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Why I Won’t Be Losing Weight For My Wedding

September 26, 2017

This post is inspired by my friend Robyn from The Real Life RD. Read more about her story or listen to our podcast episode where we discuss this topic.

When C and I first met we were 21 years old. I was a recent college grad with severe self-esteem issues and some version of disordered eating meets overexercise meets major body image troubles. It wasn’t a great look.

Nevertheless, C seemed to see past these things and we pretty quickly fell head-over-heels. Despite a border between us (and a couple months of “self-exploration” on opposite coasts), we went from pen-pals to “official” after spending 10 days together. On day 11 he told me he wanted to marry me.

286131831 days later he finally asked…but who’s counting?!

Hindsight is always 20-20 and while I’ll admit that at times I wondered why C took 6 years to ask, I now totally understand why. When we met at 21 we had a lot of growing up to do. Together we’ve navigated 1st jobs, 2nd jobs, 3rd jobs, and me quitting my job. We moved in together, moved across the continent together and in between totalled a car together. We watched a dog for a year, got our own dog and have spent all 6 years resisting not buying a zoo (a pipe dream but who knows?!). C has supported this blog, worked for the blog and more often than not, has to be reminded to read the blog. But while these milestones are easy-to-remember, it’s the small moments that happened in between that remind me why it was important that we waited.

I’ll never forget crying into C’s arms one year on Halloween because I felt too fat in my dress (I was a completely delusional 114 pounds). Or when he took me home from the gym after 20 minutes because my body started to shut down on me. But especially when we lay on a hotel bed in Montreal and I explained to C how I finally was starting to feel comfortable in my skin, even as my body changed.

We have grown both emotionally and physically over the past 6 years, and through it all he has been by my side.

So when I think about our wedding day, a day I have been looking forward to since that cold Minnesota night when C first took me home to his family and he told me he was going to marry me, I want my physical body to reflect all of these experiences.

Why I won't be losing weight for my wedding and how I'm fighting against the wedding industry so you don't have to feel this undue pressure either.

6 years ago I would have frantically gone on a crash diet to prepare for my wedding day, and probably spent all the days after wondering if I looked thin enough. I would have picked myself apart to a point where the fun and excitement of of getting to celebrate our love with our favorite people would have been lost.

But I’m not that recent college grad with severe self-esteem issues and some version of disordered eating meets overexercise meets major body image troubles anymore. While I certainly have my days, I’m far more confident in my own skin than even I could have imagined. I am a woman who feels far more compelled to take up more space than to push myself to extremes to take up less.

I’m the biggest I’ve ever been, but I’m also the happiest I’ve ever been.

I’ve also had 6 years of practice navigating our weight-phobic world. My fear is not for how I’ll react to the incessant pressure to be my smallest on my wedding day, but for the millions of women who haven’t had this practice. I know how to speak to a tailor about fitting to my body size now, not for some future size, or to look for a photographer who says absolutely nothing about my body. In the same way that I can ignore people checking their apple watches for calories burned or the fitness instructor telling me to crunch for that bikini body.

Some of you may not be there yet, or maybe you’ve never struggled with your body image but suddenly all the pressure from your upcoming wedding is bringing up these thoughts.

If so, this post is for you. So hear me out:

You do not need to lose weight for your wedding. You do not need to take up less space to be a beautiful bride.

Your wedding weight is whatever weight you weigh on your wedding day, not some arbitrary number you might as well have picked out of a hat.

You will look beautiful on your wedding day, no matter what weight you’re at.

So what will I be doing to prepare for my wedding day?

I’ll be working on reducing my stress. Weddings are stressful. There are opinions, planning and all sorts of logistics to finalize. And I won’t pretend like I haven’t cried at least 3 times about it. But I’m trying to remind myself that this is supposed to be a happy occasion and not just a relief after months of planning.

So instead I’m journalling, taking a self-acceptance course, spending time with C and Bodhi, going for facials to care for my skin, nourishing my body with everything from kale to wine and moving my body in a way that makes it feel awesome.

I’m taking care of me. I’m doing things that help raise me up, not tear me down.

I very well could put on 100 lbs before our wedding. And if that’s the case, so be it. It will be a journey C and I can navigate together. More likely, I will remain the exact same weight I’ve been for the last few years (I don’t own a scale so I’m guessing here) because I finally have found a lifestyle that is actually sustainable. A lifestyle that doesn’t involve calories or scales or last-minute alterations because I finally lost those “last 5 pounds”.

A lifestyle that I can share with the partner I chose, and who chose me for the rest of our lives.

