Photography: Kaye Ford | Words: Zoe London
You’re gonna open this post and be like, but Zoe, you’re naturally slim – while I am yes, it still doesn’t mean i’m skinny.
I’ve always been slim. Actually when I was a kid, I was really skinny – I ate loads and whenever I wanted but for some reason I was always bones and skin. My parents could never understand why. When I was a teenager, I hated it. I didn’t want to be all lanky and skeletonal, I wanted to have boobs and a butt and feel more of a womanly adult than I did. I’ve never really managed to get to that, until more recently. I’ve been having some problems lately with my digestive health and food upsetting me, but have cut out a lot of things that upset my stomach and now manage my diet to suit me, and to nourish me – to make me feel good. A wedding diet has never really been on the agenda, I joke about it but for me really it’s not part of the plan. I’m being asked a lot lately “So how’s the wedding diet coming along?” – yeah. It’s not for me. Let’s talk about it today.
I love food, but food doesn’t love me anymore. I feel like I can’t talk about this too far in-depth right now because we still don’t know what’s wrong with me – the doctor thinks IBS, but we’re still not sure. There’s further testing to be had. All I know is, certain foods give me crippling bloating abdominal pain, sometimes bad enough to last a couple of days. Dead fun, that. So my relationship with food is changing anyway, to suit my bodies’ needs. I’ve had to cut right down on alcohol, and i’ve been completely free of raw red meat/steak consumption for nearly two years now. I feel a lot better in myself, there’s still some way to go in solving it completely – but i’m determined to look after myself food wise as much as possible. Finding what foods work for my tummy doesn’t mean cutting out treat food though, and i’m definitely still prone to the odd doughnut – hello Doughnut Time, featured here just off Old Street in all it’s turquoise glory – as well as takeaway foods and my favourite food of all – the humble creme egg. I couldn’t eat doughnuts frequently, but the odd one or so in a month has been such a lovely treat. I’ve been feeling this niggling guilt in the back of my mind though, like ‘oh, you shouldn’t eat this, you have a wedding’ and while I think, okay yes sure… well, i’m kinda okay with getting those extra pounds. I’m nourishing myself in a way that makes me happy, and while i’m restricted to certain foods anyway, I think cutting out any more than that would make me miserable.
I’ve never loved myself, but I have learned to accept myself. In November last year I had to throw out all my old jeans, to repurchase new jeans in a size up. Was I upset? Not really. I mean, it wasn’t the most cost effective thing to have to do, but I felt the most at peace with my own size that i’d ever been. I think a lot of people from the outside look at slim people and automatically assume they’re happy with their weight, because societies’ propaganda instilled in us makes us think that, but the reality is that we don’t always feel that way. I wish more than anything that I had some shape to my body, some definition in curves and like I said – even a glimpse of boobs or butt would be lovely – but i’m nearly 29 and well, I got nothing. I think when you’re approaching a wedding dress try on, the best thing you can do for yourself is love who you are, and know that you can find something to suit and fit you beautifully. I wouldn’t want anyone to go in that room and try on those dresses feeling any less than that. You’re you for a reason. I also didn’t want to feel like I had changed, or didn’t look like me on my wedding day. I totally get the whole ‘look and feel your best’ vibe, but for me I think I just want to be happy. The lead up and my relationship with food will already be tumultuous, so I don’t want to add to that.
I have fitness goals i’d like to achieve – our spin bike does not get enough love and I need to change that – but mostly because I feel unfit, and not because of my weight. I can’t run particularly well without getting out of breath, and I can’t even lift light weights. The house move of boxes nearly did me in! I want to get a little fitter, just for myself and not for my wedding.
If you’re getting married and worried about the pressure to lose weight – or gain weight – I just want to tell you that I think more of it is probably in your head than in your heart. I thought for months and months that I needed to go on a wedding diet, when really I don’t think its for me. If you’re on it and you’re smashing your goals, i’m so proud of you and I want you to continue and be the happiest version of you. If you’re having those doubts or worrying about whether you feel you should or not, well, i’m not, and I don’t want to give myself this added pressure when the wedding day comes with enough pressure as it is!
I feel like this year is gonna be a bit of a weird one food wise for me. I’m already checking foods to see if they contain any of my upset tummy trigger ingredients more ruthlessly than ever, but i’m also finding ways to cook new foods, make delicious home cooked meals that do make me feel good, give me energy and make me feel well. I think really when you’re navigating your way through health problems that look difficult to understand, that’s all you can do. That’s the best you can do. The odd doughnut here and there isn’t going to be damaging, but food itself brings so much joy and happiness. I get a tremendous amount of happiness from food, and I don’t plan on changing that for my wedding. I never thought i’d feel this much pressure just to conform to the societal ‘wedding diet’ that I didn’t know was a thing, but that people keep asking me about left right and centre. Don’t feel guilty, don’t feel pressure if this isn’t you. Every single bride and groom is different, and well, it’s not me – at all.
To be honest with you, we’re looking at a taco truck and doughnut wall for our wedding day anyway! Let me know in the comments what you think and if you did a wedding diet or not.