The Wedding Weight Diaries

I’m writing over at A Practical Wedding today. Check out this excerpt and then pop on over and read the rest riiiight here.

Sometimes, I can’t help myself, I believe the hype regardless of the sexual innuendos, and Kamel’s chronic secret videotaping of me while I, uh, worked out. In the end, the ShakeWeight really didn’t last that long. It ended up being a pain to use, and I felt like it wasn’t, um, effective? Ya think? And it wasn’t until after we went on a weekend trip to somewhere that had a pool and sunshine, that we really got serious about changing our lifestyle. I say we because a lifestyle change involves the other person when you’re about to bind yourself to them for eternity. Ahem.

Ever since I was 18, I’ve been losing and gaining weight pretty much every year. When I was a freshman in college I stopped eating anything but english muffins and cereal because the cafeteria grossed me out. So, I lost about 15 pounds. Then I got over it, and found the soft serve machine and gained those 15 pounds back plus 20 more. For the next 2 years I struggled with those 20-25 pounds, and finally when I was 20 I had stopped gaining and losing and gaining and losing and was just at a weight I could depend on. This lasted until I was 22, when I started to fluctuate again. Finally, I went on Weight Watchers (after doing everything else I could think of including changing birth controls, working out twice a day, and giving up peanut butter!). And that worked great. It taught me a lot about nutrition and portion size, and what foods keep me full, so I wasn’t a crazy hungry person. It stopped feeling like a sacrifice. It was an education. But, things changed, I moved, I started working at a bakery (hello free pastries!), and I fell in love with Kamel. We ate out all of the time, we split desserts because it was a “special occasion” every other weekend, we went to movies, bought candy, stayed in with snacks, etc. Temptation was everywhere and guilt was chronic.

27 thoughts on “The Wedding Weight Diaries”

  1. I’m commenting here because I’m afraid to dig into the comments on APW right now for fear that I won’t get any work done, but I read the full post and I loved it.

    Making strides to be healthier so that you can get the most joy out of your time together? Amazing gift that you’re giving to each other.

  2. I rarely read the entire comment threads on APW posts, but I definitely did on this one. I didn’t see anything negative about what you wrote, but once I saw the comments, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised.

    I think I feel for you because I’m close to your size (or so it appears) and it really sucks that we’re not allowed to feel insecure because there are people who are struggling more with their weight than you are. I think Meghan’s comment about how YOU wrote that post about YOURSELF was the best one.

    1. I really, really appreciate the kind words here. My post was meant to be very positive and to show that even though you can struggle with your weight, you can make a switch, it doesn’t have to be stressful and horrible all of the time. And A wedding does NOT have to be the conduit for ridiculous weight loss and body hating. It can actually be something positive. It means a lot to me to know that I am not alone, and that I don’t have to be any which way to feel shitty about myself or great about myself. It’s not about that.

  3. Ooooh lady. I’m so impressed. Talking about your weight (AT ANY SIZE) is a vulnerable thing and you are braver than I for doing so.
    I’m sorry so many people lost their shit all over your post today, righteous fools.

    BUT, I LOVED IT. And as a plus-sized woman I wasn’t at all offended (really what right would I have?) and I found it inspiring! Ry will join WW along with me! We decided last week.

    To changing our lifestyles!

    1. This honestly gave me the heart flutters. I love that he is joining with you and I’m SO GLAD I didn’t offend you. Wouldn’t that have been awful if I had? Good lord. Travesty.

      1. Seriously. I’d be out of a shrink and all dressed up with nowhere to go in June, not allowed! haha!


        1. I second Marielas first comment. I’m technically plus size, and I found your post inspiring…
          A reminder that I seem to have forgotten the lessons I learnt on WW last year before the wedding and perhaps I need to rejoin and teach myself again (I got a new job and moved house within 6 weeks of the wedding… Talk about major life changes throwing things out of whack).

          Go Lauren. Keep feeling better about yourself ๐Ÿ™‚ The haters are going to hate, and I cant bring myself to read the comments on APW – too many are too angry, and really, its themselves they are angry at, but they’d prefer to take it out on you because you’re an easy target.

