The Weight Thing

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It feels like forever since I sat and wrote something from my heart for Love My Dress.  For such a long time now I’ve simply not had the time – running my business has frankly had to take priority.  But this has made me sad, as I love writing personal posts – they help me stay connected with my readers and they help Love My Dress feel genuine, honest and real.

Thankfully, I’m in a place now where I’m really starting to feel the benefit of having the most wonderful team support me in running Love My Dress on a day to day basis.  I’m finally able to start writing about some of the issues that have been occupying my mind for a while – one of which is the subject of general health, wellbeing and weight loss for brides.

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Now, as much as I adore my job,  fact is that a lot of the time, blogging involves sitting on your backside doing very little physical activity bar flexing your finger tips as you, well, blog.  Typing typing typing – if there was an olympic sport for speed typing, I’d win gold medal every time.  All day I sit and type – I write posts, I respond to emails, I schedule content, I make lists – but I sit and type all day long from start to finish.  I reckon my nimble fingers are pretty fit and healthy.  The rest of me however has rather a spot of catching up to do.

As glamorous as it can often appear, blogging is pretty damaging to your health – and I’ve come to learn the hard way that you really must make time for exercise and being active in between the long bouts of typing, typing and typing.  I need to confess to you that I’d let myself become rather unfit and sloth like (winces at the truth) and acknowledging that I turn 40 at the end of September, I figured I better darn well start doing something about it.  I was weighing heavier than I ever had and wasn’t feeling good about  that.  Worse still, some of my favourite items of clothing were getting to be a little uncomfortable. All in all, not a great place to be when you’re about to enter your 4th decade of existence and ride the wave of potential mid-life crisis.

So, three weeks ago, I started juicing and I started exercising.  Having spent far too long thinking how much fun the idea of juicing sounded, I finally caved and after much thorough research (I spent hours researching and even signed up to Which Magazine), I plumped for the Sage by Heston Blumenthal 1200 watt ‘Nutri Juicer’ (which we paid £135 for but that is now available for £119.99 on Amazon).

   

   

My adventures in juicing above

My lashings of marmite on hot buttered toast lunches (because I can’t be bothered don’t have time to make anything else), have been replaced with a glass of organic juice and a serving of fresh fruit or organic live natural yogurt.  I LOVE juicing – there is an almost ineffable sense of reward and achievement seeing beautiful, earthy, organic root vegetables that are still covered in soil, transformed in to a delicious and nutrient charged liquid lunch in a matter of seconds.  The whizz and pummeling sound as the juicer does it’s thing is immensely satisfying and the resulting nectar is equally pleasurable on the taste buds.  I am a juice junkie. A total convert.

Instead of crisps, I’m snacking on fruit or nuts and breakfast frequently involves organic porridge made with almond milk and topped with a dollop of local honey or maybe a slice of toast made from spelt bread and served with organic peanut butter and grapes.  At one time I’d have never dreampt of eating any of this through fear of gorging on too many calories and gaining weight.  These days, I’m more concerned with getting the right fats, oils and nutrients in to my body.

My love for my old friend ‘exercise’ has been reignited too.  We’re hanging out almost every day, if only for 30 minutes of intense relationship building, thanks to our mentor Jillian Michaels and her no-nonsense 30 day shred.  It’s safe to say that in just 3 weeks, I’ve altered some die hard unhealthy dietary and fitness habits and re-discovered my mo-jo.

And so I come to the point of this piece and that is, the weight thing.

 

Red faced after a work out and sans any make-up at all

How many times have you gone to weigh yourself only to find you’ve not lost any weight or worse still, gained a little?  We’ve all experienced the crest-fall haven’t we? That sense of personal failure and worthlessness. It’s usually followed by a nose-dive in our motivation levels as we head for the self-destruct button.  And the biscuit tin.

For the first time in my life, I have no desire to stand on the scales and weigh myself.  I see no point in this self-inflicted ritual of torture. I feel good, I feel healthy and I don’t believe my newfound sense of wellbeing needs to be endorsed by the measure of a scale.  Stepping on the scales should not be an exercise in validating your efforts to become fitter and healthier.  Besides, it’s a fact that regular resistance training and a healthy balanced diet will lead to muscle, ie, weight GAIN.

I’m reminded of when I tried to lose weight and feel great for my own wedding. I got so busy planning, DIY’ing and enjoying the run-up that I totally lost interest in how much I weighed (I’d set up a spreadsheet to chart my weight loss week by week). I remember walking in the sunshine the day prior and having a really strong sense of wellbeing and feeling great.  And I actually remember being asked after the wedding, ‘you looked great on your wedding day, how much did you weigh?’.  I’ve no idea.

As brides, we’re placed under way too much pressure to lose weight and ‘be our best’ on our wedding day.  I get so disappointed at this time of year when the PR companies bombard me with weight loss campaigns – I’m just not interested and Love My Dress will never be that kind of blog.  Having been there and done it all myself however, I really do understand the desire to be as lean and light as you possibly can be as you walk down the aisle.  We are indoctrinated by powerful mass media messages from a young age,  to believe that success is thin, success is size 8/10, that laziness and lack of fitness is size 14 and 16 and that outright gluttony and obesity accounts for all those size 18 plus.  And that if we are are not successful in this context, we are failures.

Total rubbish.

Don’t get me started on bridal boutiques that make ‘plus size brides’ feel intimidated or have no style options to offer those in the upper size ranges bar a strapless, badly cut and unflattering non entity – this is fodder enough for an entirely separate discussion post.

Of course weight and good health are intrinsically linked – keeping weight down helps to reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes – but if we’re honest with ourselves, if we were at risk of any of these things anyway, I’m pretty darn sure we wouldn’t be feeling ‘good’ or even remotely healthy.

 

Monitoring how you feel and taking a note of your sense of happiness and wellbeing is far more important in my view, than killing yourself to make that dial or digital read out on your scales hit a certain number.   The only number you need concern yourself with is number 1, ie you.  Ditch the scales and let your brilliant, clever brain decide if you’re achieving success with your health and fitness efforts.  It is way more fine-tuned a verification tool than a set of bathroom scales.

It might just have been 3 weeks of effort on my part, but I feel incredible – clean and healthy, fitter and stronger, I’m more focussed and I’m working better. Fact.  I have no idea how much I weigh and I don’t care. I’m going to carry on as is.  Cliche aside, I will feel fit and fantastic at 40.

I’d really love to hear your thoughts lovely ladies.  Are you obsessed with measuring your weight using scales? Do you feel under pressure to lose weight for your wedding? Are you trying to fit into a dress in a size or more smaller than you are now? Or are you embracing a more holistic approach to fitness and wellbeing in the run up to your wedding?

Love Annabel x

Annabel

Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.

86 thoughts on “The Weight Thing

  1. I joined Slimming World a couple of months ago. I joined for a couple of reasons, because I was starting to feel unhealthy at the size I was, but also because I had bought my dress and it’s still a little too small. My health is the overriding issue for me, if the dress doesn’t fit nearer the time, I’ll get it altered. Of course, with slimming world there is a weekly weigh in, but I feel I need this to keep my motivation levels and the support that comes from the group I am in, is invaluable to help keep me on track. After I’m married, we’d like to try for children, so I want to know that I am the healthiest I can be for that too.
    I think there is too much pressure on brides to lose weight, but I have to say that I was always made to feel right at home when I went to try any dresses on.

