Real Talk – Body Image

This is my last post before our wedding day.  It’s arguably the most important post I’ll author.

I want to talk about body image.

In recent years we’ve been inundated with this idea of “all bodies are perfect as they are” message.  Cue the collective eyeroll, right?  No matter how loud the message is, the media still has clear favorites, and women are judged constantly based on how they look.  Sadly, these judgments often don’t make their way to the judged because it’s far easier to criticize someone when you take away their voice (hey cowards of the world, I’m talking to you!*).

These judgments transcend to even the most happy of events – weddings.  Arguably, even more so are women judged when they are planning a wedding.  From their dress choice to their shoes and hairstyle.  Every choice is a free-for-all judge fest waiting to happen.

From companies campaigning “real bodies” (think aerie) and avoiding photoshopping their models to the social media explosion of “body positive”, the world is making an effort to change.  An effort to say, “hey, you be you, girl!”

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Image via Look Through My Lens

As a woman, I’ve spent nearly every single day of my life thinking about how I look.  My journey to bride has been no exception.

At some point during our engagement I zeroed in on weight loss – I felt as though I’d never feel pretty on our wedding day if I didn’t lose at least 20 pounds.  I spent a number of weeks, months even, focusing in on my strategy for losing weight.  In my bridal mind, “sweating for the wedding” was just another box to check on the wedding to-do list.

I’m no stranger to weight loss.  A few years ago I lost a significant amount of weight, and really felt as though I was as beautiful as ever.  So the idea of losing weight to feel prettier is a norm for me.

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Personal photo – me at one of my lowest weights

WAS a norm for me.

One evening I noticed Mr. PC noticing me.  Not because I was talking to him, but because he was noticing every movement my body was making.  It occurred to me – my weight is not what makes me beautiful.

Rather, it is my features and the way that I carry this body I own that makes me beautiful.  It is not the circumference of my waist or thighs that indicates my beauty.  It’s my personality, posture, and character that make me beautiful in the eyes of my beloved.

So, I set aside the notion of weight loss as a to-do item for my journey to bride.  I’ve challenged myself to focus on the positive aspects especially when I’m wearing my wedding dress.  Sure, ignoring the parts I don’t like about my reflection feels a bit like sweeping it under the rug, but this is a new perspective for me.  I’m hoping it’s less avoidance and more acceptance.  Accepting that I am who I am, and not making excuses for my beautiful body.  As flawed as it is, I love so many things about my reflection..  I also love the way Mr. PC thinks my body is flawless.

Rather than focusing on changing my body, I’m focusing on improving my overall self.  Starting with improving the way I see myself when I look in the mirror.

This is truly the most positive I’ve felt about my body image in my lifetime.  I hope that the positivity I feel toward myself continues to grow.

*I, too, have been one of those cowards.  

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