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Wedding: Bridal Shape-Up

by Meghann on October 10, 2012

I should probably preface this post by saying that the desire to “shape-up” before my wedding does not mean that I have self esteem or body issues. I don’t think I’m fat, I don’t think I’m overweight, and I’m not trying an extreme quick-fix solution to guarantee I’m a size two when I walk down the aisle. I simply want to be the best version of ME as possible on my wedding day and that best version includes a healthy, glowing Meghann, who is confident and radiant in her size 6 wedding dress.

The goal of my Bridal Shape-Up plan isn’t necessarily to lose weight; it’s to tone up, get strong, and possibly have killer arms to carry that bouquet with. There will be a LOT of photos taken that day and, quite frankly, I just want to make sure I look my best for all of them. I’m also using this wedding as an excuse to finally take weight training seriously. I know it works, I just needed a goal to stick to it for. What bigger goal is there than a wedding?

So with all that in mind, here’s my Bridal Shape-Up plan for the final 3-month countdown for the big day. Here goes nothing.

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  • Swimming: 2 days per week

I love swimming with Team XP and didn’t want to give it up, so I’m dropping from 3 days a week to 2 days a week. Since my triathlon season wraps up at the end of the month with my 70.3, I’ll merely be swimming for maintenance.

  • CrossFit: 3 days per week

I wanted to try something a little different with strength training to shape up for my wedding and I think CrossFit is in the answer. I like that it’s short, high intensity movements in a group setting. If I’m going to push my body’s limits, I need peers encouraging me to do so. I started CrossFit this week and am already excited about the possibilities of where it might lead.

  • Running: 3 days per week

I have two half marathons coming up (Women’s Half in November and OUC Half in December), so my goal is to keep up my running endurance so that I’m able to complete both of those races without any issues. I’m also very loosely going off of the “run less, run faster” plan by turning my two weekday runs into speed workouts and saving Saturday for my long run. That way my weekday runs won’t go to waste and I’ll eliminate a lot of junk miles. Who knows, maybe by eliminating the junk miles, gaining strength with CrossFit, and upping my speed workouts, I might even PR in December. (not counting on it, but it’s a fun dream. πŸ˜‰ )


I know this will be the most crucial part. I’m not of fan of diets that say what I can or can’t (or really the term “diet” in general), so this will be more of guidelines on cutting back, not necessarily giving up completely.

  • More: protein, vegetables, healthy fats, water, nuts
  • Less: sugar, white carbs, Starbucks, beer, junk

Honestly, you’ll probably see a lot more lean meat on this blog. I know there are ways to get plenty of protein through a vegetarian diet, but sometimes (organic) meat is just easier. I’m also NOT going Paleo. More power to all the Paleo peeps out there, but that’s just for me.

I plan to focus on a well-rounded diet with lean protein, healthy fats, whole grains, and tons of vegetables. My main goal will be to cut out a lot of the processed food (or take-out as much as possible, if you’re in a pinch, then you’re in a pinch). I’ll also be cutting back on dessert. Not eliminating completely, but cutting back. Oh, and sugar! Added sugar is another weakness of mine, hopefully I can be successful at cutting back on that as well.

Again, I won’t be counting calories, carbs, protein, etc. (man, that sounds like a lot of extra work!), I’ll just be striving for a cleaner diet and hope it all balances out in the end.


I will NOT let wedding stress take over my life. I’m usually not an emotional eater or drinker, but I can see where planning a wedding could flip someone. Being stressed never does me any favors so my goal is to try and keep as cool and collective as possible these remaining three months. I will focus on the happy stuff and remember the important thing – Derek and I are getting married!! πŸ™‚


  • Water! I’m going to try and carry my giant water bottle with me everywhere I go just to make sure I’m constantly hydrating.
  • Sleep! At least 7 hours every night for a healthy body and a healthy mind (at least my healthy body and my mind).
  • Maddie! I’m going to take her on longer walks and play with her a little more. This will keep both of us moving.

And that’s it – that’s my Bridal Shape-Up plan. I’ll report back next month to see how it’s going. Here goes nothing!

Did you have a “Bridal Shape-Up” plan for your wedding?

1 Beth @ 990 Square October 10, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Good luck! I was so stressed out before my wedding (it was the week after I finished grad school and I was job hunting) I didn’t diet at all. I was also 24.

