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Shedding for the wedding: fitness and diet tips from two brides-to-be

Liz and Stephanie are both getting married in 2012. Here's how they plan to get in their best shape for the big day...and beyond.

Fitness

Liz - Thanks to the Zumba Fitness 2 House Party, back in November, I'm a big believer in the fitness AND fun benefits that come with Zumba. I started off learning the moves and techniques with the Wii game in the comfort of my own home, and when I was comfortable, I tried out a few live classes. Ever since, I've been hooked. When I don't have the time to go to the gym, I play the Wii game or follow along to one of the Exhilaration DVDs that my best friend (and Maid of Honor), Jess, gave me for my birthday. But when I have the time to make it to a live class, I certainly do. It's an intense cardio workout using a great variety of movements and muscles, and most importantly - it's fun! You can find a class or buy any of the games/DVDs at zumba.com.

Steph - I've just started planning my wedding, but this is certainly not the first time I've planned to lose weight. I've found for myself that I can eat as healthy as possible, but if I don't work out, it won't make much difference. In the winter when the weather was colder, I signed up for a trial membership at a gym that was on my way home. If the location isn't as convenient as possible I won't stop and certainly won't make it a regular habit, especially after a long day at work. Now that it's nice out,I've taken my fitness to the streets! Running is my favorite type of cardio and that's good because you can pretty much do it anywhere. Right behind the House Party office is a park with a trail. I bring a change of clothes and force myself to go right after work. This works for me because the less distractions and driving I have to do, the more likely I'll be to do it.

Diet

Liz - To keep track of my eating, I use the free calorie counting iPhone/Andriod application called My Fitness Pal. You track everything you eat each day and are able to account for your workouts as well. It's an easy way to hold yourself accountable for the calories you consume throughout the day and the website, myfitnesspal.com, has some great tools to help with weight management.

When I got engaged in December I knew that I'd want to use my wedding as motivation to drop a few pounds and become more active. To keep myself from overindulging, I joined Weight Watchers Online. My mother had joined and so did some friends and they were having a lot of success with it. What I've found after tracking my points for a few months is that it does work. I will drop at least 2 pounds a week, as long as I keep to my allotted points. If I go over, which has happened on more than one occasion, my weight will either stay the same or go up. Any diet takes will power and a continued focus on your end goal. I was hoping that a wedding would be a strong enough goal, but it's still hard to avoid the M&Ms in the kitchen here at House Party sometimes! Now that I'm really getting into the wedding planning spirit I hope my motivation does also!

Overall tips

Liz - My main tip would be not to get too caught up in being thin for one day, but rather in picking up healthy habits that can last a lifetime. While I'm all about having goals, making it about one day can lead to gorging on the honeymoon and the weight coming back on very quickly. I'd recommend making healthy changes in your diet and lifestyle that will lead to a happier life with your soon-to-be-spouse. And while you're at it, get him to start healthier habits too - setting and achieving goals together will only strengthen your bond!

Steph - I completely agree with Liz on this one. Working towards better food choices and consistent exercise is something to strive for anytime in my life. It also helps to have someone who is understanding of your goals and even wants to get in shape with you. My fiance and I both like to run on the weekends in a park by our apartment. Doing something together that's good for us and that will hopefully continue long past our wedding day is always a good thing! My last comment would be to remain confident. I know I'm going to feel beautiful in my wedding gown no matter what. And if I feel beautiful, I am beautiful.

We're always interested to hear what others are doing to get in wedding day shape - share your ideas and experiences with us!

[author] [author_image timthumb='on']#[/author_image] [author_info]Stephanie is a Program Manager at House Party. She splits her time between the Bronx and Jersey City. On the weekends, she loves going to the movies with her cinephile fiance. Stephanie's party tip: Don't stress. I tell myself, "everything can be cleaned." So don't worry and enjoy this time with your friends![/author_info] [/author]

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