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From Pinterest

I’ve ranted about Pinterest several times before–about how you search for “healthy” recipes and they are really not that healthy. One of the things you also see all over Pinterest is the “thinspo” type memes. The thinspiration photos that are somehow supposed to motivate us to work out and lose weight. Sometimes they are pretty good, like this one:

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I think that’s a good motto to live by. One of the issues with binge eating is that regret and food guilt immediately afterwards. I’ve felt that way so many times, vowing to never eat that way again! Then the cycle continues. It’s the same way for exercising. There are definitely days when I wish I could skip it. But then I remind myself that even though I may be in a bad mood now, I will feel better after I work out. And I always do. That workout almost always fixes my bad moods. And this one:

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I love that above body-love picture. My entire life I’ve hated my stomach rolls. When I lost the weight, the rolls were still there, except this time it was loose skin. I still hated my stomach (and still do) and am working hard on trying to dispel those negative thoughts from my inner monologue. Stop the body hate. Stop criticizing myself. It’s so hard. Especially on days when you’re already feeling kind of down. But that one is a good reminder. Still beautiful.

So in that way, Pinterest memes can be beneficial. But what about this one:

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I hate those ones. Working out should not be torturous. You shouldn’t be miserable. You shouldn’t be puking or passing out. A lot of newbies who are joining the gym in January to lose weight think they need to go balls-to-the-wall crazy with their workouts. That is so not the truth. You’ll be much more successful if you ease into it. Pace yourself. Give yourself rest days, give yourself a chance to catch your breath and BUILD UP TO intense fitness. Burning out the first week or two, or injuring yourself, SUCKS. Don’t do it. Ignore that meme!

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This is another one that annoys me. The whole concept of a thigh gap annoys me. And then seeing stuff on blogs and online about “do this exercise and you’ll get a thigh gap!” UGH! So dumb. (Read this old post for more ranting: Thigh Gap Obsession! 🙂 )

I want to end on a positive note, rather than just ranting over Pinterest stuff that makes me roll my eyes. How about this one:

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So freakin’ true! This is one you should print out and put it up somewhere you can look at it. This is a reminder for everyone and not just about fitness. It applies to dieting, too. How many of you have been the “the diet starts on Monday” type of person? Then you spend all weekend bingeing and eating things you shouldn’t be just to start Monday morning with the super restrictive diet. That never works. Why put off something you can start today?

Making the decision to start eating healthy can start today, it doesn’t have to wait til Monday. Making the decision to get fit can start NOW. GO for a walk on your lunch break. Do some yoga stretching on your 15 minute break at work. Do 10 pushups and 50 jumping jacks first thing in the morning and each week add 10 to both activities. You’d be surprised about how easily these things will become habit and you will feel better. You will be surprised at how easily you will be able to add to these activities. You start to feel a little better and then all of a sudden joining a gym or starting to train for a 5k doesn’t seem so “big” and overwhelming. It’s the little things that add up!

Tips for New Brides

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Aww wedding planning. An overwhelming, stressful, sometimes fun, sometimes annoying process. I kind of went into this whole thing with a naive outlook and I’ve learned so many things along the way that I wish I had known before I started planning.

I was listening to this podcast (Bridal Rebellion Podcast) recently and t he topic was “Why questioning wedding traditions can lead to a greater bridal impact”. It was a really interesting interview with a woman talking about how her and her partner disregarded the “outdated” and “sexist” wedding traditions. They had a “non-public engagement” meaning no one knew about the engagement unless they got an invitation and they asked guests not to mention it on social media anywhere.

It was a really interesting interview reflecting on just how absurd and expensive weddings are now these days. They discussed how Pinterest has changed the wedding industry and made everything so cookie-cutter.

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One of the suggestions was to make a “must haves list.” I knew going into our wedding planning that there were going to be frivolous things I didn’t want to do. For example, I knew we didn’t need favors. They are unnecessary and a cost that can easily be cut without impacting the wedding in any way. Another thing: I didn’t want to do the garter removal thing (I think it’s creepy) and the garter toss (what is the point)?

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I wanted to share one tip that I read early on in the wedding planning process that was a brilliant life-saver. Number the RSVP cards you send out so you match them up to the person when you get it back. I kid you not, I got several RSVP cards back without names on them or completely illegible. A few of them I recognized the handwriting and knew who they were, but the ones I had zero clue about, that number saved me. Exhibit A:

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Thank goodness I numbered the RSVPs!!!

