'I Was Determined to be a Fit and Healthy Bride!'

Jordan (COMMELESCIEUX) joined SparkPeople in May 2008 and had some immediate success, but then she slipped up and watched as her weight bounced up even higher than it was when she started. After she got engaged in January 2009, she realized that I had to get serious. "The thought of having my picture taken when I was at my heaviest was horrifying! I recommitted in May of 2009." Here, she shares the story and tips behind her 21-pound weight loss and her July 2010 wedding.

Jordan Before: 140 lbs. Jordan After: 119 lbs.

How did you handle the stress of wedding planning?
We had a fairly long engagement (18 months) so I didn't really feel stressed about wedding planning until a month or so before the wedding, when I was already maintaining my weight loss. I handled the stress by going for a short walk, blogging, or just jumping around and yelling if that's what it took! Generally I handle stress pretty well, but honestly, my biggest concern was that I would start emotionally eating. I think I managed to avoid it because I was so conscious of only eating when I was hungry.

When did you order your dress? How did you know what size to order? How did it fit once you received it?
I ordered my dress in June 2009 (more than a year before the wedding) when I had only lost a few pounds. I was told to order the size that currently fit, just in case. By the time the dress had come in a month or so later, it was way too big, so they exchanged it for me in the next size down. I still needed several alterations, but going down a size helped a lot.

Did you try any specific toning to help you look better in your particular gown?
My dress showed off my shoulders and back, so a lot of my strength training was focused there. It also was a sheath dress (form-fitting and lightweight), meaning I had to concentrate on my abdominals—especially the obliques.

Describe your pre-wedding diet and exercise routine.
Pre-wedding, I focused my exercise heavily on cardio, in order to lose the weight that was plaguing me, with a little bit of free weight work to cover strength training. As the day approached, I reduced my cardio and increased my strength training, using machines at the gym, bench press, and generally just got more serious about muscle building. In terms of diet, my biggest concern was always getting enough protein and fiber. I am naturally a carb-a-holic, so getting the proper ratio of carbs, fat and protein was a challenge.

What are your top three weight-loss tips for brides-to-be?
  1. Stay consistent, even when planning gets crazy. Take even a few minutes every day to fit in some exercise, and focus on YOU and your health.
  2. Realize that it will not all happen in a day. It took many, many months for me to hit my goal weight, and even then, I still had more work to do to feel toned enough in my gown.
  3. Remain hydrated! Drink your 8 cups a day—make it 10 for that matter. It's an easy thing to forget when you have a thousand other things on your to-do list, but it's so important for your health. Not to mention it helps your skin and teeth and nails look their best.
How did SparkPeople help you?
SparkPeople was the key for my success. I used the Nutrition and Fitness Trackers every day, plus set goals for myself and checked them off each week. I'm a very visual person, so it was great to be able to see the exercise minutes add up and my weight go down on a chart. Also, there are so many wonderful supportive people on this site. They kept me going whenever I wanted to stop and bury myself into a pint of ice cream. (Thanks for never letting me do that, by the way!)

See more photos of Jordan's big day on her SparkPage!