Briana asked me awhile back to do up a post on wedding weight loss....and by awhile back, I mean like August, right after Mr. 3 proposed...which is about when I started panicking about being a fat bride. Now, I must say that everyone tells me I'm not fat, but like most of those mean girls that we carry around in our heads...my inner voice tells me different and I have never felt slim or trim in my entire life despite spending 15 years in dance class growing up. This is an extremely hard post for me to write and I know it's not our usual type of blog post....but I feel like there are so many brides and women in general who are going through the same thing, that I thought it needed to be written.
I packed on about 20 lbs of "love fluff" (which is what I call it when you start dating someone and you spend more time with the person snuggling than you do on the treadmill) after Mr. 3 and I started dating through a combination of eating out more, vacationing, stress, and also a couple of non-life threatening medical concerns that the doctors either refuse to treat or don't really know how to treat which make me extremely tired (I have PCOS and subclinical hypothyroidism...feel free to google). I won't go through the medical details here, but to say it has been challenging....I can't even describe.
I'll also spare you all of the stops and starts I've had and all the many many many diets and exercise routines that I have tried, but I refuse to take diet pills or do extreme crazy workout routines because they simply aren't sustainable. I use Oprah as my guide on this...I remember watching one of her shows where she was talking about her workout and diet routine and how "we too could see results like Oprah." Well, the woman was doing two-a-days at the gym and not eating dinner if she didn't get home until after 7 PM (she brewed herself a cup of tea with lemon to keep from knawing Stedman's arm in his sleep). Oprah said if she got hungry during the day she would have 5 almonds to keep her satisfied. HAVE YOU EVER LOOKED AT 5 ALMONDS?!?!? I have certainly tried this trick (like so many others) and let me tell you 5 almonds doesn't do diddly squat. While I think Oprah is a great lady at any size you find her...she has clearly fallen off the wagon (and freely admits it). Diet pill (which I'm not saying Oprah has used) are simply so unhealthy I'm surprised they haven't been outlawed. They either don't work, have horrible side effects, or later we find out that they are a close cousin to the crack and speed you find on the street corner.
All fall, I stressed and worried and failed miserably at losing weight by myself. My exercising came in spurts and I was propping myself up on caffeine and sugar to get through the work days. I tried on wedding dresses at a few stores and felt depressed/tearful every time I looked in the mirror because 1) the majority of the samples were a size 8 or 10, which is a 4 and 6 in a street size and 2) the dresses that did come in my size were not what I was looking for at all.
Mr. 3 was actively supporting me through all of this and doing his own research on the side to try and help me. He finally suggested that I see a nutritionist, because at the bare minimum it might be a way to handle the PCOS symptoms.
Enter Katherine Tallmadge, nutritionist extraordinaire. I started seeing her the week before Christmas (iiiiii know...what was I thinking, dieting at Christmas time???). Katherine has written her own book and appears regularly on news shows and in the Washington Post. I explained all my issues to her and she was so helpful and kind. We mapped out a weight loss plan which involves me wearing a pedometer so that I can make sure I'm getting at least 12,000 steps a day and also tracking what I eat to make sure I don't have more than 1,600 calories in a day. She also has a background in behavioral therapy which she uses to help me figure out what modifications I can make to my life so that I can get my steps in and not exceed my calorie quota for the day.
Let me tell you though...I'm not a success story yet. Since January 1st (my goal for the first two weeks of our appointments was just to get through the holidays without gaining any weight...which I accomplished!), I've lost about 6-7 lbs. While I'm happy with any weight loss and I feel a definitely difference in my body, I've got a long way to go and time is running out. I would like to lose an additional 30 lbs between now and the wedding and some days I really don't know how I'm ever going to do that. I get up at 5 AM to get to the gym 4-5 days a week to put in an hour long workout and I track my calories. I do cheat a little on this from time to time, but I've gotten a lot better in the past month and I'm staying close to the 1,600 calories about 90% of the time. I've got an appointment with a new doctor to make sure that it isn't my medical condition that's holding me back, but if they still refuse to treat...I'm not sure what to do.
I want to feel really beautiful on my wedding day and (I'm not ashamed to admit a little vanity) I want my guests to say "she looks stunning." While my mother, Briana, and Mr. 3 all say I have nothing to worry about, I can't help feeling that I will look at my wedding photos and just see the X number of pounds that I didn't lose in time. Katherine says that everyday you should take 5 minutes to visualize what your goal is to keep yourself motivated. I think it sounds a little touchy-feely myself, but it doesn't cost me any money to give it a go...so I try and picture either myself at my bridal fittings with the seamstress saying "I don't know how we are ever going to take this dress in!" or my favorite....walking down the aisle slim and trim (and tan) towards Mr. 3.
I'll keep y'all posted about any tips, tricks, or successes I have, but if you have any words of encouragement for a bridal dieter, let me know! I certainly need them!