My husband and I met in the young adults ministry at our church. We were good friends for about a year and a half before we really “noticed one another.”
We started spending more time together, laughed secretly at inside jokes, chatted on Instant Messenger, and then had a DTR (define the relationship) outside of Starbucks. We dated for a year and 3 months before he asked me, “So, you wanna get hitched?” No kidding. Direct quote. I love that man.
Four months of Weight Watchers and 25 pounds later, we were married.
It’s pretty much become common practice to begin dieting immediately after he pops the question. The moment you get engaged you should begin cutting carbs and counting calories. Even though this wonderful man has asked you to be his wife just as you are, women are expected to work extra hard to slim down for their wedding day.
Not to be as healthy as possible entering the union of marriage. Not to get in shape for the physically challenging task of walking down the aisle. But to look as good as possible. For one day.
We see the altar as a finish line we must only cross at our absolute hottest and skinniest. God forbid we look at these pictures for the rest of our lives and not see the most ideal version of ourselves captured for posterity.
And those pictures haunt us for every year after.
As marriage progresses, being able to “still fit in my wedding dress” is held up as an enviable accomplishment. The inability to do so is a tragedy. My own wedding photos mock me with their representation of how I once looked, even just for 24 hours, and perhaps, how I could look once again.
That thinnest, prettiest version of me stares back from my bridal portraits as a moral stumbling block rather than the a maintainable ideal.
My husband and I enjoyed year after year of marriage with ups and downs, moves to new cities and states, new jobs and new friends, weight gained and weight lost. All along the way, my wedding portrait served as an impossible goal. If only I could get back to that. I did it once, was I just too lazy or weak-willed to do it again?
Year after year, I strayed further and further away from the wonderous waist size of my wedding day.
I wondered if my husband was disappointed, that I wasn’t the woman that he married. I was certainly disappointed in myself. No thought to how I had grown emotionally, spiritually, intellectually from the girl that stared back from those photographs. I did not see her mental and emotional state, I only saw her enviable shape and felt deeply that wedding Marie had it all together and present Marie was a fat, lazy mess.
And if I felt fat and lazy now, how would I feel once I got pregnant?
CHALLENGE: Did you diet for your wedding day? Do you still think of the size and shape you were on your wedding day as ideal? Or do you mourn the fact that you got married at different size and shape than you would have liked? How does your appearance on your wedding day impact how you feel about your looks now?