I shouldn't have to lose weight for my wedding. Why do I feel like a failure? (2023)

Men don't know howdiscuss with me online. I'm smart, mean, and fast, and there's very little that hurts my feelings. So when they see that I've said or written something they don't like, they tend to call me bold. it's simple thoughlausigYes, perfectly viable regardless of a clear context. I write about it oftenMobbing onlinee nodangers of being a womanIn general, but the way my self-esteem is linked to my weight is not something I'm talking about. I don't discuss it with my friends or family. I almost never write about it. It pisses me off so much, and I never wanted my most aggressive critics to know that it's this cruelty that really bothers me.

I don't have to work hard for my confidence with anything else. I don't flinch when people call me a bad writer because I know that's not true. I don't respond when people call me an idiot or selfish at work because I know that's not true either. I've been called an idiot, a liar, self-absorbed, lazy, rude, and difficult (my dating profile: complete), and none of that bothered me more than being called fat.

I understand why people say that. It hurts, and then you feel humiliated that something so petty, something that is not in itself an offense, could upset you. Getting hurt when someone calls you fat seems anti-feminist, as if you're not only failing yourself by disagreeing, but the community as well. It feels like she's walking into a trap she already knew was there, one she wasn't smart enough to avoid. In the last five years, I've written a bestseller, got engaged, got a promotion, and worked on a television show. I also gained 20 kilos. Guess which ones I think about the most.

today i havean annoying email notification reminding me that my wedding is only 34 days away. This number is not alarming, what really worries me is the realization that I've been planning this wedding for 490 days. A year and four months of thinking about table decorations and bindi appliqués and how long my hair should be and improbably arguing with my mother about whether chairs should have bows or not. (You shouldn't. I can't believe I have to say this.)

I don't really like weddings; When I was young, I never dreamed of being a wife, let alone having the wedding of my dreams. Most of my wedding planning is done by my mother, whose requirements for a traditional Hindu ceremony are too complex for me to begin delving into. I'm grateful, I love not having to worry about things. I figured I'd better get away with another flirtation with apathy. But there is one aspect of marriage that I cannot remain comfortably indifferent to, no matter how hard I try. Those 490 days are also a sign of how long I've supposedly tried and failed to be a physically smaller person for my marriage.

I took every milestone in my life as a reason to be mad at my body, so why stop now? I promised myself I would be thinner on my high school graduation, then my first day of college, then a friend's wedding, then my college graduation, then my book launch, then my bridal shower, and now my birthday. marriage. I always failed and tried again and again because it seemed important to me that I at least try. So I secretly promised myself thatThat's itday toto bephoto, zonce, I will be the guyINTESTINEsize and fitINTESTINEdress up and show offINTESTINEform.

Trying to slim down for marriage is not a new phenomenon, nor is it a purely female issue: my partner seems to have a similar burn, wanting to be a little better, a little fitter for the “big day”. There are wedding diets, bride camps, weight loss apps for weddings, hypnosis for weight loss for weddings, diet plans for a year, diet plans for six months, diet plans for six weeks, diet plans for weddings, day. And I could never dissuade my bone-fed Indian immigrant mother from that second spoonful of hot, starchy white rice any easier than by saying, "Mom, I have to fit in myWear.“

But for me everything became fundamentally painful. I had over a year to lose the weight I decided I should lose. But I do not have. And my inability to lose him, or perhaps my refusal to try because I know it's rooted in self-loathing because I'm tired of worrying, makes me feel even more of a failure.

I could lose weight if I wanted to. A skinny man once commented on an old photo of me on Instagram and simply said, "You used to be skinny."erasI thought through the tears.The Eating Disorder Really Worked. I know I can lose weight because I've done it before, a thousand different ways. I did Weight Watchers, Keto, Paleo, Low Carb/High Fat, Calorie Restriction and tried not eating at all and it all worked. When I was 16 and weighed 130 pounds, an awfully high number for me at the time, I stopped eating lunch and never ate breakfast, finished only half of my dinners, and lost a noticeable amount of weight. I showed my mother my pants size with a big smile and thought she would be proud of me as I have always been on her own path to losing weight. She looked at me in horror and started to make me eat dinner. I know I can lose weight because I lost it when I threw up after all those dinners.

