Most people tie the spark of getting fit to the New Year’s. Losing weight is one of the most common resolutions out there after all. But the other time of year when everyone’s stressing over their physique? That’s right, “the best day of my life” contender: wedding day.
I’m a big fan of looking back and picking people’s brains on their own reflections. Here to help me with this article, I have the wife of the Little Rock Architect, Holly Erwin! They celebrated their 6 (?!) year anniversary just last month, so a huge congrats to the both of them. We also have Mother Fitness, Fit Thrive, & Get Glutes Founder Kellie Hart joining the discussion. Together, they share their insight on the mental and physical component leading up to weddings and marriage.
Jon: Holly, what kind of expectations did you have for yourself?
Holly: Everyone wants to look good on their wedding day. For me, I wanted to look like Barbie. I wanted people to see me tan and bleach blonde, so that’s what I did.
Jon: And you were looking good! Kellie, do you get a lot of clients asking you for prep help leading up to their big day?
Kellie: Most women who approach me don’t come with a deadline. The biggest issue with the wedding date is that it’s too late! People should be thinking of getting ready from the time of the engagement instead of two months or two weeks right before.
Jon: Yeah, even though people are okay with long term planning as far as the ceremony, that usually doesn’t crossover with the fitness part. They want that quick fix. But maybe we should take a second to re-define what a “quick fix” means in this situation. It’s not like these people are SOL, right?
Kellie: If you are on the 2 week deadline, you need to focus on how you can safely lose a few pounds. But more importantly embrace yourself. It’s about the moment, not the size. Think about it– if you’re reducing your calories, cutting carbs for a dress that won’t fit you anymore.
Jon: And Holly, what kind of routine where you doing? I think pre-wedding and post-wedding Holly have very different perspectives on training.
Holly: Yeah, if I could go back, I would’ve just done weightlifting and eaten more. (I didn’t start [lifting weights] until 2013).At the time, I was focused on doing Insanity and not eating a whole lot: crackers, turkey, and blueberries.
Jon: Wow, I had no idea you were being that restrictive. It’s a good reminder to me, and I’ve slowly gotten better about it over the years, you got to be careful to compliment too quickly without knowing the whole backstory.Were you feeling okay?
Holly: I felt fine. I didn’t have a lot going on, just one or two classes. I didn’t need a bunch of energy– maybe only to manage the stress of class. I kind of only thought about getting into x-ray school.
Jon: And did anybody else take notice at the time? Did you ever have someone say anything?
Holly: In class, someone said I was unhealthy.. that I looked anorexic. So, I’d get defensive. I mean, I didn’t want to look like that. I didn’t want to look anorexic.
Jon: I’m sure that just adds more to the stress of it all because it’s like “I’m trying to take care of things here!”.
Kellie: Things are stressful enough already leading up.
Holly: I had someone else tell me that no matter what might go wrong at the wedding, you’ll still get married. You’ll still be Mr. and Mrs. X at the end of the day. It won’t be the end of the world.
Jon: And things did turn out great.
Kellie: Going forward, I’d like to offer some advice: know that your life is going to be different. Embrace the stress of being a married couple. Learn to manage each other, but hold onto your authenticity. Don’t lose your sense of self as you become a wife and also a mom.
Jon: That’s a great reminder! I always hated when people would say “this is the best day of my life”. Not that you don’t want the day to be great, but it’s just short-sighted, you know? Like, oh, you mean everything’s downhill from here? No! That’s why I told Chase and Holly I hoped it was the worst day of their lives.
Kellie: It can definitely be a downward spiral for some, and that’s why it’s so important you spend time nurturing yourself. What about your hobbies and friends? Don’t get me wrong– I did the exact same thing. I had to learn from error.
Jon: Yeah, you have to take care of yourself. I know you have that line about Mom being happy– “If Momma ain’t happy, nobody’s happy”.
Kellie: You have to put yourself first. Whether it’s 10 minutes of meditation or yoga, whatever. More nurturing for yourself makes a more nurturing marriage. If you’re tired and have no energy, you’re not going to be able to take care of everyone else.
Jon: You might even get resentful.
Kellie: No one wants that.
Jon: Wrapping up here– any tips or tricks for fitness post-marriage?
Holly: Lifting weights over stuff like Insanity. Eat more.
Kellie: Don’t make it about looking “hot” for the husband. It’s more about continuing the journey together. One mistake I see all the time is women working hard to meet their partner’s expectations. You should have your own. What you’ll figure out is it’s a balance of self-care and self-appreciation. Enjoy the simple things, otherwise you’ll lose out.