    1. I’ve heard really great things about Slimming World but have never felt comfortable with the idea of weekly weigh-ins and intense calorie counting. That’s just me though – each to their own for sure and I know that SW has produced amazing results for many many people including my friends and members of my family.
      I’m so pleased you had a great boutique experience – most boutiques will provide a positive experience I’m sure but having been blogging for 5 years now, I’ve heard some pretty upsetting stories so there is still change that needs to happy in some areas to ensure brides size 16+ can enjoy their wedding dress shopping.
      Thanks for your comment Michelle – have the most wonderful wedding and sent photos when you have some please!
      Love Annabel xXx

  2. I bought my dress after a 2 week binge in america knowing i had 2 years to lose the excess weight I had put on, except i seem to have just got bigger! My dress is too small so with 9 months to go I am getting my head around the fact that I need to shift those “happy, my wedding’s not for ages” pounds! I have done it before- i’ll do it again 🙂 There is a lot of pressure to look a certain way but none more than a bride puts on herself. I am not aiming to be skinny or the smallest i have ever been, i just need to fit into my beautiful dream dress (which is a size 14). Good luck ladies but just remember your h2b loves you just as you are so don’t put too much pressure on yourself xxx

  3. I am currently agonising over my weight for my wedding! I had my son Jonah 9 months ago, am starting a new business, we’re moving house this year and getting married next May! So my weight loss mission is accompanied by a few annoying comrades!
    There are so many good reasons to lose weight from a health angle and these should be the ones I “should” be focusing on but the only one in the forefront of my mind is the stupid amount of money being spent on the perfect photographer so back boobs blemishing the day are not an option! not to mention the tradition of buying my dress smaller than my current body will squeeze into (not even a loan from the moulin rouge will help with that)
    There is so much pressure on us ‘gerthier’ gals to shed the stones pre wedding and get svelt from sending our save the dates, I mean the day will be filled with marquee lights flashing ‘LOVE’ and garlands of ‘happily ever after’ so perhaps I need to wrap myself in one of these for 6 months and remind myself that I am getting married to the man I love who loves me now and will do In 50 years from now…who am I kidding I WANT TO LOOK THIN ON MY WEDDING DAY! 😀

  4. This post has reminded me that a lot can change in a few weeks. I have lost a little over half a stone for my wedding, and would have liked to have lost more but seem to have just stopped. I also started a quite extreme juicing thing and lasted about a day and a half. The caffeine withdrawal killed me, so I stopped. But you’ve reminded me that I can enjoy juicing as part of a healthy regime. My dress fits, but like all brides I want to look my best. I do find the pressure upsetting, but what’s worse is I’ve had a few people suggest Botox! I’m 29!

  5. At 52 +, I don’t worry about weight. If I feel good, and am eating and exercising right, then it’s all OK. I have been a plus size, but I have also battled anorexia, and I choose every single flipping day to eat, but to eat healthy. The weight obsession here in the US really troubles me… I went to look for a cute top last summer, and my size at WalMart is listed as a large. SAY WHAT??? I am US size 8. That is NOT large… and I read today that one store that caters to the young and thin girls now has a size 000 (also known as XXX small). And my future husband has already told me that if I lose a ton of weight “to look good for the wedding” he will NOT be happy. He thinks I am beautiful exactly the way I am. Good for you, ignoring the scale but eating and exercising right.

  6. I was under so much pressure from other people (not my OH) to lose weight for my wedding, I did lose 2 stone in the year running up to it but I was by no means slim, my wedding dress was a size 16 and I felt AMAZING! Being a bride does not mean you have to be a size 10, it’s about feeling good in your own skin and that’s all that matters, I couldn’t care less whether people comment “oh isn’t it a shame she hasn’t gotten slim for her wedding” those people mean nothing to me, because they have no idea what kind of person I am, and if they did they would know I am miserable when dieting (especially under pressure) and they would know I am happy just the way I am and my OH loves me regardless. I’ve known women literally starving themselves to fit into their dresses and then end up looking gaunt and ill on their wedding days. I look at my wedding photos now and I see ME! A happy, glowing, size 16 me!!

  7. Yes Annabel! Thank you for writing this post! I have been ‘preparing’ for my wedding for the last 6 months by changing my lifestyle…NOT dieting may I add, but making healthier choices, going to the gym, taking up yoga etc.
    half way through the first 6 months when I got on the scales to discover I had only lost a pound I could have wept! I also could have given up but the fact that I had been out a bought clothing a size smaller and the fact that I had more energy than I had in ages kept me going!

    Scales are overrated! Let your body shape change through healthy choices, remember how much better you feel, sleep and that will all show and make you look a million dollars!

    I bought my back in January…fortunately the sample dress I eventually chose (or chose me!) was in my size, well my size then! I tried to convince them to order me a size smaller and the lovely lady at the dress shop refused…but for the right reason…she said “why put yourself under the added pressure of having to lose a set amount of weight or inches to fit into a dress…what happens if you don’t manage it?”
    I went back and tried my dress on recently and took more photos and the difference is amazing so I am now in the position of probably having to have my dress taken in…but better that than it coming to the best day of my life and I’m too big for it.

    1. ‘Scales are overrated! Let your body shape change through healthy choices, remember how much better you feel, sleep and that will all show and make you look a million dollars!’

      This!

  8. Great post and I’m with you on all of this! I write a healthy living blog (www.wholeheartedlyhealthy.com) which is just about this approach, taking care of your body with health and happiness coming before weight!

  9. This is a brilliant post thank you Annabel!

    When I got married in 2011 I was 28, a size 10/12 and I’d never worried about my weight in my life. I’m tall so I’ve always been heavier than one might expect, but we didn’t own a set of scales and I did a very physical job so there never seemed any need for me to stress about weighing myself.
    Three years later, around about February this year, I tried my wedding dress on again- and couldn’t even do up the zip at the waist. That really shocked me, I’d been in this happy bubble of ‘not worrying about myself too much’ because I’d had a baby and ‘a little extra weight gain was expected’. But then I also stood on the scales and what I weighed really, really upset me. I knew I was a little bigger than I had been but 12 stone was a weight I was not expecting to see. I also worked out my BMI and at 25.5 I realised that I really should try and do something about it.
    I started the 5:2 diet (which I still do now) and within weeks I was feeling so much better, lighter, more energetic and definitely more confident. I’ve continued with it since February and I’m now at a point where I’m happy with myself- but I also learnt some really valuable lessons…
    1. Babies change your body! Unless I am willing to so some serious working out and body sculpting I’m not likely to fit into my wedding dress again- and that’s ok! I’m not complaining that my boobs are bigger so why complain that my waist is an inch or two wider!
    2- scales are not a useful weight loss tool. In the last 6 months I have only lost 7 lbs but I feel so much better and I’m buying a size smaller clothing. That should be the indictor that you are achieving healthier body image, NOT what the scales say!

    So now I am a bit lighter, a lot healthier and feeling good- and I’ve got rid of the scales because they are not at all helpful to me. I have to accept that my height and general body shape will always mean that I’m heavier than I look, but people don’t know that! Go by what you see and feel ladies, not what the scales say!

    Love Susie xxx

  10. I felt so much pressure (entirely from myself) to lose weight for my wedding day, so much that I had multiple apps and calendars telling me what I should be losing each week – my weekly weigh-ins could alter my mood for the entire day.

    Truth is, on the big day, it was absolutely the last thing from my mind, I felt amazing in my dress and those last few pounds i hadn’t shifted didn’t matter at all. We put way too much pressure on ourselves!
    I definitely still struggle but is more important to feel healthy and happy, the scales don’t matter! X

    1. Oh Samantha – I’ve so been there! apps and spreadsheets and lists! So soul destroying! I’m so glad you had a wonderful day and that weight didn’t end up being a worry on your wedding day xXx

  11. When I bought my dress, which fitted me perfectly in the sample size in the shop, the assistant then measured my waist and told me I’d “have to be very good” between then and the wedding! So I was, and then had to fork out money for lots of adjustments when I did lose weight. And then of course there was the disappointment of ‘only’ losing a stone! I hate the pressure put on brides to be thin – it put me under a lot of stress as I commute 2 hours a day which doesn’t leave a lot of time for exercise. I ended up having heart palpitations at one point because I was fretting so much and trying to do too much, until about a month before the wedding when I just thought ‘stuff it, I want to ENJOY being engaged and planning this!’ Best decision! I’m much happier and healthier just eating a balanced diet and exercising when I have time rather than breaking my back over it. And do you know what? My wedding photos have started coming through and I couldn’t care less about how toned my arms are, I’m too distracted by how happy we both look!

