Plus-Sized

Dealing with critical family for dress shopping

My fiance and I have been together for 12 years and we're getting married in June. I've been looking forward to dress shopping and finding a dress my fiance and I both love. The problem is my family. I am heavier than I would like to be and my mom has already asked me 2x in a month if I am actively working at losing weight. 

Backstory: until I was 18 I was extremely fit and thin. I even went through a time of near anorexia (mostly because of her criticism and a feeling I was ugly if heavy) and was 5'8" and 110 pounds. It has taken me a long time but I am happy with my body and my curves as is my fiance. Both my mom and aunt have made comments about my weight and do not have tact when they do. Ex: it was the summer after I had worked hard to end my starving myself and we were looking at pictures of us at a family vacation and there was one of me sitting and stooped over and my aunt said I looked pregnant. It took all I had not to go back to starving myself. 

I am worried that they will make comments about my weight throughout me trying on wedding dresses and may ruin it. I have talked repeatedly with my mom in the past about her comments and told her about when I was younger but she doesn't believe me. I love her and she has gotten much better and has been a bit more tactful in her comments but she wants me so much thinner, which is not going to happen before June and I will never go back to starving myself. I want my shopping to be a fun and happy experience not me crying in the dressing room. I even went so far as to try on some dresses with my sister and future sister in law while we were looking for bridesmaid dresses so I could at least have one good experience with dress shopping. My question is whether or not I should try again and talk with them about not commenting about me looking fat in dresses before going shopping or do as my sister says and go shopping without my family and only bring them in when I find some dresses I look nice in and love? I want to have this experience with my mom and aunt but don't want a bad experience.
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Re: Dealing with critical family for dress shopping

  • I'm really sorry that you're dealing with family that are so mean. I agree with OWK above in that you should go shopping with people that will make you feel beautiful. 

    I also think that if you've been diagnosed with anorexia or other eating disorder in the past, and that a comment made over a picture made you come close to relapsing it's probably time to get in some counseling or therapy. Eating disorders are life long conditions often exacerbated by stress. A therapist or counselor will also give you tools on how to respond to your mother and aunt in a healthy way. You need to take care of you!
    OurWildKingdomeileenrobcowgirl8238
  • Thank you both for your feedback. The issue with anorexia and the comment was when I was 14 (over 14 years ago) and I saw a counselor shortly after. I have done a lot of work myself to not be such a people-pleaser, speak my mind (respectfully) and improving my coping strategies and have not had any kind of relapse. However, I am still sensitive to criticism about my weight from my mom and really want her to be positive and enjoy the experience, but know that I cannot control what she does or says.
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    charlotte989875eileenrob
  • Good for you. It's good to go back to those strategies during times of high stress. If you think she will be receptive, maybe sit down with her before you shop and tell her how much it hurts you that she makes those comments, and that you're happy and healthy with your weight and you would appreciate if she didn't make any comments about it while you are shopping. Additionally tell her that if she does, you will not ask her to go with you in the future. Setting boundaries like this is hard, but worth it. 
    SP29
  • Beautiful brides come in all sizes.  Too bad your Mom doesn't get that.

    My daughter is 6 feet tall, and wore a size 14 dress.  She looked gorgeous!  There are lots of plus sized brides on The Knot.  Don't buy in to media images.  Be your beautiful self, and leave you Mother at home when you dress shop.  That is what I did!
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    SP29MesmrEwe
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    I wouldn't take your mom or aunt shopping with you. The fact that this is for your wedding dress would probably make them double down on their criticism and hurtful comments. Weddings don't make hurtful people stop being hurtful.

    Don't bring anyone with you whom you can't trust to give you genuinely helpful feedback that doesn't make you feel like shit. Clearly your mom and aunt don't qualify.
    OurWildKingdomMesmrEwecowgirl8238
  • I've been hanging around an interesting social circle lately - fitness trainers and hypnotists..  The interesting thing - both had the exact same reaction when it comes to working with brides ..  The issue is a lot of brides will bust their @$$ to drop weight to look good in a wedding dress, only to entirely quit the week of the wedding and balloon/start the yo/yo cycle because the real issue wasn't addressed nor had the weight been lost in a sustainable way for their lifestyle because it was only event oriented. 

    Love the body you've got!  Honestly, it's NOT healthy for you to go dress shopping with your Mom and aunt.  If you want to do the ceremonial shop with your Mom, just pick a random salon and go with the intent that you're not going to get your dress that day (do it on a Tuesday mid-day so not peak time for the salon).  Also, do not allow yourself to be pressured into losing weight "just for the wedding" - your physical trainer, therapist, and more importantly YOUR BODY will thank you for it in the long-term.  If you choose to go to the gym just for stress relief - enjoy!  Even if all that means is sitting in the hot tub and steam room to relax.  I'd also recommend connecting back up with your therapist to work on some of these issues some more because it's rather common in disordered eating that some past triggers can evolve and need just a little refresher to stay on track.  Wedding dress shopping is highly emotion in and of itself, add in people unwittingly triggering the triggers of old only makes it harder. 

    Beautiful dresses come in all sizes.  I'd recommend some place like David's because they've got ample stock of dresses in a full spectrum of sizes. 

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    CMGragaincowgirl8238
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