Ten years ago, I walked down the aisle in the (discount) wedding gown of my dreams. At the end of that aisle was the man to whom I pledged my love and who, in return, promised to see me through sickness, health, starter houses, and chasing my dreams just as fervently as he would chase his own. There's also the fifty pound weight gain when my thyroid decided to stop working. And the time I lost most of my hair and broke out in hives all over my body. And then the time that it happened again and the doctors told me I was allergic to most of what I was eating.
Oh, and the morning breath and the bed head and the PMS and the crazy family he inherited when he married me. All of that was a bonus.
And ya know what? I'm pretty certain that the size of the wedding dress I wore a decade ago mattered about as much to him then as it does now. I can tell you, though. I wore a size 16 and that was because my ginourmous double G breasts hadn't been reduced yet. With alterations, my gown was taken in to fit the rest of my size 12 body, and I felt beautiful. Sure, I exercised and counted calories and exercised some more because I wanted to look my best on my wedding day, and I can tell you exactly what I weighed when I became a Mrs., but a lot has changed in ten years. Namely, the pressure on the bride to starve herself stupid and the fact that crash dieting is now an accepted and expected part of the wedding planning industry.
Lissa knows that the subject of body image is one that is near and dear to my heart. I'm a recovered bullimic and still ocassional closet-binge-queen who is trying to raise a daughter in a society that has turned our world into a giant elementary school playground. I am very passionate when discussing subjects like shaming our children into losing weight, why Jessica Simpson let me (and every other woman who has ever given birth) down, and why I've broken up with my scale. So when I saw Lissa's email pointing to a story about brides-to-be resorting to feeding tubes for rapid weight loss before their big days, my first reaction was to look up into the heavens and wonder when the insanity will end. It's called the K-E diet and promises up to 20 pounds of weight loss in 10 days. Dieters must have a feeding tube inserted into their noses that runs down to their stomachs through which they are fed a steady and slow protein drip of fat mixed with water. Zero carbohydrates, 800 calories a day, and guaranteed body fat burned are all claims used by prescribing doctors.
Dieters are not hospitalized and instead carry their food solution with them in a bag for the ten days they are following the plan. Side effects are reportedly bad breath and constipation. I'm wondering why no one mentioned Continued Dependence on Quick Fixes and Refusal to Do The Obvious and JUST BUY A DRESS THAT FITS YOU TO BEGIN WITH?
I'm not stupid. I know that this single column won't change the world and that the next time I go to get a gallon of milk, I'm going to be just as pissed off as I was last time while checking out because all of the magazines are calling me fat. I'm also perfectly aware that weddings are about two things: the happy couple... and what the bride looked like in her dress. I don't fault any woman for doing everything she can... within reason... to look and feel her absolute best on her wedding day. I do, however, think it's time for $1,500 extreme diet plans like the K-E diet not to be a factor in the wedding planning budget and for brides to feel free to focus less on their waisltines and instead on why he loves you just the way you are.
What do you think? Are brides-to-be under too much pressure to be perfect?
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