It’s hard to avoid seeing wedding workout plans and “sweating for the wedding” tank tops splashed all over your social media feeds while wedding planning. If you’re a bride-to-be who does want to lose weight before getting married, it can feel overwhelming. I’m using my upcoming wedding as motivation to be a bit healthier, and I hope that today’s post, sharing my experience (thus far) with you – plus reviews of my favorite workout gear! – will be the extra spark that helps you hit your own fitness goals.
Disclaimer: None of the information in this post is medical advice, and we are not medical professionals! (as someone once said, I’m not a “fix you” doctor, but a “correct you” doctor)
Not all that long ago, I saw a wedding blogger advocating fasting as one of the ways you could lose weight before your wedding (a horrendous suggestion, in my opinion). If you want to get into shape before your wedding, remember one thing above all else: You should only implement changes you can maintain.
I’ve made small, but definitely appreciable, progress thus far, and learned a ton along the way:
Find an activity you enjoy, and make it part of your normal routine
Last fall, I moved into an apartment complex with a fitness center. I hadn’t been to a gym since the weight training part of middle school gym class, and had no idea how to work any of the machines. S offered to show me what to do, so one day, I put on my never-worn sneakers and gave it a go. No one was more shocked than I was to discover that I actually enjoyed going to the gym, once I got over my fears of looking like an idiot and having people judge me for being out of shape.
Experiment to see what days of the week / times of the day make sense for your routine: I am not a morning person, so I thought I’d try afternoons. I realized fairly quickly that if I left going to the gym for after work, I’d find a bunch of reasons to not go. Mornings it was – but if I waited slightly too long to go after waking up, I’d get hungry and not want to go then, either. My solution: I started getting up an hour earlier in the morning (early for me, that is), giving myself a bit of time to fully wake up, download new podcasts, and then head over to the fitness center.
The first few days were rough – I kept staring at the time, as if I could will it to say I’d been at this much longer than I had, and walking even 10 minutes felt exhausting, but I kept going. I soon learned that keeping myself occupied while walking or pedaling made a tremendous difference (I finished 45 minutes on the treadmill one day without realizing it, having been preoccupied by the FX Twilight marathon on the gym TV), so now I make sure to have podcasts queued up before I head over.
Remember that weight isn’t the most relevant metric
Muscle weighs more than fat and all that, but seriously, don’t worry about the scale. You can have a target weight in mind – though please do not order your wedding attire to fit the size you’d like to be – while not weighing yourself every day. Imagine you lose five pounds, and then gain back two – that’s still a net loss, but you’d probably be upset.
I’ve done a pretty good job of not weighing myself; instead, I focus on how I feel. I noticed myself not getting out of breath as quickly as before, or feeling like I could move the treadmill speed up a little bit – these are the milestones you want, ultimately.
If you’re going to change the way you eat, set yourself up for success
I don’t like diets. I tried counting calories after I first bought my Fitbit, diligently logging how many pieces of tomato I thought I added to my salad, and I hated life within 72 hours. If I were going to make this stick, I knew dieting wasn’t going to be the solution – so I came up with one that works for me, with inspiration from Cuyana’s “fewer, better things” tagline.
The same way I don’t want to spend money on a pair of shoes or a sweater that’s just okay, I decided to not waste calories on things I don’t love. For example: I have consumed a lot of soda throughout much of my adult life. I love soda, and I didn’t want to give it up on some diet that wouldn’t stick and would make me sad.
Instead, I decided to predominantly drink fountain soda, mostly skipping cans and bottles (fountain soda absolutely tastes better, for the record). I drink less soda overall, and when I do have a soda (or several) when I’m out, I don’t worry about it. Same idea with wine, desserts, etc. – I eat and drink the things I love, skipping the stuff that doesn’t make me as happy.
Speaking of things I love…
If you’re not yet convinced, might you be tempted by the promise of fun workout clothes / accessories? Here are a few of the things I’ve discovered along the way, all of which I adore and would not want to exercise without.
