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Weddings at The Mansion

Nicki Ann's Wedding Blog

In her blog, Nikki Ann shares with you her insights, thoughts, and feelings on all things women, wedding, marriage, and event-related.

Bridal Boot Camp: 5 Simple Rules for Getting in Shape

April 11th, 2012

I know I kind of randomly started posting to help you on your fitness journey before your big day, but I think it’s time that I gather them under one roof. I’m going to write a series called “Bridal Boot Camp” in which I will give you fitness tips and recipes. Wow! Who would have ever thought to call it Bridal Boot Camp? *sarcasm* I know it is not a novel title, but I just want to organize it a little more for you. If you can think of a better header, by all means comment below. You know how much I love  to hear from you!

Anywho… As I sit here drinking my Island Coconut coffee (yes, it is as good as it sounds) at 5:30 in the morning on a Saturday (yes, there is something wrong with me, but sometimes when I wake up I start thinking and just can shut my mind off… give me a “A-Oh!” if you can feel me on that one), I realized that I am officially a P90X graduate today and have changed my mindset and body drastically. My original goal was to look better at 30 (eek! My birthday is coming in May! Sorry for all the side notes – it is 5:30am) than I did at 21. Since starting in January, I’ve lost 12 pounds, 11 total inches and dropped 8% body fat. Oh and I’ve dropped 2 pants sizes. So I think I owe a pretty big thanks to Tony Horton and his stupid Superman Banana for getting me back into those jeans that I bought when I was 21, which I might add are too big now. And I am not done yet! I am starting a hybrid combo of P90X and Brazil Butt Lift (gotta work that booty!) on Monday, so I am in for another 90 days of this.

So while I don’t pretend to be a fitness expert, I did follow a few simple rules that really helped me through this process. I am sure some of you were sitting there thinking “That sh*t cray. I don’t want to do some fad diet. They don’t work.” You’re right. They don’t. It’s a lifestyle change. No, really. It is. I swear by these rules and have honestly made the change and that is how I have gotten as far as I have. It’s going to be a long one, so buckle up. Drum roll please…

5 Simple Rules for Getting in Shape

1. Drink Water

I know you have heard this a million times before, but have you honestly done it? You should be drinking between 2-3 liters of water every single day. If you want the equation, you take your body weight, cut it in half and that’s how many ounces of water you should be drinking (i.e. If you are 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water or about 2 1/4 liters of water). I promise the frequent trips to the bathroom will become less frequent as your body gets used to the change. If you think about it, going to the bathroom isn’t such a bath thing. You are flushing out the toxins in your system when you drink water. No one wants those nasty things in them!

Most people mistake thirst for hunger. So when you get that hunger pain when you’ve just eaten, you are most likely thirsty, not hungry again. This one was a hard one for me. I found that I was probably only getting 1 liter of water per day. No wonder I felt sluggish and tired all the time! I was dehydrated!

Water was never appealing to me. So I fixed that by adding stuff to it. Not sugar or those single serving packets of flavoring, but fresh lemons, oranges, strawberries, cucumbers, mint… You name it, I’ve tried it. You won’t see me without my bright green water bottle with a few lemon wedges. I actually like water now. It’s pretty much all I drink… except wine…

Already drinking enough water? Good for you! You can check one thing off your list.

2. Keep a Food Diary

Do you really know what you are eating on a daily basis? It’s funny that I used to think I was eating healthy, but in fact, I wasn’t. The amount of sugar and sodium in some foods is downright ridiculous! There are a ton of ways you can track this. You can keep a small notepad with you and just jot it down or you can use an online tracker. My personal favorite is My Fitness Pal. It is free and allows you to search and input all of your food through the day. They have mobile apps and you can search restaurants and brand names. They even have a bar code scanner to make your life a wee bit easier.

