I'm so thrilled to share today's real wedding with you, because there's a twist! The bride, Christina, lost 30 lbs before her big day and guys, you better hold onto your seats because not only is her story incredible... the photos are beyond gorgeous! Christina is radiant. She's glowing! Even her photographer, the amazing Meghan Leigh told me "it's completely easy to see how easy she was to photograph! She was stunning!" Meghan's photos came to me through Two Bright Lights and I was immediately drawn to the portraits of Christina, she's simply gorgeous! At the time, I had no idea her bride, Christina had been on a get-healthy mission, until Meghan emailed me and said she's lost a whopping 30 lbs for the wedding. When I inquired further, I learned that Christina didn't just do it for the wedding-- it was truly for her health and for the hope of having children one day...
Before we get into the details, you've got to see this dreamy, perfect-looking day!
I love the purple and the touch of glam. It's so elegant and traditional, but as you can see from the bridal party photos, still fun!
For my motivation, you would of thought it was the obvious [the wedding], but that was only half the motivation. I had a few reason as to why I decided to jump start my life on a better track. I actually started trying to lose weight and work on eating better and working out more as a 16 year old. That was when I found out I had really high cholesterol which was very scary for me at the time being so young and all. I started watching what I ate and worked out slightly. I did an okay job but nothing that was significant. My weight (and cholesterol) would fluctuate only by a little, not enough to make a real difference to me or the doctors. But I kept on that track for a while.
When I got older, I would say about 18 or 19, I found out I had Polycystic ovary syndrome, also known as PCOS.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a problem in which a woman's hormones are out of balance. In can cause problems with your periods and make it difficult to get pregnant. PCOS may also cause unwanted changes in the way you look. If it is not treated, over time it can lead to serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.
- From WebMD
Well, as you could imagine, I freaked out because all I'd ever dreamt of being when I got older was being a mother and a wife... I saw that slipping away and I decided that it was serious, and I needed to get serious about my lifestyle, so from then on, I tried and would make a different, and then I would plummet.
I felt like it kept up this way for awhile and it would be devastating. Something wasn't going my way, and it was rough. I went back to the doctor later and they told me if I didn't make the necessary changes, it would be very difficult for me in the future. So with that in mind and the fact that I started to think about all my family medical history and how scary it actually is (we have a lot of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer in our family) and realized if I didn't make a real life change now, I would never do it and then I knew the outcome of my future, and I refused to let that happen!
That is when I started Weight Watchers with a friend from work. Weight Watchers helped me lose 18 lbs by eating their way and by getting me to join a gym!! I stopped going shortly after that when I felt comfortable enough to make the right eating decisions on my own. After I joined the gym that is when I fell in LOVE with Zumba! They had a Zumba class almost every night. My friend and I would do the classes and then go on the treadmill or elliptical after or before the class and do that for a while. I have kept up with that routine since then and I have incorporated other weight and cardio work outs. Zumba is definitely my favorite way to exercise!
As the wedding approached closer, I started to work even harder and then lost the last 10-15 lbs. On my wedding day, I believe I weighted in about 140 lbs, which I wasn't trying to lost that extra 4-5 lbs, but I think the stress and nerves did something for that! Ha! My dress was looser than I wanted so that was a little disappointing, but what can ya do, right? I guess you could say that after all that, my health, preparing for having children in our future, and at the time, our wedding, greatly motivated me.
Currently, I do Zumba 3 times a week and go on the treadmill, elliptical, or stair master either before or after or on days I don't have Zumba. I try to go outside more during the Spring and Summer months. I live and work right near Valley Forge National Park so sometimes I will go there and run/walk/jog (whatever I can do that day) after work. Recently, I have gotten into Skyrobics at Sky Zone in Oaks, PA! It is a TON of fun! I've only gone once, but I am currently making plans to go back. If you don't have a Sky Zone near you, you have to look it up! It is a ton of fun and apparently you are suppose to lose up to 1,000 calories each class which I feel like I did the one time I went! haha!
I'm not sure I have just one favorite food! I come from a huge Italian family and food, in general, is my favorite thing! lol! I mean that whole-heartedly also! My day revolves around my meals and snacks. I have timers on my phone to tell me when to eat my snack and mostly during the week, I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same time every day. Weekends are also different. However, I do eat a lot of Greek yogurt, fruits (bananas, berries, apples, watermelon, oranges, grapefruit),vegetables, nuts, and cottage cheese in my diet. Now that I eat healthier, I try out a lot more healthy recipes and I try to transform an unhealthy meal into a healthy one by choosing the healthy alternatives.
Christina - Thank you so much for sharing your gorgeous wedding day with us and for opening up about PCOS. What an incredible journey you've been on! I'm glad you're in a healthier happier place now! You deserve it!