The commercials have already started.
Lose five pounds every week with no diet or exercise!
Say goodbye to those love handles for good with our new miracle pill!
Start the new year as a new, skinnier you!
We’ve seen dozens of weight loss advertisements attempting to convince us that shedding the extra pounds should be at the top of our New Year’s resolutions list. And for many of us, there’s a health-related reason that weight loss should make the list. As a bride-to-be, I feel more pressure than ever to say goodbye to carbs, sugar and the occasional ice cream splurge all together.
It’s going to be a big year filled with showers, a bachelorette party, wedding and honeymoon, and I want to look my best, just like any other bride. I’ve already faced Jillian Michaels in my living room in the early morning hours as I attempt to get “ripped in 30” as her workout DVD proclaims, and I know that in the next ten months, I could raise the bar for my health and fitness goals.
I thought that the battle with the scale would end once I closed the door on the dating scene, but apparently just because you get the guy, doesn’t mean that you get the freedom to indulge. There’s a wedding dress to fit into, after all.
The New York Times dubbed pre-wedding weight loss pressures as the “bridal hunger games” with brides going to extreme lengths to drop 10, 15 or even 20 pounds before their wedding. Sites like The Knot give brides access to specialized wedding work-out plans, and nearly every bridal magazine features models fit for the runway.
There are so many items to focus on pre-wedding from choosing what food to serve, which cake to cut and finally, how many pounds to drop, but from the very moment that engagement ring slipped on my finger, I made a commitment to my future spouse and to myself to focus on the things that matter. Months and years down the road, our centerpieces and first dance will be long forgotten, but what people will remember is how we worked toward that day and how we live out our holy marriage within the day-to-day pace of life.
This mindset doesn’t always come natural, especially in our culture that proclaims “it’s your day” at every turn, prompting the most well-intentioned brides to obsess over napkin colors and favors. When I do give in to those pressures, even in the briefest of moments, I don’t like the person that I become. Losing sight of the sacrament of marriage, which sits at the very center of the biggest day of our lives, shifts my priorities and makes our wedding into an event—not the entryway into a lifetime covenant.
Each day, we all must choose where we put our treasures—in the ways of this world or the ways of God in Heaven. In the midst of the “bridal hunger games,” I’m choosing to foster a healthier lifestyle that will make me the best version of myself for my future husband and for God. That doesn’t mean slaving away in the gym for the next 10 months, rather viewing my body as a Temple of the Holy Spirit ready to do God’s work.
On my wedding day, I don’t want my husband-to-be to watch a thin, over-worked version of myself walk down the aisle. I want his eyes to see a healthy, beaming bride, overflowing with joy, love and gratitude, ready to start our life together as husband and wife and committed to living out God’s plan for us.
Now that’s what truly matters.