Weight Loss Before the Big Day

August 7, 2011 · 3 comments

This is a guest post by Nan Gibbons.

WeddingI’m not like the others. I promise.

My fiancé and I wanted to lose a few pounds before our wedding day. Just a few—you know, enough to look slim and trim.

We weren’t trying to drop 90 pounds in 60 days. We weren’t doing a faddish diet that left us eating pine needles in the mornings for six weeks or drinking 64 ounces lemon juice every hour or cutting out 95% of normal food from our lives. We weren’t starting a strict 5 a.m. workout regimen or running halfway around the world or spending every spare moment at the gym.

We just wanted to be healthier. Honestly. And we wanted to have fun doing it. Sue us.

So, we got creative and incorporated our wedding invitations into our efforts to get healthier and look better before the big day.

The Plan

I know you’re wondering what our wedding invitations have to do with weight loss.

We didn’t put “before” pictures in the envelopes or ask people to donate gym memberships in lieu of wedding gifts. We wanted our blenders and bathroom linens, thanks.

Instead, we used our invitations as a timeline of sorts. Fun, right?

We wanted to start our weight loss project at the same time we started creating the guest list. By the time invitations went out, we wanted to be in better shape. By the time we received half of our RSVP’s, we wanted to be in even better shape. And, by the time the rest of the invitations were sent back, we wanted to be able to meet our fitness goals, whether it was improving our time on the mile or increasing overall endurance.

Notice I said nothing about the amount of pounds lost. We weren’t concerned with the numbers. We just wanted to feel healthy and look great.

Keeping it Simple
We didn’t want to go overboard. Call us lazy, but we just didn’t want to devote our entire lives to following a diet or busting our butts at the gym seven days out of the week.

Instead, we wanted to gradually change our lifestyles to make every day life healthier and more active. Easy, right? Right. Here’s what we did:

1. Drank more water and Less Booze
Doesn’t get simpler than this, right? We found out that we weren’t drinking nearly enough water. You can find out how much water you need per day by dividing your body weight in half. For instance, if you weigh 140 pounds, you should drink 70 ounces of water daily. We kept refillable water bottles with us throughout the day and made a conscious effort to sip constantly. Squeezing a lemon, lime or orange gives your water great flavor and is much healthier than diet sodas.

Cutting back on booze was a little harder. We love to have a great time, but we found that we still had tons of fun going out with friends even though we drank less. We even still had a glass of wine here and there with dinner, or as a nightcap after a long day.

2. Ate Smaller Servings, but more Fruits and Veggies
Huge portions are the number one set up for weight loss failure. We started with small portions and added more if weren’t full yet. Plus, by increasing our intake of fruits and veggies, we found that there was less room for sugary, unhealthy snacks late at night. We found that our portions naturally got smaller as our bodies adjusted to eating a more balanced diet.

3. Exercised
We were already a fairly active couple, but we set more specific goals for ourselves and were more diligent about making the most out of our workouts. We went to the gym at least three times per week and did basic cardio and weight training. We also tried to sneak in bike rides on Saturday or Sunday afternoons or sunset walks along the nature paths near our apartment. Those types of activities aren’t difficult, but they really add up in the long run!

In the end, our wedding invitations served as a great motivator and accountability factor in our goals to be healthier and look better before the big day. We accomplished our goals and shed pounds before tying the knot without any expensive personal trainers or miserable diets.

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KT August 11, 2011 at 2:50 pm

What a great article! Thanks for posting this! This is really aligned with my belief that if you do the little things to change your lifestyle, they add up to big differences and being happier. Even for myself, I didn’t change my diet much, didn’t exercise much more than I normally did, and I got some great results! Congratulations!

GrowingRaw August 12, 2011 at 3:13 am

I love that you set health goals rather than weight loss goals. That way you’re focused on positive goals rather than negative ones. Anyway, there’s been some new research recently that tells us starving yourself just makes your brain eat itself…

Troy - Cube.Dweller.Fitness August 26, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Great plan with practical suggestions.

Now the challenge is to keep the changes as part of your lifestyle. Fight the trend of BMI going up after marriage - it can be done!!!!

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