As most of our regular readers might remember, I wrote a column series last year that followed my progress while taking Ernie's 60-day Fitness Challenge.
Now, almost exactly a year later since my fitness challenge wrapped up, I'm facing another weight-loss challenge, but one that I'm not excited about like I was last year.
Because it's not for me. I feel like I'm under a considerable amount of pressure to lose weight for my wedding and to look a certain way for the Big Day, whereas last year it was a fitness challenge I wanted to participate in on my own time for my own long-term reasons, not for one day.
The worst part is, after some health issues I've faced over the 10 months or so that tend to prohibit weight loss, I'm far from where I want to be, and losing weight is extremely difficult now.
I'm still trying, and I'm still working as hard (if not harder) than I was during the Ernie's Fitness Challenge in 2013, but the results aren't there like they were last spring, and I'm getting more and more disheartened, more upset and more insecure.
After months of dieting and busting my butt at the gym or at home and literally seeing no results, I keep thinking, "Why am I trying so hard when nothing's changing? Why am I so hard on myself?"
And for what? To look good in wedding photos? To fit the bridal 'norm' that's shoved down engaged girls' throats in magazines, TV shows and fad diet advertisements?
I'm so up and down about my perspective on wedding weight loss that I feel like I'm on a high-power birth control pill. One day I hate the idea and society for all of this pressure and say, "To heck with you! I'll be beautiful on my wedding day no matter how much weight I lose," but then other days I find myself staring at my body in the mirror, pinching and grabbing body parts, frowning then jumping back on the elliptical (sometimes in tears).
I seriously feel crazy right now.
And I wish I had my regular feminist strength and pride to accept my body the way it is right now, but the thing is, planning a wedding changes you, no matter how strong you are.
It eats away at you, pecking at your resilience and Hear-Me-Roar attitude until the next thing you know, you're Skyping with your other engaged girlfriends with a glass of wine, gushing over your fabulous wedding invitations, what you're doing with your hair and how many times you worked out that week.
Seriously, what am I turning into? At this rate it won't be long until I'm dyeing my hair blonde and wearing pink sparkly outfits, Uggs and dressing my cat up in Louis Vuitton outfits. This is quickly turning into a downward spiral for me.
So how do I stop it? How do I reverse the spiral to the point where I can look in the mirror and NOT pull at my fatty bits? Or guilt myself to the point of depression after having fish and chips? When will I return to kick-ass Katie?
I'm not proud of what being engaged has made me some days, how shallow and materialistic I can be and how hard I can be on myself and other brides in my mind - but at the same time, just when I think I'm getting my old self back, I think about how quickly my wedding is approaching and how NOT wedding-ready I am (my body is), then all my determination crumbles.
That's all it takes right now - that simple thought of, "Holy crap, I have _____ months to lose weight."
I'm starting to think that the only thing that will get me back to my 'normal' state of mind is getting married and getting it over with.
That day, that ONE day that all of this is leading up to, needs to be over in order for me to relax and live my life the way I want to again, not the way that Four Weddings, Say Yes to the Dress and Martha Stewart Weddings say I should.
After that day, I can be myself again, not a crazy bridezilla with a borderline eating and body image disorder.
I can be Katie again, and the only thing different about me will be my last name.
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