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Final thoughts on my “Bridal Shape-Up”

by Meghann on January 17, 2013

Back in October I was in full “Bridal Shape-up” mode. I created a plan to help get myself in shape, I cut back on white carbs and desserts, I started CrossFit, and I started a mini-blogging series to keep myself accountable. Over the course of two months I lost four pounds, gained some muscles, and my clothes began to feel a bit looser. I wasn’t “dieting” for my wedding, I was “shaping-up” for it.

I was doing good up until the holidays hit. From Thanksgiving until New Years it was like an unlimited all-you-can-eat buffet of cookies, pies, and all of my favorite holiday food. Upcoming wedding or not, I wasn’t about to deprive myself of all my favorites. So I lived life to the fullest during the holidays (as I always do!) and didn’t regret a second of all the good food I was eating. Hot chocolate party? Cookie exchange? Multiple servings of turkey, ham, and pumpkin pie? Yes, yes, and yes!

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Between the holiday eating feasts, I did try to keep with my plan at home. I kept running, I kept up with CrossFit, and I ate well-rounded green-filled meals whenever I could.

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When I brought my dress home after my final fitting two days before Christmas it was snug. It fit like a glove and hugged my curves exactly where they needed to be hugged. I was afraid if I gained a single pound it wouldn’t fit at all. I vowed to 100% recommit myself to my plan and not eat as much junk.

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Umm… yeah.. that did not happen. Little did I know that the next two weeks would be two of the craziest (in the best way possible!) weeks of my life. The mix of Christmas, New Years, birthdays, spending time with friends, having Derek home, and wedding planning threw me for a loop. I ate what I could, when I could, and enjoyed every single second of it.

When it got down to two or three days before the wedding, I just stopped caring about what I was eating (if you noticed, I wasn’t really blogging my meals during this time). There was too much to do with the wedding and a leftover biscuit with leftover pork straight from the fridge worked just fine. Who cares about fitting in that dress when there’s hotel welcome bags to organize! The closer the wedding got, the less I cared about what size I was or how I looked.

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Still, the night of the rehearsal I put on my new navy dress and felt fabulous.

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The moment of truth came the next day when it was time to put the dress on. I had purchased a girdle to suck everything in just in case the dress didn’t fit (not trying this on during the fittings was a bad idea). It was the type of girdle that you had to pull over your head to get it on, so I put it on before my hair and make-up started so I wouldn’t worry about messing anything up in the process. With my hair and make-up complete, they took the dress off the hanger and brought it over. I put one foot in, then the other, and pulled up. The dress zipped up with ease.

But something was off.

The dress was bunching in an odd way around the midsection. The girdle wasn’t working and had to go. Without hesitating I told my bridesmaids to grab the scissors and cut the girdle off. They tried to talk me out of it and go for a plan b, but I knew there wasn’t one. I didn’t want to risk messing my hair or make up taking the girdle off and wanted it off asap. It took some convincing, but they grabbed the scissors and started cutting the brand-new girdle off.

(thought I had a photo of this, I don’t. Darn!)

It worked. They re-zipped the dress and it was perfect. No girdle and no weird bunching.

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(photo credit: Jessica Wuller)

And you know what? The dress was still like a glove. Maybe all the wedding stress cancelled out all the sweets?

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(photo credit: Ashley)

After the wedding I decided to continue my mini-break from “clean” eating. During my honeymoon I indulged with dessert for both lunch and dinner, ate my weight in potato wedges, took advantage of the unlimited pina coladas, and fell head-over-heels in love with nutella. My runs were all on the shorter side (with a little walking thrown in) and I lifted weights only when I felt like doing so. It was awesome.