I don’t have anything against the other programs like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig, but I just don’t think those types of programs work in the long term. I’ve tried Weight Watchers in the past and yes, I did lose weight, but it didn’t help to teach me what I was eating. Transferring food into points was more work than it was worth. And I am sure that if you eat only pre-packaged foods that have been shipped to your house, you can lose weight. But what happens when you decide to stop the program? You gain the weight back. Oh yeah, and they cost money. I like my money. I’d much rather do all of it for free.

Once you know what you are eating, you can start making changes. Which brings me to the next rule…

3. Eat Clean and Eat Enough

Eat clean? What the heck does that mean? It’s really quite simple. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients on the package, it isn’t clean. If it has the word “sugar” as one of the first few ingredients, it isn’t clean. If it is a complete meal in a box, it isn’t clean. If it is fast food, it isn’t clean. In a nutshell you should avoid foods that are artificial, over-processed, chemically charged, high in sugar, high in saturated and trans fats and contain preservatives. If you want to really delve into the Eat Clean principles, I suggest getting Tosca Reno’s book The Eat Clean Diet: Recharged. It really helped me understand how to eat clean.

One other important thing – DO NOT STARVE YOURSELF! This is really, really, really important. The best way to fit into that bridal gown is to eat. I can assure you that skipping breakfast is not good for you. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. In fact, I am going to pause for a moment to go get mine started!

OK, I’m back. I know it’s crazy that to lose weight you need to eat, but it’s true. You should be eating 5-6 small meals per day. Each one of those meals should have a protein and a complex carbohydrate (not straight starches, but veggies and fruits – the healthy carbs). I literally eat every 2-3 hours. Some days I find that I am a bottomless pit and others I can barely force myself to eat another bite. But I know my body needs fuel to get through the day and my workouts.

Fun fact: Diet is the most important factor in getting the body you want. In fact, 80% of weight loss is diet related with another 10% on exercise and the last 10% on genetics.

4. Work Out

No, there is not a quick fix. You have to work out. I chose P90X because there is a great blend of strength and cardio training, which any good workout plan should include. I know you don’t want to bulk up. Neither did I. But I can say that I am super excited about the pipes I’ve got now because of the strength training. My only regret was that I did not do this before I got married. I can only imagine how great my arms and shoulders would’ve looked in that dress now!

You’ve heard the old “1 pound of muscle weighs more than 1 pound of fat.” Seriously, think about what you are saying. One pound of something, does NOT weight more than one pound of something else. But one cubic inch of muscle does weigh more than one cubic inch of fat. As you can see from my stats above, I really didn’t lose that much weight. I did lose a LOT of inches though. It’s because I built muscle and lost fat. Plus, muscle helps burn fat. So the more muscle you have, the easier it is to burn fat.

Now, how do you go about finding an exercise plan for you? For one, you could get a gym membership and hire one of their personal trainers. You don’t necessarily need them for the long haul, but if you do not know your way around a gym, then you need someone to help you get your plan in order. If the membership fees are not in your budget, then you can try some of the at home videos. P90X and Brazil Butt Lift are just two workout programs, but there are a ton more. I’d be happy to help you find a good one, just leave a comment below with your email and we can chat!

Disclaimer: If you have existing medical issues, please check with your doctor before embarking on any fitness program. You don’t want to do more harm than good!!

5. Get Support

This is where I give a little shout out to my “New Year=New You” Facebook crew. Without the support they gave me through this, I never would have made it through the whole 90 days. I was notorious for starting a program and then getting bored 2 weeks in and falling off the wagon. The Facebook group held me accountable. I had to log in every day and let them know how/what I was doing or feeling. Having an accountability partner (or 28!) helps so much! You can even grab your MOH and have her workout with you. It will make you both so much happier and healthier. If you don’t have any friends or family who are interested, I’m here for you! I am starting another round of P90X on Monday, so I ain’t going nowhere!

So that’s it. Five simple rules to follow to help you get in shape. I find that inspirational photos give me something to work toward, so here’s one that really makes me work hard.

I want her abs.

If you want more fitness inspiration, you can follow my Pinterest Fitness Inspiration board. My personal favorite is the “I workout because I know I would’ve been the first to die in the Hunger Games.”

