Post updated Jan. 2018
I don't know how the world knows, but the second you get engaged, you also get 10,000 ads for registries in the mail, emails for dresses and flowers and DJ's out the wazoo, etc. It's everywhere and it's an exciting time and you should soak it up. It doesn't last long and it's a (mostly) fun season!
I've been engaged for approximately forever (not really, but 2 years by the time we tie the knot in August 2017) so I feel like I've been soaked in "wedding" for a looooong time by now. Mostly, I'm okay with it. I've scored some good deals and gone to some fun events. We have vendors we love, and they don't mind me emailing them every so often with random questions. But the one thing I could do without is the ads for wedding diets.
The number of posts I see about wedding weight loss is overwhelming. It pains me to see friends posting about "shedding for the wedding" and "juice cleanse" recipes crowding my Pinterest feed. I googled "wedding diets" to browse before writing this post and found some terrifying results (feeding tubes, liquid diets, the list goes on). Friends. There are so so many reasons why you need to love on yourself and give yourself grace during this and every season of life.
TURN INWARD, NOT OUTWARD
First of all, by making changes for your wedding, you're exchanging your life for one day. You're turning away from what really feels good and letting external factors control your life. Even if you love what kind of movement you're doing or making great changes like emphasizing fruits and veggies in your diet, the idea of making any kind of change for your wedding gives you a hard deadline to meet some kind of endpoint.
It can make it feel like celebrating holidays with your favorite foods or even wedding cake tasting is a "fail" on your part when really it's just human and an exciting part of being engaged. Engagements usually last a few months to a few years. There's a lot of fun holiday and party foods in a year. And by sticking to a diet for your wedding, you can socially isolate yourself all because of food. Or, you'll eat the food anyway and end up overeating because you already "ruined" your day. That in turn can lead to crash dieting, food restricting, and stress, all of which can cause your body (and mind) more harm than good. All that focus on what you eat and how much you work out can lead to you not being able to enjoy your engagement, your fiancé, or even just life in general.
WEDDING DIETS (AND ALL DIETS) DON'T WORK
Secondly, diets don't work. Even if you see short-term weight loss with a wedding diet, there can be lasting negative effects. I love this video by Robyn Coale (The Real Life RD) explaining how diets and exercise may cause you to see fast weight loss but can also rebound and throw hormones out of whack. Diets can also be really socially isolating, taking the joy out of eating and making you feel alone.
If your upcoming wedding or any other event is causing you to re-examine your health habits, dedicate some time to sorting through those feelings. Ask yourself why you're considering making changes, and what your life would look like when they were made. Be cautious of making changes for other people, for photographs, and for a dress. And of course, remember that your wedding day is the start of your marriage, not an end-all-be-all day that requires perfection at every turn.