Always a Bridesmaid: Signing Up for Boot Camp

A few weeks ago, it happened: that moment when you look in the mirror or get on the scale or try on your summer outfits (do moths cause shrinkage, perchance?). I realized I needed to kick my weight-loss routine up a notch.

Sure, I’ve been losing slowly but steadily—my bridesmaid dresses came in too big, yay!—but I wasn’t yet where I wanted to be. At the very least, I wanted to tighten up my arms and waist for all that reception dancing. No one wants to have chicken arms flapping around during the chicken dance (okay, no one wants the chicken dance, but it’s the bride and groom’s prerogative to make their guests look ridiculous).

When I think of boot camp, images of Demi Moore in G.I. Jane pop to mind. I don’t think I’ve ever worked that hard. But then again, when I think of the “boot camp” fitness DVDs I’ve purchased for home use, I’m not impressed. There’s got to be something in the middle. I want to be in pain, but I’m no professional athlete. I just want to tone up and have someone pushing me to work harder and smarter than I do on my own. Pushup number 25 (okay I’m lying, number 10) isn’t as important to complete if there aren’t other women doing pushups right next to me. There’s no reason I shouldn’t be doing just as well as or better than them (I don’t like to lose).

I belong to Sport and Health fitness club, but could never justify spending the extra cash on classes. But with my wedding-filled summer, I’ve found an excuse to give it a test run. For now, I’ve purchased a five-class package of Bridal Boot Camp.

I was surprised when the trainer e-mailed me to ask me to come in for a consultation. During my busy week, it seemed like an extra errand. But it was invaluable—if you get a free meeting with a trainer at your gym, don’t pass it up! I really benefited from it. How many of us spend time sitting down and discussing fitness and health goals with someone who actually knows what he or she is talking about and can give you specific suggestions to achieve what you want? When the trainer said that the Shape and Self magazine cover lines are exaggerating (okay, lying), I was impressed. I don’t want to be sold on a program or a club; I just want to learn new ways to be healthy. If it means I’m not going to have dream results from one class, well, that’s realistic. Not the idea that you can lose ten pounds by chewing a celery stick 2,000 times or following a one-hour index-card fitness routine for one weekend.

Even though I, like everyone, look for a quick fix, I know the real solution: eat less, exercise more. Though thanks to the trainer, I now know that doing interval workouts, cutting my carbs at night, and eating protein an hour after strength training also help. I’m taking only a few classes to get started, but I’ll let you know how it goes—or you can sign up to join me (just don’t do more pushups!).

Katie, a local bridesmaid-to-be, writes occasionally about planning for and being part of three (and counting) friends' weddings in one year. To follow her adventures from the beginning, click here.

To read the latest Bridal Party blog posts, click here.