I'm fairly certain that when you tell someone you're getting married, the requisite questions that follow include:
- Do you have a dress?
- What are you doing diet/exercise wise to get wedding ready?
Ah yes, the wedding body.
I get it. I'm spending an obscene amount on a dress and for someone to photograph the entire day. It's probably the only day of my life that all eyes will be on us (fine me, I get it, it's about the bride) and to be honest, I want to look damn good.
But I had no intention of going crazy, spending an exorbitant amount of cash, cutting anything out of my diet, or becoming sober.
So, on March 31, I decided that with ~5.5 months to go, it was time to get focused.
This will be a two part blog-post because like anything, it's never about just one thing. I understand that achieving the goals I have is mostly diet, and that exercise is the metaphorical cherry on top.
But let's start with exercise today.
I took a minute to think about the kinds of exercises I enjoy. It's not killing myself at a spin class or a boot camp class. It's not running for hours on end. It certainly isn't yoga.
So what is it?
- Walking. Why? I love to be outside, feel the fresh air and the sunshine, and move my body. Even better? You never have to psyche yourself up for a walk, the way you do a run. Start your day with an hour outdoors and I promise you, it will be a good day, no matter what else happens.
- Barre Classes. Vanity or not, I love the way my body looks by being consistent with barre. It lengthens, strengthens and tones every single inch in a streamlined way. It also never gets easier.
Lauren Seib is a certified personal trainer, barre instructor, and someone I take a tremendous amount of inspiration from and trust her advice and opinions.
Click through to her IG and her website - she's funny, real, loves dogs, can make light of all things fitness and nutrition while maintaining a serious approach, and side-eye with the best of them. Plus, she creates absolutely spectacular content. I’ll be featuring selected workouts, musings, etc from Lauren on a semi-regular basis here.
Would power walks and incline walks be enough?
I consulted her expert advice.
"Power walks are not only a great way to soak up the great outdoors, they're a low-impact cardio option that will lengthen and lean your legs. Plus you literally walk off any wedding-related stress while burning calories and stoking your metabolism."
What about with barre as a complement?
"Barre tackles stubborn/hard-to-reach areas (often called "trouble zones") while building long, lean muscle for the ultimate wedding-dress friendly arms, back - okay, everything!"
I'd agree - the difference I've seen in 2 months of complete consistency has exceeded my expectations entirely. Especially since I once viewed barre as "not a workout". Naivety at its finest.
"In every exercise, the core-centric mindfulness and overall attention to form whittles every inch of your body."
So what about the combination of power walking + barre? Do I need to do more?
"Together, barre and power walking will create that sleek physique suited for your big day (or any day, or every day!) and have you feeling strong... even in those weak-in-the-knees moments on the big day."
Say no more.
It's been two months of consistency - power walks for 60-75 minutes a day (usually yields around 4-5 miles). I alternate a few incline treadmill walks at The Bay Club but stick to mostly outdoors, as well as 3x a week barre classes.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it's also THE MOST INCREDIBLE WAY to start your day.
Some weekends I'll throw in a real sweaty class like spin or bootcamp after I've um, overserved myself the night before, but that's strictly for survival purposes.
In conjunction with eating well and being mindful of portions (and also incorporating bread, cheese, pasta, and booze into my diet the majority of the week), I'm down 10lbs.
Big changes, minimal effort, maximum enjoyment.
That's how it should be done. We should never, ever feel that we're sacrificing or depriving. It took me quite a while to come to the realization that killing oneself in the gym, logging miles or spending hard-earned cash on every supplement isn't the answer.
It's simplicity and consistency.
I can't wait to say "I do" in September.
Part 2 - Nutrition, coming your way shortly...