Why “Go on a Diet” Should be Crossed Off Your Wedding to-do List
“A great marriage isn’t something that just happens; it is something that is created” – Fawn Weaver
By Janine Serio, Lifestyle and Accountability Coach
Living a fit and healthy lifestyle is a lot like marriage and the quote above: something that doesn’t just happen but that’s created and sustained over time.
So, with that in mind, now that the ring has been purchased and the question has been asked… it’s time to pick the wedding date, choose between so many vendors, and of course… find that PERFECT wedding dress. If you’re like millions of brides-to-be, you’re probably also thinking about how to look your best in that perfect dress. I’m here to tell you that if losing weight and getting fit for your wedding day are goals you wish to pursue, then you don’t need a temporary yo-yo diet or a stressful fitness regime to do it. What you need is healthy commitment. Sound familiar?
Committing to living a healthy lifestyle is just like the commitment you will make in front of family and friends. One that’s lifelong. Using your engagement as a stepping stone to start changing your lifestyle behavior(s), i.e. fitness, nutrition, sleep patterns, stress levels, etc., is wonderful but can feel overwhelming with how and where to start. It’s so easy to get caught up with wanting to do a complete overhaul because you are searching for that “quick fix” to look amazing in your wedding dress.
The last thing you should be worried (or stressed) about is trying to stick to an unrealistic plan with expectations that are, most likely, setting you up for disappointment. This is that all too familiar feeling of yo-yo-ing. Before you know it, you’ve strayed from “said plan” and end up back at the starting line. Making the commitment to get healthier and feel in control is a lifestyle… one that is forever! The road map you set forth for yourself should be unique and tailored to YOU. There is no “one size fits all” plan. The right way is setting realistic, sustainable, and manageable goals and expectations for yourself.
Here’s where I would start remembering that becoming comfortable with consistency is the ultimate goal:
- Block the Time that Works for You. Based on your current schedule and past efforts, it appears that trying to get up early or go to the gym after work Monday-Friday is just not conducive. You are not an early riser, and there are too many after-work commitments that seem to get in the way. What we do know is your weekends are a LOT more relaxed, and time is more of your own. Let’s start by blocking the same time every Saturday and Sunday, give or take, for you to workout.
- Stay Home. “Workout” doesn’t have to mean going to the gym. There is a different effort and time factor involved with going to an actual location. You can get a super effective workout AT HOME, and without any equipment, if you find that the motivation to get out the door, or lack of time, has you wavering. Remember that Shorter Workouts Still Count. There are no hard and fast rules as to how long you should workout for it to be effective. Wouldn’t 10-15 minutes of an all-out effort be better than doing nothing at all? Yes. Absolutely. You will feel better and have kept the commitment to yourself, thus minimizing the guilt/stress that often come with missing workouts.
- Keep “Movement” in the Forefront of Your Mind. Everyday, even while running errands or at work, make the effort to move as much as possible. Take 5-10 minute walk breaks at work, take the stairs as much as possible, park your car further away at the grocery store, etc. It really DOES all add up.
- Choose Three Nutritional Commitments: While they should be healthy, these are three practices that you can do, effortlessly, every single day that you know will help you to stay the course and provide little wiggle room to deviate. This is where you will need to investigate what works for you! Maybe it’s drinking 64 ounces of water each day… or not snacking past 8 pm… or drinking one less soda each day. Perhaps it’s adding protein to every meal.
- Be Mindful: Just like the others, this is one strategy that takes time. Have you ever fallen into the “I will just have a handful of nuts” and, before you know it, you’re almost to the bottom of the bag without even noticing? Same applies to when we sit down for a meal. Between eating as we are cooking, watching TV, reading a magazine, or trying to get other things accomplished, mindfulness becomes non-existent. Being mindful of what you are eating, how you are feeling, and being aware of the satisfaction factor, etc., all play a part. When we eat from the standpoint of mindfulness, a lot of our food fears start to dissipate. We start to feel more in control, and we begin to TRUST ourselves to make the best nutrition decisions possible!
Bottom line, consistency will always beat perfection. So, starting today, I want you to begin thinking about what that lifestyle road map looks like in YOUR life. What are those realistic steps you need to get closer to reaching your goals for your wedding day and beyond. It may feel like a lot more work than simply following a “plan,” BUT the end results are that much sweeter – trust me.
Gone are the days of feeling like it has to be all or nothing to see results. I want you to enjoy this journey towards committing to a healthier lifestyle, learn a LOT about yourself in the process, remove the “weight loss” stressor from your life, and feel healthy, confident and strong as you walk down the aisle. The dress size does not matter, and the scale should be thrown out – seriously!