Yesterday was one of the most exciting days I have ever experienced. I was going to pick up my wedding dress. Since finding my dream dress way back in April, I have been constantly imagining the day I would get to slip it back on. And I’m not a girl who is big on these sorts of things. But there’s something different about wedding dresses. I hope you guys get to experience what I mean.
I have been training my butt off at the gym since purchasing my dress, for two reasons:
- I want to feel amazing come my wedding day
- I want to look my best
Dot point two has been a struggle for me to come to terms with. Because somewhere along the way of accidentally becoming a body love advocate (never part of the plan!), I lost sight of what that actually meant.
In fact, ego told me time and time again that I wasn’t allowed to lose weight or tone up or appear ‘too attractive’ – because people wouldn’t take me seriously anymore.
What kind of a warped belief is that?!
But it is truly what I was telling myself. That to be relatable, I had to dim my light.
It’s okay for me to post photos of me with my leaky gut and bloated belly, or untoned physique, and claim we should all love ourselves, but Universe-forbid if I share the same message when I have lost 6 kilos and am focused on toning up.
Here’s the thing – I love me either way. Toned muscles or carrying a little extra weight. Right now, my priority is on being in beautiful physical shape – not only for my wedding, but because I know when I am exercising and eating well, my body responds well, and I look my best. It’s more than just how I feel in my clothing – like an inner-glow.
But I wasn’t allowing myself to truly OWN that I wanted to tone up and lose weight because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. I honestly thought if I noticeably lost weight, people would think I had ‘sold out’.
Here’s the thing when it comes to body love – so long as your intentions are from a LOVING place, then that is the goal. If you want to tone up and lose weight, and you are doing it in a gentle, loving and uplifting way, THEN THAT IS OKAY!
It is when we become obsessive – not just in our actions, but in our thoughts and our beliefs, that can become quite damaging.
So I stepped into my dress yesterday feeling totally confident. I have lost 6 kilos since I tried it on last. But, silly Holz had also packed on the muscle. So while the dress slid on beautiful in most places – when it came to my boobs, I had grown 2.5 cm.
To which the woman fitting me laughed: “Girl, so many women pay for this problem!”
I laughed too. Of course it was my boobs that grew (more specifically, my back behind my boobs). So while physically I am in better shape than I have been this year, my dress was a tight squeeze. OF COURSE!
Did I let it get to me?
Not at first. The woman in the shop was so impressed at how much I took it in my stride.
“Gosh most women would have had a melt down!”
Here’s the thing. I didn’t at the time. I didn’t on the excited drive to leave the dress at Mum’s place, or when I posted my picture on my Insty with all the beautiful comments coming through from you all.
But then, I did.
I started worrying:
- What if I put own weight before the wedding and the dress wouldn’t do up?
- What if the dress didn’t look as good as I hoped, and people would judge me for it?
- What if my boobs grew even more and distracted from anything else?
- What if I had a leaky gut episode the morning of the wedding (or even worse, my period, which has nicely synced to the DAY of our wedding as of last month)?
- What if I don’t look how everyone else expects me to?
These thoughts ran through my head all at once, suffocating me until it got to the point I had to switch off my phone, have a big cry and release all of the stress I had created myself. Do you see that the initial stress of not fitting into my dress on the big day, actually stemmed from an underlying fear of what other people will think of me? WOAH.
Waking up this morning, I feel so much better. I am happy that I was able to release what had built up – because now I have a fresh perspective.
In journalling on it all this morning, I realised that it actually doesn’t even matter what I look like on the big day. What matters is why I am doing this – to marry the love of my life. I could wear a potato sack and have gained 10 kilos and it would still be the best day of my life. I’m not doing this for ANYONE other than the two of us. It actually doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.
So I have released the fear, for now. I am sure at some stages it will rise again. Because guess what – I am human. As an influencer we can put so much pressure on ourselves to have all the answers, to never break down or appear contradictory. But that totally takes away from being authentic and relatable – two things that really matter to me.
So yes, love your body. Do ALL things for yourself from a place of love. And if that means losing weight, then own that lovingly. It doesn’t make you a bad person for wanting to look a certain way when you are coming at it with loving intentions. Of COURSE we want to look our best – because when we do, we FEEL our best. And when we seek out the feelings instead of focusing on the image, then it all naturally falls into place. Just don’t get so caught up in that journey that you forget to appreciate what you have right now.