The Marines may be looking for a few good men, but you've already found one, so it's time to whip yourself into shape for the big day. That's where the new book "Bootcamp 360 for Brides: The Few, the Proud, the Fit, A Complete Fitness Program" (HarperResource, $16.95) comes in.
Author Tamara Kleinberg, 32, says she was a roller-coaster dieter who failed at all attempts to drop weight until she developed a drill sergeant's attitude and training regimen to get ready for her wedding three years ago.
Her book includes simple, low-calorie recipes, easy-to-follow exercise directions and "Tips from the trenches," advice from brides who have used her unusual wedding planner.
We caught up with Kleinberg to find out more about how brides can "be all that they can be."
Q: Why did you develop this military mentality six months before your wedding day?
A: I struggled with weight all my life, all kinds of diets and trainers. I tried something new about every two weeks, and I kept gaining back more than I lost. When I got engaged (at age 28) and started looking for a wedding dress, I realized I had gained 30 pounds in less than a year ... and none of the dresses I liked looked good on me. It was time for drastic action.
Q: How does anyone have time to diet and exercise when they are getting ready for a wedding?
A: How much time do you spend watching television and pressing the snooze button on your alarm? We can always find the time if we are motivated, and an upcoming wedding is great motivation. Enlist (bridesmaids) as battle buddies to help you stay motivated.
Q: How long is boot camp, and when do people need to get started in order to shape up in time for their weddings?
A: I recommend getting started immediately, as soon as you feel ready and motivated. You sign up for three months at a time, but a lot of people do two or three sessions. Participants usually aim to lose about five to eight pounds a month. The great thing is, you can start at any point. Even if you only have a month before the wedding.
Q: What equipment do you need?
A: An exercise ball, resistance bands, a jump rope and free weights. You can exercise at home or in a gym, and you can take the bands and jump rope with you when you travel. All you need is 30 to 60 minutes, six days a week.
Q: Your recipes look pretty simple. What were you trying to achieve?
A: You are what you eat. I tried to keep recipes very quick and easy. The key to success is to stave off boredom. Make food interesting but not elaborate.
Q: We always hear that fitness has to be something you do for yourself and no one else, not even your fiance. Any comments?
A: Oh, I totally agree you have to do it for yourself. You are the one most interested in everything being perfect for your wedding day, including how you look walking down the aisle.