Since everyone likes to start on Mondays, I am dedicating next week to Bridal Boot Camp. Join me to learn a little bit each day and get this thing started!! And now off to get my workout in for the day. Feel the burn!



Meals for the guys…

March 14th, 2012

We have to make adjustments when we change our eating habits, but some things die hard. I still love french fries, wings and meatball hoagies (or subs for those of you not familiar with our Pittsburgh term). So I decided to make a clean version of the meatball hoagie and fries. I want my hubby to enjoy this stuff too, so it is important to find things that are not too far out of his comfort zone.

Joey makes his own pasta sauce that is pretty awesome. He has a little chef hidden in there. I just have to get him to come out. So I will be using his sauce as a topper for the meatball hoagies. Sorry, he won’t share that recipe! It’s top secret! But if you ever want to come over, he will happily make it for you! But in case you want to try this on your own, here is a Clean Spaghetti Sauce recipe. I haven’t tried it, but it sounds pretty good!

I got this recipe from my new favorite blog, The Gracious Pantry. I was in the mood for meatball hoagies with pasta/marinara sauce, so I just made the balls not the dill sauce found in this recipe.


My notes:

*I used Jennie O Extra Lean 99/1, which comes in a package of 1.25lbs and I found it came out to the perfect consistency for the balls

*I am not a huge fan of onions, but I do appreciate what it can do for flavor, so I actually used about a tablespoon of onion powder instead

*I used panko crumbs because that is all I had


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper.

2. Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well with your hands. *Engaged ladies – take your ring off please!*

3. Once fully blended, roll mixture into 1 inch balls and place approximately 1 inch apart from each other.

4. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 375 degrees.

5. Let cool and enjoy! Makes about 30 balls.

For the fries, I just took a sweet potato, sliced it into strips and placed them on a foil-lined baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. I sprinkled them with a little seasoning salt and baked at 375 for 20 minutes.

I decided to use a tortilla wrap for my roll in lieu of the bun and topped it with a bit of sauce and even though it isn’t very “clean,” I added a  bit of mozzarella cheese. Yum!

And that is it! These were super easy to make and I would definitely do it again. They worked out perfectly with the sauce because the sauce added a little more flavor. However, if you are planning on eating the meatballs without sauce, you may want to play around with the spices or leave the dried onions in the ingredients. They were a tad bland without the sauce. I would try adding Italian seasoning or a mixture of basil, oregano and parsley. No salt!! Excellent with the sauce though!


Parmesan Chicken… yum…

March 7th, 2012

For the first recipe, I made Parmesan Chicken from the recipe found on Simple Clean Living. I don’t know about you but I love breaded chicken and I love cheese even more. Seemed like a good combo for me! Forgive me, I totally forgot to take pictures of the preparation because I had just finished working out and was pretty hungry when I was prepping. I was so focused on the food, I forgot to document it along the way! Its my first one, give me a break!


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Break open eggs into a shallow dish and scramble well.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine panko crumbs, parmesan cheese, sea salt, black pepper, lemon pepper and oregano.
*For this part, I actually found that for the full 2lbs of chicken I had to make an additional 1/2 recipe of the spice mixture to have enough to cover the chicken breasts.*
4. Dip each side of chicken breast into the egg and then into panko mixture.
5. Place in a large baking dish.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
*I had to up the temp and continue cooking for a little while longer to make sure that it was done. The chicken breasts I had were pretty thick.
8. Enjoy!
*I did with some steamed broccoli (no butter!) and italian potatoes (just cubed russet potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil, oregano and basil to taste, baked at 375 for 45 minutes.)
It tasted just as good as it sounded and looked too. A little crunch and LOTS of flavor! Even my picky husband loved it and he really is a hard one to please. It will definitely be added to our list of frequent dinners. More coming soon! Enjoy this one until then!

Here’s the Skinny

March 5th, 2012

So you just got engaged! That’s awesome. I am super excited for you!! If you are like so many other women out there, you want to look your absolute best for your soon-to-be husband on your big day. But it should not just be for your big day. It should be for the rest of your life, since you plan on spending it with the love of your life.

I think one of the hardest things for me to hear is “I’ll just starve myself” when they are trying to lose weight. I get it. Mostly it is in jest. But sometimes, it isn’t. That’s what worries me. I am here to help each and every one of you move away from that mindset and get healthy just like me.

I don’t claim to know everything. In fact, I am far from that. But I have learned a few things since I joined a challenge group at the beginning of the year and started doing P90X. Along with the workout plan, I have also really changed my viewpoint on food and eating. Since I usually give up something for Lent, I decided to start eating clean, which basically means cutting out the processed foods, sugars, fats, etc. Essentially, if it is man-made and/or you cannot pronounce the ingredients listed, it probably isn’t clean. I wrote a Friday Finds post about a blog that I started following, The Gracious Pantry. There are honestly so many recipes on there and each and every one is amazing. At least the ones I have tried so far. So this morning, while talking to our support group coach, I decided that I should really share this knowledge with all of you. Maybe you can join me in my journey to get healthy for my husband, for our future children and mostly for myself.

I am going to make a new, clean recipe and share my experience with you. I will post the actual recipe along with photos as I go (I’ll  most likely use my iPhone and Instagram to capture this process, so I don’t guarantee professional grade). The first one I am making is Parmesan Chicken. I’ll be making this tonight, so hopefully you will see the post soon! I’ll probably also be including some workout tips too.

So stay tuned and we’ll get fit together!!! And because every post is better with a photo and some humor…



Friday Finds, 2.24.12

February 24th, 2012

So as we all know, the moment a woman gets a ring on her finger she starts watching what she eats and starts exercising. I know I did! But I also continued the healthy habits I picked up after the wedding. In fact, by doing P90X for the last 46 days, I am in better shape now than I was at 21. The last time I measured, which was 2 weeks ago, I had lost 5.75 inches total from my body. Yay me! I am doing this with the help of a good friend of mine who is a wonderful inspirational source to keep me motivated through this and has so much knowledge about this stuff that it really makes it quite easy. Don’t worry, I have her writing a post to share with you so you can jump on the train too. It will be coming soon!

So this year for lent, I decided to do something to honor myself and the body I have been given. Rather than giving something up, I am going to be giving myself more! I have decided to “eat clean” for the next 40 days, well 38 now, but you know what I mean. So what does that mean? In a nutshell, eating clean means eating whole, natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean protein and complex carbs. Essentially anything that is “man-made” is not clean – refined sugars, white breads, preservatives, and bad fats are part of this. So I guess technically, I am giving up “dirty” foods.

This may sound like it is easy, but I can assure you that it can be difficult if you do not have enough ways to mix up the food options. I found this blog from someone in our little fitness support group on Facebook and I can say that it has become a favorite already. The Gracious Pantry posts frequent, if not daily, recipes for clean meals, snacks and desserts. I have already tried a few recipes (The Cinnamon Chocolate Protein Bars, Chicken and Dumplings and the Hummus) and LOVE them!! The blogger, Tiffany, is also a cookbook author so I can only assume her cookbooks are full of phenomenal recipes as well… I just might have to pick one up to help get me through the next 40 days!

I mean, on a cold February day, doesn’t this look wonderful! I can assure you that it tastes pretty darn good too! Just click on the photo to go straight to the recipe!!! If you are interested in learning more about clean eating, she even has a Clean Eating 101 page where you can learn more about it! Trust me, it works!


Buff Bride

June 30th, 2011

When the wedding day is approaching quickly and you are scrambling around trying to lock-down vendors, pricing and details, the last thing you are probably thinking about is fitness and diet. I got together with Emily Waters, a NASM certified personal trainer in the DC area and asked her a few questions. Hopefully, her motivating responses help get you up off your butts and moving around!!

NAE: How did you get your start as a personal trainer?

EW: I joined a new gym about 3 years ago and with my membership I got a free personal trainers session. I always had this vision that personal trainers were only for rich and famous people who had the money to pay for it. During my first session I LOVED it. I’ve always enjoyed working out and I’ve been playing a bunch of different sports since I was very young so this wasn’t a surprise to me. I felt so good after my session that I decided to do something for myself and buy a package. It wasn’t cheap and I was hesitant to spend the money on it at first, but it was so worth it in the end. Not only did I lose 12 pounds in the first 2 months (my goal wasn’t really to lose a lot of weight, I really just did it because it was fun to me) but I toned up a lot more and I realized that I was a lot more passionate about fitness than I realized. As I continued to meet with my trainer I realized that I was capable of doing everything he was doing. So I started looking into getting my personal trainers certification. I bought the materials, studied on my free time, took the test and passed. After that it all started with a friend of mine who knew someone who was too intimidated by the trainers in her gym and wanted someone to come to her apartment complex gym to train her. It’s now been about 3 years and I have 7 clients that I train 4 days a week, after my full-time job, in my apartment complex gym. I LOVE IT.

NAE: What is your favorite part about being a personal trainer?

EW: I have two favorite things. First, I love seeing my clients accomplish new goals. When they are able to do a workout that they could barely do when we first started, or when they sign up for a race (I recently had a client start running and has since ran a half marathon and done a few sprint triathlons) and get so excited to tell me how well they did, it’s an amazing feeling. Not only is it a sense of accomplishment for them, but I can see a change in my clients attitude when they meet their goals. Every one of my clients is happier and more excited now that they are more in shape and able to do things they couldn’t before, or wear things that they never fit into before. My first client ever doesn’t meet with me anymore but she’s since gone on to be as much of a fitness fanatic as me and she still sends me pictures when she buys a new cute outfit and is so proud to be able to look good in it. I’ve been fortunate to have most of my clients change their way of life and actually make working out a priority for them, even without my help. It makes me feel like I impacted their lives in a positive way.

My second favorite thing is being able to put my clients through difficult workouts to test them and show them how far you can really push yourselves. A lot of people do not push themselves nearly as far as they should/could. Sometimes my clients will call it torture (while it’s happening) but afterwards I always ask them how they feel and 9 times out of 10 I hear, “I’m exhausted but I feel so good!” I love to hear, “I hate you” during the workout because it means I’m doing my job and not one of them has ever stayed mad at me:)

NAE: I wake up pretty early in the morning to get to work. What is a good 10-15 minute workout that I can squeeze in before heading to work to help wake me up and get me moving for the day?

EW: This is tricky because it’s difficult for me to give a good workout without demonstration. I will say though, that it’s always better to do a quick 15 minute workout then no workout at all. In fact, an intense 15 minute workout to start the day can sometimes be enough. Note…“sometimes” is key here. It really depends on how “in or out” of shape you are and what your goals are. If you are trying to lose weight, while 15 minutes is always better than no workout at all, it might not be enough to reach your weight loss goal. If you were to do a quick 15 minute workout I would highly recommend that it not only be intense, but that you attempt to work your entire body. After all, it’s only 15 minutes and you want to get the most out of the little amount of time that you have. A very effective way to burn calories and keep things interesting is to do circuit training. Select 2-3 leg exercises (lunges, squats), 2-3 upper body exercises (push-ups, dips), and 2-3 ab exercises (it’s much easier to look these up than to have me say a name without an explanation…trust me, there are a ton out there). You can find a ton of exercises online if you simply type in “ab exercises” or “leg exercises”. They will likely have demonstrations online. Once you select the ones you want to do simply rotate through them quickly, only taking a break after you’ve done each exercise. For example: 10 squats, 10 push-ups, 10 ab exercise, 10 lunges, 10 dips, etc. Doing them back to back, without breaks, will get your heart rate up and create a cardio workout session in addition to strength training, which are both key to losing weight and staying in shape. Cycle through all the exercises a total of 3 times. It will be quick, intense (Push yourself! Don’t be a slacker!), and will give you a total body workout. Mix it up to keep things interesting and invest in dumbbells and other exercise equipment to add variety and work different muscles.

