Sunday, 8 August 2010

things are getting serious

That is what marriage really means: helping one another to reach the full status of being persons, responsible and autonomous beings who do not run away from life.
Paul Tournier

So what does a wedding mean?

Our wedding will be more than the sum of it parts. In my bumbling way I want to say that I am so grateful so many of you will be part of my wedding. I had no idea when I started rabbiting on about my daily thoughts about the wedding that I would be helped by so many of you. I sit here with tears in my eyes, full of appreciation that you have taken the time to email me, call me and meet me, to become friends. The wedding will be about Bean and me but will also be the personification of the love you have shown me. I will be a married lady in 4 months time and I am freaking out. My tears of happiness are overcome by my tears of worry. Not about the day, the marriage but about me.

The thing is....

I know I ask for so many things from you.  Yet this time I need you so very much.

I am not ashamed to say what I am about to say.
I do not want to look like I do at the moment on my wedding day.

My skin does not glow, my hair is not shiny and most of all I am fat. I hate the word but it is true.  I am trying to eat healthily but get very little exercise.  I hate to say I want a quick fix but I do.  It goes against everything I stand for. It is not how you look but how you feel. Yet at this moment in time all I can think about is how my grandchildren will look at my wedding photographs and think I was rather too round. I hate being the shape I am.

If you are happy with your size then that is fine, it's just I am not. It's not the media, the WIC, it is just me. A problem that extends back into forever.  However I am motivated, willing to learn or try anything. I shall hopefully be joining a slimming club next week but I need more.

Can you help me?

I want to be this very happy girl...albeit without the blonde hair.  

I also want to bring party dresses back!


  1. Firstly what a gorgeous pic, and I'm with you on the party dress front!

    Secondly you will look back at your wedding pics and you will look beautiful and only remember how happy you were - there will be no hiding it! A bride is always radiant, it can't be helped. Happiness always shines through!

  2. Anna, you are such a sweetheart!

    Let me tell you a strange but true thing - I *hate* the way I look in photos. I have few extra stones and it shows. But I still love my wedding photos! Just being relaxed and happy and dolled up I guess, but they're fab. I honestly think that your grandkids will simply look at the photos and think how young and happy and fabulous you look whatever weight your are, but you want to lose weight for yourself and I absolutely understand.

    Another person who looked fucking fantastic on the day was my very lovely and very clever friend Dr V, who had lost what, four stone? from weight watchers and excercise. It really showed that she was feeling good in herself. I think you can do it and I think you'll feel good about yourself if you do. I think it's just a case of having a plan and getting the ball rolling and keeping it rolling, even when you hit a rock along the way, you know (stretching the metaphor a little) you can push the ball over the rock and even if you've slowed down that day you can carry on the next.

    Anyway that's my rambling pep talk! I should really listen to my own advice, and get running lol...

  3. I don't think this is what you want to hear, but I'm going to say it anyway because it can't be said enough: you will probably be so happy and excited on your wedding day, you won't care so much if your hair isn't glossy or you haven't lost x number of umm kilos (sorry, in a typically American way, I am lost when it comes to metric).

    I very much doubt that your grandchildren would ever think you round, especially in a negative way--more likely, they will simply be struck by how YOUNG you looked, and how happy. I suppose my grandmother had what others would call a round-ish face when younger, but all I see is how big her smile is, and how much I look like her. To me, she is beautiful and I don't really give a crap what anyone else would say about her.

    That said, if you're not happy, you're not, and maybe achieving a healthy goal will help your frame of mind (like you said, there are no quick fixes, but 4 months is a fairly long time). I have NO advice for hair, as mine is always frizzy. As for skin, I can only recommend LOTS of water, more than you think you want. And regular exfoliation.

    Also, I find these things helpful for getting into better shape and eating in a more healthful way:">Eating Well Meal Plans

    I really hope you're able to find some peace of mind on this topic...! Know that you're not alone in the struggle for better health OR self-acceptance. It's a long, hard road... and just when you think you've kicked something, either a bad habit or negative thought pattern or whatever, it seems to spring up again. :P

    also: I bet you anything you will have at least one wedding photo you love to bits.

