Wedding Prep: Body
I am like you. I can't stand "shredding for the wedding" or any terminology of the sort; I also don't love any prescribed "program" for this. I simply want to look and feel my best on my wedding day and that's that. Truth be told, I like to feel like that every day, so my preparation hasn't been that different from what I normally do. Let's dive into workouts first and then what I've been eating.
For the past year I've been working out on average 3-4 times a week. My workouts ranged from 27-minute Platefit classes (absolutely killer and such an amazing short workout) to runs around the neighborhood, Kayla Itsines-style workouts at the gym, boxing classes, elliptical... whatever I was feeling that day. HOWEVER, over the past two months I've kicked it up to 5-6 times a week. It's not a huge change for me since I've always been active, but I feel more consistent and dedicated than ever before.
Instead of leisurely gym workouts I'm relying on intense, high-impact, full-body workouts. I alternate daily between an hour of full-body weight training and an hour of cardio. While I enjoy all types of exercise, I like workouts with a little grit to them. Here's an example of what I'll do in a week:
Tuesday: Full-body workout like Metabolic Meltdown, Ropes & Rowers or Metcon 3 at Equinox
Wednesday: Hour-long walk
Thursday: Full-body workout from list above
Friday: 30 minutes of HIIT on the treadmill, finished with 30 minutes of walking on the treadmill at varied inclines
Saturday: Full-body workout from list above or more leisurely weight workout (meaning, still full-body but at my own pace)
If I stray from this schedule, I usually do more weights and lose a cardio day, which is fine by me. I try to get my workout in first thing in the morning (between 6am and 8am) but if I can't make it work, I'll just do it in the afternoon. Flexibility is key when you're trying to get your sweat on every day.
My mindset with working out over the years has shifted from, "I have to go again or else...," to, "this is just something I do every day," and it's been a huge help. There's no pressure with it. It's just one thing I do every day in some capacity. I've read too many bridal workout stories where people are walking 2+ hours and taking a workout class every day, and that's not my bag! Not happening, no way.
This section is going to be annoying because there's no one clear thing I'm doing. It also runs in complete opposition to the paleo, keto, Whole 30, Be Well By Kelly diets that are so popular right now. I've tried those and my body literally rejects it. I had blood tests done in the midst of eating high fat, high protein, low carb and I had elevated levels of biliruben (which often indicates an issue with the gallbladder or liver), intense abdominal pain and bloating. Basically: it's too taxing for my body.
What works for me then? CARBS, BABY. I have always naturally gravitated to a mostly vegetarian, carb-forward diet and I feel great eating that way. I eschew most dairy aside from a solid cheese board once a week. (I have a tendency to eat them almost daily for a snack between lunch and dinner, I'm not even kidding you.) The only other thing I've really cut back on is candy and sweets. I still like to have something dessert-y every day, but I don't eat candy as snacks (another thing I was eating mindlessly but happily every day).
Most days I eat something like this:
Breakfast: oatmeal with banana and peanut butter; brown rice cereal with Purely Elizabeth granola and almond milk; sourdough toast with avocado or Earth Balance, coconut sugar and cinnamon
Lunch: arugula salad with cucumber, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast; vegetable hummus wrap; side of brown rice cakes with either hummus or peanut butter
Snack: blue corn chips with Better Bean & Co dip; Elemental Superfood Seed Bar (peanut butter chocolate is my fave)
Dinner: roasted carrots, potatoes and broccolini; grain bowl with vegetables; enormous dish of brown rice pasta (1-2C) with tomato sauce loaded with zucchini, broccoli, olives, nutritional yeast; vegetable curry with rice and spring rolls; Amy's no-cheese pizza and salad
Dessert: Chocolate bar of the week (into Hü Kitchen Cashew Butter + Vanilla Bean right now); popcorn; wine
There are also days where I have cheese and crackers, chicken wraps, brownie cookies and whatnot, but that's maybe once a week instead of every day. It's not planned and I can't say I'm ever "not eating" something. Rules like that don't work for me. I need to have the freedom of flexibility or else I'll spiral into a dark mental place.
Oh, and a note about drinking, as alcohol is something a lot of brides-to-be ban: uh, I'm still drinking. Bachelorette weekend aside, I've probably had on average 4 drinks a week (like a drink during the week and 2-3 over the weekend). Preferred beverages: Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, vodka soda, skinny margarita. Sure, I could eliminate this entirely but...why? I'm not dying to cut 400-600 calories from my overall intake per week.
Overall, I'm just being more mindful, which I know is an infuriating thing to say because there's no clear takeaway but it's the truth. I feel really strong, healthy and energetic, and that's exactly how I want to feel on the big day.
Ciao for now,
P.S. Let me know in the comments if you'd like to see a "What I Eat in a Day" style post and more wedding prep. Up next: skincare!