Should I lose weight for my wedding?

Getting ready for your wedding?  Just that question alone can make a bride-to-be stressed!  Not only is there planning to be done, families to be kept happy but also this driving need to “fit into” their wedding dress.  I will leave the first two elements to the wedding planners and life coaches out there and stick with what I know….the issue of weight loss.  Should a bride lose weight before her wedding?

Much media hype at the moment is of course about Kate Middleton getting ready for her wedding.  She looked wonderful, fit and healthy before the engagement and recently has started to shed body weight. My question as an exercise professional is why?  She looked and acted confident before she started dropping weight. Another celebrity in the limelight is American Country singer LeeAnn Rimes who has lost a lot of weight and in my opinion does not look better for it.  In my mind there was absolutely no need for either of these fit healthy women to lose anymore on the scales. My professional approach to health and fitness is to not use the scales but other measures such as girth measurements, energy and fitness levels and feelings of wellbeing. I will come to explain these later.

A very popular wedding planner has been quoted as saying that many brides lose weight in the lead up to their wedding because of the stress.  This may be true, but isn’t this supposed to be a happy day?  If a bride wants to be healthy and happy there are ways to look and feel great & combat stress!  I believe stress can be avoided by making positive choices, being organized and delegating tasks.

How to do this is the question?  I feel getting married is a great time to have a health/fitness goal to work towards. The reality is, no matter what anyone else says a bride will want to look and feel great on her day.  If she wants to be fitter, more toned and healthier she should start at least three months to a year before the month of the wedding.  There are scientific reasons for this.  Physiologically the body needs to have time to set new motor patterns, lay down muscle, shrink fat cells and develop healthier tissue.  This all takes much more than a month, which some brides feel is more than ample to get fit.  It’s not.

The benefits for starting as far away from the wedding date as possible are many. Regular exercise, meditation, yoga/pilates and other alternative health practices will keep stress at bay, keep energy levels even and feelings of emotional wellbeing positive. These things should be done consistently and regularly each week with a well-balanced nutrient rich food plan.  This will most likely result in girth measurements lowering, perhaps some weight loss, but not unhealthy amounts and a start on a healthier lifestyle for a lifetime past the wedding.  Imagine being a bride and actually enjoying the lead up to your wedding, feeling stress free and happy on the day itself and finally staying healthy and fit for years to come!

I strongly suggest that a bride does not focus on the numbers on the scales but on healthy goals such as girth measurements, how clothes fit and most importantly how she feels. As many people may have already read, muscle tissue weighs more than fat.  If one starts a fitness routine in the lead up to their wedding they will build new muscle which will most likely not show a change on the scales but will certainly allow them to feel more toned, energetic, stress free and have clothes feeling better.  A good way to think about this comparatively is to visualise two women of the same height and age, one being an athlete or regular exerciser and the other a sedentary (non-active) person.  The reality is that the former will be heavier on the scales because of having more muscle tissue than the sedentary woman but will look more toned, healthier and fit.  So in my professional opinion this means that the scales are negligible.  What do they really tell us if the heavier woman in our example looks and feels better?

One of my objectives as a Personal Trainer and Exercise Professional is to teach women how to discover that being healthy, fit and happy is not about the scales.  It is about living a full, active, well balanced lifestyle which makes you feel energetic and happy on a regular basis.  Have you ever stood on your scales and seen a number you liked or felt elated by what you saw? Most women I have worked with have never gotten the result they want.  This has to tell us something about using scales as a measure of ourselves or how we feel.

My hope is that by reading this article you will be able to make a start on the road to feeling better about yourself.  Not only in the lead up to your wedding day but for a lifetime.


First written for and published on The Butterfly Journal – an inspiring wedding guide by Pierre Carr

Photo by Sharron Goodyear on Free Digital Photos

Image: Sharron Goodyear /


[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Charlene Hutsebaut is a Canadian Personal Trainer and Well-being Consultant living in London England. She has 17 years in the fitness industry holding degrees in both Physical Education and Education, is certified with the NSCA and is a Stott Certified Pilates Instructor. She educates people on exercise, nutrition, health issues and lifestyle changes. Her love of fitness has taken her around the world training clients privately in Portugal, New Zealand, Spain, Morocco and Italy. The exclusive inspa retreats company has also recruited her to work at their stunning venues in Tuscany, Marrakech and on the wild Moroccan Coast. She trains one to one clients in London, virtually via skype, has an online membership site as well as Natural Health site Find her on Twitter & facebook under @positivelyslim [/author_info] [/author]

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