You know what I've loved most about planning a wedding? How much other people care. Even people that you haven't seen in years, those you've just met or friends you wouldn't claim to be especially close with...they're endlessly supportive and interested in your day. They want to know everything...the date, the location, your dress, your color scheme and so forth. I find it enchanting.
It's so sweet that others care about one day in my life.
Also on my list of things I love? Advice. Smart ways to save a dollar here...a tip on where to hunt for bargains. Words of wisdom on how to keep your guest list trim. Passing along a favorite website for tracking details. The best place to buy your cake. Who knows how to do weddings better than former brides, bridesmaids and mothers of the bride? No one. I've found their advice endlessly encouraging and inspiring.
But, I have to get this off my chest, in this community of people who always understand my heart. There is one type of advice that I'm simply through with: weight and body advice.
For as long as I've dreamed about my wedding day...I've also cried about my weight. About not feeling beautiful enough. Even after dropping fifty pounds and five dress sizes, there's a residual feeling of not quite loving my body. I've cried after trying on dresses, because I didn't feel beautiful...or because the size 10 sample dresses didn't zip. And these comments certainly aren't helping the situation. Although I've only been engaged for a month, it would take two hands to count the number of times people have made a passing comment about losing weight for the wedding, what I should not eat and fitting in a dress. After every comment...I just feel defeated. I've worked so hard on my body for the last three years, but when I hear these words...I feel like it wasn't enough. Like I'm not enough. Like I won't be beautiful enough.
In the time he was still stateside, Gabe had already grown tired of it, too. While I get weepy over them...he gets angry. Angry that someone would think it appropriate to comment on a bride-to-be's body. Or what she's eating. Heaven knows...every bride has enough stress and pressure inside her own mind over her body, Gabe says, and how she'll look that day...she certainly doesn't need it hurled at her from the outside, too. And he's right.
My usual approach would be grin-and-bear it...but I simply cannot anymore. In the minds of those saying these things, I'm sure they think they're being helpful. But in reality, for a girl who continuously battles with weight and self worth? It's hurtful.
So, my always-ready-with-great-advice sisters of the blogosphere....how does one tactfully respond to these words...without being pegged a bridezilla?