So you're getting married... and you want to look your best... and the pressure is on... I've been there. I am there. With that looming wedding date coming up quicker than I know it, I feel the pressure getting heavier and heavier with each week that passes and with each splurge I treat myself to. I think if I'm being honest I've always had an unhealthy relationship with food. I'm not entirely sure where it stems from but I do know living in a household where there was never junk food or snacks or anything yummy and healthy dinners and then going to my grandparents every summer where I lived off of Zebra cakes, Fruity Pebbles, candy dishes always filled and salami sandwiches probably wasn't the best for a kid. I would go from barely eating because I didn't like the nuts and seeds in the pantry to gorging on all the yummiest of foods.
Fast forward to now and I struggle with food. From being very disciplined eating every 2-3 hours, counting every calorie, munching on carrot sticks between meals to the weekend where my fiance and I just truly enjoy life and use any small excuse as a reason to celebrate with a date night... And then feeling guilty and bad that I have a wedding coming up and a dress to fit into and I want to look and feel my best. And the struggle is not fun to say the least.
So when I ran across Ginny Leavitt's instagram post featuring our Rebecca Ingram gown talking about helping brides feel confident and beautiful on their wedding day I was instantly intrigued and so I delved in to find out more about what she is all about and of course along the way I'll share some of the gorgeous images photographed by Kelsey Halm featuring our dresses!
Ginny Leavitt is a health consultant. Very different from a personal trainer. She got her Bachelor in Exercise Physiology and through her career she ended up working at the Weight Management Location in Charleston. This was her first introduction into health coaching. She got involved with brides when some friends in the wedding industry asked her advice for how to stay on track and feel confident in wedding dresses. So in March of this year she decided to segway and switch gears to help brides specifically.
My biggest question was when we chatted was - what actually is the difference between health coaching and personal training?
The key difference is that health coaching is "client-centered." A health coach works as a guide to help the client with what they want to do with their health. This is more sustainable because it focuses on what works for the client and is specific to them.
Ginny has created a program called the "Healthy Bride Experience" [ummm hello, *raises hand,* I need some healthy bride experience because all this see-sawing back and forth between healthy as can be to a splurging let-me-get-seconds-that-tastes-so-good human sounds so much better.] She has 2 courses - one that is 8 weeks long and one that is 16 weeks long. The courses include a workbook to fill out every week, these guide you through the coaching program. The "Healthy Bride Experience" is now just about weight loss... it's about wedding stress, healthy eating AND what to do after the wedding has come and gone.
I love that her program is not just about losing weight but so much more. It's about a healthy lifestyle. She even mentioned one chapter is about socialisms around weddings. I think the biggest thing is just the importance of being able to enjoy this season and chapter of your life. Being able to call yourself a "bride" is exciting and amazing. It is a season of celebration, a season to remember. You are preparing for one of the most special days. Just stop and think about it... How many times do you get to have all your favorite people and family in one room!?!?! Sure I go to family reunions every summer (yassss Myrtle Beach next week!) but all my best friends aren't there. Sure I have girl's trip reunions with my Univ of Puget Sound girls but all my best friends from Savannah aren't there or my crazy lil cousins... Your wedding is the one day that all those favorite humans are there. Just talking about it gets me soooooo excited. So why ruin it with stress?! It is not worth it and I love that Ginny's program focuses on that too because stressing yourself out with weight loss may make your body look great but if you are so stressed out than you will not have that radiant glow that only happiness and a stress-free life can grant you with.
While chatting with Ginny I also had to ask her for her BEST advice to feel confident on your wedding day. Her response? Don't wait about how you feel. If there's anything you're nervous about or want to work on, get started with action. I couldn't agree more... I think this tip honestly just kind of applies to life too. Procrastination can be a huge source of stress for people and I've really focused on this not just in a health-mindset but also at work and in life in general. I have seen a huge decrease in my stress levels at work. Whether it's preparing the fall schedule for my team 3 months in advance or having one of the #iandbteam prepare flower orders months in advance or ordering all the little details we need for our wedding now rather than waiting... every time you can check something off and be ahead of the game it just feels so good.
Another thing I love about Ginny's process is that she focuses on what is sustainable. I know for me especially trying to fast or eat only 1200 calories may work for a day but that is not realistic or sustainable at ALL. So I love that she focuses on providing the legwork to help brides with the tools that can help for a lifetime of health. Not just your typical crash diet or fad that won't ever sustain. To check out more of the Healthy Bride Experience and her two course options click below!!
Last but not least, thank you to the vendor team who made this shoot come together!!!
[Vendor Credits] Photography: Kelsey Halm Photo // Wedding Dress: Rebecca Ingram available at Ivory & Beau // Floral Print Bridesmaid Dress: Jenny Yoo available at Ivory & Beau // Blue bridesmaid Dress: Bella Bridesmaids // Hair: Sarah Veal // Makeup: Alyshia Jackson // Florals: Lindsay Bishop // Models: Devan Walsh, Brooke Jones, Alex Moring // Jewelry: Gold Creations