Why I won't be losing weight for my wedding and how I'm fighting against the wedding industry so you don't have to feel this undue pressure either.

*all photos by Bettina Bogar

Did you or do you feel pressured by the wedding industry? More than anything, please send this to a bride who could use this message!

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  • Reply
    Melinda Perry
    September 26, 2017 at 6:20 am

    Oh Thankyou, Davida, for posting this 🙂 I am a wedding dress designer and dressmaker who encourages her brides to truly be themselves – and the best way I can help with this is making them a dress that reflects their unique beauty. It’s so exciting to meet brides that know and accept and love themselves as they are already – and it’s a rare thing to find amongst younger brides someone strong enough not to give in to those pressures. So congratulations Davida, not only on your engagement to C, but on your love and commitment to nurturing yourself as well. I know that good things come to those who do their best to stay true to themselves.
    Blessings, Melinda Perry.

  • Reply
    Karlie Kashat
    September 26, 2017 at 8:03 am

    This is absolutely inspiring/amazing/necessary. Since I’ve gotten engaged it has shocked me how often the message of “dieting for the wedding” is out there. I’ve already shut out so many of the diet messages (where possible) from other parts of my life, so this is a new one to navigate. But you put it beautifully “I’m the biggest I’ve ever been, but I’m also the happiest I’ve ever been.” And I’ll take happiness, love, and enjoyment any day xx

  • Reply
    Emilie @ Emilie Eats
    September 26, 2017 at 9:17 am

    This is beautiful, Davida! I hope that one day when I get engaged, I’m as strong as you to ignore all that BS! Let women just enjoy their weddings, jeez. You go girl! Love ya!

  • Reply
    Alicia @bridges Through life
    September 26, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Davida this is such a great post. I’m so glad you have found your happy place with regards to your body. Self care is good too. Anyway we can destress is good. I just started getting monthly massages again and it’s so nice.

  • Reply
    Jamie Magdic
    September 26, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Very wise. And again, great you are sharing these stories for people who need to hear it! Can’t wait to see wedding pictures!

  • Reply
    Michelle@NaturallyEverAfter
    September 26, 2017 at 10:38 am

    This is such a beautiful post, Davida, and I hope more people find this post rather than another message on “the best diet to lose weight for your wedding.” Like you, I struggled through college obsessed with my body weight and had plenty of meltdowns with my now husband, but I am so glad I learned to accept my body before our engagement. My hardest thing was that my body was physically reacting to all the wedding-planning stress and so I tried to eat in a way that made my nerves happy, but like you said, I see that as nourishment. I think women can benefit from making the intention to “nourish” their bodies rather than deprive them and try to fix them. Self-care and self-compassion are so important during this time, and you want to fully experience every moment of this joyful time in your body’s natural state. Good for you, Davida, and best wishes as your wedding gets closer!
    Michelle@NaturallyEverAfter recently posted…The Real Truth About Dieting for Weight Loss

  • Reply
    Kay
    September 26, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Nice post Mave! You are beautiful inside and out😘

  • Reply
    Tracie
    September 26, 2017 at 11:04 am

    This post gave me goosebumps! I loved every word! Unfortunately, women are constantly bombarded with messages that we need to lose weight for our wedding, tone our bodies so we can wear that bikini, or exercise for an hour a day so we can look look like society’s “ideal” version of what a women should look like. I wish the perspective you shared here was more common and that we could all learn to love our bodies for what they can do, not what they look like. Admittedly, I am still on a journey of self-acceptance, but it’s much easier when we have strong women like you spreading the message of taking care of ourselves, instead of tearing ourselves (and each other) down. Much love!

  • Reply
    Shannon K.
    September 26, 2017 at 11:58 am

    Posts like this–and Robyn’s!–are what get me through days in my office filled with moments where beautiful women lament every morsel they put in their mouth, for fear of not being skinny enough on their wedding day (even if it’s over a year away, that single cookie is obviously going to make the world come to a fiery, cataclysmic end). Not gonna lie, started to get a little emotional at my desk, because it was all just so beautifully put and I’m just so happy for you and how far you’ve come. I hope I’m able to be this mentally grounded before I get married, if/when that day comes. We need more posts like this, more stories like this, particularly for soon-to-be brides.

    Side note — your pre-wedding self care game-plan sounds super ideal and specific to you (versus all the “shoulds” of pre-wedding), and I think that’s awesome too!

