Beautiful Bride

For anyone who has been a bride, you know that a lot more time, energy and planning goes into a wedding than you might have originally expected.  From choosing between hydrangeas or peonies, to researching venue locations; from designing the wedding programs, to addressing all the invitations; every detail is carefully poured over and analyzed hours and hours.  Another control aspect for a bride before her wedding?  Weight.

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If you have ever experienced the pressure of looking great for an event, one’s wedding may just be the most important moment of all.  Here you are getting the opportunity to marry your best friend, your modern day Prince Charming, and celebrate it with all your family and friends.  You get that one moment to truly be the center of attention and hey, you are only human, so I am sure you want to look your absolute best.

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The pressure to be perfect though can cause a girl to crack.  Long hours of work outs, calorie counting, beauty appointments can add to the stress you may already be feeling.  Although I wouldn’t say I went on a ‘diet’ before my wedding, I definitely watched what I ate a little more by cutting back on desserts, and hit the gym 4-5 days a week as opposed to the 2-3 times a week I do now.  My goal was to tone-up as opposed to lose weight and I tried hard to not let this tiny part of the wedding hold me back from being happy.  There were moments when I definitely had tears, but this is when my fiancée would take me aside and remind me why he was marrying me.  It wasn’t because I had  six-pack abs (Lord knows this wasn’t true!), and it most definitely wasn’t for my discipline around chocolate (I can count on one hand the amount of times I have turned down chocolate).  No, my soon-to-be husband wanted to marry me for my heart and for what was on the inside.  Hard to imagine right?  I guess it makes sense though since looks will fade over time, and what you are stuck with loving is one’s personality.  So would he have rather married a super model who’s cold hearted, or an average girl who tries to be her best self.  I like to think the latter.

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So why do brides treat themselves unfairly and see themselves differently than their fiancée’s do?  Why are women risking it all to be thin on their wedding day?  I ran across this article yesterday and I couldn’t believe it.

First of all, what doctor would even agree to use a feeding tube to feed a normal woman just so she would be skinny?  Second of all, how is 800 calories a day safe?  I appreciate how the article says that whether you are eating 800 calories from a tube, or on a plate, someone is obviously going to lose weight.  It’s about the calorie count, not some miracle tube feeding.

What else is sad?  Think of the women who have to use a feeding tube for medical purposes.  Do you think they agree with this mechanism?  I am sure they would give anything to eat solid foods and enjoy the tastes of their favorite meals again.  Anyone who reads that article and thinks it is normal, or thinks it is good, needs to go and speak with the women who don’t have the option of eating in this manner.

Leading up to your wedding, there are so many opportunities to taste food and create memories.  Bridal Shower cupcakes, Bachelorette Party appetizers, Wedding Cake tasting, and Reception menu creation are not just moments to eat food, but are moments to remember.

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If you are a bride, please remember the reason for the wedding:  to celebrate love and not to be the skinniest you’ve ever been.  Try not to lose sight of what’s important, because the wedding planning, wedding and honeymoon will be over before you know it and then you are left with the rest of your life.  You are beautiful exactly how you are today, and I can guarantee that your boyfriend/fiancée/husband feels the exact same way.

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Questions:

If you were a bride, how did you feel about weight loss before the wedding?  Did you have an exercise plan or meal plan that you followed?

What do you think of the article?

If you could give any advice to a bride-to-be, what would it be?

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30 thoughts on “Beautiful Bride

  1. Awesome post Jana! That feeding tube thing sounds horrifying! As a bride-to-be, of course I want to look good on the day, but I’m not doing anything differently than I am now for it. I don’t want to try and do something that I can’t maintain and that will make me feel miserable while doing it. Plus, I’m pretty sure Chris wants me to look exactly how I am and wouldn’t want me to look waifish on the day!

    • That is so true girl! Chris definitely wants you to show up on your wedding day looking just the way you are today: gorgeous and smiling! Enjoy this wedding planning process, because all though it is stressful, it is absolutely worth it and it goes so fast!

  2. I know that I am not anywhere near being a bride, but this post really hit close to my heart. I know I always fear that I will feel pressure to look perfect and lose weight for my wedding day. Your post did a nice job reminding women that the man of your dreams wants to marry the woman he met!! He doesn’t want a deprived, grouchy, obsessive, unhappy woman who is striving for perfection. The biggest take away for all women is that perfection is the diversity we all bring to the table. There is no “one” defined perfect body! Great post Jan! <3

    • I love you Lissa! You are going to be the most beautiful bride someday.. :-) Hang in there, because God is saving someone special just for you and he will love you as much today as he would if you weighed 10 pounds less, or 10 pounds more!

  3. I was appalled when I heard about the feeding tube trend. It’s so wrong and unsafe. I love your outlook, Jana. You should be able to cherish every moment leading up to a wedding, chocolate and all! You looked fantastic! Love your dress!

