As my wedding date keeps inching closer, I am constantly reminded of things I need to do. Some of them are self reminders, like figuring out table decorations and making sure I don’t miss scheduled payments. Others come from the multiple emails I receive daily from wedding websites, like telling me I need to start saving up for a down payment for a house (yes, that really happened!) and suggesting yet another way for me to slim down in time for the big day.
The night I got engaged.
While there are a lot of things about the wedding industry that I don’t like, trying to tell me and countless other women they need to transform their bodies in order to feel beautiful on their wedding day is at the very top of my list. I will admit that soon after becoming engaged, I briefly flirted with the idea of a wedding diet/workout plan. By briefly, I mean maybe two minutes before I slapped myself and realized the last thing I needed was to spend the year leading up to my wedding feeling bad about my body.
Because that’s what these bridal diets/workouts do - make you feel bad about yourself. We’re told we need to change our bodies to fit the dress. But that’s totally backwards. We should be buying dresses that we feel beautiful in from Day One, not that we hope to maybe squeeze into on our wedding day.
There is immense pressure to transform your body into something unrecognizable (they say better) to you. And in the process you’re being told to do just a little bit more (really they mean a lot) to look just perfect.
Worth it? No. Not even a little bit. IMHO.
I was recently reminded of just how horrible the pressure is for brides to slim down. If you haven’t read it, you should take a look at this New York Times article on losing weight in time for the wedding. It’s stunning and heartbreaking.
As the date nears for my first wedding dress fitting, I’m thinking - I really hope I feel beautiful in the dress when I first try it on. I hope my arms don’t look flabby. Should I have learned how to do a pull-up? Gosh, I hope I don’t need to wear shaping lingerie.
As much as I have avoided the whole bride’s crash diet/bootcamp nightmare, every now and then I wonder if I should have stepped up my normal fitness routine. As much as I would like to say with the utmost confidence that I love my body, I don’t know if that will ever be the case.
Much of my fitness routine includes walking my dog, Dexter.
I remember becoming acutely aware of my body when I was 12. That was 18 years ago and there hasn’t been a moment since (for all of those awful reasons that don’t need to be explained) that I’ve ever felt comfortable with my shape. But a big part of me just hopes that for one day I can forget all of the everyday pressure put upon women to be something they’re not, and just feel good, feel really beautiful, just as I am.