Dear Dawn,

I enjoyed your article because you wrote so well on a subject near & dear to my heart. No, not the wedding prep — dieting & the hatred of it.

I lost 38 lbs. before my wedding, on Jenny Craig. That was more than 26 years ago, but I still remember the bland, pre-packaged cardboard that looked like food without any taste to separate it from the package it came in. I don’t think it’s vanity to want to look good for the day you’re the center of attention. (I got contact lenses, too.) Or rather not ALL vanity.

No one can possibly fault you for wanting to look good, nor feel good (sugar is evil, it’s in everything, it makes you old & fat & its a drug to some, as much as cocaine, blah, blah, blah). The real story will be after the wedding. That’s when the fight for your sanity will begin. And I mean, it will start immediately — like, you’re planning to have cake at your wedding, right? You’re not planning to serve your guests & yourselves three-tiered hard boiled eggs at the reception, am I right?!?

The hardest part of “dieting” is maintaining, once your goal is reached. That’s when everything you know & hate about food will be front & center. And if you don’t find that happy medium, the one that allows you to have your joy & not eat all of it, too. I’ll let you in on a secret — cake isn’t going to make you fat. You have cake on rare & special occasions. You don’t have an entire cake at the time, either.

I should talk! I’m obese & have been fighting this fight since I was 14 & my mother put me on my first diet (SHE thought I was overweight). But I know this fight, this battle, intimately. Food is not the enemy. The mind is. Make your mind your friend, & don’t forbid foods or call them names.

Shakespeare said it best: “…there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

Good luck with your wedding, & good luck on your journey!

Written by

Writer and storyteller, immigrant, wife, mom, knitter, collector of jokes, lover of cheap, sweet wine.

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