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Now that the honeymoon is over I’m slowly making my way back into my old routine. Yes, all that “junk food” was awesome, but I can’t tell you how much i’ve been enjoying all the fresh veggies since I’ve been home! I stepped on the scale this morning for the first time in over a month and was pleasantly surprised to see a number I’m okay with on the scale. Not that the number matters, it’s the way I feel that matters, and I feel awesome. Maybe it’s the post-holidays/wedding/honeymoon glow, but I’m really happy and comfortable in my own skin right now.

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I’m not really sure what the point of this post was, I started writing it after I weighed myself and then just started rambling. Do I have a point to this? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s that we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously and learn to enjoy ourselves in the moment. Did I have really ripped arms the day of my wedding? No, but who cares? The look of happiness on mine and my husband’s faces in the wedding photos are worth sooooooo much more than ripped arms and a small waist.

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(photo credit: Jessica Wuller)

So so so much more!!!

{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Elisabeth January 17, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Nice post! You looked beautiful & happy (what really matters!) on your wedding day so whatever you did (or didn’t) do obviously worked. πŸ™‚

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2 Ashley January 17, 2013 at 4:06 pm

This post makes me so happy. You looked stunning on your wedding day and you are still beautiful. Frankly, I think confidence + happiness outshine arm muscles any day!!

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3 Hayley @ Running on Pumpkin January 17, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Love this post. You look absolutely stunning on your wedding day and were happy, so what more could you want!? Plus skipping out on all the holiday fun and treats would just suck the fun out of it, so wedding or not, it’s great you weren’t too crazy about eating completely healthy and strict.

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4 Angela January 17, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Girl you are gorgeous and were such a beautiful bride! I’m glad you didn’t restrict yourself during the holidays and your honeymoon…life is so much better when you’re not constantly worried about what you’re eating. πŸ™‚ healthy foods and physical activity are great, but once in awhile life gets in the way and that’s ok. πŸ™‚
Angela recently posted..Throwback Thursday {take two}

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5 Hope January 17, 2013 at 4:17 pm

Your dress really was beautiful – congrats again xx

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6 Coco January 17, 2013 at 4:32 pm

I think being comfortable in your own skin is the best achievement there is.. Your beautiful, healthy and strong! I’m not allowed to weigh myself because the number makes me crazy.. I find that I’m more in tune with my body these days and dare I say it comfortable in my skin also.. that is success in my book! Keep up the good work
Coco recently posted..HealthyFudge +Massage + Mrs. Doubtfire

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7 Kristen @ notsodomesticated January 17, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Yay, great post! It makes me sad when girls put themselves on crash diets before their weddings. It adds too much stress to an already stressful time. I’m glad that you were able to enjoy and still feel gorgeous in your wedding dress! πŸ™‚
Kristen @ notsodomesticated recently posted..Bourbon Street Chicken

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8 sarah January 17, 2013 at 4:44 pm

We had the same wedding dress!! I got married December 15, 2012! Congrats!!

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9 melissa (fitnessnycblog) January 17, 2013 at 4:59 pm

The dress couldn’t have looked better on you! I love it! Oleg Cassini I believe ;). It’s great to hear that you were able to enjoy the time leading up to your wedding rather than being hangry for a month πŸ™‚
melissa (fitnessnycblog) recently posted..Back in the Habit

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10 Jennifer @ Eat With Knowledge January 17, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Yayy you looked gorgeous!!! I’m so convinced that body image and perception about weight comes from within. When you feel fabulous (as you obviously do) you look fabulous!!!!!
Jennifer @ Eat With Knowledge recently posted..Making Goals for 2013!

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11 kalli January 17, 2013 at 5:04 pm

i love this! yes to feeling good! yes to living a well rounded life! and yes to feeling good in your skin. love how you live life to the fullest meghan and take it all in stride…..so happy for you!
kalli recently posted..Happy

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12 Christina January 17, 2013 at 5:23 pm

What a great post! You looked AMAZING on your wedding day !! And you look genuinely happy. I LOVED YOUR DRESS!!!!

