One of my married friends recently told me that she had thought of her wedding as her “Academy Awards”—it was her excuse to indulge in a beautiful gown, have her hair and makeup professionally done, and get into great shape. Let’s face it, I'll never be nominated for an Oscar, so the church aisle is about the closest I'll come to walking a red carpet. Why not spend some serious time making sure my hair, makeup, and physique are at their best? One slight problem: I don’t really enjoy working out. I go through phases of feeling very fitness-focused (I even trained for a marathon once!) and then I get burned out. Nothing ever sounds that appealing about spending 45 minutes on a treadmill (even if I can watch Real Housewives while burning calories) or sweating through an hour-long spin class. Yet, I’ve always pictured myself in the best shape of my life on my wedding day. This feat would, of course, be easier if I still had the metabolism of my 18-year-old self, or an endless amount of free time and money to spend on a personal trainer, but that’s not the case. The next best thing is to make realistic goals and stick to a five-month fitness plan that includes eating healthier (reallllly need to cut back on sweets, pizza, and week-night wine), cooking more fish and fresh vegetables, drinking substantially more water, and getting myself (and Jack) to the gym three to four times a week. It also means we have to give up going to bed late, eating out, and making silly excuses for not exercising regularly. Since these are all rational goals, I think we'll be able to stay on track. I'm really not interested in going to major extremes to lose a few pounds. (Speaking of extremes, what's up with the recent trend of brides using feeding-tube diets to fit into their dresses? Umm . . . no thanks.) Since I was feeling especially motivated last week, I took it upon myself to create a week-by-week fitness chart that Jack and I can use to better track our workouts. (When I proudly revealed the chart to him, his response was, “I’ll play along.” What a nice fiancé.) I’ve heard that the physical action of crossing things off a to-do list actually releases endorphins and decreases stress. I think the same can be said about recording and checking off our workouts. I’m convinced that seeing our progress (or lack there of) will help motivate us, especially as we get closer to October 20.
It’s officially week two of our 23-week fitness plan. We started out easy with a couple early-morning runs through downtown Kansas City. These workouts were actually a great way for Jack and me to spend some time together before we go our separate ways for work. We’ve also promised to attend at least one gym class a week (spin, pilates, yoga, etc.), get out after dinner for evening walks, and go to bed at a decent hour. Here’s to keeping our eyes on the prize–being fit in five months for our big day. What keeps you motivated to hit the gym? (My biggest motivation = Donning a very fitted, strapless wedding dress in front of 200 people.) What get-in-shape strategies are you using for your wedding day? How do you stick to a healthy diet? Would love to hear from you!