First things first, how did you and Tripp meet?
We met at the gym in August of 2017. I remember specifically that he was doing an ab workout with his dad and I was in the gym with no makeup on, sweating like a pig and he couldn't keep his eyes off me. I asked the front desk who he was then friend requested him on Facebook. He immediately accepted and sent me a message about how it was raining. The rest is history.
How did he propose? Was it a surprise?
Tripp proposed in a beautiful rose garden in our town. I spent the day with my mom shopping, getting a manicure, getting a make-over, I really didn't suspect anything. He had been so nervous and weird throughout the day texting that I kind of knew something was up. He wanted to get "dressed up and go to the movies." He picked me up and I could tell he was really nervous. He told me he wanted to go to the rose garden to look around because he thought it would be a really pretty place for pictures once we got engaged. I knew in that moment something was up. See, we had a family trip planned for the beach that next day and I just knew he was going to do it then. But when we got to the rose garden we got out and started walking around. There was a gazebo with lights, sheers, rose petals, champagne, flutes, and a sign that said "Will You Marry Me?" I remember seeing it and getting so excited and saying "Oh my gosh Tripp someone just got engaged out here!" So we went to "check it out," but once we got inside he dropped to a knee and pulled out a ring. It was perfect.
At what point did the two of you start to incorporate fitness into our routine? Or, was fitness something that started for you prior to meeting?
Our very first date was a leg workout together in the gym. Tripp had done bodybuilding competitions in the past and at the time I was a college athlete so the fitness was a normal activity for both of us. After that day the gym became an everyday date for both of us. It was the best of both worlds - we got to spend time together and get a workout in.
What's your favorite fitness activity? Do you and Tripp do the same sport?
My favorite fitness activity would be lifting weights. I am not someone who enjoys cardio or spends hours on the treadmill. I get my workout in by lifting heavy and hard. Tripp also loves lifting weights and he isn't ashamed of my muscles. He once got asked what he was going to do when my arms got the same size as his, his response...."start lifting harder."
What prompted your interest in weight lifting? How long have you been doing it now?
I started lifting weights the summer before I went to college, so about 6 years now. My college coach sent out a workout plan for the summer and suggested we all complete it before stepping on campus. I did not want to be the freshman who didn't do anything over the summer so I got to work. It was tough in the beginning but I soon fell in love with the endorphin's, the sweat and the feeling of accomplishment.
What is your goal with weightlifting? To get stronger, lose weight, or for pure enjoyment?
My goal would be a combination of the three. I enjoy lifting weights because it helps me get stronger and being stronger will help with fighting off osteoporosis and being able to age better. Losing weight is obviously a plus, I mean who doesn't want to lose a few pounds always? But mostly I thoroughly enjoy lifting weights. It is the best stress relief I have ever found. Even during the wedding planning process the gym was never something I felt like was a chore. It truly was (and still is) a part of my daily routine.
What exactly does training in weightlifting entail? Can you describe some of the exercises/movements?
I use a lot of dumbbell and body weight exercises. I like to focus on moderate weight with higher reps to keep my heart rate up. With the higher reps I focus more on toning the muscle and burning fat at the same time. I love to do any and all leg exercises, especially squats, lunges, leg extension and leg curl.
How has weightlifting changed your body? Are you happy with those changes?
When I first started lifting weights I was a bigger high school graduate who could really stand to shed a few pounds. After being in college and being frequent in the weight room, I had lost an unhealthy amount of weight and developed a pretty serious eating disorder. Through that time the gym was still a constant and actually fueled the mental side of the eating disorder. I was forced to take a few months off and when I came back I used the gym to help me heal. So this sport has changed my body multiple times - from overweight, to underweight and back to "normal" again. For the first time in a long time I can truly say I am happy with where my body is. I enjoy the gym and I enjoy working out, but I also enjoy taking rest days and eating pizza with my family. It's definitely a healthy relationship now.
Is lifting weight a big part of your relationship? In what ways?
Without the gym Tripp and I obviously wouldn't have met but we honestly may have never made the relationship work without it either. For the first few years of our relationship he worked in a restaurant and I was in school so we never saw each other. The only time we had was bits and pieces during the day that was also our workout time. We used the gym for our own personal workouts but also for quality time together. For years the gym was a "date" for us in many ways. Even now today when our schedules are much different and quality time is a daily thing, we still enjoy going to the gym together. We don't always do the same workout but it is fun to be able to look across the gym and see him smiling at me while he does bicep curls. And hey, it is kind of attractive too!
Do you relate any lifting weights to marriage?
Lifting weights and being in to fitness is HARD work. It definitely isn't easy. If it was, literally everyone would be a bodybuilding competitor and there would be no fast food restaurants. For us to make fitness a priority also isn't always easy. But it shows us that, like a marriage, the things we want most in life usually take the hardest work to achieve. We want to look good, we work harder in the gym. We want a good marriage that lasts, we work harder at the marriage.
Do you plan to add any touches to your wedding day that are representative of your love for this sport/activity?
Tripp and I actually had a cake topper made for our wedding cake that was a male and female holding a barbell with weights on the sides with our name underneath. There were a few different lifting cake toppers but I chose the one where the male and female were lifting the weight together because I saw that as an omen that no matter what life throws at us we can lift it together.
What's your favorite workout?
I love doing anything that has to do with legs and glutes. I do a leg/glute workout twice a week and it still isn't enough!! I could do legs daily.
If you don't mind, I'd like to ask you about your diet, too. Do you follow a particular program, such as the Zone Diet, Paleo, Whole30, etc?
I use MyFitnessPal and my personally calculated macros for my day to day eating. Getting your macros counted is a scientific number that uses your weight and daily calorie expenditure to calculate how many grams of proteins, carbs and fats you need to eat on a daily basis to either lose weight, maintain or gain. I enjoy counting macros because it gives me the freedom to eat what I want as long as it fits my macros. I've tried diets and meal plans in the past but if I'm not enjoying it I won't stick to it.
What's your favorite go-to snack?
Rice cakes and peanut butter.
What's your favorite non-health food? (Ice cream, candy, or perhaps a cocktail?)
Any and everything chocolate. I have a massive sweet tooth!
What's your next fitness goal?
My next fitness goal is to keep working hard and lean out just a little bit. My brother gets married in September and the dress his fiance chose is open back and I'd really like my muscles to pop!
Where do you see you and your hubby in 10 years from now? Dream big!
In 10 years I see us with a few kids, a few dogs and living on a big farm with cows, chickens and big garden! We hope to one day have a farm-to-table restaurant in our back yard!
Follow along with Betsy @betsyb_sauls!
Photographer | Images by Amber Robinson
Venue | The Farm at Camp Nellie
Floral Design | Flowers by Roberts
Cinema & Video | Dylan Cook Photography
Dress Store | The Wedding Dress Shoppe
Dress Designer | Kenneth Winston
Jewelry | Kay Jewlers
Event Planner | Your Day by Meredith
Beauty | Rachele Pate
DJ | Red Sparrow Studios
Cake | Wilson Donut Shop
Catering | Parkside Cafe
Bridesmaid Dresses | Bill Levkoff
Groomsmen Attire | Hilton's Fine Clothing