Confession: I used to wonder how anybody could have trouble losing weight for her wedding. You have a goal date and the motivation of knowing lots of people will be looking at you, you'll be wearing a white (which we all know is not slimming) dress, and there will be hundreds of pictures. Pictures that you really want to like a whole lot, given that they're your tangible wedding memories and also that you probably paid a small fortune for them.
(Did you guys know how much wedding photographers cost? It's A LOT. Which makes sense, once you consider the money they put out for equipment and the hours they spend editing your photos, but it's still a little bit shocking at first. Fortunately, we found a very cool and also reasonable photographer.)
At first, my smugness regarding the ease with which I'd lose weight before the wedding looked totally justifiable. In the month after we got engaged, I lost six pounds. In order to help myself stay motivated, I ordered my wedding dress a size smaller than I thought I'd fit into. Except when the dress came, it fit. Which filled me with a false sense of security. I regained the six pounds.
It didn't help that I also pretty much took June off from running. We did the half-marathon on June 2 and in the entire rest of June, I ran 1.5 miles. There was finishing up school, two weeks on Close Up, and packing to do. And there were end of school parties and going away parties.
So my approach is three-pronged: First, I sent back the wedding dress to exchange it for a size smaller. Pretty much everyone thought that was a terrible idea, particularly since even the one I had was by then too small. But clearly, I need the motivation of having to fit into a too-small dress. And it's not like I need to crash diet to make that happen. I've still got over five months to lose ten or fifteen pounds.
Secondly, I'm using an app Raj found called My Fitness Pal. It's not a new concept. People have been writing down what they eat and counting calories for years. The difference here is that you just search for your food or even scan the barcode on it and it counts the calories for you. You can even put in your own recipes. You also put in your exercise and it credits you with calories for that. You get a target number of calories per day based on your height, weight, activity level, and weight loss goal. It's been tremendously helpful in teaching me how much I should be eating, what a serving size is, and in keeping me from mindless snacking. It's also motivational when it comes to exercise, since I get so many more calories when I work out. Our scale arrives tomorrow, along with all the rest of our stuff (finally, just three days shy of a month from when they packed it) and then I can find out how it's been going so far.
And finally, I registered for a half-marathon training program that starts tonight. It's been hard to motivate myself to run more than a couple of miles at a time, now that I'm having to run by myself. And in looking back at my exercise log on Map My Run, I found that I'd done all of the long runs to train for the last half-marathon and almost none of the shorter midweek runs. So apparently a little more structure is in order for me. It'll also be nice to get some coaching and maybe meet some people who aren't Navy doctors training to be flight surgeons.
People have asked if I'm trying to lose weight for the wedding and I always say no, I'm trying to lose weight for life and also to fit back into my pants. I'd just prefer that the weight loss happen by December 29. Which I guess means that I'm a stereotype. And I guess I can live with that. After all, if the too-small dress fits, so should my too-small pants. Win, win.