When I got engaged I noticed a dramatic shift in the adverts that appeared in my day to day feed. Gone were the fashion adverts trying to legitimise £700 shoes, instead replaced by homeware for those all important gift lists and, inevitably, diet tips.
The thing is healthy eating is great for both inside and out, and a wedding can be a wonderful reason to help you shake up your routine but it also shouldn’t be the sole reason for changing yourself. And yet there is an entire industry targeted to shaming women into losing weight and shed the pounds for their big day. It isn’t just the adverts though. It’s everywhere. From the dress stores and restrictive sample sizes to the friend that asks innocently “How’s the wedding diet going?” – it’s not malicious but has steadily become integrated within the industry. But that doesn’t mean it has to be part of your marriage.
It’s all fair and well preaching the good body positivity word but in practice it’s so much harder. What should be a day to look forward to becomes riddled with anxiety, neurosis and can become all consuming. It’s taken me time to have a better attitude towards food, and I’m not entirely sure I’ll ever have a healthy relationship with it but so far I’ve managed to keep myself from being totally suckered in. I’ve handled it by eating fresher, healthier meals, drinking less and trying not to go out as much. It’s far less dangerous than weighing the butter for your toast or “praying at the porcelain altar.” I still keep track of everything I eat, and all the exercise I do and I still feel awful when I go over my count, but I’m not going to let it define me, or my wedding day.
The key thing really though is to surround yourself with positive people, who make you feel good. Being kinder to yourself matters. Try implementing self love (no not that kind you in the back) into your day to day routine. This could be taking half hour to try some yoga or cuddling up with a good book in a fancy bath – candles and all. So often we relate our self worth to the way we look and these small acts of self-kindness go a long way to making every day a little bit easier.
At the end of the day there is no “bad” food and “good” food, just positive and negative attitudes. I’m not suggesting we all go out and live on deep fried oreos or sustain ourselves on green smoothies, but it’s about finding balance. I’m not going to let the wedding industry make me feel guilty for eating or pressure me into trying an unrealistic diet to become some skewed version of the perfect bride. At the end of the day, if you’re a bride and you leave the day married to your OH, well you’ve pretty much checked the only boxes required to meet “perfect bride” criteria.
Until then, I’ll be over here enjoying my macaroni cheese.
Things you need in your life:
Rock n Roll Bride: Weight Loss and Weddings – Essential follow up reading for brides to be
Gala Darling: Radical Self Love – A book every woman needs in her book shelf. Currently sold out but if you can get your filthy little paws on it, totally life changing.
Yoga with Adriene – Her yoga for depression and 30 days of Yoga series is wonderful. Plus occasional cute dog.
And for those looking for a community, somewhere to vent etc – The Rock n Roll Bride facebook group, which is essentially filled with some of the most inspiring, creative, wives and brides to be out there.