  4. I completely understand what you mean, I feel the same and don't want to be annoyed with myself when it comes to the big day if I'm not happy with myself but I do think that just being glammed up and happy on the day will make a you feel wonderful.

    I will second weight watchers which is the only thing that has worked for me (when I stick to it!) And the 30 day shred which is hard work but only takes 30 mins and can be done in your living room so is easier to fit in.

    I'm also on the 4 month countdown arghhh, so need to get a wriggle on...

  5. So. I got married three weeks ago. And I hate the wedding photos. I look like I'm pregnant. I look fat. Really really fat. I'm embarrassed. But other people think I look beautiful, people I don't know. People who don't love me. Who have no reason to lie. I've begun to think that maybe I'll grow into loving them. Or that maybe no one thinks they're a dream on their wedding. I also wish that there were more posted weddings with chubby brides. Brides who look like me. Maybe that I would feel better about the photos. Just a thought.

  6. @Hannah: I saw your wedding photos a few days ago, via... some other blog, can't remember which. And I thought you looked stunning--like a Greek goddess, just radiant. So it's funny to find out that you didn't like them all that much... I'm thinking maybe we can't fully appreciate our own wedding photos... we're just too close to really SEE them. I hope you "grow into" liking yours, because they're breakthtaking.

    -someone who doesn't know you and definitely has no reason to lie.

  7. Oh Anna, you will RADIATE loveliness on your wedding day - 'fat', 'thin' or whatever. I know how you feel, and I found, as most Brides to be do, I gather, that I naturally lost weight around the 4 weeks or so prior to the wedding, as I was running around like a blue-arsed wotsit and stressing about this and that.

    If you want something so bad, you will work for it. The worst part is getting over the initial mental hurdle. I used to diet all the time as a teenager and swore to god, the first 3 days were killers! You don't need to buy into any diet or attend any diet club, unless you want the group support that is. 1000-1500 calories a day (get a little notebook - keep a track) and exercise 3-4 times a week (could just be a 30 min brisk walk each time - racy heartbeat etc) and you will be fine!

    Cut out the crap now. Get your 2 litres of water down you every day (my skin goes mank unless I drink water and lots of it every day). Treat yourself to a few facials and all that fancy stuff - it makes you feel better from the outside in.

    You will look amazing on your wedding day. It's nothing to do with how round you are, but how much your photographs radiate the LOVE you are celebrating. Sorry if that sounds a bit naff, but lady, it's true.

    Love ya xXx

  8. ps - what's wrong with blonde hair and bangs? ;)

    And my little girl has LOTS of lovely old-fashioned party dresses. They are the bestest :)


  9. I understand. I feel this way about myself too.

    However, I don't remember feeling like that for one second on my wedding day. Honestly. I didn't feel anything other than gorgeous and happy beyond belief, which is odd as the amount of time I spend in every day life feeling awful about my the way I look is ridiculously high. Even when I look back on them, all I can see is how happy we were and felt and how it just shines through. I'm sure you'll feel that too.

    I made a choice to not even try to lose weight for our wedding. I chose to focus on other, more important things in the run up, and probably ended up putting on weight. But I didn't care.

    Choose a dress you love and that makes you feel amazing. Have your hair and make up done. If you really want to lose weight quickly, it won't be healthy. So it depends how important it is. Although I warn you, whist the outcome may make you feel good, you'll probably be grumpy as hell for the duration. No food does that to a girl.

    I know from experience that no matter how much other people tell you how beautiful you are that if you don't feel it, it doesn't matter. But you ARE. And try to remember that everyone here, and there, thinks so too.

    I also feel that blog land isn't so helpful in that most other brides seem to be slim and model like. Not their fault, but still.

    Hannah - I can't believe how stunning you look in your wedding photos! I wasn't sure to expect after your comment. But seriously, YOU'RE STUNNING!

