ICYMI, I got married in December. I wrote this post before the wedding, shortly after getting engaged. If you're getting married soon or have another upcoming event that you feel pressure to prepare for, I hope this helps you practice your own self-care and self-respect, too!
Not long after I committed to marrying Jon (😍), I made a commitment to myself too.
Practicing self-care and self-respect will be my *only* wedding prep.
For me, that means no crazy restrictive diets. No cleanses. No bridal boot camps. No scale obsession. No nasty self-talk. But I am being intentional about my mental and physical health, especially as we get closer and closer to the big day.
Here’s how I’m getting my bridal body… And brain.
No crash diets, resets, or juice cleanses for me pre-wedding. As we discussed in another post, dieting sucks for your metabolism. I’m not interested in quick weight loss to only bounce back plus some before the honeymoon is over.
No, I want to look back at my wedding photos and recognize myself as someone who went into her marriage accepting, loving, respecting, and taking care of herself. They’re not meant to serve as “after” photos.
For me, practicing the basics of good nutrition includes:
My approach to transformation has evolved just as much as my approach to food over the years. Before, I wasn’t able to decouple exercise and diets. I was either on a diet and exercising, or I was saying “screw it” with food and letting my gym membership go unused.
Now my exercise routine is consistent and it doesn’t take self-control, willpower, or even a whole lot of mental effort. It’s just about making space in my calendar so other stuff doesn’t get in the way. And I’m willing to make the space because I know the work is worth the reward. Exercise connects me to my body. It makes me feel mentally and physically strong. It helps me process my thoughts and relieve stress. It’s time where I can’t work and, as a business owner, I need that!
Sleep has been a challenge for me since I was a kid and, when I’m not diligent, my sleep hygiene, quantity, and quality can go down the tubes pretty quickly. I’ve noticed that when I’m stressed (and as a business-owner-future-bride, I trend toward stress more often these days than I’d like to admit), I tend to fall back on old vices-- working late, scrolling through Instagram in bed, or propping my iPad on my pillow to numb out on Netflix. And without fail, this causes my sleep to suffer.
Guess who can’t really afford to get poor sleep? A business-owner-future-bride-who-also-has-an-autoimmune-disease! In these moments, I coach myself like we coach our members: While your vices will tempt you when you’re stressed or challenged, that is when you need to practice self-care the most.
So for me, sleep hygiene as self-care looks like:
Maybe you’ve picked up on a common theme: STRESS.
Stress is a normal part of life and, in some ways, it’s served me quite well. It puts a bit of pep in my step and pushes me to go out and do hard things. But at extreme levels, stress can be emotionally crippling and have some serious long-term health consequences.
So as easy as it would be to accept that “stressed” is my new baseline, I’m listening to what my brain and body are telling me and taking heed.
And that’s it! My guide to getting your best bridal body. And, let’s be honest, this is just practical advice for anyone who’s wanting to focus on health without making her life revolve around it.