As you probably know already, I’ve been hustling hard to get fit for my March 25th (!!!) wedding. I’ve been working with Scott Keppel (see my other posts with him here and here) and he’s taken me down a totally different road than I’ve ever been down before nutritionally. He has been more interested in tightening my body than making it a lot smaller. This has required a lot of trust from my end because I’m used to a drastic calorie cut and feeling guilty if I ever eat something I really enjoy and he is actually having me eat more calories.
So I’ve been counting macros… and I haven’t seen much of a change on my scale. But I’m working my @$$ off (hopefully, literally!) so is there really no progress happening?
False. There absolutely is! So how do you measure your progress when you aren’t doing a drastic weight loss program? The first way is free and easy – and that is to keep track of your measurements. Measure your chest, biceps, natural waist, belly button area, hips, and thighs once per week and keep track of them. This is great incentive to keep working because your body is changing.
The second way is my absolute favorite. Actually, as a statistics nerd, I’m obsessed with it. It’s called the Bod Pod and it measures your body composition with about 98% accuracy meaning that once you take the test, you’ll know how many pounds of your body are made of lean muscle mass and how many pounds are made of up fat. I’ve been going every 2 weeks at Marathon Fitness in 12th South (which also has great group fitness classes and nutritional planning as well!) and it’s so interesting to monitor the changes happening in your body. Recently I went and had lost 1.3lbs of fat and had gained .7lb of muscle. Another week I tested and I had gained about 2.5lbs of muscle and lost .3 lb of fat. I think this evaluation is so helpful when you’re not on a massive weight loss journey but you’re wanting to get leaner, tighter, and more fit. It has helped keep me stay motivated and excited about the changes that are happening in my body.
Make sure to schedule your appointment at a time where you won’t have eaten or drank anything for 3 hours. Wear either very tight fitting workout wear or even a swimsuit for your most accurate results – and don’t be scared of Joe when you walk in… he could beat up anyone you know, but he’s super nice and is the man behind Kelleigh Bannen‘s perfect little booty, so you know he knows what he’s talking about! haha
Usually I’m the one thinking about what to wear as I attend at least a couple of weddings every spring/summer, but this year people have been asking me! (This one’s for you Kayla and Karly!) I’ve compiled a multitude of dresses, shoes, and jewelry that are perfect for a variety of spring/summer soirees, just click to shop! Much of what you’ll see would be appropriate for almost any wedding, but be sure to pay attention to any special dress code instructions that may be printed on the invite such as black tie. Also, stay away from white. (duh)
Being engaged is such a joyful time – I have been blown away by how much love the people in my life have shown by coming together and helping, celebrating, and loving on us as we prepare for marriage.
For the longest, when I would think about getting married, my thoughts mostly revolved around the groom – who would he be? What would our life look like? How would we choose to get married?, etc. – not the parties leading up to the wedding and because of that I had never really thought much about having a shower.
This is when good friends stepped in. When my friend Leigh initially offered to throw me a shower, I was kind of like “no you don’t have to do that, that’s ok!” and several more of my best girlfriends essentially vetoed that. As I sit here reliving this past weekend, I couldn’t possibly be more thankful that they knew better than I did and at how much they went out of their way for me. I cannot imagine a more special and personal event and I wanted to share some of the details here
a.) to document one of the most special days I’ve ever had and
b.) to share some of their ideas – they literally blew me away with everything they did and if you’re ever throwing a party for someone and want to make them feel special, employ some of their thoughtful ideas and I promise it will do the trick!
I can’t thank these 4 enough for all they’ve done for me over many years of friendship (50 years all combined?! haha) and in putting together the many details of this amazing party! (Taryn, Leigh, Lauren, and Kara)
Decor: When I walked into my friend Kelly’s gorgeous house where the shower was thrown I almost immediately burst into tears. They had created such a beautiful space to celebrate. There were framed photos of Tim and I, flowers on flowers on flowers all arranged by Taryn (a gift from a special lady who I think of as a second mom! Thanks so much Kathleen Foshee!), balloons, a sign that lit up and displayed our wedding hashtag, all types of gold accents ranging from flatware to repurposed vases from my friend Lauren’s recent wedding that I was just a bridesmaid in. Insane.
Seeing the decor for the first time
Food: My shower hostesses came up with a menu that truly spoke to everything I love. Beverages included matcha, coffee with the exact add ins I love (coconut milk creamer and stevia, very specific haha), and mimosas. Brunch food was served including the most luxe yogurt parfait station I could ever dream of with 3 different types of yogurt, all types of fruit, granola, nut butters, cocoa nibs, coconut flakes, etc., quiche, macaroons made by a good friend of mine, hashbrown casserole, and multiple types of chocolate and cookies.
Activity: This was such a fun part of the shower – my friend Kara somehow created an exact replica of Jeopardy – down to the logo, exact sounds, and music, split the group into 3 teams, and everyone competed answering questions about me, Tim, us as a couple, and famous wedding gowns, etc. for a prize. It was hilarious to see everyone competing and throwing out answers like “WHAT IS BLACKBERRY FARM!!!,” and “I’LL TAKE ALL ABOUT TIME FOR $500!!” I laughed until my sides hurt. I might be biased, but I think this is the best shower game I’ve ever seen. Kara should sell the format she made for this game, because it was amazingggg.
Team 2 crushed it.
