Welcome back to Wellness Wednesday!
I was inspired to write about this particular topic after listening to a podcast by The Healthy Maven with Robyn Nohling as a guest. They chatted about many topics but one was engagement and avoiding manipulating your body to fit into a particular size or shape. I was reflecting on my own experience of engagement, and here are my thoughts and encouragements:
After engagement, it seems like a million things happen and need to start being checked off a to-do list.
Pick a date, book a venue, find a caterer… and buy a dress.
Before visiting any dress shop, I looked around on Craigslist to see if I might get super lucky and stumble upon the perfect dress at a fraction of the price (thrift queen right here).
After many days of seeing only 80s prom dress-esque pieces, a diamond in the rough appeared. It was exactly the style, shape and material I was hoping for, and I thought the size might be juuuust right.
My parents and I drove out to the girl’s apartment and I slipped the dress on.
It zipped, but it was a smidge tight. That tightness caused it to wrinkle/pull a bit across the stomach.
Con you believe that for almost an hour I tried to convince myself that it would work? “It MUST have been meant to be- it’s almost the perfect size and and it’s the exact style of dress I wanted for such an amazing price!”
I would just have to lose a few pounds in the 8 months leading up to the wedding. No big deal, right?
Thank the Lord for my momma, who was determined that we simply couldn’t just buy the first dress I tried on. I walked away from that dress and I am thankful to this day for that decision.
Spending your entire engagement (or life, if you’re ready to jump into a metaphor) trying to “lose a few pounds” to fit a particular dress or weigh a particular number will rob you of the joy in every day.
Think about the excitement, happiness and fun of engagement. You’re so excited to be getting married, giddy with all the details of planning your special day, and being showered with love from all your friends and family. Spending that time overwhelmed by your need to lose a few pounds or even just “tone up” steals that joy from you.
How sad is it that media and diet culture has taught us that one of the most important parts of engagement is getting your “wedding bod” ready? What about preparing your heart for the commitment you’re about to make? What about preparing your mind for the transition to no longer living just for yourself but to now be living with another person’s needs and dreams just as important as yours?
Think about how you will feel years down the road if all your memories of engagement are of the fight to shed some pounds.
This is true of any season of life. Do you want to look back and remember all the deprivation, restriction and obsessive exercise that may have resulted in X lbs of weight loss (that likely wasn’t sustained after ending the diet period)? Or do you want to look back and remember family gatherings, sweet friendships, fun vacations, celebratory ice cream cones, baseball park hot dogs and all the cherished memories you’ve collected.
I’m so glad I didn’t buy that first white dress, because engagement got to be about things other than my size, waist measurement, exercise routine or “clean” eating.