Here's the deal: I'm getting married in five months. I'm also 25 pounds overweight.
I lost said 25 about four years ago, and it took me pretty much an entire year to do it. So I figured I'd be in a good position to do it again when I got engaged eleven months prior to our wedding date.
I tried and failed in January. And tried again and failed again in February. And March. And April.
So now I know. Not gonna happen.
Please don't tell me how I'm wrong, suggest diets, exercises, etc. That's not the purpose of this blog post. The purpose is that yesterday I ate a piece of chocolate and was reminded of my wedding dress.
A piece of chocolate = GUILT.
It's utterly ridiculous.
We do it to ourselves, and others do it to us. Sometimes even well-intentioned. And I want it to stop.
I bought a strapless gown, one that's going to expose my flabby arms and highlight my ample bust and, at best, perform a visual trick to minimize the belly that doesn't go away. I haven't tried it on since ordering it.
But this morning, in the shower, I finally listened to the voice that's been telling me it's neither about the dress nor the wedding. It's about the marriage.
Because this is also the deal: Every day my fiance tells me how beautiful I am. Every. Day. He doesn't tell me to make me feel good, and he's not restricting the compliment to my eyes or my smile or my calves. He means my entire body. He means me, inside and out. Last month, I tried on dresses for my twin brother's wedding, and while I was self-critical, my fiance broke into a smile that simply melted me when he saw me in each one.
I'm marrying a man who loves the body I'm in now.
I'm marrying a man who holds me when I have nightmares and hugs me when I have good news.
I'm marrying a man who willingly splits the housework chores with me.
I'm marrying a man with whom I laugh countless times a day.
I'm marrying a man who apologizes if he is in the wrong, and forgives me when I am.
I'm marrying a man who picks up the slack when I am on a deadline, and appreciates when I do the same for him.
I'm marrying a man who says "Thank you" every day.
I'm marrying a man who gets me.
I'm marrying a man with whom I can spend 12 hours in a car, and who will allow me to clasp his hand for the duration of a flight.
I'm marrying a man who is conscientious, intelligent, talented at everything he does, witty, silly, well read, well written, and makes the best pancakes around.
I'm marrying a man with whom I am deeply in love, as much as he is with me.
Fuck the 25 pounds. Fuck guilt.
For the next five months, I'd like to eat mindfully and joyfully rather than vigilantly or responsibly. I'd like to remember my wedding day as "Man, that was so much fun," rather than, "Shit, I looked fat in that dress." I'd like to keep my eye on the marriage, not the wedding and certainly not the dress. I'd like to wave those flabby arms in the air while I gleefully dance at my reception. And I'd like to keep on waking up to my fiance, who smiles upon opening his eyes, and says, "Good morning. You're beautiful."
I'd like to spend the next five months, and the rest of our lives, seeing me through his eyes.
I'm an author of commercial women's fiction and a writing instructor. My claim to fame: I can say the alphabet backwards.