Wedding Day Countdown: The Ultimate Beauty & Body Plan

By Nicole Catanese

Daily workouts? Torture. Protein and veggie diet? Mental warfare. Weekly skin sessions? Expensive. Loving how you look on your big day? Priceless.

John Herr

For my wedding, I vowed to get my skin and body in the best shape of my life. With my date just a week before my 36th birthday, I knew that it would take discipline and dedication–lets be honest, with age, simply opting for salads at lunch and slathering on a moisturizing face mask weekly isn’t going to cut it. If I wanted a sleek silhouette, including the elevated booty and Madonna-like arms that would so elegantly complement my beloved Kenneth Pool “Celia” gown,  I was going to have to work for it. If I wanted to turn back the clock on sun damage, enlarged pores and those expression lines on my forehead, I was going to have to be diligent with my at-home and in-office treatments. After a few months of albeit, intense workouts, super clean eating and consistent beauty appointments, I was not only 15 pounds lighter, I was more toned all over. I had legit curves. My skin was glowing and smooth. When I slipped on my dress that day and looked at my reflection, I felt transformed.

I will preface the month-by-month plan below, that potentially could be deemed extreme by some, with this: I am a beauty girl. I write about breakthroughs, innovations, treatments, and products in beauty and fitness for a living. It’s in my blood, and I know as much as anyone the power that they can have not only physically but mentally–I was willing to do it all. What you feel when you see yourself in the mirror is more than skin deep. Bottom line: do what you need to do to be your best self. I promise, your hard work and the cost will be worth it.

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Countdown: 5 Months

I knew it was time to start perfecting my skin. Especially because my main complexion concerns, although not severe (i.e. subtle sun damage all over and enlarged pores as well as just obtaining an inherent glow), would require repetitive treatments to see stellar results. I made an appointment with my amazing dermatologist, Dr. Neal Schultz, who recommended getting his signature 40 percent glycolic peel on my face, chest and hands ever two weeks and applying his SPF50 sunscreen daily under my makeup to ward off future damage. I immediately penciled the biweekly sessions into my iCalendar to slough away dead skin, keep my pores clear and help erase dark spots over time. Regardless of what else I had going on, I made time to pop over to his office on Park Avenue or his Beauty Rx Peel Baroutpost at the Flatiron Butterfly Salon for a quickie two-minute (with zero redness) session. Not only did my stress-induced breakouts stop, but also after a few weeks, I could see that my skin was looking more radiant.

While living by the beach for the summer at my New Jersey home, I knew I had to jumpstart my fitness routine and lay the foundation for a slimmed down physique worthy of my wow-factor dress. I started off with personal training sessions with local fitness expert, Mark Hibbard, founder of Next Level Fitness. I showed him a picture of my dress. so that he could not only tailor my workouts to hit my trouble spots (the usual female-focused suspects such as toning up my triceps, flattening the lower area of my belly and strengthening and tightening up my legs) but also focus on what made sense for my dress. Not only were my arms exposed, the plunging illusion neckline and open back as well as the form-fitting backside meant that I had to look lean from every angle. For the next two months, I showed up with my hair slicked back ready to work for 60 minutes, three times a week, regardless if I was tired, hung over or too busy. Each time, we would start with a dynamic warm-up (think high knees and walking lunges), then alternate days of cardio bursts and strengthening–all with my beloved Celia as the main get-fit goal.

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