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13 Allison January 17, 2013 at 5:24 pm

You look stunning. And confidence is the best fit of all!
Allison recently posted..The Money Stash

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14 Stacy January 17, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Great advice. I will take it to heart for my own wedding shape up. I’m doing The New Rules of Weight Lifting for Women, as inspired by YOU. Thanks for being a great role model for healthy eating, fitness, self-image, and attitude!
Stacy recently posted..Rise (the Shining Might Follow)

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15 Jules January 17, 2013 at 5:29 pm

I loved this post! Happiness and confidence> ripped arms any day, and it seems like you truly focused on what really matters. P.S. You looked gorgeous!

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16 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats January 17, 2013 at 5:29 pm

You look stunning in your pictures, haha I think you do have a small waist! I’m glad you felt great and were able to enjoy yourself too!
Katie @ Peace Love and Oats recently posted..San Francisco Area Adventures

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17 Annette @FitnessPerks January 17, 2013 at 5:47 pm

That’s awesome that you FEEL amazing–that’s what’s most important. ANd the beautiful pics show that. GO you!
Annette @FitnessPerks recently posted..BodyPUMP Release 84 Review

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18 TorontoRunner January 17, 2013 at 6:24 pm

You look sooooo gorgeous in your dress. Wow. It’s lovely!
And yep, after a while off plan, it is always so refreshing to get back to normal. I’m glad you had great fun and indulged when needed!
TorontoRunner recently posted..13.1 = For Fun.

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19 Megan January 17, 2013 at 6:34 pm

You look so beautiful!!!! And happy! Congrats again on your wedding. Hope you keep up the crossfit.. love your posts and it’s doing wonders for your muscles! πŸ™‚

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20 ct cupcake January 17, 2013 at 6:36 pm

happy girls are the prettiest girls! life is too short to fret over every single workout and piece of food that goes into your body. everything in moderation- all cliches but so true!

you looked great on your wedding day and the sweetheart neckline is so flattering.
ct cupcake recently posted..Gratitude

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21 Joelle (on a pink typewriter) January 17, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Love, love, love this post and the overall message. Also- your wedding photos are gorgeous!

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22 Rosamond January 17, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Hi! I have never commented before, but I just wanted to tell you how much I loved this post. I love your emphasis on feeling good about yourself regardless of what it says on the scale. Also, I love your wedding dress!!

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23 Natalie @ Free Range Human January 17, 2013 at 6:54 pm

This is such a wonderful post, and a gem of wisdom to remember all the time. Good for you!

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24 Kathy January 17, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Yes, but…um…you are totally fit. You can allow your self indulgences now and then and still look fit.

I lost 10 pounds from June to Halloween. It took 4 months and I felt great about it…thinking this was FINALLY IT..the final 10 came off and they are staying off for good! THEN THE BRICK HIT MY HEAD!!

Duh, the sweet devil of temptation around the holidays, the added stress, and a little thing called S.A.D. set in….10 pounds came back on in 2 months flat!

Depressing? YES! Have I turned it around? Not yet! Am I still off my sweet rocker…yes…hopefully, another 10 won’t be put on before it warms up in MN so that these feelings can go away and make room for the awesomeness I felt in the fall.

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25 Cellabella January 17, 2013 at 7:16 pm

This is a lovely post πŸ™‚

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26 Michelle January 17, 2013 at 7:20 pm

I really think your body has a way of maintaining itself when you are experiencing adrenaline or something.

If you hadn’t written this I don’t think anyone (outside the wedding party) would have know you had troubles with your dress! You looked beautiful and happy πŸ™‚
Michelle recently posted..Race Prep, Playlist, and Blogger on the Run

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27 Sara @ fitcupcaker January 17, 2013 at 8:25 pm

I love weddings! You look great!
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28 Mary January 17, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Your wedding dress looked amazing, and you look healthy and happy. It is nice to see you balance the healthy food with the indulgent. Life can’t and shouldn’t be all one or the other.

