I am so excited to have Paige Schmidt from Healthy Hits The Spot on todays blog. I met her on my travels #jhgoeswest while I was in San Luis Obispo, California. Paige is a Holistic Health Coach and works with women all across the world with her 6 month Total Transformation Program & Finally Free Coaching (more info here.) When we met I told her I really wanted to write a blog that would help women with the pressure of losing weight for their wedding day, boudoir or engagement shoot. It's a topic we are both incredibly passionate about. I was so thrilled that she was on board with sharing her wisdom and knowledge with all of you. She has inspired me so much already (in-person and through her blog) and I'm so incredibly excited to have her sharing her own personal story with the pressure of losing weight for her wedding and to bring some beautiful insight and inspiration to all women regardless if you are a bride-to-be or not!
It breaks my heart to see brides taking drastic measures and putting so much pressure on themselves to look a certain way before their wedding day, engagement shoot, or honeymoon.
I experienced this pressure myself 1.5 years ago with my own wedding, and I understand wanting to feel great on your wedding day. I understand the pressure. I understand the comments that flood in: So, what DIET will you do? I bet you’re eating SO healthy!
Here’s what I’d like to share: I felt great on my wedding day, not because I dieted, but because I decided I wanted to feel good no matter what. I decided that it wasn’t worth it to spend months before my special day focused on food, exercise, and downsizing.
Even so, I understood that my desire to want to feel good was normal and OK. Here's how I talked to myself up until my big day when the idea of a diet or the pressure to slim down would come up:
"Paige, Marco (my now husband) wants to marry YOU. Not a slimmed down version of you. Sure, it's okay to want to feel your best, but you can feel your best naturally without a diet. Instead of doing anything extreme, let's just use this time as a way to really connect with your body and commit a little deeper into answering her signals. Ultimately, on your wedding day, you want to be YOU."
The other side of this… Your engagement, although it can be stressful at times, can be one of the most fun times to remember. Do you want to spend the engagement drowned in thoughts about dieting and slimming down for the big day? Probably not.
Today, through sharing with you, I want to emphasize the importance of feeling good mentally, physically, and emotionally versus stressing over any size or number.
Think about it: When you think of the last diet you tried, what did that feel like? I’ll bet, if you’re anything like me, that at first it was exciting, and you felt good because you were full of determination, discipline, and dedication. You had your eyes on the prize.
After a few days, real life sets in. You start missing foods that taste good, everything your friends/fiancé/family are eating starts to look extra good. You begin to feel deprived, but you continue to press forward, determined to lose weight.
Another few days goes by, and the weekend is here. You see something extra delicious, and you can’t take it anymore. You give yourself permission to eat whatever it is. It tastes SO good, that you keep going, promising that tomorrow will be a fresh start.
The next day, you wake up full of determination to be better today that you’ve been this whole time. You’ve got to make up for it.
And here’s what happens: You either binge, because the pressure is too much to take, and then you feel totally defeated. Or, you keep going, strong with “willpower” only to give up several days later and go through this cycle again. Or, you stick to your diet, you stay strong with little “slip ups” in between, for what?
To look skinnier in your photos? What about your engagement? How was that? Did you have fun? Did you take photos? Were you in the moment? Were you really THAT much happier with your body on your wedding day?
WHAT IF instead of crash dieting, going to extremes, and putting so much pressure on yourself, you did something different. Something where you CHOSE to honour yourself, love yourself where you’re at, and simply follow your desire of wanting to feel good, with a mindful approach.
How much better would that feel?
Like I shared, it's okay to want to feel good. Instead of falling prey to a crash diet (they SOUND appealing, but actually suck), commit to:
- Keeping your stress low - What can you take off your plate? What can you cross off your list so that you have less to do? When can you set aside a few hours this week to plan? Who can you ask for help?
- Be intentional with your schedule (plan the things that de-stress you and stick to 'em), and be OK with saying "no" whenever you need.
- Feed yourself quality foods. When you eat out, order that wonderful thing that you wouldn't be able to make at home and tastes amazing. For breakfast, have something delicious that also feels good (ex: a slice of Ezekiel toast with eggs, goat cheese, and chives). You don't need to starve yourself to feel good.
- Add in some feel goods to your diet like flaxseed, fish oil, or raw cacao powder. These things will signal to you that you're really taking care of yourself and put you in that "mood" to care for you.
- Talk kindly to yourself. I read a psychology post the other day that shared how talking negatively to our bodies can literally slow down our metabolism because talking down puts us in a stressed state. So, up those loving comments!
- The biggest thing: ask yourself continually "What do I need? How do I want to feel? How do I not want to feel?" Get to know your desires and give yourself the gift of experiencing how good it feels when you honor those desires.
You can feel better WITHOUT dieting. If you think about it, all a diet is, is making changes to your everyday choices.
You can do this WITHOUT a diet. Plus, when you tune-in to your own body and ask yourself what you need you can actually make the RIGHT changes. When you choose a diet, you're simply following the changes that someone else made.
So, here’s what I want you to take away: It’s okay to want to feel great on your wedding day. You don’t need a crash diet to do this. Instead, focus on taking care of your whole self. The self that wants to be happy, have fun, make memories. The self who wants to feel good! Give yourself permission to do this in a KIND way.
If you have ANY questions, you can comment below and I’ll do my best to check in. You’re also welcome to come ask a question on Instagram or email me directly. (links posted below)
Feed yourself quality foods. When you eat out, order that wonderful thing that you wouldn't be able to make at home and tastes amazing. For breakfast, have something delicious that also feels good (ex: a slice of Ezekiel toast with eggs, goat cheese, and chives). You don't need to starve yourself to feel good.