With less than three weeks until the wedding and stress levels rising, I've been looking for ways to relax and still try to maintain my weight. I'm definitely a stress eater and these past few months have truly tested my ability to refrain. Same goes for exercise. Some people find that when they are under a lot of stress, going for a run or taking a power lifting class helps to burn off some steam. That's been true for me in the past, but lately, all I've wanted to do is relax at home and take the doggies for their walks.
Part of me knows that this is the final stretch. Three weeks to work on toning, reducing bloat, and getting some much-needed exercised-induced endorphins. But my "squishy happy side" just wants to chill. My mind is so full of thoughts, to-do lists, and "what if's" that I feel like I literally can't take in any more information. I'm having the same problem with output. It's all I can do to make it through work. Or should I say jobs. That's right; I still have all four jobs. Super fun!
Happily, something wonderful happened the other day to not only bust me out of my brain fog, but also make me feel beautiful (a rare and amazing occurrence, much like Halley's Comet). A few weekends ago, I went down to North Carolina for my bridal portraits slash bachelorette party. Eleven women shared a gorgeous beach house thanks to the hard work of my best college friend, Margarette. She put together an amazing weekend for me, and even at four months pregnant, went out of her way to do everything possible to please me. She went with me to Fort Macon for my bridal pics and spent the first half hour listening to me bitch about my dress being too tight. Even with my hair and makeup done professionally and looking gorgeous (so everyone told me), I still found reasons to pick on myself. Margarette did her Matron-of-honor duty and told me how fabulous I looked, but I just wasn't feeling it. I felt like I couldn't breathe and I had my photographer Ena cheerfully telling me to spin around and to pose on a stranger's motorcycle for fun. Arrrrghh!!
Eventually, I eased into the session and started to loosen up. The sun was setting over the Atlantic as I walked barefoot in the sand, holding my veil over my head so it could blow in the salty breeze. When I was finished, I wondered like any bride would how the photos would turn out. I didn't feel beautiful, maybe just a bit pretty, but I hoped Ena's skills would tell help to tell a different story. After waiting a tense week, I finally received her e-mail with a link to the new gallery. I held my breath and opened it up, and much to my surprise and shock...I cried. The photos brought tears to my eyes because despite my whining and discomfort during my session, I truly looked beautiful. My body looked curvy in the dress, not fat. My skin looked porcelain, not ruddy. And the orchids behind my ear completed my vision exactly how I hoped they would. I could not have been happier.
Seeing those pictures really got me thinking. If I felt so awkward and un-pretty that day and the photos still turned out beyond my expectations, then what would have happened if I had just relaxed from the start in the dressing room and accepted what I saw in the mirror, instead of looking for every flaw? Most likely, I would have enjoyed the session more fully and lived for that moment. I always talk about appreciating the present, and not worrying so much about the past or the future. Sometimes I get off track and put myself down. I know I'm not working to my full potential to accomplish my goals, but life is too short to never like what you see in the mirror. We all deserve to have a moment or two of peace with ourselves and our image, even perhaps some breathless enjoyment. For me, it took the perspective of a great photographer to remind me that that's ok. I'm thrilled now to think about my wedding day. I've seen the previews, and there's nothing left to do but enjoy the real thing.
Published On: October 01, 2010