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Getting fit for the big day

A few months before the wedding ceremony, many brides and grooms hit the gym to lose some weight so that their gowns and tuxedos will fit better. Still others choose to enter a fitness program with the goal of looking and feeling healthy on their special day.

Unfortunately, far too many wait until the ceremony is only weeks away to go on crash diets, hoping to drop the weight quickly so they can get into clothes that are uncomfortably snug. Whatever the motivation, the first

step in any physical fitness program is to consult a fitness trainer.



Scott Jackson, owner of Real Life Fitness in Nevada City, said it’s necessary to get a thorough and complete evaluation before beginning any physical training or diet regimen. He says a professional trainer first looks at an individual’s health history, as many health problems can have a significant influence in designing an effective training program; then, an interview is held with the client to determine what their goals are – weight loss, toning or size reduction; lastly, the client goes through another battery of assessments before the trainer put together a fitness program that has realistic and achievable goals.

“I really try to get people to get away from thinking about weight,” he said, “because we don’t wear a sign that says ‘I weigh a 180 pounds’ but it may say, ‘I fit into a size 8.’ ” People focused on weight-loss often become discouraged after training begins because resistance training can increase a person’s weight, he said.




“I tell everyone, you have a pair of pants deep in your closet that you know when you put them on, you go, YEs! that’s what I want people to focus on.”

But if weight loss is an important objective, Barbi Jackson, manager at Real Life Fitness and Jackson’s wife, will work with clients to improve their eating habits, help get them through those weight-loss plateaus that can be discouraging, and to advise clients on developing new habits that promote a healthier lifestyle.

She added that if only given a short period of time to engage in a fitness plan, there’s no way to predict how a person’s body will react or for how long before they actually start losing weight, she said. “The most important advice is to start early, because we may improve your energy, you may be sleeping better, your back may stop hurting, you may have a better attitude … all before you lose any weight.”

If push comes to shove and the person is fairly young, sudden weight-loss can be accomplished.

“The younger they are, the faster we can get the body to respond,” Scott Jackson added.

“But that’s not healthy and that’s not fitness,” Barbi said.

“That’s right,” scott added. “We’re here to promote health and fitness.”

Better nutrition combined with exercise can do more than improve fitness, give people more energy and improve self-confidence; a healthy lifestyle can also achieve an overall sense of well-being that can last well past the wedding day.

“We don’t really believe in diets,” Scott said. “Barbi does nutrition coaching and teaches eating strategies.”

“If they want ongoing support, I can help them right down to how to stock their pantry and how we can get them eating at home instead of eating out,” she said. “these are goals that are going to matter for life.”


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