I kept gaining weight because these rituals were unhealthy, dangerous, and unsustainable. I held back because being cruel to myself was an incredible amount of work that I no longer wanted to be involved in. I ate happily, fell in love, and worked hard to build a life that didn't include people who talked about hardship as fun.

and in this timebody positivitybecame a new cultural chorus, the clearest answer to many women who have hated the way they look for generations. are famous womento boast They are curves, to beextremely cold on stretch marks, and Beyoncé is talking about her hereOSSOin the most important edition of the most renowned fashion magazine. but confusedweight lossstill looks like some kindstrive for success.

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My personal conversation with my body has not progressed far enough to love what I have. It's a process, I know, but honestly I want to spend as little time as possible thinking about my arms and legs and how my back fat folds when I'm not careful at the beach. I just want apathy: feeling absolutely nothing about my body, just being grateful that it's working the way I need it to, dressing it (if I'm forced to), and eating when necessary (surprisingly often!). Love, like hate, takes a lot of active effort for something I don't even want to deal with.

And so, my efforts to lose weight this year have been half-hearted at best. I no longer want to abuse my body to shrink it, but I still feel guilty about being a bride who doesn't try to shave off parts of me so I can slink down the aisle like airy orphanage. So my failure lies not just in my greatness, but in my refusal or inability to change it: to do the work of being a relaxed, effortless bride, utterly relaxed about this costly and unique day in my tragically long life, even though I I'm thinner than I am too.

Throughout the planning of our wedding, I worked hard to refuse to please too many people. I refused to have my wedding in my hometown 2000 miles away. I refused to wear the clothes my mother wanted. I rejected anything but an open bar, refused to ban my male friends from attending supposedly girls-only parts of my ceremony, and rejected the experts' suggestion that I openly promise my future husband that I would have children. (That last one is hardly a win if you scratch the surface; he still makes me promise, but he's agreed not to say the promise out loud, turning it into a silent vow that I loudly deny.) I'm really good at not say the promise. worrying about the other people coming into this marriage. (No vegan options! I don't care!) What I still haven't been able to do is tell the weird voices in my head to fuck off.EsmiMarried. you are not reallyGast.

My wedding dress is a two-piece Indian lehenga, dark red and heavily beaded. It's beautiful, made to measure and doesn't fit me. The convertible top does not close completely. Instead, he crushes my breasts, making me feel like I'm suffocating. There's room to trim it to fit, but it also reminds me that I didn't go any smaller than I should have.

I don't like to think about the dress, because it's a double-edged sword, a double failure. Defeat first by carrying all that weight from the start. Then the minor defeat of not being able to let go and just fit into a larger size. And I know all that stuff: feeling bad about my body, then feeling bad about not trying to do something about it, and then feeling guilty about having those feelings.absolute– is an endless cycle designed to keep me sick. At some point, I have to allow myself to feel these feelings or let them go. I would prefer the latter.

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every married womanI know that those who are not yet naturally thin have used marriage as an opportunity to look their best, i.e., thinner. I once worked with a woman who spent weeks running twice a day (to work and then home) to get ready for her wedding, which was all granite and lace. Bridal books feature women in sample sizes, slender girls whose frames have been edited so thin it seems impossible they could use so much real fabric.

It seems widely acceptable to want to lose weight for your wedding, so much so that it's practically necessary. A friend jokingly texted me, "Can you help me lose 20 pounds before your wedding?" to which I responded, "Can you help me lose 20 pounds before MY wedding?" We laugh. We shouldn't have done that. My aunts, however, warned me not to losetoo muchThe same weight as a cousin of mine, which made her so thin that at the wedding her dress slipped neatly off her hips and she had to tuck it into her panties to keep her clothes on.

