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America is obsessed with weddings. Say Yes to The Dress, Four Weddings and Bridezillasare but a few of the top-rated wedding-themed television shows. We are in love with the romance, the beauty and the drama. There are more than 2 Million couples who say “I do” each year in the United States alone. I myself had been in 10 weddings, so when I stepped into a local wedding shop to purchase yet another bridesmaid dress, I was intrigued by the “We Are Hiring” sign, and I applied.

Nearly three years later, I have helped literally hundreds of brides find their dream dresses, and I love it. But I have also made a disturbing observation. Women in general, myself included, have body issues. We are worried about back fat, flat butts, wide hips, big boobs, little boobs, and my favorite, armpit fat — the enemy of all brides. Listen, I’ve worked with brides who range in size from zero to 30, and guess what? I see brides of every size with mild to significant body image issues.

When I talk about body image, what I’m really talking about is self-esteem. Self-esteem is the measure of our confidence, our self-worth, and self-respect, and it greatly affects our well-being. One of the most common characteristics of low self-esteem is negative self-talk. 

I regularly hear brides talk negatively about themselves, especially as it relates to weight. At least half of my brides say they would like to lose weight for the wedding. Notice I didn’t say “get healthy” for the wedding. It makes sense, brides want to look their best on one of the most memorable days of their lives, but I think many brides are selling themselves short. It shouldn’t be about losing weight for the big day, it should be about creating a healthy lifestyle for the rest of your life. 

I can’t fix a bride’s deeply-rooted self-esteem issues during a 90-minute appointment. But what I can do, is help to build their confidence and make them feel beautiful by putting them in dresses that will flatter their best features, and disguise their least favorite features.
And when brides talk to me about wanting to lose weight I give them the same advice my holistic health coach and bride-to-be, Melissa Muguruza at VITALITY: A Center for Wellbeing, gives to me, “Get clear on why you are doing it.” Here are a few helpful tips from Melissa to get you and your groom feeling healthy and fit for the big day, and beyond.

Say ‘yes’ to yourself, and no to the things that only give you a temporary fix. You always have a choice, but know the consequences. When we say yes to that piece of chocolate cake, we are saying no to our clothes fitting better.

Get real with why you want to do it. Figure out your true intentions. Do you want to lose weight, have better self-esteem, perhaps more energy for the honeymoon?

Get moving together. Melissa and her fiancé are taking private ballroom dance instruction. Along with getting in a great workout, they are bonding and preparing for their first dance. 

Heat things up in the kitchen. Creating a healthy meal together can be a great way to unwind from the stress of wedding planning. Follow it up with an after dinner walk.

Your wedding can serve as your inspiration to get fit and healthy, but don’t let it be the only reason. Do it for yourself. You deserve it!

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