I decided to write this blog last week when I was preparing for my 10km race. I always try to eat pretty healthily and get my arse into gear to go running when I can. It made me think how much better I feel when I’m looking after myself and how much easier the days go when I’m fighting fit and not fighting my way into a packet of biscuits. I wanted to share my Top Tips with you to make sure that your wedding plans are keeping on track with your life and that they have not taken over and become your life in an unhealthy way. And so it begins…
Ok, so you’ve just got engaged – yay! You’re head is a buzz of excitement, filled with pretty dresses and floral arrangements, you’ve changed your Facebook status, tweeted your followers on Twitter and posted photos of your ring and the exact spot you were standing when you became ‘engaged’ on Instagram. It’s easy to see in a world of social media where we are so quick to live our lives through our nearest device and let everyone know what we’re doing, when we’re doing it and how we’re doing it to lose track of what’s really important. Along with this, Google is (apart from possibly the best and most ground-breaking development since paracetemol) is a bloody nightmare when you’re engaged and every passing minute seems to be consumed searching for anything wedding related – for some of you media savvy this is before your other half has put the box back in his pocket! You know who you are…
So what happens if you’re planning your wedding 6 months from now, or a year from now? What happens if you’re planning it for 2 years time? Does the world that you have been living in until this point come crashing down and the swirling vortex that is ‘your wedding’ completely consume you until your Big Day? Family and friends – not to mention your other half – become obsolete on the path to perfection and a few months down the line all you have to show for an entire days work are 37 different Pinterest boards each with varying options for buttercream. So how and why should we make an effort to combat this and why is it so important?
Firstly, you don’t want to ‘wedding’ your way out of a job. Lunch breaks are fine for the odd spot of browsing and of course you’ll be excited to find that dream dress. However (that’s a posh ‘but’ by the way) whittling away 8 hours a day searching for anything and everything that could possibly feature at your wedding will probably not go down too well with the boss and if you’re working on commission, you might be losing out on precious pennies to pay for your celebration! If you are the boss at your company…well…just don’t spend 8 hours a day looking at wedding stuff ok!? Promise?…
Secondly, it’s really important to keep yourself stimulated with other things that you enjoy rather than constantly asking your partner if they prefer peonies or chrysanthemums and not listening even when they give their opinion. Remember how you used to love to read? Or dance? Or run? Or watch documentaries? Go and do that! Some of my happiest moments in the day come from when I’m running. Somehow I feel I have more clarity and can work problems out far easier than when I’m staring at them for 2 hours not blinking. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly Paula Radcliffe but a nice 30 minute run come rain or shine releases serotonin (that magical chemical released by sex and chocolate – I’ll leave you to decide how you get your fix) and makes me feel good that I’ve given my body a bit of attention as opposed to over indulging my brain with needless drivel.
This takes us to ‘avoiding needless drivel’! It’s the easiest thing in the world to do when you get home to flick on the TV and watch a really crap soap about a bunch of no-hopers who all shag each other, have meaningless problems, drink too much and eventually get killed off by the TV bosses. I beg of you, don’t do it! Unless it’s a once a week treat and you need a desperate fix in the privacy of your own home, try to stimulate your mind by watching something about the universe, nature, anything with Sir David Attenborough (my fantasy granddad) or something that makes you go “Hmm, cool. I didn’t know that”. It’s those lucid moments in your day that will make you feel healthier in your mind and more in tune with what’s going on around you. Keep your finger firmly on the pulse of reality throughout your wedding plans, it’s easy to get sucked into a sea of celebrity and glitter!