I wanted to pass on some tips and lessons I learned to other brides because I really wish someone had told me some of these things. You go into a big event like this thinking everything will run smoothly and it really doesn’t. Before we got engaged and throughout the engagement I subscribed to various wedding websites and read the articles in Feedly and some of the tips I read a long the way were great! But there was also a lot of stuff no one mentioned…

What I’d Do Differently

Because my family is so big, I knew that having an intimate wedding was out of the question. For years when I pictured my wedding day I imagined it would be in a forest or park somewhere–very casual, very “earthy.” But when the time came to book a venue and such, I found myself drifting away from what I originally wanted. It happened for a number of reasons: the comfort of the guests and the possible weather issues (that I knew would stress me out)…But when it comes down to it, the wedding is supposed to be about the bride and groom, so don’t dismiss what you REALLY want because you get caught up in the excitement of planning. Things can get out of hand quick!

I would reconsider the destination wedding. Seriously. Michael and I had both considered doing a destination wedding with just immediate family on a beach in Hawaii or in Vegas. Then have a party later with the rest of the family and friends. Unfortunately we did the math and realized it would cost the same as a regular wedding to do that. During all the planning I considered a few times changing my mind. 🙂 The idea of a destination, low-key, quiet wedding sounded so nice when I was dealing with the stress of finances and annoying wedding vendors and unnecessary drama.

Venue. All-Inclusive. I thought we were saving money by choosing a venue where we could bring in our own booze and vendors. What I would do differently is to consider a venue that was inclusive (the food, alcohol, etc). Everything adds up so fast and suddenly you aren’t really saving any money by trying to do it yourself. Don’t get me wrong, I love our venue–but I wish we had chosen a place that didn’t have a list of “preferred vendors” we had to choose from. Having the freedom to figure out the catering on our own would have been nice (and probably would have saved some money.)

Avoid Pinterest. Pinterest kind of took over my life for a short bit. I finally had to cut the cord and stop looking at wedding websites and pinterest boards. So much of it is UNnecessary and adds up fast. So many things I thought I “had to have” wasn’t really needed. Thankfully I didn’t actually purchase anything I saw on my pinterest board and I’m glad I waited to buy stuff. After the initial rush of getting engaged and excited to start planning, I think I was a little dazed. It was a good idea to WAIT to buy stuff!

In the end, Pinterest started to just annoy me. Type in “Wedding” and you will see all the same looks, same dang pictures and fads and I just got sick of seeing it. It definitely cured me of wanting to do something I saw on Pinterest.

Careful what you DIYMan oh man, did I regret doing DIY on this one. The save the dates were kind of a nightmare. If I had known I would NOT have done postcards. BRIDES PAY ATTENTION TO THIS. Sure it’s a cute idea, and you THINK you’re going to save money by doing postcards but you really don’t. I could not find postcard paper that was thick enough. I searched everywhere–in paper stores, online, everywhere. What I ended up buying was the thickest I could find and it still wasn’t thick enough. As a result, they got kind of beaten up (some tore in the post office) and I regret not just doing something I mailed in an envelope. Lesson learned.

The invitations were DIY and while I’m happy with how they turned out, it was a humongous pain in the ass and had I known, I would have just ordered them from a professional printing service.

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I hope some of my lessons can help other brides avoid certain annoyances that made this process less fun. I don’t want to complain because there have been some things that were kind of fun during this process…but I have to admit, I went into the whole thing with a very naive pair of glasses. I thought it was be endless fun! So much fun and something Michael and I could do together and…did I mention fun?

Yeah, most of it wasn’t fun. It doesn’t take long to feel completely overwhelmed and burned out on making decisions. That was the harshest reality. I was so tired of making decisions I found myself freezing up in simple situations–something as simple as “what restaurant should we go to dinner at?” And suddenly I couldn’t decide on ANYTHING. That was hard. I mean really, that’s not a life or death situation, why can’t I make a decision? I’m usually a very organized, very decisive person that doesn’t waffle when making decisions. What happened to her?!

In a few weeks Michael and I will be walking down the aisle together…there are still a lot of pending things on our to-do list and more decisions to make (like what our first song will be) but I’m starting to get excited and despite the many (many) times I wanted to cancel and elope…I am truly happy that we stayed the course. So many friends and family are traveling from afar (Arizona, Pennsylvania, Texas, California…) to come and I cannot wait to spend my day with them!