Two years & a day ago my husband asked me to be his forever companion.
I had been binge eating every weekend for the past 5 or so months before this day, and after my new fiancé dropped me off at my parent’s house the night of our engagment, I continued my ‘tradition’ and I binged on cereal, peanut butter and ice cream.
After tearfully tip-toeing into my bed for the night after coming back out of the fog created by the binge, I told myself that this night would be my last binge ever. I reasoned that I couldn’t keep binge eating, espcially now that I would have to fit into a wedding dress, look ‘good’ for all the pictures that would hang in my home for the rest of my life, and above all… have a literally bangin’ bod for the honeymoon😉😬
I broke that promise to “never binge again” the very next day.
Every time I binged during the 2 1/2 months that we were engaged (yes, I know, incredibly short engagement!) I was terrified of the ‘damage’ that was being done before my wedding day. I watched the scale rising weekly. 5 pounds. 10 pounds. 15 pounds. I hated trying on my wedding dress leading up to the big day because each time I did it felt tighter and tighter.
I felt so ashamed. Instead of shrinking like everyone’s ‘supposed’ to do before their wedding day… I was growing. The pressure to lose weight was so strong, and it only threw me deeper and deeper into my cycles of restricting and binge eating. This time that was supposed to be filled with the excitement and euphoric stress of planning one of the biggest moments of my life was tainted with hatred of my body, hatred of my ‘lack of self control’, and fear over the fact that my body was the largest it had ever been.
I wish I could say that I figured everything out before my wedding day. That I made peace with my body, and that my mind wasn’t being consumed with thoughts of what I was eating and how much fat was resting on my tummy on that lovely afternoon on June 10… but I can’t. As I mentioned in this post, I was living a ‘half life’, unable to be fully present on my own wedding day because of my disordered thoughts.
Now I don’t tell you this to be a Debbie downer, or to make it sound like the time leading up to my big day & the day itself sucked; I still had a lovely wedding day with moments where all I thought about was the love I had for my husband. But with ‘wedding season’ coming up, I wanted to share my experience in hopes that someone else can avoid the same heartaches as I had, and continue to have when I look back at my wedding photos & videos.
Please believe me when I say this: You don’t need to change your body. Not for any season, any holiday, any vacation, any person, or any event. Not even your own wedding day. While pictures from your wedding may hang in your living room for the rest of your life, I promise you, it’s not worth looking thin just to have the memories of the horrible things you put your body through in order to look that way. (Yes, those “bridal boot camps” and juice cleanses ARE horrible.)
You don’t need to avoid [insert delicious food here] because “you have a wedding dress to fit into” (the amount of times I have heard this phrase just this year alone breaks my heart). You don’t need to force down that ‘effin apple cider vinegar that’s supposed to clear your skin, make you lose weight, detox your body, and make all your wildest dreams come true.
Instead of planning your next ’20 weeks to lose 20 pounds’ why don’t you plan new traditions that you and your partner can start once you are married? Instead of spending hours at the gym, why don’t you spend hours making a meaningful decoration for your wedding/home? Instead of talking about cutting carbs & sugar from your diet before your big day, why don’t you talk about ways you and your partner can strengthen your future marriage?
Take it from someone who had their wedding experience tainted by the grasps of diet culture & the obsessive desire to change their body. It’s not worth it. You deserve SO MUCH MORE than to be defined by how a wedding dress fits or how ‘toned’ your body looks on that first night. You deserve to enjoy your wedding as a day celebrating the love you and your partner have created… not how ‘fit’ you look.
If you are getting married soon, or in the future, I hope you can find the strength within yourself to throw out any belief that you must change your body to be a worthy bride (or groom). You are worthy already.