Running a fitness studio, I work with countless clients who are prepping for their wedding. Getting married is a major event – between pictures, guests and the right venue, there’s a lot of pressure to have the “perfect wedding”. And, more often than not, there’s the looming worry of the bride to have the perfect body for that perfect wedding.

When brides-to-be and their posse approach me, worried about reaching their fitness goals, I encourage them to  also have emotional goals. It’s easy to get stuck fixating on the pictures, the cake or whether or not your mother-in-law is happy, but it’s important to remember that a wedding is a celebration of two individuals committing to being each other’s person for the rest of their lives and sharing that love for one another with the community of people who have supported them throughout their lives. So, here are a few emotional and physical ways to stay healthy this wedding season, calm your nerves and remind yourself of what’s important.

The F Word

“I am fat.” — If I had dollar for every time I heard this sentence from a beautiful bride-to-be, I’d be rich. You try on that dream wedding dress and you need it to fit 6 months later. You try to stay fit by taking dozens of spin, yoga and Pilates classes each week, running, eating and juicing. But putting pressure on getting rid of “fat” isn’t going to help you as much as you think it will. My philosophy is always that emotional weight, the words we digest and use to talk about ourselves and others, is equally if not more important than physical weight.

Instead of worrying about losing only physical  pounds for your big day, why don’t you try to lose the emotional weight of those nasty words? Get rid of the “f” word,- and start embracing your beautiful curves. Instead of spending time worrying about the things that you don’t have, or the things about your body you want to fix, think about the ways you can celebrate yourself this wedding season.

Eat to Be Strong not to Be Skinny

No one wants to see the bride pass out on her way down the aisle! Remember that healthy eating is about building and sustaining strength. Food is fuel, not punishment.  Worried about feeling bloated on your big day? Try loading up on healthy proteins and those leafy greens with high antioxidants well before wedding day. Proteins like lean meats and nuts help curb sugar and carb cravings that happen so often when we are stressed. It’s way easier than you think to make a few small changes to your eating habits. Why not try to snack on protein packed cashews or natural dried fruit to satisfy that sweet tooth instead of carby chips or crackers? Introducing easy-to-pack on-the-go fuel foods to your diet can help you stay healthy and strong for your day and feeling like a million bucks in that dress.

#OwnYourMood

Don’t be scared of cold feet, nervousness and excitement. Whether you’re the groom, the bride or the maid of honor, acknowledge that planning and being a part of someone’s special day can be stressful. Don’t try to fake being happy if you’re not.  Don’t pretend it’s all “OK”. Acknowledge that this process isn’t easy. No one will judge you! Once you’re able to acknowledge and understand how you’re feeling, you can channel it in a positive way. Whether that’s through talking it out, meditating or (my favorite) working out, finding power in your mood, whatever it may be and using it to move forward will make your wedding season less stressful and more fun!

Whether it’s worrying about your body, the dress, the guests or the day itself, being a part of and planning a wedding can be an incredibly stressful yet exciting experience.  Take care of yourself. Digest healthy food and healthy words. Remember that this season is about love and partnership, always be open and honest about where you’re at and what you need. Treat yourself like the friend and partner you deserve.