For the next five months...
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.
4/28/2016 09:37:19 am
I've yet to meet you but am sure I will at our class reunion but I have to say that you ROCK!!! You get it!! Its about the man and the marriage! I'm so happy you and Craig found each other! Enjoy your day and the beautiful life you two will share!
4/28/2016 09:55:37 am
Thank you so much, Heather!
4/28/2016 09:46:11 am
4/28/2016 09:56:11 am
I loves the Mounds. ;)
4/28/2016 10:18:15 am
Craig is absolutely right! You Are beautiful, you've always been beautiful. Please reread this post if you start worrying about the dress or the flowers or the seating. My wish for you is that you have half as much fun on your wedding day as I had on mine because then you will have an amazing day. Enjoy every step!
4/28/2016 08:06:18 pm
Thank you so much, my good friend! xo
4/28/2016 10:19:03 am
Verklempt. Thanks for making me cry at work <3
4/28/2016 08:06:59 pm
Sorry, Karen! ;)
4/28/2016 10:38:48 am
I'm about 50 lbs lighter and 2-3 dress sizes smaller today than I was at my wedding 6 and a half years ago. I've never been one to be consumed with dieting at all, much less event-specific dieting (and, ahem, it probably shows). However, leading up to my wedding, I definitely had a pang or two of "if only" around that leading up to my wedding day. (If only our engagement had been longer than six months- so I could have had more time to try to diet. If only I were a few sizes smaller. If only I hated carbs, particularly sugar.) You are clearly a more enlightened person because you are already embracing what I know now. When I look at my wedding photos, I don't wish that my wedding dress (and the body in it) was the size I am now- or smaller. I don't worry about the rounder face or the almost-too-full bust. I, too, married a man that has always found me beautiful at any size and told me so. His adoration of me has never had any caveats attached to it. And the images of that moment are not about what the scale said that day but about our love and commitment to one another. I have the privilege of knowing your husband-to-be and am thrilled that you have found each other. Congratulations!
4/28/2016 08:04:22 pm
Thank you so much for sharing. It's definitely not easy. Women have been programmed at such an early age to be self-critical. But when there's so much joy to be have, the "perfect" body doesn't even come close.
4/28/2016 11:21:30 am
You know what about the wedding? It truly is NOT the most important day of your life. Magical? Yes, ours was and hopefully yours will be too. Memorable? You bet. But it's not the most important, as you'll find out. The marriage is what's important, not the day you feed cake to each other (or in our case, smear it on eachother's faces...oh so mature)
4/28/2016 08:06:04 pm
Awwww, thank you, my friend! Love and miss you. <3
4/28/2016 11:41:52 am
I was very young and thin at my wedding. Nice pics. But my husband spent the whole reception on stage playing with the band--unplanned--because I didn't know how to tell him to get the fuck down. And I spent it drunk because I was terrified of being the center of attention. I have a feeling your wedding will be much more fun!
4/28/2016 08:08:29 pm
Aw, Margaret! Thank you for sharing your comment. I'm planning to live it up!
4/28/2016 12:01:52 pm
Wonderful (and inspiring)! Congrats!
4/28/2016 08:08:50 pm
Thank you, Benj!
4/28/2016 02:22:24 pm
I'm getting married in...lemme see...three days and a handful of hours.
4/28/2016 08:11:13 pm
Amber, Craig and I already had the maybe-we-could-elope freakout. But then we'd miss out on all the fun. So sorry we can't be there for your special day. So happy for you, though. I'll be with you in spirit--dress and all. 😊❤️
5/3/2016 12:30:58 pm
Here's the consensus: it was worth all the time, money, and headache. Every...single...bit.
5/3/2016 03:32:21 pm
Yay! I'm so glad to know that. Congratulations!
4/28/2016 02:34:30 pm
That was beautiful and just plain smart-as a matter of fact, it was a lot like you. Thank you for writing what so many of us need to read.
4/28/2016 08:13:52 pm
Thank you! I doubt the self-critcism will stop. But I've got something way mord motivating now: All the love and support of everyone who's responded to this post, including you. Thank you. ❤️
4/28/2016 04:11:49 pm
Love you. And love this post. You are beautiful, your heart is beautiful, and your love for Craig is, too. As is his for you. Embrace all of it. I changed my mind about what dress I wore for my wedding in the last 24 hours before the wedding. And you know what? It didn't matter. I was comfortable and happy, and I got to marry the man of my dreams. I'm so happy you get to, too.
4/28/2016 08:15:16 pm
Thank you, dear friend. I love you. And your husband and children. And your wedding photo is one of the most beautiful I've seen because it radiates joy. ❤️
4/28/2016 06:39:23 pm
Right on. Right on. Right on. May your wedding day be absolutely wonderful.
4/28/2016 08:17:20 pm
Thank you so much, Amy!!
4/28/2016 07:22:25 pm
Thank you. Seriously, thank you. I'm getting married in 4 months, almost to the day, and I'm in the same boat. I've been (trying to) working my ass off and completely changed my diet, but it's not working. I've lost 0 lbs while my fiancé has lost 15 (men!!!). But you reminded me what's important and my fiancé thinks I'm a goddess. Tells me everyday that I can't be from this planet with my body. So I'm going to work on loving it more and try to concentrate on more important things, like the center pieces!
4/28/2016 08:20:22 pm
Thank you, Alissa. Congratulations on your engagement and wedding. (For the record, I have no idea what the centerpieces were like at my twin brother's wedding, and he was married at the beginning of this month! I do, however, remember the joy on his face. Will remember that always. ❤️)
4/29/2016 08:56:59 am
Thank you, Barbara -- yay, love! And happy anniversary to you and Chris!
5/3/2016 11:21:56 am
I could not stop grinning while I read this. I know I only know you through Craig and Facebook, but I'm so happy for both of you! I'm glad that you've found each other, and I have nothing but the very best of wishes for a long and happy marriage for you. I'm sure your wedding day will be amazing. :-)
5/3/2016 03:31:07 pm
Thank you so much, Shawna!
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