Getting in Shape

Wedding Weighed Down

My fiance and I are getting married in April of 2011 and, while I'm looking forward to our married life together, my appearance and the idea of being 'on display' for the wedding is seriously getting me down.

I've never considered myself much of a beauty and I've had issues with my weight since my teenage years. Right now, largely due to a (former!) job that sucked my will to live, I'm hovering around my heaviest weight to date -- as much as 50lbs from the last time I felt confident in my skin.

I know my fiance loves me and he put this ring on my finger without a thought to my weight. I also know I'm not happy at my weight and it's preventing me from doing things like picking a photographer and making appointments to go dress shopping. As shallow/self-indulgent as it sounds, I just don't feel like I 'deserve' or can enjoy these things at my current weight.

We have more than seven months to go and I'm making a serious attempt here. In the last month, I've started working out with a trainer twice a week, following a meal plan from my nutritionist, and spending about 40mn a day, five days a week, on the elliptical my crazy supportive fiance spent three hours putting together. I've given up 'junk' food and drink so much water my boss probably thinks I'm preggers!

... But this is a process, right? And while I stick to the process, I still feel like an imposter. Like I'm not cute enough to go dress shopping or have our engagement photos taken. My question is -- has anyone else had this feeling and what, if anything, did they find useful in overcoming it?

Re: Wedding Weighed Down

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    Oh, Honey. Thanks for being so honest. You are very good at putting your feelings into words!

    Your feelings are totally valid. Feeling like you are going to be "on display" can be a bit daunting. First thing's first. No matter what your body does between now and the wedding, you are going to be so happy that nobody will think that you are anything but beautiful. Love shows.

    I would like to commend you for taking all of these much needed steps to help you feel more confident, I just hope that you are forgiving, as there will be times that you "cheat" or don't feel like getting up and going to the gym. Between now and April, don't push yourself so much that you get burned out! But with all of the changes you seem to be making, you should start feeling better, and that will be motivating.

    Have engagement photos taken. Document the phases of this time for you. It's important! Look at them and feel happy about the two of you, and try not to focus on your imperfections. We all have them. Dress shopping will be FUN. Surround yourself with supportive people who will be happy and giggly and encouraging. You will feel beautiful with good friends.

    Good luck, keep up the good work, and keep posting! You'll find a very supportive community here. :)

    Hochari Tarpu chonge wanga
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    I guess I don't really have much to say other than I commend you on the work you are putting forth. I think you should definitely take some "before" pictures to look back on once you get going. I regret not doing this quite a bit. So when you get down on yourself about your progress, you can whip the pictures out and see that you really have come a ways. Good luck, sistah!! :)
    ~Weeds are just flowers without an invitation.~
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    first off, congrats on being engaged! you do deserve every minute of excitement and happiness and fun that comes with planning the wedding and getting married. i think every girl on this board has dealt with self-esteem issues, and the pressures of planning a wedding don't help. so don't obsess over it or feel that you need to be/look "perfect." women come in every size and shape and color, and when a woman is a bride she's no less beautiful than any other... being happy and in love is what makes a bride beautiful, not being a specific size :]

    that said, you're right - it's a process. losing weight is a process, and boosting your self-esteem is also a process. but what you're doing - working out, eating healthy - is going to help in both aspects. just give it some patience, and give your body time to adapt to the changes you're making. you'll see results and start to feel better about yourself. (and throw that "ideal bride" image that you've got out the window - you're getting yourself healthy for life, and you'll only be a bride for about 8 hours!) good luck!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    I too have had some serious issues with my weight throughout my life.  When Scott put that ring on my finger I weighed 353 lbs. 

    But I soon realized he wasn't putting the ring on my body he was putting the ring on ME (if that makes sense.) He saw someone worth loving even when I didn't love myself. 

    I had gone to the doctor a few years ago about depression, she told me "you will never be happy so big." And prescribed me a ridiculous diet (not healthy at all!) and wanted me to work out nearly 10 hours a week.  I was so frustrated and down on myself that I started going to a psychologist. 

    Here are some things he helped me to learn:

    ~I had to let go of the guilt.  The shell of the body you are given is NOT deserving of any mistreatment.  Because I liked food and didn't like to work out did not mean I didn't deserve to have children, to buy a house, to get engaged....

    ~Being happy is a choice, and NO one can take that away from you.  Surround yourself with friends that build you up, but realize that the world has "Tear downers" too and that you CAN ignore them.

    ~Everyone's ideal is different.  I was watching "Say Yes to the Dress" and this bride to be probably weighed 85 lbs, and thought she was fat!  The very next episode there was an extremely curvy girl (probably closer to 225) but she loved her curves.  Healthy is beautiful, Happy is beautiful, but accepting yourself is gorgeous.

    ~My "shrink" and I also sat down and wrote out a list of things that I liked about myself - I suggest you do that as well, maybe with your fiance`.  Tell him your having a lot of trouble feeling like you deserve this wedding, he might be able to point out a few qualities in yourself you don't recognize.  Look at his list but make sure you build yourself a list too.

    ~Most importantly!  The thing that helped me the most was making a HARD effort of stopping the negative self talk.  The look in the mirror and pointing out to yourself the roundness of cheeks or that grey hair that wasn't there before (those are two of mine and are by no way comments about you) If you catch yourself saying "I don't deserve" immediately turn it around and say "I do deserve this because..." At first mine were cheesy - because I am trying.  Because I like art.  Because Scott says I do.  But now I can easily say I deserve things because I'm a great mother, I make Scottie happy and I have a vivid beautiful imagination that I want to share with others.