  10. Firstly I want to echo what everyone else has said; other things will take precedent on your wedding day and you will beam and you will glow and you will be the most beautiful woman in the room.

    That is fact.

    However, if you do want to lose a bit of weight/tone up, then there is one way and one way only - diet and exercise.

    It sucks.

    I am three weeks into a health kick now and it is rubbish. I hate it. I truely do. But it is starting to work. Specifically in the toning. While I am not yet a skinny supermodel, the body I do have is firmer and less jiggly.

    All I am doing is eating better (with two 'naughty meals' a week), like Annable says, 1000 - 1500 calories a day. And for the first week it sucked but I am slowly getting used to it and even enjoying it.

    The big thing for me was educating myself (and Steve) about food - I had no idea that fajitas were so rubbish for me. And I had no idea that I could have a small carbonara but just switching from cream to creme fraiche.

    Then, the exercise. I am not an exercisey person. I truely believe that exercise for exercises sake is evil. If I am going for a walk, fine, if I am pounding the high street shopping, great, a treadmill? Forget it.

    So that is what I try and do, encorporate exercise into my life, I take the stairs, always, I suggest going for an evening walk (occasionally to get ice cream but I'll skip over that...).

    If I can't do this then the only things I can bear are:

    The dance game on my Wii


    Doing my mini step machine in front of the reality show Kendra. (I'm so ashamed....)

    This gives me the distraction I need and 30 minutes later I am done.

    If I want to be extra good then I add in some weights/stretches at the end.

    It takes some effort and you have to want it but it will pay off.

    But seriously, don't stress. You will look phenominal. I promise.

  11. I don't know if they have these available on your side of the pond, but I recently purchased a pair of Sketchers "shape ups." They feel very strange to walk in at first, but I wear them everywhere I can, and I am noticing a difference in toning. I was thinking about adding some wrist weights or something because it's my fat arms that really bother me. Also, I have a Wii Fit that has been languishing in a corner. I have every intention of getting it out and using it.

    Really, I do. Just not right at this moment...

  12. Darling, I must echo the other ladies before me that have said you will look beautiful in your wedding photos regardless of weight because you will be happy and smiling. That's all it takes. The only brides I have seen that did not look beautiful in their pictures were the ones that had a sour look on their face (oh my!), but knowing you and your spirit, you will be glowing with love.

    That said, I hate diets. I can't stick to them. Obviously they work for others, so if you want to try, please do. But realize they don't for everyone. I'm the opposite of Liv above, I'm an exercise girl. I'd rather exercise 3-4 days a week in the gym and eat pretty much the same thing (except maybe only one serving of dinner instead of two, or three cookies instead of 10).

    I'm not sure what your budget for this may be, but if you can afford a trainer, that is my surefire suggestion. The fact that I've paid for it up front forces me to go. And then once I'm there, a good trainer forces you to work hard. Don't just go with the first trainer you find. Take suggestions from friends, interview them. Find someone you have a good fit with.

    My thoughts are with you and I hope you are able to achieve what you wish. Remember that I have seen your picture and I think you are cute as a button. And your internal beauty is 100 times that of a supermodel. I can't wait to see how radiant you will be at your wedding.

  13. Oh Anna... I will help you any way I can. Just ask x

    P.S. Whenever I feel really horrible about myself, I'm always cheered when I think of these lyrics from Baz Lurhman's Sunscreen...

    "Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh nevermind, you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now, how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked, you are not as fat as you imagine."

    I am entirely sure that whatever happens you'll look back at pics of yourself on your wedding day and see how happy you and Bean look, how big your smiles, how teary other people are... and all the other things will pale in comparison xx

  14. A bunch of smart ladies have already said amazing things. I echo, and add many hugs. xoxo

  15. Ditto the other ladies here - you will look glowing & amazing. There are no quick fixes but here's a few ideas I've used in the past that have worked for me:
    - South Beach Diet - similar to Atkins, but much healthier as it only restricts NO carbs for 2 weeks. You can even skip Phase I if you like and start at the less restrive phase.
    - Weight Watchers (currently trying it for the first time & I've lost 7lbs - 1/2 a stone)
    - Up the fiber in your diet. It'll keep you fuller longer and erm, help get things moving more. ;)
    - Shinier hair, longer nails, better skin?? = Prenatal vitamins!

