Battling the Bridal Bulge

Ooh, this post is a tough one. I'm guilty of falling into one of the Wedding-Industrial-Complex's traps. This is embarrassing to admit, especially since I know better. In Women's Enews, there is a feature on just how popular trying to diet for a wedding is. It's become as common place in the planning process as choosing a dress or carrying flowers. I wish I could say that I am feminist enough to ignore this stupid planning step, but I'm not. Grad school stress sent me running for yoga last winter. Turning 30 this year made me more aware of how I am taking care of myself. And Groom's obsession with Michael Pollen has just added to this new food/body awareness.

I went to a nutritionist last week. Please give me a little credit, since I'm trying to go about this the medical way, instead of the trendy book diet of the month way. The odd thing was that the Doctor didn't fully believe me when I said I had never been on a diet before. Okay, I did the South Beach diet for about a week, but thought it was boring. I found this both shocking and sad. I'm lucky; I don't believe we had a scale growing up, and my sisters and I never felt any type of weight pressures from our family. But it's true, the majority of women in the United States have been on some type of diet in their lifetimes. Science Daily has even more grim statistics.

Okay, so now I'm feeling this pressure, and I'm sad that I am. I want to be really healthy. I see babies in my future, and want to make sure that is as easy as possible. I  genuinely like veggies. I also love ice cream and bacon cheeseburgers. I also really want to look as strong as some of the women in my pilates class. But I am sad that my big motivating factor, the one that really pushed me into action is because I want more choices when I finally get around to wedding dress shopping.

The process itself isn't so bad thus far.  I have to cut out sugar and fried foods, eat a ton of veggies, and write down everything I eat.  I already walk a ton - I mean a ton.  I don't have a car, so I walk to work, walk to grad school, walk my puppy 3 times a day, you get the picture.  Plus I'm pretty good about hitting pilates 2-3 times a week.  I throw in a yoga class every now and then too.  The writing down everything I eat is a little telling.  I was so self conscious of everything today (day 1) that I stuck to the plan.  Granola w/ blueberries, yogurt and coffee for breakfast, a salad with chicken for lunch, banana before class, and a giant salad, small sandwich and sugar free fudgesicle for dinner. Don't worry, this blog won't go all Bridget Jones, I promise.  

The hard part is admitting to a flaw.   I also prided myself on never dieting or, I am sorry to say, eating like a girl.  Trying to reconcile my strong feminist viewpoints and a healthy lifestyle is somehow at conflict in my head, and I have to sort through this too.  It's upsetting to me that I feel that I need to look a certain way, but that doing this will be good for me long term.  Its this conflict that will make this tough for me, but I'm gonna give this dieting thing a shot.  So forgive me when I order a salad at dinner or when I bring my own lunch to work.  What started out as a desire to look great on my wedding day will hopefully give way to a stronger healthier me.

Give me your fave diet tips or your thoughts on body image.  This was hard to write so I hope it sparks a reaction.