    It wasn't until I let go of the negative talk and started building MYSELF up that I began to feel confident, and have allowed myself to work out and to be healthier on the outside too.  Just as beauty comes from within so does confidence. 

    I now weigh 278.4 lbs, I am wearing a size 24!  I can buy my dress from David's Bridal or another boutique and not have it specially made.  :) I still have a year to go before my wedding, but I'm confident and happy with myself - I could stand up in front of all my guests right now and be perfectly happy with myself because I know that I'm doing my best and I do deserve it.  Just like you.
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    Oh sweetie.  I want to give you a hug!  That was so refreshingly honest. 

    You deserve to have a wonderful wedding and you WILL no matter what.  Don't measure your worth by your weight.  It's just a number.  What makes a person beautiful is their confidence and happiness in themselves and in life in general.

    I commend you for taking the steps to build a healthy life.  It is a process (it will take several months) and it is a lifestyle change (you have to make the time to work out and take the time to pick healthy food) and there are no quick fixes. 

    But, if you stick to your program, you'll find that even the smallest accomplishments motivate you to keep going (seeing the scale start to move, running a little bit further, etc).  There will be frustrating times, too, but you can go to this board or the Health and Fitness board of the Nest and find people to encourage you, help you, and support you.

    Remember that what is most important is feeling confident in your own skin.  Everything else is just numbers. 

    You'll be shocked at how awesome wedding dresses are cut.  They are flattering to EVERYONE.  If you want to wait to go shopping, then that is fine (I'm getting married one month after you and won't start shopping until October at the earliest), but don't not go because you are scared.  And don't punish yourself because you think you won't look awesome in your dress.  You will.  I promise!

    Good to luck to you :)
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    galwaygirlie- your post gave me goosebumps! in a good way! you should write a book. 

    carleton- I completely understand what you mean about dress shopping! I am really avoiding it and not looking forward to it, but after reading all the previous posters empowering words, I feel excited! 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    edited August 2010
    I agree with all the previous posts, I think it's excellent you're really "getting it" . It is a process, a very long hard process. Once you make the changes though, and really, truely stick with them, it does make it harder (not impossible) to go back.
    And I must say, even though I was never very overweight, I was chubby for a long time and I let it get to me, my self esteem was very low. Now, I'm at a very happy and healthy weight, but it took me a long time to be ok in my own skin. It's something that I work with every day, do I look ok in this, can you see this bump, can I/should I eat this, etc. Every time FI tells me I'm beautiful or skinny or I look like I'm in great shape, I'm like who me, and then I have to remind myself what I've done and yes, I really do weight what I do.
    August 2011: E-Pic! Photobucket
    229 image Invited to celebrate!
    191 image Remembered to RSVP!
    26 image Can't make it
    7 image Got lost on the way to the mailbox

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    galwaygirlie, what was incredible.  I really love everything you had to say.  Especially this one:
    Healthy is beautiful, Happy is beautiful, but accepting yourself is gorgeous.

    carleton, take everything galwaygirlie had to say to heart.  I wholeheartedly agree with her advice to stop looking in the mirror and only seeing bad.  Start to find what you love.

    Also remember that everyone had to start somewhere.  I still get butterflies in my stomach as I'm driving up to the gym and I've been going there 2-3 days a week to lift since the middle of January.

    Congratulations on your engagement and keep doing what you are doing.  Changes will happen.
    We'll just not tell H about this little fact, m'kay?
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
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    Hey Galwaygirlie, I think a lot of us can definitely identify with what you're saying. To make matters even harder, every bridal magazine features hundreds of stick-thin, beautiful models. It's hard to feel like you can compare to them.

    But the truth is, they aren't real brides. YOU are. You're going to get married! To the love of your life! And the joy you feel when you're getting married will make you more beautiful than any makeup or hairstyle.

    And ditto to what Joy said -- you'd be amazed at how wedding dresses look when you try them ON. I was absolutely dreading trying to go dress shopping. (I lost a lot of weight from gastric bypass surgery, and have a lot of excess skin around my arms and back - not a pretty sight, especially when virtually ALL bridal gowns are strapless/sleeveless.)

    But lo and behold, I found a dress that I fell in love with. So my advice is to get out there and try a few dresses on - you might end up being amazed.

    Good luck!

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    Weight loss and healthy living is totally a process for just about every one of us that are contributors to this board.  Whether you have 10, 50 or 100 pounds to lose, we all have a common goal... to love ourselves enough to want to make a healthy change.  Most of the women here are doing this for a long-term change and not just for the wedding.  I was much bigger when I took my engagement photos but I wouldn't change a thing.  I'm hoping that a few years after looking at my wedding photos that I'll be in even better shape.  I'm here for the long haul but it did take me 27 years to figure out that I loved myself enough to do it.  I still make mistakes and occasionally see gains on the scale but I'm working at it. 

    Congrats to you for wanting to make a change for yourself!  Healthy living is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and your future family.  I can relate to the feeling like you'll be on display, but trust me, you deserve it.  Your fiance obviously thought you did! 
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    Think about this. You are already doing a great job and taking steps to help your self. You sound like a beautiful, nice person. This is your wedding and you need to enjoy it. It's ok for you to go an indugle. MAke yourself feel beautiful. This is your day. Progress will come before you know it. Don't let anything get you down when it comes to your wedding :). We're all here for you!
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    Thanks, ladies -- I appreciate all the encouragement, particularly when the scale won't budge. :-) I'm going to keep working... for the wedding and afterward... and try to screw up the courage to actually set foot into a bridal boutique. :-)
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