AOW A-Z of Getting Married – K is for Kilos

The AOW A-Z of Getting Married is a resource for brides (and grooms) to be.  It’s a welcome piece of sanity in an industry-saturated world where people are bombarded with what weddings they should have, what they should act like, and how a bride should feel.  Created by the team behind Any Other Woman, this A-Z is the first collaboration of its kind, bringing together posts from readers across the AOW community filled with advice, wisdom and experience from sane, smart, real women, many of whom have been there.  From wedding planning to family trials to breaking taboos, no topic is out of bounds.  We are honoured and excited to run each and every post, and we learn from each and every one of our readers.

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K is for Kilos by Bella

Kilo, pound, stone – what’s your preferred method of torture?

Every woman has a part of her body she would like to change. For some it’s the size of their breasts, for others their noses. Some of us tell all and sundry what that part is, others keep it to themselves. Some invest in expensive procedures to change them, others can’t or don’t. What unites us all is, sadly, the shared irritants that are insecurities – insecurities that seems to be magnified tenfold once the W word is mentioned.

It’s not my aim to convince you all that such insecurities aren’t worth the time it takes to write the word: of course they’re not, you know that, but who am I kidding – there’s no quick fix to getting rid of them. I found that accepting I have hang-ups and choosing not to let them invade my life has improved my own mental health, but I sure as shit couldn’t do that before our wedding.

Any of you who have read my monthly diary will know full well that my insecurity is my weight and I bored everyone senseless with it.

For the sixteen months before our big day I obsessed over almost every meal I ate. I spent a huge amount of money on gym membership, weight loss products and online forums. I bought dress after dress, praying I would slim into one. I probably lost, in total, about 5lbs in that whole time – 5lbs I put on and lost repeatedly as my stress levels got higher and my wedding to-do list got longer. I was dismayed, disappointed and thoroughly worried about what I would look like come the special day.

I’m not going to tell you bridelets not to try to lose weight, that’s not my place. I’m not going to tell you to move more and eat less. Stress levels, medication, good ole hormones and straightforward biological make-up mean that the majority of us don’t lose weight easily. What I will say is that through my weighty battle I found a few incredible tools – some about exercise, others not – that contributed to making me feel better in the weeks before our wedding, when I realised my original target of three stone weight loss probably wasn’t going to happen.

1.     Exercise

Ground breaking, huh? As my stats above show, I didn’t lose that much weight overall, but two methods really helped to keep my spirits up, put my weight into perspective and made me sleep better – perfect for the insomniac bride to be. The first is bootcamp, so fast paced you barely have time to sip your water let alone think about how boring exercise can be. British Military Fitness run good bootcamps, but there are loads of different organisations around the country that are available for our pleasure (!). The second is Jillian Michael’s 30 day shred, available on youtube, which stopped me eating chocolate every night because she is just so damn motivational, and is doable in your pjs in front of a good film. Perfect.

2.     Love your dress, but make sure your ass loves it too

Hands up if you had/have a vision of what you wanted/want to look like on your wedding day? All of us, right? Keep that hand up if you didn’t imagine yourself taller, thinner, with slightly glossier hair or marginally whiter teeth. To those whose hands are still up, I applaud you. Get commenting and tell us how. For those of us whose hands are firmly by our sides/grasping that weight loss magazine tightly I have a newsflash. That dress, the one you look awesome in half a foot taller? It’s not going to work.

Tough love I know, but I also know the frustration of wanting a style of dress so badly that you don’t think about how it suits you. Defiantly crying ‘I want that dress’ is all well and good – but does your ass like it? There are many, many dress styles out there and each of us can pull at least one off in serious style. Take your time, try not to imagine a slimmer, taller, glossier you, and for heaven’s sake don’t buy four dresses and hope you’ll slim down into them. Chances are you won’t and you’ll have to lie to get them all taken back and refunded. It’s not good karma, people.

To prove my point I will share a photograph I despise. A photograph which prompted me to have a complete crying fit and run to the Trafford Centre in the hope of finding a new, cheap as chips dress. Full disclosure: I lost no weight between the two photos, they were taken on the same weekend and in the first one I was wearing two whole pairs of spanx. It was not ok. I decided not to put an official wedding day photograph as number two, so the comparison is as fair as it can be!

 

3.     Red lipstick

Distracts from a multitude of bodily issues.

 

 4.     Photos, photos, photos and a video

For those of us worried about our weight – or about other insecurities raising their annoying heads – when looking at our wedding photos I advise taking action. Get a patient friend or loved one to take photos of you, standing, sitting, pretending to talk to Auntie Jude with a glass of champagne. It will make you feel better when you realise just how wonderful you look in your chosen dress. It’ll make you see how brilliant control undies are, whether to wear your hair up or down, and that the image of the ‘fat bride’ in your head is really, really not something anyone else will see.