  • Reply
    Amber @ Bloom Nutrition Therapy
    September 26, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    I am very familiar with Robyn’s post on this and I especially love her post about finding a partner that loves you for you and not your body. Sadly, I was very much still in my ED at my wedding. I can still remember my exact wedding weight because, at that time, it was important to me. I can remember nearly starving myself for the days leading up to my wedding and being so famished after the wedding that one of my most significant memories is how the McDonald’s Cheeseburger tasted that we ate on our way to our honeymoon destination. Looking back, I was 23 when I got married. No longer a girl, but not yet a woman. I was only 4 years out of my teens and my “woman body” had not yet developed. And probably one reason for this is because I was trying every diet fad in the world to keep it stuck in an adolescent frame. Society does nothing to speak about the bodily changes a woman’s body makes over time. We are not meant to be in our teenage bodies forever, and most certainly it would make sense that if we’re old enough to getting married we shouldn’t be expected to weight so little at the time of the wedding. I wish I had heard posts like this before I had gotten married. And I’m so grateful that I’m coming across more of them for future brides out there now!
    Amber @ Bloom Nutrition Therapy recently posted…How To Know if Your Daughter Has an Eating Disorder [Video]

  • Reply
    Natalie Pupo
    September 26, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Hi D! You have NO idea how much you inspire me and how this specific blog topic hit me hard as I was one of the unlucky ones that caught up in ‘the last perfect bride tribe’ as awful as it got and at times extremely scary I look back now and instead of regret I am proud of overcoming that period in my life ugh the hopes of inspiring other young women to do the same. I January I am going back to school to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and with my practice my goal is to endure my maximum self love so that I can stand strong and proud to be where I am, what I am and who I am after each passing day. Thank you for sharing this today my love 💛

  • Reply
    Kaitlyn @ Powered by Sass
    September 26, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Sharing this for the two weddings I have on my calendar in the winter! I’m not engaged, but I’ve often wondered if this would be something I’d struggle with during my engagement leading up to the big day. In truth, it will be, but, like you have said, you’ve grown to love to take up more space, and so have I. It’s a great (and freeing) feeling! 🙂
    Kaitlyn @ Powered by Sass recently posted…How to Reconnect With Yourself When Life Gets Busy

  • Reply
    Georgie | The Home Cook's Kitchen
    September 26, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    A beautiful and raw post, absolutely loved reading your message! I actually couldn’t do my wedding dress up 3 days before my wedding day, and even though I could on the day, it wouldn’t have even mattered. Our wedding day was one of the most magical and memorable occasions of our lives, and we look back on that day with so much love and joy. It the happiness and love that you experience on the day that matters! best wishes for you planning, enjoy every single minute of it x

  • Reply
    Emma
    September 26, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    YAY! Good for you for accepting you! (Though some days it is very hard) Someone asked me if I was going to wear Spanx under my dress and I told them I wasn’t even wearing a bra and was letting my back scar hang out in glory. I had 2 other wedding I was in out of state and country + my own bachelorette party the month leading up to my wedding, so there was a lot of partying and indulging, and I just kept having to tell myself that this was the only time in my life that this would happen and it’s time to celebrate all this love, not worry about appearances. There are so many more important things to focus on that day like your partner and all the friends and family who have come to celebrate your union. Focusing on making that the focus (for everyone involved), is IMO a top priority. Enjoy the process!

  • Reply
    Monika
    September 27, 2017 at 1:18 am

    Don’t be scared to apply this same logic to the other aspects of your wedding… There is waaay too much emphasis on weddings needing to be perfect in every way, and it’s complete BS.

    I’m sure you’ll be beautiful and have an amazing day full of great memories no matter what. 🙂

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Laughing My Abs Off
    September 27, 2017 at 9:07 am

    You are a total inspiration, and you will make a gorgeous bride 🙂 Thank you so much for posting this.
    Nicole @ Laughing My Abs Off recently posted…How To Be Authentic

  • Reply
    Laina
    September 28, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Love this post! I did the same thing as you for my wedding 🙂

  • Reply
    Cassie Autumn Tran
    October 1, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    I too once thought that it’s almost customary to get into serious shape for your wedding. But honestly, it’s literally just ONE other night with your loved one. All it does is legally establish your love for each other. You already have formed your love six years ago. I don’t see why suddenly tackling on a crazy diet and exercise routine would be necessary! And this may sound cliche, but you’re already exquisitely beautiful the way you are. Your loved ones most certainly feel the same way!
    Cassie Autumn Tran recently posted…Day 11: Vegan Food, Witnessing Animal Cruelty + Cu Chi Tunnels from the Vietnam War

  • Reply
    Eat, Pray, Get well
    October 6, 2017 at 9:00 am

    I wish every young girl could read this!!!

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