Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Wedding Wednesday: How I'm Preparing for the Wedding

 We’re under two months when it comes to our wedding countdown, and I’m kind of in disbelief. While we’re finally going to be in town more after having a busy summer of travel, I know that these next two months are bound to fly by with fun events taking up most of the weekends. I feel good about where we are with planning and feel like most of the details left to sort out are on the smaller side, which is a relief. I’m still on the hunt for outfits for our parties and wedding weekend, but if that’s the most overwhelming of my to-dos I feel like I’m in a good spot.

I know many people probably think hitting two or three months out is crunch time when it comes to getting in shape, but overall I’m afraid y’all may find this post a bit boring. While I’d love to feel and look my best on our wedding day, I had no intention of doing that in a way that would add to my stress or leave me feeling like I don’t look like myself. So, for the most part, my routines have remained pretty consistent to what they were pre-engagement. I’m breaking this post up into three categories: health, fitness, and appearance, but keep in mind, I know there’s a lot of overlap within them! 



Health 

I think since graduating college and probably even in college, but I can’t fully remember my mentality back then, my mentality has been everything in moderation. I love snacks and definitely have a sweet tooth, so while I know many people aim to change their diet in order to help look and feel their best for their wedding, I haven’t done too much of that. There are plenty of people out there who are more motivated by the idea of a wedding diet and execute that successfully, but that wasn’t something I was eager to prioritize.


As someone who identifies as a planner, I try to map out my meals for the week ahead over the weekend so that I only have to go to the grocery store once and don’t end up having to deal with the “what’s for dinner” dilemma nightly. Typically, I’m choosing lunches and dinners that are filling and healthy so that when I do want to snack, have dessert, or do something with friends on the weekend, I don’t overthink what I’m consuming. Hunter and I tend to make dinners more than going out to dinner which tends to allow us to eat healthier options than if we were going someplace for a meal. When I do go out to dinner, I don’t think much about what I’m eating and instead just choose what sounds good. 


The major aspect of health I’ve been focused on since getting engaged is establishing doctors in Birmingham since I plan to be here long-term. I put this off for a while when I moved to Birmingham, and then COVID made it trickier to go in to see doctors and since then, I was pretty lazy about setting up appointments. I’m now on my way to having a few different doctors here that I’ve established care with and plan to continue to see as long as they’re still in the network when Hunter and I combine our insurance plans. After putting this off for so long, it feels good to know that I have somewhere to go should a health issue arise. 


Fitness

I didn’t touch on this in the health portion of the post, but I knew it would be addressed here, so just to be transparent I haven’t had a goal weight/size/weight loss goal during wedding planning. Instead, I’ve just been trying to remain consistent with the workouts I love while adding in exercises here and there that can help tone areas of my body that I may not be as confident about. I don’t own a scale, so I have no idea whether or not any of this has been “successful” from that standpoint, but I feel good, which is what I find to be more important.


I’ve been going to MPower in Birmingham for the past few years and have been pretty consistently going to 4-5 classes per week. MPower is a pilates studio that teaches the Lagree Method on a megaformer. Since I don’t fully know how to explain the class, I pulled this from their website: “The innovative exercise guarantees results by melding together elements of Pilates, cardio, and stability training. Through slow, controlled movements, this method strengthens your body, lengthens your muscles, burns fat, improves endurance, and jump-starts your metabolism.”


Having played soccer growing up and then running cross country in high school, cardio in the past has always been my priority when it comes to my workouts, but after trying MPower I think my body has enjoyed being able to focus on something different. They have a lot of locations and class times, which has been great for fitting it into my schedule, and I’m way more likely to do a workout when I have the accountability of a class time and instructor. 


So while Pilates has been my major form of workout I have been mixing in cardio when I have time or want to. It has been too hot this summer to go for a run (which I really do enjoy, especially when at the lake), so instead, I’ve been incorporating jumping rope into my routine a couple of times a week. Since I usually go to MPower in the morning, I’ll grab my jump rope (which was a prime day impulse buy) and jump rope for 3-4 songs before it gets too hot out. I hope that once the weather cools down this will help to maintain some stamina to be able to add running back into my routine! 


If I had to choose an area that I’m most insecure about I’d choose my hips and thighs, but since those will be covered by a wedding dress I’ve been adding in a few exercises to tone my arms since those will be visible. My brother had a pull-up bar in his bedroom growing up, and one summer he challenged me, saying that I wouldn’t be able to do 10 pull-ups by the time the summer was over. I proved him wrong, and now years later as payback, took the pull-up bar from his room in Fairhope to Birmingham with me. I remember feeling so strong that summer and also never felt like my arms looked so toned, so a couple of times a week I’ve been trying to do a few pull-ups. I’m not back to 10 yet, but given how sore my arms feel after doing them maybe we’ll slowly move in that direction!


Appearance

While health and fitness contribute to appearance, my biggest focus when it comes to appearance has been getting my skin under control. While I haven’t felt overly stressed during the wedding process, I do think having an additional category of a to-do list each week may have unrecognizably been more of a stressor than I felt. I’ve had an issue with a stress rash before once in college, but that one presented itself on my arm, and instead, this time the rash decided under my eye would be a good place for it. Overall, I’ve been lucky to not have too problematic of skin, but this was a huge blow to my confidence especially since covering it up felt like a chore, but if I didn’t it looked like I had been crying. 


My dermatologist prescribed a topical cream to me that has worked really well, and another thing she mentioned as a potential solution was LED red light therapy. Conveniently I had just been emailed about a red light therapy device made by Omnilux, which I decided to give a try before looking into this service at my dermatologist. Combined with the topical cream my dermatologist prescribed, this has completely cleared my face of the rash and has other benefits as well. I use it about 3 times a week with each session lasting 10 minutes, and while I joke that I look like a self-care serial killer I do think it has helped to reduce some of my fine lines and wrinkles while overall evening my skin tone. It is not inexpensive, and I was sent mine for free, but after seeing the results I now understand why people pay for this kind of service at the dermatologist, so I’m especially grateful to be able to use this at home! 


I can't believe I'm sharing this but here's a look at the transformation:




Since I’ve been so focused on getting rid of my under-eye rash, I haven’t been all that focused on other areas of my body, which honestly may be for the best when the goal is to feel good and look like myself! 


While I know that this may not be as helpful if you were hoping for exercises or meals to slim down fast or anything of that variety, I hope that other brides who may be thinking of ways to personally get themselves ready for their wedding can hopefully bring things back into perspective and keep a healthy relationship with their food and fitness routines.

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