Getting in Wedding Shape

As a little girl dreaming of my perfect wedding, I pictured a tall, waif-like girl in a long elegant gown floating down the aisle. As a 34 year old, nothing about me is tall and waif-like and I certainly don’t float. But I always thought when there’s a will, there’s got to be a way, right?!

So let’s rewind to May 2011, I started training for a fitness competition. You may have heard or seen these, they’re becoming more and more popular. Women wear itsy bitsy blinged-out bikinis and strut the stage hoping to get a medal. I trained hard-core to compete, eating small meals of fish/ cucumbers/ sweet potatoes every 2 hours, lifting, running, lifting some more. Guess what happened in October, 2011? I WON 1ST PLACE! I was doing fitness modeling photo shoots the next day and thought I couldn’t possibly be any happier.

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Then my reality came crashing down, like a ton of diseased bricks.

I was running on adrenaline for about 6 months, training with barely any rest, stressing my body out to no end and finally it gave up on me. About a week after that first fitness competition when I had the super cool title of WBFF Pro, my weight shot up and I gained about 40 pounds. I’ll save you the detailed sob story since this is a wedding blog not a health blog. But basically my pituitary gland stopped working. The one body part I need to get lean again had completely fizzled out. A million tests, tons of blood work, 5 different personal trainers, a 100 mile bike ride, 3 marathons in 3 days, countless hours in the gym, on the trails, and on my road bike and I couldn’t drop a single pound. 2.5-3 years passes by and my struggle got more and more frustrating so I STOPPED.

I stopped listening to everyone else about what I should do for ME. I stopped reading about diets, I stopped comparing my body to every fitness model on instagram, I stopped trying on the small-sized clothes I used to wear. Instead of continuing to push my body like it was supposed to be some sort a superhero, I decided to do what felt good. My stomach hurts when I eat dairy, sugar, wheat, even meat so I stopped all of that. So I’m vegan & mostly gluten-free now and down 10 lbs, thank goodness for some movement on the scale!

But I’m still 20-30 lbs from where I would LOVE to be on my wedding day. I am naturally much lighter, always have been and I think I just need to naturally find that happy combination of healthy plant-based foods, herbs, spices and teas that will give me the proper fuel to light my fire again.

I hear a lot of people declare their wedding date and then they start counting down the months, weeks, and days of dieting/training to be wedding-ready. I can’t do that because frankly, my body doesn’t work with my brains schedule. So I have accepted to love my body for the strength it gives me, I appreciate it for all the cool things it allows me to do, and one of the best parts about this journey is my future husband has adored me every step of the way. 40 lbs heavier, 10 lbs lighter, he doesn’t care. He tells me he just wants me to be healthy and happy.

So I apologize if you were looking for a blog post about wedding weight loss tricks. I have a million workouts I can share to tone you up and I will gladly keep doing that, but the most important lesson of all is to love the skin you’re in first. That way, no matter what the scale says you’re bound to be a beautiful bride!

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Neda Iranpour

About the Author

Neda is an Emmy-award winning evening Anchor in San Diego, a cyclist, a marathon runner, a WBFF Pro & a member of the vegan club. She loves to share stories, including her own!