Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 55 - It's here!

It's not everyday that one wakes up with the feeling that today is going to be the best day of your life.

But that's how I awoke about an hour ago. I was almost surprised waking up - I expected my heart to be perpetually pounding and for last night to have been rather restless. Maybe it was the Benadryl that I took (I'm still slightly sick), or maybe it was just the knowledge that Tyler is finally going to be my husband, but I slept quite well, and for 7 whole hours.

And today is going to be the best day of my life thus far. I will soon be surrounded by people that I love deeply, and they'll be witnessing my professing my love to Tyler and vise versa. I'm not even concerned about the rain coming down in buckets outside my doorway!

I hope that many of you that will read this this morning will be there with me this afternoon. I look forward to sharing my joy with you, and partying it up with you later today!

PS - the diet's SO off today!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 44-54 - The day before the wedding

Tomorrow I'm getting married.

Woah! Tomorrow, I'm getting married!!!!

It's crazy to think that the day that we have planned for over the past 9 months is finally here. I don't think that there's ever been a more anticipated event in my life, ever. Our rehearsal was the other night, and it went by in a blink. I can't even imagine how quickly the ceremony and reception will go by.

But what (hopefully) won't go by in a snap will be our marriage, and for that I am truly grateful and blessed. After going through this process, I can see how easy it is for brides to get focused on The Day, and The Wedding, instead of The Marriage, which is far more important but for some odd reason downplayed.

And let me just say that this whole process has done nothing but make me incredibly confident in the man that will soon be my husband. He's been nothing but supportive and calming to me, particularly this past week. I'd like to say that I haven't stressed at all, and that the week has been relaxed and easy, but that's just a big fat lie. I've definitely stressed - about not seeing my family and friends that flew in for the wedding enough, about forgetting to thank people for the things they've already done, about my health (I've been semi-sick), etc. And each time I've stressed or cried or just gotten that look on my face, he has been right there for me, always being supportive and a rock even though I'm sure he's been slightly stressed, too.

I feel so very blessed, by Tyer, my family, my friends, my church community - and I almost can't believe how many people clearly love us and are happy to help us. It's enough to make me want to tear up, or perhaps exclaim a happy shout from the rooftop.

I'm off to live my last day as a single woman, but I promise to check back in after the honeymoon (and perhaps report on how my quest for fitness went during 7 straight days of eating out!). This has been such a fun journey - thank you all for coming along for the ride over these past months.

And, by the way - yes, I'm bringing my exercise gear to the honeymoon. There will be plenty of time for walks, visits to the gym, and swimming - balanced with time for cocktails by the pool, delicious food, and decadent desserts! Yum!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Days 36-43 - for the love of bacon

You'll notice that my blog posts have become fewer and farther between each other.

That's mainly because as we get closer to the wedding, it feels like I have exponentially less time on hand with which to write. Or clean. Or, uh, work out.

Yup, it's been (at least) 2 weeks since I've officially worked out at the gym. But that's ok. I've been keeping busy with all of the planning and preparation.

This past Sunday Tyler and I decided to go to brunch, and NOT talk about the wedding. We weren't very successful - but we did have a delicious brunch, complete with my long lost friend, Bacon.

Both Tyler and I have a great love for bacon. I used to want to open up a food kiosk that only sold bacon. Are you laughing? Maybe. But would you buy a strip or two if you saw that kiosk and were hungry, smelling that yummy sizzling pig fat? I bet you would!

If I could, I'd eat bacon with every meal. I love bacon on subway sandwiches - toasted, thank you very much - and I always forgo the cheese when I do add in bacon, to 'even out' the calorie and fat count.

When I go to buffets, I always go to the middle and get the bacon first. I'm sure to grab the crispiest (though not burnt) pieces. I also add just one pancake to my plate, because I LOVE bacon when it's married to a little syrup and a fluffy pancake. If it has chocolate chips in it, that's even better.

Why does bacon have to taste so good? Turkey bacon and Canadian bacon just don't compare (though I do enjoy those, too). I would have included bacon in the wedding reception buffet, but it unfortunately wasn't an option. I think it would have gone great with the prime rib and huli-huli chicken.

I'll say this - if I keep going the way I have been with bacon, I'm going to quickly gain back the 5 lbs I lost over the past 43 days.... wish me luck staying away!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Days 33-35 - the beauty that lies....

I've been thinking a lot about beauty lately.

