I believe at some point in our lives, we have felt the need to alter our appearance to look and feel better about ourselves.
We’re surrounded by cultural expectations of an ‘ideal image’, it becomes very easy to start comparing yourself to that.
These pressures that already exist in the cultural climate, only become worse when you start to plan your wedding.
‘Shedding for the wedding’ is so normalised, it has become an expectation for many couples in the run up to their big day.
Social media, magazines and wedding fairs often promote images of predominantly brides, who look like supermodels. Whilst all things beautiful are likely to promote their businesses, it fails to show a couple how they could possibly fit into that mould.
This expectation is not only present in the media, but within everyday life. Many brides have reported that friends and family have outright asked if losing weight was on their agenda.
One recent bride told me in an online survey that simply attending a wedding fair cast doubt in her mind about her self-image and confidence. There were so many stalls offering weight loss and perfect teeth, she felt that her own image was something she should be thinking about changing.
Wedding planning is stressful enough, without the added pressure of trying to follow a diet, and lose or gain pounds to fit an image. So, I thought it would be a much better use of my time to tell you my top tips on self-love, care and acceptance.
I’m against fad, crash diets. I believe they make you feel run down and deprived of the things you want, only to leave you feeling guilty for giving into the cravings, and quite often they result in your body weight see-sawing.
I am however a big believer in healthy eating. Not to ‘get into shape’, but to feel better within yourself. Ensuring our bodies are nourished and cared for will bring more energy and happiness overall.
Introducing some basic foods into your diet, such as oily fish, berries, wholegrains and leafy greens could see an overall improvement in your mental health and energy levels.
I know, this is easier said than done! I’m guilty of standing in front of the mirror and thinking horrible things about myself, and I’m sure I’m not alone. In fact, if I said them out loud or directed it at anyone else, it would be downright cruel!
If it’s hurtful to say, don’t even think it! It’s important to remember that we are our own worst critics. Where we may see lumps and bumps, imperfections and crooked smiles, the people that matter to you, just see you!
Your partners are with you because of who you are, and they love your intricacies. Where you see a crooked smile, they see your joy instead.
Try to start seeing yourself how they see you, and I imagine it’s a very different picture to the one you paint.
A lot of self-care isn’t always about how you look, but how you feel. Remember to take some time for you!
Wedding planning is stressful, and it takes a lot of time and energy. Take some time out to recharge your batteries! Life shouldn’t all be about the wedding planning, and every free moment shouldn’t be taken over by it.
So stop for a moment and do something you enjoy. This can come in many forms such as pampering yourself, treating yourself to a spa day or treatment, or even just taking time away with your partner. Do what makes you happy and relaxed.
When feeling low on self-esteem our body language gives us away. We have a tendency to shrink away, hunch over and try and make ourselves as small as possible.
Try walking with your head high, shoulders back and a confident stride. Just this small change in posture can help your confidence immensely.
There’s no magic cure to improving the way you feel about yourself, or dispelling any negative thoughts you may experience. In truth, practising self-care, love and acceptance is something that will take time.
So, my final tip for feeling absolutely fabulous on your wedding day, is wear something that makes you feel wonderful and confident.
There’s no rule book to choosing your wedding outfit! If you feel fabulous in jumpsuits, wear a bloody jumpsuit! If you feel better in black, then wear black! Finally, be you, and don’t try to be the supermodel on the magazine cover.