Best Wedding Diet Advice
This post originally appeared as "Secrets to Skinny" on our old blog Born to be a Bride.
A lot of people have asked me what my secret was in getting thin for my wedding. In all honesty, there’s no real mystery to what I did. I don’t believe in pills or potions. Nor do I subscribe to the “eat-only-beans-with-a-side-of-veg” philosophy of crash dieting. Instead, I started working out (almost) every day, and I reduced my calorie intake to the ideal amount for my height, starting weight, and goal weight. This ended up being 1,200 a day. On weekends, I was easier on myself, not counting per se, but I only had one splurge meal a week — and that was usually scrambled egg whites with cheese, half an order of potatoes, one piece of bacon, and a bloody Mary. And I still kept to the healthy eating model. We are not talking chili cheese dogs.
It took discipline, but in the process I learned about a lot of new foods that I really do love and these days, crave. For example, I’d only ever had kale as a chip (NOT healthy), or as part of a fancy salad at a high-end restaurant. These days I wash some fresh, pop it in a bowl, squeeze lemon juice on top, and finish it off with a sprinkle of salt. I also have stuck to my fitness basics, though I don’t work out as intensely as I did leading up to the wedding. At the time, I wanted to lose 20 pounds. Now, I’m happy maintaining. But I still do yoga almost daily, and Josh and I spend Sunday mornings on the treadmill. My new full-time freelance lifestyle also allows me to take exceedingly long walks with our dog Harry, something we all should be doing anyway — those pups need to burn some energy!
If you are planning to slim down and/or tone up for your big day, it’s important to remain focused on your goal but not at the expense of your happiness. For me, that meant allowing room in my daily calorie intake for a small glass of red wine and a piece of dark chocolate. For you it could be that you take high-intensity dance or Zumba classes four days a week and just walk the other three. Download an app like My Fitness Pal and get inspired. But no one else is going to do it for you — the excuses cease to work when you try them on yourself. You’re the one who’s marking the results, after all.
In the two weeks before the big day, I cut out alcohol completely, along with a bunch of other bloating foods. A friend and fellow blogger passed along a list of no-bloat options as well as things to avoid. This was not a crash diet — I continued to eat 1,200 calories a day and had plenty of energy. It was just a more specialized approach to take out that last bit of tummy puff. It worked!
But here is the secret: Our wedding photos are beautiful, and our video divine. Josh couldn’t believe it when he saw me in my white dress, and I know one day my kids will love thumbing through the album to see how pretty Mommy was on her big day. But to be painfully, brutally honest, as I always am on this blog… No amount of dieting or lifting weights could have cleared my head of the unnecessary body-shaming noise. There are plenty of shots I don’t like of myself, and when I watch the video of our first dance, I have to train my eyes to stop settling on my “trouble” spots. So, my pretties. Diet if you want to. Work out to your heart’s content. But learn one thing from your friend here, and I will try to learn it right alongside you — we need to start being nicer to ourselves. There are a lot more important things in life than being skinny.