The other night, I had a hair and makeup trial with a makeup/hair artist, and I found myself wondering why I was doing that.

Do I equate self worth with outer beauty? Am I only pleased with myself if I think that my looks meet some sort of standard? What is that standard, and how did it come to be? When did I start to be so focused on how I look?

Yet, it's 'normal' to want to be seen as beautiful, especially on your wedding day. It's the number one thing that brides are complimented on, and the media apparently has the recipe for achieving this beauty... the perfect dress, shoes, hair, makeup, makeup primer, accessories, a proper diet, workout routine, and maybe even body slimmer together equate a stunning bride.

And you know what? I beg to differ.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am absolutely one of those women that wants to look fabulous on their wedding day, as clearly evidenced by this blog. But I don't think that the beauty that I'm seeking will come solely from anything external. It is not The Dress that will make or break me, nor does my beauty depend on the amount of skin exfoliation that I do prior to the big day. It largely depends on what lies within me. If I look lovely on my wedding day, it certainly will not be because I've worked out for 54 days straight (which I haven't) or logged calories faithfully for a month (I may have neglected that as well). It will be because I am surrounded by people that I love and that love me (especially Tyler!), and because of the joy that is inside of me, that will come pouring out like caramel sauce at Starbucks. And those things bring the kind of beauty radiates out from within, which no amount of makeup or shimmer powder can recreate.

So you know what I say to all of those magazines and TheKnot articles that promise to hold the key to beauty? I say that they are lies! My mantra to myself? Go ahead, Kate, hire your makeup artist, make your hair styled just so... search for the dress and find those special shoes that you feel like a princess in. But don't forget to cherish the time that you have with your friends and family... wrap yourself up in their love like a comfy blanket (a snuggie, perhaps), and keep all the external things in perspective. For without these people, there would be no wedding, no need for a fancy dress or special music.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 32 - The Dress

Something that I haven't mentioned yet that is key to the wedding is... The Dress.

Now, The Dress has been a fairly big concern of mine for the past, say, 9 months. A week after Tyler proposed, I was already looking at dresses, as my best friend was in town and I wanted to share that experience with her.

It was a nightmare; a complete disaster. I think I had this glorified idea of what shopping for The Dress would be like. I had dreams of lace and tulle, satin and champagne, chocolate dipped strawberries and my body magically transforming into a size 2.

It wasn't really like that... the first place I went was putting me in dresses that were literally plus sizes. I may be chubby, but I am NOT a plus size. Once the dress was on (and falling off), they would take these massive metal clothes pins and literally tie me into it.

The dresses had yards and yards of material ruched around the middle, and it was not a pretty site. I grew more and more discouraged after each one, until finally I gave up, defeated and feeling pretty bad about myself.

That night, I asked Tyler if he wanted to elope. I was hoping that eloping might help me to avoid the whole dress issue.

He didn't.

So the search continued, although I waited another several months before even venturing into another shop. I received some great advice from my wise geisha friend Jennie, who told me that I should look for dresses that were similar to those that I had in my closet - styles that I know already looked good on me. That helped me to narrow my field of choices down a little further, and finally, while in California, I went shopping for a 4th time, but this time with my mom. And I found The Dress. Actually finding The Dress was a great feeling - it almost made the whole process worthwhile.

However... when I found The Dress, I was at the peak of my chubbiness, being on the tail end of a long vacation filled with eating, eating, and not exercising. I was about 10 pounds heavier than I am now, and I knew that I would lose some of the weight before the wedding.

So I was concerned when I was advised to order a dress that was 4 sizes larger than the one that I was trying on, which was only a little teeny bit too small. The kind ladies at The Dress shop informed me that The Dress that I was wearing was very stretched out, and that I should definitely go 4 sizes larger.

I went 3 sizes larger, and had a feeling I would regret it. I also knew that The Dress would be way too long, and so I inquired about having it made shorter - which was an added charge of $50. I was advised to not do that until I knew what shoes I was wearing, which of course I didn't know or have with me.

So I obliged and ordered The Dress as it was, figuring that I would get it altered later if I needed to.

The Dress arrived a few weeks ago, and I tried it on once for about 5 minutes, during which I became very hot and sweaty, and had a severe amount of back fat hanging out. Yet it was also sort of too big in other spots. 'How can this be', I thought. 'It's too big yet too small at the same time!'

I put The Dress away and decided to take it to some professionals to get their opinion.

