A few weeks ago, I had the honor of being a bridesmaid at my cousin’s wedding. And what an amazing day it was! Usually, the weeks (or months) prior the big day are a stressful time for the bride, but I won’t lie, I was nervous too.
Now let’s go back 7 months ago. We shopped all around to find the perfect bridesmaid dress. A few stores later, we find it. A gorgeous open back royal blue dress. We got measured to be able to order the right size, and we now patiently wait 4 months to receive it.
Fast forward to April. Nice! I get the call that the dress has arrived at the bridal store and my cousin generously gives it to me. A few days go by before I actually try it on, because what’s the rush? My size was ordered, so it should be fine, right?
Wrong. As I try it on, I realize it’s a little tight. And I still haven’t tried the zipper at the back yet! I pull it up, but only get the zipper halfway up. Ok, I can’t reach that far, I just need someone’s help. I ask my mom for help and hear the panic in her voice. “Are you sure this is your size? ”
What kind of question is that? Of course it is! So I tell her to try again, that maybe the fabric got stuck in the zipper. After MANY failed attempts, I came to accept that the dress is too tight.
Obviously, everyone’s first comment was that I must have gained weight or that it’s because of the Big Macs I love so much. But can’t it be that the dress size was wrong?
BUT there’s still hope. Off to the seamstress to open it up. So she does, but it’s still too tight. Uh oh, now what?
Most women’s first reaction would be to lose weight fast: detox, cleanses, soup diets, extreme exercise, you name it. But would I, a dietitian helping women build a positive relationship with food, do what I tell my clients to avoid at all costs?
I’m only about 2 months away from the wedding now. I’m not going to lie, I told myself I would be more careful with food for the entire time leading to the wedding. Fewer drinks, limited desserts, and less “junk”. What do you think happened after only a few days of this? I looked forward to the wedding day to be able to chow down on the McDonald cheeseburgers that were going to be served at the wedding (yes, again with McDonald’s. And yes, they were amazing!). Just the thought of needing to lose a few pounds to fit in the dress was stressful. And this is only for a few pounds!
To make it worse, I realized how many comments were made about my food choices by those around me. “Should you be eating that?” or “you should be careful” when I would choose food that’s considered less healthy or high in calories. Things like cheese, ice cream, or chips.
What if I were sensitive to these comments? What if I already had body image issues or a bad relationship with food? Luckily, I was able to brush these comments off, but it made me think about those who can’t.
We often have good intentions with these comments as we’re concerned with the other person’s health. But what if I told you weight and health aren’t correlated? You heard that right. More on this in the next post, but for now, can we all promise to stop making comments about someone’s size, even if it’s a positive comment? Here are a few examples of what that looks like: 7 Compliments That Have Nothing To Do With Physical Appearance