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Zella live-in leggings
I have five pairs of Zella’s live-in leggings and I absolutely love them. They’re reversible, with a softer side and a shinier side, though I always keep the shinier side on the inside. These leggings are decently thick, which makes them versatile – I packed these when traveling a few months ago, wearing them with boots to dinner one night and then to the hotel gym the next morning.
There’s a drawback to the thickness, of course: If you like to exercise outside, particularly if you live in a warmer climate, you might find these a bit too warm (I wore them for a morning walk at the shore earlier this month, in 90-ish degree weather, and regretted that decision).
Zella is a Nordstrom house brand, so that’s the only place you’ll find them. They’re normally $52, but I’ve purchased all of mine on sale (some at the Anniversary Sale, others on promotion). I have a few pairs of more colorful live-in leggings, but the black are my go-tos.
I also own a few pairs of Gap exercise leggings, but prefer the front side key (or Fitbit, in my case) pocket on the Zellas, vs. the back center pocket on Gap leggings. I usually wear a medium in leggings, and took a medium in the Zella ones, as well. They’re about 3″ too long on me (I have a 29″ inseam), but easy to cuff if you don’t want to be bothered with alterations.
Yurbuds Inspire 400
I have a miserable time finding in-ear headphones: The ear-canal style give me earaches, and regular ones don’t stay in place. I decided to try Yurbuds (made by JBL), as they were advertised for “women’s ears,” and because the company says if the included ear cover pieces don’t fit properly, they’ll help you find ones that do. Yurbuds advertises their “twist lock” design – you put them in your ears at an angle, and then turn them slightly so they fit snugly. I was concerned that this feature would hurt my ears (either physically or as a result of reverberations), but I haven’t had any issues.
My specific model is the Inspire 400; there are four versions of the Inspire; each “higher” version adds a feature. The 100 are basic headphones, the 200 add magnets that allow the earbuds to clip around your neck, the 300 add a mic, and the 400 add volume controls (these work with my iPhone; I’m not sure if they’ll work with non-Apple products). I like the magnet feature, and haven’t had any issues with them falling off my neck or out of my ears, though my workouts are more medium- than high-impact.
There’s also a “Leap” Bluetooth style and a “Focus” behind-the-ear style, if you’d prefer either of those to the Inspire wired, in-ear version (I haven’t tried either, as I’ve been incredibly happy with the Inspire).
The list price on my headphones is $50, but I’ve seen them as low as $35. Mine came directly from Amazon, rather than a third-party seller; as with any products that might be knocked off, I’d recommend checking reviews before you buy.
When I complained about not having a place to put things while working out, S informed me that you can buy runners’ belts to store your phone, keys, etc. I went with the Flipbelt, which stretches to fit around your waist (I wear mine below my natural waist but above my hips). Once you’ve stashed your stuff, you can flip it (hence, the name) so the openings are against your body. There’s a key clip attached to the inside, too, but if you’re concerned about things falling out, Flipbelt now makes a zippered version, as well. Both versions will cost about $30.
I usually keep my phone in the front, so the headphone cord lays out of the way of equipment and prevents my otherwise-inevitable knocking over of my phone. Again, I’m not a runner, but I haven’t had issues with the Flipbelt not staying in place (I do pull it up a bit higher when I’m sitting).
Victoria’s Secret Knockout Sports Bra
Discovering that sports bras come in cup sizes was life changing for me – I always abhorred the standard pull-over style for their lack of support and comfort. I’ve tried a few brands, but my most favorite is the Knockout from Victoria’s Secret, which has two layers. The bottom is a front-close underwire bra, and the top zips up to give you more of the traditional sports bra look.
I’m not typically a fan of front-close bras, but have no problem with these. Size-wise, I went up one band size in the Knockout. All of mine have felt ever-so-slightly snug on first wear, but were perfect after that.
These used to sell for upwards of $55, but recently I noticed that they’ve dropped the price (possibly permanently?) to $35. Every season, they seem to bring out new colors and put old colors on sale, so you may be able to snag some for less than that (I picked up two new colors after the holidays that had been marked down to $20).
If you’re planning to get into better shape before your wedding, or are already on your way, let us know how it’s going!
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