    And don't dismiss the magic of deception! Make sure your gown makes the most of your body shape (covers the parts you want & shows off the great stuff) and find a wonderful makeup artist who will make SURE you have a wonderous glow. ;)

  16. Little Anna is such a darling and I am positive grown up Anna is just as darling. That said, if you are unhappy with yourself, and ready to make life changes than I support you 100%. My only piece of advice would be to be kind to yourself and listen to your body. Not all bodies are meant to be wafer thin (and in defensive of the skinny girls, not all bodies are meant to be curvy either). Your body will tell you where it's happy place is. And, oh ok, if I can throw in one more opinion, I don't believe in diets. Diet, to me, sounds like a temporary, often extreme and unpleasant thing. Making a change to a more healthy lifestyle has to be a life long thing. I've heard wonderful things about the book Women, Food and God if you are looking for inspiration.


  17. So again lots of people have already said this but the key thing about your wedding is to enjoy it. That will make you look beautiful and I can imagine you are from the photos we've seen so far.

    But if you really really want to lose weight then I think a slimming club is the way to go, I know quite a few people who have done it and it seems to both work and make them feel better about themselves, which is the key thing.

    But also check out this website: because you are beautiful and you need to keep telling yourself that. We will be telling you but you need to tell yourself too!

    All best wishes and a big hug (()) x

  18. Sweetness -

    I have no advice and would feel a hypocrite to try otherwise. From the opposite end of the spectrum, I know how you feel as was evidenced by my rather monumental breakdown 3 weeks ago when I suddenly realised that I wouldn't miraculously wake up on the wedding day and be the most amazing perfect version of myself I had just assumed I would turn into.

    Nonetheless, you need help. 17 people before me have offered help and I'm sure many more have read and thought about your post. In order to help us help you, maybe it would be worthwhile writing a little bit more about your current lifestyle/eating habits/exercise regime etc - that way both you and we will be able to identify the weak spots and work out where to go from there? We need to know what's NOT working for you first before we can fix it, if that makes sense?

    And finally, dear sweet Anna, do remember that Bean is marrying you. YOU. No matter whether you turn up with lanky hair or in a wheelchair with both legs in plaster. I'm fairly sure he will not see any of the problems you see, either now or as you glide elegantly up the aisle to take your place beside him in the rest of your lives together.

    Love you. x

  19. Oh hon, I feel everything you wrote and I feel for you and I also wish I could reach through the computer and convince you that it won't matter. And convince myself, for that matter. I hope you read everything the wonderful women wrote above about weddings and joy and beauty and take it all to heart. Because it's wise and true. But also, weight is hard. And so, here's a bit about mine:

    I lost about 35 pounds with Weight Watchers, which a) taught me about how to make healthy choices with food and exercise (truly, I didn't understand portion size or how calories sneak in before ) b) gave me an easy system other than calorie counting (calories drove me nuts - 82 for this and 37 for that and arg. Points are easier) and c) kept me motivated with the support of a group setting and the conviction that I needed to get my $40/month worth by attending meetings and using the tools.

    However. I've lost the weight and yet, my brain doesn't know it. I still have "I'm hot" days and "I'm ugly" days, and I've found they usually coincide with whether I've been eating poorly (even low-calorie poorly with sugars and white flour) or whether I've been treating myself nicely with water, fruits, and vegetables. Really, a day after I get back on track with healthy foods I glow again.

    It's hard to change your lifestyle but it's worth it. I won't say diet because diets don't work and I think you're genuinely yearning for something more. In four months you won't experience miracle weight loss but, with toning and with eating well, you'll probably *feel* 1000X better (along with losing real weight and inches.) So do it. Pay whatever it takes to shake up your routine (routines are really hard things to break). Try and focus on how you're feeling and not the weight (I learned from experience that weight can fluctuate wildly from week to week, but that inches and feeling good are better signs.)

