The Healthy “Rules” That Every Bride Needs To Break

The Healthy “Rules” That Every Bride Needs To Break

2 months until the wedding.

Worried about the dress not fitting.

Worried about all eyes being on you.

Hating that you lose all control on the weekends / after 5pm / because it’s Thursday …

Sound familiar?

Here’s a recent comment from a bride-to-be on social media:
“I’m driving myself crazy thinking about how I haven’t lost the weight I wanted to. I’m so worried about looking “fat” on my wedding day that I’m not even excited about it anymore. I’ve fallen into being obsessive over everything I do until the wedding …”

Unfortunately, this reaction isn’t a-typical. During the consultations I have with brides joining my Elite Program I hear this story over and over again. But I don’t have to tell you that, right? Maybe you can even hear a little of yourself in that comment. So, instead of giving you another piece of advice to obsess over, I’m going to tell you that it’s actually time to stop following the rules. At least the ones that don’t serve you.


I was inspired to write this post last night as I was flicking through my old journal from 2012. In it I had set myself 7-day, 30-day, and even 90-day diet and exercise challenges.

It said things like:

  1. Commit 100% to meal plan for 90 days (yeah right!)
  2. Stop eating before 7pm (never happened)
  3. TODAY do cardio and strength and stretch and meditate and journal and more cardio and ….

Is it any wonder that I felt like such a failure with these kind of expectations? During my engagement no less.

Fortunately I was able to have a giggle last night when I read these pages, and then strike a big red cross through each of them. This isn’t how I live anymore, and my life is so much better.

Your bridal-body obsession could be preventing you from reaching (and maintaining) your ideal weight (not to mention the toll it’s taking on your engagement) Today we’re talking about how to fix it.

Why you want this

Because you don’t want to spend your engagement micromanaging everything you eat and everything you do, and still feel guilty after having a glass of champagne and a slice of cake at your bridal shower. Being a bombshell bride is as much about enjoying the journey as it is about flaunting it on your wedding day!

Why you need this

It’s unrealistic to commit to an ultra-restrictive eating pattern while also functioning at work, enjoying your personal life, and planning a wedding! [Tweet This]

Obsessing over your every meal and workout leading up to your big day not only empties your physical and mental reserves, it can make your life and your engagement a lot less enjoyable.

You see, on any given day you only have a finite supply of willpower to resist short-term temptations. The problem is that every decision you make taps into that supply.

Eventually a time will come when you can’t rely on willpower any more. This might be each night, it might be each weekend, or you might make it all the way through to the wedding day but what happens then?

This mental burden of expectation, anxiety and sadness puts your body under chronic stress. When your body is constantly exposed to high levels of stress hormones it leads to:

  • Abnormal cravings and eating behaviors
  • Irritability, anger and depression
  • Lack of energy
  • Decreased metabolism
  • Poor sleep
  • Sickness
  • Potential long-term damage to the body’s immune, reproductive and growth systems.

Remember, it’s about wellness not weightloss.

How to get your fiancé on board

This is an important subject that he needs to know about. Sit down with him and explain how you feel. I hope that you’re not surprisedwhen he tells you that he thinks you’re beautiful, and if today was the wedding day you are totally ready.

So, what goals do help you to create your bombshell bride body & life?

Let’s start with a simple question: How do you want to feel, during your engagement, on your wedding day and beyond?

Do This 

Write down 5 words that describe how you want to feel (not look).

They might include things like:

  • confident
  • joyous
  • happy
  • relaxed
  • calm
  • elegant
  • bubbly

Also consider physical feelings such as:

  • toned
  • not-bloated
  • energetic
  • pain-free
  • nourished

And of course emotional feelings:

  • excited
  • in love
  • grateful

Next, let’s pinpoint the nutrition and fitness “guidelines” that actually bring you closer to creating those feelings.

Do This

  1. Write down every diet “rule” that you’re trying to follow: no gluten, no alcohol, no sugar, no dairy, no carbs, no eating after 6pm, eat more protein, go vegan, no sugar you get the idea.
  2. Do the same thing for every exercise “rule” that you have tried to follow: only do high intensity training, do longer workouts, do shorter workouts, eat before and after a workout, don’t eat before and after a workout, train first thing in the morning, train in the afternoon, schedule days off, make a workout calendar … etc.
  3. Now select which of these guidelines (let’s ditch the term rules shall we?) actually make you feel better.

This final list becomes your compass for making daily nutrition and fitness decisions. While you won’t follow these guidelines 100% of the time, you’ll find it much easier to maintain your healthy habits overall because you know that your choices are actually making you feel better, and bringing you closer to your wedding day goals.

My Experience

After doing this exercise (and releasing expectations of how I should eat/move/live) I noticed that I was able to easily establish and maintain my ideal weight, and live a life that I love with the man that I love. 

In case you’re interested about what nutrition and fitness guidelines show up in my journal these days*, it looks a little something like this:


Have a couple of wine-free nights each week, dairy and gluten suit me best as treats so I moderate but not eliminate them, eat mindfully, eat fermented vegetables, follow the 80/20 daily (80% clean + 20% treats).


Alternate cardio and full-body strength days, schedule workouts for 7 days and take rest days anytime my body needs (usually 1 or 2 per week), stretch at least three times per week, do “fun-fitness” on the weekends.

*This is what works for me at the moment, but I know that it will change again in the future. Once you learn to listen to your body you can easily update your daily habits to keep yourself feeling great.

What do you think?

Now I’d love to hear from you. What 3 things do you want to feel on your wedding day? What is one “rule” that you need to break, and one “guideline” you choose to follow to help you get there? Let me know in the comments below and inspire every other beautiful bride to honor her body and enjoy her engagement.

With love and freedom,

Jennifer Dene xox

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2 Responses to The Healthy “Rules” That Every Bride Needs To Break

  1. This is such a great post Jennifer! I remember a year before my wedding when I decided – I’m going to get in the best shape of my life. Fast forward to my wedding day – I looked exactly the same. I tried to get strict about all those rules I’d set for myself, but quickly realized it was totally unrealistic. There were a few times I stressed about it, but by the actual day, I realized the only thing important was that I was about to spend the rest of my life with the person I loved and celebrate it with the friends and family that I love the most. Would I have been happier if I’d been 5 pounds thinner in my photos? Probably not. Plus – there’s photoshop for that, haha. Am I glad I didn’t make myself miserable for months by depriving myself of food and emotionally bashing myself for being unable to stick to unrealistic goals. Heck yes!

  2. Thanks Whitney! It’s easy to get caught up in the bridal-hype and miss out on the fun of the engagement. Plus your wedding photos are GORGEOUS, I would have hated for you to change a thing XO

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