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29 [email protected] January 17, 2013 at 8:59 pm

I love this post!

You were a gorgeous bride! So glad you enjoyed those special moments leading up to your wedding – life is short and you can’t get moments like that back!
[email protected] recently posted..The Liebster Award

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30 emily January 17, 2013 at 9:09 pm

I loved every single thing about this post!
emily recently posted..Lobster, And Marrow, And Boba, Oh My!

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31 [email protected] January 17, 2013 at 9:12 pm

Happy/Comfortable = Beautiful. Good For You! And again, LOVED the blue lace dress. Amazing!
[email protected] recently posted..My Secret Plan

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32 Karen @ Runner Girl Eats January 17, 2013 at 9:14 pm

I am so happy you were able to enjoy yourself before, during and after the wedding without stressing about the scale. I have seen wayyyy to many friends go nuts so that their pictures are perfect. I agree with you 100%, the happy faces say it all πŸ™‚

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33 Melissa January 17, 2013 at 9:22 pm

It’s so great you were able to truly not worry about eating not so healthy during your honeymoon. Coming from a ballet background, I still can’t say that I’ve gotten to that mindset yet. I’m working on it, but it’s been a huge process the last couple of years.

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34 JennyV January 17, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Your dress was stunning and you looked like a lovely bride. I’m glad you let go of the scale — sometimes its grip can be hard to escape, but it seems like your relationship with it is healthy.

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35 Courtney January 17, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Your attitude is inspiring! THAT’s love right there! Love of life, love of self! You rock πŸ™‚
Courtney recently posted..Just a Handful

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36 Liz @ iheartvegetables January 18, 2013 at 12:36 am

You look absolutely amazing!!! I loved reading this recap!
Liz @ iheartvegetables recently posted..Eats of the Week

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37 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner January 18, 2013 at 5:02 am

Great post! You look so fabulous in that last picture.
Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner recently posted..Breaking Food Rules

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38 Debbie B. January 18, 2013 at 5:44 am

You were beautiful on your wedding day and definitely didn’t need a girdle. I love that story though! The two weeks before my wedding were crazy busy and involved a lot of fast food. Somehow I lost more weight during those crazy weeks and my dress ended up being too big in me. At least I had a lot of room for cake and it was great for dancing.

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39 Reenie January 18, 2013 at 7:58 am

Girl…..the way you workout you certainly can afford to splurge!! You look absolutely stunning. I love the pic of you looking in the mirror with your hands covering your mouth. So cute.

You impressed me by going to your workout the day after you got back from your honeymoon. I didn’t feel like going to the gym, but after reading your post and you jumping back into your routine, I thought…..if Meghann can do that…..I certainly can drag my butt to the gym. Ha!!!

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40 Meghann January 18, 2013 at 8:56 am

I couldn’t wait to get back to CrossFit! I missed it so much. I missed the people too. It helps to make friends where you workout, it gives you even more of a desire to go.

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41 Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed January 18, 2013 at 8:01 am

Great post! And you were probably a zillion times more comfy without the girdle so I’m glad you went with your gut (horrible pun, not intended lol) feeling. You looked stunning on your wedding day πŸ˜€ Are you going to keep the CrossFit in your schedule?!
Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed recently posted..My Whole21–Days 1 through 6

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42 Meghann January 18, 2013 at 8:58 am

I’m going to try to keep it as long as I can. If I wasn’t about to start training for my Ironman (and it was a little more budget friendly), I’d be all for it, but there are only so many hours in the day and my bank account isn’t happy with the price. We’ll see.

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43 Kelly January 18, 2013 at 9:17 am

LOVE. THIS. POST!!!

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44 Katie January 18, 2013 at 9:29 am

I like rambling blog posts the best, they always feel more authentic! That being said, I think you looked really lovely on your wedding day. And I think your commitment to a healthy lifestyle everyday (engaged, married, or single) is what lead you to looking so amazing! (and I think your arms looked great!)
Katie recently posted..Anticipating…the best part?