    1. Hello Katie, you made the very best decision in choosing to stuff all that stress and ENJOY the experience, well done you! I hope other brides read this comment and feel inspired by it as i have. I’d love to see some of your wedding photographs xXx

  12. Great post! I definitely feel a lot of pressure to lose weight for my wedding. Every single time I have a conversation with my mother she asks if I have lost any more weight. I told her last week I had lost two pounds and she said “you can do better than that!”
    I have found that being bigger than average for me put a real dampener on finding the dress. I remember going to a shop and asking to try on a dress that I liked and they refused as it wouldn’t suit me because I am bigger, and if I didn’t look good it was their reputation on the line! Needless to say even if I had found the dress of my dreams I wouldn’t have bought it from there! I feel as long as the bride feels beautiful on her wedding day, that is the most important thing., not whether everyone else does.
    Another negative experience was someone telling me if I didn’t lose weight for my wedding, I was never going to do it!! Definitely added pressure that a bride to be doesn’t need.
    In the past I have crashed dieted lost a lot of weight and then put it all back on. Something I refuse to do this time. I am overweight and I am trying to lose weight for me, my fiance and hopefully our future family. Not just to please other people on the wedding day.
    I’m pleased to say I have found the dress of my dreams and it’s a designer who caters for any size big or small! Xx

    1. I am so happy you have found your dress and had a more positive dress shopping experience Laura – banish those bad experiences from your memory and focus only on the good stuff from here on!
      Much love from me xXx

  13. Brilliant post – Brides have far too much pressure on them to look a certain way when in reality he proposed to you at that size so you need not really worry because he obviously loves you as you are! xx

  14. I felt under enormous pressure to lose weight for my wedding. I was a size 16 and while I did manage to drop a dress size, I still had the little voice in my head telling me I should have tried harder to lose more. In the end I decided my wedding day was about a marriage, and the person I was marrying, loved me as I was. He said he didn’t want to me be a size 10 bride he didn’t know, he wanted to me be myself. I think this is something very easy to lose sight of.

    My experience in the bridal boutiques, as a size 14 (entirely average size) were mixed. Some were lovely but I did have one shop reduce me to tears, as they refused to let me try anything on, telling me I had to “hold dresses against me” and that the slightly fitted A-line shape I wanted “wouldn’t suit me” and I should wear one with a big princess skirt to conceal my bum! I ended up wearing a fitted a-line gown (slightly fishtail) which skimmed my curves and was far more flattering- and I felt amazing. Size 14 bum and all.

    1. I think you decided right Paula! Well done you.

      It would be useful to get some comments on here from a bridal boutique – I’ll see what I can do. I know many wonderful, wonderful boutiques (take a look here to name a few https://lovemydress.net/suppliers-we-recommend).

      I too am a size 14 (I was a size 8 when I met my husband in 2000 and 4 dress sizes lighter – don’t mistake me – there is nothing wrong with being size 8! But I feel much better/fitter/healthier now than I did back then). I’ve come to learn what works and what doesn’t with my ‘had 2 babies’ new shape and it’s all good with me. Skinny jeans will never be my friend, but that’s OK 🙂 x

  15. Yes, great post and your juicing efforts and healthy eating sounds amazing – well done! I bought a juicer a few years ago and it still sits in my kitchen cupboard under a pile of boxes (oops!)

    I think “well-being” is the most important point here, i’m sure a large proportion of your readers (myself included) have decimated their own well-being at some point in their lives through crash diets, fad diets or just telling ourselves we aren’t good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, successful enough blah blah! We all do it, and it’s sad. I enjoy this blog because it celebrates what wonderful efforts people put into their wedding day (and gives me inspiration for my own – thank you!) and because it includes honest posts like this one.

    I’m getting married in just over 8 weeks and have recently joined the gym. My motivation is stress-release and accepting the fact exercise is good for you (I’ve permitted myself too many excuses not to exercise for too long!) During my wedding preparations over the last 7 months I was really unwell with vertigo (extreme dizziness and mental fatigue). It’s something I’ve suffered with before and this time around it totally wiped me out for several months. The weight fell off me but I was utterly miserable. Right now I’m really grateful to have my health back, to be able to exercise and to have a much better sense of “well-being”. I’m still fighting the bridezilla within and I definitely stress more than I should about my wedding day but making sure I fit in some exercise and try to eat nutritious foods is 100% helping me and my ability to keep some level of perspective in my preparations!

    1. Hi Hannah – get that juicer out! It’s so much fun and such an easy and convenient way to get those nutrients in to your system. I worried at first it would be a rather expensive venture in terms of grocery shopping but it really isn’t and it is resulting in no waste fruit or veg either which is a bonus.

      You are so right with regards your ‘wellbeing’ comment. To be honest, I have a lot to thank my husband for. He has always, always been fit, healthy and careful about what he eats. He also practices mindfulness and seeing him do so has really helped me consider how I’m conducting my own life and how my business and stress levels lead to making unhealthy choices regarding my diet (eating unhealthy snacks) and fitness (doing er, nothing). So if you’re reading this, thank you Phil (love you! xx).

      I think getting regular exercise in whatever form – gym, running, home based work out sessions can only be a good thing! I have to really force myself in to that zone at times but it’s always worth it and it’s building my mental and physical stamina all the while.

      Your words are really inspiring – stay positive and confident Hannah and do send me photographs of your wedding in due course please 🙂

      Have a lovely day,

      Annabel xXx

  16. What a refreshing article to read, Annabel! I’m over 6ft tall and a size 12 (with a size 14 bum). I have always been the biggest of my friends in terms of height and, as a result of that, the heaviest of my friends in terms of weight which means that everyone else’s day to day laments about how heavy or big they are have always made me feel enormous by comparison. I’ve never been particularly body confident – probably exacerbated by my still having hangups about a previous relationship ending a a result of my partner’s dalliances with a painfully skinny lady – and frequently make myself upset by comparing how I look to how others look, particularly in a world where the perception of “wellness” seems to have a direct correlation with the amount of weight that someone has gained or lost (“You look well, have you lost weight?” “You’ve lost so much weight, you look amazing!”) rather than how fit, healthy or happy someone is. I’m getting married next April and must admit that I was dreading dress shopping – standing half naked in front of a woman I had never met was one issue but more than that, the fear that I would hate myself in all of the dresses that I imagined would be designed for petite princesses and not for tall girls like me.

    My husband to be is approximately a foot shorter than me but loves me sporting a pair of heels and celebrates my very definite curves in a way that makes me feel like I am, in his eyes, some sort of 1950s screen siren. I may never see myself in the way that he does but believe me, I am trying – and it was wonderful to find my wedding dress ( a chance trying-on in my lunch hour one day) and have the lady in the shop gasp at how perfectly the sample fitted, no adjustments required and then have a frank conversation with her about how I thought I would be “there or thereabouts” the same size in months to come, with no plans for a wedding diet. She told me that she was delighted to hear it, having had so many experiences with brides who had tried and failed to diet into the dress of their dreams, or worse, to lose so much weight that their whole body shape changed and the dress simply didn’t fit them in the way it was intended.

    I think the point is that we are all different and there is no one size fits all approach to being beautiful or one’s best on the wedding day. Being fit, healthy and happy – and for that to shine through in the photographs and memories of the day – has to be more important than the number on the scales, or the number of inches lost.

    I may always worry about the size of my hips or the wobbliness of my arms but I’m trying to make myself forget the negative things and embrace the positive and for that reason, my incredibly long pins will be out on display on the big day, with a suitably awesome pair of shoes to finish them off!

    1. Thanks so much Claire. I’m so sorry to hear what happened in your past relationship, that must have hurt a great deal.

      Those questions – I know! You may as well ask ‘you look well! Did you get laid last night?’!

      1. Thank you Annabel – I’m in sunny Huddersfield, although our wedding will be in lovely Sheffield.

        I’m going to embrace the next 9 months, planning the wedding that may not conform to traditional stereotypes of what other people think our wedding should be and creating something special and unique for us, like us! I shall ensure that I send you photographs…currently still on the lookout for “the” shoes to accommodate by size 8/9 feet!

  17. Fantastic post, there should be more of this attitude out there. I personally find it a bit of a mad idea to want to look completely different, weight wise, on your wedding day to any other. You want your other half to recognise the person in the gorgeous dress! If you feel good then you will look good and the number on the scales really doesnt matter.
    I made my dress 4 months ago for my wedding in September so it’s all finished and I cant go up or down with weight or it wont fit! I’m sure as the date gets nearer a few pounds will drop due to excitement and nerves but I wouldnt put myself under the stress of having to loose weight at a time when you’ve plenty more things to be thinking about. You should be enjoying the lead up!

