Broke-Ass Tag: Canada Bride

2/6

stickitI want to talk about body image. The pressure to look “perfect” in your dress on your big day. Bridal boot camps! Shredding for the wedding! Your 28-day pre-wedding detox diet! Finally drop those last 5/10/20 pounds for your big day! Blah blah blah.

I’m going to get real with you for a sec. I have more than my fair share of body image issues. I struggled with disordered eating as a teen because I hated the way my body looked compared to the images I saw in magazines and on TV. Over the years I wasted time, money and endless mental energy on my pursuit of the socially acceptable thin body. By my mid-20s, I recognized it as the oppressive crap it really was and I began to reject it. Therapy helped. Yoga helped. Getting really angry at the system helped. Then, I began body-building several years ago as a means of re-evaluating my relationship with exercise, as I still really enjoyed the positive impact on my sleep and mental health. I began focusing on getting stronger, not skinnier, and I began to look at eating as a way of nourishing my body rather than constantly trying to trick it into burning fat for fuel. This was my recovery – for many others it can look different.

However, when I got engaged, things changed.  I couldn’t help the nagging feeling that my dress would sit nicer on my hips and upper arms if I lost some fat there. I started upping the cardio and cutting the carbs. I started staring critically at myself in the mirror again. I got irritable and started snapping at my partner, sort of taking away from the romance of it all.  Then, I had a conversation that not only alerted me to what was happening to me (that I was beginning to relapse), but also, how much of a money-suck I was about to buy into.

I’d been attending a bootcamp class for about a year. I really enjoyed the fast pace, it got my heart pounding, released anxiety and got me thisclose to being able to do an unassisted pull up. Then, one night, I accidentally drop the f-word while I was chatting with the instructor – “fiancé”. I’m pretty sure the moment he realized I was getting married, I transformed from a person into one of those brown sacks with a giant dollar sign on it that cartoon robbers steal from banks. He started pushing personal training on me, dropping comments about “getting ready for the big day.” In the moment, I briefly considered it – he was a really good guy, and I liked the idea. Then the comments got more personal – how much weight do you want to lose? First off, I felt massively stereotyped. Hey man, I thought, you assume that because I’m female and getting married I automatically hate my body and want to lose weight? Further, your plan is to exploit that in order to make bank? He insisted the only way I was going to see “drastic changes” in my body was to come at least twice a week, with the price tag of approximately $480 a month. Sorry, dude, I didn’t (and never said that I did) want to make any drastic changes to my body. I walked out feeling uncomfortable as hell, and by the time I got home, I was pissed.

Ladies, the pressure to look perfect on your big day is real, prevalent and damn expensive. Being female in the first place is expensive, mind you; being a bride increases it 20-fold. Aside from the makeup, hair, dress, jewelry, shoes, you’ve got to have to have “the body” too.  Not to mention the boot camp-style classes that will allegedly give you the perfect body also result in super calloused hands and feet, plus shin bruises from box-jumps and dead-lifts gone awry. Add the cost of manicures, pedicures, and spray-on body concealer. Remember, you want to look fit, but you don’t want to in any way advertise you actually worked hard to get there!

Needless to say, it’s a losing game. If you are trying to plan this “perfect event,” managing a million expectations and budgeting while at the same time are spending hours in the gym and being hangry, well, that sounds like a terrible recipe for disaster. I’m not doing it. I will keep exercising because I love how it makes me feel, but I might be going someplace else.

Don’t buy into the BS, ladies. Be whoever you want to be on your wedding day.

  • 1/9

    Affiliate Disclaimer New

    As I mentioned in my first post, I’ve planned to make my own wedding cake. I realize this is not an easy undertaking, and have been warned by multiple friends that this could add additional stress to my wedding day. DIYing is awesome, but making a cake is something you have to do basically the day before and can end in multiple disasters. However, I am a huge baking geek. I love coming up with new and exciting recipes. For me, baking is my “thing.” It’s my creative outlet. It relaxes me, so hopefully that will offset the additional stress. For me to make something beautiful and unique all on my own for my wedding day, something I can share with my husband and my closest loved ones … it’s just very meaningful.

    While my self-taught cake decorating skills are still a work in progress, I feel like by then I might be able to make something pretty damn good. My freehand buttercream isn’t too bad, as seen below in last year’s Easter cake:

    Holly's DIY easter cake

    And my creativity and punniness is on point, as seen in Evan’s last birthday cake (if you can’t tell, it’s supposed to be shaped like a pint):

    Holly's DIY birthday cake for her fiance

    I know it’s not on par with something a professional would do … yet. So, I did what any grown-ass woman would do with a goal: I took a class!

    Here’s the Disney-princess themed cupcakes I made after my first class (with fondant):

    Holly's disney princess cupcakes

    Not bad, right?

    Since then, I’ve been practicing and watching online tutorials as well and have invested in some good quality tools and gear such as a cake turntable. My plan will be to bake the layers a few days before the wedding, freeze them and then do the assembling and baking on-site the day before. I won’t put pressure on myself to do anything too crazy extravagant, but something I can be proud of. Plus, my fiance has eaten every baking success and disaster that has happened so far in our relationship and no matter how badly I fail, he insists it still tastes good. So long we can still shove it in each other’s mouths, I’m happy.

  • 10/25

    I want to talk a little about our broke-ass approach to our engagement. Ever since I saw the movie "Blood Diamond" in 2006, I decided that I wanted an engagement ring with an ethically sourced stone. Mind you, i was 19 and single at the time, so my thought process pretty much stopped there. Flash forward nine years, Evan and I had been living together for…

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    10/11

    Hello everyone! My name is Holly, and I am a Broke-Ass Bride. I guess it's important that before we get going on the creativeness and the snarkiness, you get to know the woman behind it. I'm in my late 20s, I'm a graduate student and I live in a large city in Canada with my fiance and my our dog. I love cooking, baking, yoga,…

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