When you get engaged everyone gives you a list of things to do before the wedding. What they don’t tell you, is that on that list, right below finding that perfect dress is develop an unhealthy bridal body image.
If you’re a bride to be, I’m sure that you have been hit with the onslaught of “wedding wright” adverts. It’s not hard to see where all this comes from when you’ve got shows like “Bridalpiasty” and “Shedding for the Wedding” giving women a body image problem.
It really annoys me that there is this attitude that your wedding is the “be all and end all” of your married life. To some extent, I get it. It’s “the biggest day of your life” and “all eyes will be on you” and “you don’t want to look back at your photos and regret how you fit into your dress”— at least this is what people tell me.
I consider my senior prom to be one of the biggest days of my life. I don’t look back at my prom picture and say, “well shit…if only I skipped a couple burgers.”
Biggest day of my life? No. One of the most significant, for sure. There will be many big days of my life. The day I buy a house. The day I have a child. The day I finally pay off my student loans. My wedding day is just one big day for books, and I will look at those pictures the same way I look at my high school graduation photos, my college graduation photos and my first day in my first apartment photos.
Astounded that I accomplished it.
The normalization of this extreme culture of #sheddingforthewedding has become alarming, with brides and grooms seeking to become shadows of themselves for their trips down the aisle. Are people insane? Instead of seeing a Save the Date as a reminder to commit to an insane cleanse or binge on workouts, let’s look at a wedding as an opportunity to begin a new, healthier lifestyle of activity that you and your partner can ideally keep together.
A diet is a diet, but a healthy lifestyle requires changing a lot of behaviors. It’s about learning to eat better, starting small with something you can slowly develop into a routine and doing something like that takes time. I think people forget that you can live a blissful diet-free life, never worrying about counting calories or fitting into your bikini.
I am enough, right here and right now.
Is there a list of things I’m working on? Yes. I want to continue to eat well, live a healthy lifestyle while maintaining my usual workout routine, learn new skills, continue to challenge myself, love me for who I am no matter what, and love my amazing man every day no matter what.
To any bride,
When you start to feel the pressures of “wedding weight” don’t. Buy a dress that actually fits you, here and now. Not a dress that makes you feel bad about yourself, that you can’t breathe in or that takes a team of your bridesmaids using their hidden football player strength to squeeze you into.
Screw the number on the label.
You are a wonderful person and someone wants to spend the rest of their life with you. There is someone who is going to be waiting at the end of that aisle with the same, if not bigger, dopy smile. They love you for who you are. They think you’re amazing. They find you brilliant and wonderful and mysterious.
You are enough.