Post # 1
A few years ago, I took great physical care of myself. Then came a stressful job which caused me to eat all my meals at work, and I could never get away from my desk to hit up the gym.
Thankfully that job is long gone, but the 10kg I put on as a consequence has not. Whilst I am not medically overweight, I naturally have a petite frame so am carrying more than what is best for my body. I see my wedding as a good incentive for healthy weight loss – not only would I like to look good in my dress, but losing a little weight and being fit will make it easier for us to conceive, as we’re planning on starting to try after the wedding.
I know that a lot of women aim to lose weight before a wedding, so I was wondering if anyone had any sustainable strategies that worked for them leading up to the wedding? I don’t have great eating habits and I need to exercise more, so there are a lot of variables to work with. I’ve never had disordered eating but I do obsess over food unhealthily, so this has complicated my previous efforts.
I was also wondering… when I’m thinking about a weight loss schedule, should I be aiming to have gotten to my desired level before I start fitting dresses?
Post # 2
amongclouds : Hi bee. I am getting married next year and whilst I don’t feel like I need to lose loads of weight (my dress basically fits me now), I would like to get a bit fitter /slimmer but not go too mad. When I was single I took great care of myself, went to the gym and lifted weights a lot and ate right, then I met my now Fiance and slipped into the lovely dovey stage when you go out for meals and have pudding etc, then we moved in together and I didn’t gym as much as switched jobs and new job / commute was more time consuming BUT I am getting back to it now, getting up in the morning to fit in a quick work out at home, meal prepping my breakfast, lunch and snacks for work and limiting pudding and wine to Friday and Saturday nights.
I am only just starting out again so haven’t seen any big changes but I know what works and I am excited to be getting off my arse and doing something rather than being sad my body isn’t the way it was.
Post # 3
- Wedding: February 2019 - City, State
amongclouds : I lost about 50 pounds, but it was a lifestyle change for me. And it was from January to August timeframe that the weight was lost. I didn’t push myself as hard at the beginning. But I knew that this would be continued after I got married (first marriage) and I’ve still continued exercising and eating healthy today. I would just suggest making changes for yourself and having a motivating factor other than the wedding itself. Also take it one day at a time! Getting back into a routine can be overwhelming.
Post # 4
For 8+ years I’ve been on and off with maintaining “healthy” diet/exercise routines. I’ve tried just about everything and the most sustainable thing I’ve found is yoga. A lot of people really underestimate the benefits but it’s SO good for so many reasons. I love it because I can get some hardcore strength building if I want or if I’m not feeling as motivated one day I can do a more soft, restorative practice. And it’s sooo yummy for clearing out my mental clutter. After years of beating myself up over how many calories I consume a day and whether or not I “got my cardio in”, I decided to love myself instead exactly the way I am and just try to be more active and mindful in a way I actually enjoy. I found a youtube channel called “Yoga With Adrienne” and it’s been such a blessing in my life, I sing her praises whenever I can. She has multiple 30-day series for beginners looking to get in shape and tons of playlists to cater to literally any mood you might be in. I’ve been following her consistently for about 3 years now and I’ve learned enough that I can now maintain a home practice on my own. I do her videos maybe twice a week and the rest of the days I do my own thing. The only commitment I hold myself to is to do some form of yoga every single day..that could be 5 minutes of light stretching in the morning or a full 30 minute flow with abs or arms or whatever my body is craving that day. I also eat whatever I want, but I’m smart enough at this point to know which foods make me feel gross and bloated, so most days I make choices to avoid feeling that way. It can all be very simple! I swear to you my body has never felt better. Sure I’ve been skinnier, but the older I get the more I’m realizing that’s so not what it’s about.
Post # 5
volvo321 : I agree completely!
