Skip Nav
This Is Your 10-Minute Cut Arms and Cut Abs Workout
Healthy Living
22 Coffee Mugs For the Fitness-Lover in Your Life Who'd Rather Be "Sore Than Sorry"
These Ugly Christmas Sweatshirts Will Make You the Most Popular Person at Your Gym
How Often to Walk For Weight Loss
We Asked a Trainer How Often You'd Need to Walk to Lose Weight, and Her Answer Is Surprising
How Do I Make the Best Brussels Sprouts?
Healthy Eating Tips
A Chef Explains How to Make the Crispiest Brussels Sprouts Ever Without Deep Frying Them

Personal Essay on Getting Healthy Before Your Wedding

My Wedding Was What Finally Helped Me Truly Get a Healthy Lifestyle

After my now-husband proposed, wedding dress shopping was one of the first tasks I was eager to tackle. I didn't care if it was dipping into a thrift shop to try on some amazingly tacky '80s taffeta concoction, I had the ring and was eager to play the bride. The only things that gave me pause, besides the fact that I had no concept of what the budget should be, was a fear of having to wear a dress that was larger than I had wanted.

Notoriously restrictive with their sizes, wedding dresses are often two sizes larger than the ones you'll find at clothing retailers, and this sent me spiraling. Yes, I wanted to be fit and look good on my wedding day, but there was no way I was going to feel comfortable in a dress with a size on a label that made me feel anxious.

While I've always been fixated on weight, a few years prior to my engagement it escalated into unhealthy territory. Things like exercising four hours a day while restricting my caloric intake to a paltry amount meant that I was the skinniest I've ever been. However, it was impossible to keep up, but the residual behaviors lasted much longer than I would care to admit. Fixating on dress sizes and the weight on my scale was still present when I realized that I would have to go dress shopping.


Not wanting to slip into a destructive path again, but also wanting to tone up for my wedding, I needed to find a routine that let me be healthy while at the same time retaining control over the desire to do even more. Running, thankfully, was my path to a healthier approach to life.

During my previous bout with unhealthy diet and exercise I used the elliptical machine, which allowed me to carefully monitor my calories burned as I would watch the little red dots dart around the screen in a never-ending loop. From my speed, incline, and how long I would ride, to even whether or not I wanted an autonomic fan giving me a false sense of being outdoors, I could control everything. This, in and of itself, was addicting, and I knew that when I was planning my exercise routine for my wedding I should avoid these machines at all costs.

Running couldn't have been more different from those calculated and controlled elliptical machines. Every run, even if it was my old tried-and-true route, was different. A pebble in the street could make me stumble, forcing me to pay attention to my surroundings, as opposed to looking only at a moving red dot. I had to take into account the weather, strangers walking, distance, speed, and most importantly my diet; in short, its unpredictability was something I needed. I could account for a lot of things, but nothing I did could accurately predict perfection.

With elliptical machines it was easy to exercise on a lack of food, but with running, I needed to take into consideration what I ate in a different way. I felt better on a run if I drank more water throughout the day and if I ate something before. Running allowed me to see and feel a connection between being healthy and exercise.

I may not have lost as much weight running as I had when I was elliptical obsessed, but I felt good and was no longer focused on what number was on my dress. Under my dress I was strong and in control in a different way, and even long after my wedding, still to this day, I run as much as I can make time for. It is a balanced part of my life that lets me live a healthfully, without getting caught up in a game of how much can I lose.

Image Source: Laurel Niedospial
From Our Partners
Can I Work Out After a Flu Shot?
How to Cope With Holiday Depression
Being Kind to Yourself While Losing Weight
Is It OK to Yell at Your Kids During Sports?
Star Wars Themed Wedding
Why I Always Shop the After Christmas Deals
Funny Fitness Coffee Mugs
Most Surprising Celebrity Wedding 2018 Poll
Healthy Holiday Potluck Recipes
Should You Buy a Jogging Stroller
My Water Balance App Review
Priyanka Chopra's Outfit at Isha Ambani's Wedding
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds