When we came upon Houston bride Monica’s tale of how becoming engaged put her on the path to fitness and better health, we knew we had to share it with y’all. She’s just so honest and funny and practical and—just, you know, freakin’ cool—we figured we’d let her inspire those of you who are determined to get in great wedding shape. Her take on the choices we make will make you want to get started on your pre-wedding shape-up, rather than waiting ’til Monday. Or Tuesday. Or next month. Check out her story on Culture Map, then lace up them kicks and GO!
The sophisticated, super-chic, swag-filled I Do! Bridal Soiree at Hotel ZaZa is coming up in a little over six weeks—which is the perfect amount of time to get a jump on your bridal fitness and health regimen. And we want to help!! Buy your limited-availability I Do! @ ZaZa pre-sale tickets by midnight Sunday, Aug. 25 and you could win a Fitbit One Wireless Activity Tracker and Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale—a fantastic bridal fitness technology package worth $230!
How much do we love Fitbit? A ton. Because that’s how much weight (and more) Fitbit’s activity-tracking devices have collectively helped brides, grooms and regular folks lose since their much-lauded launch. Clip your Fitbit One to your sports bra, tank, belt or pocket during the day, and track your steps, distance traveled, calories burned and stairs climbed. Wear your Fitbit on your wrist at night to measure your sleep quality and learn how to sleep better and wake healthier. Then use your Aria smart scale to track your weight, body fat and BMI, and sync your stats with a custom online graph, to help you stay motivated and on track toward “I do!”
All brides who buy their tickets to Houston’s hottest bridal event by midnight Sunday are entered to win; winner announced Tuesday, Aug. 27 on Facebook. And remember, the I Do! Bridal Soiree at Hotel ZaZa WILL SELL OUT. It always does. Snag your tickets now while you can—and score a super-cool pre-wedding fitness package too.
We’re pumped for today’s post—the first in what we’ve got planned as a series of bridal workout videos from Houston’s awesome Bella Body Fitness! In case her reputation as one of the city’s top certified trainers hasn’t yet reached you, here’s the skinny on Bella Barak: She developed her signature Bella Body Fitness method through years of research, study and practice—not to mention a growing frustration with, as she calls it, “the typical male-focused gym scene in Houston.” Yeah, we heard THAT. Her training approach caters specifically to a woman’s body, and she has helped countless clients sculpt taut, feminine curves in her private women-only Houston fitness studio. To-be-weds seek her out for her incredible ability to whip bridal bodies into wedding shape. The best place to start? With arms, shoulders and upper back, of course, which Bella happens to target in today’s “Strapless Dress” workout video (additional photos and instructions on Bella’s blog, too). Give it a go, and when you’re ready for the full-on personal training treatment, give Bella a holla!
Plenty of salons and makeup artists offer bridal hair, nail and makeup packages. A few throw in pre-wedding skin care, massages and other spa services. But only one Houston beauty expert is also a licensed professional counselor and life coach, and a trained portrait photographer, with her own line of custom-blend makeup products AND a 2,700-square-foot “world-inspired” beauty and wellness studio that can accommodate groups of up to 12.
She’s Sarah Ali, owner of The Transformation Studio, and she makes it her mission to provide brides with everything they need to become their beautiful best, from the inside out.
Looking to get in shape for your figure-hugging wedding gown, and have a little fun while doing it? Ali’s studio offers international dance classes, from Bollywood to belly dancing, and Zumba, too! In need of some pre-wedding pampering? Go for one of the studio’s signature treatments, like the Indonesian Oasis Facial of Himalayan Head Rub (absolutely heaven, by the way). Desperate to defuse bridal-party quibbles? Ali says she’s only too happy to “bust out my therapist techniques” and entertain your grousing group with tales of “my tragic yet hilarious man troubles” (they, and Ali, were featured on the front page of the Chronicle Lifestyles section last year—and are, indeed, LOL funny).
All that, and she’ll give you that gorgeous tousled updo, subtle smoky eye, flawless skin and perfect matte-red lip you’re lusting after for your bridal look, too.
She and her team of eight fabulous freelance experts are happy to host you at their place, or yours. Call her at 281.240.7102 or e-mail to schedule a consultation.
According to London’s Daily Telegraph, which released results of a recent research survey conducted by diet-shake-maker Slim-Fast, one in three engaged British women admitted they would choose fatter friends as bridesmaids over slimmer pals, as a way to boost their bridal confidence.
We gotta say, we were kinda blown away. It’s one thing to diet before your wedding day—something 50% of surveyed brides-to-be said they did—and quite another to choose your bridal party based on the size of their bodies, rather than on the strength of your bond.
But maybe the survey results shouldn’t surprise us all that much. According to Slim-Fast nutritionist Fiona Hunter, “Women are obviously feeling such pressure to look good on their big day that they’re resorting to selecting bridesmaids larger than themselves … It’s very sad and a real shame. Looking at these statistics, it seems to be a worrying new trend.” This, from a representative of the company that recently targeted engaged women with an ad campaign depicting a wedding-cake topper of an overweight bride and the question, “Need to lose a little weight before your wedding?”
Hmm…disingenuous much, Fiona?
We’re all for looking our slender best on our wedding day. But instead of choosing fatter bridesmaids as flattering accessories, how about choosing bridesmaids who support our efforts to get fit, who graciously wear the bridesmaid dresses we’ve selected for them no matter how they feel their own bodies look in the dress style, and who make us feel beautiful and special on our wedding day just by being our best friends.
(A post from guest blogger Tom Jackobs, CPT, RFS, renowned Houston fitness expert, Wedding Workout creator and owner of Body3 Fitness Center)
There’s a running joke in the fitness industry (and many bets) as to how long trainers will be busy in January before all the “resolutioners” fizzle out.
I think I figured out what the problem is. In my observation, when new brides-to-be come to the gym with the resolution of “getting into shape,” they don’t have a clear goal or action plan.
If you are determined to get fit, but don’t know quite how to go about it, let me help you refine that goal and create an action plan to get you there so you don’t quit after three weeks (which is the average time it takes to give up on a resolution).
1. Establish a clear goal: For example, “I want to lose 10 pounds of fat in 5 weeks.” Be specific, have a time frame AND make it realistic (1-2 pounds per week is a realistic and sustainable weight loss expectation.)
2. Create an action plan:
Day 1: Cardio 25 minutes at moderate intensity, or group fitness class.
Day 2: Resistance training, such as a machine circuit, a boot camp or a full-body dumbbell workout.
Day 3: Cardio 25 minutes of interval work (30 seconds fast run followed by 1 minute of recovery walk).
Day 4: Hit the weights again.
Day 5: Light cardio 30 minutes.
Day 6: Cardio or weights…your choice.
3. Implement the plan and reward yourself for weekly milestones.
4. Celebrate success with a massage!
Got questions, comments or a pre-wedding weight-loss success story that will inspire other brides in the same boat? Post as comments here. All questions will be answered!
For more detailed and personalized help including personal training and boot camps, email email@example.com or call 281.667.3648. And while you’re at it, sign up for a free Wedding Dress Workout at www.weddingworkouthouston.com.