Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Reflections on Losing Weight for a "Big Day"

In the last couple weeks of my pregnancy, I received an invitation for a summer wedding in Taos. I couldn't be more excited to see one of my best friends get married, reconnect with many of my old friends, and meet new amazing people.

And then it hit me. I thought, "This wedding is the perfect motivation to get back into shape after nine months of weight gain and skin stretching!"

I started making elaborate plans (think: 6am "Boot Camp" classes).

But then I had to reign myself in. I had to remind myself that achieving a certain weight or a certain level of fitness should never be the goal.

If we work toward the goal of a certain weight, then once we achieve that weight, it's so easy to revert back to the old habits that prevented us from achieving that weight in the first place.

For example, it's easy enough to use our weddings as motivators to get ourselves in shape. Our weddings might inspire us to go to those Boot Camp classes every morning and to limit our portion sizes and snacking.

But what happens when the wedding comes and goes? Will we still be motivated to drag ourselves to Boot Camp classes every day and forgo snacking?

Instead, I think we need to focus on making lifestyle changes that we can sustain and maintain beyond the one-day motivators. Being healthy matters day in and day out, not just at a wedding.

So instead of taking extreme measures to get myself back in shape (Editor's Note: for me, 6am Boot Camp classes constitute "extreme measures"!), I'm going to focus on the kind of lifestyle I want to live day in and day out. I want to cultivate habits that will not only get me in shape but will keep me in shape beyond my friend's wedding.

So let me set a vision for the kind of healthy lifestyle I want to put in place--something that I can sustain beyond my friend's wedding:
  1. I am the kind of person who avoids drinking unnecessary calories. I save caloric drinks for special occasions and instead drink water on a daily basis (and lots of it!).
  2. I avoid processed foods and artificial sweeteners and instead opt for whole foods.
  3. I eat three smaller meals throughout the day and two healthy snacks. When I eat my snacks, I prepare a small serving--I don't eat something straight out of the bag.
  4. I avoid tempting (but disgusting) foods that pop up at work all the time (e.g., grocery store birthday cake, chips, candy, etc.).
  5. I routinely avoid fried foods and instead opt for salads or fruit as my sides when we go out to eat. I limit my intake of unhealthy restaurant food, such as chips and bread before the meal.
  6. I try to eat dessert only once or twice a week, and when I eat it, I eat a very small portion, intentionally savoring each bite.
  7. I take my son and dog for an hour-long walk at least five times a week.
  8. I go on one 3-mile jog and one 6-mile jog by myself every week.
  9. I go to yoga once a week.

So those are my intentions for myself. If I pretty much stick to those guidelines, I really shouldn't have any problem losing and--most importantly--maintaining a healthy body.

Let me know if you think I should add something else to my list!

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Diana Lee said...

Great post, and a very healthy approach to weight loss. And I am 100% with you that 6am boot camp classes constitues "extreme measures" - I can hardly even get myself to the gym for 10am.

Future Mrs. C said...

Love this post. Weight is such an issue for a lot of women, to be healthy and realistic about it is the best approach. I definitely need to follow your ideas because I am one of the crazies that will force myself to 6am boot camp, personal trainer, and such.

Hoping I can maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle even in the midst of stress!!

Hope the last few weeks of pregnancy treat you well!! Keep us posted on the big day.

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