Slim. Slender. Skinny. Streamlined. Svelte.

No Secret that “S” is a powerful letter when it comes to body image. Interestingly enough, the key to achieving the above “S” adjectives, can be found by Surrounding yourself with more “S” words.

To really kick my bridal and Summer-prep workout into high gear in the coming months, I’m following a Strict regiment of “S”-inspired Steps to Stay in Shape. This is what has worked for me in the past to help me feel better about myself. Of course, when starting any diet or fitness regimen, consult your doctor if you don’t feel right, and listen to your body. I’ve adapted from dozens of books, nutritionists, health experts, and magazines, and gleaned my own little Scenario. That’s the real Secret.

(photo courtesy of

I’m calling it the “S” diet: Overdose on Smart Start cereal, Soup, Salad. Cut out Sugar, Salt, and Soda.

The fiber-rich Smart Start is loaded with antioxidants and tons of other good-for-you nutrients, so you really can’t go wrong. This isn’t a cardboard cereal, either- the little clusters of crunch are Super Satisfying. My personal fave is the kind with the strawberries on the cover, but this seems to be increasingly difficult to locate, and there really isn’t a huge taste variation between the two flavors.

Soup- the key here is variety. I’m in love with Progresso’s 80 calorie options. Alternate between a ton of different flavors, and you won’t get bored. Remember to stock up on veggies and go easy on egg noodles.

Salad- the obvious choice. I never thought salad should count as food, because they can be so bland and boring it’s almost more fun to just chew some Spearmint gum. However, it’s a great go-to Safety choice when you’re out at a restaurant. Curb the gnocchi or cheeseburger temptation by incorporating little treats into your salad. Beets are phenomenal, and they do wonders for you. Fruit also becomes popular in the summer months, but be careful not to go crazy with Strawberries or orange slices in salad- they’re loaded with Sugar and often Smothered in dressing. I always ask for dressing on the side (and I indulge in the fruity tastes in my dressing choice- Strawberry poppyseed anyone?) Lettuce choice also should reflect the “S” devotion- Spinach gets stuck in your teeth, so as long as you’re not on a first date, it should be your primary lettuce player.

Of course, another major aspect of weight loss and health is the biggest “S” of them all: Sweat. Exercise, specifically at least 30 minutes of cardio a day, is key to maintain a healthy body. I alternate with Pilates, yoga, Zumba, weight lifting, but the elliptical is always a Staple in my workout plan. If you’re lucky enough to be a runner (Sprinter or otherwise), or better yet, a Swimmer, you’re already getting a great dose of cardio and most likely, Sweating like crazy. Not only does Sweat indicate an elevated heart rate, but you can also flush out toxins that can be harmful to your health plan.

So there’s my Secret- it’s all about the “S”. Stay Strong, Smile, Sing to yourself mid-workout, Sign up for group exercise classes, and Shimmy all the way into those new Skinny jeans.

Hmmm my future last name also starts with an “S”….could this be a Sign? J