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Slimming Down for the Big Day - Weight Loss and Weddings.
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Planning for the event
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!
Donít give in to stress!
Give yourself plenty of time
It's not such a good idea to try to lose five kilos three weeks before the wedding. You'll find that you'll be under so much pressure that dieting will be harder than ever. Also, the last few weeks before the wedding tend to hectic, with far too many last-minute things to do.
Give yourself several months to introduce lifestyle changes that will help you to lose weight steadily and without starving yourself. Follow an eating program that is nutritionally balanced and allows you to lose weight at a safe rate of half to one kilo per week.
Avoid fad diets
Eating only cottage cheese and celery for two weeks before the wedding or cutting out the carbs may sound like an easy solution but this has the potential to leave you hungry, grumpy and even more prone to tears! A sensible eating plan will give you the nutrients you need while letting you lose weight gradually. Instead of embarking on the latest fad diet, follow a simple, trusted plan that helps you to keep your eye on your calorie intake and portion sizes for healthy, gradual weight loss.
Regular cardiovascular exercise will help you to improve your fitness and your overall shape. It will also help you to deal with stress and increase your energy levels – both of which will be really helpful as the big day approaches. Add some stretching for increased flexibility and some strength training for increased stamina, and you're well on the way to a healthier body.
Adina Wright says: "I felt a lot better when I exercised regularly – I had more energy and wasn't so stressed out. I think there can be a lot of pressure when you're getting close to the wedding as you try to organise all the last minute things and it's easy to cut out exercising but it's probably the time when you need it most, just so you can relax for a while!"
No-Stress Wedding Weight Loss Tips
Special Note for those planning a pregnancy
If you plan to become pregnant in the near future, be sure to eat a well-balanced diet in the lead-up to conceiving.
Whereas the importance of good nutrition has previously been emphasised for the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, new research shows that what you eat as well as other lifestyle habits can influence the health of the baby in the first trimester and before conception. Very importantly, this has an impact on the risk of premature birth.
Taking a folate supplement is recommended if you are trying to conceive and is essential in the first three months of pregnancy.
Last updated: May 30th, 2007
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