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Why I’m Not Losing Weight For My Wedding – Betches

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Why I’m Not Losing Weight For My Wedding – Betches

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Planning a wedding is stressful as fuck — we totally get it. That’s why Betches’ beloved Say Yes to the Betch newsletter is now also a web column! Every other week, a bride who’s deep in wedding planning will share updates on her journey: the highs, the lows, and everything in between. Want even more exclusive content? Subscribe to the Say Yes to the Betch newsletter for the latest trends, tips, and how-tos delivered straight to your inbox every other Tuesday. 

Here Comes The Bride

Hello, hello! Sara K. Runnels here — reporting for (bridal) duty! I’m elated to share my wedding planning hot-takes/advice/general escapades with you all; the good, the bad, but never the ugly because there won’t be any of that. (This, my friends, is called manifesting.) 

We are gathered here today because, against all odds, the universe conspired to help me fall madly in love, and now, somehow, there are exactly 130 days left until I wed my adorable, loving Spouse-elect (Boy-ancé? Pre-husband? Please, anything but Fiancé!) and finally save his number in my phone.

A little about me: I’m a humorist, writer, creator and non-practicing spinster living in Seattle, Washington. Maybe you’ve read my work in The New Yorker, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Betches, McSweeney’s, REI or Overheard, or stumbled upon my modern-dating hot takes and viral witticisms at some point while scrolling. If not, you should know that transitioning my dating misadventures into Mrs. adventures is an unexpected but thrilling plot twist for me, both as a writer and someone who was on dating apps long enough to be considered a Founding Father.  

skr engaged

skr engaged

Mush alert: While I’m pumped about the party, I’m genuinely most excited about marrying a spectacular guy who, as anticipated, turned out to be the buttercream icing on my already-delicious cake of a life. Adam miraculously made his way into my orbit 19 days after the devastating loss of my greatest love, my mom.  (I recently detailed this story of love and loss in ELLE; have a read when you finish this article!) Anytime I get overwhelmed about planning or missing Patty, I feel lucky to have him by my side as a confidant, cheerleader and sounding board for all my crazy wedding ideas. (Like when I say, “What about a champagne dress for cocktail hour?” And he says, “I don’t think that’s in our budget.” And then I say, “I’ll find a way!”) 

An important thing to note: I’m not your average bride. The average age of marriage in the U.S. for women is 28.6. I’m 40. The average cost of a U.S. wedding is $33,000. Our budget is…over that. The average time to plan a wedding is 15 months. We’re doing it in six. (No time to overthink everything!) I’ve been to a million weddings (and been in four) so I’m familiar with the fundamentals, but since getting engaged 10 weeks ago, I’ve learned so much, almost too much — particularly, how to push my eyeballs back into my head when they bulge out at the cost. 

Even though my brain always feels like the inside of the Panna II on 1st Ave. in New York (IYKYK), my Wedding Google Sheets are so organized and tidy and accessible that I haven’t totally lost my mind yet. (Someone in this house might disagree.) So far, we’ve done the sizeable stuff: chosen our wedding party, sent out save the dates, locked down the big five vendors (venue, catering, videography/photography, florals & DJ), and now I am dizzily drowning in the details that will help make this the event of the decade.

Whether you’re just here for the hot goss, or you just need to know that someone else is also deep in the planning spiral, I’m glad you’re joining me as I use apps to meet vendors now instead of suitors, try on dresses that aren’t black and overshare as per usual — starting with my first hot-take below. 

Thanks for coming along for the (b)ride! 

Love Hot-Takes? “I Do!” 

After much careful thought and deliberation, I’ve decided to give my chin a plus-one to my wedding. 

When I got engaged, right on cue, my head played a quirky montage of beautiful brides (both fictional and familiar), all of them ethereal and flawless, fit and fine, like a casually-wind-blown Beyoncé. The montage ends with me standing in front of the mirror, tracing my own shape, flummoxed by the ever-fluctuating figure, wondering how I might look as a bride; wondering if I have the willpower and time and obligation to become a subjectively “better” version of myself for a single day; a day the world has taught us we’re supposed to be “the most beautiful” we’ve ever been. 