In my family, the wedding diet traditionally extends far beyond the people who actually get married. When my brother got married 11 years ago, my mom went on a crazy diet to prepare. His breakfast consisted of two slices of bread, his lunch a small portion of steamed vegetables and chicken, and his dinner a small slice of fish. She was malnourished and unhappy and criticized me for 16 months because she was clearly starving. The diet so restricted his food intake that it required doctor's approval and eventually accompanying injections to save him, I presume, from scurvy.

On the first of four days of marriage, dazed and exhausted, she left our landline in the basement freezer and blamed me, screaming a litany of curses and insults so cutting she still does now, even though she knows I didn't mean it, no I dare to remember her. She looks scrawny in her wedding photos and never seems to know where to put her arms, so she cradles them like she hopes they won't fall off.

Now in her late 60s, my mom has gained a lot of that weight back (not because she wasn't trying) back to a healthy size. Her drugs and her genes work against all the skinny models she admires. She's like me now: average height and silent bitterness about it. I prefer like this. Her bones don't look as sharp and he doesn't show his teeth as much. I can make him eat ice cream. When you hold her, her whole body is there, warm and ambrosial, instead of just her spine and collarbone. Once, while cleaning out that same freezer, he found a long-forgotten pot brownie my older brother had left behind and ate it in one gulp on a whim, not knowing it was psychoactive. She was high for hours, but the real bottom line for me was that she ate a brownie with no fuss, no calorie counting, no palpable guilt. I loved her so much more for that.

When I was home a few weeks ago, I went into my parents' bathroom to weigh myself, as I've done every morning, as I've done every morning for years, and watched the number rise despite my best efforts. Libra, who lived in the same place for 27 years, is gone. I went to the kitchen to ask my father where he had gone. "I put it in the basement. His mother was obsessed with it.

It's lazy to draw such a clear line between my mother's relationship with her body and my relationship with mine, but what else can I do? My mother would talk about how sad it is that us girls in the family have always been fat in the hips, thighs and arms, how we have to work "even harder" to be an acceptable height. "Your bones are big," he used to tell me, leaving me a lot more room for a lot more body. I inherited this way of speaking from my mother, which she inherited from her mother, complemented by the legion of other voices that surround every woman, reminding her that she is not enough. I look like my mother. I have your round face and stubby fingers, and when we watch commercials with disembodied hands ripping into a grilled cheese sandwich, cheddar vines dangling from it, we're both silent, drooling and instantly starving. I like to look like her. I just wish I had grown up with her and liked her looks too.

My only clear path now is to try not to pass on to others the psychological trauma I inherited. When my father made the stupid decision a few years ago to punish me for taking seconds off my mother's cooking, who wouldn't ask for more? I dropped my fork and sulked at the table, refusing to eat any more while he and my mother argued. I was so busy trying not to cry that I barely noticed my then-six-year-old niece staring at me without eating. He, too, put down his fork and waited for instructions. I got more food and she carefully picked up the fork.

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Eating has always been difficult for me, but now my body has a deadline. Should I eat a bag of chocolates when I travel, an anxiety-provoking activity only alleviated by the repetitive hand-to-mouth routine, or do I want to look good in my wedding photos? Better yet, how can I look unrecognizable? Can I have photos that make it look like someone else's body has been laid on top of mine, my skin smoothed, my neck and arms slimmed down, my navel lifted and my belly tightened? When people look back at my photos years later, can they see someone in their prime instead of someone who has always suffered with an average, boring body that I'm still not happy with, but does it work well? ? Can I appear grateful while harboring silent psychological stress?

For my wedding, my mother chose not to follow the strict diet she imposed on my brother. She is more than a decade older and, like me, worn out by routine. "I don't have the strength to do this anymore," he told me with a sigh. She still wants to be smaller.Will I get out of this if she hasn't already?- but made a truce with his body. And here's something else I never expected: Her decision to never break the diet again, to be my favorite person and body, made me want to give her whatever she wanted for this stupid marriage. Another outfit for the reception? you have it. Do you want me to use all your wedding gold during the ceremony? No problem. You're going to invite six new people a month before the wedding without telling me and then force drastic seating changes? Whatever you say, I just love you as much as I need you.

