For this week’s Words of Wisdom Wednesday, I’m having a guest blog post by the fabulous Michelle Mason of NYC’s Michelle Mason Fitness. I LOVE Michelle’s outlook of being the very best version of you, whatever size that may be. The world comes in all different shapes and sizes, and all any of us can do is strive to be healthy and happy – which does NOT automatically equate to thin or skinny.
And, the added bonus is that the more confident you are about how you look, the more it will come across in your wedding photos – and the more you’ll enjoy being photographed! Imagine – one less stress to worry about on your wedding day!
Hi Everyone! My name is Michelle, and I’m a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. I’m also a newly-ish wed (can you still say that after almost two years of marriage?) and so I was thrilled when Laura asked me to write a post on a topic that is on every bride-to-be’s mind, which is how to look – and feel – your best on your wedding day.
Having been there myself not so long ago, I can totally relate to the pressure that comes with wedding planning. As if working on all the little details weren’t stressful enough, there’s also the deeply engrained notion of wanting to look “perfect” on your wedding day. Maybe you’re putting the pressure on yourself to look a certain way, or maybe it’s coming from other (hopefully) well-meaning people in your life – I know when I was in the planning process, if I skipped dessert, I sometimes got comments like, “Oh, so you’re dieting for the wedding,” or if I went for that cookie, it raised some eyebrows because I wasn’t on some crazy crash diet.
Putting that kind of pressure on yourself – or accepting it from others – is a lose-lose situation, especially during an already stressful time. Obviously you want to feel confident on your wedding day, but in my opinion, that should never come at the cost of your sanity or your health. I would instead encourage any bride-to-be to take a smart, balanced approach to fitness in order to look and feel like the healthiest version of yourself on your wedding day. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Exercise will help you relieve stress. No matter how many to-dos are on your Knot timeline (does that thing give anyone else major anxiety like it did for me?) it’s important to carve out some time to be active. Not only will it hopefully keep you from freaking out on your future husband over something mundane, like wedding programs (not that I would know anything about that, haha), but it will give you some time to focus on yourself, and something other than the wedding for awhile, which is really important.
If you’re not the type that cherishes alone time as much as I do, grab your significant other for a walk or run with you, or plan a fun workout with your bridesmaids. I work with Rogue Female Fitness, and they do a lot of cool workout events, like Workout & Wine, which would be a fun way to fit in fitness and quality time with your friends at the same time.
And don’t think that you have to spend an hour a day working out, or even have a gym membership in order to get in shape. You can get a great workout in at home in 15-20 minutes. Check out my site for some workouts I’ve designed that you can do at home – for example, this one, this one and this one – some of which don’t even require any equipment whatsoever!
Not only will exercise help you look good on the outside, it’s also empowering. We all know that regular exercise is great for our bodies and can make us look toned in our wedding dress, but remember that frequent sweat sessions can also do wonders for clearing up your complexion and making your skin glow, and of course it keeps your heart and lungs healthy. Along with that, achieving fitness goals like completing a few real push-ups if you’ve never done them before, or turning your daily walk into a jog gives you a real sense of accomplishment. During a time when you may feel like so much is out of your control – like the weather on your big day, or those stragglers who still haven’t RSVP’d – exercise can give you a definitive way to feel empowered and in control.
Fuel yourself properly to avoid binges. There’s never a good time to go on a restrictive diet, but this is an especially bad time to do so, because you’re just setting yourself up for failure – at some point something will go wrong, and when it does, if you’ve been starving yourself you’ll be much more apt to spiral out of control and go on a crazy binge, which will only make you feel worse.
Instead, focus on healthy meals and small, frequent snacks throughout the day. You know what’s healthy and what’s not – eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein, and less processed and fried food, soda and sweets. If you’re looking to lose a few pounds in a healthy way, I’d suggest going to a site like Livestrong or use a calorie calculator to figure out how many calories you need to eat a day in order to lose about a pound a week (a healthy, totally doable rate), and then fill up those calories with good-for-you stuff!
Remember, your partner already loves you just the way you are. At the end of the day, this is really the most important thing to remember. If you slip up on your healthy eating or exercise plans, or don’t lose a single ounce, don’t get discouraged. Know that, no matter what, your fiancé already thinks you’re the most gorgeous woman in the world, so don’t stress out about a few pounds.
Thank you, Laura, for allowing me to guest post on this Words of Wisdom Wednesday! Laura and I had an awesome photo shoot together last summer when she took all of the photos on my website, so I can tell you firsthand that she is every bride’s dream come true – she definitely knows how to make you look good and feel comfortable in front of the camera!
Last but not least, if you’re getting married, congratulations and happy planning! If you’re looking for more workout ideas or motivation leading up to the big day, feel free to stop by my website (www.michellemasonfitness.com), come to one of my classes, or reach out to me with any questions. I can even design a workout program especially for you, just contact me for more information.