Then I started thinking about my last four decades on this earth — how much I’ve agonized over the relentless dialogue about the size of bodies, of my body, how women should be this and not that; choking on heavy narratives and assumptions about pounds and positivity as they’re shoved down our throats for breakfast, lunch and dinner; how so many of us barely came out of the shadows of 2000s diet culture with our confidence in tact — and I look back at the mirror, and decide the best wedding gift I can give myself is a healthy serving of grace, a heaping portion of self-courtesy, in the chaotic months leading up to marrying a man who was worth the wait, at any weight. 

I’d be lying, however, if I said I didn’t often imagine myself 50 pounds lighter floating down the aisle in October, a literal weight of (my own) judgment lifted. But I remember the friends and family I’ve watched look back at their wedding photos in disbelief, shocked at the drastic changes they made to fit into this idea of the “perfect bride.” Many are pleased with their choices, marveling at their tenacity to transform; many are quietly modest about not needing “to do much” in the first place; but many I’ve heard sigh and then say, “I don’t even recognize myself.” 

I want to recognize myself. I want to honor the body that has given me strength in this lifetime to endure the general distress and discomfort of simply being a woman. I want to feel present and pleased, satiated and satisfied, glowing in fullness. I want to say “I do” in the body Adam fell in love with, among the curves and the softness I’ve learned to love, too. I want to put on a ridiculously gorgeous gown in a size that would’ve once made me wince, and I want to think of nothing except cake and champagne and reveling in infinite moments of bliss that we’ll recount until death do us part. I want to look back a decade or two or three from now, and think: of course I know her.

How can I think about the size of my arms and thighs at a time like this? When the size of my heart is at its peak weight — bursting at the seams at the thought of everyone I love, all in one place, on one special day, celebrating a stunning defiance of odds. 

I don’t need an Ozempic miracle. I don’t need a drill-sergeant trainer. I don’t need to obsess over every single calorie I consume when I can use that energy more efficiently (like obsessing over the diameters of centerpiece candles). My body is proof, as-is, that I am nourished and strong and so well-loved — and so I refuse to lose sleep in futile regret of caving to a craving. I refuse to feel intense hunger when, on the road to marriage, there are so many more profound things to feel. And I absolutely refuse to say “no, thank you” to another holy martini or margarita in the name of holy matrimony. 

I will, however, keep taking long walks with my future husband around our charming neighborhood, palms clasped, swinging in delight. I will keep encouraging us both to be well, to eat well, to make healthy choices, even if that means splitting a green juice with our oversized Sunday morning bagels. I will certainly keep making an effort, as I stroll past mirrors in my house, to think: damn, she looks like a bride. 

Perhaps getting married a little “later in life” means I am more comfortable than ever in my own skin. Perhaps the montage of Beyoncé-esque brides that initially played in my head were all fictional characters — because the people I know and love who tied the knot were all undeniably beautiful in their uniqueness, in their diversity, in their joy, in their relief that wedding planning had ended. 

Whatever you choose to do on your wedding day — or in the weeks, months, years leading up to — to feel like yourself, your best self, your good-as-it-gets self, I respect and admire. That kind of self-confidence will radiate no matter what. For me, it’s choosing to not actively lose weight. It’s choosing to tell the little voices in my head to fuck off when they yap on about one (1) cheeseburger being the reason my dress won’t fit. And it’s choosing to find other fun, subtle ways to feel spectacular about my appearance. (Like letting a stranger blast me with spray-tanner so my wedding theme doesn’t have to be “tragically pale Victorian ghost finds love.”)

On that note, I’m off to have a little guilt-free treat (somewhere between one and 14 Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups) and browse “ready to ship” wedding dresses. (More on the wedding dress situation later.)

Sara K. Runnels


Sara K. Runnels

Sara K. Runnels is a copywriter and humor writer living in Seattle, Washington. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, Tinder messages, Gmail inboxes, group texts, Instagram captions, one Yelp review, several spec scripts her mom thinks are GREAT and hundreds of Twitter screenshots. Follow her all over the internet – @omgskr.

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