One of the topics that rules the wedding forums is that of losing weight for a wedding. It’s one of the most talked about subjects. It’s even more popular than mother-in-law moans and the inevitable guest list angst. We all want to look our best, especially for the biggest day of our lives. All eyes are on you and the pressure to look like Kate Middleton did on her wedding day feels immense. For me, I don’t think wanting to look your best for your wedding day is about conforming to what society deems as beautiful. I think it’s more about the confidence that it brings and how it can make YOU feel on the day. Most people don’t give two hoots what their long distance cousins they haven’t seen in 10 years will think of them. Everyone who loves you doesn’t judge you, on any day, let alone your wedding day. But if you are thinking of losing weight for a wedding because it’s right for you, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
I had a week’s notice to organise my ‘unofficial wedding’/blessing last year. Mum’s health was declining and it was now or never. I’d lived on takeaways and 2 hours sleep for the past 6 weeks whilst caring for her with my family. I had bags under my eyes and gained a good half a stone but I wasn’t going to let it stop me. I had no choice but to find a good make up artist and a beautiful dress that screamed ‘fighter’ not ‘fatter’. And that I did. So my point is this. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t feel perfect because you never will. Be realistic and just aim to be the best version of yourself that you can be at that time.
Doing it for the right reasons
If you decide you want to losing weight for a wedding, you have to make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons or you won’t succeed. If you’re happy and comfortable with how you look day to day, then that’s exactly how you should remain for the wedding. Don’t lose weight to please others, to outdo your bridesmaids or to make a statement to your ex when he sees the photos on social media. (‘look what you could have had..ha’. Come on, we’ve all thought it.) Also, don’t feel pressured by society or how Meghan Markle is going to look in her wedding dress. Losing weight for a wedding is only the right thing to do if you want to feel good for YOU. I’m all about the importance of feeling confident about yourself. And if it means shedding a few pounds so I can forget about camera angles or someone’s social media snap for the day, I’m in.
Losing weight for a wedding without losing your sanity
Like anything in life, things are more achievable and less scary if you break them down into smaller steps.
Step 1: Face your fears and dust off the scales.
No-one looks forward to stepping on the scales. I didn’t own any for 2 blissfully ignorant years. The truth is, if you are planning on losing weight for a wedding, you have to know where you are starting from in order to know where to finish. It can be scary and depressing but sometimes it’s what you need to give you that much needed push to get going. So be brave, step on and face the reality – even if you are looking through squinty eyes.
Step 2: Set a realistic goal weight.
Don’t be unrealistic about this. If you weigh 11 stone and declare you want to be 9 stone in 4 weeks, it isn’t going to happen. Think about your timescale and lifestyle when trying to decide your goal weight. I have found that focusing on 1lb a week is good rule of thumb. It may take longer to get to your goal but you are less likely to get discouraged and give up.
Step 3: Keep track and take off everything.
I write my weight in my diary every Friday morning so I can see where I’m up to. I also only get weighed once a week. It’s depressing when you do it daily. It can go up and down so much during the course of the week that you don’t get a true reading. Pick a day and wait til then. And do it first thing in the morning after your first wee of the day and before you eat or drink anything. And take off EVERYTHING – I have been known to even remove earrings on desperate days..
The Essential Weight Loss Survival Guide
Ignore your fiance.
I don’t mean completely ignore him. Just turn a blind eye to his bad eating and drinking habits which can lead you a stray. It’s likely you’re watching tv together and cursing him under your breath because he’s smugly munching on his family sized bag of Chilli Heatwave Doritos. He then raids the treat cupboard and starts on the ‘share’ bags of chocolate, washing it all down with a few calorific beers. It’s so annoying. I know. But resist the temptation to either join in or smack him over the head with the empty beer bottles. You’ll be proud of yourself.
Make friends with a slow cooker.
I make a list of what meals I am going to have for the next 5 days and stick it on my fridge. Sometimes it changes when my week doesn’t go to plan but generally I stick to it. I’m lucky as I work from home so it’s a bit easier for me. However, slow cookers are amazing for making sure you get a healthy meal when you get in from work. I also love the Hairy Dieters cookbooks. Their meals are delicious and fulfilling and really easy to make.
Remember: Little pickers wear bigger knickers.
Be snack prepared. I fail when I’m caught out. I get hangry when I haven’t had time to eat and then just have to have whatever I can get my hands on. So when you go shopping, think of emergency snacks that you can keep in your cupboard or handbag. They don’t have to all boring – just check the calorie content and try to stick to under 100 as a guide. And identify your weak times. Mine is waiting for my boyfriend to get home from work so we can have tea. I start scouring the kitchen for ‘treats’. So have something at the ready to shove in your mouth quickly– chewing gum works for me!
Use the 80/20 rule.
My mum always believed in everything in moderation and so do I. The truth is, if you deny yourself something, you’ll only crave it more. I use the rule of being good Monday to Friday and then I can have my cake and wine at the weekends. I also allow myself chocolate and small treats in the week. As long as they are within my calorie allowance for the day, they are allowed. It makes you feel less hard done by and more able to survive the day..
Download an app.
There are loads to choose from but I use myfitnesspal. I can’t be bothered filling out every little detail as that is just so dull and unnecessary. But I do input what I’ve eaten and drank to see what calories I have left for the day. It helps me keep track. You can also input any exercise you’ve done which then gives you more calorie allowance for the day. At the end of each day, you click to ‘Complete’ the day’s diary and it gives you a projection of what you could weigh by a certain date.
Keep active whilst keeping your dignity.
This has always been my #fail when it comes to losing weight. I sit down for most of the day at my desk, like a lot of people, and don’t find the time to exercise. However, since I started gardening, it totally counts as part of my exercise for the day! And I love it. So find something active you enjoy doing. It doesn’t have to be all about purple faces and lycra – housework is a great way to burn calories and everyone HAS to do that. 50’s housewives were slim for a reason. And most people have stairs. You can run up and down them one extra time every time you need to go to the toilet. (but maybe wait til after you’ve been…) I try and go for a 20 minute walk a day too – anywhere – just to keep things moving.
Make small lifestyle changes.
Swap chips for salad. Do 100 bum crunches while you’re sat at your desk. Squat while you wait for the kettle to boil. These little things will all mount up make the difference.
Safety (and support) in numbers.
Join a support group. You don’t even have to go anywhere to be fat shamed these days. There are loads of Facebook groups and wedding forums that all have weight loss support groups for brides set up. It helps to talk to like minded people. To encourage each other with successes and to stop each other reaching for the Baileys after a particularly hard day.
Keep your hands busy.
I make a supply of bows in the evening for my orders. Or I make lists. Or plant seeds to grow plants in my conservatory. At least if my hands are covered in mud, I don’t have the opportunity to eat. Identify when you are most likely to go on snack patrol and find something else to get your mitts on.
So if you’re looking into losing weight for a wedding, do it for you and do it for the right reasons. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best for the biggest day of your life. If that means shedding a few pounds then so be it. Just be realistic and don’t be too hard on yourself and you’ll succeed. And to be honest, you have already bagged yourself a groom who is going to vow to love you ‘for better, for worse’ so you really don’t need to worry! 🙂