Today, I decided I am going to be a fat bride. Rather, my body has been deciding this for a few years, but today, I accepted that I am going to be a fat bride. I got engaged a year ago, and the whole time (as well as my entire teenage and adult life) I have been trying to lose weight. Sometimes I am successful; I have a stretch of a few months where I am eating a balanced diet and exercising a healthy amount. Last February after getting engaged, I lost around twenty pounds before our engagement party that spring. I continued to lose another twenty pounds that summer—well on my way to be a slimmer bride in a year—I was doing it!
Then, like many times before, I got off track. Then I got on track, then off track. After the new year, I got back on track, with new ambition and fire and commitment. In January and February I lost weight and was feeling great about at least being able to salvage some of my previous progress and get to my new goal weight. Every month it seems I am constantly setting a new goal weight—what is “realistically” achievable by my wedding day.
This past week, I again fell off track, rather hard. As anyone who has tried to lose weight may know, sometimes the more you try desperately to lose the weight, the more it backfires. I am well aware of this, but it’s my wedding, and my brain is telling me I have to do everything possible to get this weight off of me so I look flawlessly beautiful on May 25.
I had two hysterical crying sessions this week—can’t get your breath, falling to the floor, wailing at the top of your lungs crying sessions. All because I fell off that damn wagon, and I’m getting married in three months—there is no time for falling off the wagon if I am going to look halfway decent. I was in a tizzy all week because of this and so angry with myself. Being a fat bride (a really fat bride) is not the way I saw this whole thing shaking down.
I’m ashamed to admit that the closer we get to the wedding day with me not losing weight, the more anxious I feel about the whole situation. Anxious and not excited. In my dreams, I am the belle of the ball at my wedding. I am slim and gorgeous and am happy to be so slim and gorgeous. I want everyone to take their picture with me because I am so hot and slim and confident about my body—my confidence is exuding out of me and everyone wants to be me. With three months to go, it is clear that at the very least, I am not going to be slim. I already had to give up my ideal wedding dress and just go for something that looked good on my plus size body. I’ve been angry about that for a while, and feigned excitement about my wedding dress to most people because that is what they expect. The thing is, I do really love my dress. Out of all the dresses I tried on (around ten), this one spoke to me the most. The sad part about it is that the whole time I was trying dresses on, I couldn’t stop imagining myself in my dream dress (which, really, only looks good on the skinniest of gals). I was never able to get excited about my dress because I was living under this cloud of hate and resentment toward my body for not allowing me to wear the dress of my dreams.
Until today, I have been feeling the same thing about my wedding day. I have not been able to get one hundred percent excited because I have been living under the fear of not losing the weight I want to lose. I have been planning my wedding with anger that I am not going to be my ideal body size at my wedding. There is so much pressure in life regarding image anyway, but your wedding is the ultimate “image” day. It is on this day that you are to feel your most beautiful, your best self. I only get this wedding day once, I have to look my absolute best. I have been telling myself that I need to lose weight because I want to feel confident and beautiful on my wedding day and I want to be proud that I did everything in my power to look my best. These pictures will be in our home forever! They will be passed down to our children and grandchildren and oh my god I cannot be obese in them.
Today, though, I decided to not give a damn. Today, and from here on out, I refuse to let my body size determine my happiness and excitement for my wedding day. I will be a fat bride. I will be a fat, happy bride. My children and grandchildren will look at our wedding pictures and think, “Wow, they are sooooo happy!” I am choosing to embrace this body now, because if I don’t, in those wedding pictures I will look fat and unhappy.
So, on my wedding day, my arms will be fat and pale. They will be wobbly when I dance. There will be back fat involved, and you will see it spilling out a little at the top of the back of my dress. I tried hard with those “Banish back/bra bulge with these five moves!” workouts I keep pinning on Pinterest, but there’s fat on my back, and you will see it. It will be in the pictures, and that is okay. You might even be able to see my belly in my dress. I have a fat tummy. I will still try to suck it in with Spanx, but my tummy will still be fat and there’s not much I can do about that now. I may have a little bit of a double chin, but there will also be a big, fat smile right above that chin. That is what I choose to focus on now. That smile.
My vow to myself is that from here on out, I do nothing but love my body. If that means I eat balanced and work out three to four times a week, great. If that means I eat a pint of ice cream while watching Survivor, that’s fine, too. These last three months before my wedding will be a different type of losing weight for me. I am going to work on losing the weight of the hate, resentment, and fear that have shaped my relationship with my body for the last fifteen years. My hope is that on my wedding day, I am able to embrace my size, not shame it. My dream now is that I have only positive thoughts about myself on my wedding day, and that I let myself feel the happiness, joy, and love of the day. I might not look the way I always wanted to, but I will not let those negative thoughts about my body bring down the day I marry the man I love. On our wedding day, I will declare my love for my fiancé, but I will also declare my love for myself.