If in serious doubt take a wee video. To a great song. My personal favourite is the Baywatch theme song, but it’s your choice. You will look so hilarious that everything else will go out of the window.

Someone told me on the day I wouldn’t care if my tummy was podgy, if my double chin was prominent, if my hips didn’t lie. I remember thinking ‘yeah, ok, just shut up because you don’t know what it’s like in my brain and in my body.’ I have to say, hand on heart, even looking back now at the photos, some of which do show my body in its exact dimensions, I couldn’t have been happier and I never, ever thought I would say that. Try and believe that, because it’ll save you a lot of time, money and unnecessary stress.

Wedded lasses, did your weight play a big part in your wedding planning? Was it worth the stress? Bridelets – how are you finding battling your insecurities in the run up to your big day?

Categories: A-Z of Getting Married
24 interesting thoughts on this

23 Comments

  1. Posted October 31, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    The video doesn’t work – if anyone wants to see my ‘I’m going to feel good dancing’ video let me know and i’ll email it to you! x

    • Katielase
      Posted October 31, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      YES! In return I’ll film one and send it back

      K x

  2. Posted October 31, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I lost a stone and gained 5lbs back three days before the wedding. After the final fitting. My mum and bridesmaids hoiked me into the dress.

    I’m sometimes sad when I look at the photos and see how my poor posture makes my belly stick out, but mostly I see me laughing. A lot. And those photos make me see the face not the rest.

    Having said all that my dress ripped right up the back during the course of the night as someone stepped on my train and I did not see. No knickers were revealed, but I think it would not have ripped so VERY badly (the fastening cam undone at the top and ripped off too) were it not for the five pounds.

    BUT I can get the dress fixed up, wedding dresses often get ruined if you have an amazing wedding, and what matters most is being well and happy. I’ll probably be thinner and fatter in my life than I was on my wedding day, but my wedding day was the day it was, and I was the me I was, and it was wonderful. If you’d told me all this months before though…

    • Posted October 31, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      Exactly!!! I absolutely love that you see the laughter: brilliant x

  3. Posted October 31, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant post Bella!

  4. Katielase
    Posted October 31, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I can only agree and applaud. Loudly.

    Before my wedding, I dieted, and I exercised my ass off (nearly literally). Before my wedding when people told me I wouldn’t care how I looked in the photos, like you Bella, I thought “yeah, yeah, whatever you say, clearly you don’t understand, now excuse me while I go for another run and eat all this lettuce”. Honestly, the first time I looked at our photos, I didn’t even see my body, or my dress. I know it’s what everyone says and it’s SO HARD to believe it, but I had to look twice to even see past the huge silly laughing grin that I wore all day long. Looking back, I am so much happier about having been a joyful, gleeful, happy bride than I ever was about having lost those 2 stone. So, I would say, brides to be, lose weight if it makes you feel better about you, but do try not to lose sight of the fact that it’ll be your happiness that makes you beautiful on the day, not the number on your scales.

    K x

  5. Zan
    Posted October 31, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    I want to see the video! Plleeeeeeeeeeease :D

    Re: photo’s, I was out and about looking at wedding outfits this weekend when Mahj (in her role as bridesmaid/stealth dress photographer!) managed to get me in a picture next to a dress I’m considering. Only it wasn’t me as I usually see me in pictures, it was my bum. My very big bum. The first few times I couldn’t look at the picture without also thinking ‘how BIG is that?!?!’. But now (it’s about the 20th look) I’m not as bothered. And that’s some progress!

    Just need to work on everything else now!

    • Posted October 31, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Beautiful Zan, I’m sure we will have many, many chats about this before your big day but needless to say all anyone else will see is that GORGEOUS smile x

  6. Posted October 31, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant post! Also, your curves plus gorgeous hair and red pout screams Jessica Rabbit to me. Goodness me – beautiful.

    I have to admit, I’m am on a wee health kick. I say it’s not to lose weight but who am I kidding?! If I were a few lbs lighter I know I’d feel better in my dress… just sayin’, if it happened, I certainly wouldn’t complain.

    I’ve already told you (http://anyotherwoman.com/2012/05/confidence/) about being absolutely terrified about getting down the aisle, but my insecurities are much more than underwear/weight, and I’m not going to go into them here. What I will say is that I’m not handling them very well and am in dire need of some serious techniques to be able to look forwards to putting the dress on!

    L x

  7. Posted October 31, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Amazing post!

    Some wedding photos I’m really happy with, some I’m not but that’s life hey!

    Amazing point on choosing something that is flattering and being comfortable wearing it.

