The day has arrived to kick start a series of interviews with three bridalicious babes from the health and fitness industry. I’m excited!
These gals — all engaged or newlywed — will be dropping by mindbodybride in the coming weeks with their top wellness tips for busy brides to be. They lift the lid on their own engagement experiences to share insider information on what fitness, nutrition and wedding stress-busters worked for them, and those that didn’t go quite as planned.
Whitney English — a personal trainer, dietitian in training and very recent newlywed — joins us today to kick off these Q&A Fridays. What I loved about chatting with Whitney is her reminder that having fun in the lead up to the wedding is just as important as the big day itself, something that diets and deprivation really put a damper on!
Read on for Whitney’s take on crash diets, booty lifting exercises and her favorite wedding stress buster…
Meet Whitney English
Engagement Date: June 7, 2014
Wedding Date: June 6, 2015
Years Dated: 6
Whitney English is a former entertainment journalist turned healthy living blogger, and the voice behind the blog, To Live & Diet in L.A. She is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and a Master’s Candidate in Nutrition at The University of Southern California, working to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Whitney’s goal is to help people achieve a healthy, happy lifestyle through diet and exercise. Her blog provides nutritious original recipes, workout routines, wellness advice, and information about current health news.
Whitney has been featured on Good Day LA, E! News, Men’s Fitness, Shape, HuffPost Taste, SheKnows.com, PopSugar, FabFitFun, Bitesize TV, and many other outlets.
mindbodybride: Let’s run through your bridal wellness plan. Did you set any specific goals for the wedding? What challenges came up along the way?
Whitney English: As a health and fitness blogger, I was already abiding by a regular schedule of exercise and healthy eating. It’s really more of a life plan. I workout 4-6 days a week and get an even balance of cardio, strength training, and flexibility (yoga). I also eat clean, whole foods about 90% of the time and treat myself to things like wine and dessert the other 10%.
My bridal plan was to stick as closely to my life plan as possible with the hope of getting a little more toned and maybe dropping a couple of pounds. Well, things didn’t go according to plan!
My sister-in-law’s wedding and my close friend’s wedding were both within one month of my own – meaning I had three bachelorette parties (one international), multiple bridal showers, and two out-of-town wedding weekends all before my own big day. Each was filled with traveling, skipping workouts, eating extravagantly, and indulging more than usual. Meanwhile, I was trying to get into grad school and still running the blog full time.
Flash-forward to the week before my wedding, I was in exactly the same spot as I was a year prior. I wasn’t any more toned or any thinner.
Surprisingly though, I wasn’t upset. On the day of the wedding, I wasn’t thinking, “gosh I wish I had dropped those last five pounds.” I was thinking how happy I was to be surrounded by my friends and family and how excited I was to celebrate spending the rest of my life with the man I love.
In hindsight, I wouldn’t have done anything differently. I had such a blast in the months leading up to my wedding and I would never trade the time I spent celebrating my loved ones to have stayed home working out nonstop and starving myself.
MBB: Knowing how the day went, what would you tell your engaged-self to prioritize?
WE: I would tell myself to focus on my own experience instead of worrying about everyone else’s.
We had a destination wedding, so we spent three days with our guests leading up to the wedding. A lot of the time, I was so worried if everyone else was having fun that I forgot to have fun myself! Luckily that didn’t happen on the day of the wedding, but it all went by so fast and I wish I’d savored it a little more.
MBB: As a personal trainer and dietitian-in-training you must be a go-to for questions on health and fitness. What question is most frustrating (from brides to be) and what do you wish they would ask instead?
WE: This question from anyone frustrates me – “How can I lose weight fast?” The only way to lose weight really fast is with totally unhealthy and potentially dangerous methods. Real, safe, long-term weight loss is only achieved through balanced dietary modifications and regular exercise. It shouldn’t be extremely painful or hard to abide by. Healthy weight loss can be fun, rewarding, and delicious!
MBB: What’s your favorite leg exercise for Bombshell Brides?
WE: Deadlifts are my favorite exercise for bombshell brides. You’re not going to see your legs (at least until the after party), but you can highlight that booty! The deadlift targets the entire back of your legs, and specifically those glutes, which will give you a nice perky behind in your bridal gown!
MBB: As you know, I write about feeling amazing for the wedding day and for life after “I Do”. What motivates you to stay fit and healthy longterm?
WE: As I mentioned before, living a healthy lifestyle should be fun and fulfilling. Find exercises and foods that are good for your body and that you genuinely enjoy. That way you won’t have to motivate yourself to do/eat them, you’ll just want to! If you don’t like running, don’t do it. Hate broccoli? Skip it. There are plenty of other exercises and healthy foods out there – experiment with them until you find what works for you.
MBB: Let’s talk stress! How did you de-stress during wedding planning?
WE: Yoga! I actually organized a yoga class the morning of my wedding for myself and any guests who wanted to join. It was the perfect way to start the big day!
MBB: Ok, so you’re getting married on a desert island. You can either take flowers, music, or dessert, but not all three. Which would you choose?
WE: Music! Absolutely! Music can make or break a wedding. We hand-selected every single song played at our wedding – from the walk down the aisle to the cocktail hour to the very last dance of the evening. When there is good music it will help the evening flow and get everyone up on their feet dancing and having a great time. You’ll also burn off all that wedding cake!
MBB: Do you have any final advice for these busy brides to be?
Don’t spend the months leading up to your wedding stressing about your weight. Months of self-destructive behavior will not make you happier on your wedding day. If you really think you need to lose weight, work with a trainer or registered dietitian to form a healthy, sustainable plan that will work long-term. Even if you try to slim down and end up looking the same when that day comes, don’t get down on yourself. Your husband chose to marry you – not you minus a certain number of pounds.
And let’s be honest, we all know we just want to look good in the pictures right? That’s what Photoshop is for!
Want To Stay In Touch With Whitney?
Check out her blog: To Live And Diet In LA
Follow her on instagram: @whitneylenglish