I’ve been drafting a post like this forever but getting an email from the woman who’s doing my dress fitting telling me to ‘finish my wedding diet’ before I go and see her kick started me to finish this rant and get it uploaded before it was more of a Summer 2018 post!
Though to be honest it wouldn’t matter when I wrote this post because there’s always a ‘reason’ to diet isn’t there. There’s always something people claim they ‘should’ be dieting for. Summer holiday seems to be a firm favourite – I’ve lost count of the number of ridiculous magazine headlines I’ve seen promising a ‘perfect beach body’ in God knows how many weeks – but then there are weddings, friend’s weddings, birthdays, friend’s birthdays, dog’s birthdays, third cousin Freddy’s christening and the neighbour’s cat’s baby shower until it all just gets ridiculous and I just want to know why. Why does an occasion, an event or any day at all mean that we have to ‘drop a dress size’ or ‘lose that waistline’? Why do we place so much value on losing weight? When did society start thinking in such a self-depreciating way!? It seems so engrained into our brains that it’s like you’re strange if you aren’t dieting for summer or trying to lose weight for something. Even my fiancée’s parents, who are the biggest lovers and food, drink and generally loving life, have mentioned that they want to lose a stone before our wedding. I just can’t understand it. Why does society place so much self worth on how we look rather than who we are?
Which brings me to my wedding diet, which so many people seem to keep questioning me about. Erm.. what wedding diet!? Unlike others who write on this topic I can honestly say I have never once been on a diet and I don’t plan to start now. In my opinion there is no positive outcome from a diet. You either lose weight, just to then pile it all back on (and probably some more due to damaged metabolism) or you don’t lose weight at all, have made your life more miserable without reason and probably even feel some sense of failur. I’ve heard of billions of diet plans out there (of course I have; everyone’s favourite topic of conversation is their latest ‘miracle diet’ a.k.a. stupid fad), ranging from restricting your food intake, cutting out the foods you love or avoiding certain food groups to drinking some vile green juice or detox tea or the most ridiculous ones which include wasting atrocious amounts of money on ridiculous diet products with people failing to realise the seemingly obvious – if it was easy and there was a quick fix or a magic diet pill then everyone would be using them. And the companies marketing them wouldn’t have to use every line in the BS manual to try to persuade you to buy them if they were so damn wonderful.
If you want to lose weight (for yourself and nobody else!!) then make a lifestyle change – whilst I’ve never dieted I’ve certainly made lifestyle changes whether or not they’ve been conscious. I eat tons of fruit and veg now (I never touched them at University), I try to get some form of protein in most of my meals now (I refused to buy meat at university because it was “too expensive” – though obviously that round of jäger bombs wasn’t..!) and it was only about two or three years ago that I even discovered that lifting weights existed as a form of exercise, let alone set foot in the weights area! But I’ve done all these things because I’ve become more educated and because I’ve wanted to. They’re not strict rules that I struggle to stick to – in total contrast I actually don’t have to think about it at all! They’re sustainable lifestyle changes that I enjoy and that I genuinely want to keep up; I’m hugely passionate about home cooking and I absolutely love fruit and veg – I couldn’t imagine a diet without them now (I’ve also discovered an unhealthy obsession with nut butter but I guess you win some, you lose some 😛 ). While I never set foot in a gym whilst at university (but I did play badminton a few times a week) I love it now, and whilst I don’t follow a strict programme (or any programme at all if I’m being honest) I usually lift 2-3 times a week because I like feeling strong and fit. None of these things were for anyone else or to achieve a short-term goal. They are me truly wanting to improve my overall health, happiness and quality of life, hopefully for the rest of my life!
Ultimately health is as much a mental thing as it is physical so if following a strict diet or exercise regime is making you miserable, obsessed or unable to enjoy life then I just don’t see the point. The run up to the wedding has been so exciting for me. I know some people find it stressful but we’ve both been incredibly chilled out about it and I just can’t wait for to have all of our closest friends and family around us, I can’t wait for our honeymoon and I couldn’t be more excited to marry quite literally the best person I know. Why anyone would want to throw a diet in there to suck joy out of the run up to one of the most exciting times of most people’s lives is just beyond comprehension for me. Yes maybe in an ideal world I’d be slimmer but is Marcus marrying me for my size!? Are my friends and family judging me for not losing a few pounds? Is the memory of how I looked going to stand out over spending the most incredible day with family and friends? I bloody well hope not because if so I’d lead a very sad life and would seriously need to reconsider who I classed as my closest friends! Not to mention I’ll be demolishing all the treats on our honeymoon (I’ve never been to NYC before and I can’t WAIT!!) so I need that metabolism to be working at an all time high to keep me constantly hungry while we’re there.. I’ve got about fifty food places on my list (and counting!).
* All views are my own. I have absolutely zero nutritional qualifications but I do have personal experience and common sense.