The right dress
I knew which wedding dress was ‘the one’ the second I tried it on: slim silhouette, soft fishtail, eyelash-fringed triangle cups and spaghetti straps that cross over a plunging back. It was an elegant lace floor-length gown that perfectly matched my vision for a sexy city wedding.
Obviously I wanted to look amazing in it, and to do that required stunning posture and all-over muscle tone. I was determined to look and feel my best when my wedding day approached.
So in February of last year, I started a rigorous seven-month training regime. My goal was to focus on shaping long, lean muscles rather than changing my weight or dropping a dress size.
The right bridal workout
I paired healthy eating with five workouts a week: three circuit sessions and two HIIT cardio sessions. Then there was the weekend yoga, which was compulsory if I was going to survive two ‘leg days’ a week.
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I coordinated this regime with dress fittings scheduled in the two-to-three months leading up to the wedding. As the day grew closer, I realised I was one of the lucky victims of what fitting experts call the ‘wedding weight loss phenomenon’ – it seems the nerves of the big day have a way of eating through extra fat reserves, which certainly comes in handy. I compensated by pulling back on the cardio but persevered with my high intensity circuits until two days before the event.
It doesn’t matter what kind of dress you wear, how you style your day or who is waiting for you at the other end of the aisle. You want to wow your husband-to-be and the loved ones who come to witness you take the next step in your lives together.
That’s why this year’s summer brides will go the extra mile in each training session between now and their wedding day. You want to treasure the photographs; maybe even show them to your kids one day so they can see how happy, confident and beautiful you looked.
But to this year’s brides to be: just remember to enjoy your exercise regime. For me, those workouts became a precious break away from the non-stop e-mails and phone calls from family and friends asking if I’d considered this (no, I hadn’t) or budgeted for that (another resounding no, happy?). My five workouts a week were as much for my sanity as they were for my dream dress. Exercise was my way to channel the energy necessary to tackle major wedding planning dilemmas and build up the immunity to fight off stress-induced illnesses.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, I couldn’t wait to show off when the registrar finally said ‘please stand for the bride’. I had achieved the strong posture and sculpted shape I’d set my sights to and felt confident walking down the aisle in what was a daring, illusion-free dress. The feedback said it all, not to mention my husband’s ear-to-ear grin.
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