Busting Guts & Building Guns

It’s official:  yours truly has started on a pre-wedding exercise regimen. And not just any regimen, mind you. This is one that needs to work. One with a timeline. One that I’ll actually have to stick to.


Yes, I’m trading in my couple of Hamm’s or PBRs with dinner each night for a pair of gym shoes and an early-morning trip six days a week to the fitness center at Moraine Valley Community College. So far, the results are mixed. I like the folks at the fitness center (shout-out to Ewan, Scottish expat and personal trainer extraordinaire) and I’ve noticed a difference in muscle mass, but it seems the spare tire and accompanying gut just won’t budge. I’ve plateaued after losing about 10 pounds, and any way you cut it, cardio work just plain sucks.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not gullible or desperate enough to jump on the latest diet fad or ingest the newest ancient Chinese herbal concoction aimed at shedding the extra weight. But I’ve got to admit, those grueling sessions on the cross-trainer every morning definitely give me time to wonder:  isn’t there an easier way? Dear reader, your thoughts, tips, and responses encouraged.

As for now, let’s all raise a glass to poor souls valiantly sticking it out on the quest to get in better shape.

Just make sure it’s filled with water.

~ Groom

One of the greatest truths about my body that I’ve discovered is that you can be a vegan and a marathoner for over ten years and still have cellulite. From this I’ve inferred two things; 1) there is absolutely nothing except surgery that will get rid of it and 2) my cellulite really is just as much a part of my body as an arm or leg and it’s time I accepted it.

For anyone who’s about to get married or thinks it’s a possibility at some point, I want to let you know that I’ve come across a few hidden glitches mixed in among all the exciting-preparations-for-the happiest-day-of-your-life. Yes, it’s a time to prepare for a life partnership but it’s also when you start checking in on yourself, noting all those things (physical, mental and emotional) that are okay but not where you’d like them. So now you have to make time for enough appointments to address them before the most expensive deadline you’ve ever had arrives. First, I want to be clear that I don’t think I’m going to walk down that aisle a shining beacon of perfection. All I want is to feel happy and healthy and yes, call me vain if you must, but on my wedding day I want to look, well, good. So, tell me; how do I convince my arms, shoulders and stomach that even though they didn’t really change much over the course of training for five marathons that now, as I’m engaged, it’s time to pick up the slack and grow or shrink as fast as when Alice ate those little cakes after falling down one heck of a rabbit hole? I don’t know the answer but I’ve started looking for it; I make it to LA Fitness a few times a week, unroll the yoga mat twice a week and manage to fit in a couple P90X sessions. I’ve kept up the chocolate-eating but switched in a few more salads. There’s supposedly food out there that when eaten for X amount of time will turn you into a radiant ball of light but I don’t know what it is and all I really want anyway is to have the equivalent glow of a night-lite. I don’t believe in diets; I believe in habits. I know that if I work out four to five times a week and repeat, then I can walk down that aisle one happy, healthy bride.

~ Bride