    And finally, I think you're lovely now. And Bean obviously does, or he wouldn't be marrying you. And that's all that will matter on your wedding day. The photos are different, of course, but I know that on your wedding day you won't be worrying about those. You'll be focused on Bean and love. xoxo

  20. I hear you exactly and well done for saying it out loud.

    That is exactly how I felt before my wedding and the worst bit was every other bride to be I know said the weight was just falling off them from the stress and being so busy organising. Well that's not how it works for me, I put on weight in those kind of situations, comfort eating I suppose.

    I really, really wish I had lost weight for my wedding but in the end the stress of trying and not really doing it, upset me far more. So in the end I just thought, fuck it, I am who I am and I may not be 100% happy with that, but I REFUSE to let it ruin my day.

    So well done you if you are motivated, give it a go. But do some things to help you learn to love yourself too, don't pin everything on losing weight


  21. Depending on where you live, I thoroughly recommend Bikram yoga (in a hot sauna like room, it's hardcore for the first few sessions, but stick with it!!) - it is likely to help you tone up and lose a couple of pounds due to the intensity of the sessions, but even if you are not at all flexible, the most important thing is that it makes you feel on a high, and content with yourself from the inside out. You'll probably start glowing too! xx

  22. COMPLETELY second conversationpeices and the Baz Lurhman bit. Enjoy your youth and beauty while you can and do not waste too much energy cheating yourself out of it now.

    You will look beautiful on the day you are married because all you will see is yourself reflected in the eyes of the person marrying you. He most probably thinks you look more lovely each day. Not only does he love you and think you look gorgeous, but everyone witnessing the marriage will be beaming love and admiration at you. You will soak it in. It is a priceless beauty balm.

    But tips on losing weight? Eat less, exercise more. I was too stressed and busy leading up to our wedding to seriously lose weight, but i've done really well in my first year of wifehood. I read "Born to Run", decided to "run" (sometimes it's just trotting followed by huffing while walking) at least 30 mins as often as possible (preferably every day, but it doesn't always work) and I am so happy about my health&weight. When i get complacent I buy a running magazine and feel part of a greater breed! Honestly, everyone can run, you just have to make time to do so.

    Good luck, darling. I've been stalking your blog for a while. You have a beautiful mind and spirit: it probably transcends any unhealthiness you feel reflects physically. BUT taking control of the stuff you don't like will make you feel so much more empowered!


  23. Anna... firstly good for you - for pouring out your heart and being honest. I think the majority of us female species tend to hate they way they look in some aspect, and i think this can come to a head on our wedding day. One thing i used to think was, hey everyone see's me looking mank most days, trakkies, no make up, grease ball hair, why am i so worried that i look 'perfect' on our wedding day. That said, after having my baby last August i lost 3 stone of baby weight. It is tough - and i hate to admit comfort eating is causing a creep of weight back on. But it can be done. I counted calories and kept a food diary, and made sure i did something active everyday, like hitting the shops :-) The first couple of weeks i didn't loose anything but as i kept it up the pounds started to fall off. When they do, it is a huge motivator. But if you don't loose weight before the wedding - it doesn't matter. You know where i am if you want a chat, huggles :-) x x x x x x

  24. my dear, I am not a fan of this negativity! but it does feel good to vent (trust me I know!). Also, I know what it feels like to not be a super fan of how you look. I am tubby. I have serious "love handles". My thighs make me want to cry. My butt won't quit. I think happiness is a careful mix of loving yourself beyond looks and just trying to be healthy and not beating yourself up when your not. I will never ever ever weigh 110 but I can glow when I'm happy. Your amazing personality will make you glow. I wish I could offer any legit exercise advice but I am totally lazy and hate exercising. I wish you lived nearby and we could jazzercise together in some neon leotards!

  25. also, please know you can email me anytime you want! its

    i'm always game for chatting with cool ladies!

