Yes, I am going to address the touchy subject of… weight (not as an expert, but from my own experiences). ‘But why go there?!’ you ask. Because I wish someone had spoken to me about it like this. You see, I’m not discussing the pre-wedding diets that people go on to look their best on their big day – I’m talking about what comes after!
I would watch bride after bride get married, settle down, and then really settle down… The pounds would pile on in a matter of mere months, and I swore that it wouldn’t happen to me. I had every intention to stay at my wedding weight (or at least the weight I was prior to my hen’s party-induced food poisoning), but I simply didn’t realise until winter rolled around the following year and I engaged in the unsuccessful jeans dance with my honeymoon skinnys!
Since then, I have been waging the war. So here’s some practical considerations that go a little deeper than the ‘eat well & exercise’ motto:
- Watch your portion sizes: It’s not just about what you eat, but about how much! Growing up with two brothers, I knew which dinner plate was mine – the smaller one. After getting married, you wouldn’t have been able to differentiate. Being ‘equals’ had literally transitioned to the amount of food served to the plate, and I had been eating the same portions as my husband who is over 6ft tall. Be mindful of what you serve out (you can always get seconds if you truly are still hungry afterwards).
- Watch your extra-curricular activities: Notice how couples seem to drop off the things they love after marriage? Put simply, it’s wrong! If your boy loves running around a field sweaty then encourage him to keep it up! Don’t use the excuse of ‘we’re not spending time together’ because it’s ok to not be glued at the hip every living moment (saying that, if you really have separation issues then find something you can enjoy together). The things we like to do make us unique – and in the end, that’s what made our partners fall in love with us in the first place.
- Watch your justifications: I fall prey to this constantly. The noble notion that going home to get the washing done, or the dinner on the table, is better than giving yourself time at the gym. It doesn’t matter what the justification is, it’s an excuse. Repeat after me, it’s an excuse! Schedule your exercise time into your life and then stick to it – the endless list of to-do’s will always exist. If you get the guilts, then talk it over with your partner, explain your health goals, and come to some sort of duty-sharing arrangement.
- Watch your inner domestic goddess: You know how we all like to prove to our partners that we can cook better than their own mothers? Well, that usually translates into baking up a storm from your latest issue of Donna Hay or in my case, cooking a carb-loaded pasta bake and not-so-healthy cheesy toast whilst watching a movie on the couch… best keep it as a rare occasion peeps.
- Watch your measurements (not the scales): This has helped me to track my progress much better than a set of scales – measure your bust, waist, belly, butt, and thighs. I measure once a week at the same time for consistency. Take notice of how your clothes fit too. And ladies, try not to be too hard on your measurements during that time, it’s likely that you’ll be bloated.
Now, try to put this all into perspective – it’s about feeling and being healthy. Regardless of size or shape, its what’s healthy for your body and mind. I read and recommend Michelle Bridges’ book ‘Losing the last 5 kilos‘. It was fantastic (snap it up cheaply on Fishpond) and one exercise which really helped me get going (and suppress any excuses) was to write down my motivators:
> I don’t want to be standing looking at my closet thinking I-have-nothing-to-wear again
> I want to feel sunshine on my skin so I’ll combine the outdoors with a light jog
> I need to de-stress and I know that a good gym sesh will do this
Then in Michelle’s words “just do it!”
So, with summer about to hit us, hubby and I are taking on a 4 week self-imposed clean eating and cardio bootcamp – how about you?