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45 Jess January 18, 2013 at 9:43 am

I think that is a healthy attitude to have. I’ve been to weddings where the bride has lost so much weight that A.) She looks like she could be broken in half B.) Takes on a gray appearance and C.) looks miserable because she’s starving. I do not believe in diets. I think they are ridiculous. Balance is best and anyone who never indulges needs to lighten up. Moderation, not restriction.
Jess recently posted..Anti-Gel Movement

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46 Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots January 18, 2013 at 10:27 am

you looked amazing in your wedding dress!!
Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots recently posted..Fun Facts Friday

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47 Kim January 18, 2013 at 10:57 am

Simply beautiful Meghann πŸ™‚

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48 Katie January 18, 2013 at 1:17 pm

You looked incredible in all your pictures! Wow! I love how you had such a laid back approach. I would love to hear about your thoughts on Crossfit & if you noticed any huge changes πŸ™‚

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49 Sami January 18, 2013 at 1:47 pm

you have no idea how exact your story is to mine before our wedding. and how i feel now. i can totally relate! i feel SO SO comfortable in my own skin.
Sami recently posted..The Chobani Fairy.

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50 Lauren January 18, 2013 at 3:01 pm

I really like this post, Meghann. I’m *very* recently engaged (as of Monday night, haha), and I love hearing about how your body was the last thing on your mind on your wedding day. (Might I add that you look absolutely lovely in the pictures). I think that’s exceedingly healthy! I honestly don’t plan to change my eating or exercise habits much at all before the wedding – I’m happy with both, and am also happy with how I look and feel. (The latter is probably even more important). I fully intend to enjoy all these moments leading up to the wedding, and to just do whatever keeps me feeling happy, confident, and empowered.

Congratulations again on your wedding and marriage. All the best to you and Derek!

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51 Caitlin January 18, 2013 at 3:46 pm

I looove your rambling in this post! It really speaks to me and is so real and raw. I really admire the mindset you adopted with this whole thing and you were well rewarded for being smart about what you ate/did but STILL enjoying life. I’m so happy for you and glad that it worked out well for you. I hope that more girls (heck I’m including myself here) see this post and realize they do NOT need to go crazy, they can be rewarded for a sane plan to “prep” for a special day or even just for summer in general. You looked so gorgeous at your wedding and I’m so happy for you and Derek. I hope you and I can hang out again sometime!
Caitlin recently posted..Fashion Friday: Captain Jabbo Bracelet Giveaway!

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52 Kim @ HealthyNest January 18, 2013 at 3:53 pm

This is so awesome! I was nodding the whole time because I did the EXACT same thing–the closer it got the actual day, the less I cared. And, echoing the sentiments of everyone else here, that’s how it should be. πŸ™‚ You looked gorgeous!

Also: just have to say, I freaking LOVE Presidente. (Not sure if it’s because I’ve only drank it while on tropical vacations, but anyway…) Isn’t it crazy how cold they serve it?? Like a half-degree above freezing, I swear. And the (basically) drive-through bars down there are quite a culture shock!!
Congratulations! πŸ™‚
Kim @ HealthyNest recently posted..Top 10 Fitness Gear Cravings

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53 jameil January 19, 2013 at 4:20 am

Love love love your dress!
jameil recently posted..An Open Letter to Ruben Studdard

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54 Mollie @Sprinkles of Life February 12, 2013 at 1:34 pm

I love this post! Isn’t it crazy how some things work out. Sometimes it’s best not to be too harsh and rigid. When I go on a short bender it’s funny how much I crave the routine and health foods again. It’s nice to have that natural timer of not being able to last on junk for too long.

I’m catching up on blog reading and I’m loving all the posts about your wedding! Such a beautiful event!
Mollie @Sprinkles of Life recently posted..I’m Attending Blend!

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