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Enjoying the Holidays Without Busting Out of Your Wedding Dress

There are a handful of things I would say every bride experiences to some level as she prepares for her wedding day. That list includes:

•    Stress over everything from guest lists to seating arrangements
•    At least one major emotional breakdown as a result of that stress
•    The desire to look her very best on her wedding day

For many brides, that last one inspires attempts at eating less, exercising, and getting into shape before the “I do’s.” In fact, I would say the vast majority of the brides I work with are on some sort of weight loss, or weight maintenance, routine in the months leading up to their wedding.

Which is all well and good for the brides getting married in the summer and fall months. But for those with winter or spring nuptials on the books? The holidays can throw an ugly wrench in their otherwise health-focused plans.

That’s because the holidays are all about eating. Let’s not kid ourselves; you know it’s true. From the homemade rolls to the platters of pies, everything from Thanksgiving to Christmas is pretty much a smorgasbord of calories, many of them empty.

And yet, our traditions and collective memories implore most of us to cave to the gluttony and enjoy those meals. Mostly because the holiday season only comes once a year, which means it might be another 365 days before you see your aunt’s special sweet potatoes (which may contain more marshmallows than sweet potatoes, but who’s really paying attention to that?)

Believe it or not, I totally get it. Along with a few friends, I’ve been on a pre-new-year-resolution diet and fitness program myself… mostly in an attempt to get back into shape after having my little girl. My husband and I actually recently discussed this very subject in light of the healthy eating we’ve been striving towards as of late. Should we splurge on Thanksgiving? Enjoy everything in moderation? Or keep to our currently strict plans?

For us, we ultimately realized that we’ve been eating so clean the last few months, a huge splurge is more likely to make us sick than anything. So as much as we might be salivating over all the rich foods when the holidays roll around, we’re going to self-temper… whether we like it or not.  A super splurge day makes the next few days very hard for me to get back on track.

Of course, that’s a personal preference. For other people, taking a day off may be totally worth it, and something they can easily bounce back from. If you’re capable of splurging without getting sick, and then returning to your healthier diet right away, all power to you! It’s all about knowing what works best for you.

Just know your limits, and be honest with yourself about what you can handle.

And keep in mind that not everything presented on those holiday platters has to be considered dangerous for those concerned about fitting in their wedding dresses. The turkey, for instance, is filling and most likely approved by just about any diet plan you’re on. There are also usually plenty of vegetables to choose from, though keep an eye out for those marshmallows or entire sticks of butter.

Consider bringing along something you can eat, as well. There are plenty of healthy holiday dessert recipes to be found online, for instance, that will take care of your sweet tooth without making you feel like you’ve fallen off the wagon.

You’ve been working hard to get into shape for your wedding day, and that work doesn’t have to go down the drain just because the holidays are here. Keep active and be good to yourself.

And if you decide you just can’t go without a little holiday splurge, keep your portions small and run extra miles this week to make up for it!