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5 Surprising Benefits of Losing Weight

I’ve been thinking a lot about my weight-loss journey and progress so far, and I realized a few things I haven’t really thought about along the way. I’ve been so focused on “getting skinny” for the wedding that I forgot all of the other benefits this journey has given me.

1. I’m happier. Being thinner and healthier has also made me a happier person. Not that I was ever miserable, but working out and eating right has helped me smile more, feel more confident, and look at life differently.

2. I love working out. I can’t believe I went so many years without exercising. Now, if I miss one day, I miss it and can’t wait for the next day. If you aren’t working out, I highly recommend it — for so many reasons. It makes me feel good and keeps me healthy and fit; it also gives me more energy, something to focus on, and an outlet for any anger or negative feelings. 

3. I’m confident. Even at my heaviest, I always thought of myself as a confident person. Turns out, I was wrong. Now that I’ve lost some weight, I finally don’t have trouble getting ready in the morning. I don’t worry about the way my body looks to other people, I don’t wear baggy clothes to try and hide my fat, and I feel comfortable in clothes like I never did before. I even enjoy wearing lingerie now so much more!

4. I’m healthier. I got a physical about two months ago, and my doctor was happily surprised by my results. Aside from losing weight, my cholesterol is down, and all of my blood work came back good and normal. I’m not tired all of the time because of eating crappy food, and I have enough energy to get through my crazy days. I drink more water, which has also had a great effect on my skin! There is really nothing better than feeling 100% healthy.

Wedding Weight-Loss: 50 Pounds Down

I am super excited to share that I lost another five pounds last week and broke through my plateau (finally!), bringing my total weight-loss to 50 pounds so far! I am officially more than halfway toward my goal of 135 pounds, and I couldn’t be happier. Now that spring time is just around the corner, it’s time to buckle down and complete my journey.

To break through my plateau, I just kept up with my workouts and have been eating healthy. I’ve also been trying to add strength training into my workouts, which I believe helped. I’ve been doing my routines from Bonne Marcus twice a week on top of our weekly training session. Diet-wise, I've continued trying to cut down on my carbs and sugar while making sure I get a ton of vegetables and proteins in. My favorite recipe from last week was Spinach and White Bean Soup from Fitness Magazine. It's so easy to make because all you need to do is throw everything into your slow cooker. It's the perfect meal to bring to work for lunch — it's full of vegetables and kept me full until I got home for dinner. 

spinach and white bean soup fitness magazine recipe

Wedding Weight-Loss: Set-Backs and New Goals

I still have yet to get over my plateau, but I can’t blame anyone but myself. These past two weeks have been a little hard for me, and I definitely made some mistakes along the way. In every situation, there’s usually a good and bad side, which is exactly how I feel these past two weeks have gone for me. It’s time for me to cut out the bad and stick to the good!

jen and rene

The Negatives:
Two weekends ago, Rene and I made a last-minute decision to take a night trip to Atlantic City because his dad was going to be in town from North Carolina. We had a blast, but I did not think once about what I was eating, and it was a disaster. On Saturday night, I drank champagne and vodka, and I ate sushi, shrimp cocktail, and ended the night at 2 a.m. with potato chips. Gross, I know! Sunday morning, we ordered room service for breakfast, which consisted of pancakes, potatoes, eggs, and bagels — all stuff that I really did not need, and I felt so guilty after eating it that I literally did crunches on the bed because I was so mad.

jen in atlantic city

How to Break Through a Weight-Loss Plateau

woman on scaleFitness plateaus are very common — and very frustrating — for those who exercise regularly. Even the most dedicated of my brides encounters times when their workouts don’t seem as effective, and their progress seems to come to a halt. Making a few small changes to your fitness routine and diet should help you break through that plateau and have you on the way to looking and feeling great on your big day!

Change up your workouts, and you can change your body.
Have you been doing the same routine for months without change? Well, your muscles are bored! Because our bodies adapt quickly to exercise, variety is the key to continued success. Never stay committed to one exercise routine, group fitness class (unless it’s mine, because I mix it up all the time),  or cardio choice. 
Use the F.I.T.T principle — frequency, intensity, time and type —  to change your workout routine; this can be adapted for both cardio and strength training.

Frequency: Increase or decrease how often you work out.
Intensity: Increase or decrease the difficulty or level at which you work out.
Time: Increase or decrease how long your workout sessions last.
Type: Change the type of exercises you perform.

Try the W.E.D.D.I.N.G. Workout

woman exercising
Finding it difficult to fit daily exercise into your jam-packed schedule? This is a super easy workout that you can do every morning from now until the wedding. As part of your morning routine, use these easy fitness steps to work each letter:

Walk with high heels from the bed to the bathroom. This means you step out of bed into those heels instead of those comfy slippers. The height forces your instep, and you’ll be working those calves.

Exercise your legs while brushing your teeth; do three sets of side leg lifts, or keep alternating until your toothbrush timer runs out. Don't forget to do both legs!

Drink a glass of water. Water wakes up your metabolism and is always good for you.

Doorways should remind you to engage those abs — fix your posture every time you walk through one. Place your shoulders back and down; your chest should be slightly up, with your head held high. 

