A letter to the bride…

She says, “I want to lose weight before my wedding.”

She says, “I know it’s vain but that’s just how I feel. My whole family will be there.”

She says, “I’m starting a new program on Monday.”

Then she eats her sandwich and chips rapidly, barely chewing, three big autopilot bites, while scrolling on her phone looking at wedding dresses. Two sizes smaller than now, she’s hoping. That’s the goal.

Maybe you know this woman. You know her pain, her desire, and her discouragement. Maybe this woman is you. Or was you. At one point, this woman was definitely me.

Dear bride-to-be,

Perhaps there’s six months leading up to the wedding. And yes, sure, you can spend those months obsessing about your body. You can diet, detox, cleanse, track, count, restrict, agonize over your body like it’s a full-time, unpaid job.

Between now and the wedding, you can easily spend 1,000 hours fretting about your body and why its not “good enough” yet.

Or you can choose to spend your time differently.

You could spend 1,000 hours…

– Learning to speak French.

– Getting certified to teach yoga.

– Finishing your PhD dissertation.

– Volunteering to support your favorite political candidate.

– Launching that podcast you’ve always thought about doing.

– Hiking in America’s great national parks, not to “shed weight” but simply because nature is goddamn magnificent, and having a body is a magnificent too, and because it feels good to sweat and be outside and breathe in the fresh air.

– Interviewing your grandma about her life story, her marriage, her advice for women, and then getting those interviews transcribed into text and bound in a book.

– Spending quality time with your partner-to-be and discussion the big questions. What do we cherish most? What do we stand for? Do we want to have kids? If so, what kind of parents do we want to be?

Dear bride-to-be,

(and dear women everywhere…)

Will you spend the rest of your life nourishing your body and treating it with respect, not disappointment and disdain?

Will you spend your time making your life bigger, rather than obsessing about how to make your body smaller?

Will you spend your time fulfilling your life purpose? Learning how to be happy?

Will you speak to yourself with kindness, talking to yourself like a beloved friend, not like a problem that needs to be shrunken and fixed?

And will you pledge to love yourself—at every size, every age, and every phase of life?

As long as you shall live?

I hope you’ll say, “I do.”

xoxo, Susan


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