  4. Your wedding pictures are beautiful!

    My mom taped that story on The Today Show for me yesterday, and I couldn’t believe it. There’s no way I’d starve myself before my wedding. Not only would I look tired, I’d also feel terrible — not exactly how I want to look and feel on such a big day! I’ve already had my final fitting for my dress, so I just have to maintain my weight until July, and I’m continuing my normal routine.

  5. i heard about that article on another blog this morning too, and it just makes me SO frustrated! i think it’s absolutely ridiculous. i agree, how could doctors even agree to do this?! what is our world coming to? ugh, obviously you know how i feel about it now. haha. on a lighter note, you look GORGEOUS in your wedding photos girl!

  6. I helped my friend tone up before her wedding by introducing her to healthy foods and consistent exercise. She actually kept it up and slowly continued to lose a bit of weight even 2 years into her marriage! She looks fantastic!
    I don’t know how I’ll be as a bride (I’ll probably end up putting some pressure on myself to get more toned/slim down) but I really don’t want that to dictate how I’ll feel on my wedding day.
    This was such an interesting topic! 800 calories is definitely not healthy (BTW, I have heard of a bride who passed out during the ceremony from doing the cabbage soup diet for a week!).

  7. From the point of view of a groom, we chose to marry you for who you are. I was a little overweight in my tux, but I remember the day as one of the best of my life. I married the woman I loved and she loved me for who I was. I understand the pressure to look “great.’ But a lot of that is self-imposed. Safety and health should always be a concern, regardless of the event. Be safe everyone. The day is meant to be joyful, as long as you are there to celebrate your love, that is all that is important. Simple, but true.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your perspective! You sound so much like my husband. I definitely think that women try to look ‘thin’ and ‘perfect’ more for themselves and other women, even more than for their groom who loves them no matter what!

  8. I am not a bride or even engaged yet, but I definitely can relate. I can’t imagine how I will be as a bride because of the high expectations to look gorgeous in your dress. I am just realizing people don’t compare me to others like I do though and my expectations are no where near theirs (in a good way!). I couldn’t believe the article about the feeding tube! I imagine most husbands would rather have a confident woman that also likes to eat and live without obessing like that! Thanks for the reminder! :)

    • It is true that rarely are others setting the bar anywhere near as high as we are setting it for ourselves. I know that my husband and I enjoy sharing a great meal together, especially during the wedding planning process when we needed a date night that wasn’t revolving around the wedding. Those are moments that included food that were so special to me!

  9. I saw the feeding tube story on the news this morning & couldn’t believe it! I was able to lose a little bit of weight before my wedding, but it was only because I was on summer break & had more time to work out! I definitely didn’t make it a huge focus of the wedding planning process!

    • Thank you Tina! It is incredible how often we strive to be and look ‘perfect,’ when those who love us already think we are exactly the way we are today.. :-) Striving to be perfect can definitely be exhausting, but if we simply strive to be our best selves than we have already met that goal!

  10. Cant believe I found this post today. I get married in 6 weeks time and since January Iv worked out 6 times a week, and eaten healthy for the scale to just not budge. Last weekend was my hen party and a cream fitted dress meant that last week not much food was eaten, I’d resorted to weight loss supplements and way too many hours were spent in the gym… The result, I’m now sick with awful stomach cramps, fever and feeling awful. However it has made me realise that one i don’t want to spend the next 6 weeks hungry and 2, neither do I want to spend my honeymoon laid in bed sick!

    My H2B loves me, and he will still turn up and say I do and we will still have an amazing day whether i weigh what I do now, am 7lbs lighter or 7lbs heavier!!!

    • I am so sorry you have been through exercise/nutrition struggles while wedding planning. I completely understand the stress you are feeling, but just remember that the important part is that you are healthy and feel energized on your wedding day. Being hungry and sick won’t be good for anyone, especially the gorgeous bride! :-)

  11. Gah, this kind of stuff always gets my blood pumping! It’s SO sad to hear that women actually fall prey to this type of stuff!!!! And to think a doctor would actually promote this kind of diet is even more saddening!

    Thank you so much for sharing this, girlie. I immediately posted the article on my facebook in a rampant rage haha ;)

  12. You were (and are) SUCH a beautiful bride! I’m still quite a ways from getting married since I decided to spend the rest of my life in school ;-) but I know that getting stressed about weight and appearance could definitely happen to me before my wedding if I’m not careful. I think that brides are always so happy that they look beautiful no matter what!

    • Thank you so much Michelle! You will be an absolutely gorgeous bride someday, and getting your dietetics degree will help you approach your wedding in a healthy way by eating right and getting a proper amount of exercise. No obsessing allowed! :-)

  13. Love love LOVE this!! Miss you! Plan something in May when all this craziness is over?? I think we deserve a manicure or something next time the boys go golfing! :)

    • Ahh I totally agree! I miss you too! I definitely think we need a pedicure, my feet are taking a beating from all this running! lol
      PS.. You will be the most gorgeous bride someday and I will be right there with you to help you celebrate! Love you so much!

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