Credit: Love Me Do Photography
Like every bride I started with the best of intentions for my wedding. I was going to do my best to look my best on this big day that would be forever memorialized in pictures. So many of the wedding pictures we’re exposed to show brides with amazingly toned arms and glowing skin, and it’s essentially expected that brides will starve themselves if necessary to fit into their dress, then binge when once the wedding day has passed. But there was one thing I was always very clear about… food was not coming off the table for me.
From the start I had very little interest in actually making an effort to lose weight. I was and still am a fairly healthy looking individual. Sure, I carry around a little excess baggage in a few places, but what normal person doesn’t. What I did want was to get stronger. So I started working with a personal trainer to help give me the tools to strengthen my body, but as I started training, life had different plans. Work projects blew up into all consuming time-sucking masses; a family member fell ill; not to mention the added obligation of planning a wedding. The wedding planning process itself is so much additional stress that it seems like exactly the wrong time to be changing routines and putting your body through undue stress such as an extreme diet.
At the end of the day I came to realize that I need to be comfortable in my skin everyday, and a wedding is just that… another day. My husband fell in love with me despite these things I beat myself up for, so why should our wedding day be any different? Most of all, I wanted to recognize myself in these photos. I didn’t want to look back a tan gaunt version of myself that had no connection to my normal self. For all these reasons and more, I went into my wedding at a weight that was completely familiar to me, and I don’t regret that decision.
A friend once told me that in time you’ll look back at your wedding pictures and the ones you were once displeased with because they may have been unflattering, you may grow to love because you have become more comfortable with yourself and your flaws. Even now, just shy of a year later, when I look at our wedding pictures I don’t see the lack of definition in my arms. Instead I see how happy we were and remember what a great day we had with our friends and family. Not to mention, in fifty years when we’re old and wrinkled and we show our grandchildren pictures from our wedding, they will be blown away by how wonderfully youthful we looked, and that’s something no one can take away from us.