Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Newlywed Ten

Recently, as you may know, I got married.  In conjunction with getting married, I gained weight.  I wasn't really expecting this because:
1.) I wasn't dieting before the wedding (yes, I lost the 5lbs I gained in bar review, but that just put me back at my "normal" weight)
2.) We already live together (most women gain weight when they move in with their boyfriends/husbands)

I was somewhat prepared because my friends had been open with me about gaining weight on their honeymoons/post-wedding and how hard it was to lose it, but I thought since I was prepared, I could avoid it.  I was wrong.  So when I came back from the wedding and the campaign and began my new and exciting life of job hunting, the scale stopped budging.  And it didn't go down.  Then my jeans began to rebel against me.  Suddenly, the weight gain was less about my ego and more about finances - if my clothes stopped fitting, it would be an expensive situation.*

I've checked in with a few other women in my life, and they too have gained the newlywed ten.  (Or more, in some cases.)  I see it reflected in blogs all over the place, and I suspect that a lot of other people are feeling like I do.  A feeling of, "what did I do so differently before?" A feeling of, "well, it will come off as I get back to normal."  A sense of, "well, I wanted to use all my fun new cooking toys and see what they do and then I ate a lot of it."

Look, I firmly believe that nobody should be totally hung up on their weight.  I am against losing tons of weight for your wedding and not doing it in a sustainable way, or fad diets or yo-yo diets or unhealthy habits.  But the truth is, I also believe in weight loss.  I believe that there is nothing quite so unhealthy as hating yourself, and if you can do something to change that, you should, whether it's losing weight or finding a really good therapist.  Or both.  I don't think everyone should lose weight, and I don't think being overweight is necessarily unhealthy.  But I recognize that the world is full of people like me - people who are happy with themselves at a certain weight, or when they are below a certain weight.  For people like me, gaining weight, particularly a large amount over a short period of time, is a bit traumatic.  So I wanted to address it.

I'm not going to give you a bunch of hokey weight loss tips.  But what I will say is this:  weight gain happens, but it can probably be avoided.  Weight is much tougher to lose than to not gain.  For me, the problem was that my circumstances changed right around the time of the wedding - I went from working, and walking daily, and generally moving around more, to not working, and adopting a mainly sedentary lifestyle.  The temperatures dropped and I spent less time outside.

So in conclusion, be aware of all the things that are going on in your life, and how they will affect you, during the wedding-planning and beyond.  Also, remember, crash dieting is a terrible idea.  That is the only hard and fast rule I can give you about weight loss.  Some things work for some people, but crash dieting works for no-one.


  1. I know EXACTLY what you mean about not wanting to change size for financial reasons. I lost a lot of weight around my first year of law school, and I haaaaaated having to buy new clothes at the same time I was writing huge tuition checks.

    Anyway, I like what you have to say here about crash dieting. I wonder how many peoples' post-wedding weight gain can be attributed to the end of their unhealthy pre-wedding attempts to lose weight fast.

    Best of luck getting into a healthier groove!

  2. I recommend reintroducing large amounts of stress into your life!
    jk! but good luck in finding your sustainable method!

  3. Funnny, I just blogged about this, too! I am struggling with this, also. It's not so much that I don't like how I look, I just hate how I feel - sluggish and uncomfortable in my body. Everything just feels....off, somehow. I'm just trying ot make healthier decisions about eating. And cutting back on the booze. Good luck to you!

  4. Thank you so much for writing this, Ellie. I gained about 10lbs after moving to Canada. I was lonely and sad and I just kind of ... ate everything. My pants have gotten tighter and tighter. When I weighed myself on my mom's scale in Colorado over Christmas I realized that I was almost up to my high school weight -- the heaviest I've been in the past 10 years.

    I feel awful for letting this happen and in some ways I feel even worse that I care so much, you know? But I don't want to buy all new clothes and I really do want to get below that number where I feel fit and healthy and sensible and, yes, pretty. So like Emma I'm trying to be more careful about what I eat (no more Cheetos!) and I'm strictly portioning my wine.

    Let me know if you need a sensible-eating-and-exercise buddy (I refuse to call it a diet!), and like I said, thanks so much for writing this.