Wedding (diet) Culture

I am not going to lie…every single time someone congratulates me on getting engaged and then asks me about our wedding plans, I cringe a little bit.

NOT because it’s a stressful planning process, and NOT because I don’t want to talk about it.

I cringe because there’s a part of me that is WAITING for people to ask me if I am going to lose any weight, if I am going to go on some wedding diet, or if I am going to up my gym game.

The answer is easy: no I don’t plan on losing weight, I plan on allowing my body to figure out what is best for it right now in this season of life. No I am not going on a wedding diet, I am eating what I want, when I want it, and I am honoring my hunger and fullness cues. No, I am not heading to the gym every damn day because 1) I actually kind of hate the gym and 2) because I move my body in ways I enjoy and don’t feel pressured by diet culture to do that EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Despite those answers, I would be lying if I didn’t feel judged. The deeper I get into this whole *engaged* things, the more intrinsically tied to diet culture weddings seem. I think part of this comes from the insecurity, anxiety, and pure vulnerability that weddings can bring up for people.

If you think about it, weddings are pretty serious business! We’re asked to spend TONS of money to make a bunch of OTHER people happy, all the while handling the existential emotions of “oh my god I am spending forever with this person.”
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Add the wedding planning stress and the fear of something going wrong (from as small as flowers to as big as divorce), and it doesn’t really seem so shocking that focusing on your body is a way to deal with it–even though it’s not healthy. Sure, it’ll distract you from the real stress and emotions, but it’s not healthy at all!

My point, however, is that it’s totally not surprising.

I knew when Logan and I first started dating that he was the person I wanted to spend my life with, but I also knew, as we got closer to actually getting engaged, that this moment in life would still cause a lot of anxiety.

As someone who is just wired anxious–meaning my brain just tends to over analyze things, get nervous, and sometimes FREAKS OUT over small details–I was prepared for the anxiety to set in post engagement. And it definitely did.

The good news, however, is that I have a fiancé who listens to me, is supportive, and understands that sometimes I just need to process my thoughts out loud. I also have a therapist and a dietitian who do the same stuff, but obviously I pay them!
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To be completely honest, I feel pretty okay about my body in terms of my wedding. I think part of it is because I have two years until we actually get married, and I think the other part is because I have done a lot of work in the last year on accepting my body no matter what size, shape, or weight it is.

I am prepared for this to get harder as I get closer to my wedding, because the reality of seeing a bunch of people, having photos taken, and wearing perhaps the ~most important outfit of my life~ will be setting in.

My plan right now is to be honest with the people around me and ask for support when I need it.

I am very lucky to have an amazing group of people around me. My friends, my fiancé, my mom, my sister, even my dad and my soon to be mother in law are all very supportive of me living a happy and healthy life FREE from my ED.

For a lot of people, however, this is not the case. It can be hard to find a person to talk about your ED when it gets loud and obnoxious, but doing so has been key for me.

I think it’s really unfortunate that weddings have become so intertwined with diet culture, because the reality is that we should be focused on love and connection, not our bodies.

I am prepared to handle the questions about dieting, detoxing, or weight if they do come up. Most people in my life know that is a question that will be met with a long response about my recovery and about why these things don’t matter to me, and most people in my life are on the same page and want me to be happy and healthy, regardless of the shape or size of my body.

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For anyone else who’s gotten married or plans on getting married one day, how did/will you deal with the diet culture pressures of getting married? Leave a comment to let me know!

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