    1. Hi Zoe, thank you so much for your comment. You are absolutely right in everything you say of course – you should be enjoying the lead up to your wedding (not stressing about weight loss). Bravo! 🙂

  18. Brilliant post! I’ve been pondering this issue myself lately and was even going to email you with it as a suggestion for a piece! Great minds eh?

    You’ve hit the nail on the head, I don’t have a clue how much I weigh and I don’t care. It’s not perfect, but I’m happy with my body. And my dress is being made to fit me, not the other way round! I used to obsess a little (ok, sometimes a lot) but watching my sister struggle with an eating disorder a few years back put everything into perspective. She’s fine now, but there’s always a worry and it reminds me that our mental health is important too – there’s just no point torturing yourself in pursuit of some ‘ideal’.

    1. Thanks Kate!

      I’m so glad to hear your sister is fine now – and I am so, so pleased you raised the issue of mental health. I was aware of this as I wrote this post – especially when i came to the end and made the point about our brains being capable of making a better judgement about our weight/sense of well being that the bathroom scales – because I know how mental health can affect these judgements, but I hope our readers could see the point I was trying to make.

      Bathroom scales are seeming more and more pointless from my perspective.

  19. Brilliant article Annabel!

    As you know I’m a massive fan of juicing too! I use the Andrew James juicer which I love – plus it was only £39.99 from Amazon over a year ago and it’s still going strong after almost daily juicing so I’m very pleased with it! I’m currently on a really strict diet to try and eliminate my migraines (no gluten, no additives, no smoked/aged meats and cheese, no alcohol, no caffeine, no sugar.. the list goes on!) but am also hoping to improve my general health and fitness and tone up a bit at the same time. I do Bikram yoga 3/4 times a week which I LOVE! I completely agree with you about the scales – it’s not about weight but how you feel in yourself – I never weigh myself but I know I’m doing well when I jump out of bed with more energy than I’ve had in months or I can do my jeans up without feeling uncomfortable and bloated. I did weigh myself out of interest today and after three months of yoga and healthy eating I’ve lost no weight at all!

    Dieting and fitness changes should be based on how happy and healthy you feel rather than having to hit a certain weight, especially for brides in the run up to a wedding when you have enough to feel stressed about as it is!

    Leah xx

    1. Hi Leah! I am genuinely SO inspired by your yoga adventures right now! Both hubby and I have dabbled in yoga in the past and loved it. We have the most beautiful raised deck with stunning views of the land surrounding our home and we’ve talked about taking our yoga mats up there and doing it together. Talked – not quite got round to doing it yet!

      You’re so right thought, it’s not about weight but how well you feel within yourself, it’s only taken me 39 years to realise that! hehe! SUCH an interesting point you’ve made about having lost no weight at all. READERS, PLEASE TAKE NOTE!

      Thanks so much for your inspiring words Leah xXx

  20. The year prior to my wedding in 2010, I was carrying ‘a little extra weight’ measuring a large 14/16 dress size, I really wanted to lose weight for the wedding and planned the usual diet and exercise regime in the lead up to the big day. My kind husband even bought me a pair of trainers and a Fat Camp Exercise Book for my birthday (note to men – DON’T ever buy your partner a pair of trainers and a Fat Camp exercise book for her birthday!). Now here’s the thing part of the reason I was a little on the large size was because of the anti-epileptic drug I was on, and as well as getting married, my partner (despite the epic fail on the birthday present front) and I were desperate to start a family after getting married, so in that same year we decided to see about changing my medication. We went to see my consultant and he agreed to change me to a different, drug, all seemed fabulous, but as I prepared to leave his room he said to me ‘Do not go looking this drug up on the internet’ – I trusted him implicitly and never did. So I came of my old medication and went onto the new and the most amazing thing happened – the weight dropped off me, it was incredible, I was losing approximately 4 pounds a week, I had boundless energy and felt like the Duracell bunny most of the time, my life was completely revolutionised I was delighted with my new much slimmer frame and the fact I could eat and eat. I went wedding dress shopping and bought the most perfect size 10 slim fitting wedding dress, completely busting the wedding budget on it, but it was ‘the one’! Then everything went oh so wrong, the new drugs it turned out had traces of amphetamine salt in them and whilst I was as thin as rail, I was also suffering the same effects as a person would taking Speed on a regular basis, extreme highs and lows, unreasonable aggressive behaviour, my mental health was at breaking point. My partner could not take anymore, four months before the wedding he told me he so, we cried a lot, talked a lot and then recognised a pattern, the problems all started when I went on the new drugs. I looked on the internet now and what I saw scared me. I contacted my consultant and was taken off the drugs immeadiately and put on my old medication. Now in my fragile mental state this was the end of the world to me as the first thought that entered my head was ‘I WILL GET FAT AGAIN AND NOT FIT IN MY WEDDING DRESS’, cue lots more crying, I even told my consultant this, he looked at me like I was possibly the most stupid person in the world. So I had four months to sort myself out mentally and somehow keep the weight off so my beautiful dress still fitted me. My partner helped and supported me no end through this, he devised me an excercise plan and he made me beautiful juices and smoothies every morning. I paid privately to see a Psychotherapist and combined with the good diet and positive endorphines from the exercise by the time the wedding came I was fit and healthy both mentally and physically, my dress fitted perfectly and I felt fabulous – and despite the hard times my partner and I were even closer. And as a perfect ending to this story, the Psychotherapist I saw opened my mind to living a drug free life, so after getting married I stopped my medication altogether with the support of my consultant – four years on I remain drug and fit free, I have been signed off from my consultant, I have a beautiful toddler and a gorgeous baby and running round after them keeps me fit and healthy and I never [have time to] look at a pair of scales!

  21. This was the perfect time to read your fab article, 5 weeks before our wedding when I’m about to go and have the wedding dress fitted and am feeling a bit worried about baby weight 🙂 having a baby has given me rather more wobbly bits than I was expecting and having always been pretty toned around the tummy area it’s been hard to banish the thought that I should be a skinny minny by the wedding day. Despite firm plans for regular bikram yoga and the 5:2 diet, a combination of no time with a new baby and feeling that we should prioritise where we spend our money at the mo (good old self-employed maternity leave!) has meant that my drastic get fit plans haven’t really materialised and I’m still 7 kilos over what I was aiming for. The thing is though, my fiancée really doesn’t care and looking and feeling happy on the day is the only really important thing. It’s hard to remember when you worry about looking your ‘best’, but in reality right now my best is a happy (if a bit tired!) mum of an awesome little boy with a gorgeous man who wants to spend the rest of his life with me, wobbly bits and all. Hopefully the thing I will notice the most in wedding pics will be our smiles! I do wish the sample sizes could be all a size bigger so that dress shopping is a more confidence boosting experience (they can pin them in easily, so surely that should be a no brainer) and I wish that media could find a more positive focus for women rather than selling us the idea that we aren’t good enough as we are, feeding a fear that we need to look a certain way to keep our man. We are in the 21st century now. Time for change!! Xx

  22. I am actually terrified to add to this discussion in as such short a space as a blog comment.I have so much to say both in defence & criticism of the wedding industry with regards to ‘the dress’, body image, self esteem, women, fashion, plus size – the list goes on. All I know is the bridal boutique should not be your enemy, we have enormous resources to cut, make and fit the most beautiful dress ever at whatever size you happen to be. That said most dresses designed to be ‘plus size’ are truly awful and I will not stock them. I am going to vounteer to write at length about this, Annabel, give me some deadlines…

    1. We are on your side Emma! See my response to previous comments. Proud to recommend you as a supplier who really cares for and looks after brides whatever their size/shape. Would you like to write a separate piece? Oh good! I love your erudite replies. I’ve scheduled a piece in for this time next week (Thursday 17th in the morning). Not kidding either btw 🙂 xxxxx

