Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wedding Wellness via Mind, Body, & Soul

I remember when my mom took me to purchase my very first training bra and she gave me some advice that will live with me always: wear pretty underwear—it makes you feel good. On that trip to Meyer & Frank's intimate apparel section, I bough the prettiest, frilliest training bra's I could find. And to this day, I still choose to buy the "pretty" bras over the "granny" bras (ladies, you know what I mean by that!). The only difference is that I have learned to buy bras that not only are pretty, but give me support and full coverage—and that makes me feel good, physically and mentally.

Needless to say, I now fully understand my mother's meaning. It is important to feel pretty from the inside out; and you can't feel pretty on the outside until you feel pretty on the inside (and vice versa—it goes both ways). Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not stressing on physical appearance—I'm talking about overall health: mind, body, and soul.

I don't know about you, but after all the dark days, hearty/rich food, and stress of the holidays and winter, I've been feeling a little sluggish and not inwardly pretty. After reading my beautiful sister-in-law's recent blog post, she is so right when she calls her soul 'overweight.' There is something that needs to be done, and I don't mean make a gym/workout/weight loss/healthy eating (whatever you want to call it) "resolution" like so many other people—because I am one like so many that falls of the wagon by March—I mean, make a lifestyle change. And if it means starting out with buying a new, pretty bra, getting a massage, or doing something you used to enjoy and have not done in a long time—just do it! It takes one push. So let's cheers to that!

Here is my Mind, Body, & Soul Wedding Wellness Plan:

1) Pick up an old favorite hobby or activity.
I've started writing my historical fiction novel again. Since seventh grade I've been researching, writing, rewriting, scrapping, and writing again. Throughout college I had spurts of writing motivation and months of writers block. I've promised myself this year to actually finish the final draft, so I've been working on it between subbing and wedding projects, and I forgot how much I enjoyed it!

2) Start doing little workouts.
One reason many people flop on the New Year's exercise resolution is because they bite off more than they can chew. Signing up for a gym membership, trainer, a buzzillion work out classes, and they are burnt out by March. I figure the gym is packed this month, so instead I am doing little workouts at home and running when its dry outside. And there are plenty you can do at home. I have several on my Made for More Plan pinterest board. Kenny and I have started to run together and I think that is so great for our relationship!

3) Pray, A LOT!
One thing is for sure, it's hard to be constantly self-motivated and that's A.O.K., because praying for motivation and asking for help is necessary.

4) Change your facial routine.
Since puberty I have been troubled with acne. It has improved as I've gotten older, but it definitely comes out with stress and not eating right. So recently I changed my cleanser to Neutrogena Naturals purifying cleanser and eliminated all of the other acne products I was using. Now I am just using the gentle cleanser, a basic SPF moisturizer for my combination skin, and a toner at night. Of course, everyone's face is different, so do what is right for you. I also have began microdermabrasion, laser treatment (for those old acne marks), and glycolic peel (much gentler than those basic chemical peels), as well as the new LED light therapy that has done wonders in keeping me from breaking out (it kills bacteria) and heals old blemishes. I've already noticed such a difference and have received several compliments. I also will start another skin routine about 6-8 weeks before the wedding.

5) Take some time to watch your guilty pleasure.
I have several shows that I am watching right now and yes, that includes some trashy reality TV—Extreme Couponing, Teen Mom 2, and even Jersey Shore (I thought I would never confess to this, but Kenny and I became addicted when there was a marathon on during his knee surgery recovery). A girl has to have her guilty pleasures. I am also watching the Second Season of Downton Abbey with one of my dearest friends and bridesmaids (it's so good to get some girl time and bond over a smart, girl show).

6) Start a cleanse.
A detox or cleanse is often intimidating, so I have started small. Last spring, I gave my body a spring cleaning with all raw foods: so that was manly fruits, vegetables, juices, nuts, green tea, and tons of lemon water! I felt so great and completely energized. I am about to start another one. Last week I started getting my body ready with a colon cleanse, limiting bad carbs, and mostly eating a protein and fruits and vegetables; this week I am repairing my body with probiotics and continuing to eat high protein and low carb meals. Next week, my mother and I will be starting a juice cleanse for five days, using Daphne Oz's recipes, which you can also find on my Made for More Plan pinterest board.

7) Get a regular eight hours of sleep each night.
Recently, I have fought with having a hard time falling asleep or waking in the early morning hours. I have also talked to a family member and a friend (both women) who also struggle with a full night of sleep. Sleep is so important for overall health. I still have not completely regulated my sleep, but it has improved by taking Vitamin D every day, using lavender to relax me, and reading something that is not stimulating.

8) When all else fails...[you fill in the blank {i.e. grab a choice book and a glass of wine}]...and just relax.
After a very full, busy day, sometimes I just like curling up with a good book, some tea, or a glass of wine, and just relax. Another great thing I forget about, is laying in a bubble bath with a candle and some soft music, with an optional glass of wine.

It is important to not only feed your body, but to also feed your soul. Nourish yourself with healthy living. Most importantly, for a long and healthy life, limit stress the best way you know how. In a society of high stress, I think this is the greatest factor in 'overweight' bodies and souls. So take charge of your life and do what makes you happy, helps you feel good, and helps you limit the stress in your life. As a person prone to stress, worry, and anxiety, this is so important to getting through wedding planning and reaching the wedding day feeling calm and relaxed.

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