Health & Beauty By Jessica Weltersen We all know that our wedding day should be one of the happiest days of our lives. Unfortunately, it quite often turns into one of the most stressful, and unless you are one of the fortunate “few” who are at your tip top shape and weight (I’ve never seemed to fall in that category), then the whole concern about looking your best is probably going to be a major stressor! But whether you have a full year ahead of you or are just a couple months before walking down that aisle, the only way to get there is with a sensible and effective fitness plan. Most fitness plans fail because we don’t stick with them; been there, done that! But being a bride tends to be a great motivator to get in shape, so this is a perfect time to “make a plan, work the plan”! Let’s get right to the tips for your bridal health to make a part of your wedding weight loss plan starting tomorrow; NO, let’s start today! Weight Loss Tips for Brides #1 – No Magic Pill You’re not going to like this – There is no miracle drug. There are great aerobic and strength training videos, “diet” books, weight management guides, and the Weight Watchers®, Online weight-loss program (an excellent and easy weight loss program!); heck, I even find watching The Biggest Loser very motivational and informational, but there is no pill or tea or special water – I know because I’ve tried them all! Yes, you can take some drastic measures, the South Beach Diet or the Cabbage Diet (can’t imagine), and if all you want to do is lose 5 to 10 pounds quick to look just “right” in your wedding dress, then they will probably work if you can get through it, but the results will not last! When you come back from your Honeymoon you’ll most likely find you’ve gained it all back, and a bit more. So, if you are serious about your overall health and keeping the weight off that you lose then you need to follow Tips #2 through #5. Weight Tips for Brides #2 – Get Active! Yep, it’s a fact, the more you “move,” the more calories you burn. Help yourself stay motivated to exercise by involving a friend or family member, hiring a professional trainer, enrolling in a class of some sort (doesn’t need to be expensive – the YMCA is very reasonable!). It is obviously easy to blow off working out if no one else knows you were suppose to, you didn’t make an “appointment” to meet up with someone, or you don’t have actual “dollars” invested in the deal. Bottom line here is you know yourself – if you are not good at being disciplined or keeping to a goal all on your own (which many of us struggle with), then do what you have to do and make commitments that make it hard for you to not follow through. P.S. Just about every time you “force” yourself to do what you committed to do, once you are there, you will find that burst of energy that you needed, and once you are done (whew!) you will be happy and proud of yourself and that much closer to a healthier you – that I’m certain of! Weight Tips for Brides #3 – Strength/Weight Training! Add strength training to your regimen and you will increase your metabolism, which in turn helps the pounds melt right off. If you are new to weight training, you should utilize the assistance of a trainer for the first few weeks to help you understand how to lift weights – there are definite good ways and bad ways. Or, find a DVD that you like and follow their steps. I like to use 3 tapes that I switch around to keep it interesting and I believe it helps my weight loss just that much more by the diversity of these different workouts. I, however, find it hard to commit to more than a 30 minute tape (got so much on my plate to do) so look for short sessions like on Jillian Michaels – 30 Day Shred (great workout) and another favorites of mine is 15-Minute Workouts for Dummies, with this one you can never say you don’t have time as everyone can find 15 minutes to benefit their health. Weight Tips for Brides #4 – Pay Attention to What you Eat. It’s not rocket science. What you put in your mouth does make a difference! Diets — I know, I hate the word and I HATE DIETING, which is why I DON’T DIET! What works is a lifestyle change — Get Your Free Personal Assessment from Weight Watchers and find out how easy it is to make a lifestyle change! By changing just a few things that you know aren’t good habits (and probably don’t want to admit out loud), you’ll be surprised how much you can lose. As an example – if you’re like me and enjoy wine with your dinner every dinner, you don’t have to cut it out, just reduce your portion – for me that was (hate to admit it) 3 glasses down to 1-1/2. It’s made a tremendous difference. Turn your ice cream treat into a Weight Watchers fudge bar, or instead of you and your fiance both getting a combo at the burger joint, get one combo and one sandwich only and then you share one bag of fries instead of eating one all yourself, or better yet go to Subway instead and with your sandwich if you have to have something more get Baked Lays – they’re good, really! Put fresh berries on your cereal instead of sugar, always have apples around or something else healthy that you like and grab that when you’re looking for a snack. You should have the jest by now – it’s easier than you think, which leaves me to … Weight Tips for Brides #5 – Think! Be aware of what you’re doing. Think about everything you eat and everything you do. Think out loud when you make a choice – ask yourself is this really what I want to do, is this going to help me get the results I want? You have to be cognizant! When you eat that candy bar or just automatically jump in the car instead of choosing to walk without really stopping to think what a difference it would make if you made a “different” choice, you are not being truthful to yourself about what you’re doing, call it “denial.” Don’t be in denial, be aware! When it comes to Bridal Health the final thing to remember is not to obsess over what you are going to look like in your dress. Your whole wedding day look is going to be a complete package. Nobody is going to notice if you didn’t lose that last 1/2″ from your upper arms, so don’t let it ruin your day. And, remember, your fiancé loves you for who you are, no matter what. Getting in shape for your wedding is a great goal, but an even better goal is both of you maintaining a healthy way of living for life. I know you can do it!!!