From the Studio to “I Do”

Here’s how AKT Master Trainer Ariel prepared her body for a walk down the aisle…


How did your approach to fitness/wellness change when you were prepping for your wedding?

For me, my approach was a bit difference because fitness is my livelihood and I workout every day. So I didn’t need to necessarily work on a fitness program for myself, other than make sure that I stayed balanced with the types of workouts that I was doing and teaching. So, with that said, I was able to approach my wedding with a more relaxed mindset. On the other side of it, I actually tried to incorporate more fun and play! I would take advantage of nice weather, ride my bike to work, and play outdoor games on the weekends or during my days off. Doing so allowed me to be active but also recover and balance out my more intense workouts during the week.

How long did you prep? Did you change your nutrition? If so, how?

So I started changing my nutrition a few years ago, but last spring, right after I got engaged, was when I was really able to make a long lasting shift in my diet. (I hate using that word because people associate it with something so temporary and mostly negative.) I started reading more about the paleo/primal lifestyle and there were many things about it that really registered with me. I looked into the research behind different diets and learned how I was eating affected me on the inside, not just the outside. By learning more, I was able to detach myself from results and numbers and focus instead on foods and their actual effects in my body, relative to what conventional wisdom had taught and led me to believe for so many years. After a few months, I noticed that I was living without certain things, like bread (something I thought that I would never be able to give up), and am now able to make more informed decisions when it comes to food. I now feel so much better, both inside and out, which is really the most important thing to me.


I allowed myself certain indulgences but also set limits. For instance, I allowed myself dark chocolate, but only a small piece a few nights per week. Alcohol-wise, I have always looked forward to having a glass of wine on the weekends, so I set a limit for how many glasses I could have per week. (My limit was 5, which left room for times when I had social events to attend.) I didn’t want to deprive myself in any way because I knew that that is where I would get into trouble, as most of my clients do.


When/where did you get married?

I got married in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, April 8th, 2017

Did you let yourself indulge on your honeymoon? 

Hell yeah! I gave myself permission to enjoy everything! Completely GUILT FREE! You know why? Because I knew that, when I got back to real life, I would resume my healthy lifestyle. So why not take advantage of things that I don’t normally get to enjoy?

The interesting thing that I found was that, when the time came, I actually did not crave the “bad stuff” much at all. And by bad stuff, I mean the stuff that I love, like desserts! I think that I only had three desserts the whole two weeks of my honeymoon. What I did indulge in were afternoon cocktails…. Man, it’s really difficult when you are in paradise and every day, around three or four o’clock, someone comes over and offers you a happy hour cocktail. So, I really went for it.


How did you keep yourself motivated?

Since I got married on a beach, I used that image to stay motivated. It worked.

Did you sustain your “pre-weeding regimen” after the nuptials? If not, what changed? 

Yes! Absolutely! I see so many brides make this mistake. They do everything to work up to this one moment, and then they think it’s over, no more work. They brush it off, go and indulge on their honeymoon (as anyone should). But then, when they get back, if they don’t have that goal for afterwards, they wonder why they aren’t able to get back into the same healthy exercise and diet routine.

I think that’s why it’s important, when you are preparing for such an amazing life event, to also have goals for after it happens. Again, it’s the “staying accountable” thing!   I created a lifestyle change that I knew I could sustain forever, and then I went and had frickin’ fun! And now I am back to my healthy lifestyle. It’s an awesome feeling. 


Any advice for brides who want to look their best on their wedding day?

My advice to brides to be are:

  1. Set a realistic goal for yourself, and write it down! In as much detail as possible!
  2. Write down how you think achieving those goals will actually make you FEEL!
  3. Set goals for post wedding day, so you can really reap the benefits from all of the hard work you have already put in, and so you have a wellness plan that is on going! Because let’s face it, you are going to feel amazing on your big day, so why not feel that great every day afterwards!
  4. Be honest and real with yourself. If you lie to your trainer or nutritionist about what you ate, it’s only going to effect you and will just delay achieving the results you seek!
  5. Stay committed and accountable! Find someone who can help you along this journey, because accountability and consistency is key to lasting change! AKT is the PERFECT place for this.

How did you get the idea for a wedding flash mob?

The most important thing for me at my wedding was…the dancing! I left my fiance in charge of all of the food, and I took the helm in regards to the music and party! I also knew that I wanted to do something less traditional, so the flash mob seemed like the perfect idea that would get people up and dancing, and that would fit that ideal!
Let’s just say that it was a huge success and it totally worked! I feel so lucky to have the video footage, and each time I watch it, I see someone else whom I love busting out their moves and having a good time, which brings a smile to my face. It’s definitely something that I will always remember.

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