I have always considered myself to be pretty low maintenance. For my first marriage, we were barefoot, it was raining, we had a friend cater and traded coconut palm trimming for a reception venue. All in all, it was under $4,000.
This time around, I thought it would be similar - I would plan the basics (guest list, reception site, minister, etc), and we'd budget around making sure we could go on a honeymoon. My fiance and I both wanted to elope, but with my kids in the mix and wanting them to feel a part of our union, plus wanting to involve their dad bc he is a part of our family too (yes, unconventional, but it works for us), we started to build a list...and then parents, close friends, and soon we're at a list of 35 guests. You add in a photographer, and then it only makes sense to make sure the pictures you are paying for are AMAZING....so, yes to hair and makeup, to manicure and pedicure, to a dress I love (and is still under $500!), and to earrings and a cake and then next thing I know I am "the bride" that I had previously said I wasn't going to be :/
Before our wedding plans evolved, I hadn't considered having a "wedding prep" plan, but with this event becoming more and more of an event, have more and more pressure to feel and look my best. All the while, still being a mom, working, running a household, and staying moderately sane.
What am I doing to achieve this?
1) Doing MY best: You know the adage - "Don't let perfection be the enemy of good"? I am an unconvinced relentless and failing perfectionist most of the time...and often experience feeling loads of stress for not meeting my personal goals of 100% in all areas of my life...bc it's totally possible to be the BEST mom, partner, daughter, friend, employee and still have time for creative pursuits...right?
Being ok with my best, or rather, just how things are, has always been a struggle. I'm working on being more gentle with myself right now and shifting my negative self-feedback when I don't meet my own standards to more of "let's call this mediocre and just be ok with it".
2) Making time for self-care: Self care is one of those "wants" not "needs" for me most of the time. It's only when I get sick or injured that I can really be convinced to slow down, bc it's the ONLY option in those circumstances. This goes against what I tell my clients bc self-care is an actual need, we often need to build this muscle one little self-loving action at a time.
During these last 2 weeks I am working out daily (primarily to keep sane) and peppering in a facial and massage/ chiropractor combo (which by the way, if you have not tried this...you have not felt the kind of full body restructuring/activation/euphoria this can produce). This is a way I make sure each day starts with "me" time and doesn't get pushed to the side.
3) Watching my diet: I do good with boundaries. I fight them, but they are the only things that keep me on track (ie. having a bed time, having a gym time, having a "turn off your phone/computer time"... having diet guidelines) otherwise, I can easily spin out from decision overwhelm and end up eating things that really don't make me feel good (usually too much chocolate or kombucha).
I have a healthy diet so I didn't need to refine it too much. However, I gave myself some stricter guidelines to help me achieve my goal of toning up before the wedding. For the last two months I have had ZERO chocolate, ZERO kombucha, and ZERO desserts. This was seriously brutal the first 2 weeks but then got easier and easier. I've pretty much eliminated sugar in all of it's sneaky forms (including fruit), with the exception of occasional blueberries or grapefruit. My constitution happens to be VERY triggered by sugars, causing me to bloat, break out, hold on to weight, and crave more sugar like an addict (I have been known to go out of my way to drive to health food stores for their particular chocolate, bc having it in the house is NOT an option). Eliminating it completely, allowed me to not even have to think about moderation, which is honestly more of a relief than it probably sounds!
4) Exercise Daily: I mentioned this before, but exercising daily, at the same time (first thing in the morning, after getting the kids off to school), is the only way for me to stay on track with fitness. Even if, (because of a school event or early meeting), I can only get in 20 min at home of a workout video, I do it. Here are two of my go-to's - www.fitnessblender.com (free/ awesome) and www.tracyanderson.com (can also find her videos on YouTube). As for my workouts at the gym - I mostly stick with plyometrics, using my own body weight and doing a HIIT style routine with a ton of squat and lunge variations. I will mix in some weights here and there, but my body responds better to keeping my heart rate up and doing exercises that stretch and target accessory muscles as well as larger muscle groups.
These are the main staples of what has kept me on track, and with only 10 days (OMG!) to go, I feel like I am more or less where I want to be. With family, random curve balls (ie finding a dress last minute!), and managing the inevitable day-to-day fire drills, having some structure is really the only thing that keeps me grounded and moving forward.
Thanks for reading! I appreciate any comments and to hear your recommendations!