Making better choices for your big day and beyond

Personal trainer and nutrition & fitness expert Jamie Farrell gives us his 5 top tips for a healthier, happier Wedding day you…

For many, their wedding day is the biggest day of their lives. Every last intricate detail has at some point been thought about by the majority of brides to be. Where will it be, who will be invited, how will you sit him next to her without a fight, what will you wear and most commonly thought of, how will you look?

When choosing a dress, ladies tend to take this time to re-evaluate their body image. You may want arms that are more toned, a belly that is flatter or thighs that are thinner. Many even choose to order a dress size smaller than the one they currently are! Why? Simply put, at the end of the day whether we like to admit or not, most would like to loose a little bit of weight.

“With an event as important as a wedding day, finding health guidance that will get the results you want should be as unique to you as the dress you choose for your big day.”

With an event as important as a wedding day, finding health guidance that will get the results you want should be as unique to you as the dress you choose for your big day. The reason for this is, there is no one answer applicable to all regarding health. Whilst there are most certainly guidelines to follow, generic training plans should not exist for the average person. There is no miracle exercise programme, no superfood and no wonder supplement that’s going to, on its own, get you lasting results. As unpopular as that may sound, by taking into account just some of the potential problems presented by your average person like postural considerations, hormonal disturbances, high stress levels and disrupted sleeping patterns, following generic advice can for some cause more complications than it can positive results.

So what’s the answer…? Listening to your body! Allow me to shed some light on that very anti-climactic answer that I’m willing to bet has made you think “yeah alright”. As much as I would encourage more detailed explanations, I have found some people are just not that interested in in-depth answers and I also have a word count to adhere to for this blog. So in light of that, I will quote some famous words from one of my clients for this example “I don’t care, I just want to be thinner”. Whilst funny and truthful for some, it is important to develop an understanding and a respect for just how amazing the human body really is! As no matter how “healthy” you are, illness can strike anybody at any moment and by having certain knowledge, you may one day find, it could literally save your life. So read on for some more detailed examples and explanations that provide practical solutions to everyday problems that will hopefully guide you towards making better choices for your big day and beyond.

1 – Myths and Stubborn Thinking:
Eating protein won’t make you “too big”, consuming fat won’t make you fat, cardio machines alone are not the answer to your weight loss goals, taking health advice from unqualified “health professionals” about “detox” supplements is just crazy. Directly exercising your thighs or stomach won’t spot reduce body fat in those areas, skipping meals won’t make you slimmer and last but not least, weight training will not make you “bulky”.

2 – Time:
Today, everybody wants results yesterday and many seem to think that health is an area that doesn’t require a prioritising place in busy diaries unless an occasion demands so. Fast body transformations run the risk of failing to develop sustainable habits that will provide lasting results. So break down your target into smaller sections like short, medium and long term goals. Find a suitable method to measure the success of your goals, body fat testing is a great way, but sometimes just looking in the mirror will suffice.

“…fitness is tough but with individual advice and guidance you will get what you want.”

3 – Personal Trainers:
Finding a competent professional is important, just because somebody has a six pack, buys their clothes from baby gap and takes their top off a lot doesn’t mean they know what they are doing. Look at qualifications, reputation, professionalism and most importantly your economical factors. Can you afford a trainer and be financially stable? Don’t just opt for a trainer for reasons like, how cheap they are or how good they look. You are entrusting somebody to alter your life, look past this preconceived idea that fitness is all bicep curls and tight clothing. Training and nutrition influences mood, bone health, joint strength and lots of other factors that can even be passed down to children. The ripple effects could potentially change your life forever! Your wallet or how good they look should not be the deciding factors alone. Also, encouraging your trainer to work alongside any other health professional you may be seeing is important. A trainer being the missing link between physiotherapist, doctors and even massage appointments can really help develop an understanding of the clients body and what’s best for them moving forward.

4 – Training, Not Exercise:
Just because you are sweating, it doesn’t mean you are doing it right. I sweat watching horror movies, does that mean I’m being healthy? In my opinion exercise is an efficient means of burning calories, like classes or un-thought of cardio. I’m neither critiquing or praising them. Training on the other hand is an efficient means of burning calories but it also follows structured periodisation that can help develop bone density, muscle tissue development, joint stability, ligament/tendon strength and can have positive impact on hormonal pathways and neurological functions. This all starts by finding a purpose, train with meaning and there is no such thing as failure, you just learn.

5 – Nutrition:
Most people at some point in their lives have attempted some kind of diet. Deciding to cut out essential nutrients because you “think” they make you fat is silly and ignorant. A brief explanation, there are three macro nutrients: protein, carbohydrates and fat. Some of their responsibilities are as follows: protein preserves muscle tissue and is a contributor to satiation (feeling of fullness between meals), carbohydrates are your brains preferred source of fuel (makes sense to cut those out right?) and fat supports insulin signalling and promotes efficient cellular communication (yep, it’s really not that bad). Then you have your micro nutrients and phytonutrients, these are your vitamins and minerals, a lack of essential nutrients can be the difference between a healthy life and one plagued with illness. In order to influence changes in the body, you must establish what you as an individual require in terms of daily calories, macro and micro nutrients. There is no generic number for this I’m afraid, you’re not a robot so typing “stats” into a computer isn’t really going to suffice either. Starting a food diary and making educated adaptions to influence better choices is the best approach here. Skipping meals or deciding not to eat will ironically cause cells to actually signal fat storage and whilst a number on a set of scales will be lower (temporarily), your body composition will not have changed, those stubborn areas of body fat will still be there and when you decide to actually eat how you should, you will have gained back all the excess weight you thought you had lost. It’s not as simple as that though, you will have caused ripple effect to areas like hormonal regulation, fertility, complexion, hair condition and mood Just to name a few. So take time to find what ratio of macro nutrients and calories your body needs in order to find a base level of nutrition in order to influence body composition. Disease doesn’t happen with one meal, it happens with a thousand.

“I will quote some famous words from one of my clients; “I don’t care, I just want to be thinner!”

Results:
These things don’t happen overnight, by reading this I hope you can develop more of an understanding about your own health and fitness, have refined your approach to selecting a trainer and why crash diets and generic plans may not be the best option. It is hard work, there are no shortcuts and if done correctly, hopefully you won’t only look and feel great for your big day, you will have found a bespoke method that works for you, that you can use permanently. Don’t be fooled in the minefield of health, fitness is tough but with individual advice and guidance you will get what you want.

Accepting those statements above as truth will be hard for some ladies, I have a question for those who are not convinced, have you found a sustainable health routine that gets you looking and feeling how you want? Leading up to an event like a wedding can be stressful enough, so in order to get the look you want, following a training plan catered to you, will save time, keep you thinking clear and help manage stress levels, not to mention develop posture, shape your body, strengthen bones and joints and encourage healthy body functions. A 45-55 minute purposeful session that compliments your lifestyle, rather than aimless wandering around gym or hours of aimless cardio. So avoid generic plans, listen and adapt to your body, don’t let stubborn thinking stand in the way of your health or allow todays convenience to be tomorrow’s problem.

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