I have to admit, I have been lurking around these boards for sometime. There is some good information out there in regards to weight loss/exercise and then there is some "mis-information" that makes me cringe!
We all want to look good on our wedding day. That is a given! But all of our goals are different. Some want to lose 50 lbs. Some want to drop their body fat percentage to 16%, some just want to get into a healthy exercise routine. Whatever is it....the first step is making a goal AND making it realistic. If you want to drop 2 dress sizes but aren't willing to change your diet, then you probably need to adjust your goal. There's nothing wrong with that. It just comes down to how motivated you are to achieving your goals. Make the right goal for yourself, for the amount of time you have to give and for the sacrifices you are willing to make to achieve it.
I am currently a group fitness instructor and have trained in the past. My fitness coach and mentor has been in the business for 30+ years and now trains bikini and figure competitors as well as created her own fitness program called Dancer Body Fitness. I am lucky enough to be given amazing diet/fitness advice and I'm happy to share it for those who are interested in diet, exercise or just need a place to start from.
The most important thing (and this has been mentioned a few times on the boards before...but probably not enough!) is your diet. Your diet plays about a 70-80% role in in your weight loss/fitness goals. I personally think diet is harder than any pushup, pullup, class, bootcamp, etc. It involves making healthy choices every minute of the day. Below is a link to an article that gives a great 5 day diet plan.
You'll see the key is in eating 5-6 small meals a day. You don't need to eat the same thing day in and day out. But you will notice certain staple foods in your diet. For me its egg whites, oatmeal, chicken, grapefruit and asparagus. I eat a lot of these. For you it might be something else. Every meal should be very high in protein (try for 20g) and very low in sugar. You want to keep your blood sugar regulated throughout the day so you don't have spikes and then lows...causing cravings for sugar. It is not easy. You have to make the choice on a daily basis to eat healthy. There are days when I crave pizza so badly. If you have a craving for something, think about how hungry you are. Could you eat a piece of chicken instead? If the answer is no, your body isnt starving..you are just craving something unhealthy. Drink some water or eat a healthy snack and the feeling will usually pass.
Now for exercise...the "fun" part. For your cardio exercise I suggest finding something you enjoy doing. If you love to run (and I am NOT one of these people) then run, go roller blading, play a sport, dance....whatever fun activity you can find that will make you smile and sweat at the same time...do it! I love to dance. So I started taking dance classes as well as dance cardio classes. I loved it so much I started teaching Zumba. Its an excellent way to burn a lot of calories in 60 minutes while having fun. Find something fun...and do it. 3-6 times a week.
If you want to lose weight but also don't want to see flabby arms and thighs you need to incorporate weights. This is so important for most women and they don't even realize it. Just something as simple as toning your shoulders will really change the way your body looks. Shoulders, biceps, triceps, hamstrings and glutes are the major muscles I work weekly. Core exercises should be built into all your weight training. It helps you in all other workouts and it works your abs.... and who doesn't want awesome abs! Low weights and longer reps build long, lean muscles (not bulky!). 3lb and 5 lb weights are really all you need to get toned. You might be using a 5lb weight for a bicep exercise...but you are doing it for 3 minutes. I had my fiance (who lifts regularly at the gym) do some shoulder exercises with me. He laughed at the 5 lb weight at first... but he was dying after 2 minutes and I kept on going. (Moral of the story: strength should not be defined by how heavy your weights are!) Also, make sure you have proper form so you don't strain or cause injury to yourself. This is also much easier when using lighter weights. Pay attention to all those big guys at the gym throwing weights around. A lot of them have horrible form and have no idea what they are doing!
I hope all of you ladies achieve the goals you set for yourself for your wedding day! This is a great forum which allows us to chat and support one another. Take advantage of all the information out there!!!!! Please feel free to share the exercises that motivate you. Maybe someone else will be reading and think "hey thats an awesome idea!" and now you've just helped someone get a little closer to their goals