Weddings are entrenched in age old traditions and rituals that some of us in the modern world choose to partake in and others that we leave behind. Today we’re going to talk about some things that have been bothering me since I got engaged over 6 months ago and that, my friends, are wedding diets and bridal expectations.
I’ve had poor body image since sixth grade. My eating disorder began gradually in seventh grade and became uncontrollable my freshmen year of college. 3 months of inpatient rehab later, hours of therapy, an unbreakable support network of the best friends a girl could ask for, and I would consider myself in recovery for the last 6 years. I’m not perfect and my past with my eating disorder does not define me, but I still find it influencing my body image and relationship with food as years go by.
The reason I bring up this issue now is that in my last post I blogged about the joys of finding the perfect wedding dress. I absolutely LOVE my dress, I cannot wait to wear it for an entire day because it is beautiful and I feel beautiful in it. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t having an internal battle with myself and my dormant eating disorder. Wedding dresses are beautiful, but you aren’t always going to fit into the sample size dress. You are also sometimes going to get measured in front of a mirror in your bra and underwear, something I like to think of as my own personal hell. All I could think was, thank god this is happening now, when I am strong and stable in my recovery.
First thing’s first, a wedding diet is an option, NOT an obligation. Going on a wedding diet is not like hiring an officiant or getting a marriage license, it’s a choice, not a necessity and you can still tie the knot without one.
After you get engaged there are a slough of questions, where are you getting married? What color will your bridesmaids wear? Asking about a wedding diet or “new” exercise routine, should not be among questions that a bride gets during wedding planning. Asking about a diet or “new/special” exercise routine implies you need to go on a diet whether that is your intention or not. While externally I might respond with confidence and poise saying something to the effect of “absolutely not, Eric is marrying the me today not the me minus 20 pounds”. But internally, you have set off an alarm that sounds a little more like “oh gosh is she asking because my arms look flabby or she can see that my stomach does not resemble a six pack? Should I be going to bridal boot camp or joining hundreds of other brides in giving up carbs and sweets before their big day?”
Let’s get the record straight here, skinnier does not equal better or more beautiful. Shouldn’t it be more important that you look and feel like yourself? For hundreds of years society has been telling men and women that skinnier and more fit people are happier and more beautiful. Why do we continue to buy into this myth?
Lastly, your wedding day does not also have to be the day you will look the absolute best you will ever look, EVER. What kind of bar is that? Welcome to marriage, you can only go downhill from here. In fact, I want to go uphill, I want to get hotter with age like Jennifer Aniston or Julia Roberts. I don’t want to say that on September 24th, 2016 I peaked.
To make a long story short, if shedding a few pounds or toning your biceps are what makes you feel more confident and beautiful for your wedding then by all means, proceed. But getting married and going on a diet do not need to coexist. I could write a whole other blog post about the pressures women are feeling versus men in this whole wedding business, but alas I will end with this. Your partner is marrying you for who you are and how you make them feel and they are attracted to you as is because you are utterly beautiful and perfect in every way shape and form. And if your partner is anything like mine, he (or she) would prefer you to continue enjoying pizza and ice cream with them for the next year of wedding planning because what fun would wedding planning be without the cake tasting or a celebratory beer!