Alright so if you read my first post you would know that I was planning on “sweating for my wedding” since I was engaged if not longer. I made a promise to myself way back when I was shopping for my senior prom. Yes, 8 years ago that no matter what dress I wear on my wedding day, I will not worry about my body shape a few months before my wedding. I will be okay with the starting point, the training and cleaning the diet would be the enhancing of what I already have. That was my mindset.
That is not mindset for many brides, however to each their own. I know brides that crash dieted and gained all the weight back later. I know brides who didn’t give a crap at the moment about the body, and cared a lot later. I know brides who genuinely did not give crap and followed J Lo’s perspective from Monster in Law. I know brides who tried to lose weight when it was too late and felt like failures. Finally, I know very few who actually paced themselves throughout the weight loss process. I wanted to still have balance in life and yet not stress about the diet or doing anything drastic. I also focused on what I wanted to achieve with my body. I wanted defined muscles in the back and the arms. Toned legs and butt. Finally, a chiseled bone structure for my face to show my skin and my makeup.
Lucky for me I had a long, long engagement it was. However, I was not officially going to hop on a strict training plan until four-six months out from the official wedding date. The reason why I gave myself the leeway between four and six months is because I know my body and I know how lean I could become with consistency of training and cleaning up my eating habits. Not to mention trying to look absolutely fabulous in my mermaid gown was already motivation enough. I mean size 8 mermaid dress is already great but I could look better. The dress fitted me perfectly as it was, but that was not the size in the dress I wanted to be.
That was my mentality. I also promised myself that six months before the wedding, I would invest in a personal trainer to help me achieve the goals for some structure. What also helped was picking an earlier wedding date. We did not see the pandemic ending any time soon nor any light regarding this situation. Three years was long enough. However, now because we put this deadline in place, I really had no time to majorly screw around. However in June 2020, no gyms or trainers were taking new clients in my area. Because of Coronavirus. So what did I do? The next best thing. In addition, my husband and I decided to get married five months earlier than our original planned we I was fortunate of where I was living in this one and only regard.
I was in Florida. Florida was shut down for like six weeks and then everything surely was phased in reopening. Gyms were phased in stage two to be reopened with social distancing measures and masks enforced except while actively working out. That was great for me because my apartment gym was terrible. The gym had no filtrated air and literally no mats for me to do floor work. Rather run outside instead. In hot, humid Florida weather. I did do running but more on the treadmill. When using machines and weights, I did the same routine on the same days. In the end, the plan was not great because of monotony. My body became complacent and did not budge with any weight nor become more toned. I realized this very soon after I stopped doing full-body weight workouts. I invested $119 for Kayla Itsine’s SWEAT application. The best option I had in the land of no options for trainers or any professional help.
I started Kayla Itsine’s BBG Stronger program the first week of August. I followed her strength training program and cardio requirements to the tee. No more. No less. Three sessions of strength training. Three sessions of cardio. I followed her program that way for about two months. All of my eating was intuitive and I did not count a single calorie. The first month of August, I lost about four inches. I was not doing anything super drastic with my diet either. I just started weening off processed sugar and bread. I went to get my dress about being resized, and I dropped a lot of inches in the back. Like the dress would not even hold up. This was after three weeks of the program. Three weeks. From that point on, I determined I was not going to resize or refit my dress until I was so close to the date where I could not get the dress altered anymore.
In September, I followed the same process minus my birthday. Lower carbohydrate and sugar intake. I also was implemented strict intermittent fasting and three day water fasting for immunity. I dropped an additional five inches overall. The only time that I really had fun with my diet was for my birthday which included risotto, ice cream macaron sandwiches, pizza, and all the grilled cheese. I still stayed consistent with my training but loosened up a little bit during that fun time. It did not mess up my progress at all.
