With This Ring: Bridal Body Countdown!

by Ada Ebunam

Hullo Ladies,

Every bride wants to look – and feel amazing when she says “I do”. Most brides set out to lose a specific amount of weight in preparation for the big day! You can too with a consistent and steady approach. Simply follow this straightforward six month guide to ensure you have your best-ever body for that impending walk down the aisle.

Your wedding commands an audience like no other -whether you adore being the centre of attention, or become anxious at the mere thought of it, the big day is your very own Hollywood (or in our case, Nollywood) moment, with guests coming from far and wide excitedly awaiting your arrival, camera flashes by the hundreds, and all eyes on you. As the bride, you’re the star of the show.

And, no doubt, you want to sgine from all angles. Being under such a spotlight can be daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. Being in great shape can help you ooze in confidence- inside and out.  With that knockout dress – and the body yo match – You can happily take centre stage, without a worry in your mind. But where to start? I have done the first part for you. This easy get-fit body plam will guarantee you look fantastic on your wedding day.


Bonus: you’ll feel sensational too.


Six Months To Go: Get S.M.A.R.T

Establishing a goal is the first step in the right direction.  A goal promotes adherence and encourages an end result to work towards. S.M.A.R.T -stands for “specific”, “measurable”, “accountable”, “realistic” , and viable within a specific “time frame”. Explains Greg Stark, founder and director of personal training company Better Being. For example, your goal might be to increase your fitness. To quantify this, you might set a goal of running nine kilometres nonstop. You’re then able to measure your progress by recording the distance you can run from week to week. Measurement equals motivation. Start with a small -attainable- goals, and you’re more likely to have the confidence to reach them. ‘Numerous studies have shown the greatest secret to losing weight is self-belief’ adds Greg.


Be Consistent

The best way to get fit is to simply get moving. But the trick to staying fit is regularity. You need to create a pattern of exercise. Research shows it takes around 4days to create new habits. Create a weekly schedule where you dedicate 150minutes -or two-and-a-half hours-to moderate exercise each week. ‘The pillars to success are consistency,  progression and recovery’, Greg says – so don’t go too hard, too fast.


Eat Clean, Be Lean

While you’re starting up a fitness routine, also take a good look at your diet. Now is the time to shape up your eating habits. Start by cutting down on processed and take-away foods- this will reduce your consumption of sugar, sodium and saturated fats- and eat fibre and anti – oxidant rich natural foods, such as berries, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables. If you don’t eat breakfast,  start now to kick-start your metabolism.  Another top tip :swap all full-fat dairy for reduced or no fat varieties and you’ll instantly be consuming less kilojoules and less saturated fat. Too easy.


Three Months To Go: Feel The Burn

At this point, your body is ready to be challenged with high – intensity interval training,  says Greg. High-intensity exercise gets the heart rate reaching at least 90% of its maximum capacity. This form of exercise is most effective for increasing fitness and burning fat. Intervals relate to work and resr ratios- for example, a 30second sprint followed by a 90second skow walk. ‘Keep these sessions to a maximum of two or three per week, with at least a couple of days rest in between’ he advises. Want to mix things up in your program? Attend a group class, such as boxing or dancing and increase your fitness at the same time.


Fit woman doing stretches on yoga mat
Fit woman doing stretches on yoga mat


Double The Results

Mulititask your way through your fitness plan. According to Greg, you can decrease fat and improve your muscle tone at the same time. How? When completing your High-intensity interval training, use a low weight. The added resistance and intensity will stimulate a release of hormones to promote fat metabolism and muscle definition. And a low weight enables maximum effort without risk of injury.

Also, do exercises that task your whole body. ‘Isolated exercises, such as crunches and tricep dips, are not an effective use of time at this stage’ Greg says ‘Try skipping, full body planks, jogging on the spot, jumping jacks etc. These exercises recruit large amounts of muscle tissue such as the butt, back and arms, resulting in a greater utilisation of stored fat.


Motivation Tip!