After he told me about his newfound apathy, I told him I was meeting a friend for tacos after work. "Taco?" he said softly. "Can you have this?" So of course I ordered a salad.

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a few months ago,I joined another weight loss app. I hit buy when she scolded me, fully aware that she probably wouldn't lose weight, mostly because I really don't want to. But I still don't feel comfortable enough to stop trying. However, it was the first time that I didn't feel joy or hope or, on the contrary, total despair, as if this program was what would make me happy or change my life or take me away from much more dangerous paths. . - Flagellation. It felt like reading old letters or magazines before throwing them away:Let me do this one last time to get rid of him for good.

The new app is no different than others I've tried. Remember, everyone benefits from your failure! — except you're teaming up with (mostly) other women who are also trying to lose weight and sharing their personal stories to support each other. They talk about howto feelthey get better with more exercise but haven't lost much weight, how they feel disappointed in themselves when they eat too much bread, how they start eating from smaller plates and how dizzy they get from not eating enough. They post pictures of themselves and repeat to me the same things they've said a thousand times about me.

It's the most depressing, toxic place on my phone (including Twitter! INCLUDING TWITTER!) and yet I still feel like I need to be there to say goodbye. It feels like it might be a last-minute flirtation with something I've been slowly getting rid of for most of my life. I feel like I'm finally almost done with this particular type of endeavor.

The 490 days I spent preparing for this wedding could count as a failure, but there's another way to look at it. It's also the time I spent eating carbs after avoiding them for two years, the time I spent with my friends at the barbecue, the time I spent exercising because I wanted to and not because I felt I had to. It's been a year and four months now with my stupid fiance and our very chubby cat and about 15 wild raccoons living in our backyard and now they are my terrible kids. And the remaining 34 days don't have to be a countdown to some unreachable goal, but to a great party, a great meal, a day with all the people I love and an open bar that I fought so hard to get. to have. My wedding isn't the most important day of my life, or at least I don't think it should be. But it may be the first day in a series of days when this is done. ●


Why you shouldn't lose weight for your wedding? ›

It distracts you from the fun stuff.

A preoccupation with pounds makes you less present and less able to enjoy the fun stuff that comes with wedding planning.

Do most brides lose weight before wedding? ›

Most people try to lose weight before a wedding

61.2% of brides-to-be achieved some level of success while working on slimming down for their wedding gown. Only 18% of them hit or exceeded their goal. On average, brides were 10.6 pounds away from their target weight by the time their wedding rolled around.

How long before your wedding should you lose weight? ›

Two months prior to your wedding day is plenty of time to lose up to 10 pounds by following a healthy weight loss plan. If you are trying to lose more than that, you may need to give yourself additional time.

How do I get motivated to lose weight for my wedding? ›

Here's how she did it and her advice to others:
  1. Set small, realistic goals. ...
  2. Slowly ramp up your exercise. ...
  3. Focus on home cooking. ...
  4. Fill up with protein. ...
  5. Don't keep tempting snacks at home. ...
  6. Find something that motivates you during tough moments. ...
  7. Don't worry about the loose skin. ...
  8. Focus on all the health benefits to come.
Oct 20, 2016

Do people divorce because of weight gain? ›

Though it may seem superficial or unfair it's actually a common reason for divorce, marriage.com explains: 'In some cases a significant amount of weight gain causes the other spouse to become less physically attracted while for others, weight gain takes a toll on their self-esteem, which trickles into issues with ...

What should a overweight person wear to a wedding? ›

Look for shirts that have darting or shape to them so they skim your body. For pants, choose a straight-leg, bootcut, or tailored look. However, avoid a relaxed fit or trouser pant. For skirts or dresses, look for pencil, a-line, or fit-and-flare options.


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