Starting in October, is when I really ramped up the cardio and implemented the optional strength training workout and challenge workout provided. When you are training five times a week with both cardio and strength training, you can really tell the difference. I was stricter with the diet as well. I only allowed myself to have sugar and excess fat on my husband’s birthday weekend and on Halloween. I was still consistent with my training even on those special days. I also had started a job with AdventHealth as a temperature screener and it was the perfect job for this time period. I got to create my own schedule based on my availability, most of the hours were not too long, and the job was a standing position. Maybe that also was a contributing factor because I did not stress as much like I did with a typical hospitality job. In addition, I burned more calories doing the job and sweating in the Florida sun. It was killer days when I would train and then go do the job. With this program, it got to a point where I weighed in at 138 pounds on October 11th, 2021. My goal weight. However, I did want to maintain this weight all the way through the holidays because I knew that my dress would fit perfectly at this weight. That was another pressure.
In November is when I started to really go 200%, I had my family and friends behind me. Even when I got critiques like, “I lost my boobs and my butt.” First off, total disclaimer never had a big chest in the first place. My butt was bigger but it was not meant to be there if I could lose it. Those critiques did get to me and I mean I did eat like a normal person. My metabolism was just firing at this point which I mean is the goal when you are sweating for the wedding. The day before Thanksgiving though, I saw my rib cage in the mirror, at a glance. I then asked my husband, “Hey want to make sure I’m not seeing things…but can you see my ribs?” He said from the side he could, and I hopped on the scale and he said, “You’re at 132.” My reaction was stunned. My husband basically kept me from the gym the next day or so. From that point on, I was not doing anymore three day fasting. I was also making sure to incorporate more holiday food such as cookies, bread, fattier meat like ham and steak in the diet. Chicken Tender Pub Subs and of course, good helpings of sushi.
On November 29th, was my final dress fitting. The dress that was fitting me so snug in July was not just a satin, ivory beaded sack. The dress was taken in everywhere. The hips. The bust. The butt. The back. The waist. All because of this program, doing intuitive eating, and maintaining a low-stress lifestyle. Throughout the month of December, I cut back on working because of exposure. I had more time to train and doubled up the amount of repetitions per exercise throughout the month. I also was eating all the food I could to make sure I do not lose any more weight.
On December 22nd, I picked up my wedding dress for the last time and tried on the dress three times to make sure all was right in the right places. My mom was of course concerned because of how my body looked. She could say I could afford to gain ten extra pounds. However, at that weight, that is when I felt my absolute best. It did not matter what I wore, or how I looked naked. It did not matter if I had eggs and protein waffles or a burger with a pizookie. I got to have balance and freedom at that weight. I dropped down to a size four in American Eagle jeans, extra small in Buffbunny and Under Armour Leggings, and smalls in most work tanks if not extra small. Proud to say that is the smallest I have been in my life.
Now flash forward to April 2021 and I find out that I am pregnant. Yes, by December of this year, I will have a little munchkin for Christmas. That will be another journey I will be documenting: Postpartum and trying to get back to my wedding weight. During that year, the training had to take a back burner as most of the exercises I did while sweating for the wedding were not pregnancy-safe and also the rise in Delta variant COVID and not getting vaccinated right away. I was placed on doctor’s orders at seven weeks pregnant. No weight over 25 pounds above my head or chest, no running to speeds where my heart rate is above 160 or any cardio for that matter, and no exercises that could slim down my abdomen or hips after first trimester. Talk about 180 for what I am used to doing.
I was very anxious to get the pregnancy journey done and then I can focus on rebuilding my strength and getting back to my training goals. I am one of those females that hated the journey of pregnancy. I hated every minute of it and in addition, postpartum was not that much better. It took me about a year to finally get back on track with losing weight and starting to regulate all the hormones again. I started my journey at 211 pounds, which was my highest weight in the history of my life.
I knew once I hit the gym again, eat as clean as I can, and hopefully breastfeed that I will get back to the way I used to be. I used the SWEAT app by Kayla Itsines and invested in a personal training to help me with all the cutting as my goal was to be in Bikini competition before I got pregnant again with my second child.