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Modern Bride

August 2004, "A Healthy New Start"

To get in shape for her wedding, Jocelyn returned to running - and dropped 24 pounds.
By Karyn Repinski

Getting engaged provided just the spark that Jocelyn Lerner, a self-described party girl, needed to shape up. "My twenties were a blur of late nights, parties and drinking," says the 32-year-old personal assistant from Chappaqua, NY. They were also a time of some serious weight gain; in the eight years since graduating college, Jocelyn's weight had crept up to 145 pounds from 121 - a significant amount considering her small frame. Now, with her wild days over and her wedding less than a year away, Jocelyn was ready to take action. "I wanted to start this new chapter in my life feeling healthy."

The problem was, she had no idea where to start. "I'd never dieted before or even had to watch my weight," says Jocelyn, who turned to Jana Klauer, M.D., a weight-loss specialist in New York City for help in achieving long-term results. Her suggestion to keep a food journal turned out to be an eye-opening experience for Jocelyn, who was startled to discover that her morning coffee alone - as extra large Chocolate Brownie Frappuccino with whipped cream - packed a whopping 650 calories! Soon Jocelyn was carefully reading nutritional labels and replacing the cookies, ice cream and fast food she loved with fruit, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. "When you start eating healthier, you eventually stop missing the fattening foods," says Jocelyn. She also switched to 50-calorie wine spritzers at happy hours after learning that her usual cocktail, a Cosmo, contained four times the amount. Her m.o. for dining out: cutting her entrée in half before even taking a bite.

Another key component of Dr. Klauer's plan was getting Jocelyn moving again on a regular basis, ideally every morning. For weight loss, she recommended working up to 45 minutes to an hour of aerobic activity a day and weight training every other day. "It took some getting used to, but exercising first thing makes you feel that you've accomplished something before the day has even started," say Jocelyn, who used to be an avid runner before the weight gain. She returned to the activity she loved and gradually built up from 30 minutes of running (or yoga) to an hour. After four months, she'd lost 24 pounds and dropped to a size 6 from a size 10. "There's nothing a bride-to-be loves more than having her dress taken in at fittings," says Jocelyn, who wed her high-school sweetheart, Nicholas Gruber, in June 2003. Actually, there is something: being able to wear the dress of your dreams. Feeling comfortable in a tightly fitted, strapless style was quite an accomplishment for Jocelyn, who'd grown accustomed to wearing baggy layers. "On that day especially, it was thrilling to no longer have anything to hide."

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