NAE: What is the best workout to squeeze into your lunch break?

EW: Depending on what your job is, it might be difficult to do any sort of strength training or cardio because you might have to be dressed professional. I recommend leaving a pair of sneakers in the office and taking a brisk walk everyday during your lunch break. Recently I started a mid-day tradition in my office called “stairs.” At 1pm, whenever everyone is done with lunch and hitting that wall where they just want to take a nap and not go back to work, we all (the people willing to cooperate with me:)) go out in the hall and since our office is on the 8th floor of a 12 story office building, we talk down the stairs to the bottom. When we get to the bottom we walk all the way back to the top, catch our breath and come back down to the 8th floor. It takes a total of about 10 minutes and really gets your heart racing but isn’t long enough to make people sweat or take up too much of your time. I can’t say that there is a “best” workout for your lunch break, but I can say that anything you do to get up and get moving is much better than sitting around all day. Just make sure that a walk to the vending machine or across the street to McDonald’s isn’t your “activity” for the day :)

NAE: Since wedding gowns usually cover most of your body, with the exception of upper back and arms, what do you suggest as a workout for these areas?

EW: Again, this is tricky, without demonstrations, but if you Google “upper back exercises” you will find a ton of options. Push-ups, lat pull-down (need a machine in the gym), shoulder press (machine), bicep curls (can use dumbbells, bands/tubing, or a machine), or dips are all good. I would also recommend asking someone in your local gym to show you a few upper body exercises. Most will be very willing to help. Or take the time to look at the little picture/instructions on the exercise equipment. Almost all machines show which muscles it works and how to perform the exercise. I would give more suggestions but I know a lot of stuff just by memory (some things I have my own names for) and I’m not as good as Fitness or Shape at explaining workouts step by step. If you are serious about getting in shape though and determined to look your best on your wedding day, there are a TON of resources out there and it won’t even require much research. Even if you Google, “wedding, exercises” you will see a ton of information to help you get in shape for your big day.

NAE: What is the most common misconception about getting fit?

EW: I would say that there are two. First, that it’s too difficult to try or that you have to be very drastic/severe with your diet and exercises choices. Yes, you do have to be very conscious of what you eat and you cannot eat poorly and expect to see the same results, but you do not have to live off of carrots and lettuce either. You can splurge every once in a while and have a cookie or a dessert. The key is to just watch your portion size and to not make a habit of it. If you deprive yourself completely, you will end up over-indulging. What you hear/read in all the magazines/TV shows/etc. is true. Don’t think that it won’t happen for you or “but I can’t do this because…” or “but I’m different because…” It’s not true. Everyone can lose weight and/or stay fit. You have to be willing to make the change first, and then willing to stick with it. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up one night and over-indulge with pizza. Start over with your next meal and eat healthy. If you make yourself/let yourself feel guilty all it is going to do is ruin your attitude and you won’t be able to stay focused. Be willing to put in the time and effort (because it won’t be super easy) but don’t look at it as an impossible challenge. Set little goals for yourself and work toward one thing at a time.

The second misconception is that “I don’t have enough time” to workout. If you were to give me your schedule for the entire week I guarantee I could call you out on it and find time for you to workout.. The truth is, most people don’t make working out a priority and therefore they don’t have time. You have to be willing to possibly give up a TV show or an hour wasted on Facebook (you know you do it). You might have to go to bed a little earlier so you can get up earlier and workout. You might not be able to go to every happy hour after work because sometimes you have to choose going to the gym instead. I workout 6 days a week. Every day after work I go to the gym for an hour. This is part of my day. If someone asks me to do something between the hours of 4 and 5pm any day of the week I say that I am unavailable. That is my workout time. It’s a priority. It’s something I “have” to do. If something does come up and I have to miss a workout, I will make sure that I then workout on my normal “day off.” It’s about committing to your health. No you don’t need to workout 6 days a week and if you miss a workout, it’s not the end of the world, I’m just trying to show you how making it a priority will force you to make time for it. Also, like I said before, it doesn’t have to be an hour either; you can very easily fit in an intense 15 minute workout and see results.