  23. Dispite clocking up 20miles plus a week in runs (pushing a running buggy with a 2 year old in it), 2 bootcamps a week plus teaching Agile Monkeys my Pilates class for Mummys with babies, I am still a size 14. I have a nutrition background and strive constantly to shift 10lbs which will magically make me happier, bring success & riches. Well, thats what I used to think. The birth of my son made me realise that the pursuit of slender thighs is all well & good but he loves me for the energy & enthusiasm I have for making him happy. As long as I’m healthy to run around chasing him thats all thats important. Dont even get me started on those over priced cellulite creams which will never penitrate deep enough to ever make a difference. Well done Anabel with facing yourself and changing your habits becuase it isnt easy to do but the benifits of good health speak for themselves. Xoxo

  24. I wanted to touch on the mental health and wellbeing aspect of this article. There is already so much pressure from society, the media etc for women to look a certain way, but the way it is amplified within the wedding industry is awful. It should be about celebrating your marriage and relationship with the people you love, not about how small your waist or thighs are. As someone who has suffered from an eating disorder for over 10 years, I’ve had to be incredibly mindful of my mental wellbeing in the lead up to our wedding, making sure I don’t slip into old habits. Day to day pressure is enough in itself without the added ‘wedding mania’ which for the large majority emits the message ‘ to have the best wedding, you’ve got to be as skinny as possible’. I think everyone wants to feel their best on their wedding day, and I’ve used ‘feel’ rather than ‘look’, because our wellbeing should not be tied up with a number on the scales, but how our body and mind feels, as you so eloquently put Annabel. Sadly, nothing will change on a macro scale until society and the media change perceptions of beauty and I don’t see that happening any time soon. With 1 in 4 people in the UK likely to be affected by mental health illness and statistics from NICE estimating that 1.6 million people in the UK are affected by eating disorders (likely to be higher), I don’t think people are aware how quickly or easy it is to go from a crash diet to suffering some form of mental illness.

    1. Hello Anonymous, thanks so much for touching on this and taking the time to leave a comment – I was quite mindful of the mental health aspect when I wrote this piece (see my comment to Kate Tetlow of earlier). I really hope you felt my article was sensitive to this matter.

      A very serious point very passionately made – thank you.

      1. This article demonstrates just one of the reasons why I love your blog so much. Love My Dress is never vapid or contrived, it’s heartfelt and sincere. It’s easy to get swept away in wedding details, but you always carefully curate such wonderful thought provoking posts on top of the prettiness. I think that’s what sets you apart from the rest.

        I’m looking forward to more of these posts now you have a bit more time to dedicate to them.

  25. I am technically “plus sized” (even though I wear the UK average size, and don’t get me started on the problematic connotations of the wording we use around sizing), and I avoided a lot of mainstream bridal blogs and magazines because they promoted a type of bridal beauty that is severely limited, IMO. I am tired of seeing only size 10, 20-something, white, abled-bodied, heterosexual women featured as brides. Beauty doesn’t just come in different sizes; it comes in different shapes, colours, orientations. I was pleased to have my dress made by the Couture Company because I feel they reflect that ethos: not the limp “you CAN look just as beautiful as those models if you do x, y and z”, but a fierce “you already have your own unique beauty.” I have no idea what I weigh. I go to Pilates and aqua aerobics to feel fitter and healthier. I like cake. I will never be a size 10 again. And that is ok.

    1. I LOVE THIS! And I’m totally stealing that last sentence for my latest Instagram quotable!
      ps – you’re in for a treat with this afternoon’s wedding – a fellow Couture Co bride 😉
      Love Annabel xXx

  26. I totally relate to your idea of having a sedentary life-I work in marketing and SO much of it is writing for websites, answering phones, emails-all of it sat on my big behind, and I hate that aspect, it makes me feel so lethargic. I often wonder why I’m so tired, I’m 25 I shouldn’t be THIS tired, but as soon as I start walking around I feel more awake-so it’s purely being sat at the PC that makes you tired and feel like a big lump. But then you have to be sat at a pc to do your job. Sigh!

    I had been loving my gym visits three times a week, but due to the Commonwealth games all gyms are shut in Glasgow for 7 weeks-grr! So thank you for the DVD recommendation, I will be purchasing this today. Running around my local park is also one of my great pleasures in life and makes me feel better-as someone said previously, more about stress relief than losing weight.

    Having had my wedding dress fitting on Tuesday, I will re-iterate how daft I think it is to try and lose a tonne of weight for your wedding. I am determined to lose a couple of pounds and feel fit and healthy-I cannot wait to get more active. But dieting until I lose 2 stone?! NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. There is enough to stress about within a wedding without heaping ‘become skinny’ on top!

  27. There is so much pressure and intense scrutiny to be the ‘perfect’ weight on your wedding day isn’t there? What is the perfect weight anyway?! It’s so easy to get caught up with trying to achieve what society portrays as ‘the perfect size 10’. This makes me sad!

    There are so many benefits to regular exercise and juicing – try to remember those besides weight loss! Strengthened immunity, increased energy levels, a glowing complexion and a reduction in the risk of stroke, heart disease and cancer all sound like great reasons to me!

    There are a few comments re: mental health that I’ve really enjoyed reading. I try to go for a run/jog as often as I can and it’s nothing to do with weight as I’m a size 6/8 and have actually always struggled to put weight ON. I enjoy it for the endorphin rush and for how I feel it clears my mind of any worries or stress. Although I absolutely despised running when I started, it’s actually become a bit of a life line for me and has massively helped with anxiety, which I used to struggle with quite badly.

    Paula – that’s really terrible that a bridal boutique made you feel that way…I see beautiful brides-to-be of all shapes and sizes and try hard to bring something to the table for everyone. I’m so glad you found a dress that you love and that makes you feel amazing – I’m sure you look it too!

    1. Thanks so much for taking time to comment Sophie – go you running so regularly, I tried a few years back and LOVED it, took me a while to get in to but like you, I found the endorphin rush unbeatable. I’d quite like to start running again actually, just need to create time in my schedule to allow. You have inspired me!

  28. Brides to be who read this and are starting out on the dress part of their wedding journey, maybe already thinking “well I’m not going to be this size on the day/what pants shall I wear/what will the shop assistants think of me/will they have dresses to fit?” Know this (from someone who went dress shopping with the horrorible left over sag of a c-section, still carrying a stone of baby weight, covered in stretch marks and who was a reluctant dress shopper)
    – Don’t worry about wearing spanx/big lady knickers/tummy control, thigh/whole body control lady garments. They make you look worse and I infact ended up explaining why I was wearing cycling shorts that come up to my boobs out of embarrasment for such hideous attire.
    – When you are getting dressed the ladies of the shop are looking at how the dress looks on you/probably plotting what they think you might look great in/trying to gauge your reaction. They are not so much interested in the c-section sag!
    – Be honest about your weight loss plans this will help the shop order the best size. Be realistic with yourself about these plans too. Planning a wedding is stressful without having to worry about the fact you think you’ve ordered a dress that’s too small.
    – Start shopping for dresses in the appropiate time frame, not after you’ve reached your weight loss goal! a)you might find a dress that means you don’t have to lose any weight (if this is your plan). I tried a fab Lyn Ashworth dress that I could’ve walked out the shop wearing and felt fabulous in before any weight loss b)you might find a dress that gives you a little help (my chosen dress had a corset) and c)you may end up leaving it too late to get your dream dress
    – If you do want to lose weight/tone up/get fit make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. I wanted to get back to my pre baby weight and get back in my old clothes. I ate well and the regular excercise meant I looked and felt good outside and in. I was a healthy 10 stone at 5ft 7″
    – Bear in mind that you pay for your fittings. I had to have an extra fittings as I’d lost more inches (not weight) than expected. If you’re on a strict budget bear this in mind
    – The ultimate goal for your wedding day should be to feel good and be happy. Look after yourself as the last thing you want to do is get sick.
    – Your husband is marrying you, not a Madonna clone lollipop head…….I’m sure we all know a few of those brides!

