Getting married is a stressful affair. No matter how much time you have to prepare it never quite seems like it’s enough. So many things to organise, plan and book. Checking and re-checking quotes, trawling websites looking for the best deal. Hours spent on Pinterest bombarding you with so many brilliant ideas that your traditional French Country Wedding suddenly has some boho, shabby chic, gothic vibes thrown in. That is just the external stuff! What about the bride!? Be honest with yourself you want to look like a supermodel on the day especially when all eyes are on you. You are convinced everything has to be perfect- hair, eyelashes, skin, nails. The list is literally endless.
The biggest thing to remember is breathe, enjoy the process and make sure you look after yourself. No one wants a run-down bride, nor do you want to be sick on your big day. Taking that on board slimming down for the big day is relatively easy and will help as a stress outlet. So let’s break it down into 3 categories: Exercise, Nutrition & Relaxation
Exercise is a simple way to reduce stress, increase fat loss and re-energise your body.
- Aim for 3-4 sessions of 45-60 minutes of exercise per week. By exercise I mean you need to get your heart rate elevated and get sweaty. Choose something that you enjoy- boxing classes really help at times of stress. You can take all your frustration out in the class and when you leave you will have a clearer head and feel much more calm.
- HIIT training gets you more bang for your buck if you are time poor. Depending your training preference perhaps you like to jump on a treadmill for a couple of hours but if you don’t have the time- HIIT is the answer. Granted you work harder at the time, but it is for a shorter time period and your body continues to burn calories for sometimes hours after your workout.
- Try to do some strength and body weight work. To have that baben bride bod you want to work every muscle group to help build all over muscle tone. Strength work won’t make you bulky, it is actually incredibly effective way to burn fat.
- On your rest days- keep moving! Choose a lighter activity that will elevate your heart rate slightly- it might be taking the dog for a walk, doing some casual laps in the pool or even going for a surf. Just try to be moving every day of the week.
- EAT! There is that stupid idea inside all of us that we will lose weight if we don’t eat. WRONG! You will lose weight at first, however your body will go into starvation mode and it will have the complete opposite effect- it will start to break down muscle, and store fat because it preparing itself for what it perceives is a ‘famine’. Which in turn will make it even harder to lose weight in future
- Clean up your plate. Cut out sugar, preservatives and heavily processed foods. Try and do this 8 week before the wedding. Stick to a clean whole food diet of vegetables, meat/fish, small amounts of fruit, nuts and seeds. You will be amazed at how your skin clears up, you lose that stubborn bloating around your midline, and how much more energy you will have.
- Be prepared! The key to keeping to a clean diet is food prep. Spend a portion of your weekend getting prepared and ready for the coming week, it will help to keep your eyes on the prize and stop you steering off course and into the chocolate isle.
- Want to take it a step further- try a low gluten diet. Granted not everyone is affected by gluten. However, from personal experience I lived with Ceoliac’s disease for 10 years before realising that how I was feeling wasn’t normal. Sometimes just reducing it and being mindful of how you feel without it can help a lot. If you find gluten does affect you it will also cause you to retain water and increase inflammation over your body particularly around your belly- so removing it you will notice a huge difference in how your belly looks.
- Try a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar first thing in the morning and before every meal. It is said to help to increase the absorption of nutrients and I found it really made my skin perfect.
- Keep hydrated! Water is essential for flushing toxins from your body. Make sure you are drinking up to 2 litres a day, more if you are exercising.
With all the stress of a wedding, Relaxation is just as critical as exercise and nutrition. Increased stress levels can lead to an increase in stress hormones. Now these babies can be a key perpetrator in storing excess fat. There are so many options for relaxation you just need to find what really works for you. Somethings that I found really helped:
- Yin yoga: this is a deep practice that you hold postures for 2minutes +. It helps to calm down your nervous system, release any emotional blockages and you will leave feeling very zen.
- Meditation: even just 5 minutes every morning helps to re-centre, it gets you out of your head -all of the planning and organising and busyness- and back into your body. Which should leave you feeling more energized for the day ahead.
- Get into nature: find your happy place. For me it is the beach and the ocean. Just get outside, get the sun on your skin and the grass or sand between your toes.
- Massage: massage is a great form of stress relief it helps loosen those bound up tight muscles and relax your nervous system.
Floating: I tried this a few times. It is a sensory deprivation tank where you float on salty water for up to an hour. It is a surreal experience because you aren’t sure if you are asleep or awake. It is quite relaxing, however can cause extra stress if you struggle to be alone with your thoughts and sans technology for an hour. Plus, your hair gets wet which means- the added inconvenience of a wash and a blow dry straight after or leaving looking like a drowned rat.
It’s hard not to get caught up in the craziness of the wedding and be focused on every intricate detail. From experience let me assure you, no one will remember the table setting or if the place cards are purple or cream. Take a moment by yourself before the day gets started, have a little bit to eat and spend some time to take a breath. I did a 10minute mindfulness meditation to help reduce my stress levels and the day moved along very calmly.
It is literally one of the most fun days you will ever have. You are surrounded by your friends and family, marrying your best friend. With that combination, no matter what happens you will be sure to have a magical day.