It’s hard to go anywhere in town and not see wedding paraphernalia in full reminder that wedding season is in full swing here in the UK! With my own big day looming, I can feel the pressure most brides go through revolving around the dress and its details! The excitement of marrying the one you love gets over shadowed by the vision of the day and feeding everyone’s curiosity but keeping an element of surprise. One of those things that most people want to know is how the bride will look; the dress, the veil, hair do, make up, etc. It’s overwhelming keeping up with everything but one thing I see more and more is the pressure for the bride to look perfect. Perfect by media standards rather than the best version of herself. During my own planning, I’ve come across numerous adverts for “slim down for the gown” diet plans. As if brides don’t have enough to stress about as it is, to have the added pressure of looking “slim” on their wedding day may be a step too far.
I booked my appointment to try my gown on before we start the real fittings in September, mainly to try out the full look but also to see it again! I put it on and had a twirl and in the excitement, I told one of my bridesmaids to take a picture! I was in my wedding dress, with all my jewellery, my amazing hairpiece and veil and my fab shoes! I felt a million bucks with a smile to boot! After several walks in front of the enormous mirrors I agreed to disrobe and hand back my dress to be stored until September. We went for lunch and had a great afternoon. I was on cloud nine!
Once I got home and the euphoria wore off, I had a look at the pictures more closely. I immediately found myself criticizing the small things. Followed by the big things. Before long, every time I looked at the picture I began to hate my shape. The overall look was what I imagined but my shape wasn’t at all how I wanted to look.
This got me thinking. Now I know I put on a bit of weight post marathon. I put that down to losing focus after being so strict for so long. I didn’t put on a lot, we’re talking just over half a stone. I could feel the change in my body, softer and less toned. Not that it was really toned before either but I felt different. I wanted to get back to post marathon fitness not necessarily the numbers on the scale. It’s hard for me to be active as it doesn’t come natural without having a goal, which is why I sign myself up for fun runs. It’s a psychological thing, to give me motivation that I lack.
What I don’t want to do is use my wedding day as motivation to lose weight. I feel that me looking and picking away at the picture of my dress was my way of kicking myself up the arse. However, I am a firm believer in self-love and acceptance like I’ve blogged about before. I don’t want to lose weight. I want to keep my curves. I would like to be fitter though. Is that just a clever play on words to convince me that I’m not being a hypocrite? I sure hope not!
I would love nothing more than the next generation of women to embrace what they were born with. If your health is good and you're active, what difference would the numbers on the scales make? I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to feel pressured into weight loss because of one day! I was a part of the generation where we were bullied for being curvy and made to feel less than beautiful. Creating a complex which is overshadowing the run up to one of the happiest days of my life. Why is there a need to look skinny on your wedding day and how does that make you any more beautiful than if you had hips? Particularly on a day when you will be consuming many calories through drinks and cake! Is it to compensate and balance out or is just to make money out of women’s insecurities? I think embracing who we are and what our other halves have fallen in love with one the day should out do everything else.
It’s frustrating because I want to feel good on the day and when I was in the dress, with all the gear on, I felt amazing! It wasn’t until I came down from my cloud that I started on myself. Again, I think this is down to media brainwashing me into thinking I’m anything less than perfect during my teens. So leading by example to my girls and women everywhere, I am saying “no!” to the wedding diets and will carry on with my fitness regime. I will keep on running, and doing cardio because I want too not because I must fit in my dress. It fits already! Besides, he is marrying me not my dress!
DeAnna’s (Blue Chameleon blog series) Focuses on rebuilding self-confidence after suffering through difficult times. DeAnna lives in Cambridge, England with her family, cats and dog. She credits a portion of happiness to her partner, Pete, punctuation manager, chief tea maker, and bringer of toast.