I stopped dieting before my wedding day. I worried I would be judged, but I wanted to look like myself in wedding pictures.

I stopped dieting before my wedding day. I worried I would be judged, but I wanted to look like myself...

Share this post
Listen to this article
Terryn Witherspoon-Woolfolk in her wedding dress standing against her husband in a suit
The author, right, stopped dieting before her wedding day.

  • Diet culture effected me from a young age, and I always tried the latest fad diets.
  • For my wedding day, I finally decided to stop dieting because I wanted to feel my best.
  • I looked amazing in my wedding photos.

Diet culture doesn’t first come to you when you look in the mirror at 18. It starts much younger.

For me, it began when I was a child, catching glimmers of what I thought bodies should look like. Music videos showed girls with hourglass figures, and it felt like every man’s celebrity crush was Beyoncé.

Even as a child, I understood the benefits of being thinner and lighter; it was the pathway to admiration.

I followed diet culture for most of my childhood and teenage years. It wasn’t until I got married in college that I decided to try something different.

I always struggled with diet culture

As a teen, I learned that dieting was not only about admiration; it was also about health…supposedly. Everywhere I looked, people described their health journeys using before-and-after photos. Some even described intense eating restrictions. The association between body image and health felt more appropriate than selfishly wanting admiration. Nonetheless, I wanted both.

READ ALSO  ‘He creates magic out of nothing’ – Bellingham on player to win Ballon d’Or

Shows like “The Biggest Loser” reminded me that other people had the same goal of health and admiration. It further intensified my desire for a body I later learned I would never be able to attain.

By the time I was in college, I knew the cycle well. Starting a diet felt hopeful, and ending one felt like a failure. Every diet pushed me further from my ideal weight. It felt like I was losing my health and closing my dating prospects all in one.

But the reality was that I walked at least two miles every day between classes, and as far as dating goes, I was engaged by my senior year. It sounds silly now that I didn’t realize any of this at the time, but dieting has a way of distorting your self-image.

I explored the concept of intuitive eating before my wedding day, but I saw it as admitting defeat in my dieting journey. I told myself that a bride’s wedding day is when she is supposed to look her best. That meant I was supposed to be at the peak of my youth, beauty, and health.

I decided to take a different approach to my wedding

Before the wedding, I talked with my now-husband about the stress of finding the perfect hairstyle to match my face shape and the perfect dress to match my body type post-diet. That’s when I learned this man had done no such planning. He was going to get a haircut and a suit. The worst part was that I knew he would look great with so little effort.

READ ALSO 
Watch moment beachgoer wrestles with shark before grabbing it by TAIL & hurling it back into sea

I thought: Maybe I would be fine with minimal changes, too? But it was hard to shake the feeling that everyone would be critiquing me, the bride.

However, I knew that if I did a crash diet and lost 30 pounds, I wouldn’t feel good physically or mentally on a day that mattered a lot to me.

Ultimately, I needed to change my mind about dieting because I realized I had planned my dream fall wedding, and I wanted the pictures to authentically show my face, my smile, and my body. I wanted to be able to recognize myself.

So, I decided to be brave and make choices counter to the bridal industry. I chose to do what made me feel good. I chose a lipstick color that would make my smile stand out. I chose a fitted dress that matched the fall theme. I wanted sleeves, not to hide my arms, but to match the season. I chose to be bold and stay true to myself.

READ ALSO  Box Office: ‘Civil War’ Ignites With $10.7 Million Opening Day

It’s all still a work in progress

Honestly, though, I thought the photos were going to look awful. We got the photos back online first. I was too nervous to look, so I decided to wait until we received the physical photo book. I still didn’t look. It wasn’t until after I was deeper into my intuitive eating journey — about six months later — that I finally looked through the photo book. I took a deep breath and started to flip through the pages.

I looked beautiful. I mean, these pictures were stunning. All the brave little choices I made came together in peak allure. I had found beauty in just being me.

Now, when people come to our home, I’m proud to point them to the wedding book sitting on the coffee table and the wedding photos on the wall.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Go to Source

Leave Your Comment