Wedding Day Belly Love

I have always had a belly. From as long as I can remember my belly has stuck out. I got older, hit puberty, grew a fierce rack and hips and my belly got a little bigger. Then it got a lot bigger… And then it got small again. But it’s forever been there. And I have forever had issue with it. And for years I tried to hide it. Accentuate the other, more desirable parts to me. Hide the bulge at all costs. But my God, that’s so boring. So I stopped and started wearing clothes that showed off my lovely curves (and they are lovely – I truly truly love them.)

 

Well that was until I got engaged. And I looked like NOTHING (nothing, nothing, nothing, nada, nope) in the bridal magazines. And I realised this was the one day I would be COMPLETELY (hello spotlight!) on show. Everyone will be looking at me, everyone will notice. I’m in white, it can’t be helped.

 

We went dress shopping. And I fell in love. I fell in love with a dainty, sexy number with hints on 1930s glamour. I tried it one and instantly my mother quoted Jessica Rabbit, “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way.” I looked so good in it, everyone thought so (and I brought quite the entourage). My only little (teeny weeny) niggle? My belly showed through. Only a tiny bit but I was scared that at the wrong angle or with bad knicker situation (which did happen a little) it could look so much worse. Everyone would see the belly, the one thing I do not want to show! But the dress was just too good to pass up, I was in love with inspite of my belly. And I even thought to myself that maybe (for once and for all) I could flatten my tummy.

 

Well that didn’t happen…

 

And my knickers cut in a bit if I let them slip…

 

So I had belly on my wedding day… and I still looked INSANE! I mean look at me!

 

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LOOK!

 

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AT!

 

 

ME!

 

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FIERCE! Even with no make up on and hungover to boot!

 

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I can’t tell you how many times I freaked out between picking my dress and actually wearing it on the day. I was petrified my belly would ruin everything, that I wouldn’t be beautiful. That I would be the first bride in history to not make her groom swoon. I tried eating better, working out specifically to target said region (which is a waste of time!) and tested several thousand pairs of knickers! I even scoured the internet in search of similar buxom women who rocked a fitted gúna on their big day. I found some by the way, they were all stunners! But I was still afraid…

 

But I look at these photos now and see that I was beautiful and happy. Not that I’m fat, not that my belly sticks out… that I am beautiful and happy. Happy.

 

I want the brides of tomorrow to wake up to just how beautiful you are, how happy you are and how good your dress makes you feel. You guys will be perfect, as I was. You guys will be fierce, as I was. You guys will be so utterly happy, as I am.

 

Thanks to Hinterland Stills for taking our shots, you guys were KINGS!

The Number Detox

So after my very long rant about hating being a prisoner to my weight I decided to put a ban on myself. No counting calories, no weighing myself, no measuring my body, for 21 days. 21 DAYS?!?!? Seemed like a good number, don’t all detoxes take 21 days? 3 weeks, how bad… Honestly, at first this sounded great! Like a holiday! But when you control what you eat so much (as I was beginning to) it is insanely daunting. How do I know if I’m over eating? Or under eating? Getting enough of the good stuff? Will I balloon up, will I shrink down? There was too much freedom. One half of me was thrilled, the other half was very very scared.

 

Week 1:

So, the first few days were really hard in terms of not counting calories (but fine with not weighing myself). I literally had to delete my ‘MyFitnessPal’ app from my phone because I was subconsciously opening it up to check on meals, to calculate what I could have as a snack etc. I’d open the app, go ‘shit no!’ and close it back down. The app had to go, out of sight out of mind. Not so easy, since I had lost my app I was starting to just calculate it in my head, again I would cry ‘no!’ and eat a piece of cheese for good measure. Thankfully, after the first week it settled down. My diet hadn’t actually changed so I convinced myself that I was still eating the same amount (whether I was or I wasn’t) and I also tried to convince myself that it didn’t matter. Because it doesn’t matter.

 

Week 2:

The second week went by more smoothly. I had gotten into the swing of judging my food without looking for it’s calorific value, for it’s protein content, sugar content. Food was fun again. My portions were decent, I was never hungry. Every so often I would get a little niggle in my stomach, in my head. A worry that I was indulging a little too much. But then I kept reminding myself that counting calories is not normal and, to a certain extent, not healthy. At least not for me. And that I was eating good, hearty, healthy food. By the end of the week I was flying it! I even started to look at my body in positive light. When I had no numbers to go by I had to judge myself on what I saw and boy did I like what I saw! I suddenly saw this strong, curvy woman, with tiny ankles, serious hips and beautiful shoulders. I was becoming very confident, feeling very comfortable. I was happy in myself!

 

Week 3: 

The third week rolled in and suddenly I was anxious to weight myself. It was coming up to when I could step on the scales. At the beginning I didn’t mind not knowing but now I was getting curious. I wanted to see if my ban had a physical effect on me. If I had lost weight or worse gained weight. My biggest fear. That I would have to return to the cold cells of calorie counting because I could not stay the same weight without it. It was just after Easter and I had covered myself in chocolate so the dread started to kick in. But I restrained myself from checking what I was eating and what I weighed until the final day. VERDICT: I WEIGHED THE EXACT FUCKING SAME! I mean the exact same! I could’t believe it, I was convinced I must have put some weight on because I had given up control. Just goes to show that I must be doing something right! But this isn’t over…

 

Final Thoughts:

This trial was both burdening and liberating. Not being in full control of what I ate was scary for me. I’ve being losing weight for a long time now and to just give in and eat when and how I wanted felt too free. I also had a constant fear that I could slip, slip back into old habits that lead me down the path that made me 3 stone heavier in the first place. That fear, that my old, unreliable self would prevail and the new healthy, active me was only a phase! And with my wedding looming I do feel an added pressure to be “the best version of me” that I can be. To fit into these numbers that I, myself, decided were perfect. On the hand the freedom felt good, it allowed me to appreciate my body more and felt positive about the food I was eating. When I wasn’t counting I felt no guilt, when I had nothing but my appearance to judge I realised how beautiful I was (and boy am I hot!)

I’m still struggling. There are days where I count and weigh and there are days when I don’t. I’d like to get to a point where I don’t feel I need to measure everything I eat to stay healthy. It will come in time and I won’t beat myself up about it. Now that my body is healthy I need to get my mind in check too. And that can be hard.

 

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