Danelle Hlaveck, 26-years-old, calls herself “a princess.”
“That’s what I am. In my family, to all my friends, I’m the princess,” she says.
She’s a princess whose day job is as a door-to-door sales rep. She spends most of her day in the car, on the road, and eating fast food. On a bad week, she probably eats drive-thru food four or five times. She calls her figure, “an hourglass that’s gone amok.”
Like Lisa Shumpert, Hlaveck experienced some serious frustration when she went to try on wedding dresses.
"They [bridal store] recommended a [size] 20. And I ordered a 16. So it was two sizes smaller," she says. "They just made me initial a piece of paper saying that they did recommend the larger size and I ordered the smaller one," she recounts.
At 5 feet 3 inches and 173 lbs., she also hopes to shed 40 lbs. by her wedding day through the Jenny Craig diet.
Her diet of choice provides portion-controlled meals, as well as weekly consultations.
For this self-described princess who almost always dines on the run, toting a pre-packaged breakfast and lunch will take some getting used to.
In her fiancé Chris’ eyes, she doesn’t need to diet: “She’s the girl I fell in love with. I mean, this is how she looks, and I think she looks beautiful.”
But what’s the use of being a princess if you can’t bend the rules? Hlaveck decides to skip her Jenny Craig meal on her weekly date night.
It’s not the only time she improvises with the diet: On one bowling night, she replaces three days’ allotments of salad dressing with three brewskies, an unorthodox substitution to say the least.
But is Goldilocks and her three beers stretching the Jenny Craig rules to the breaking point?
The weight is steadily coming off, but Hlaveck believes she can do better with more encouragement.
“I do need that reinforcement from other people, that coaching to keep going,” she says.
So she decides to switch her current counselor for a new one.
Hlaveck is fine-tuning both her diet and her wedding plans: “I have like six to-do lists, cross-referencing them all from various sources and making sure that I am doing everything.”
One night she makes time for what’s called an "intimate pursuits party," where brides-to-be can buy lingerie and sexy novelty toys, all in the privacy of someone’s home. While she’s deliberating whether or not she is going to make a purchase, she considers her potential weight loss: “If I were to purchase anything tonight, it would be something that was a little tight now and that I hope would end up being a little looser.”
And to guarantee she’ll look great in a negligee, Hlaveck, who hasn’t hit the gym in months, starts going four times a week.
The extra effort seems to be working. At her second weigh-in Hlaveck, who started at 173 lbs., has lost 7 lbs.
The real test will be whether she fits into the dress she ordered two sizes too small. The gown she ordered won’t arrive for several weeks.
Hlaveck hires a personal trainer. While she’s doing well on the exercise front, she complains that those Jenny Craig meals are getting monotonous.
“I have been eating the same food for four months,” she exclaims.
To add to her stress level, she and her fiance have been fighting over wedding plans. “One side of the family wants one thing, the other side wants the other thing,” she says.
Finally, after months of waiting, the bridal salon calls to say her dress has arrived. She knots in her stomach as she tries on the dress.
Her hard work pays off: The dress fits. But she’s still not satisfied— she wants to be a little bit more toned. “I’d like my arms to be a little bit toner, as well as my shoulders and my back,” Hlaveck says.
Hlaveck lost a total of 19 lbs. Though it’s only halfway to her 40 lbs. goal, the most important thing, she says, is that she now wears a size 10 dress, instead of a 14. The gown she ordered two sizes too small, fits perfectly.
“I can’t even say it. I feel like a princess,” she says, tearing up.
Did she keep the weight off?
Yes, one year after her wedding, Hlaveck has managed to keep her weight off