and keep the balance with a weekly treat day. It's not that we didn't exercise and had terrible diets, I think that sometimes it was easy to justify eating treat foods more than we should because I generally ate well.
One of the main reasons that we made this decision was for our wedding, which is in just over 9 months time. I know that there is a lot of pressure to lose weight for a wedding on both the bride and groom's side, I have already been asked several times if I am on a healthy eating plan etc.
While I do believe that a wedding is great motivation to change your lifestyle for the better, I am really not a fan of the "Shredding for the Wedding" mentality and here is why:
- I don't think weight should be the main reason behind a lifestyle change, you should be making a change for your health! In my opinion, weight loss should just be a by-product of achieving a healthier lifestyle
- Weight is just a number, and often an arbitrary number that someone has assigned for themselves. It doesn't reflect how far someone can run, how much weight they can lift or how many sit ups they can do. A healthy person can actually end up weighing more than an unhealthy one due to muscle mass. Since getting into a better exercising routine, I have actually gained a couple of kilos rather than losing weight.
- It has a very short term focus. I am sure that there are many people who have worked incredibly hard to reach a particular goal, only to be back where they started 6 months later. To reach a short term goal, people are more likely to try crazy short term measures. Yes, you may reach your target, but in the long run you are only damaging your body and its ability to function correctly.
So instead of "shredding for the wedding", what will I be doing to prepare?
- Increasing my water intake - Getting more water into my day is always something that I try to work on. Making sure that you are adequately hydrated is important for all of your body's systems. Thirst can also be mistaken for hunger, so if you are concerned that you always feel hungry, you may just be thirsty. Personally, the main reasons that I want to increase water are for skin health and mental clarity. If I haven't had enough water I definitely feel slower and more sluggish.
- Upping fruits and vegetables - I definitely follow the practice of adding in healthy foods rather than trying to overly restrict unhealthy ones. For example, if I have a sweet tooth craving, I will have a piece of fruit first and then have some chocolate. By eating something good first, there is less space for unhealthy stuff. Throughout the day, if I focus on eating lots of fruits, vegetables and protein, then I am less likely to get sugar cravings.
- Getting plenty of sleep - This can sometimes be a hard one, however, if definitely important for overall health. When I'm tired, I definitely crave more chocolate and junk food!
- Sensible exercise - Rather than overdoing it at the gym every day for a month before the wedding, I am getting into a good exercise routine now. Jake and I have signed up for the Tough Guy and Gal race in July to give me something to train towards. I like to include a circuit in the middle of my run, as my focus is on getting strong and fit, rather than getting skinny.
- Started taking Silica - I don't always have the best skin and this is something that I don't want to have to worry about on the big day, so I have started taking a Silica supplement. Silica helps with collagen production in the body, so is great for skin, hair and nails. I will give you an update in a few weeks with how the Silica supplement is working!
On my wedding day, although I want to look my best, ultimately the day will be what I make of it. If I am confident and enjoying myself, cellulite on my thighs or a less-than-toned arm will be the furthest thing from my mind. That is why my focus is on being healthy and feeling great internally, rather than focusing on my looks.
If anyone has any great tips on wedding preparation, let me know in the comments below.