As much effort as I put into getting "fit to wed," I've always thought this idea that a woman's wedding day is the peak of her beauty is ridiculous and so short-sighted. It kills me when I've heard women lament that they were so "skinny" on their wedding day and wish that they could be that size or that exact weight again. Really? Why can't we embrace that we age and give birth and our bodies continue to change, yet we're always gorgeous in new ways?
At the same time, I totally understand how that gung-ho motivation for getting/staying fit can slip away after the Big Day. Getting married (all those people and all those photos for posterity -- agghh!) can turn the biggest couch potato into a total gym bunny. But that doesn't mean you can't continue to be fired up after the fact. Here, eight ways to stay on track after you've walked down the aisle ...
- Set a new milestone. Whether you want to lose more or maintain, I've found it's helpful to bear in mind another date down the road as the next "endgame." For me, the next is my 30th birthday in September, and after that, it'll be our one-year anniversary in May. I'll definitely want to look and feel my best on both occasions ... and beyond.
- Create a new source of motivation. This is more like an extension of #1, but if you don't have a milestone in mind, make one. IE, schedule a wedding anniversary shoot, during which you'll wear your dress again and get some more relaxed, scenic shots to celebrate.
- But enjoy the fact that you don't need to beat the clock. Everyone reacts to stress differently, but for me, it's a major detractor from weight loss/maintenance success. Now that the wedding is over, I'm realizing I can relax a bit and not feel like I'm under the gun, all while continuing to plug away and aim for more general improvement (like feeling stronger, leaner, more fit, etc.).
- Consider long-term goals ... like getting pregnant. Whether you plan on having kids in one, five, or ten years, the more fit you are, the better, so better not to slip back into unhealthy habits.
- Surround yourself with friends in the same boat. Two of my closest friends who live nearby are both brides-to-be who are still in gung-ho mode to get fit for their weddings, so hanging with them -- whether we're out at a bar or at a barre class -- helps keep me in the right, fit frame of mind. But you don't need a buddy who is a bride-to-be. Anyone with common fitness, healthy lifestyle goals works!
- Business as usual. People often say they don't have time to work out, and I get it. But somehow, before your wedding day, so many of us are willing to go that extra mile to make time. Why should that change once you're a Mrs.?
- Stay accountable. Getting into the habit of "checking in" with a buddy or even a social network can give you an extra push when you're feeling like hitting snooze instead of doing what you know you should.
- Remind yourself of/enjoy all the daily, long-term benefits. After our honeymoon, when facing the reality of trading lazy beach days for the daily grind, I knew I'd need to get back to the gym to feel like my best self. After all, planning for the Big Day may be over, but workouts make it so much easier to cope with stress every day.
How have you kept your motivation to get/stay fit up after your wedding day? Or if you lost it after walking down the aisle, how did you reclaim it?