While many brides-to-be use their engagement as motivation to launch a grueling fitness regimen, Melissa Rycroft had just finished one — on Dancing With the Stars — when boyfriend Tye Strickland proposed. “I was lucky that I had a jump start,” the former Bachelor contestant tells In Touch at an exclusive interview and photo shoot at the W Dallas- Victory hotel. “I figured, ‘This is perfect. I’m really in peak physical condition.’ I felt like I looked better than I did when I was a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader as a teenager!”
But maintaining that body without the intense regular workouts she got from the show has required some serious discipline leading up to her mid-December ceremony. “I had my dress sized to my body, not to a size I wanted to be. But every bride wants to look like a toned version of themselves,” says the 26-year-old, who chose to spotlight the areas that she’ll be showing off as she walks down the aisle. “I’ve definitely upped the workouts and changed them to focus on my arms and shoulders, because that’s what shows in a wedding dress — not so much your legs.” While she may slack on squats, she admits, “When I put on a few pounds, it goes directly to my hips and rear end. You will never see me on the beach in a thong!” That said, Melissa tries to exercise for about an hour and a half, four days a week — and always at home. “Gyms intimidate me, and when you’re so busy, it’s hard trying to find the time to squeeze everything in. That’s why I’m a firm believer in doing it around the house,” explains Melissa.
For more on Melissa’s pre-wedding workout and diet, check out this week’s issue of In Touch, on newsstands now!