With my first wedding anniversary rapidly approaching, my personal trainer and I were reminiscing the other day. She noted how this time last year, I was "more active." Because I've striven to keep up my workout routine since saying "I do," I immediately got defensive. But she was right. From training sessions to barre classes, spinning classes to logging cardio time on my own, I was working out as much as twice in a day some days and definitely up to six times a week. I was on fire, and it showed. But I have slowed down since the Big Day came and went. And after briefly beating myself up and feeling like a failure, I realized not going as hard as before is totally normal -- and completely okay.
The brutally honest reality is that most brides do "let themselves go" after the wedding. Because we basically set ourselves up to!
The tendency for most brides-to-be is to go to extremes before the wedding day. Now, I'm not talking only about insane plans like the "feeding tube" diet or other glorified starvation techniques. It's perfectly common to go to the nth degree with a healthy strategy, like working out twice a day every day of the week (maybe you give yourself one rest day) or pretty much cutting out carbs/sugar. That's deemed acceptable. And I was totally right there. Like most brides, I wanted to feel like I had done everything I possibly could to look my best on that extremely well-documented day.
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But after that pressure is off and the sense of urgency is gone, you can chill a bit. I'm not saying slipping back into nasty habits, because you sealed the deal. That's ridiculous in its own right, because there are a slew of reasons to want to stay fit after you're married (like if trying for a baby is in the cards, a healthy pregnancy!). All I mean is that there's no harm in dialing down, backing off, taking the intensity level down a notch. Especially if that means you'll keep it up!
Because, more often than not, that hardcore "pre-wedding workout push" is usually not sustainable. And the best fitness plans, that we'll actually stick with in the long-haul, are. I realized I am fine with working out less frequently or perhaps a bit less intensely as long as I can maintain consistency. I'd rather not go so hard that I burn out or get injured. I realized I needed to update my routine to fit my life now. That means no pricey barre classes, but lots more yoga -- with friends! Still spinning and training, but maybe not coming back for a second workout later on that evening, because I want to be home to cook a healthy dinner with my husband.
It's unfortunate that brides-to-be are bombarded with talk that makes us see the wedding as the endgame. The truth is that the wedding is only the beginning of what most of us hope will be a happy, healthy new chapter with our partner. I really believe that means striking a balance and adopting a lifestyle you can stick to -- even if that means "letting yourself go" ... just a little bit.
How did your pre-wedding workout compare to after? Do you agree most pre-wedding workout plans are unsustainable and balance is key for the long-haul?