So something really magical and wonderful happened this past weekend: two people who mean the world to me got married, and my family and I were able to share and take part in their wonderful day. Looking back through all the pictures it fills me with such joy to see someone so close to me exude so much happiness and love. There is no one who deserves this more than she does.
With any wedding preparation came the manis and pedis, brunch, last minute shopping for the perfect jewelry, decorating the reception hall, rehearsal dinner, hair/makeup, champagne, and the wedding itself. And then of course, the pictures. This was not my first walk down the aisle as a bridesmaid, and looking back on the two other instances I always remember those days as filled with lots of fun, but also filled with less than flattering pictures, and a lower than acceptable self-esteem. In almost every picture from back then is an unhappy, overweight, hunched over girl who couldn’t stop fussing with her dress (or her girdle), and no matter how hard she tried, couldn’t quite suck it in enough.
The amazing thing is I spent all day this past Sunday in awe, perusing Instagram and Facebook. Who is this girl and where did the old Natasha go? In not one picture do I resemble the girl I was 7 or 8 years ago – the last time I was a bridesmaid. Not only the obvious differences in that I’ve aged, my hair is shorter, and I’ve lost weight. There was a confidence there that stood out. It’s easy to see that I’m at ease, happy, and most importantly; comfortable in my own skin. That’s not something I’ve ever felt before – let alone been able to recognize in a picture. I looked through each photo and was proud of the woman I’ve become. Not just physically, although I know it seems like that’s what I get hooked on- but mentally and emotionally.
I can’t lie and say I didn’t go into the long weekend without a little trepidation. I knew I would be straying somewhat from my normal daily routine, and honestly, getting off track makes me nervous. I’m someone who has a hard time bouncing back once I’ve fallen off the wagon, and this summer has already been a little rough with my family’s busy travel schedule and yet another trip coming up in just a few short weeks. I’m also realistic and know that it’s healthy and perfectly normal to indulge a little bit. Did I enjoy mimosas with the girls while we got ready for the big event? You bet I did. Did I enjoy a cupcake at the reception? Hello! Have you met me? I enjoyed three cupcakes and two cookies! So maybe that was a little overboard, but I live for the days I can eat cake, and that’s not something I’m willing to give up when I get the chance. The idea is to indulge in moderation, and just because you have one cheat meal (or cheat day in my instance), doesn’t mean you wake up the next day and do it all over again just because half of your weekend was spent that way and you figure you might as well just start fresh Monday morning. No. Healthy doesn’t work that way. It’s starting over again the next day the way you normally would and making better choices for yourself.
To throw another curveball into my routine was that I had to go out of town Monday and Tuesday for a work conference. This set me into a little bit of a panic. Three hours driving Monday morning followed by eight hours sitting at a conference and then a mandatory dinner with my coworkers? Not to mention the pre-selected meals provided by the conference? What about my 10,000 daily steps? What about my five meals per day? I just had a weekend that was not the norm and now I’m expected to do this for two days? I panicked and complained for about five minutes and then I realized I was making it a bigger deal than I needed to. All it takes to be successful, anywhere you go, is to plan. I wasn’t able to get my steps in Monday or Tuesday, but I was able to control what I ate (somewhat). Before I left my home I packed a little goodie bag for the adventure. It was filled with fruit, almonds, dry-roasted edemame, and protein bars. I figured these would help me get through the long drive to and from the conference, and get me through any snacks or replace options for my meals. Although the meals provided at the conference would not have been my first choice, I was able to pick through and choose the healthier options and substitute my snacks for some of the sides. For example – the first day was grilled chicken breast sandwiches, potato salad, and coleslaw. I ditched the bread for my sandwich but I did enjoy a small helping of each side. Dinner that night was my choice, and I selected salmon with steamed broccoli – since I had carbed it up at lunch. The next day was more of the same but breakfast was included this time. Instead of the muffins and bagels with cream cheese, I opted for the scrambled eggs and mixed fruit – and then I had my almonds to replace the chips with my sandwich at lunch. I made sure to keep up on my water intake, and truthfully, the two days weren’t that bad. I wish I had the chance to be more active, but I made good choices and once Wednesday morning rolled around – I was right back to my 4:55 am wakeup time for a workout.
Besides feeling a little exhausted from the past week – I’m pretty proud. It’s taken me a long time to get to where I am, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Top 5 Tips for Staying on Track while Traveling or Preparing for an Event:
1) Make a plan and stick to it
2) Pack healthy snacks (don’t compromise your nutrition!)
3) DRINK WATER!
4) Scope out the hotel gym and plan a workout or two
5) No gym access or no time? Park further away from where you’re going and use that opportunity to walk. Take the stairs! Or, my favorite; dance all night at your best friend’s wedding 🙂