My Simple Wedding Fitness Plan

Right now I’m really ramping up my diet and exercise in preparation for our January wedding. I don’t want to be trying to lose weight last-minute, so we started really working on a change in lifestyle about a month ago and it seems to be sticking.

You see, when I went shopping for my wedding dress, I was indecisive. I tried on 75+ wedding dresses. You guys, it was fun. I figured I’d wind up with some flattering A-line or something. Instead, I ordered my perfect dress and later found out it’s technically a “sheath” dress. Like literally two layers of fabric. I knew it was curve hugging when I tried it on but somehow the word “sheath” makes things seem so much less forgiving.

So I’m getting in shape.

The truth though? I’m scared I’m going to be one of those girls that gets in super good shape for her wedding and then immediately gains 10 pounds after. It wouldn’t shock me because I struggle to find motivation. Right now, the wedding is that motivation. Hopefully after the wedding, I’ll like how I look enough (or it will have become enough of a habit) that I just keep going with it.

I do not need to lose a drastic amount of weight but in order to be clear about my goals, I’d like to lose about 10lbs. by January. Slow and steady, nothing too crazy.

Here’s what I’m doing now.

My Simple Wedding Fitness Plan |

1. Daily Workouts

I had not set foot in a gym since we moved to Philadelphia last October. I’m not proud of this but we just never found a good routine since we moved. The good news is, I have a fairly active job and I regularly walk 5 miles in the hospital and climb 30 flights of stairs (thanks iPhone 6 for tracking that for me).

These days we’re hitting the gym every day after work. The goal is to do something. Because if I have any workout mantra it is takeout and Netflix is so much better something is better than nothing.

I’ve been wanting to try Barre workouts but since my gym membership at work is $10 and Barre classes are $185/month (WHHATTT??), I turned to my trusty fitness instructor, YouTube. I go in to the studio area, set up my iPhone with the video, and do my own fitness class.

Here are the videos I’ve been loving:

On days that I don’t do videos, I alternate between cardio machines at the gym. I wear my Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor because it really helps me push myself to keep my heart rate up. I swear I work harder when I’m wearing it.

As we get closer to the wedding, I plan on increasing my cardio and hopefully by then, I’ll be showing a little more toned muscle.

2. Increase my protein and never starve

I usually drink coffee and call it breakfast. I realize this isn’t the best plan and usually by lunchtime, I’m ravenous.

I was recently sent SlimQuik Pure Protein (c/o SlimQuik) and began drinking it right when I get to work (around 9am) and again at about 4pm (an hour and a half before my workout).

The idea is that if I refuel with a little protein, I’m never starving and therefore don’t overeat and have more energy for better workouts. I’m shocked by what a difference it has made, particularly with the boost in energy for my workouts.

Since I’m a vegetarian and I don’t usually make much of an effort to be mindful of my protein, the additional 20 grams of protein are also helpful as I try to build muscle.

As a side note, if you mix the SlimQuik Pure Protein in Vanilla with vanilla soymilk or almond milk, it tastes shockingly like cake batter.

3. Continue my healthy diet but cut back on takeout

I’m not good at diets because I love food and I lack self-control. That said, my regular diet is pretty healthy. I eat a ton of vegetables and rarely eat heavy carb dishes. I’m lucky that the hospital cafeteria offers an abundance of healthy options and every item has the nutritional value listed (they even have bar codes with every item, so you can scan it right in to MyFitnessPal).

Frequently made recipes:

I like to eat a lot of colors because different colors = different nutrients = happy body.

Basically, I’m not changing too much of my diet, though we are trying to keep our takeout habits to once a week.

Foods I cannot resist no matter what:

  • Paneer Makhani from a fabulous indian takeout place in Philly, creatively named Indian Restaurant (not joking).
  • Blue cheese on crackers with honey.
  • Half and Half in my coffee. Because life is too short for skim milk.
  • Real sugar. I don’t do artificial sweeteners. Fear of cancer and stuff.

Overall I try to stick to around 1500 calories a day or less but I don’t count calories every day and on weekends I eat what I want (i.e. freaking huge brunches).

4. Stay hydrated

Two liters a day, minimum. Usually closer to three. All I drink is coffee, water, and wine.

5. Don’t forget my daily multi-vitamin

Can we be vain here for a second? I only take vitamins to try to make my hair grow faster. And since I’m hoping for long, luscious wave by the wedding, I basically need vitamins (and a miracle).

Now help a girl out: do you have any tips for getting in shape? If you’re a YouTube fitness video fan like me, what’s your favorite?

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  • Jae

    I think you’re doing great, Nadine. Unfortunately, it’s true for me that the weight I lost prior to our wedding (I started in January 2011; our wedding was in December 2013), I gained back about six months post-wedding. I’m going to try a few of your tips here since I’m trying to get back on track after being out of shape for a long time!

  • Not really weight loss related, but Biotin saved me from needing hair extensions after I had a minor brain surgery 3 months before my wedding. I swear by it!

    Maybe you’ll be lucky like me and lose 10lbs(that I definitely didn’t need to lose) due to the stress during the last 6 weeks before the wedding?

