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the wedding diet: did it work?


Wedding day skinny minnies. We still don't have our professional shots yet, so bear with us.


I talked a lot about my wedding diet because I love food and I do not love not eating it. But between 7-course work dinners and my own insatiable appetite for fresh pasta, burrata, and Ben and Jerry's, I knew that if I wanted to be at my tip-top fighting weight on July 13th, my only solution was to eat clean and train dirty like Kate Middleton.

Here's a secret from one (former) bride to others: the unofficial wedding diet kind of begins as soon as you get a ring on it. Why? Because you'll have engagement parties, there will be white dresses to buy and you'll probably wiggle into a bikini at some point during your bachelorette. Even if it's in the wild mountains of Vermont in the dead of winter. Things happen.

All of these events will be photographed (well most of them) and they will all happen far in advance of your first dress fitting. Whether you like it or not, you'll start thinking about your body, what you eat and how you exercise far more during this time period than ever before.

Awesome.

Look, I'm not saying I agree with it, I'm just saying that it happens. And I'm not advocating that anyone go pro-ana and plaster your work cubicle with MK Olsen circa when she got her Hollywood star. In my experience, I used my impending nuptials (even if they were 20 months away) as a way to force myself to get to the gym in the morning before work. It made me pause before I took that third Baked by Melissa (I mean, I'm not a monster. You can't not have at least one). I ate naked like Uma Thurman does to shame myself into eating less.

Ha! Fooled you.

At the eight week mark, however, I did more than just make healthy choices. I went on an actual diet, which, for the record, I don't advocate in normal life, but your wedding is a very specific and very finite amount of time. Sometimes a girl's gotta drop some pounds and she's fine if she gains them back right after. I call it living in the moment.

Anyway, in case you're curious, this is what I devised for myself:

Juliet's Wedding Diet (sad face)

- No alcohol. OK, so there were two exceptions for the two weddings we went to over this time period, but that was it.
- No desserts. Again, I wasn't so militant about this that I never had processed sugar in two months. I allowed myself a Skinny Cow ice cream bar every once awhile and had a few scoops of regular, full-fat ice cream when it was hot enough to be necessary. And Jesus FUCK did that taste good.
- No elaborate work dinners. This mean I passed up everything from Del Posto to Le Bernadin. It hurt my heart, but not my cholesterol.
- Limited carbohydrates. I did not order a single sandwich, wrap or pasta during this entire period. I DID allow myself to have ancient grains like quinoa and barley.

In terms of exercise, I didn't actually up the amount of workouts until the week of the wedding. I have been and continue to do cardio 5 times a week at Equinox. I generally spin twice a week, do a high-impact cardio class with weights twice, and round it out with one body-weight-based class.

Back muscles! Alriiiiiight.


Also important: since I cleared out most of my nights after work, I tried to walk home on as many days as I could. This was about a 45 minute walk from Tribeca to Greenwich Village and definitely contributed to feeling more toned.

Two weeks before the wedding, I upped the ante a bit. My friend Arielle had told me about the no-bloat diet and said she'd followed it before her wedding with fantastic results. She's gorgeous all the time, by the way. There's a whole book written on it, but here are the foods to avoid.

Bloaty Foods

Tomatoes
Potatoes
Corn
Cauliflower
Cabbage
Asparagus
Black beans
Turkey
Salmon
Bananas
Oatmeal
Added Salt
White wine

Some of these were strange to me. Salmon and turkey make you bloat?! But I went with it. At this point I also started trying to ingest as many leafy greens as possible (the no-bloat diet has a list of good-for-you foods too, but I'm too lazy to write them down. Email me if you want them.), since they help with digestion and de-bloating.

Also! For breakfast, I would stick plain greek yogurt, spinach, fresh blueberries, raw almonds, almond milk and cinnamon (spices are also great for digestion) in my Vitamix and drink that before work. It's really refreshing; you don't taste the spinach and the blueberries give it enough natural sweetness that it doesn't taste like ass.

By the time I put on my wedding dress on my wedding day, I'd actually even dropped a few pounds in the week between my last fitting and the 13th. Happy surprise!

So was it all worth? Abso-freaking-lutely. I never felt starved (definitely unhappy whilst at Blue Smoke for a goodbye party, however), it wasn't that hard to stick to and for probably the first time ever, I am pretty pleased with the pictures from that night.

And before you say it, yes, I know this is extremely Jezebel unfriendly. But let's be real. You want to look great on your wedding day. You will probably diet and exercise more and then you will pump your fist in the air when you see how good your triceps look. It's all gravy, people.

Excuse me while I go inhale about seven DKAs.

the wedding cake.

so THAT'S why vogue didn't call!