The Healthy Bride: Why You Should Keep Sweating for Your Wedding

Fitness expert Jen Raymond covers how our culture's push for instant gratification effects our health and long-term fitness goals.
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As soon as we make a lifestyle change such as eating healthier or exercising, we expect immediate results. Myself included! The world is programmed for instant gratification. We want everyone to notice right away how hard we're working. This isn’t what happens, though. Sure, you may notice you have more energy, sleep better at night, and are more focused and less stressed during the day (just some of the side effects of being healthy). Our friends, family and co-workers don’t notice this, and we start to feel defeated.  Self doubt creeps in – is this hard work really worth it?  Why bother? 

The truth is, getting uncomfortable is just plain uncomfortable – but necessary, and the more time spent in the uncomfortable zone is where the magic transpires. But there is a period where it feels like nothing is happening.  No change at all. This is what I call the dark period. For me personally, it happens about 1.5 months into really getting back and consistent with daily workouts and eating according to my plan. The reason I can relate is because I’m currently in the “dark period”. I was sick with pneumonia for a month last October. I lost a ton of weight, cardiovascular strength and muscle. Then the holidays came. I got back on track pretty quickly, but the workouts were sporadic and HARD. I was weak. The weight came back with a vengeance – by January, I was feeling uncomfortable with my body. That meant getting rigorously honest with myself, hiring a personal trainer friend, committing to tracking my food and no more cheats days. 

So, when my clients are disappointed that they aren’t seeing any results – I get that. I can relate. There’s a lot going on under there and everyone’s “dark period” is different. Some long, some short. The key is stay consistent with whatever your plan may be. Push through the doubt and KNOW that you are making changes.  Begin to love the process and enjoy the journey because it never ends. Being healthy is a lifelong commitment and taking the first step is the hardest.

I’m looking forward to sharing my before and after picture with you all next month. That is what is getting me through this dark period – knowing if I persevere I will be back to where I want to be - strong and healthy! There is no magic pill. Weight doesn’t come on or off overnight. If you are committed to getting healthy and fit before your wedding, allow yourself enough time for the changes to occur. My bridal clients have the most success with the least amount of stress when they allow themselves at least 6 months. 

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Please reach out if you are going through your own “dark period”.  I’m always here to help out and know that I completely understand what you are experiencing! 

xoxo Jen 

Jen Raymond is a National Personal Training Institute Certified Personal Trainer and Precision Nutrition Certified Coach and has been in the business for over a decade. She recently launched her fitness training business for women - FitGirlsNW.