So yesterday I took The Dress to a bridal shop, which I knew would cost more than a general alterations shop, but I also thought that they might do a better job. (Plus, I really like those big mirrors and the platforms that you get to stand on and twirl around.) And the seamstress was a miracle worker! She fixed the back fat problem (it was only a matter of how we were putting it on, and I can't say more for giving away details of The Dress!), and gave me (gulp) quotes for hemming and the other minor alterations that I needed. It was a lot, (a LOT. About a third of the price of the dress.) but I felt confident in her and decided to go for it. I also knew that I didn't have a whole lot more time to play around with, with the wedding being in 3 weeks. I left my dress and a deposit in her capable hands, with an appointment in another two weeks to 'visit' The Dress and see how it fits.

I guess The Dress is sort of like a puppy that you're adopting. You can go and visit it and even play with it (ie, try it on and twirl around), but you can't take it home until it's had all it's shots (ie stiches).

I've learned much through this process, and I feel that now I have some wisdom to share to any future brides out there. Buy your shoes first, don't buy your dress out of town, and don't buy your dress after you've been stuffing your face for 2 weeks. Ask in advance how much alterations will cost, and factor that into your budget. Or, better yet, try on dresses to find a style that you like, then search for a used on online! Tada, you just knocked off at least half the price of The Dress.

They do say that wisdom comes in retrospect..... I just never knew it would have such a hefty price tag.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Days 29 -31 - sugar, sugar

Right now Tyler and I are putting together our list of songs for our wedding, one of them being 'Sugar Sugar' (cake cutting song - even though we're having cupcakes. How do you cut a cupcake, you ask? We will show you. Prepare to be amazed.)

The song "Sugar, Sugar" reminds me of all the sugar that I ate this weekend. It started off on Thanksgiving, with the candied yams (yum, yum!) and carrot cake with fluffy cream cheese frosting that I topped off my meal with. It continued with brownies and ice cream at the flower girl/princess party that I had for my 7 (yes, 7) flower girls on Black Friday. Then there came the pumpkin crunch that I made last night for a dinner Tyler and I went to.

On a bright note, I did work out yesterday, and not just by lifting my fork from the plate to my mouth. I had a lovely visit with my friend Lauralyn while walking briskly around the lake. Plus, I wore my 2 lb wrist weights! Go, me!

You'd think that being this close to the wedding (22 days!), my motivation would be stronger than ever. But I notice that my commitment to fitness and working out everyday has really been taking a backseat to the many other tasks at hand, between work, the holidays, and wedding prep. Once again, the theme of balance arises - and I think I have the solution! Let's add 5 more hours to each day.

Who's with me?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Days 26-28 - oh, sheet

First things first. I've been a slacker in writing my blog. I'm so sorry, please bear with me! It's been a slam packed few days and I haven't had a minute to catch my breath. So let me take one now.


You know what I have done, though? I've thoroughly enjoyed my new sheets, given to me at my bridal shower.

They're made from a material called 'modal', that I fell in love with a few years back when I accidentally stumbled upon a shirt made of this dream fabric while in line at Banana Republic at 3am on Black Friday in Carlsbad, CA. I was making my way through the mile-long line (who wouldn't stand in line for an hour to get 40% off outlet store prices?!? Remember how I like clothes?), when I saw this shirt tossed to the side. I touched it and snatched it up after feeling it's luxurious fabric. I still have this shirt, and wear it all the time.

So last year, when I was in California again for my best friend's wedding, I was shopping for her wedding gift at Bed Bath & Beyond and saw these sheets. The thread count is low, and they're fairly pricey, but once I felt them, I knew I had to have them. They were the very first thing I put on my registry page, and was SO excited when I received them from a very generous group of women at my bridal shower earlier this month.

I washed them this past weekend and put them on my bed - and I thought I was in heaven. Actually, I blame not working out all weekend on the sheets. Remember in my last post how I was talking about reading for a few hours and relaxing? Yeah, that was in my bed, snuggled with my new sheets.

And I'm not exaggerating when I say that the sheets have helped me to sleep more soundly. I truly think that they've made a difference, and I've needed that difference with the crazy week I've had!

Speaking of that, I hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I'm thankful to have readers and friends like each of you, encouraging me on in my quest for fitness. I won't be posting tomorrow, but I'll give you a full report on Friday on how well or badly I did with eating! Gobble, gobble!