I’ll be interested in seeing how you do with crossfit. I would like to do it, but honestly I’m scared about the pressure to go Paleo. As someone who struggled with disordered eating, Paleo just seems too restrictive to be healthy for me.
Beth @ 990 Square recently posted..Wordless Wednesday 10.10.2012

2 Kristy @ Kristy's Health Revolution October 10, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Go, Meghann go! My wedding is still 11 months away, so I’m just going to keep drinking my beer.

Just kidding! Glad you’re enjoying Crossfit!
Kristy @ Kristy’s Health Revolution recently posted..My Favorite Place to Run

3 lynne @ lgmsash October 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Woo! I never stopped eating the brownies or drinking the beer before I got married. πŸ™‚

GL with your plan, Meghann! It’s well-thoughtout and not too ambitious or restrictive – you’ll do (and feel!) great!
lynne @ lgmsash recently posted..Life: 1 Year Since Knee Surgery

4 Erin October 10, 2012 at 2:42 pm

I think it’s a great plan but you may want to think about doing CrossFit on back-to-back days. Most boxes would not recommend it (and speaking from experience – you’re probably going to be pretty sore). Just something to think about.
Erin recently posted..Funny

5 Meghann October 10, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Thanks Erin, this was just a general plan for now. As long as I can fit CrossFit in three days a week, I don’t care what days they are (so I can easily change them around to make them back-to-back πŸ™‚ )

6 Mel October 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Just curious, why the specification for organic meat but not specifically organic anything else?

7 Meghann October 10, 2012 at 2:59 pm

I think meat is the one thing I try to buy organic 90% of the time. Not exactly sure why I specified it here.

8 Jess October 10, 2012 at 3:04 pm

For hydration, I have an iPhone, and just downloaded an app called iDrate (I’m sure it’s also on Android or something similar).

It’s cool because you put in when you drink water and it will send an alert when you need to drink again. It’s based on generalities for how much women should drink (I think 70 oz), but the pop ups make you realize if you haven’t drank anything recently. Or let me know I forgot to log the last bottle of water (haha)

Good luck with the shape up. You’ll look stunning no matter what!

9 Cher @ Weddicted October 10, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Good luck! I totally hear you about just wanting to be the best “you” that you can be on your wedding day. My bridal shape-up plan was about the same. For my workouts, I made sure not to be lazy and just include “running around” during the day and an evening walk working out. I did more HIIT and I definitely cleaned up the diet (say, a couple pieces of dark chocolate for dessert than cookie dough ice cream!) and my snacks during the day were less carb-heavy. And the water.. I drank so. much. water.
You’re going to look great – congrats!
Cher @ Weddicted recently posted..Bridesmaids in Rain Boots

10 cathy October 10, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Good luck! Can’t wait to see your wedding pics πŸ™‚

11 Amanda October 10, 2012 at 3:27 pm

This sounds a lot like what I’m shooting for – my wedding is November 3! I know that if I really “diet”, I will drive myself crazy. I’m just trying to incorporate a variety of exercise (my favorites are spin class, weight lifting class, running and yoga) and to be mindful of what I’m eating and portion size. I’ve already had my final fitting, so I just want to feel my best!!

12 Hayley @ Running on Pumpkin October 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm

I’m going to refer back to this post when the day comes that I’m getting married! I love your balanced approach to it without doing anything extreme. More brides to be should have this shape up plan!

13 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats October 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm

I think this is a great plan! I also love that you’re going into it with the mind-set that you don’t want to lose weight and drop a size or two, but just tone up. I certainly would be doing the same if my wedding were coming up! And I like your “diet.” I’m also trying to cut back on evening snacking, it’s become a habit and not because I’m hungry. Tea time for me!
Katie @ Peace Love & Oats recently posted..WIAW–Marathon Day

14 Annette @FitnessPerks October 10, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Good luck! Adding in intense workouts & weight training will shape up anyone, especially with an emphasis on less ‘white’ stuff. Way to go!
Annette @FitnessPerks recently posted..Protein Apple Chunk Muffins

15 Rachel Wilkerson October 10, 2012 at 4:54 pm

I think it’s good that you pointed out the ways a healthy diet/exercise plan that can help your mindset. I read an article recently where Mindy Kaling was talking about how running her own show was her biggest motivation for getting in shape, because eating like crap and keeping late hours leaves your body run-down and not up to such a stressful task. While I HOPE a wedding wouldn’t be that stressful, I think it can be helpful to remind yourself that being in good physical shape means you’ll actually FEEL good on your wedding day. Just looking toned isn’t worth it if you’ve got a cold, are exhausted, have dry skin, etc., so it’s good to choose a plan that is going to make you feel really strong (like, immune-system strong) too!
Rachel Wilkerson recently posted..The house always wins

