The year of my wedding was by far one of the most memorable and exciting times of my life. Leading up to it I felt pure joy and celebration around me. From the bridal showers, to the bachelorette party, to the wedding band shopping, to the extensive planning, to choosing the venue, to writing up a guest list, to securing a rabbi, and, finally, without doubt, the moment every girl dreams of her entire life–dress shopping.
It goes without saying that when you hear “bride-to-be” and “upcoming wedding,” you also hear “diet” and “lose weight.”
At the time of my wedding, I was the happiest I had ever been. And no doubt, when it was time to fly home to dress shop, I was overwhelmed with excitement. Store hopping with my mom to find the perfect fairy tale gown was unbelievably special. But, each time I tried one on, and I examined myself in the mirror, I knew I was heavier than I would have imagined. I can tell when my weight is up. My chest expands out, my cheeks are rounder, and my arms are less defined.
That day, I made a promise to myself. I was not going to diet for my wedding.
Looking back at photo albums, pictures, major simchas (celebrations), I have, admittedly, scrutinized my body. There have been times I have cringed because I was uncomfortably overweight, and there have been times I have trembled at the flashbacks of being unhealthily underweight.
At that particular moment, I felt happy, healthy, and in love. Those were the feelings I yearned to remember rather than an unrealistic and unattainable skinny body that only created disappointment and frustration later on.
Wedding photos are something I cherish, and they are memories I continue to show and share with my family, my children, and my friends. I wanted authenticity around my house–as that is what I am striving to be, and hoping to instill in my own kids. A fake representation of myself in frames scattered around my house because I starved myself or excessively worked out was exactly what I refused to do.
I couldn’t help but feel proud and relieved of this decision as I skimmed through wedding photos of the Princess’s sister–Pippa Middleton. As far as pop culture is concerned, Middleton went on an absurd diet prior to her wedding that allowed her to lose a significant amount of weight.
For me, to look back on pictures and know they were a misrepresentation of who I was seemed shameful. So, as I walk around my house and look at pictures from my wedding of almost seven years ago, I will continue to appreciate the love, authenticity, and happiness that is illustrated in the photos.