I wish I could say this is not something I’m proud of but, over the years, the Captain Morgan’s-soaked tale of how I wound up in the back of a taxi on my most special of nights, hurling out the back door while screaming, “I’m Courtney Love!”, the cabbie furiously shoving Dunkin’ Donuts napkins in my hands, has grown to legendary proportions and is now a source of great personal pride.
Another fact I’m proud of: Unlike the other masses of brideorexics, I was not puking in an effort to look skinny in said strapless gown. In fact, I remember being enormously pleased with myself when, one I found THE dress, I chose a size 8 even though the size 6 fit nearly perfectly. The smaller size was a wee bit tight, but I easily could’ve let my punishing, formerly-eating-disordered competitiveness take over and said, “I’M GETTING THE SIZE SIX. I can just lose a few pounds.” Instead, I bought the size eight, relieved that I’d have some wiggle room once the inevitable stress-related whoopee pie frenzy began during the Big Day Countdown. And that, you know, I’d be able to actually inhale as I recited my vows.
That said, practically every bride I’ve ever known has been obsessed with losing weight/toning up her arms/squeezing into a smaller size gown. Some joined Weight Watchers or Atkins, others practically lived at the gym. I recall one actually counting out her Cheerios.
Now, my husband and I have been married for nearly seven years so, like all women, I have totally let myself go because, I mean, he already bought the cow, knowhatImsayin’? (Note: Sarcasm). But I still *get* the whole brideorexia thing. As does princess-to-be Kate Middleton, if you believe the media hype. The 5’10” willowy stunner is reported to have shed 20 pounds. Indeed, her waist does appear to resemble my right cankle. But if Middleton is actively trying to lose weight, she’s hardly alone: A 2008 Cornell study found that more than 70% of brides-to-be want to lose more than 20 pounds before they sashay down the aisle. More than one-third of those women admitted to using extreme measures such as diet pills, fasting or skipping meals to reach their goal.
My Q for Kate: Why bother with bride-to-be bulimia when you can simply flank yourself with porky friends? According to a recent British survey conducted by Slim Fast, one third of women said they would prefer overweight bridesmaids to make themselves appear slimmer.
About a year ago, Chicago’s James Hotel invited myself and a friend/former bridesmaid to experience their cardio-free Bridal Bootcamp. Our trainer, to our great dismay, was extraordinarily good-looking, and all I could think was, “Oh, sweet. Pecs McGee is going to make me do burpees and I’ll look like some sort of dying seal flopping around on the beach, gasping for air.” Indeed, we squatted, lunged, burped, jumped, dipped, and pushed up to the point of near exhaustion. Sadly, the last thing I said to the Brad Pitt lookalike was, “I’ll call you tomorrow and tell you if my butt is sore,” a comment which, in hindsight, may have made it seem as if we had a far more intimate relationship than we actually did.