  29. This is a very interesting and pertinent article as I think there are some people in the bridal industry who put pressure on brides to lose weight.
    I am getting married in September. I bought my dress from a boutique last summer. As the boutique is several hours away from where I live, I am using a local seamstress who specialises in bridal alterations to fit my dress.
    I received the dress in May. I had thought that the boutique had ordered the sample size that I had tried on the summer before, which was perfect across the hips but a little too big on the waist. Unbeknownst to me, the boutique had actually ordered the size below in the expectation that I would get smaller. Luckily I had got a bit slimmer (through taking up outdoor running and going to classes at Frame), so the new smaller size was a pretty good fit.
    Or so I thought… I am now being put under considerable pressure by my seamstress to lose more weight / extra inches so that the dress hangs perfectly. I was really surprised by this as I am 5ft 10 and a size 10 (12 in pencil skirts) and also, I couldn’t see the imperfections that she was concerned about. I’ve been trying to get smaller for the last few weeks with absolutely no success, and was feeling really disheartened.
    So thank you Annabel for the timely reminder to keep some perspective and to stay healthy!

    1. Hi Laura – Just out of interest have you thought about getting another seamstress? This sounds a bit odd that she’s demanding you lose extra inches? It might be worth speaking to a local bridal boutique to see if they have any advice. If you think the dress fits well then it probably does and maybe just needs a few adjustments? Sounds like unneccesary pressure.

      1. I think I’ll have to stick with her as she’s already started work on the dress. She conceded that if I didn’t manage to lose any more weight, it wouldn’t be the end of the world but made me promise to try very hard.

        1. Sorry, but that is ludicrous. It’s her job to make the clothes to fit you, not for you to fit into the clothes. I’d suggest you firmly tell her she work with the body you have or you are cancelling your order!

  30. I am not a size 10 or 12, I do not enjoy exercise and I love
    cooking and drinking wine. I am pear-shaped and my arms have the tendency to do
    their own thing if I wave them about too much. I am not the ‘PERFECT’ shape or
    weight and never will be. This I have come to terms with but it has taken me to
    reach my 40th year and 2 children to accept who I am.

    When I was a teenager I went through a phase of only eating
    an orange and some toast all day. I probably verged on anorexia but luckily a
    family holiday broke me out of my cycle. I have been heavier than I am now and
    I have been lighter and I can honestly say that it is only recently that I have
    achieved the ability to look at myself in the mirror (when scantily clad!) and not
    rip my image apart.

    BUT…. for my wedding I went all out to lose weight. Weight
    Watchers, spinning classes, dancing in my living room to burn of some calories
    from wine I had drunk!

    Therefore, owning a bridal shop I can see this topic from
    each side. As a woman I KNOW the
    pressure to try and look your best on your wedding day which seems to be indelibly
    linked to being thin. As a bridal shop owner I SEE the pressure to try and look your best on your wedding day
    which seems to be indelibly linked to being thin!

    Until we can stop being so influenced by media and the need
    to be thinner than ‘my friend who got married last year’ I can only help by
    discouraging too much weight loss, celebrating the bride’s already fantastic
    shape whatever the size and remind them who they are marrying and why they are
    going through all of this.

    I wish I could have a more positive comment about plus size
    collections but I can’t. The designers of them only seem to want to make ugly
    gowns that cover brides up instead of celebrating their figures. The names of
    the labels are patronising and the styles suggest that the brides who are not a size 10-16
    are all square and want to wear frumpy dresses! Until there is
    a collection that celebrates size 18 and over we won’t stock them.

    A bridal shop is there to advise you, style you and size
    your dress. We will not judge you whether you want to stay the size you are or want
    to change shape. However, we will always ask you to maintain your shape,
    whatever that may be, through your fittings so your wedding dress will fit you
    perfectly for your very special day.

    1. Hi Victoria, thanks so much for leaving a comment, it’s wonderful that the bridal boutiques have participated in this discussion – I really appreciate it.

      ‘This I have come to terms with but it has taken me toreach my 40th year and 2 children to accept who I am.’ ….Oh my word, how I relate to this! I feel like that person who I’d listen to as a child – that wise head who would say ‘one day you’ll realise’. I DO realise now, I realise I am happy with who I am, confident that my husband loves me for who I am, but like you it seems to have taken half a life time and birthing two beautiful babies to get there!

      I was just like you as a teen and was obsessed with achieving a 7 and a 1/2 stone weight – when I did get that low, I was ill and miserable, it was not a naturally healthy weight for me (I’m 5.7 with curves and our great maker decided to skip on issuing slender limbs when I passed by on the conveyer belt!). Again, I have been heavier (a stone heavier than I am now – this time last year!) and lighter, but I am able to stand stark naked in front of a mirror now and smile back at what I see. And I am very, very happy about that.

      And if only more bridal designers would be sympathetic to more curvaceous body shapes rather than simply grading up their smaller designs – fabric works and flatters different shapes/body forms in different ways.

      I absolutely love this comment Victoria, it’s so honest, insightful and genuine, thank you so much.

  31. I am plus-size. I don’t care. I have some medical factors and medication that makes it near impossible to lose weight. I eat well and move, believe it or not I am healthy and size 18. My upcoming wedding has nearly destroyed the self confidence I have worked so hard on building, through the mental health problems I’ve always had. I had finally reached a place I felt good about myself when I started reading wedding blogs and magazines, its so hard to see the constant parade of pretty skinny people in dresses that won’t suit me. I would love a dress from the couture company, something to fit and suit not just the best of a small selection designed to cover and hide me. Unfortunately my budget won’t stretch there, I’m going sample shopping Saturday. I want to tell anyone plus size that you’re perfect as you are, you aren’t necessarily unhealthy and you deserve a beautiful dress. All sizes are beautiful, and I’m glad to see wedding blogs acknowledge that.

    1. Bravo! I have an underactive thyroid gland and too find it hard to lose weight so I sympathise.

      I completely believe you are wonderfully healthy, beautiful, sexy and confident at size 18 and I don’t doubt it for second. Please, please give Jo at The Couture Company a call – she may have some sample gowns – she would love to hear from you, I know, and will do all she can to work within your budget. Here are Jo’s contact details:-

      Jo Bromley, The Couture Company
      [email protected]
      Tel – 0121 608 4445
      http://www.the-couture-company.co.uk
      https://www.facebook.com/The.Couture.Company

      Much love from me Amy – please relax and enjoy the rest of your wedding planning and have the very best day ever.

      Annabel XXXXXX

  32. Once again a wonderfully written piece I always enjoy your
    own written insights on this blog! I think most women get forced into an ‘ideal’
    for their wedding and I have to say I was most definitely one of them but I say
    that in the past tense as when I got engaged I decided I wanted to lose
    5-7stone. I wanted to be that picture perfect bride I have dreamt of it for
    many years and with just 10months to go I am down the first 5 stone and I am
    now a comfortable 14/16. I felt I needed to lose all this weight to be able to
    look good in a dress and unfortunately the industry fuelled that thought as I went
    dress shopping with my sister at an 18/20 and also my friend as a 12/14 and I saw
    the difference in experience they had when shopping for a dress and I knew
    which one I wanted so I got down to a 16 before I stepped foot in a dress shop.
    But the difference has been I changed my attitude and I eat well when I can and
    I enjoy eating not so well when I want to. The real difference has been the
    goals changed from those about size to those about fitness I run 10ks and cycle
    with my fiancé we are fit together and its had a positive impact on our life
    and relationship. My weight loss has stalled but I think that’s probably
    because I have got to a place where I FEEL healthy and most importantly happy don’t
    get me wrong I do still want to lose those other 2 stone but more cause I know
    it will help me get that next 10k goal time than I think I need to as I have
    bought my dress and I know I look amazing in it! x

    1. Hi Lorraine, Thank you so much for your compliment about this piece – I very much appreciate it 🙂

      I think your weight loss is a magnificent achievement for your health and wellbeing purposes – and I am so pleased you, you sound like you’ve really found your naturally healthy weight and that you have good balance in your life (we can’t all be perfect all of the time – we need a bit of a treat every once in a while – we have fish n chips every Friday evening at home – but then we do live in Whitby) 🙂

      Have the most wonderful wedding Lorraine, I’d love to see some photographs when they are ready.

