Weight Loss Support - wieght loss during wedding season

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05-02-2010, 01:43 PM
Ok, so some of you know that I am a photographer. Specifically I mainly do weddings. Now in Idaho that is May-Sept. Almost every single weekend. I started my weight loss journey last summer and it was rough going. In October we are moving to Miami and with a year round wedding season it will be even more difficult.

I recently posted a thread on a photography forum about this and I thought I'd post it here for any advice I could get.

Here it is:

Ok, so last year I was trying to lose weight during the summer. It didn't work well. I do really well with eating and nutrition but I am derailed by the weekends. And often this is caused by wedding days.

The main reason is that I don't eat most of the day. I typically start with coffee and maybe a banana. And then don't have a chance to eat again until dinner at which point I may have 10-15 min. The next day when relaxing with family and friends I then over eat because I am starving. Even not including that I would find that my weight on Sunday mornings was up. Apparently skipping meals causes my body to FREAK OUT!

So, the end result was after doing really well during the week and losing a pound or more, it would be erased by the weekend and the cycle would start over.

So this year.....I want to do better. During the week I am eating very well a high protein, low "processed" carb diet. I am doing strength training and cardio 3 times per week. And I take sundays off completely but don't over do it.

In the past I would notice how photographers would almost brag about how they hadn't eaten all day as if that shows how hard they were working. I fell into that trap. Now I realize that is very unhealthy.

So how can I continue my good nutrition on wedding days? Any ideas?


05-02-2010, 01:54 PM
Start with a good breakfast. Maybe even slightly bigger than you would have on a normal day.

Then packing and timing. In this case it may mean eating when you are not really hungry to prevent the rebound. Right before you need to start your job have a snack with protein and carbs. Have snacks in your photography kit so that when there is a break you can eat a little.

I know there aren't many breaks for you but there are always delays for this or that. Once you finish the church session have a snack on the drive to the reception. Break "the rule" and eat in your car.

You may not have much time to eat so time consuming stuff like salads and veggies may take a hit (add some veggies to that breakfast). So make the rest of the calories fast but healthy. Focus on protein. Nuts and fruit. A small sandwich. Even (as my anti-processed food self shudders) a protein shake if need be.

And when you return home at the end of the long long day, even if you dont normally eat before bed, allow yourself a small protein snack if you didnt eat well. This will help you wake up the next day on a more even keel.

Dont think of wedding days as weight loss days, but weight maintenance. The convenient protein based foods may mean a bit more fat than normal and that is ok.

05-02-2010, 02:55 PM
Risk being slightly less good at your job.

This is what I had to do: in my family, work was FIRST: if you had to work, it always trumped everything else. It's what made you a good person--being a good worker that put their job first. This wasn't about money, but about responsibility: a perfect professional reputation was more important than anything.

Weight loss was the second most important thing, but it was understood that every diet had to accomodate work--never, ever the other way around.

In order to lose weight, I had to let go of that. As a teacher, my job is never "done"--I can always be more available, grade more carefully, be on another committee. This year, I cut back those things: I still get to school early to tutor, but where I used to be there by 6:15, now I go in at seven, to give me time for morning exercise. I used to stay after until 5:00 just in case any kid needed help (and to grade), now I leave at 4 unless a kid has made an appointment--and sometimes when they try to make an appointment I put them off, because I need to go to the grocery store. In other diets, I would have stayed to tutor the kid because I "had" to--what sort of person says no?!?--and eaten fast food, again, because I had to. I've cut back tremendously on going to ball games and concerts and performances and such.

But you know what? Where I see a huge decline in my teaching, I don't really think my kids see it. Turns out, they are ok waiting until tomorrow for tutoring, or getting their papers back in 5 days instead of 3, and while they always liked seeing me at a ballgame, I don't think they've missed me when I am not there. So in the end, I think I am maybe 5% less effective as a teacher, but now I get to grow old.

In the same way, you may have to accept being 5% less effective as a photographer to make time to eat. Cut the formal shots 5 minutes shorter to give yourself 5 minutes to bolt down a healthy sandwich, sneak off for 10 minutes during the reception (others are there, right?) to eat a baggie of carrots and celery. It's ok to give just a little bit less to your job when you add so much more to your life.

05-02-2010, 05:00 PM
Wow, thank you both so much for your detailed responses.

Shmead - you have a huge point. I think if my brides new I wasn't eating they would tell me to stop. I just don't want them to know :)

What do you guys think of meal replacement shakes. I was thinking about having 2 between breakfast & dinner. I would get ready made ones and bring a small cooler in my car.

Anyone know of any awesome tasting ones?


05-02-2010, 11:26 PM
I dont as a rule like replacement shakes, but if the alternative is not eating I say go for it. Its one day a week usually right? Personally I would peruse what Whole foods or similar might have. There are some that are a little more natural. I would rather have a small amount of real sugar then a boatload of nutrasweet.

Dangit...I just remembered some that I had about a year ago that were sweetened with something more natural and they were pretty good although too low in calories for a meal. Shoot shoot shoot, I can not think of the name. I'm going shopping tomorrow, I will look.

05-03-2010, 12:35 AM
Yes, please let me know. I know whole foods would be better but there isn't much I can make that keeps the protein level high and I don't eat nuts.

05-03-2010, 12:56 AM
I would eat just before I go to work and keep something quick on hand, Slimfast (there I said it ) or Carnation Instant Breakfast or even Ensure or Boost, you don't have to be a senior citizen to drink those things and they are full of vitamins.You want something you don't have to prepare or that you will need utensils. Protein bars are another choice......just don't skip meals. You won't be doing this everyday and it should keep you from overeating later.

05-03-2010, 08:18 AM
Do you eat meat? Bake chicken breast, cut or tear it into strips and stick it in an insulated lunch box with plenty of blue ice packs. Put it with your supplies. Find a way to have a three minute break every hour. Eat about 5 bites in three minutes. Pure protein. Throw a bunch of baby carrots in their too for a few carbs. You can pull a few of those out and eat them as you are walking back from the van to where you are taking pictures.

05-03-2010, 11:38 AM
Protein bars. Personally, I could eat one while doing almost anything. And you can keep them in your pocket/camera bag/etc. I'm seeing: "Ok, I need all the bridesmaids on the stage!" Bridesmaids slowly get off their butts, slowly break up conversations and make their way to the stage. This is when you open wrapper, and eat. I know there are plenty of 1-2 minute breaks like this, and as there are probably other things that are just as portable and convenient, it sounds like the main problem is probably a combination of forgetting and not wanting to look silly, or whatever, to the wedding party. Just warn the bride a head of time, and do what you have to do. I'm sure everyone will understand, and it will probably remind them that you are working so hard that you don't even have time for a proper meal!

05-03-2010, 12:33 PM
You are right. Part of it does come down too eating in front of people. It is uncomfortable. Part of the other thing is I am not your typical wedding photographer. I am constantly on the move. I don't do typical posing and rarely use the front of the church. Typically we are walking or driving to cool locations and setting up shots is very interactive (I demonstrate what I want them to do). So most photographers might just be standing there waiting for people to line up. But the new breed of modern photographers doesn't do that anymore. We work harder and much longer (10 hours usually).

I really appreciate all the ideas. Today is grocery shopping day and I'm going to pick up a few different shakes and protein bars to taste test :) I am determined this time around. And my brides are FABULOUS so I know they won't mind. I just need to be proactive about it.

I'm also going to set a timer on my phone. Honestly I get so wrapped up in the day I just forget. So hopefully that will work.