Good morning! It's an icy, dreary day in DC but I have some gorgeous wedding images to brighten your morning! When I received this submission through Two Bright Lights, I almost turned it down because I had previously vowed to myself that I would only post weddings and engagements that tied back to our fitness theme. I loved these images so much, though - what a gorgeous wedding! - I decided to go out on a limb and email the photographer to ask if her bride, Natasha had any stories she would be willing to share about her health and fitness regimen prior to her big day. Almost immediately the photographer responded, "She does crossfit and eats paleo! Would that work?" Um, yes. It most certainly would!
When I emailed Natasha to inquire further, she totally blew me away! She was the sweetest girl and more than happy to share about her love of crossfit with me. I emailed her some questions and guys, she got back to me the. same. day. !!!
I loved reading Natasha's responses to my questions (because I can relate so much), and know she will be of value to any of you brides considering taking up Crossfit before their big day. In fact, I think they're a great read for anyone thinking of taking up crossfit! Natasha will share her story in her own words, but first, lets look at these amazing photos from Rebecca Ellison photography.
When did you start doing CrossFit?
August of 2013 (about two weeks after my August 12, 2013 engagement!)
What prompted your interest?
To be honest, it was my fiancé, now my husband! I had never really even heard of CrossFit and when I finally learned about it, I never thought I'd be athletic enough to lift the kind of weights CrossFitters do!
Did your fiancé participate too?
Yes! He's the one who convinced me to join with him last year, and ever since then, it's been "our thing" that we do together.
What was your initial reaction?
(Mine was something like: omgthisishard but I LOVE IT! Lol) My reaction was similar - "What the heck am I doing in this place! ...you want me to do a hundred squats, fifty sit ups, and an 800 meter run - 10 times?!" I was so sore after my first WOD that it took me a week to even walk back into the box.
How often did you go?
I would go about three time a week in the beginning. Now that I've done it for a while, I go 4 or 5 times a week. I can't get enough!
What was your aim? To get stronger? lose weight? both?
My ultimate goal, at first, was to lose weight. I was always focused on the scale. As time went on, I realized that CF was making me stronger, and everyone knows that muscle weighs more than fat. I can finally say that I'm no longer only concerned about the numbers I see on the scale, it's more about the results I see in front of the mirror.
Did you start to see changes in your body?
Yes! I wanted to lean down and get toned before the wedding, and with a combination of eating paleo, I was actually able to do so!
What were they? Were you happy with those changes?
My arms, legs, and stomach have seen the most changes! I'm still not exactly where I want to be, but I'm definitely close!
When did you start eating paleo?
I started eating a paleo diet about four months before my August 10th wedding. I tried an Advocare 24-day Challenge, and saw amazing results when mixed with the paleo diet, so once my challenge was over, I just kept up the diet! My husband also eats paleo, so it makes it easy to eat clean and cook healthy.
Was that way of eating something you learned about through box?
Definitely. I'm pretty sure all of our coaches eat Paleo, and everyone is always talking about it. It's a running joke every time a group of us hang out or grab a bite to eat someone always has to ask, "is this paleo"?!
What were the results of eating paleo? Did you lose weight? Feel better? Get stronger?
All of the above! Every since starting paleo, my lifts have gotten heavier, my cardio has gotten better, I feel leaner and can see more muscle definition than ever.
Was part of your overall motivation to workout prompted by your upcoming wedding?
Definitely, I wanted to look amazing on my special day! I used to belong to your standard big-box gym, where I would go for an hour or so at a time, not really knowing how or what to work out - which I knew was not going to cut it for me. Once joining my CF gym, I actually became addicted to it! I started thinking how much I finally enjoyed working out. Knowing my wedding was coming up definitely helped spark that motivation!
What part specifically? Your dress? Seeing all your friends and family? The pictures?
My dress. I knew I wanted a fitting strapless wedding gown, which meant it was time to tone up!
Finally, how did you feel on your wedding day!
(You looked AMAZING, by the way!) Thanks! I felt great! I wish I could relive that day over again! I loved getting pampered and having my hair and makeup done! The second I put my dress on and saw everything finally come together was one of the best feelings. I felt so beautiful!
How long (months) were you doing CrossFit prior to your wedding?
Do you still do CrossFit?
Yes! I love it and don't think I'll ever stop, despite the million and a half squats they make us do.
What's your favorite CrossFit move/exercise/wod?
I love anything with kettle bells! I feel like I always get a great work out and can challenge myself my using heavier KB's. After 15 months of CF, I finally got my first couple of kipping pull-ups without a band the other day, so I have to say I'm starting to like pull-ups too!
Do you still eat Paleo?
Yes! I'm actually on day 50 of a 60-day Paleo challenge with my gym, so we've been extra strict lately!
What's your favorite paleo snack?
Avocado bacon deviled eggs - amazing, and lots of protein.
Finally, do you have advice for other women interested in doing CrossFit prior to their big day?
Yes... do it. You'll think it's tough, and you might even hate it for a while, but it's definitely worth all of the sweat and soreness you'll endure, and you're sure to see results that will make you look and feel that much more beautiful on your wedding day.
Natasha, thank you so much for allowing me to publish your gorgeous wedding on my blog, and for taking the time to answer my questions and share with Fit for a Bride readers how CrossFit has changed your life! You look amazing!!! Congratulations to you and David. I wish the both of you the very best of luck!