Sweating for the wedding. White dress workout. Slimming down for the gown. While some may consider these clever catch phrases, the popular slogans imply an unfortunate, and possibly dangerous, message about getting married today: Weight loss is required. As if women don’t already feel the pressure of looking a certain way in their day-to-day life, impending nuptials partnered with the aforementioned taglines only seem to magnify them. So where do we go from here? While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to adopting a positive body image for your wedding, here are some tips to help you along the way.
1. Don’t lose sight of what the day is about
Your day is not about fitting into a certain gown or hitting an ideal weight. It’s about two people, no matter their size, shape, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status — who are in love and dedicating their lives to one another. No amount of weight loss or toning is going to change that.
2. Find a cheerleader
Surround yourself with the people in your life who will bring you back to reality when you are being overly critical, and compare you to Beyoncé when you need an extra boost.
3. Show gratitude
When critical thoughts start to set in, take a moment to be grateful for everything your body can do. I guarantee that whatever your shape and size, your body can do some pretty incredible things.
4. Prepare to ignore sizes
The size of your wedding dress will not be the same as the size of your street clothes. In some cases, your wedding dress could be four sizes bigger than what you normally wear at a store like J.Crew. This is completely normal, so don’t get hung up on what the tag says and focus on how you feel.
5. Get healthy
For some, the wedding is a reason to jump-start healthier living — which does not necessarily equate to weight loss. It could mean managing stress, eating more wholesome foods, staying active or sleeping better. If this sounds like it’s for you, go for it!
Kristen Maxwell Cooper, Editor in Chief, The Knot, [email protected]