Wedding Crash Dieters
By Anna Sachse
Two days after this issue of the Weekly is published, I will be married. Yes, it’s very exciting and all, but my fiancé and I have had very little time to actually be excited because we made the gigantor mistake of opting to get married on a friend’s small farm which needed “a little work.” A little work turned into residing and painting the house, ripping out and relaying a giant brick patio, shoveling cow shit (no joke), corralling chickens (also no joke) and tilling up a giant field, seeding it with new grass and flowers, watching it die because it wasn’t properly irrigated, killing all the weeds that grew in the meantime, tilling it again and then seeding it again. Plus more.
The one benefit of our farm nightmare, however, in addition to the fact that it actually will be quite lovely and personal when we get married there, is that all that work was a damn good workout. Shoveling gravel and running after renegade chickens (note: having free-range chickens means they range freely and shit on everything you own) are great ways to tone your arms, which is actually something I was wanting anyway what with the whole being a bride thing. According to a recent study at Cornell University, more than 70 percent of brides-to-be want to lose weight before their wedding day (that number is probably closer to 99%), with the desired weight loss at a whopping 23 pounds, on average. I only wanted to lose 10 and tone up a little, all of which was achieved with my “farm” workout and some running.
So then, the whole point of telling you this is to highlight some creative ways to lose weight, whether your goal is trimming down for a special event or simply general health and fitness. Because it’s fresh on my mind, I suggest remodeling something. It worked for me on the farm and it can work for you building a new deck, adding an addition to the side of the house (or your parents’ house) or even building shelves or putting in a framed garden bed. You end up making your living space that much more awesome, and, according to www.calorie-count.com, a 150-pound person burns around 374 calories per hour remodeling or doing construction. Work hard for just four hours, and you will have burned 1,496 calories, or the equivalent of eating 5.6 Snickers bars in addition to your normal daily food intake and not gaining an inch.
Another good idea is taking a class, such as Boot Camp. This trend has been around for a while but it’s still a good idea. Derived from military training, these classes are intense outdoor fitness programs that consist of body weight-based exercises, calisthenics, agility/obstacle-course work and running. Basically, this is basic training and you get your ass kicked, usually obscenely early in the morning. But the beauty is that you don’t have to think, there’s a lot going on in the workout so you don’t get bored and you can burn 600-800 calories in one hour.
I’d also suggest signing up for a race—biking, running, swimming or combine all three into a triathlon . . . sort of like J. Lo, who is currently training for one. Basically you’re just getting regular exercise under the guise of winning a finisher’s medal and a cheesy T-shirt. Race with your sweetie or a friend or for a charity and you’ll have a little extra motivation.
Find a creative way to get exercise and watch what you eat, and you, like me, can have your wedding cake and eat it too—but hopefully with less animal crap.