Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Choosing love over thinness

Taron is a Beyond Chocolate member and a describes herself as a 'big Beyond Chocolate fan'. She also writes the Mind, Body & Scroll a blog about mind and body health, with a particular emphasis on being your own guru - a very Beyond Chocolate approach!

I am going to come clean. I've been freaked out about how I'm going to look in my wedding dress. Despite the fact that I know everyone will be wearing 'the love' goggles and telling me I look beautiful no matter what, it's hard to ignore the idea that quote, unquote everyone loses weight before their wedding and looks enviably thin and bird-like.
This is a sad, sad statement on the value our society places on thinness. In my defense, I have kept strong. I have practiced what I preach – I have refused to diet ahead of the wedding, and the exercise I am doing, as I've stated before, is simply the kind of exercise that I would like to maintain for the rest of my life (in a very reasonable dose that makes me feel good and strong, and not done for the sake of being 'thin').
But still. It's hard, knowing that there will be a gazillion pictures of me taken on the day and I wonder if I'll look at them and wish I had done just a bit more Bikram yoga, if I could just have looked a bit more toned. And this is sad.
I'm admitting my fears, however, because I refuse to give into them. And I refuse to give up the fight to change my attitude to my own body and the bodies of those around me. I think it's clear these days that we live in a fattist society and I'm trying to do my little bit to combat it.
In some ways what has helped me is trying not to think about myself, but what if I have a daughter or a son? How would I want them to view their own bodies? How would I want them to live?
So, in my own messy way, I am trying to set an example. I refuse to engage in 'fat talk' or say negative things about food (any food, even spam). And it is liberating to seek your natural body weight and throw away your scale! I've stopped weighing myself over the past six months and now couldn't tell you what I weigh. I'll never go back, I highly recommend it.
Ah, you say, I wouldn't know what it feels like to be fat as I've never been quote, unquote overweight. Well, maybe I don't know. And I'll give you that. But I also know that being comfortable in your own skin is not something only for supermodels. It's like the fact that love isn't only for movie stars. People come in all shapes and sizes and there are women much heavier than me that I envy for the way they look. Sexy and thin are not synonyms.
And I think it's impossible these days to not be tempted to feel fat at any weight, any size. It really is all in your head. I certainly do know what it feels like to feel panicked about food. I've dieted before and trying consciously to lose weight was one of the most fraught and horrible things I've ever done. And I only ended up gaining weight (no matter how hard I tried – the illusion of control is just that). It didn't make me thinner, it made me crazier.
I may be worried about how I will look on the 'big day' but the difference is this. I'll admit it, I'll acknowledge it and I'll sit with it uncomfortably, but I will not give into the crazy societal pressures that surround me. Because the love of all my family and friends (and my future husband) that surrounds me is much stronger than that.
Choose love over thinness. Trust me, it's better.


  1. Thank you so much for your honesty about this. Had to say, I wondered, a bit, about the healthy eating peops, whether faced with a crisis - like a wedding dress - they'd fall back on the tried-and-true "regular" diet and/or laxatives just for this once.

    So gratified that you didn't - but that you ALSO acknowledged the PRESSURE to be thin on your wedding day.

  2. Good for you and I hope you have a wonderful day - remember to smile all the time, people will be taking photos from all angles constantly ... ;)

  3. Congratulations on your forthcoming weddiing Taron! This is the first time I've ever commented on the Beyond Chocolate website, and I felt moved to do so today as I applaud you for your choice. I got married last June and didn't diet before the big day, although the temptation was there for me too - I really think you have enough on your plate planning a wedding without adding to your stress in that way!

  4. Haha! This is so funny, Taron, because I just wrote about exactly the same thing! Congrats to you, and wishing you a fabulous wedding day :)

  5. Thanks everyone! With less than two weeks to go it's surreal... I'm so glad I came clean and wrote about how I was feeling as so many women have identified with it (we're really not alone, after all!). I will think of you all on the day as I'm smiling big time - and I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again for all the lovely comments.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.