My Way of Slimming Down Before a Big Event

Weddings, vacations, weddings, vacations… ’tis the season, eh?

I feel like everyone is trying to slim down for something right now, whether it be fitting into that bridesmaid dress or looking good in a bathing suit on vacation. So, naturally, I keep getting questions regarding how to slim down “just a bit” for these big events.

And although I don’t believe in dieting, I totally hear you. It’s natural to want to look your best and feel your best during these big moments, especially when you know there are going to be a ton of pictures that will last forever.

So today I’ll tell you what I do when I want to slim down, or just when I want to make sure I don’t put any weight on right before a big event. This is perfect timing to share this with you because my brother’s wedding is this weekend and it has definitely been on my mind!

Let me tell you a story first…

When I was doing my first photo shoot for my website, I turned into a major bitch. I seriously went to crazy town for the few weeks before the shoot. All that kept going through my mind was “these pictures are going to be on my website permanently”, “they need to look perfect”.

Talk about PRESSURE! And perfection, might I add. These are two little demons I’ve been dealing with my whole life. I put a ton of pressure on myself to be perfect, and all it ever gets me is tight pants, stress, and me feeling like a huge bitch.

I spent the few weeks before the shoot trying to eat healthy, go to the gym as much as I could, and seeing less of my friends so that I could focus on what was “important”. It sucked. I was so stressed out by this photo shoot that I wasn’t sleeping well, my cravings were all over the place, and I felt horrible for being such a crazy, miserable friend to all of the people around me during this time. I kept thinking that it would pay off and that I just needed to focus on the photo shoot for right now. After all, these pictures were permanent.

So did I lose weight before the shoot? Nope, despite all of my healthy eating and days when I forced myself to the gym, I did not shed an ounce. In fact, I probably gained a pound or two. And the worst part was that I was snappy, cranky, and exhausted.

Major fail.

But, I learned a HUGE lesson from this experience, and it is the same lesson I have learned several times over the past couple of years. I actually felt really silly for repeating the same mistake that I had made in the past, but sometimes we just get caught up in the moment and forget what we already know. The lesson I have repeatedly learned is that when we have a big event that we want to look good for, dieting, putting ourselves through stressful workouts, and creating an enormous amount of pressure to lose the weight totally backfires. It puts our bodies in a constant state of chronic stress which makes it almost impossible for us to lose weight. First of all, we actually crave unhealthier food when we are stressed out. And secondly, our bodies biologically store more fat when we are in a state of stress. Not a good combo!

I really learned my lesson hard. Immediately after the shoot, I apologized to all of my friends for being a stressed out bitch, I went out that night and had a few drinks and some delicious food, danced all of the stress off, and swore to myself that I would never put myself through that again.

So what do I do now?

I play, I go out with my friends more, I try to reduce my stress to the minimal amount necessary, I eat delicious food all the time, I move my body in a relaxing and enjoyable way, I get as much sleep as possible, I have as much fun as I can, and I choose relaxing activities over stressful ones.

You see, when we are having fun and in a state of pleasure, joy and relaxation, we feel full. We rely on food less, so a lot of times we end up eating less. Not only that, but when we are in a state of ease and relaxation, our bodies don’t produce as much cortisol (stress hormone), which helps our cravings stay out of crazy town, and also helps our bodies burn fat. Triple win!!

Last week, I had a client ask me how she should go about slimming down to fit into a bridesmaid dress that she got. She said it was a little tight and she really wanted to feel comfortable in it before the wedding. I told her… don’t diet, just take these next two weeks to focus as much as possible on yourself. Put your time and effort into having fun, reducing your stress, and feeling relaxed. She was skeptical but agreed to give it a shot. After all, she really didn’t want to diet.

Last night, she sent me a message that said:

Hey Jamie! Just wanted to send you a quick message to say a great big THANKS!!! Bridesmaid dress came in Friday and fit much better! All while not dieting, having a busy schedule and enjoying meals out and time with friends….such a great feeling!”

Awesome. These kinds of things make me so happy.

In lieu of my brother’s wedding this weekend, I’ve been putting a lot of effort into having fun and as much joy in my life as possible over the past few weeks. I’m feeling pretty awesome going into this wedding, and not once did I forego a night out with friends for a grilled chicken salad.

In fact, here are some pictures of what I’ve been up to these past couple of weeks and how I’ve been enjoying life.

Drinking wine while prepping for a big presentation (wine makes everything less stressful!)

Tea work dates

Stellar lunch breaks

Waking up an extra hour early to have coffee and read the paper with my boyfriend before starting the day:

Romantic dinner dates with my girl friends

Finding pockets of time to do nothing

Drinking cappuccinos at fancy hotels

Plenty of meals out

Strolling around on the weekends without a plan

Having a blast with the people I love


So let me ask you…do you have a big event coming up? How do you normally slim down for big events? What works for you? I’d love to hear in the comments!

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  1. Super handy, Jamie! Thank you… I’m going to a family reunion this summer and I my brain is screaming “good impression, good impression” I just need to chill! 🙂 Definitely will try this. I think I’ll paint my nails, go for more walks, and try to relax a bit!

  2. I love this post Jamie, and think of it often. It has been a great post to refer back to regularly. 🙂