Body Image After the Wedding
Your wedding day. You worked so hard to get to that day looking your best. You munched on salads, tried crazy diets and avoided sweets for months to drop those pounds. Maybe even a slight stomach flu to help you drop those last 5 pounds.
After all of that, you looked amazing. The dress fit flawlessly and you pranced and danced all night, glowing in your new marriage and hot body. Because you are supposed to drop weight to be beautiful, hot on your wedding day, right? But after the wedding, after the pounds make their way back, comes a new body image struggle.
Image: Wedding Dress via Flickr
First, the honeymoon comes and all you want to do is eat carbs, French fries, and all the fruity drinks. Your honeymoon is a celebration, a different universe where calories and pounds don't count. You worked hard for this body and a few days of bad eating habits won't change that.
Until the scale alarms you that you added those last 5 pounds back on when you return. You gasp. You cringe. Then remember, Mr. Stomach Flu helped you get there. In your eyes, it's a basic zero out. Still the same weight and you feel great. There is no way you can lose that amazing body that made you feel so amazing on your wedding day. But just in case, you go on a 3 day juice cleanse just to be sure.
Flash forward 4 months. Before you know it, you are up a good 6-10 pounds and that dress barely zips past your waist. You aren't quite sure if you want to try to make it fit by not eating or grab the nearest plate of brownies. And yes, I've tried mine on multiple times this past year to judge my weight gain. It was a good time to do a 7 day diet to lose a few pounds again.
The year anniversary rolled around. It was a tough pill to swallow that just a year later I had packed on a few extra pounds that were not welcome and not sitting well on my barely 5 foot frame. It made me feel gross, not pretty and beautiful. I felt gross for letting myself get to this place.
These are the pounds I see when I pull at my love handles. Pounds I see when I look at my floppy stomach. Pounds I see when I pour my now plumper booty into my jeans.
This past year, I have agonized over my weight. My new frame that I am fitting into as a new wife. I have tried new diets, tried new pills, and just plain tried to kick these pounds away. All I could think about was how unhealthy I had become and what kind of wife that made me all because I had gained a few pounds in the wrong places. I didn't feel like my pretty-wedding-day-wife self. And looking at these pictures, that's all I wanted back.
Wait just a minute.
Who gave these few extra pounds the power to make me feel not hot or pretty? Who gave these extra pounds the power to make me feel think I wasn't that happy wife from a year ago?
Instead, these pounds are because I cooked homemade meals for my husband most nights the past year. And the nights I didn't cook, we ordered in and watched our favorite shows over some laughs. These pounds are because we spent less time exercising and more time enjoying each other. These pounds are the signs of a good first year of marriage where we enjoyed nights out with friends, yogurt dates, and lots of sushi.
After you struggle for a year trying so hard to look your best on your wedding day, it can be hard to look back a year later and see the pounds have come back. Especially, when most of the time it was more crazy diets, crazy workouts instead of a healthy lifestyle. You feel like you failed yourself, your new husband, and the future. It seems like an uphill battle from here on out.
Instead of looking back a year ago at your supposed "hot" self with the whittled waist and barely there love handles, look at yourself this year. After a year of marriage and how you sacrificed a few pounds for a happy, comforting first year of marriage. A marriage you had to nurture in the first year and that meant with date nights and skipped gym appointments. And for the record, I am sure your new husband still thinks you are beautiful even if all you see are flaws.
Look at those few extra pounds from the past year as a sign of a healthy start to what will be a wonderfully fulfilling marriage. And enjoy all the margaritas and sushi that you want.
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