Personal touches: Seeing everything the girls had planned in advance was incredible. One of my favorite things they did was have everyone invited submit a photo of them with me and some type of special memory or marital advice for me. They clipped each photo and memory to the bottom of a balloon which added to the decor! So clever and something so special that I will always have. I couldn’t even look at it without tearing up for the first 30 minutes of the shower. haha
The hostesses also had everyone submit a recipe and then Lauren HAND WROTE each recipe into the cutest Kate Spade recipe book you’ve ever seen in your entire life. Kara is also a professional photographer and she captured every special moment from the day, which is something I totally recommend doing if you can. I’ve probably looked at these shower photos 100 times already and I know I’ll always love being able to remember the day with those. (For those who live in Nashville, contact her here!) I also loved that Taryn arranged all of the flowers herself (and they were insane!) and that she had brought in macaroons from my friend Sarah Darling’s business Sweet Darling.
I can’t thank everyone who came (and even those who couldn’t make it who wished me well or sent a gift! Special shout out to my mom and sister who travelled from Texas, and to my friends Jessica and Alison who traveled from Chicago and New York to be there!) enough for being there to celebrate with me in such a time of joy! It was one of the best days I’ve ever had and my heart is so full. What a perfect day that I’ll never forget!
As you may know, fitness is at the forefront of my mind more than usual right now with my upcoming wedding in March. (!!!) I’ve loved working remotely with Scott Keppel who is an expert in both fitness and nutrition and is slowly changing my way of thinking from “eat way less to get skinny” to eat more to nourish your body and replace fat with muscle. He’s helped me find the right program that works with my lifestyle and so far I’ve lost 2 inches off my waist, whoop! I thought it would be helpful for him to answer some questions that had been plaguing me that I thought would resonate with most people. I’ve also sprinkled some awkward pictures of myself working out throughout this article for color and to break up the massive blob of text – enjoy! haha
1. What is the biggest misconception about losing weight/getting in shape?
“Often times, I get women who feel they need to lose weight, but in reality they want to lose body fat. As a coach, I educate my clients on the importance of not focusing on the scale and being more mindful of the changes that are being made in how they feel, how clothes fit, and overall how they are looking. Keep in mind, a pound of muscle is 3x smaller than the size of one pound of fat! In addition, 1lb of muscle can burn up to 4x’s the amount of calories in a day! A misconception a number of women have is that muscle weighs more than fat – this is not true. Muscle is more dense than fat (but again, 3 times smaller!), but a pound is a pound no matter what it’s made of. If you were to drop a pound of feathers and a pound of coins, they would fall at the same rate. However, you would need a lot less coins.
Getting in shape is relative to many. For women, if you are between 18-24% body fat, that is optimal fitness – so if you are looking to be in shape, this is an ideal place to fall. Women often feel they should cut calories and do a ton of cardio to lose weight. This is another misconception. Most women should not be below 1200 calories in a day and often 1400-1600 calories per day is ideal. When a woman cuts her calories too low, her metabolism will start to slow down in order to preserve energy (fat) and she will hit a plateau. Fueling the muscle so it can burn the fat and fuel you for a calorie burning workout is ideal.”
2. If people were only going to change one habit, what is the most important one to change?
Nutrition! Nutrition is 70-80% of achieving results. As far as what nutritional habit to change? It’s hard to pick just one, since everyone woman has her own unique set of deficiencies. Overall, I would suggest making sure to get enough water – 3/4-1oz per lb of your body weight. Water will help with certain vitamins, flush out toxins, and keep you from being dehydrated. When someone is dehydrated, performance decreases both mentally and physically. If you’re already drinking enough water, talking a multi vitamin and fish oils is the next habit to start. Take as suggested. Studies have shown that by simply adding these to one’s daily regiment, there is a decrease in anxiety and mood swings! Next, work on limiting your alcohol to 1-2 drinks per sitting. Anything more and your body will not be able to function properly until the alcohol is out of your system. This means whatever food you’re eating at that time will be stored as fat.
3. In your opinion, what is the most effective workout?
It varies for each person. If you’re a woman that has more body fat than you’d like and you weigh more than you like, I suggest a metabolic style workout. Metabolic = fat burning! These would be workouts that incorporate complex movements (squats, dead lifts, squats and presses, squat jumps, etc.) along with cardio throughout (jump rope, running, squat jumps, burpees, etc.) Rest 30-60 seconds between rounds. Here’s an example: Dead lifts: 3 rounds of 12-15, Close grip push ups: 3 rounds of 12-15, Squat jumps: 3 rounds of 12-15.
If you’re already thin, but want to build a little more lean mass, I suggest you lift a little heavier (8-10 reps) and skip the burpees, jumps, running, etc.
4. How important is getting enough sleep/water when you’re trying to get in shape?
I can’t emphasize this enough! If you are even slightly dehydrated, you will get headaches, dizziness, weakness, muscle cramps, constipation, and more. Sleep = rest, rest = recovery, recovery = gains. You must sleep to allow your body to recover from the stress of your daily activities and exercise. Keep in mind, when you’re lifting weights, your body is tearing down muscle and the sleep and rest will allow your muscles to recover.
5. When you’re on a weight loss plan, but you feel like you need tocheat what is a healthy snack you like to have that satisfies thecraving?
Fruit is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Try to stick to berries, grapes, apples, and fruits from the northern hemisphere. They are lower in glycemic index (which means they don’t impact your insulin levels as much as bananas, melons, etc.) You can mix protein powder with unsweetened almond or coconut milk, freeze it in a cupcake papers, or make popsicles with the mixture. You can mix in peanut butter, almond butter, berries, etc. If you’re more of a salty fan, air popped pop corn is a great treat that is low in carbs, calories, and you can get more volume than turning to chips or fries.