[Disclaimer before you read: this is a very honest, straight from the owner of Ivory & Beau, blog post. It is not meant to insult any designers, brides or anybody in general. It is all my personal thoughts and an honest insight into my own story about self love and struggles with exercise and eating right. Women of all sizes, small and large, can have insecurities about their weight and is nobody's right to judge them negatively or think that their insecurities are stupid or don't mean anything. We must as women understand and respect the insecurities of others. This is a post about things that are uncomfortable and I'm a little nervous about writing it but again, just remember these are my own personal thoughts and offense is not meant, but rather my hope is you will read it and feel empowered and beautiful in your own skin... especially as we start 2018, when people are most likely to jump on the gym memberships and diet plans...]
Ugh... bridal sizes. I don't get it one bit. Why on earth would designers make bridal sizes smaller than street sizes. Why not make bridal sizes bigger than street sizes so when a bride has to order a size 10 and she's normally a 16 she is leaping for joy?! Now wouldn't that be an awesome world? Why do numbers get to define us? Why allow them that power over us?
Oh and the worst part... when you google "why do bridal sizes run smaller?" ... the answer is "Because the bridal industry doesn't use 'vanity' sizing." Which then if you google that you're likely to feel even worse about yourself. 'Vanity sizing' is as described on Wikipedia, "the phenomenon of ready-to-wear clothing of the same nominal size becoming bigger in physical size over time." Ugh... like could this world be out there to make us feel any worse about ourselves than we already do?!
So today, I'm here to say throw the middle finger to bridal sizes (and sizes in general.) I have struggled with body image issues my entire life. I have never felt like I looked good enough. Sometimes, sure. But in general no. I will say though as I get older, the more I love myself. I think the hardest times for me was in my mid-late 20's. To be completely honest, I gained weight because i was living life and enjoying myself. Wine nights with girlfriends, beer and wings and buffalo chicken dip and all the good nibbler foods at porch parties with friends, pina coladas and oysters on Tybee, and cocktails and delicious food on first dates (sorry Alex, hope you aren't reading this but unfortunately there were lots of first dates before you and wow I wish I never had to suffer through them!!). The pounds slowly crept on and sooner than I knew it I weighed 30 pounds more than collage. You know they always talk about the freshman fifteen, but I never heard anything about the 30's in your 20's.
So I became obsessive with my weight and getting back to what I thought was a reasonable weight, which to be honest was ridiculous. You want to know the only time I ever weighed that "magic number?" Well, it was when I was going through one of the hardest times of my entire life... a breakup with an ex-fiance... Whoa, I said it. For those who know me closely they know the story, but I often am ashamed and embarrassed of this relationship especially considering I work in the wedding industry, but you know I think it's silly that I hide it. Because it's part of my story and my journey... it is part of what made me who I am. But back to my weight... during the long drawn out period of me gathering strength to end a broken relationship, I became obsessive with my weight. It was the one thing I felt I had control over. I consumed around 1000 calories a day, which consisted of breakfast & lunch of Herbalife protein shakes and I worked out 45 minutes to 60 ++ minutes a day doing Insanity workouts. I was the skinniest I have ever been and weighed 122. You know what I say to that... woop-de-effing-doo. I was miserable, unhappy and filled with intense anxiety. The only thing I was happy about? My weight.
Last year I struggled again with the obsession of counting calories, working out daily and losing weight. But there was a breaking point in the middle of the year when I realized while I may have been happy with my weight I wasn't happy with my life. I am not going to go into detail, but there were some major changes that happened within Ivory & Beau, going from a partnership to just me on my own, and it cracked open a lot of stuff. And with it, my obsession for weight loss ended. A weight had been lifted from my shoulders and I started enjoying life again. Yes, I've put on some of the weight I had lost, yes my jeans don't really fit that great anymore, but I find that I feel more comfortable than ever in my own skin. I finally don't obsess anymore about a size, a number.
From the hurricane last year until the end of the year I will honestly say I stopped my healthy streak, stopped working out and had to put in more hours than ever due to the transition of the business but it's 2018. Time to make some changes. New Year's resolution and all that jazz... So here's mine...
I want to live 2018 to the fullest, be more fully present in the moment, put down the murder mysteries and pick up the Bible, love myself for who I am and have grace on myself for those things I think are problems, be healthy not because of a size number but because it's what makes me feel good on the inside, workout not to lose inches but because I want to feel and be a strong woman, enjoy a cocktail, a beer, a pina colada or bloody mary when I want without feeling shame for over-indulging and I want to be healthy for the sake of my health and throw the middle finger to sizes because a number is a number but a healthy strong woman is empowered.
So back to bridal sizes... are you with me? Can we agree to start ignoring the size on the label? Can we agree to not be tied to a number that we feel defines us? Can we choose to love ourselves for who we are and how we look? And if our New Year's resolution is diet and weight loss, may it be solely for the goal of feeling healthy and strong and not because of a number. And if ever we struggle with self hate or feelings of not being beautiful in our own skin, may we always remember... "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." -Genesis 1:27. And may we feel empowered that God created each and every one of us in His own image. And that in itself is really neat. xo, N
Women of All Sizes Trunk Show
May 24th - June 2nd
This year we are doing something different - for the first time ever, each month of the year has a special "theme" that we are focusing on. I know this post is way far in advance but I was called, as silly as it may sound, to write this blog post now and so I did. In May we are focusing on Positive Body Image all month long! So every post and our focus of the entire month is women empowerment. Are you ready!? I am so excited for it!!! And we are ending the month with the Women of All Sizes Trunk Show featuring Rebecca Schoneveld gowns. If you are interested in attending to shop these gorgeous styles for your wedding click below... and yes I know it's far away, but we are booking appointments whenever you say you are ready! Hope to see you babes there!!