Lose weight for the wedding, but say ‘I do’ to a healthy lifestyle

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, March 25, 2012

(ARA) – Since getting engaged, Jillian Brown, 32, from St. Paul, Minn., is hitting her neighborhood fitness center more often. “I’ve added weight training to my regimen,” says Brown, who is planning an August wedding. “I have to get those arms and shoulders wedding dress ready.”

Every bride wants to look great when the big day comes, but how many brides commit to fitting into her wedding dress on their 10th anniversary? Do you want to look good for a day, or feel good for the rest of your life?

While considering vows, include a commitment to live healthfully ever after. That’s the advice from Cliff Edberg, a registered dietician and personal trainer at Life Time Fitness, The Healthy Way of Life Company, in Chanhassen, Minn. “When I work with a bride and her goal is to look her very best the day of the wedding and fit into the dress she has dreamed about for years, I encourage her to make this a lifestyle change, not just a short-term diet.”

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Brown, who visits her neighborhood Life Time Fitness, and her fiance both lost a significant amount of weight before meeting each other (70 pounds for him, 40 pounds for her) and plan to stay devoted to their healthy lifestyle as well as to each other.

“It’s not just about the wedding pictures – although I want them to look amazing – but also about feeling my absolute best on the day I marry my best friend,” Brown says.

Jen Emmert, 30, of Minneapolis, and another August bride-to-be shares the same outlook. “I was overweight my entire life and it was only about four years ago that I decided to make changes. Now that I’m months away from the big day, I want to make sure I’m focused on being the healthiest I can be.”

Edberg, says it’s important to celebrate the milestone and good work you put into the wedding day. “Just be sure to continue to set goals,” he adds.

Brown is already thinking beyond the wedding day to having a healthy honeymoon. “Just like all of the vacations we have taken, we will seek out meal options that are healthy and satisfying,” Brown says. “While we haven’t decided on our honeymoon spot yet, we are looking at places where we can be active, instead of locations where the days are filled with lying on a beach.”

Once the honeymoon is over Edberg suggests newlyweds rely on each other as their support team. One way to do that is for couples to spend time cooking meals together. “Often people get bored with ‘eating healthy’ but they just don’t take time to explore new food and new ways of preparing food.”

Edberg also suggests exploring new ways to exercise together as a couple. “Try to emphasize play in your activity,” Edberg says. “When we have fun during activity, especially together, there is a higher likelihood that it will continue and form a habit.” And the less likely you will be to fall back into old sedentary habits. “No better time than now to commit to a lifelong partnership in health, not sickness,” he adds.

Emmert, who chronicled her weight-loss journey in a blog, acknowledges that planning for the wedding day is exciting, but “it’s just one day out of the rest of our lives,” she says. “Working out and being healthy will always need to be a priority, no matter what kind of life event is going on around us.”

When the honeymoon is over, life goes on. Will you fit into that wedding dress 10 years later? In 20 years will you still be fit and healthy? In other words, look at the big picture. And you won’t find the “big picture” in your wedding album. Need additional advice or assistance? Visit www.lifetime-weightloss.com.