“I am totally going to cut alcohol before my wedding. I mean, it’s the ultimate motivation. Those photos will last forever. And it’s only for a month or two. How hard can it be?”
Ummm...okay. So, that was me last year. Completely committed to backing off the booze in order to look my best on the big day. Except then we had a wedding shower. And a happy hour. And a Beyonce concert. There were just so many opportunities to celebrate, and I wanted to be in on the fun. Plus, nothing takes the edge off writing a disturbingly expensive check to your caterer than a glass or three of vino. I didn’t even last a week. #fail
So instead, I focused on a few other shape-up strategies that made an impact. If you’re ready to slim down for your wedding (or someone else’s wedding, or summer, or whatever) without kissing the Sauv B good-bye, check out these 3 things that worked for me.
Cut Out Sugar*: Spoiler alert! Sugar is your bridal body’s worst enemy and unfortunately, it’s in practically everything. Like bread, pasta sauce, barbecue sauce, milk, and cereal...not to mention the obvious desserts, white carbs, packaged goods, and many more delicious foods. In the month leading up to my wedding, I made a conscious effort to check all labels for sneaky sources of sugar and only indulge in fruit and dried fruit. Although it wasn’t fun, it definitely made a difference. *We are ignoring the fact that there is sugar in wine, thanks.
Do High-Intensity Interval Training: Not for the faint of heart, people. This type of cardio pairs shorter bursts of all-out exertion with periods of moderate recovery to burn fat and torch calories fast. Like, instead going for an hour-long run, you’d opt for 20 minutes of sprints: 1 minute of hauling ass, 1 minute of easy jogging, repeat. To slim down for the big day, I did about 3 days per week of HIIT in the form of Barry’s Bootcamp, Spin, jumping rope, treadmill sprints and stairway runs.
Lift Heavy Weights: I know many women are afraid of bulking up with heavy weights, but trust me. The more muscle you have, the more fat you’ll burn and the tighter and more toned your body becomes. You won’t get bulging biceps like Ahhnold, just sculpted arms that look fabulous tossing that bouquet. For about 6 months before the wedding I hoisted heavy dumbbells (8-20 lbs) and did strength training like walking weighted lunges, sled pushes, chin-ups...you get the idea. I alternated that with Pilates on the Megaformer for about 3 strength sessions each week.
The result? I felt trim, toned and most importantly confident at my wedding...and happy that I hadn’t tortured myself with a severely unpleasant wine detox. The next day I polished off a huge bowl of pesto pasta, copious amounts of champagne and at least two cupcakes. It was magical.