      Love Annabel xXx

  33. Oh Annabel this is bloody brilliant and so well worded. Thank you for being brave and sharing. This sits nicely with exactly where Emma and I are at. We totally lost ourselves to the business for a few years and looked and felt pretty rubbish for it. It’s taken time and an understanding of what works for us and that old chestnut the work life balance. What I’ve done is let go of the guilt. The ‘system’ the 9-5 mentality that if you’re not chained to your desk you are somehow slacking off and the general opinion that who work at home just doss about. When actually we work twice as hard because this is our business and our life, no one else can fix this. So now we get our work done in intense bursts then we quite happily lie in the sun or go out for the day or take a long weekend. This has fell nicely in with our exercise regime too. I’ve stopped chasing goals and the guilt. What I do now is exercise every day if possible, through choice in doing something I love so that might be yoga or a bike ride or a jog or swim just something to get the blood pumping and the mind chilled. I’ve never felt better in myself and there is no guilt whatsoever for not reaching a ‘goal’ I don’t weight myself, I just love it and it makes me happy. So well done us for being healthy and active because it’s great! and not because a magazine tells us it’s the best way to get a Flippin beach body! Big hugs lots of love. Pete xx

    1. Ahh Pete, you are so far the only man to comment and I LOVE that – thank you so very much for taking the time and effort to reply.

      Letting go of the guilt is so important. Business owners have pressure enough to deal with without self imposed guilt. I agree in every single way with your comments about working from home. I’ve never worked this hard in my life and don’t get anywhere near as much sleep as I should, but I do it because I love it and am so incredibly passionate about my business. It leaves me too exhausted a lot of the time to take care of my health, but I’m trying because I know how important it is for my overall health, wellbeing and motivation levels. Best thing is being able to work out at home whenever I want to because I’m self employed 🙂

      Thanks so much again Pete, I’ve absolutely loved sharing this business adventure with you and Emma this past few years, I think of you two often and love that you both provide such a shining example of how to fun a great business, brand and be pretty all-round marvellous.

      Huge love from me xXx

  34. I knew from the get go that I wasn’t going to attempt to lose any weight for my wedding (9 weeks this Saturday – eek). I’m a size 14 and am generally fairly happy with the way I look. I bought my dress early on in the planning process and it fits me really well and flatters my figure so I knew that I didn’t want or need to drastically change my shape. I probably would look a bit better if I lost a few pounds but like one of the commenters below I hate exercise (tried the couch to 5K running programme but just didn’t have the motivation to keep it up) and like wine (and crisps) too much. I basically didn’t want to put any extra pressure on myself in the run up to the wedding, I wanted to be able to enjoy the planning process and get excited about it all rather than panicing and stressing that I hadn’t acheived some unattainable ideal weight. My experience dress shopping was fine – I tried on a couple of dresses that really didn’t fit me but the assistants zipped/buttoned them up as far as they could to give me an idea of what it would look like in the right size. I think it would help if bridal stores stocked samples in larger sizes as it’s difficult to fall in love with a dress if you can’t even do the zip up, I had the same experience with bridesmaids dresses where my size 12-14 bridesmaid was struggling to fit into a lot of the samples. Generally I would just encourage other brides to be to relax, if in normal life you are happy with your weight and how you look, why feel that you have to torture yourself to become a completely different half sized person for the sake of one day? Yes it’s a special day and you want to look your best but I have chosen to focus more on finding a flattering dress and looking for accessories, hair and make up ideas etc that will help me to look like the best possible version of my normal self rather than trying desperately to force myself to look like the very narrow/identikit vision of the perfect bride.

    1. Hello notgingerclare – thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment.

      ‘Generally I would just encourage other brides to be to relax, if in normal life you are happy with your weight and how you look, why feel that you have to torture yourself to become a completely different half sized person for the sake of one day? Yes it’s a special day and you want to look your best but I have chosen to focus more on finding a flattering dress and looking for accessories, hair and make up ideas etc that will help me to look like the best possible version of my normal self rather than trying desperately to force myself to look like the very narrow/identikit vision of the perfect bride.’

      Perfect advice for our readers who I hope take note xx

  35. My wedding is next May, and yes I’m losing weight. But I’ve been losing weight for a year and a half, and because I’ve had 2 babies in 2 years!
    I want to slim down because I don’t feel as happy and healthy as I did before I had my children. I’m only 5’2″ and carrying extra weight is uncomfortable. I’ve lost 2.5 stone so far, slowly and carefully, and I intend to keep it off.
    Of course I want to look my best on my wedding day, but regardless of my wedding I want to lose weight, and look my best always.
    I don’t feel pressure to be a size 8/10, I know people think I look nice regardless of my size. It is for ME that I want to get back to the size when I was my healthiest and felt my best.
    I did go to try on dresses at a boutique 6 weeks ago, (Mooshki Bridal trunk show O.M.G!!!) and the samples were size 12. They wouldn’t do up, but it still gave me a good idea of how they’ll look on me. (I’m obsessed with Mooshki! They’re incredible!) However I don’t want to try on any more dresses or order my wedding dress until I am much nearer my target weight/size.
    I’ll enjoy the whole “shopping for my wedding dress” much more when I’m the size I want to be.
    And I can not wait for the day I order the dress!!!!!

    1. Hello Zelda,
      Losing weight for health and wellbeing purposes and doing it sensibly is a good thing!
      Mooshki Bride are just fabulous aren’t they 🙂 I love their sassy style.
      Have the best time planning the rest of your wedding Zelda and the most amazing day celebrating your nuptials 🙂 xXx

  36. First of all i want to start by saying last night at a wedding fair i met a couple. Me and the bride discussed her coming in to start trying dresses, her answer was ” not until I’ve lost some weight,she was average height and described herself as a large 14,(she had a great figure yet still lacked confidence) what was great about this conversation was as soon as she started saying she needed to loose weight her fiancé soon joined in to tell her she didn’t need to, you could tell he genuinely meant it, he loved her exactly how she was and didn’t want her to change. I answered with the same reply i give to majority of brides, and that was to come in and start trying, and you will be pleasantly surprised, most find a dress they love exactly as they are, sure every bride says they want to change but by starting trying early, you can take that pressure of yourself, anything you then do is purely for you and a decision you can make should you still wish to change(its amazing how many brides talk about drastically loosing weight then when they find a dress they feel happy in it changes to toning up) this is a moment i love, you are who you are so why feel pressure to change for 1 day.

    Most brides that come to my shop look petrified as they enter and really take some encouragement to even step of the door mat, we understand bridal shopping is one of the most daunting experiences, because it is unfamiliar for most brides, they don’t know what to expect, from the staff or dresses, “what will suit” “will they have to bare themselves to someone they have never met before” etc. We really try to make every bride feel at ease and most of the time the nervous girl you met at the door 20 minutes before is now swinging round the shop with a big smile on her face and the nerves are gone.

    Now to talk about bridal shops and sizes, as a shop owner it is very difficult to always get it right but we do try. I try to have a real variety of sizes so that every bride can try dresses on, and believe me, the worst thought for me is disappointing any bride when they visit us, we want every bride to leave feeling like they achieved something.although we know at times we will have situations (although rare) where a girl really wants to try a straight cut dress we have in a 12 but she is a 24, this is when our job is difficult but we will always handle it with care. equally we have the opposite scenario where a girl of size 6 loves a dress we have in a 22, this is still disappointing for the bride but obviously doesn’t have the same impact to the girl as the other situation, yet this girl still doesn’t get to try a dress she wants to. The bottom line is I’m sure every bridal shop owner would love to have every dress in every size but our wallets/space don’t let us. My advice would be to every bride who is worried about trying dresses on is to call a few shops, have a chat, explain how you feel and visit the shop who made you feel the most comfortable.

