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wedding planning

Shedding for the Wedding Trainer Spills Her Own 7 Wedding Prep Secrets

Written on November 10, 2011 at 11:13 am , by

Jennifer Cohen is planning her entire wedding in just four months! (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Cohen)

As a fitness expert, author and trainer on the reality show Shedding for the Wedding, you might think that Jennifer Cohen would find preparing for her own big day to be a breeze. But just like any bride-to-be, Cohen has learned that it takes a lot of balance, patience and drive to keep fit and healthy during such a hectic time.

We spoke with Cohen just days before her wedding day (November 20!) to find out how she has changed her workout routine and diet leading up to the event.

  1. Sweat to abolish anxieties. “Planning a wedding is very stressful. I’ve found that exercise is one of the best ways to alleviate stress. The endorphins really help!”
  2. Buddy up. “Use your workout time to bring you closer together with your partner. My fiance and I live in L.A. and do a lot of hiking. I love to use my environment to inspire my exercise.”
  3. Tone your strapless zone. “I installed a pull-up bar in a door frame in my house and try to do a couple every time I walk through that doorway to help strengthen my shoulders and core while improving my posture. Upper body exercises can elongate you and make you look better in a strapless dress.”
  4. Ramp up the intensity. “High intensity interval training, also known as HIIT, helps me get great results in less time. Twice a week, I do a HIIT routine for 20 to 25 minutes while using my Polar heart rate monitor to make sure I’m near my target heart rate—85 percent of my max. Try it by doing one minute of mountain climbers, take a 10 second break, and repeat that one-minute on, 10-seconds off pattern three more times. Then do the same with jumping rope and other cardio exercises.”
  5. Find the right fuel. “I really believe what they say about diet playing 80 percent of the role in terms of maintaining a healthy weight. You can work out all day, but you have to be conscientious of what you eat. I try to keep a pretty stable schedule with my meals and always start my day with a Muscle Milk Mocha Latte.”
  6. But allow indulgences. “Part of the fun of wedding planning is picking the menu. I don’t want to deprive myself, because that could lead to binging, but I also don’t want to make my efforts fruitless! I recently tried several cupcake flavors at the bakery that’s making our desserts, Design Cakes and Cupcakes, but told myself before we started that I would have one forkful of each flavor.”
  7. Make healthy food the centerpiece. “We haven’t solidified our menu yet, but I think we’ll probably serve, among other dishes, Ahi tuna for a healthy entree and perhaps grilled cheese bite-sized sandwiches as an appetizer option for those who prefer to indulge.”

Want to check out one of the most unique proposals ever? Watch Cohen’s fiance pull it off here.

More from FITNESS:

How to Tame Wedding Planning Stress

Written on August 11, 2011 at 4:10 pm , by

Photo courtesy of SparkPeople

Photo courtesy of SparkPeople

So you’ve joined the ranks of your friends on Facebook and are planning a wedding, too? Congrats! But we know the planning can at times wreak havoc on your mental health, so check out this post from our buddies at SparkPeople…


It’s a gross understatement to say that planning a wedding is stressful. With all of the coordination, timing and numerous things to prepare for (not to mention family politics!), it’s no wonder that nice, normal people turn into grumpy grooms and bridezillas. However, you don’t have to become a stressed-out stereotype on your big day. In fact, it is possible to plan a wedding and keep your healthy cool—no matter the situation.

The Stressor: You and Your Fiancé Want Different Types of Weddings

One of the biggest wedding stressors occurs when you and your fiancé have very different ideas of what your special day should be like. Traditional and in a church? A tropical destination wedding? The options are limitless and stress can be high from the get-go, if the soon-to-be-wed couple can’t agree on what kind of ceremony to have.

How to de-stress: Before you plan any wedding details, sit down with your fiancé and make a list of the top three things that are important to each of you as far as the ceremony and reception are concerned. Then, calmly and patiently compare lists to see where you can compromise. If he wants a small wedding but you want a big one, you can always hold a small ceremony and then a big after-party. Marriage is all about give and take!

The Stressor: Overbearing Family Members or Friends
Almost every bride and groom deals with at least one or two overbearing (yet well-meaning) family members or friends while planning a wedding. Whether it’s a future in-law, your own parents, or even a bossy friend, everyone seems to have an opinion.

How to de-stress: Remember that this is your wedding—not everyone else’s. It may be hard to tell your loved ones “no”, but if you want your wedding day to be truly special and unique, you must stand your ground. Politely and firmly state your decisions with the support of your partner. Think of it as if others are trying to derail or sabotage your diet—it’s really none of their business!

The Stressor: Fear that Your Dress Won’t Fit
Of course you want to feel confident and healthy on your wedding day…but stress only hurts your weight-loss efforts.

How to de-stress: First, make sure that you aren’t being unrealistic about your body image on the big day. Your wedding weight-loss goals must be realistic, especially since planning takes a lot of time and you may not have as much time as you think to exercise and cook healthfully. Second, be sure to drink enough water, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and get that beauty rest. These three things will really give you that wedding-day glow. Lastly, visualize yourself walking down the aisle with confidence on the big day. Picturing yourself in a positive light helps squash stress and can give you the energy to plan, plan, plan!

Keep Reading: How to tame stress from the budget, guest list, and more!

More from SparkPeople:

Free Weight Loss and Fitness Plans

Stay Healthy While Planning Your Wedding

De-Stress in 3 Minutes or Less