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Slimming Down for the Big Day - Weight Loss and Weddings.

Do you have a wedding coming up? Whether you're the bride, the groom, a bridesmaid, the mother of the bride or a wedding guest, you may feel that you'd like to lose some weight to look great on the Big Day. Read on for tips on how to make the most of the motivation a wedding provides, without stressing yourself out.

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Planning for the event

The lead-up to a wedding is an exciting and often stressful time. All of the planning, financial pressures and family commitments can create tension. Add the pressure of losing weight to the mix and you've got even more stress!

Where does the pressure come from? For a lot of brides, it's from bridal magazines and expos, and perhaps their friends and family. Adina Wright, 28, of Adelaide, who was married in January 2007, says, "I think there is a general opinion among people that it is normal – almost expected – that a bride-to-be will try to lose weight before her wedding. Just about every bridal magazines has an article advertised on the front cover saying something like 'The top 5 ways to lose weight for your big day!' or 'How to slim down before your wedding'."

A lot of brides create the pressure themselves. Wedding fantasies and the 'princess-for-a-day' ideal make being slim a top priority.

But for some women, losing weight is just not possible. Karen Gatt, in her book The Clothesline Diet (Pan Macmillan) explains how, instead of losing weight, she gained weight before her wedding: "Within a matter of weeks before the wedding, I had piled on kilos like there was no tomorrow. Most brides shed them – not me! My weight ballooned to 105 kilos. I hated walking into bridal salons, absolutely hated it, and as the time of our wedding got closer I became quite reclusive."

And how did Karen feel on the day? "Our wedding went off without a hitch; it was everything I dreamed it would be. Throughout the ceremony, I felt like a princess and everyone told me how beautiful I looked."

Feeling good about yourself is, ultimately, more important than your size. If you're already in a healthy weight range, you may like to tone up a little but not actually need to lose weight. If you are overweight or obese, a wedding – your own or someone else's – can provide excellent motivation to get back to a healthy size.

While it takes time and commitment, a healthy eating and exercise plan can help to alleviate stress and improve your vitality and wellbeing in the lead-up to the wedding.
Sarah Carr, 31, of Melbourne, found that her pre-wedding exercise plan helped her to deal with stress in the lead-up to the wedding: "I don't think that the exercise thing for me was ever purely about weight loss, instead it was part of the ritual of planning for the special day. I was priming myself mentally and physically. The day itself is nerve racking – I really didn't want the way I looked to be an issue."

However, losing weight involves changing habits and creating a healthy lifestyle, so it's important to remember that eating well and looking after yourself are important at all times of your life, not just for a wedding!

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