  26. Whoa Lady you are so nasty to yourself.
    Your post made me feel like crying.
    I think that Baz Lhurman sunscreen quote sums things up perfectly.

    Things that make me feel better/slimmer/prettier
    1. a light fake tan. Adds a glow and disguises cellulite
    2. Hair treatment from hairdressers makes hair glow and I bought clip-in human hair extensions for extra body.
    3. Vitamin C serum at night, rose hip oil during the day makes my skin glow.
    4. Eye last tint frames eyes and makes them look nicer even when you first wake up
    5. Im a life time member of weight watchers and believe it works though not adverse to doing a week of soup diet when want to lose weight quickly- though as a doctor Im sure you are aware of how unhealthy that one is!

    But most of all I think you need to turn off those negative voices playing over from your childhood

  27. Reading this made me sad. Your last post, I completely understood. This one though, well, not so much.

    We are all beautiful. It just depends what your idea of beauty is, and what you choose to see.

    Your family are/were wrong. This is their stuff and it's so sad that it is now your stuff.

    Maybe you should look into going into this a little deeper, along side the being healthy stuff? Not for the short term goal, but for the long term.

    Hugs x

  28. I agree with absolutely everyone above that you shouldn't worry about your weight too much and you ARE going to be a beautiful, glowing bride on your wedding day and your grandkids are never going to think about how you're not the perfect size x figure on your wedding day. They're going to marvel and how young the two of you are on your wedding day and how in love the both of you look and how happy you are.

    But since it's help you're after, I'll oblige. :) I'm currently doing Zumba and it is fantastic. I'm not sure if you have it over there but it's all the craze around here at the moment. It's like a mix of aerobics and latin dancing and I find that it really helps in toning you up. Someone suggested getting a trainer if you have the budget for it and I think that's a great idea too. Our friends who recently got married did just that as they wanted to lose weight and toned up for their wedding. They had a really rigorous regime though... pretty much training before and after work almost everyday of the week. It was crazy but it worked!! The both of them lost an amazing amount of weight for their wedding day!!

    I hope it helps! :)Big big hugs!! Xx

  29. The little girl in the pic is happy without a care in the world and, I'm sure, on the big day you will radiate this happiness and more!
    Whatever you do don't crash diet as this definitely wont help your skin and hair glow .... eat naturally by grazing on foods that will 'feed' you inside-out.
    Have you thought about doing a detox? I'm no-dieter but recently I dipped into a little Ayurveda and tried a 2-day detox to give my metabolic system a kick-start and my body a bit of a cleanse. Was pretty hard going (a liquid diet for 2 days is TOUGH!) but it helped! I love the Ayurvedic principles as it's all about eating right for your individual type and, when your body's in balance, you naturally find your equilibrium (including weight). Maybe worth a thought?
    Make sure you do the right thing for you and listen to your body. x

  30. Hey there is already so much good advice from all the brilliant ladies.
    I think weight watchers really is a right way for responsible weight loss.
    About feeling good, for me Kundalini Yoga was a great experience also for self control and dicipline in general.
    And it will make you glow.
    Its good to make it official as well and really ask all your friends and bean to support you!
    YOU WILL DO IT! xx

  31. I'm sorry it has taken me so long to visit. These posts were just too close to getting my photos and it felt raw and too difficult for me to articulate.
    I'm here to help if I can.
    In the 7 weeks (should have started sooner) before the wedding I started having regular facials (dermologica)- think I had 4 or something. I actually washed my face twice a day instead of being too tired or too lazy. I exfoliated a couple of times a week. All of that really made a difference by skin was brighter and clearer - so I'd recommend it.
    I don't have shiny hair, really it is frizzy and curly but for the wedding and hair trials it was COVERED in shine spray! So just fake it.
    Much as I hate to admit it there could be a link between eating healthy and the state of my skin and hair.


So, I really love all the sweet and/or informative comments that you lovelies leave. Yet if you feel the need to be unnecessarily rude or offensive I will delete your comment and not feel bad about it. So just be constructive alright! Hugs to all you wondrous others.


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