16 BroccoliHut October 10, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Your plan sounds perfect–not too extreme but just emphasizing some important health principles. As for me, I am just spending more time on weight training, running 4X a week, and limiting unnecessary dips into the peanut butter jar!
BroccoliHut recently posted..Wedding Wednesday: the Honeymoon

17 Danielle @ itsaharleyyylife October 10, 2012 at 8:09 pm

i love the less starbucks haha. I def need to be following that one too! Love your plan! you got this girl! Strong is the new skinny!

18 Jamie @ StudioEats October 11, 2012 at 12:25 am

Your plan looks great and balanced. I totally understand your desire to feel and look your best. All of that healthy food and cutting out on the sugar/beer/etc will help you FEEL so good on your wedding day!
Jamie @ StudioEats recently posted..Whole Wheat Orange-Cranberry Muffins

19 Nicky October 11, 2012 at 5:33 am

Awesome plan! It sounds like what I’m hoping to do for my wedding in May. πŸ™‚ I totally know what you mean about just wanting to be the best you on that day! I know I’ve spent so much time planning that I want to look my best in the photos!

20 Jena October 11, 2012 at 7:17 am

I think if you really cut out a lot of the processed foods you’ll FEEL better. I transitioned to a {mostly} clean diet in June and I’ve never felt better!

I didn’t have a wedding shape up plan- working out was not on my radar when I got married – I felt fine the way I was. If I were to do it all over again, I probably still wouldn’t implement anything to strenuous. I’m pretty content with the way things are going right now – I’d probably just try to eat a little cleaner.
Jena recently posted..The rumors are true

21 mel October 11, 2012 at 7:27 am

I’ve been doing CF for about 7 months now and I’m more toned than ever before! I have gained a few lbs of solid muscle and stopped weighing myself because I look healthy and feel good. I will tell you that you may find doing speed runs on the same day as CF may be too much for you. I do CF 4-5 days a week and krav maga one day a week and that’s all my body can handle (well I walk the pups a mile each day too) becuase CF is so intense. Lifting heavy weights, doing tons of pull ups, burpees, wall balls, etc is way harder on your body than just running a few miles per day so I’ve found that if I go hard every single day (meaning running on top of CF), my CF performance suffers. I can’t lift as heavy, I feel fatigued during the WODS and I’m down right tired during the day. Just food for thought! to each their own but I wanted to share my experience with you. I know the CF workouts are sometimes really short but believe me…6 minutes of an INTENSE WOD will do more for toning your body than running 5 miles. Good luck!!

22 Kim@hungryhealthygirl October 11, 2012 at 8:28 am

Your shapeup looks like a great plan to follow and I love that you are being practical and healthy about your diet and goals!
Kim@hungryhealthygirl recently posted..Thursday Things: 10 things I’m lovin’ lately

23 Kayla @ Keep Moving Forward October 11, 2012 at 9:37 am

Way to get after it!
Kayla @ Keep Moving Forward recently posted..Look back to Prepare for the Future

24 Kristina October 11, 2012 at 10:28 am

I know that this is a wedding plan, but are you still planning on the HIM? If so, it would seem that at least one day of biking for a few weeks would be advisable.
Kristina recently posted..CicLAvia: Sunday ride

25 Meghann October 11, 2012 at 10:32 am

I’ll be going full force with the workout portions of this plan after the HIM. Until then I will be squeezing in cycling workouts where I can fit them in.

26 Emily N October 11, 2012 at 11:39 am

That is a very well laid out plan. Watch the Jordan Almonds. I think I ate an obscene number of those things before my wedding. lol.
Emily N recently posted..The Tigers Blow it, and I get no Sleep

27 melissa October 11, 2012 at 3:18 pm

One thing I will never understand is why wedding dress sizes run so small. My girlfriend who is a TWIG is a size 10, it blows my mind. There is definitely no such thing as vanity sizing with wedding dresses. So size 6 is closer to 0-2! Not that I am judging, you do you and you’ll feel and look fabulous no matter what πŸ™‚
melissa recently posted..Sweaty Saturday is Coming!

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