I can understand the desire to look perfect on your wedding day but I’m shocked at the lengths people will go to to achieve what they think is the perfect weight. According to a recent article in the New York Times women are going to extreme measures to lose weight. These include the usual fad diets and cleanses as well as injections with hormones and tube feedings! This is disturbing on so many levels. If you’re getting married hopefully your partner loves you as you are. A wedding should be a celebration of a relationship and making the commitment to spend the rest of your lives together. Why would you want to undertake drastic and dangerous measures to achieve an idealized weight on your wedding day? It seems like most of the women who are doing this are not particularly overweight and even if they were, they should take a closer look at their motives for losing weight. I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again: the only way to achieve sustainable weight loss is to make sustainable life changes. This is decidedly not what these women are doing. Sure, they may look svelte in their wedding photos but will they feel healthy, strong, and happy? How long after the wedding will that weight stay off? It’s more than likely that it’s all going to come back, with some friends for good measure, and be less likely to budge if they decide to attempt to lose it again. You know, for wedding number two or three or eleven.
What the heck is wrong with our society that some people think that using a feeding tube to lose weight is actually a reasonable idea?? Despite the talk about obesity being rampant in our society, there is also a disturbing underground trend in the other direction. I hesitate to talk about it because I don’t want to promote disordered eating and eating disorders but I also think that knowledge is power and no one is being helped by turning a blind eye to the problem. I was shocked to learn about the online “thinspiration” community and the “pro-ana” and “pro-mia” websites. There’s this whole subculture of extreme thinness out there. I googled “thinspiration” and was so disturbed by some of the information I found that I had to stop looking! We’re a population of extremes driven by desires to have it all. It seems we either have no control or excessive control of our consumption. Hence, we see more and more people struggling with their weight and fewer people happily at a healthy weight.
I think most of us could do with a reminder that healthy bodies come in myriad different shapes and sizes. We need to be less quick to judge others. We especially need to be less quick to judge ourselves.