NAE: How far in advance should you start working out to look stunning on your wedding day?

EW: ASAP. It really depends on how much change you want to see in your body and how much time/effort you are willing to put into it. Obviously, the sooner you start the better chance you have of losing more weight and/or toning up for your big day. If you get engaged and plan your wedding for 3-5 months away, you won’t have as long, but it doesn’t mean you can’t increase the time/effort you put into it and still see results. I feel that everyone should be concerned about the health all the time, and not just concerned with looking good for their big day, BUT I completely understand wanting to feel/look your best and I encourage every bride to be to use this time to motivate themselves to get into shape. I would like to see all new brides keep up their exercise routines and use it as a new way of life. So I say ASAP because not only will you be happy with the results you see but when people get into better shape, it almost always leads to more positive things in other areas of their life. The happier you are with yourself, the happier you’ll come across to other people and it just becomes a positive experience for everyone involved. It’s a win/win! You always read stories about people who lost weight and it changed their life. It’s true, it really does happen! Even if you are just looking to tone up a little, you’ll feel better about the way you look and I would be willing to bet that you notice positive changes in your self-esteem and outlook on everything.

NAE: Pump me up: Any other tips for brides looking to get fit??

EW: Don’t let getting in shape and losing weight ruin the fun and excitement of the fact that you’re GETTING MARRIED! It’s such a happy time and so much fun to plan everything and share your happiness with all your friends and family. Go into it with a positive attitude and if you really are looking to get into shape but you know you have a way to go, find a buddy or someone who will encourage you and support you. You need a positive person who is going to encourage you when you aren’t in the mood to work out or when you’ve dropped a few pounds but then you hit that plateau and you get discouraged. Whether it is your fiancé, your maid of honor, or your mom, ask someone to be your fitness buddy. That person doesn’t always have to work out with you, although that would be a bonus, but they have to be willing to support your efforts to get fit. Tell them to suggest going for a walk the next time you want to hang out, rather than meeting up for drinks or ice cream. Call them when you are feeling lazy and tell them that you want them to motivate you to get to the gym or to get out the workout DVD and just do it. Losing weight and getting in shape is as much of a mental thing as it is physical. You can’t get your body to where you want to be physically if your mind isn’t where it should be mentally.

Also, if it helps, print out pictures of your wedding dress or even your honeymoon destination (where you might be wearing a bathing suit…) and put them up on your fridge, in the cabinet where you normally look for snacks, in your closet near your workout clothes, or on your desk so you see it when you’re wasting time on the internet. Any little thing to remind of your goals and what you need to do to achieve them will help!

Ok, where’s the treadmill?! Seriously, she just makes me want to get out there and burn some calories!

If you have other questions for Emily or are in the DC area and looking for someone to kick your butt, you can contact her at


Friday Finds 2.4.11

February 4th, 2011

As many of you might know from reading previous blog posts, I have been trying to get fit before my wedding. I already have lost a ton of weight and have been really trying to get to a point where I feel good about myself and am excited to put on my bikini for my honeymoon. I found this great article, 3-Month Wedding Prep Fitness Plan for Brides, from The Wedding Channel which proves even up to 3 months before the wedding you can start your fitness program. It gives you tips on diet, cardio and strength training. Afterall, it is all about being well-rounded. And I’m not talking about your physical body shape. I am going to start the program soon, even though I am more than 3 months out, and hope to see some results. I’ll report back on my progress!

Oh and one more tip – get yourself a workout buddy. I know I always do so much better when I have someone to report directly to on my progress or someone to make me get off the couch when I feel like sitting there catching up on my shows on the DVR. You can recruit your MOH, mom or fiance to be your buddy and motivator. It’ll do them good too :)