Work-Out With Your Bridesmaids-

Talk Fashion And Flowers While Sweating It Out Together!


Weigh It Up

‘Want to change your body shape? Then try weight training’ says fitness trainer Natalie Carter ‘cardiovascular exercise is going to keep your heart healthy and boost fitness levels, but if it’s centimeters or a dress size you want to lose, you need to lift weights. ‘Start off with body weight exercises such as lunges, squats, step-ups, or the plank. Graduate overtime to a weighted bar bell or dumbbell exercises, she advises. And you needn’t worry about bulking up- you’ll be creating long, lean muscles, not big ones. As Natalie says, that’s essential if you want to burn loads of fat and look amazing.


Drink And Be Merry

Water, that is; aim for two litres- or eight glasses of the good stuff everyday. You’ll stay hydrated and flush out toxins. The benefits to your skin are an added extra.


Up The Ante

  • Create a “power playlist” on your ipod on your phone with high energy, motivating songs. Who cares if they’re cheesy. If ‘Eye of the tiger’ (or a little closer to home- Awilo Longomba) gets you running on the treadmill faster, embrace it!
  • Be conscious of incidental exercise. Things like climbing the stairs instead of taking the lift, or carrying groceries to the car and parking a little further away, all help.
  • Set a date, whether it’s a personal trainer or a friend- if there’s someone to meet at the gym/pool/fitness class, then you’re less likely to flake.
  • Think Fun! Dance your way to fitness or join a running club so exercise is also a social activity.



One Month To Go : Take Aim 

The final month is the perfect time to add the finishing touches to your new physique. Try isolated exercises, says Greg and use your wedding gown as a guide to fecide which exercises will be best.

A bride who is wearing a sleeveless dress that will draw attention to the arms should perform exercises to the arms should perfom exercises like tricep dips (consult google or youtube for more info on this) to ensure that the area of her body becomes more toned.


Backless dress.

Rowing activities are a good choice. Looking for a slimmer mid-section? Do the plank to tone your stomach. But, says Greg, don’t do hours of sit-ups; they’ll do nothing but give you poor posture.  Doing the plank will give that elongated look to your whole body.


Work Hard, Rest Harder

Ban booze- no alcohol-no alcohol-no alcohol!!!!!

Recovery consists of proper nutrients, sleep and knowing when your bodu needs a rest. Generally, every eight to weeks your body will need either a complete week off, or a low volume week that covers half the usual training load. Greg says massages, yoga, slow walks or light swims are great ways to stimulate  circulation and hormonal responses to promote recovery. So don’t be afraid to slow things down, or take a break; you’ll be doing your body a favour.


One Week To Go: Chill out

Stressed? Time-poor? Substitute your usual workouts for low-intensity classes that minimise risk of injury, such as pilates or yoga. ‘You should try to do some training as it has emotional and physical benefits – you’ll release happy hormones and endophins which will help to kerb stress.


Ditch Carbs

Refuce belly bloat by watching what you eat and when you eat it. Love your pasta? Save the good stuff for lunch time meals. There’s no need to put extra energy into your body before resting, so limiy carbohydrate intake in the evenings;  load up at breakfast or lunch instead. Carbohydrates contain starches and sugars which cause spikes in insulin and slow fat metabolism,  which conflicts with your recent fitness efforts.


Motivation Tip!

Reward Yourself- Have Sometime Out From All Things Wedding With A Massage Or Facial( Facial At Least Two Weeks Before So Face Can Heal From Any Extremeties)

The Big Day!!!


Enjoy It!

It’s here! This is the day you have been working towards -but no matter how tempted or used to it you are, don’t work out today – or even on the day before your wedding.  You’ve already put in the hard work, so now is the time to relax. Go for a gentle walk, the afternoon beforehand,  or the morning of, with your intended. This will encourage circulation but won’t wear you out. Drink lots of water too, so that you are well hydrated.  Everything you’ve worked so hard for these last six months will pay off today. Congratulations on getting here! Now, off you go to enjoy what could be the best day of your life!


Everything beautiful.

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