I got married when I was 26 years old -- and I was a thin bride. And that's what I'd always dreamed of being. After all, what 20-something doesn't dream of walking down the aisle in a tiny gown that shows off just how in control she is of her diet, exercise regime, and everything in between?
In the year or so before my wedding, I was the smallest I've ever been in my entire life. You see -- I'm not one of those privileged naturally thin people. I was fat (by my standards for myself) in high school, and alternated between fat and relatively thin in college. And then after I graduated, I really buckled down and got my ass in gear. So by the time my wedding rolled around a few years later, I had whittled myself down to a size zero/two, and I weighed under 120 pounds -- a huge milestone I was VERY proud of. (I'm about 5'6", if that gives you a better perspective.)
And I strutted my stuff on my wedding day like the skinny bride that I was and adoringly gazed at my wedding photos over and over again and commented on how awesome I looked. But then I reached a point where doing so really started to depress me. And checking out the pics still brings me down to this day.
Even if I do manage to get back into amazing shape again -- I'm never gonna look that good. I'm more than 10 years older. I have a child and a full-time job and therefore can't devote hours a day to exercising. And I also can't simply serve baked potatoes and steamed broccoli for dinner nearly 365 nights a year, which was pretty much what I lived on back in my skinny days. Oh, and don't even get me started on my metabolism. That bitch up and quit on me a long time ago.
Back to the photo above and all my other bridal shower, wedding day, and honeymoon pics -- which I really just can't stand to look at these days. As stupid as this may sound, I feel like a big (fat) failure when I dig those photos out. Because I remember thinking at that point in my life that I'd never let myself be anything but thin -- and while I'm not exactly huge now, I'm a far cry from the petite gal I used to be.
And that really sucks. Yes, I'm taking all the right steps to try and get back to looking as close to my wedding day self as I possibly can -- but I'm not stupid enough to believe she'll ever fully make an encore appearance.
If I could go back in time, I'd literally tell myself to eat a freakin' cheeseburger and fries, or a fat sandwich, or something. I'd tell myself to pack on a good 10 pounds before getting hitched -- so at least my future 36-year-old self could look at her wedding day photos without feeling like she's totally let herself go.
Again, wanting to slim down before your wedding is a given. But my advice is not to make your goal weight too terribly low. If it's not a weight your body sits at naturally with a healthy lifestyle, chances are it's not going to last forever. And it just might wind up being something you look back on negatively instead of oohing and aahing over how hot you were on your wedding day.
Have you been working hard to shed a few pounds before your big day?
Image via Mary Fischer