Before Shindigger could think about summer plans in places like Milan, Paris, Saint-Tropez, Sitges and the Hamptons, we had a more daunting destination: our college reunion. It would be a preppy affair, one of those schools where mentions of Ph.D.s, M.B.A.s and J.D.s would be dropped like unbecoming habits.
Call us vapid, but there was no way in hell that Shindigger was going back to campus looking anything but svelte, so last week we set out on a makeover mission, with Dr. Oz’s go-to fitness hunk, Joel Harper, as our first stop.
His encouraging refrain was: “Harder! Higher! Faster!” And just like that, we were off to an exhausting start.
“My biggest piece of advice for people trying to get prepared for a college reunion is to never compare yourself to anyone else,” said Josh Holland, director of training at the Core Club. “Focus your attention on being the best that you can be.”
For Shindigger, he suggested doing pushup planks on a TechnoGym ball “to engage your core and build your foundation.”
Our foundation-building mission continued with an intense New Balance event, where celebrity trainer and health guru Harley Pasternak led us in a morning boot camp class. Mr. Pasternak’s motto is, “Eat more, exercise less, reset your body.” He believes we should focus on diet and go easier on the elliptical.
Designer Bonnie Young had a similar mind-set: “My latest and greatest summer preparation is Barry’s Boot Camp,” she dished. “My girlfriend Yvonne Force Villareal got me hooked. I dread that intense workout every time, but I promise it definitely gets to those places that my daily yoga routine doesn’t touch.”
Still, Ms. Young has never braved her reunions.
“To this day, I have never gone to my Cornell reunion, probably due to family obligations,” she confessed. “I really should, though.”
“I always say good habits enable bad habits,” Eric Villency, CEO of Villency Design Group, warned. “For summer, I try to improve my diet and cut down on indulgences such as distilled rye and water—otherwise known as vodka.”
Lord knows Shindigger’s boozy diet of galas and premieres hadn’t been helping matters.
“My pre-summer diet routine has changed a lot since the early aughts, when I sustained myself on Tab and Olean Wow chips,” the hilarious P’Trique from The Platform told Shindigger. “Nowadays, I do an accelerated intensive of the Brazilian Butt Lift DVD series for my pre-Memorial Day regimen.
“I want everything to point up,” he added. “And that’s not all that’s Brazilian.”
Next, we sought advice from Todd Howard, the buff and brawny host/producer of Spike TV’s World’s Worst Tenants.
“I am getting ready for the summer by eating my year-round staple diet of high protein, moderate carbs and low fat,” he explained. “I have added 30 extra minutes of cardio five times per week, and I train one body part per day.”
Mr. Howard divulged that his favorite summer dessert is plain, nonfat Greek yogurt, fresh seasonal fruit, a tablespoon of agave nectar and chia seeds.
“That’s the bomb and satisfies your sweet tooth,” he said.
Also eating light is BET founder and badass businesswoman Sheila Johnson.
“I’ve been a vegan since January, and it’s been great,” she told Shindigger. “I have more energy than ever, which has come in handy as I race toward the opening of my newest resort in Middleburg at the end of August. Once we open, I plan on checking into the spa for an entire week.”
A-ha, a spa treatment! Maybe that’s what Shindigger needed. A facial lift.
“First, when I started, we were using dermabrasion,” Dr. Thomas Rohrer explained about past facial-surgery procedures. “We would literally use a sanding wheel with this diamond sandpaper and we would go over the patient in hazmat suits. That’s how we would take off the surface of the skin, and we thought we were doing a great job.”
Shindigger was horrified.
“Thankfully, methods have upgraded,” he said.
Maybe so, but we elected for something less intense, heading over to Dr. Ron Shelton’s office on the Upper East Side for Pellevé, an innovative, non-ablative skin-tightening system. There, we put the future of our face into the hands of Gita Gabriel, medical aesthetician to the well-heeled.
“I’ve never seen someone take off their clothes so fast!” she giggled after we slipped into a robe. (She has no idea what Shindigger is capable of.)
One hour later, we were on our way to La Guardia, reunion-bound. Less Goldie Hawn in The First Wives Club, more Sidney Poitier in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, happy in the knowledge that we looked good, felt good and had unlimited glasses of merlot waiting for us in the first-class cabin.