I just got back from a grueling run that I did not enjoy at all. And as I was climbing my infinitieth hill I had an epiphany that there was something wrong there. The mantra I have been using to push through my workouts lately has been “26 days. 26 days. 26 days” or whatever the count may be. The problem? What happens on day 27 (i.e. after the wedding)?
I started trying to get in shape for the wedding so I could be the best I could be for my fiancé that day: mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And I think it’s really beautiful that women get in top shape for their mates who are already committed to them, no matter their size. That shows a deep level of care and respect for the other that I can appreciate.
But somewhere along the way I stopped working out for him and I started pushing through because I’d had one too many people ask me what I was doing to get in shape for the wedding, seen one too many bridal magazine with a borderline-unhealthily thin woman on the cover, received one too many emails from this or that website about ways to lose the weight before the big day. I’m realizing that I am obsessed in an unhealthy way with looking thin on my wedding day because I associate the word “bride” with the idea of “skinny.”
We live in a culture that is oddly fixated with people’s weights. It only takes a couple of minutes in the grocery store line glancing at the glossy magazine covers to underscore that fact. And I’m not saying that every bride who starts a fitness regimen before the wedding is buying into that cultural fascination, but I am trying to point out (maybe more for myself than anyone else) that brides are beautiful not because they are skinny, but because they are brides. They are loved. They are cherished. And a whole community is gathering to celebrate that beauty.
So am I going to stop trying to get in shape for the wedding? No. But I am going to use a new mantra. I want to be the best I can be for my groom after the wedding, too. On that 27th day I want to wake up and know that we will keep growing and stretching together. And I think that’s where the beauty truly lies.
Photo via Fashion Forever