So while you’re sitting on the sofa watching Jeremy Kyle on catch up in secret (it is not just me so don’t judge) are you eating the foods that make you feel great? Or are you eating the foods that are all varying degrees of beige and appear to have derived from the tree of E numbers? Now I’m no dietician and Lord knows I have struggled with my weight since I was a kid, but I know when I’m feeling at my best and that’s when I’m eating right. Feeding your body the vitamins and minerals it needs will not only make you feel great and give you more energy but it will make you shine on the outside too. Skin, hair, lips, nails, eyes, teeth – every inch of our body is a product of what we put into it. If you put diesel into an unleaded tank it won’t work properly and will totally destroy your car before eventually killing it. This is the same principal with food – feed your body what it works best with and you’ll feel ready to tackle that guest list and table plan! Of course, there is always room for a little cheat here and there as eating and drinking is a very sociable past time for most of us. I highly recommend the ‘slow carb diet’ that features in a book by the legendary Tim Ferris* called ‘The 4 Hour Body’. High in protein, low in carbs, 4 meals a day, repeat 6 days a week and have a cheat day on the 7th (sort of like God but instead of resting you consume everything!) Amazing for energy and muscle strengthening, as well as putting loads of healthy greens, pulses and lean meats into your system. It’s also a great eating plan for vegetarians too!
Next, the beauty regime! Don’t let this one slip ladies – you know how pants you feel when you neglect shaving your legs for the 5th day in a row and you reach for that cute summer skirt and all you can do is think ‘I wonder if I could plait that’? Keep your nails filed and cleaned (no need for polish but at least a nice coat of something clear to avoid breakages) your hair without massive roots, teeth sparkling and skin soft and supple. If you’re a smoker (apart from highly recommending you give up such a pointless and costly habit) you’ll need to take extra care of your teeth and nails – you risk staining them which won’t look great in your wedding piccies! All these little things are of course not essential which is why they often get forgotten but it really makes a difference and I don’t know about you but my head always feels a little higher when I have deforested my pins and flossed the spinach out of my teeth.
Lastly, try something new! Take up a new hobby. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy or time consuming but why not try adding another dimension to your personal life. If you have kids, why not do something from home? Teach yourself how to crotchet or bake – you might just end up making your own wedding cake! Why not take a photography course or learn a language at your local night college? My list of extra curriculars at various stages throughout my life include:
– Training as a Zumba instructor
– Learning Spanish
– Writing short ‘romance’ (ahem) stories
It’s great to have a creative outlet and you’ll often find having a new group of people to experience things with and continuously developing yourself will give you more clarity and confidence in your ideas for your Big Day.
So what have we covered? Hannah’s Top 6 Quick Tips to Keeping Sane whilst Wedding Planning!
– Don’t ruin your career to plan your wedding! Research may be done in designated lunch breaks only!
– Don’t just walk – run! Exercise is a great way to find clarity and feel amazing and you don’t have to join a pricey gym. Plank, squats, situps, they are all forms of wonderful torture that can be done in the comfort of your own home.
– If your Television is on, turn it over to something stimulating that makes you think. Avoid binging on ‘junk TV’ unless it’s a day off and your having withdrawals.
– Eating healthily affects the way we react to situations, how we see the world and how we feel about ourselves. Give yourself the best chance by eating a balance of protein and lots of vitamins. Great for your mind and your body will thank you too! (Ps. there’s always room in the week for some cake or a snifter of chocolate!)
– Beauty regime – keep your skin supple and your teeth and nails looking great. It does wonders for your confidence when you flash a smile back at yourself – just look at those pearly whites!
– We all have the same amount of time in a day, so get a hobby! Try something new and remember to experience life alongside your wedding plans. Don’t let opportunities pass you by.
(But just so you know I’m not a complete sucker for punishment, whilst indulging in a board game I had the most enormous piece of red velvet cake! Baking is totally one of my extracurricular activities!)
Hopefully you’ve all recognised at least one thing in this post that you can relate to which will mean it’s all the easier to change! Recognise your bad habits creeping in and taking over, assess how to combat them and put those new plans into action. And for God’s sake, get off Pinterest! Starting……now!
(*Tim Ferris is the founder & author of ‘The 4 Hour Body’ which centres around weight loss, fitness, amazing sex and generally being superhuman – it’s an amazing book and a fantastic read!) http://fourhourbody.com/