I will not lose weight for the wedding, I think to myself as I eat my usual piece of dark chocolate after dinner.
In the past, this thought would have been a form of self-flagellation. But today it just breezes across my mind casually and comfortably. I am not going to lose weight for the wedding. This is my choice, and I am happy with it.
At all the other weddings, I thought, Okay, at the next wedding I will be thin and gorgeous. I was either antepartum, postpartum, or in the throes of a never-ending battle with my weight. And this is the last family wedding on both sides—no more siblings after this! This is my last chance.
But you know what? Life happens. And I realize that I really don’t care.
It took a lot of introspection and a lengthy thought process. Why do I want to lose weight for the wedding? So that everyone will notice and say how skinny I am and praise my “willpower”? But this day isn’t about me. And even if I were to give in to the baser desires of my ego, would the high from the comments last? Been there, done that. I’ve bounced back and forth between sizes and have journeyed to Skinnyland more than once.
Let me tell you, the admiration of others is just like cotton candy—sweet at first, but insubstantial and fleeting. Should I starve myself to look good in the pictures forever, so that I will not be the “big” one next to my bird-like sisters-in-law? There are photos of me from all the other weddings decorating the walls of my in-laws’ house, and they love me all the same. I doubt they would love me any more if I were thin.
This is not about health. You can find me running at six in the morning, eating broccoli-quinoa bowls for lunch and doing the best I can on a daily basis to take care of my body. But I will not weigh out my portion of avocado for my salad. I will not abandon my family so I can run for an extra hour. I will not eat a 100-calorie English muffin with a tablespoon of tomato sauce and an ounce of cheese for dinner while the rest of the family eats pizza (and spend the rest of the night obsessing over the real pizza I wanted to eat), all so that I can reach an arbitrary number on a scale and squeeze myself into a body that is impossibly thin for me.