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One Woman's Wedding Shape-Up: "Phew! My Dress Finally Fits!"

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The Goal

In the year before I got engaged, I put on 45 pounds. That's right, I said 45. I had moved to a remote town in southern Ontario — nearest gym, 40 miles — to be with my boyfriend, Dallas, a former pro lacrosse player who was virtually impervious to the pudge-making power of the chocolate, apple fritters, and biscuits that had become my new pastime. By the summer of 2008, when we returned to Vancouver and he popped the question, I was far from the athletic personal trainer I used to be. I soon found the perfect wedding dress, but it was a size 10, and I was a 14. I bought it anyway; I had five more months to fit into it, right?

The Game Plan

When I hit a plateau after I'd lost 10 pounds, I took a shot and applied to be on one of my favorite shows, Fine Living Network's Bulging Brides, a fit-into-your-dress intervention. I was picked! With less than two months until my wedding, I turned myself over to my TV support crew.

My New To-Do List

Turn up the burn.

I met with the show's fitness coach, Tommy, three mornings a week before work. I typically did 45-minute circuits: 30 seconds each of five total-body moves, then rest and repeat with five more, plus cardio bursts. On other days, I did cardio interval routines that Tommy created.

Eat more often.

I was so busy at work, I'd skimp on lunch and be ravenous by dinner, when Dallas and I would polish off a pizza or other takeout. To break my starve-then-splurge cycle, the Bulging Brides nutrition coach, Nadeen, helped me plan three healthy meals plus two 150- to 200-calorie snacks. I felt full all day and ditched the comfort-food habit.

Try added incentive.

I nearly fell over when Mary, FITNESS magazine's fitness director, showed up at a gym session. She told me if I reached my goal, I would model Tommy's workout in an upcoming issue. I knew I could do it; I used to be a kick-butt trainer myself, after all. Suddenly it was also about rediscovering the old me.

Top Tips from Our Experts

Tommy Europe, fitness coach on Bulging Brides: "Do 30 minutes of cardio intervals at least every other day and aim to burn 300 calories per session, which will put you in the weight-loss zone."

Nadeen Boman, nutrition coach on Bulging Brides: "If you're a chocoholic, it may be easier to avoid chocolate entirely, as it was for Hedy, than to tempt a splurge by tasting it. Try going cold turkey for a week — eat fruit to get your sugar fix — and see if that lessens your cravings."

Mary Christ Anderson, FITNESS fitness director: "When you hit a weight-loss plateau, stay motivated by measuring your progress in other ways. Gauge your size by how much looser your waistband is or see how many more push-ups or miles you can do."

Status Check

The dress zipped! I lost 14 pounds and 10 inches in six weeks, and with two weeks to go before the big day, I even had the dress taken in a little. Now, months later, I am expecting a baby girl any day and have been swimming and doing prenatal yoga along the way.



Wedding Day

Weight 166 lb 152 lb
Height  5'8" 5'8"
Chest   38"


Waist   35" 29"
Hips    43" 41"




Sign up for our 6-week Bridal Boot Camp to get the plan that Hedy used, plus meals, motivation, and pamper-yourself pointers.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, March 2010.