  4. I’m mid-way through APW comments and wanted to step over here to give you a little love. That this post is so controversial is depressing me because I think it says a lot about culturally instilled insecurities. You said a lot of wonderful things– mainly when you decide to bind your lives together for eternity, it’s probably a good idea that you’re going to live a while. That’s what my husband and I did and we’re eating healthier and working out more and nudging each other to do it when we don’t want to. Niether of us has lost much weight, but we’re stronger and I can run longer and it just feels good to work on this (literal) life project together!

    1. Story time! We work out together in our living room (weights, cardrio, toning) early in the morning. The alarm goes off at 530. And about twice a week I say “Noooooo!” and Kamel let’s me sleep, but most of the time he says “we gotta!!” and we do. This morning the alarm went off and Kamel moaned “I’m sorreee and I didn’t sleep well!” and I thought “nuh uh… we gotta.” So we turned on the light, snuggled, for a bit, and then hit the living room for our workouts. He went first (we gotta take turns, but we cheer eachother on) and then when it was my turn I remembered that the APW post was going up this morning so I asked him to start reading me the comments while I jumped around and squatted with weights and did 100 million reps of god knows what that makes me sore. So he did. And I was like “wha? wha? wha?” But all the while I was working out. Which just makes me laugh a little. Because … i’m going to be healthy me, i’m going to roll my ass out of bed because it makes me feel GOOD after, and I’m not going to let anyone else call me a skinny bitch and tell me i’m bringing other people down by what I am accomplishing in my living room at 530 in the morning. Hell. No.

      1. YESSS. that’s awesome. and probably those endorphins you were pumping into your system helped you have such a spectacular attitude about the whole thing. I was really worried you would be feeling some anxiety over the comments (I would have been!). but you’re a champ.

        I didn’t comment on the post over there (I commented, but not really On The Post), because there seemed to be enough voices saying what I would have said. But I loved the post and I’m really happy for all that you’ve accomplished in your journey!

      2. Yay Laurence!!! (Auto corrected your name and I had to leave it! Haha) seriously though… you two are way inspiring. I’m commenting over here because I am afraid of apw today… and because I am a skinny girl saying that you inspired me to be healthy today!! I work way too much, and have let being healthy fall by the wayside. For me that means I get icky scrawny and wimpy and also… incredibly antsy and crabby (which is never fun, especially not for J). So I’m going to get my butt back to being active… even if it’s just for a 30 minute morning workout in my living room. And not for any weight reasons… just for health and sanity reasons. Thanks to you!! And your inspiration!! And to living a long healthy life with my hubs!!

        1. Ha! That’s what Meghan calls me too. Funny. ๐Ÿ™‚

          I wanted to mention – that I get SORE when I don’t work out…. I mean, I guess I’m sore when I do too but, like… my back starts aching, my knees, my neck. I get OLD. So YAY!!!

          1. Been thinking of my Ms Laurence Pee Pants all day. The thing I kept thinking about is how I felt after my post on APW, all exposed, and wanted to reiterate that telling your story is so so important.

      3. Haha, I love that you kept working out. I think I probably would have been like “say WHAAAAT?” and dropped a weight on my toe or something.

  5. I also didn’t comment over at APW just because I petered out by the time I was finished reading all the comments. But I did want to tell you that I think you did a brave thing by addressing body issues – it’s a sensitive topic for everyone – and I think you did it SO. WELL. You absolutely DID make the beautiful point that people can change their lifestyles for the better, and it doesn’t have to be because you have to wear a white dress in x-number of months. It’s sad that (and I’m not saying that in a patronizing way, it truly is sad and says a lot about our culture) some people are so steeped in their own body issues that they can’t see the truth of what you were really seeing for looking through their own tinted glasses.

  6. The comments at APW usually overwhelm me a teensy bit, so I’ll tell you here:

    Hurrah! I love your approach, and I love how the two of you have so clearly found the right approach for you. I did something similar (“I” in the sense that my now-husband has always been effortlessly healthy; “we” in the sense that he’s super supportive of me — we work put together, cook one healthy dinner each night that we’ll both eat, etc.): I used Getting Married as a motivator and catalyst, but I only let myself take on stuff I was reasonably prepared to do for years and years. So, going running together every Saturday morning and training for a 10k? Sure! Eating more fresh fruits and veggies? Bring it on. Cutting out chocolate? Hell no.

