I’m getting married in 7 weeks! Wow, I’m excited. I remember saying to Joel that during the process of planning, I want this all to feel stress-free (well at least minimal stress). I want to enJOY this journey toward the wedding day and not get frazzled or stuck on some idea of perfection, whether it be about my dress, the table decorations or the weather.
I’d heard many a bride-to-be say to me “I just can’t wait for the day to be over” because the planning had got them so overwhelmed. I didn’t want that for me and I didn’t want that for us.
This leads me to the ‘Wed Shred’. To lose weight for my wedding had not even crossed my mind until a newly engaged friend exclaimed over coffee “Oh I’m not going dress shopping yet… I’ve gotta start my wed shred first!”
In my 22-year-old mindset (10 years ago), I would have already been on a savage 12-week calorie-restricted diet with 2 x intense workout sessions a day. I would have jumped on the ‘Wed Shred’ bandwagon.
In fact, this is what I did exactly 10 years ago when I was a bridesmaid for my best friend.
I remember feeling immense pressure to size down in the dress, I ordered a size 10 when I had tried on a size 12 in the shop (and the size 12 did fit me perfectly).
I remember thinking “I need to be as thin as possible for this day.”
I was absolutely scared of looking fat in the photos.
I told myself if I didn’t weigh a certain amount by the day of the wedding, that I was an utter failure and would look terrible.
I did the 12 weeks. Looking back I can see I almost starved myself, I did all the workouts… and on the day of the wedding, I was afraid to eat the food (calories), I was anxious to drink the drinks (liquid calories), and I was dead TIRED. I had spent 3 months of my life leading up to this day, to fit into a dress, to look a certain way… and I was almost falling asleep on the dancefloor! If you know both mine and Emma’s stories, you know that this was a big catalyst for change, read more here.
Now we can look at the reasons why I felt this, we can dig deep into the core of it and dissect it all, we can blame the media and we can blame diet culture but rather than focus on that, I want to share the reasons why I am NOT doing a ‘Wed Shred’ for my own wedding.
I didn’t want to add pressure or stress to my life
Both Joel and I were really conscious of the way we wanted the lead-up to the wedding to feel. I didn’t want us to be stressed about anything. Adding a weight loss goal prior to the wedding day would have simply caused me anxiety.
I want to enJOY my wedding with no restriction
Not just a pre-wedding thing, I never want to be on a diet again. Diets come with restrictions, with rules. They usually mean missing out on something delicious, missing out on life. In a time where I want to enjoy and create magical memories… adding a diet will do the opposite.
Besides, I’m already amazing…
If you’ve been around here a while you know that this is the MerryBody mantra: You are Amazing, just as you are.
For me, this was a big test of my own self-acceptance. And sure, there have been moments when I’ve fallen back into old mindset patterns and thoughts, there have been moments when I’ve thought… oh, maybe I should lose weight for this day? A little scroll through Instagram will do that trick.
However, this experience has been an amazing opportunity for me to practice the art of self-acceptance. Whenever I notice these thoughts come into my mind, I just take a breath and remember what this day is about. This day is about LOVE (not my dress size).
I am NOT what I look like
Contrary to what the magazines and Instagrammers will have me believe about weddings… this day is NOT about what I look like. Do I have to add anything more here? When you start to really break this down, the focus on what the bride and the groom look like is absolute BS.
I don’t care if my friends and family think I look ‘good’ in my dress, I care that my friends and family are present, celebrating our love and enjoying themselves. I care that I feel comfortable, confident and beautiful (keyword: I)… and comfortable, confident and beautiful do not = a certain size. They are FEELINGS.
I want them to remember the pizza
This leads me to this point… maybe some of our guests will remember the sparkles in my dress… but my preference is that they remember the all-you-can-eat pizza they had on the night (yes, we are having pizza for dinner!). I hope they remember the fun they had on the dancefloor. I hope they remember feeling the love in the air.
I want to feel energised, focused, vibrant
On the day of my wedding (and also, all days of my life), I want to feel energised, focused and vibrant. I know from past experiences (me 10 years ago), weight loss from the method I used (and the way most ‘Wed Shreds’ promote), that is: restricted calories and over-exercising in a short amount of time, causes the opposite effect of energised, focused and vibrant. Back then I remember feeling flat, distracted and dull. I never want to feel this EVER AGAIN, especially not on my wedding day when there is going to be soooo much to do, amazing people to see and dancing to be done!
The day is about love
Once again, this day is about love. This day is about celebration. It’s about joy, fun, laughter, friends and family. There’s simply no room in my wedding for a ‘Wed Shred’ and I’m filled to the brim with happiness that there’s not.