I don’t know what I weighed on my wedding day.
And I am so glad.
From the moment we got engaged I began thinking, this is it, this is my time to finally lose lots of weight in order to look my absolute best on my wedding day. I imagined my thinner self gliding down the aisle, no rubbing thighs, no thoughts of how many inches circumference my arms were. It would be perfect because I would be perfect.
I knew I didn’t need to do it for Dan. He fell in love with me for me, not for what size jeans I wore. He told me with his words, his actions, and his gentle affection that I was beautiful.
And I believed him.
So the diets began. Yes that word is plural because I can’t even keep track of how many different ones I did. You name it, I tried it.* I was consumed by an obsession with being my smallest self on my wedding day. I thought as I am now, there’s no way I’ll like the photos from our wedding. And what would people think of me? Would they look at me and see someone with low self-control and laziness? I didn’t want that.
But the dieting was a lot to handle, especially along with planning the wedding, attending all our marriage prep meetings, working on our relationship, continuing to go on dates… all while showing up and giving 100% at work and making sure some laundry got done every once in awhile.
It was making me grumpy. I wasn’t seeing results and when I did, I would reward myself with treats and then yo-yo back up to the number I had just left behind. I would cry about it. I would sulk. I wasn’t my best self and it was affecting my relationship with my fiance.
After much honesty and soul-searching, I accepted the fact that this time was not the best time for me to devote my energy to losing weight — and I needed to be okay with that. Sometimes in my mind, or on paper, I’ll make a pie scale to help me determine what is truly important and what I need to re-order myself to focus on. At this point I was thinking maybe 80% about what I would look like on my wedding day, and 20% about the other details and marriage prep.
However, December 10, 2016 wasn’t a test of my appearance — it was the day I was entering into the vocation (married life) that is what God has planned for me for all eternity in order to get me and my spouse to heaven. That is huge! That is life-altering! This man, Dan Rogers, he is my vocation. That day would be a line in the sand separating my life into “before entering into my vocation” and “living my vocation.”
And I was thinking about my arm fat.
I sobbed as I shared my thoughts with Dan one night, telling him the only thing that’s important is the Sacrament! I told him I felt like we should be focusing 98% on the sacrament, and then like, 2% on being with family and friends — our community.
The amount of “care” I had left for the extra 30lbs of fat I felt like I needed to lose was a big zero. Sure I still made sure my hair was just right, and my jewlery was picked out with great care. I loved my dress because I knew I picked something that flattered my body. I wanted to look beautiful because it was a special, once-in-a-lifetime occasion — so I did. But I let go of the number on the scale because of these four reasons:
Because the sacrament is what mattered most — me entering into my life-long vocation to get to heaven with Dan.
Because I didn’t want my wedding day to be a marker of the “day I weighed the least” — always in my mind for the rest of my life as a goal to get back to. I didn’t want to be that woman saying, “I wish I could weigh what I did on my wedding day!”
Because I wanted to be fully present to Dan and joyful during the weeks leading up to the wedding. I didn’t want to spend hours at the gym, or lose sleep over my calorie count, or cry one more time about “what if I look fat in the photos.”
Because if all I thought about leading up to the wedding was how I looked — then for sure, also on the wedding day I would be thinking about how I looked since that day would be like passing the final test.
And it worked, I’m thrilled to say. I stopped weighing myself a couple weeks before the wedding. I still went on a couple slow runs, and I still tried to eat well because I knew that would give me good energy. But on my wedding day, I didn’t care about it ultimately. I spent 2-3 hours getting ready and then went to meet my groom.
He cried when we saw each other.
I walked down the aisle sobbing because I am so in love and so in awe of God’s good, good plan for my life.
It was perfect not because my body was perfect, but because the sacrament was.
I felt beautiful not because of the hair, makeup, or dress — I felt beautiful because I was full of love, and joy, and a deep peace because it was the first day of the rest of my life. I was surrounded by friends and family that love me because of who I am and we had a blast.
I have no idea what I weighed on December 10, 2016. I just know it was one of the best days of my life.
Everything was perfect.
Photos by the incredible, wonderful, talented, and really pretty Alyssa Ryan.
*I did not do anything unhealthy or self-harming.
You Are Enough
Don’t ever forget that okay? You are beautiful and precious and deserve good things — and I can’t tell you that enough! Look I even dedicated a side-bar-box-thing to it. God has a plan and a purpose for your life and He died and rose again because He wants to spend forever with you! Okay, read on. Important reminder over.
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