  • I have a very similar style dress, just a lining and lace that really hugs my curves. I planned out a whole 12 week – 4 step workout program that was supposed to begin on June 26th… We bought a house that day instead, so my workout has consisted of sanding floors and moving boxes. I’m hoping once we get settled in I can get back to it and in the mean time all the work is holding off the pounds. It sounds like you are doing well. Good Luck!

  • these are awesome! i got in really good shape for my wedding, if only i could snap back into it now.

  • SarahLagen

    These are all good ways to get in shape and set good habits for yourself! I did the gallon challenge (drinking a gallon of water a day) in December and felt great about myself!! Good luck girlfriend! 🙂


  • Lauren Harrelson

    Coffee, water and wine are what I subsist on as well – but before my wedding, i switched to vodka waters with lemon – basically half the calories, and pretty refreshing, esp. now that its summer.

  • Barre workouts are so good for you! So expensive, I know. I actually teach barre and getting paid to teach instead of paying to take? Best thing. But, videos are actually really good – I have a few barre podcasts that I do when I can’t make it to the studio and don’t feel like making up my own routine.

  • I’ve been looking for barre workouts to do at home (they actually offer a few at my gym that I try to take since studios are insanely expensive), so I will definitely bookmarking those videos. Thanks for sharing, Nadine!


  • Such great motivation, girl! Our wedding is in 3 months so I need to get on it! Thanks for the tips!

    Chelcey Tate |

  • I really enjoyed reading this post! Have you tried the Tone It Up work outs on YouTube? They’re pretty fast and fun. Something that helps me is not using the word diet. Sometimes it makes me think of crash diets or other unhealthy diets. I like to think of it as making healthier lifestyle choices, so I won’t need to diet. ❤️

  • Is it wrong that I didn’t think about fitness until after our wedding? ha! I was too stressed to try to workout before!

    I love your ways of getting fit! Have you thought about giving Class Pass a try (if you have it in your city)? That is what I am going to try to do!

  • Stephanie Martel

    That enchilada casserole sounds ridiculous! If you really want to get lean and toned, you should add in a light weight workout a couple of times a week. Nothing heavy duty, just basicsbasics biceps, triceps, back and legs etc. You’ll be amazed how weights can tighten you up and make you look much slimmer. Good luck!

  • Christine at GVK

    Husband and I downloaded (what? they’re expensive!) the BeachBody P90X3 workout videos. they’re 30 minutes long and you do one workout a day for 90 days. We started right after new years and we were so incredibly toned and (I was) in the best shape of my life for my early April wedding.
    Then we went on a cruise and I ate all the things. So. I’m doing it again – today is my day 4!
    I highly recommend it – but, if not, I definitely agree with Stephanie Martel below – lifting weights is the best thing for you to get toned. Not cardio. WEIGHTS!

  • Mandy Howland

    Check out Fitness Blender on YouTube. I love their workout videos! Kelli and her husband make hundreds of fitness videos, and all of them for free. They have barre, HIIT, Pilates, strength training, fitness for busy people, low impact, and intense cardio. There are so many. And you can also purchase programs like the one that I am doing now. It was only 10 dollars for an 8 week program that tells you which workouts to do each day, with links to each video and a fitness test at the beginning, middle and end of the program to measure your progress. It really gives me the motivation to workout every week.

    Give it a try, and congrats! I bet your dress is beautiful and you will look stunning in it!

  • I cannot justify spending so much on classes or many workout dvds when there are so many awesome free things! I love the videos you mentioned and also enjoy the BeFit channel!

  • Kara Elise

    Echoing others here: weights are the best thing I never thought I wanted to happen to me. Truly. Find a good routine on (I use the BodySpace app) and start with the smallest weights available if you’re worried about “bulking.” I promise, you’ll get toned before you know it, and may discover that you love it! I like to keep things balanced, so I’ll do cardio every other day.

  • A studio opened in my neighborhood with an unlimited monthly membership for $79. Their promo (5 classes for $20) got me hooked and since it’s about $100 a month cheaper than any other Barre studio around, I justified the expense. It has been SO GOOD. I’m a netflix and takeout girl too, but now I’m addicted to working out!

    • That’s what I hear about Barre classes so I’m really thinking I need to try an actual class somewhere soon.

  • Tori M

    What is your homemade dressing?? The Nadine Bean salad sounds so delicious!!!

    • I wish I had a legit recipe but it’s basically olive oil or walnut oil (walnut oil is more delicious but is like twice the price), balsamic vinegar, and honey mustard. If the honey mustard is really not sweet I add a little sugar. I’ve found that Annie’s honey mustard is the perfect sweetness. So I mix all that up and it’s basically like a honey mustard vinegarette. It’s probably called something and I just think I made it up but I didn’t lol.

      • Tori M

        Wow, thank you! That sounds so delicious!! Definitely going to have to add to my recipe book. Don’t worry, I’ll keep it named “The Nadine Bean Salad.” 😉

  • Chelsea Cress

    I’m getting married in September and my “fitness and diet plan” is well, a good thought, that never comes to fruition. (i.e – I kept sleeping after my alarm this morning and never made it to the gym! I love your idea of using youtube videos, so maybe I will give that a try as some new motivation!

  • Love this! Never starving is always a good place to start. Key is staying motivated and getting the job done – if anything you’ll want to look back and say “my gosh how skinny I was!!!” vs the alternative, right?

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