I lost ~15 pounds for the wedding and though at the time it wasn’t healthy (I also strugged with disordered eating and overexercising), I’ve since developed a much more healthy relationship. For me, counting calories was a big trigger, so I focused on foods that I knew would nurish me. I have the same breakfast every day (egg + egg whites, chicken sausage, and potatoes) and focus on getting meat and veggies for my other two meals. On days I run, I add a Girlfriend carb to my lunch (brown rice, quinoa, etc.).
I also have a set gym and running schedule each week. It’s definitely hard at first to get into a consistant rhythem, but it’s much easier once you get used to it! I do still have pizza or cake sometimes, but they are not regular parts of my nutrition plan. What helped me get into healthy habits was hiring someone to set out a workout schedule and meal plan for me, so I didn’t even have to think about it. I just did what she said, and eventually was able to figure it out on my own.
Post # 6
Hi Bee! I’ve lost 28 pounds since January. I work a desk job, 8-5, so I can relate to that. What has worked for me has been calorie counting (I use MFP, and I count every meal), drinking a lot of water (I aim for about a gallon a day), and working out 3-5 times a week.
Since the weather has been nice, i’ve been using my lunch break to take walks and then I eat at my desk when I get back. When the weather was colder, I was doing at home workouts or workouts on my treadmill.
Over the last 3 weeks i’ve also started “none to run” which is a running program to train for a 5k (kind of like C25K but I find it more sustainable for someone who isn’t experienced in running like myself). Find an exercise you love, it will make your workouts so much easier and sustainable!
Post # 7
I have done a lot of athletic things in my life but the only thing that I’ve done to cause real change in my body has been crossfit. Clearly not for everyone, but it does feel so good to have a group of friends to work out with all the time. I also thought I ate pretty clean and healthy during the week but then I’d throw caution to the wind on the weekends and ate and drank whatever I wanted which wasn’t conducive to maintaining body weight or fitness! I started having some more wholesome goals like sleeping enough, drinking enough water, making sure I do something physical every day even if it’s just a walk, and eating veggies with my meals at least 2x a day!
Post # 8
amongclouds : yeah, I had about 10 kilos hanging around on my small frame and while my wedding dress does fit (and honestly, no one besides my SO has even noticed that I lost 6 of my 10 kilo goal. So it must not have been really significant in general for my body, it’s really just certain target areas) I think losing those kilos is making me feel like I look better.
Truth be told: I had been eating very crappily for the last years. (not a lot of processed food or anything, just not often enough, and when I ate, then really carb heavy to make up for it. In the last years some processed foods had started to creep into my diet. And bread. Yeah. I live in Europe. bread is life, here)
I am doing a low carb /Keto diet (a lot of people may criticise) but I didn’t want to mess around on a diet for too long. I want to drop the 10 kilos and be done. After that I plan to focus on fitness and staying on a healthy sensible carb intake diet.
The thing is Bee, doing low carb (as a vegetarian especially) has really tought me to focus on healthy eating like nothing else. I am so aware of getting the most out of every food choice I make because (despite what people say) I don’t think you can do do low carb effectively without seriously learning about the macros and the nutrition value of the foods you put in your body. Then you make a decision: is this food more valuable to the needs of my body then this one. I make an informed choice and it makes me really proud to take care of myself this way.
I now eat so many more veggies (and as a vegtarian that is saying something!) and so much more protein than I have my whole life. I feel like I have a whole new appreciation for valuable , healthy food and also for my body.
Though low carb (staying in ketosis) probably isn’t sustainable for me, I think / hope the weight loss will be sustainable by keeping the weight from creeping up though thoughtful food choices now that I am really good at it. Also, I am grateful that with the low carb diest /Ketosis things are moving along fairly quickly (I am also counting calories, which makes a difference) I don’t think I would stick to it if it were this huge long drawn out affair.
Post # 9
I’d look at your current lifestyle with a non-judgmental eye and choose maybe two or three things you could change, then focus on those until they feel natural. Once it’s smooth sailing with those changes, pick a couple more. Like, if you drink a lot of soda, replace it with water. If you’re not exercising, take 2-3 walks per week. If you’re not eating many fruits or vegetables, try to add 2 servings to your daily diet. That kind of thing.