    To finish I’m going to talk about something that may get a reaction and i hope it doesn’t, but here i go. I am a size 6/8 stick,I’ve always been like it and I’ve always hated it, I’ve been called names through school from Golf club to Anna (for anorexic) and many more.(hope my daughter doesn’t go threw the same) This has Knocked my confidence over the years. And people seem to think its ok to comment on my weight, “your too thin ” “do you not eat”, even had a customers mum and aunt whispering loudly “she’s too skinny as I’m in the changing room with a bride ” HELLO i can hear you, its a curtain not sound proof glass” I found myself eating as much fatty crappy food as i could, to try and put on weight, did it make a difference to my weight NO, instead i had spotty skin and constantly felt tired. and had a bloated tummy, I took no exercise through the fear of loosing weight, i was soo unfit i couldn’t run up the stairs without being out of breath. When it come to choosing a wedding dress i chose one that was pleated tulle across ways so that it made me look bigger than what i was so that no one made any comments on the day. Well after becoming a mother my views changed, i wouldn’t say I’m completely happy with the way i look, but who is, after doing my job for 10 years, you realise no one is, we all want to change something about ourselves, id love bigger boobs and to be a curvy size 10/12 but its not going to happen, i frankly do not want to put myself under the knife, my husband loves me the way i am and thanks to maxcleavage.co.uk i can now at least look like i have a good pair of boobs in my clothes. I now take exercise and eat lots of yummy organic food, With the odd naughty treats thrown in, and would say health wise i feel great. I’m lucky to have inherited my dads and granddads genes. Now the reason I’m telling you all this is that some of the time we can’t change the way we are built, we are all different shapes and sizes, someone who is nearly 6ft shouldn’t compare their size and weight to someone like kylie minoque who is barely 5ft. Magazines constantly print pictures of celebs on the beach with their weight printed in big letters, one week they are looking too thin, the next they are too big (how dare they) then we all try and compare to them. As long as you live a relatively healthy lifestyle then good on you, don’t care what others think and enjoys planning your big day, you will be BEAUTIFUL and remember he is marrying you because he LOVES U!!!!!

    1. Hi Lisa 🙂

      Thanks so much for taking the time to reply to this post – I really appreciate the insight you have provided from a boutique owners perspective – I do think it’s really important that we can use Love My Dress to help educate brides to see things from the suppliers perspective. All the suppliers I know and recommend work exceedingly hard to make the dress shopping experience a positive, memorable one but I am fully aware of the challenges and limitations they face.

      Your latter comment reminds me of this brilliant article on ‘Skinny Bashing’ that I shared a couple of years ago: http://lvmyd.rs/dontskinnybash. I LOVE the message you are driving home here too – thanks so so much for sharing some of your personal experiences with our readers Lisa, I’m really so grateful.

      And thank you for the recommendation on http://maxcleavage.co.uk/!

  37. In recent years, I have lost over 10 stone, and gone from a size 24 to a 10/12. I thought this would make the wedding dress shopping experience so much easier, but if I am honest I found it absolutely HORRIFIC. Although a lot smaller than it was, my body is very hourglass, meaning that while I can wear a high street 10, I was faced with the thought of having to order a bridal 16 for my chest and having the rest taken in 4 sizes. I found the bridal boutiques I went to really lovely and helpful about it, especially the lovely people at Miss Bush, but I just couldn’t bring myself to walk down the aisle with a 16 size label in my dress after years of really hard work to get to a healthy weight. (Not that a size 16 isn’t healthy for some, it’s just I am only 5’3!)

    In the end, I got a beautiful antique dress which fits me perfectly. It has no size label in it at all, and fits me so well I have stopped running myself into the ground to lose any extra bride weight.

    I totally understand why bridal boutiques can’t stick samples in every size- the cost would be astronomical- but what I cannot understand is why wedding dress designers size them up so small!

    1. WOW! WHAT an achievement Millie!!

      I really wish we could take less notice of what he label says my love – it really doesn’t matter. Some of my clothes are a 12, some are a 16 – I’m a 14 (that’s what most of my labels say anyway) but I really don’t care. I’m not belittling how you feel for an instant, but I’m just so much happier and more confident since I decided to, well, not care a hoot what the labels says and give more attention to whether the garment/fabric flatters my natural shape or not. I really could not care less what the label says.

      So pleased too that you had a great experience at the mighty Miss Bush!

      I hope you have the most wonderful day Millie,

      Annabel xXx

  38. As someone who suffered from anorexia and bulimia for all of my teens and half of my twenties (and very nearly died) my approach to my wedding is perhaps a bit different. After losing 13 years to eating disorders, I am happy to say that I’ve finally beaten this awful disease, am a healthy weight and will not be changing my body in any way because I’m getting married. When I bought my dress a year ago, a number of people told me I was ‘brave’ because what if I put on weight. Others told me it would be good motivation to stay in shape. I recently phoned a seamstress to inquire about getting my dress altered and when she found out I still had 3 months to the wedding she was horrified as in her ‘professional experience I would most definitely lose shedloads of weight’. When I informed her I was happy with my weight and would not be losing any weight she laughed. I will be getting my dress altered elsewhere.

    Our wedding will be a celebration of how much we love each other, but for my family it is also extra special because I’m sure they didn’t think I would ever be able to reach a place where I was able to have a relationship (my life was completely taken over by the eating disorder and sucked everything good out of it).

    I urge anyone who is thinking that losing weight will make them happy to seriously consider this. I thought that too. By all means if you want to lose weight for your health, do so. But do it sensibly – anything that gives a quick fix is not worth it.

    If your partner really loves you they love you for who you are, not how much you weigh. If they don’t then that should be a big red flag. I’m looking forward to our wedding wearing a dress that shows off the curves I never let myself have, with a glow about me and a sparkle in my eyes I never had. Instead of berating ourselves to have the ‘perfect body’ (which doesn’t exist) maybe we should put that effort into being a bit kinder to ourselves instead?

    1. I am *so* pleased you chose to get your dress made elsewhere Kirsty. What an achievement overcoming Anorexia too. This is such a wonderful, positive comment, thank you so very much for taking time to share it. I would really love to see some of your wedding photographs in due course. Have the most amazing, magical day.
      Love Annabel xXx

  39. I totally feel and understand the pressure that I think all women do, but I honestly don’t care what the scales tell me.

    For me, if I am eating well and regularly exercising and I feel fit, that’s all I need to be happy. I couldn’t care less what I actually weigh.

    That said, I would like to loose weight, but that’s because 1) it’d be easier to buy clothes I like and want to wear and 2) I feel constantly judged as i’ve had a recent diagnosis that sometimes makes movement such as walking very painful. I feel like people will see me on a bad day struggling to walk and make the wrong assumption that it’s down to what they perceive as me being at an unhealthy weight making me struggle, though in fact I’m active, outdoorsy and at the gym 4 days a week and have a totally non-weight related autoimmune disease.

    For me personally, if i’m fit, then i’m happy but there absolutely IS so much pressure from society in general that makes us feel like we should conform and look a certain way, and whilst something like a wedding can serve as a great motivator, people often have the wrong goal.

    I think this is why some overweight people who are depressed believe they will be happy once they have lost weight, and when they realise that the weight loss hasn’t made them happy, they put the weight back on again and end up feeling like a failure, feeding a negative cycle.

    Happiness and self esteem come from a much less superficial place, but it’s very difficult to maintain the right focus in the society that we live in. A goal of being fit an healthy is much better and helps nurture our self esteem much more effectively than obesesing over what the scales say or the size on the label of your jeans.

    Bravo Annabelle, keep it up, and thank you so much for sharing your perspective.

  40. I have recently become a fiancée and cannot wait for the day I finally say ‘I do’! I have always been obsessed with weight/gym/fitness…I weigh myself every day and feel lost if I leave the house not knowing my weight, whether I’m happy about it or not. I’m a 10/12 and go though complete polar opposites of liking and equally hating my figure. Before I got engaged, I always said that I would not attempt to change my weight if I ever got married because I knew I would never be truly happy and could try to find a corseted princess dress to hide my hips and push up my boobs, but now it’s come to it….its all I can think about! I feel like I need to look my absolute best, and feel my absolute best on my big day, I’ll be taking scales with me to the venue at this rate!!

    Since getting engaged, I’m now looking at fishtail dresses, which if I was to get married tomorrow, i would not feel at all comfortable in. I feel like I have now set myself a challenge to feel comfortable in something so close fitting, instead of loose fitting or billowy.

    I’m a huge comfort eater, so the lead upto the wedding fills me with dread! I usually fix the comfort eating binges with a good stint at the gym, but will there be time for the hours at the gym just weeks before the big day?!

    With all this in mind, I’m now constantly searching for fad diets, ways to curb cravings & try everything possible to lose weight for the wedding and keep it off…but reading your post has made me re-evaluate my previous decisions. Some of your juices look so tasty. I’m going to keep re-reading your post to try and remind myself to take a more sensible approach on the lead up to the big day. Thank you for the post and sharing your views!

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