I had been engaged for about a week and was swiping in at my gym, when a personal trainer lingering nearby spotted my engagement ring. He started small talk asking me when I was getting married and then presumptuously said that I must be hitting the gym to “tighten up” for my wedding. I was at a loss of words and a bit offended that he automatically assumed that I was only there because I was looking to change my body for my wedding day. I hadn’t even offered him any details that would’ve hinted at that either.
I had some choice words to say to him, but instead I hastily responded, ”No, I’m already a regular gym-goer and I’m more about maintaining. Thanks,” and walked away. Had he properly asked me what my fitness goals were, he’d learn that they’re more athletically driven instead of aesthetically focused. He would’ve also learned that I wasn’t planning on changing my body for my wedding day, because overall I’m happy with the way I look and already maintain a healthy lifestyle. Plus, I want my husband, friends, and family to be able to recognize me when I walk down the aisle.
Full disclosure: I have nothing against women who aim to lose weight or get in better shape for their wedding day. If you want to establish a healthier lifestyle and your wedding is what motivates you, then so be it. What I’m against is this idea that’s been placed on women that they should consider changing how they look for their big day. Plus, the fact that society has been conditioned to assume this idea is the norm, and guilt trips them if they don’t follow through. Let’s be honest, how often do you hear someone ask a man if he’s shedding for the wedding or another variation of that? While I’m sure there are men out there that are, it’s not expected of them to do so, therefore the pressure isn’t placed as heavily on them.
Luckily, I found several other ladies who chose NOT to shed for their weddings and shared similar outlooks on the matter. Check out their stories and if you’re a bride-to-be get ready to be inspired!
On why she chose to not shed for the wedding: I never thought I needed to change my appearance for anyone (other than myself). The idea that some people need to “look” a certain way for pictures or a garment instead of an overall healthy goal, is a bit jarring to me. To be honest, I don’t judge anyone that decides to change their look or lose weight for a wedding. Trust me, I understand the need/want to look or feel a certain way. I just know that my partner loved me exactly how I was when we dated, how I’ve changed with time, and how I looked when he proposed. The last thing I wanted was for a “different” woman to be present during the planning process, on my wedding day and in my pictures. Last but not least, my partner wasn’t expected to change… so why should I?
On if she felt pressured to change by others: I had some family members talk about “toning” up, but many people mostly admired how I wanted to stay true to who I was/am. It also helped that my dress had a low illusion back, so I couldn’t wear the typical shapewear. I had to be happy in my dress at the time of purchase, regardless of my weight.
On other beauty standard pressures: I have curly hair. Every time I explained that I preferred to wear my natural hair, I was told that it wasn’t bridal. I’m only a bride for one day. I’m myself for every other day. Being ME includes my curly hair.
On if she regretted not shedding for the wedding: With everything else you deal with planning a wedding, I’m happy I did not have the added pressure or stress of losing weight. At the end of the day, the union with you and your partner is what’s most important.