Preparing for a wedding can be a stressful time. The details, the family, and making sure everything goes according to plan take a lot of foresight and thought. This doesn’t even take into account the physical prep that many brides do to make sure they look their best on that special day.
Wanting to get in shape for your wedding is a perfectly realistic goal. Too often, however, I see brides become fixated on certain goals that may or may not be achievable. Stress from planning a wedding either gets channeled into perfectionistic workouts or dealt with by sabotaging those goals with emotional eating.
In order to avoid this type of self-sabotage, here are some tips on how to approach your wedding with a level head.
MAKE A PLAN
Planning is HUGE — especially when talking about weddings. Make a list of your goals prior to your wedding and then break those down to see what you need to do to achieve them in a realistic way.
Figure out how long they will take, how you will achieve them, and make sure to be as detailed as you can in order to prevent any unnecessary roadblocks. This can include anything from your eating getting derailed by things like cake and caterer testing to simply not finding the time to work out because of additional wedding planning tasks. Whether you work on your own or get some help from a personal trainer or dietitian, make sure you know what the plan is.
If you need help creating a plan, enlist some help from the aforementioned professionals to help you reach your goals. I have had multiple clients work with me before their weddings and we made sure to communicate during the entire process about what they wanted and how long it would realistically take to achieve those goals.
TALK IT OUT
It’s always important to run thoughts and ideas by someone else. Whether it’s a friend, relative, or even therapist, make sure to communicate with someone else. We aren’t always the best judge of rationality when wrapped up in stress.
My wedding was a bit unconventional in that we actually were legally married about three months prior to the ceremony and reception, so I made sure to talk out my feelings about that with as many friends as I could. I also talked out some of the planning decisions I had with others so that I was able to mentally work through them.
We are often our own toughest critics, so letting another person know how you feel may help you realize that things are not as bad as you may think.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
If you skip a workout or enjoy dessert, don’t beat yourself up. Those things are totally normal and your body may be telling you what it needs at that time. Acknowledge it and then try to work on making different decisions the next time around.
If you fall off the wagon for a longer period of time, pause and ask yourself what is going on. Why are you deviating from the plan you made? What can you learn from what’s going on? Take a look at the motivations behind your actions and see what you need to do to get back on track.
IT’S ONLY A DAY
True, it may be one of the most important days of your life, but in reality it’s only a day. I’ve had friends look back on their wedding pictures and wish they hadn’t tried so hard to look a certain way. Brides who have gone to extremes to lose weight find that maintaining that weight is difficult long term and may even use those pictures to shame themselves in their current bodies which are where they may more naturally belong.
Ask yourself if it’s really worth the additional stress to push yourself to drop five more pounds before you walk down the aisle. I knew that I wanted to be in shape, but that ultimately what I looked like in a wedding photo wasn’t going to be what was important years later in a marriage. The most important thing is being healthy, happy, and ready to begin a new life adventure with your partner.