Wedding planning can be stressful, but the svelte trainer says that's nothing a good hot yoga session, meditation, or a glass of red wine can't fix

By Alyssa Sparacino
July 14, 2016

Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott are one powerful duo in the fitness world. The faces of Tone It Up have built not only a mega-brand that includes dozens of workout videos, DVDs, nutrition plans, exercise equipment, clothing and swimwear, magazine covers, and weekend-long retreats, but also a true fitness community. Professionally, you could say these ladies make one seriously sculpted team, but now Karena Dawn is gearing up to join a different duo-one with her soon-to-be hubby Bobby Gold.

In true SoCal-fashion, Gold popped the question on the beach during a TIU retreat as hundreds of TIU members and fans watched. You can watch it all go down here, but fair warning, you might need a tissue.

As any bride-to-be knows, once the engagement festivities wind down and regular schedules begin to take over, that's when the real work begins-planning a wedding. With all the contracts to sign, dresses to shop for, and flowers to choose, workouts, and healthy eating can sometimes fall to the wayside. So who other than fitness guru, trainer, and true girl's girl, Karena Dawn to share how she's keeping it all organized without letting it get in the way of her workouts?

SHAPE: Be honest, did you suspect Bobby was going to pop the question at the TIU retreat last fall?

Karena Dawn: We had been talking about getting engaged for about a year, so I knew it was coming [eventually]. I have to say, Bobby definitely caught me off guard by asking at our annual Tone It Up Retreat in Newport Beach. He got on stage and down on one knee in front of 400 women from our TIU Community. I'm a tough one to surprise, but I was completely shocked!

SHAPE: Have your workouts changed at all since you became engaged?

KD: I've stayed pretty consistent with my Tone It Up workouts, but now that there are just a few weeks until the wedding day, I'm stepping up my game! I think the biggest change is that Bobby and I have become each other's accountability partners. We are cooking healthy meals together (from the TIU Nutrition Plan) and working out together more. I have Bobby coming to my hot yoga and sculpting classes and he's has me doing his gym routine. It's been a really fun time and a great excuse to spend more QT together. (Another option? Join the 30-Day Slim-Down Challenge or the 30-Day Strength Challenge with Dumbbells, both of which were designed by TIU exclusively for SHAPE.)

SHAPE: Are you focusing on any particular body part or area that you really want to look and feel your best for the big day?

KD: Leading up to the wedding I'm really putting an emphasis on preparing my mind and body. I want to feel and be the absolute best 'me' the day of. Plus, my dress is a dream! I can't wait to wear it on our wedding day and for Bobby to see it for the first time. Before getting engaged I didn't think the dress would be such a big part of the wedding, but I've realized it's one of the most fun parts of the whole "fantasy." The memories will last a lifetime.

SHAPE: What do you think about the concept of "shredding for the wedding"? Should women feel the need to lose weight or shape up in time for their wedding or honeymoon?

KD: It's all about feeling your best and taking care of yourself. Sometimes as women we take care of everyone else first, but your wedding and honeymoon are when it's all about YOU! It's a great time to refocus and center yourself, and be reminded that if you take care of yourself first, you can actually give [even] more to everyone else.

SHAPE: How do you manage the stress of planning a wedding?

KD: Lots of yoga, meditation, and some red wine.

SHAPE: Will you be serving healthy food at the wedding?

KD: We're getting married in Hawaii so fresh fish and other fresh ingredients were a must! The chef even took "TIU approved" items into account when we did the tasting. On the menu are dishes like lime coconut shrimp, ahi poke cucumber cups, coconut curry tofu noodles with zucchini and green onions, and lemon ginger-crusted mahi-mahi. (Brides-to-be, let your hair down during the reception, dig into that delicious food you spent so much money on, and absolutely eat a piece of cake, but before you walk down that aisle take look at The Best and Worst Foods to Eat for Your Wedding Day.)

SHAPE: But seriously, are you crazy excited for wedding cake?

KD: Yes! That was the best part of our tasting. We chose Maui vanilla bean cake with coconut icing.


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