  8. Roz
    Posted October 31, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    I want to see the video too!! Bella I love this post and your tips. Why are we so bloody critical of ourselves?? We always see the bits we like least everytime we look in the mirror or at a photograph, well I know that’s what I do. You were one smokin’ hot bride and I am completely jealous at how effortlessly you pull off the red lip look! I also happen to think you looked pretty smokin’ in all your dresses at the Blen too and you were sans make up and hairstyle at that point lovely xx

    • Lara Blue
      Posted October 31, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      Hear hear! :)
      From Bella’s AOP and your pic today with your post Roz, I can honestly say that you both looked stunning on your day, absolutely gorgeous!
      I wanted to be thinner and more tanned and with less blotchy arms but despite all that, on the day I felt beautiful and happy.
      And yes, it’s possibly verging into the realms of cliche even purely based on use here, but your smile is definitely your best wedding accessory. And also the thing that people notice most in my experience….

  9. Becca
    Posted October 31, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    I fully embrace my personal body issues of which they are varied and many. I despise looking at pictures of myself and have invested in an amazing photographer in the hope she can make me look amazing.

    Aside from that, I have, gasp, a personal trainer. I’m literally BOUNCING everywhere and I feel amazing. I’ve only lost 5lb but I’ve lost 4 inches off my waist and 5 off my tummy. Yes it’s expensive but I’m not doing it for the wedding I’m doing it for me. And I’m only a month in!

    If you feel amazing you will look amazing. FACT. Also Bella, you looked amazing on your big day. It made me go and put on red lipstick and I never wear red lipstick. Ever.

    • Frances
      Posted November 1, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Yes!! *pumps fist in over energetic way* I’ve gone down the personal trainer route as well – it is a bit pricey but not as much as paying fees for a gym I don’t go to. Instead, someone turns up on the doorstep every week to make me exercise, the service is personalised and we do something different every session so I don’t get bored. I’m not ashamed to say, I did do it for the wedding but more in a kind of ‘that’s a benchmark’ way’ – I want to keep the weight off afterwards too.

  10. Alison
    Posted October 31, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    One word to any bride-to-be – corsets! I wanted something flowy (I’m tall) and almost grecian looking and ‘different’ (doesn’t everyone) but I went to a lovely bridal shop on my first time shopping and after letting me try the grecian flowy styles and watching me go “hmmmm…” in the mirror she got me in a fitted, more traditional, corset-style dress. Which made my size 16 shape look a-ma-zing! And I know that’s how I looked on my wedding day because that’s how I felt. I’ll admit, the side-on pics didn’t make me glow with happiness the first time I saw them but I loved my dress and I think it loved me. And although I did lose some weight in the six months before the wedding (for me, not my wedding – I deliberately ordered the bigger size of dress so I wasn’t under any pressure) I put some back on before the day itself and I really didn’t care. For the best thing about corsets is – they go out, as well as in ;-)

  11. Posted November 1, 2012 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    I deliberately asked for flat, reportage style pictures from our photographer without fully appreciating that they would add the ten pounds I had so painstakingly lost over the previous five months. I still have trouble looking at our wedding pictures- they look so cool otherwise too which is a shame. I get the feel-the-love from our family and friends shots though, as I look normal sized in those. Bells you look like an actual goddess in your wedding pictures!! And the dress is so perfect- it was meant to be!
    Px

  12. Peridot
    Posted November 1, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    I simply cannot tell you how enormously helpful this is. I’m getting married next weekend and all I see when I look at myself in my dress is disappointment and shame. That despite truly heroic efforts I’ve not lost weight and that I don’t look ‘good enough’ to be a bride. And the ‘engagement shots’ which were supposed to reassure me that I won’t look awful in the photos sent me into near meltdown . So I’m trying to focus on what’s really important a bout the day – which is not that I’m simmer. And if that makes me relax enough to look better in the pics, that can only be a bonus.

    PS the difference in those dresses – wow! Love the 2nd

    • Posted November 2, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      Oh Peridot I wish I knew who you were so we could chat properly! If you want to chat please do DM me on twitter – I know how tough this stage is and had a similar reaction to engagement shots: I know you’ll look beautiful because you will look more in love than you thought possible. It’s a whole different type of smile, believe me. xxxxxx

    • Posted November 2, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Wow Peridot, there’s not much you can say to that without knowing you apart from that I’m sure everyone coming to your wedding loves you and has loved you for who you are. You will be beautiful because it will be the most perfect, happiest day for you.
      Loves <3 xxx

  13. Avi
    Posted November 2, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Hi Bella, not sure if you remember me (Whale Music)… but thanks for publishing this! I’m freaking out about every little possible wrong thing with my body/face/hair/teeth at the moment, and there’s absolutely no way I can keep that up until W-day next August! So thanks for making me feel like it’s not just me xx

  14. Posted November 6, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Can I just say, 6 days later when no-one is commenting on this anymore, that I keep scrolling down AOW and seeing that amazing photo of you with the lipstick. And I just have to say it is one of the most gorgeous things I’ve ever seen.
    Love xx

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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