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The Fitness Guru Who Can Get You Into Your Dream Wedding Dress Within 12 Weeks

jill penfold

Photos Credit: Jill Penfold Fitness

Jill Penfold is one of the most highly sought after female trainers in West Hollywood, who has specialized in getting brides to look and feel their best on their wedding day. But how exactly does the LA Bride Body make it all happen? We sat down with her to get the lowdown on her amazing ability to get any bride to look fabulous in that backless or sleeveless dress.

LL: You’ve specialized in workouts that will make any bride feel fantastic on their wedding day. What made you decide to pursue that? Was it a conscious decision or did it come out of the fact that you were getting a lot of requests from women who wanted to look their best?

JP: The path of bride-training was a conscious decision due to a high demand. Every client that requested my personal training services was a bride-to-be. It just seemed an obvious way to specialize in an area rather than spread my training ability over too many domains. I've always worked primarily with women. I owned a women's only gym and spa in the late 90's and I've been learning the craft ever since. Women getting married want a transformation. Not only how they look but how they feel. I promote healthy and fit brides, with that comes the transformation. Working from the inside out.

jill penfold

LL: What is realistic for a bride? A lot of women buy their dresses a couple of sizes smaller in the hopes of losing enough weight before the wedding to fit into it. What is really realistic in terms of weight loss?

JP: Realistic weight-loss and inch loss is depended upon the bride. When I first meet a bride-to-be we sit and discuss goals and timelines. Also, eating habits play a huge role in any ultimate goal. If a bride wants to dramatically lose weight and tone up then it’s easier when her mind is set. Once the mind is set then it's all about putting in the work. If a bride isn't that committed it can hinder a transformation. 95 percent of any transformation is done in the kitchen. With L.A. Bride Body every client has lost weight using the nutrition guide and workout plan. But you can't do one without the other. Some clients lose up to 40 lbs in 12 weeks. Some don't lose any, but their body changes completely due to the sculpting, toning and cardio circuits. Two dress sizes are realistic if strict adherence to the workouts and nutrition plan are applied.

LL: Do you get to see the dresses the brides you’re working with are hoping to wear? If so, how do you approach the subject of “maybe this cut is not flattering for your body type?”

JP: I always ask to see a picture of the "chosen one." It's helpful for me to see where it fits and where it doesn't. For instance, the upper back. This is, 90% of the time, the area where women struggle the most. And they panic. It's actually an easy area to work on. It just takes effort. I wouldn't tell a bride-to-be that her gown isn't flattering. That's the job of the sales associate. They are the ones who guide the bride. I just do my best with what I'm given and create the final fitting perfection.

LL: What are some of the most common challenges you’ve seen with brides looking to get in shape for their wedding?

JP: Most brides are all in when it comes to getting ready for their big day. They've spent a lot of money on this one dress and they'll wear it for one day! They want to remember how they look and feel. My biggest challenge is to educate a bride that fit is the new skinny. Starving yourself to fit into your gown works slower than if you actually work out on a fitness program. Making sure my brides have the right amount of calories everyday and making sure they stay stress free as the tension builds and the day gets closer is important. Once the wedding is over, if you've already begun a fitness program then your body will continue to get fitter and healthier. Crash diets will starve your body of vital nutrients, giving you almost no energy and you'll put weight back on rather rapidly. It's all about education and giving brides the tools to know what's the healthiest approach to weight loss and fitness.

jill penfold

LL: What about stress eating? For a lot of brides wedding planning is stressful, which leads to stressful eating. What are some tips for dealing with stress eating?

JP: Stress eating is very common. We all find comfort in foods that release endorphins. Stress relief has to be found in other mediums. Daily exercises will help enormously with preventing stress. Coping mechanisms are a great way to avoid an onset of stress induced snacking. I advise my brides to buy a yoga mat, small dumbbells and a jump rope. This way they can workout anywhere. Included in the Transformation System is a calendar, which should be placed somewhere visible on a day to day basis. You are accountable to only yourself. Have a picture of your gown, the wedding date countdown and know that the hard work you are putting in is something to be proud of. Try to avoid losing control when you're feeling stressed out by resetting your mind to your goals. The mind is a powerful thing.

LL: What are some of your tips for continuing the healthy lifestyle after the wedding?

JP: To just keep going. 100 percent of my brides love how they feel after only two weeks of workouts. This feeling continues right up until the wedding day. Once they are home from their honeymoon they can redo the entire 12 weeks and get fitter at home, join a gym or seek out a personal trainer to keep their body fit and healthy.

LL: What about making it a couple’s thing? Do you feel the “getting your butt into shape” part should be more of an individual thing or do you feel that “couples who workout together stay together?”

JP: I have trained numerous couples. I think it’s a great way to have some fun, but it's also a good time for them individually to have an hour of just them. The groom has a trainer, the bride has a trainer and they can get one-on-one attention. They also have someone to chat to about all things wedding, someone that isn't their partner. However, it is heaps of fun to see a couple encourage each other to work out.

Lavinia Lumezanu

With a passion for travel and fitness, as well as foreign languages and cultures, Lavinia has always been an adventurer. She loves discovering new places as often as possible, whether it's luxury resorts around the world or cozy little bungalows full of charm and local flair, eating in Michelin star restaurants or sampling the local street food. You can read more about her endeavors at https://lav...(Read More)

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