Self Love In A Size 6 #shreddinfortheweddin
J-Lo nailed it in “Monster-In-Law”: “The dress is made to fit me, not the other way around.”
As soon as I got engaged, the self-scrutiny bells went off. All of a sudden, I was convinced my arms looked like logs, my lower belly was loose, and my forehead needed botox. People around me also heard the alarm go off. When I lamented that I absolutely must lose 10 pounds ASAP, people would be swift to commiserate and remind me that “ah, yes, your wedding is only a year away,” as opposed to a more empowering and reassuring “STAHP IT! You look amazing, be confident in your body!” What the heck!
I understand that we- brides, especially - want to look “good” for our wedding, and we long for our partners to have “that look” as we walk down the aisle. Yikes. After all, those pictures will outlive us, and we want our fittest, most “attractive” selves to be immortalized. When you allow the mindset to dominate your day, it becomes a problem. It starts from within and is echoed by the people around you, which perpetuates the problem. But it doesn’t have to be. I have also realized that although the pressure to look good for your wedding day is real, the definition of what “good” means is self-imposed.
The truth of the matter is that your wedding photos are not the catalyst to make you insta-famous, will likely not be covered in a bridal magazine, and will not grace your mantle for all of eternity. Well, that last one has some truth. There are one or two photos from my parent’s wedding around their house, but there are also hundreds of other photos through their 35 years of marriage. One of the many beautiful things about my mom is that she has always remained true to herself, and her photos are the true reflection of the person she was at a specific moment in time. Her wedding silhouette was the same silhouette from their relationship before and after; she didn’t have this super skinny blip that was her wedding day. Now, she had a beautiful figure and we cannot all be so blessed, but I think there is something deeply sincere about looking like “you” on your big day.
The truth is I’m working on it and eliminating the obsessing over looking perfect on my wedding day will continue to be a top of mind inner dialogue. I most certainly care about how I feel and look, and an honest effort to be healthier, more fit, and setting realistic goals are all great things. I think the trick is keeping the day in perspective. It’s not about getting married; it’s about being married. If you picture your mantle, make sure you are visualizing the hundreds of photos from your marriage, not of your marriage. My goal is to be a healthy, fit, goal-setting wife, not a size 2 wife with abs. My wedding day photos shouldn’t feel different than all the other photos that will be taken in my life, so the goal should be to always pursue a healthy lifestyle.
Right now, my goals revolve around maintaining the whole 80/20 philosophy; getting it "right" 80% of the time and giving myself some grace and wiggle room 20% of the time. The altruistic version of myself: eats organic, limits carbs and refined sugar, workouts three times a week, continuously improves cardiovascular ability, and focuses on building overall strength.
And, here is how I’m keeping myself in check:
Don’t try on dresses that require me to lose weight to be comfortable in
Don’t order a size down in hopes of fitting into it by next year
Don’t use self-deprecating language
Don’t rely on quick fix diets leading up to the day
Do remind myself that Sam proposed to me as I am now, not with expectations of me looking different
Do embrace my imperfections openly and confidently
Self-love, ladies. If we want to remove societal pressures we have to first remove the the pressures we assign to ourselves.
//Work in progress.