Monday, March 12, 2007

The Body Beautiful

One of the things I hear a LOT of is brides wanting to "get in shape" for the big day. They have a vision of being slimmer, thinner (insert your own adjective here) so sliding into THE DRESS will be effortless. NEWSFLASH - it doesn't really work like that, not quite anyway. As someone who did the same exact thing when I got married over 13 years ago, I highly recommend a different outlook and process. We put so much effort into getting into that blasted gown - which, truth be told, will only be worn for 6-8 hours. We forget about life after the dress comes off. What is that life? It's the one you'll be sharing with your new husband, the one fraught with decisions, the everyday hustle of life and the one with - get this, no beaded, crinolined, bustled, lace embellished gown in sight. In most cases, the dress you fought with to wear - will be in closet, all packed away - only for you to gaze at on certain occasions.

So, what's a bride-to-be to do? Everyone (including all of the magazines, websites and gown shops) places so much emphasis on you gliding down the aisle to meet your beloved, a visually amazing dream in chiffon, satin....yada, yada. How about looking at getting fit as a lifestyle choice? How about sitting down and thinking carefully at the benefits of being in shape - and how that can transcend into your new life? Think about it - let's say you drop 25 pounds and that zipper just floats up, no problem. 2 months after you've said "I Do" - and you can't get the darned thing to even move. The problem? Life has set in and you are in the process of adjusting to be married. In college - they call it the "freshman 15" - for brides (and grooms!), I like to call it the "newlywed 20"!!

The decision to get in shape and stay there is an arduously hard one. I speak from experience. When people see my earlier episodes of "Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?", they are seeing someone who weighed in 30 pounds heavier than I am now. And I gotta tell you - while television does add a few pounds, there is nothing like seeing yourself on the screen and thinking "wow - I have gotten fat". I used to be much smaller - but that was before work, 2 kids and marriage took over!!! So...I made a conscious decision to face my "issue", I started working with a personal trainer. That was by far, the very best decision I've made in a long time. Catherine is amazing....and she's very mindful of how her clients react to exercise. I'm not saying I love to work out now, but because of her - I now understand the science of fitness.

She's starting a bridal boot camp this spring - which should be very interesting. Being the inquisitive sort that I am, I told her to make sure that the participants understand that this is just the beginning of a very long road. The journey to the body beautiful has many twist, turns, forks and crossroads - and it's one that each of us has to make alone. But since you are about to say "I Do", you can actually have someone to coax you through the days when it's just rough, someone who will look at you and praise the new muscles that are starting to develop. And ladies - encourage your groom to do the same thing. Working out together is a great way to nurture your relationship - it's just one more thing you'll have in common.

My workout? I'm hanging in there :) This morning, as I was hoofing it on the elliptical trainer, I looked up and caught a vision of my upper body - working the heck out of those handles on the machine. And I saw trapezoids, biceps.....things that I never thought possible. I look much different now than 1 year ago when I started working with Catherine and at 45, I'm trying to have the best body possible, so I can sail gracefully into my 50's, 60's and beyond. Here's to keeping my ship on course......

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