Isolate the abs. While you're waiting for your coffee to percolate or the water to heat up for tea, do side bends. Standing straight with your legs hip-width apart, place your hands behind your head and, without moving the bottom half of your body, bend from the waist on each side, alternating. Do at least 10 on each side.

Natural foods are what you want to eat, so if you can't pronounce one of the ingredients on the list or any of them say modified, don't eat it.

The Fat-Blasting 30-Minute Workout

bonne marcusGuest blogger: Bonne Marcus
A fitness industry expert for 27 years, Marcus holds numerous certifications from the Aerobic Fitness Association of America (AFAA), including Step, Spin, Bosu™, Pre/Post Natal, Youth Fitness, Aqua, and Personal Training. She has taught for New York City’s top health clubs, including Crunch, New York Health and Racquet, and Reebok Sports Club. A recognized name on Long Island, Bonne has taught at Dany Holdstein’s Two Worlds, North Shore Health Club, LA Fitness, Sport time, Equinox and currently teaches at the Sid Jacobsen JCC in Roslyn. Learn more at

woman running
Photo Credit: Andrew Rich/iStockPhoto

When wedding planning throws your workout schedule off, remember that some exercise is better than none. You’ll have less road to cover when you resume your regular fitness routine.

Wedding Weight-Loss: Working Through a Plateau

In the past two weeks, I have only lost about one pound total and it keeps fluctuating. I've been on a weight-loss plateau, and I don’t like it. Although it sucks, I'm staying postitive — I know that as long as I stick with my plan, I will get through it.

rene and jen

My last two workouts with Bonne Marcus have been amazing! She is incorporating cardio into our routines, and I really love it. The routine is a circuit, which consists of four moves. We perform each move for 50 seconds, take a 10-second break, and start the next move. We go through each circuit three times. It's great because we are accomplishing so much cardio and strength training in half the time. All of the moves are easy to do at home on my own and provide an effective workout in under an hour.

circuit training workout

Here is what last week’s workout looked like, so you can try it at home, too!

Circuit 1
Jumping jacks
Run the bench (we used a step)
Kettlebell swing
Mountain climb

Circuit 2
Burpees (we used a step)
Squat to high pull with the kettlebell
Knee to floor lunge with a side raise with an 8-pound dumbbell
Pullover crunches on the ball with a medicine ball

Plan a Fit & Fab Bachelorette Party

bachelorette party
Photo Credit: Kristilee Parish Photography on Wedding Chicks via

You’ve been putting work into your fitness plan since that engagement ring slid onto your finger. Now comes the big night before the big day that threatens to set back all that progress: the bachelorette party. Of course, you want one that’s memorable, but for all the right reasons. Drop some hints to your bridal party about how to have a fit and fun gathering with some of the theme ideas below — or just hand over this article!

Au Naturale
Go as a group to a yoga class, then get massages or have a masseuse come to the host’s house. Too much stress can have negative effects on your body, behavior, and mood. You can also set up one or two stations where guests can make massage oils and scented soaps or candles from scratch. And have all the attendees bring a raw food dish made from a vegetable or fruit that has “aphrodisiac” benefits, along with the recipe, so you can have them for future reference. As a game, have attendees write down what they think the ‘sexy’ benefit is and read them aloud.

Wedding Weight-Loss and Planning Progress

I had a very successful week last week! I'm down another two pounds, and I also got to cross a bunch of things off my wedding-planning checklist.

Throughout the work week, I continued my no-starch challenge. For breakfast, I enjoyed coffee and hard-boiled eggs or egg whites. I had the Boca veggie burgers for lunch, and they were quite delicious! I think I like the Morning Star veggie burgers better, but these have fewer calories, so I would definitely try them again. Each day, I made a different vegetable to have with them, with such as steamed sugar snap peas, sautéed eggplant and zucchini, or a side salad.

For dinners, Rene and I ate protein and vegetables — no carbs! Now that I haven't been eating carbs as often, I realize I don't crave them as much. Instead of chicken with rice, I look forward to chicken and vegetables — definitely a good thing! For example, last night, Rene made one of my favorite meals from — homemade turkey burgers with a broccoli slaw and blue cheese, with steamed asparagus on the side. We had them without buns and a little bit of fat-free cheddar cheese on top, and they were excellent! I recommend you try them for dinner this week — and the recipe makes enough so you have leftovers for lunch the next day. 

turkey burger

12 Fitness Mistakes to Avoid

bonne marcusGuest blogger: Bonne Marcus
A fitness industry expert for 27 years, Marcus holds numerous certifications from the Aerobic Fitness Association of America (AFAA), including Step, Spin, Bosu™, Pre/Post Natal, Youth Fitness, Aqua, and Personal Training. She has taught for New York City’s top health clubs, including Crunch, New York Health and Racquet, and Reebok Sports Club. A recognized name on Long Island, Bonne has taught at Dany Holdstein’s Two Worlds, North Shore Health Club, LA Fitness, Sport time, Equinox and currently teaches at the Sid Jacobsen JCC in Roslyn. Learn more at

women on exercise bikes
Photo Credit: iStockPhoto

I pride myself in not just training brides, but educating them in a way that ensures good health and fitness for a lifetime. It's important to me that I give you everything you need to be successful — with a little help from me, you will encounter a relationship with exercise as rewarding as with the love of your life. Here, learn the most common fitness mistakes that can easily be avoided. 


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