This month's bridal beauty expert comes in the very toned shape of Luke Meessmann from TenPilates. TenPilates is a London-based company with three workout studios, and offers an intense style of Pilates that's designed to slim you down and strengthen your muscles. Here are Luke's brilliant motivational tips for kicking off your pre-wedding weight-loss or fitness regime:
- Tell others of your physical goals, especially those close to you. You're going to have some tough times when the motivation is waning, and a little encouragement or interest will make all the difference in keeping you on track.
- Make your exercise a priority. With our modern lazy lifestyles, maintaining fitness requires us to set aside time to "get up a sweat". Put aside the "time for yourself" and make it a priority. After the first few weeks friends and family will learn you are unavailable during these times.
- Make it enjoyable. There are so many forms and styles of exercise today that boredom is no excuse to quit. Use this time to try new things, meet new people or strengthen current relationships e.g. make a weekly run with your bridesmaid part of your routine.
- Know yourself. If you know you're not a morning person, the motivation of getting up at 6am for a run will become a constant battle and set you on a downward slide. Instead make this "time for yourself" at a time that suits you, e.g. in the lunch break or evening. This is about changing your habits and lifestyle; you should make it as easy as you can.
- Educate yourself. Take control of your fitness and learn about your body. The fitness industry is flooded with "quick fixes" and money-making schemes that play on your insecurities. Don't be fooled, it takes time and effort to make the changes you want. Believe you can do it.
- Take part in some 'extracurricular activity' as well as a Pilates regime to add variety and fun. It could be playing squash, bike riding, water polo, or self-defense. Try a few 'til you find something you really enjoy, and drag a friend along to make it a social thing.
- Compare yourself to others. It's a dangerous trap. You will make some huge improvements so be proud of them. Everyone is different! Make sure your goals are specific to you.
- Be unrealistic. You are not going to be the same shape you were when you were 19. You have stopped growing so your body will not be burning energy as it was during your younger years. Aim for a size and shape you have been before. Maybe you have an old dress or a pair of jeans that you once slipped into. Aim to fit back into them, not the size below or you'll only increase the risk of disappointment and frustration.
- Focus on weight. It is just a number. Instead focus on improving your performance e.g. running further/faster, decreasing your resting heart rate etc. This change of thinking will make you train harder, and the weight will subsequently fall off. Keep off the scales. The female body can fluctuate up to 2kgs (4 pounds) from morning to night so don't slip into this common trap of being obsessed with a number!
Prices of TenPilates sessions start at £12.50 for the first class with private personal training from £80. Open 7 days a week: 020 8969 9677 / www.TenPilates.com
Bridal packages start at £300 for the one month bridal package.