Post # 10
Props to you for looking beyond the short term! I’m sure you’ve heard before, but diet is 80% of weight loss, so that should be your main focus. I personally don’t find that cutting out food groups is sustainable for me long term, as I end up just craving those things even more, and binge on them when I’m feeling low! What has worked for me for weight loss is tracking all of my food, so that I know exactly how much I’m consuming and can maintain a deficit. I’ve also done intermittent fasting, where you essentially only consume your calories within a certain time window (a common one is to do a 16 hour fasting window, like from 8pm-12pm, and then 8 hour eating window from 12-8). It isn’t for everyone, but it has worked for me, as my partner loves to make huge dinners and I ended up going way over my calorie goal for the day, so cutting out breakfast really helped.
As far as exercise, find something you love doing and can stick with, whether that is yoga, running, walking, whatever. Don’t focus on the calories you burn doing it. Most people underestimate how many calories they eat, and overestimate how many they burn exercising, so eating back any calories burned typically means you end up in a surplus. And try not to think of it as something that you “have” to do to lose weight! Have fun with it. I find that when I exercise I feel better, and when I feel better, I tend to want to take better care of my body.
Post # 12
I do need to lose weight over all for health reasons. It’s too much weight that I would be able to lose it all healthily before I need to maintain my size for wedding dress fittings. I’m focusing on making it a long term lifestyle change. I started with googling habits of those who successfully lost and kept weight off and picked one habit and focused on achieving esacsh day for a month before I added a new habit. It’s worked pretty well.
I’m now doing Weight Watchers as I find it gives me an extra layer of accountability and it’s working pretty well. I’m consistently losing weight, even if it is in small amounts and overall I feel better.
I would suggest starting with changing habits and working on slow change. It will start to snowball your weight loss as you develop more healthy habits.
Post # 13
Good for you for trying to get healthy!
I’ve been trying to stick pretty strictly to the Whole 30 model for a few weeks, and I’ve noticed a big change in how I look and feel. I’m pretty petite but wanted to lose about 5 lbs for the wedding. In the first 10 days of Whole 30, I had already lost 3 lbs. I’ve backed off a bit so that I don’t lose too much weigh but am still trying to follow it pretty well. I’ve cut out alcohol, all grains, all dairy, and all added sugar. My skin looks great and I feel so much less bloated. I honestly don’t miss bread that much, but sticking to the no added sugar is really tough.
Ive also been taking spin classes since January, and I feel like I’m so much more toned now.
Post # 14
- Wedding: October 2018 - City, State
We got engaged in February and are getting married this October. I knew I wanted to lose at least 6 stone but knew that this wasn’t reasonable in the time frame we had, so decided to make lifestyle changes and see how it went.
4 months in I have lost 3 stone 😊 I have basically just stopped eating crap and go to the gym 3 to 4 times per week.
I have lost a dress size since buying my wedding gown and my seamstress assures me that we can alter by another 2 sizes.
My latest progress photo is below 😊
Post # 15
Three years ago, I lost 50 pounds. I’ve maintained that loss and didn’t really lose weight for the wedding.
What works for me is counting calories. Holding yourself accountable for what you eat, eating mindfully (no mindless snacking at the TV) and stopping when you’re satisfied, not stuffed. This is really important because it regulates your appetite and your ability to eat intuitively.
Weigh yourself regularly. I give myself a 5 pound fluctuation range, and when my weight is on the high end of that range, I cut back by 50-300 cals until the weight drops again (slowly).
Do not cut out ANY food group or join fad diets. They are not sustainable in the long term and you’re regain all the weight. Aim for a weight loss of 0.5 pound to 2 pounds per week. And eat what you want, but be mindful of your portions and your daily calorie intake.