    1. Yes! Me too. This is what I wanted to say.

      Lauren, great post. Scary comments, but I hope you think it was worth it. xx

  7. I’m new to your blog. I read this on A Practical Wedding. I just wanted to say that this is wonderful and much needed. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Lauren,

    I’m also half way through the comments over at APW.

    Thankyou for writing. Thankyou for your honesty. You keep doing your early morning workouts and don’t let negative commenters get you down. It’s getting a bit ridiculous.

  9. You already know this is an issue near and dear to my heart, so I was really glad to see you tackle it today. Thought you did a really great job with the post (and obviously you are doing a really great job with your health) – go you!

  10. Oh dear. Can I just say – you done good with this post, and you should be proud. If I were you I’d be in a miserable snotty mess following such an outpouring of judgment (and couched – of course – in terms of “don’t judge me for what makes me happy/healthy/attractive!”), all the more so when you’ve gone out on such a brave limb in the first place.

    As a former anorexic (something I’ve commented on before on APW, on a post at the other end of the spectrum but dealing with JUST THE SAME THINGS), I feel when I read comments like you got today as though people are too threatened by their own fears to be able to even hear what I have to say on this topic. Which is awful, and so sad, because what’s it all for if we can’t learn from (and grow because of) the experiences of others?

    When will we stop punishing ourselves? When will we learn that another woman’s suffering is a universal cue for empathy, not judgment of whether she was “really doing it tough”; and that another woman’s health, happiness and peace are a source of joy, rather than some new rod with which to beat ourselves?

    So yeah. Cross-continental/-hemispheral sympathies, and good on you girl!

  11. i anxiously await the time when women can stop determining for one another who can and can’t feel insecure, who is or isn’t attractive, who is too thin and who is too heavy, what defines a “real woman”s figure.

    can we all do that? please?

    because in the same way that beauty and health come in all shapes and sizes, so too does insecurity. it’s not just the morbidly obese who have been damaged by someone’s physical expectations at one time or another. and health isn’t something that thin women can take for granted.

    as women, we need to stop touting this hypocritical ideal that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” while muttering “what’s SHE complaining about…”

    all that to say, cheers for talking about it lauren. if this was the mid-90’s, i’d throw in a “you go girl.”

  12. If it’s not clear already from our Twitter conversation, I think you are amazing and I think the post you wrote is super-important and I’m so glad you put it up (and angry for you that so many people immediately took this great thing you’re doing and made it all about them).

    And I hear you. Because while my wedding pictures show that I was maybe the thinnest I’ll ever be as an adult back in August, I looked that way because of stress and insomnia induced weight loss (and some makeup artist magic, and some photographer magic). The thing is… after moving to the Bay Area and starting to walk everywhere, I *feel* so much healthier these days. The number on the scale hasn’t changed that much, but the internal change has been profound… and not just in the sense of having traded fat for muscle. I feel so freaking empowered that I’m able to walk several miles every day, that the trek up the many flights of stairs to my department office no longer leaves me out of breath. It’s not a size thing, since my size hasn’t changed. It’s a health thing. It’s a feeling at home in my body thing.

    And I love that you and Kamel are doing this together. Because, to tell you the truth, my husband’s bachelor years consisted of eating fast food at least five times a week. He didn’t *look* overweight because he’s blessed with a fast metabolism, but he certainly didn’t feel healthy. And it took me sitting him down and going, “Look, this lifestyle is not sustainable. And when I lay awake at 2am worrying, my biggest fear is that you will die early like so many of the men in your family have, and I’ll be left all alone.” (People in my family live for a freakishly long time.) So people can make all the comments they want (and they do) about how I’m “restricting” him or trying to get him to lose weight to “look better,” as if all those choices are just about control or appearance, I know the truth and I’m so glad that he’s starting to change what he eats and to work out more. Because it’s not about just looking good or being an ideal size… it’s an investment in our future and a way of showing that he loves me. And that means the world to me.

    (Um, sorry for the novel-length comment. Clearly you struck a chord with me!)

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