With 30 days before my wedding, I walked into my cute 'n cozy one bedroom apartment after work, grinning ear to ear because I knew hanging in my closet was the most beautiful lace wedding gown I could have ever dreamed of.
I LOVED this dress. It wrapped in the front to show off the little flowers that were hidden within the lace and the top sweetheart cut had small jewels sewn delicately into it. The train was about 2 feet long, nothing crazy, but definitely enough to compliment the handmade cathedral length veil my grandmother had sewn for me.
I walked into my closet, unzipped the dress covering and stared at it. “Maybe… I can just try it on once” I thought to myself, giddy with excitement. I shimmied down to my skivvies and wiggled my way into the layered dress. Working the dress down I looked in the mirror and thought “Dang, I look good.”
Reaching to the back of the dress I zipped it up 3/4ths of the way and then realized… I couldn’t get the zipper up all the way. There was about a ¼ of an inch that would not budge unless I sucked in every part of my body.
Needless to say I freaked “the eff” out.
Tears started flowing, I jumped out of the dress as quickly as I could, angry with myself that I couldn’t even zip the dang thing. I’ve always struggled with body image, my size and how I saw myself and I viewed this experience as the concrete evidence that the world was constantly laughing at me, telling me I would never be the pretty bride I thought I could be.
*cue the slightly dramatic music here*
Walking between the scale and my bed, I sat down and stared my open laptop. Countless open tabs stared back at me about “Losing 10 pounds in 5 days” and “How To Fit Into THAT Dress in 48 hours”, I realized that I had a choice to make the last 30 days of engagement. I could either continue my work out regime that I had been disciplined in throughout the engagement and trust that my body was going to work itself out, or I could decide to become very strict and obsessive in my eating and exercise and take complete control over the situation.
9 times out of 10, I take matters into my own hands and drive any situation to work out the way I want it to. And looking back on my engagement period, I thought I had done that. I was proud of how far I had come within the last four months. I had completed one round of Whole30, started working out an hour a day, five times a week. I had been so disciplined the last month, and was taking the steps I knew I needed to become healthier, stronger, and more confident.
I had seen so many positive changes, but for some reason was still unfulfilled with how I looked. The mirror hanging from my closet door was a constant evil necessity that kept me negatively motivated to continue morphing my body to fit an ideal I had created in my head.
The next morning I woke up, anxious, worried and with two very gross, groggy eyes. I looked at my beautiful dress that I had left scattered on the bedroom floor and thought, “Let’s try this again”. I slipped the dress on, zipped it up and looked in the mirror again. It fit.
I stared at my reflection and then remembered, maaaaaybe eating a cheeseburger, fries and a shake at lunch, right before trying on my wedding dress while I was bloated wasn’t my best idea.
Food babies + fitted dresses = a very emotional, over dramatic Kara.
Trying to laugh it off in my head, I took of the dress and wondered why it mattered to me so much that I wanted to look a certain way for my wedding.
Did I think that Jacob wouldn’t love me if I looked a certain way? Was my desire for perfection so strong that it masked the actual reason I was getting married? Did I care more about my looks than what my marriage was going to represent?
Talk about a lot of deep thoughts.
Flash forward to my wedding day. I am in my dress, alone, in the bridal room with 5 minutes to go before the ceremony. I had asked everyone to leave the room to line up for the processional so I could have a few, quiet moments to soak everything in. Standing in front of the mirror, I looked at myself, in my dress and whispered multiple times, “This is it. You are enough. You are a bride worthy of a fantastic day.”
Walking down the aisle, seeing Jacob tear up (even though he swears he didn’t cry) the last thing I was worried about was whether my stomach was sucked in enough or if my hips were protruding. All I could think about was how in love I was with this man who loved me no matter what.
Looking back, I wish I would’ve focused more on preparing my heart for marriage instead of obsessing on how I looked.
My confidence should shine brighter than anything and I wish I would’ve focused more on pumping myself up instead of dreading zipping up my dress in fear that it wouldn’t fit.
We all want to be gorgeous brides, but here’s the thing ladies - I promise your boo loves you no matter what you look like. Your fiance proposed to you before you started that “Wedding Work Out” so before you freak out about looking good in that dress let me remind you - YOU ARE A HELLA FINE QUEEN!
So in summation, don’t be like me and freak out over your dress not fitting right after you ate a buffet’s worth of cheese fries. Know your body, know that you are going to look like fire on your wedding day and know that I am 100% ROOTING FOR YOU!
xoxo - Kara