This afternoon’s post comes from another dear friend, Kayla. She is getting married next June and we can’t wait to attend her wedding (her fiance, Chris, is a high school friend of Dr. Groomy’s). Kayla blogs her midwestern life over at Midwestern Musings. Kayla, thanks so much for guest posting for me! I hope I can return the favor for you next year. Love you, dear!
I’m Kayla, and I’m filling in for Amy while she’s off honeymooning in lovely San Francisco!
I have been racking my brain to think of a wedding-related topic to write about that would be relevant not only to me but to those reading this little blog, and I decided to go with my gut: How does a bride-to-be get ready to look and feel smashing on her wedding day?
I’m getting married next June. I already have a lot of the big things (wedding gown, bridesmaids dresses, tuxes, ceremony site, reception venue, etc.) planned, booked or purchased. But among all those big things and all the little things that are on the way, I also am working on perhaps the biggest project of all—eating right and getting fit.
I haven’t “officially” started my plan, and I don’t even have a plan set in stone, but I have some ideas. And maybe you can use them, too!
1. Eat healthy, nutritious foods to fuel your body, not satisfy your cravings or emotions.
It’s hard to make good choices. But it’s a lot easier to make good choices if you:
· Clean up your kitchen. Get rid of tempting “junk” foods and replace them with comparable but nutrient-dense items (e.g. veggie chips or baked whole-wheat pita chips instead of potato chips).
· Learn how to cook—or at least learn some basic healthy recipes. Keep it simple and use good, wholesome ingredients (e.g. whole grains, fresh vegetables, etc.)
· Keep track of what you put into your body. Join a website like SparkPeople.com or CalorieKing.com and log your eats every day. (I did this several years ago, and I was shocked!)
· Drink water—lots and lots of water! (Sometimes, you’re not hungry; sometimes, you’re actually thirsty but think you’re hungry end up eating an unnecessary snack.)
· Drink very little alcohol. (I can’t give up a glass of wine here or there, but I can slash the number of beers I have during a football game.)
2. Exercise to burn calories and to clear your mind.
Again, it’s hard to get motivated to go to the gym or to get out for a run or a walk. But it’s easier if you set some short-term goals as well as long-term goals.
- Vow to try something new. Try a new piece of equipment or take a new class. Give that workout routine you saw in a magazine a try. Rent or buy an exercise DVD. (Mixing it up can not only get you out of the doldrums but also over weight-loss or strength-training plateaus.)
- Set your sights on something small. Work on being able to run a mile without stopping. Work on getting your heels to touch the floor in downward dog. Work on being able to lift more than ever.
- Set your sights on something big. Train for a race. Conquer a local hiking or biking trail. Fit into your “skinny” jeans.
3. Stay motivated.
It’s really hard to balance a healthy lifestyle with busy work and home lives, with wedding planning, with everything we do that demands our time and energy. And it’s really hard to see the big picture and remember why you have to lace up your running shoes rather than flip on the boob tube. But it can be done if you remind yourself.
- Surround yourself with motivating, inspiring people. Take the healthy-living journey with a family member or close friend or favorite co-worker. Read about people who’ve reached their goals and channel their good vibes. Connect with people (in real life or online) to whom you feel accountable.
- Reward yourself. Put a quarter in a jar every time you exercise or every time you pass on dessert or drinks out with friends. Use the money to buy yourself a new pair of running shoes, to get a manicure, to get a massage after a month, two months, whatever time element you put on it.
- Talk to anyone who will listen. Remind your family and friends what you’re up to and ask them to support you. Start a journal or blog to chronicle your journey. Update your Facebook and Twitter statuses with positive thoughts.
- Make an inspiration/motivation poster and hang it somewhere prominent.
I know this all sounds really obvious, but I think it bears repeating—and I know it works for me to sort of sit down and regroup.
So how do I plan to put this all into practice? Well, I’ve got a several years of better eating under my belt, and I’ve got almost a year of running under my best. I’ve also got some new goals and thoughts on staying motivated.
It’s those last two that are going to be key for me…
- Cut down on alcohol and desserts, my two stumbling blocks.
- Improve my strength training to trim and tone my body.
- Practice yoga more often to improve my flexibility, to trim and tone my body and to clear my head.
- Train for a half marathon.
I started training for a half marathon in May, and I got to a point where I could run 7 miles at a crack, which was a huge thing for me, but I had to stop to search for an apartment and a job and move from Wisconsin to Michigan this summer. I have been dying to start over…
Amy ran a marathon last fall and has been interested in doing another half marathon (she also ran one of those, back in September of 2008).
We decided it would be smart to do it together! We don’t live in the same city—or even in the same state—and we don’t see each other often, but we talk and tweet back and forth frequently enough that we think we will be successful and effective virtual training partners.
We’re leaning toward the Oshkosh, Wisconsin, half marathon in mid-April, and we’re hoping our significant others will join us. I’ll chronicle my experience on my blog and I’ll bet Amy will keep track on hers, too.
I hope my sort-of-plan works—and I hope that even if this was repeat for you, that you took a minute to think about your health and fitness and consider what you’re doing to take care of yourself…because you have a lot going on, and you can’t get through it if you don’t feel your best.
Good luck on getting to the altar and on completing your journey to being the healthiest, sexiest bride you can be.
And thanks to Amy for letting me fill in for her!