Why I’m Not Shedding For My Wedding

‘You’ll want to get that in a size smaller to accommodate for the weight you’ll lose before your wedding,’ the sales assistant said as I stood in just my thong waiting for her to help me in to my favourite wedding dress of the day.

‘Oh, er OK,’ I stammered back as I stared more self-consciously at my reflection in the mirror.

I’m a size US 6 and UK 10. I don’t think I’m overweight, but I don’t have a six pack. I run marathons, I work out regularly, I eat mostly right. Is this what the sales assistant tells every future bride? Are there girls more petite than me being effectively told to diet, or those who are more conscious of their weight after having it highlighted for all browsing nearby to hear?

And what if the smaller sized dress, the US size/UK size 8, didn’t fit during my final fitting next year? The big sign in the changing rooms announced that it would be my liability, my fault, if that happened, and the store accepted no responsibility.

After leaving the shop and ranting over my Shakshuka with a side of toasted sourdough, I went for a run to clear my head.

I felt great as I clocked up 5 miles at an 8-minute mile pace and realised that this was how I wanted to feel on my wedding day. You’re supposed to feel special in your wedding dress, on one of the most special days of your life, not hungry and over-exercised. I love feeling strong, fit and healthy, not just ‘thin.’ And dieting to get to a specific size is not going to make me feel good.

I want to get married looking like me, the best version of me. I don’t want to look back in years to come and find the girl in the white dress unrecognisable. Although don’t get me wrong, I would like people to comment about how awesome my back and arms look in my v-back dress. If anything, I want to add muscle.

My fiancee loves me as I am.

That’s why he’s asked to spend the rest of his life with me—despite my oversized collection of activewear, my tendency to get up around 6 a.m. even on weekends and the fact that I plan our vacations around marathons. He isn’t marrying me for my thin legs but for my determination to push those legs faster and faster on my runs.

So, lady, no, I won’t be ordering my dress in a smaller size (or from you at all, in fact). I will order my size, the size I’ve been since I started running five years ago. I won’t drastically diet or shed for the wedding. I will continue my regular workout regime, training for three marathons in the months preceding my wedding, and I will eat to fuel and nourish my body through those workouts.

Plus, who wants to get married when they’re hangry?


Charlie is a runner and fitness blogger, writing her blog, The Runner Beans, journalist and soon-to-be Dietitian. As well as trying out all the awesome fitness classes London has to offer, she’s also aiming to run all the Marathon Majors before she’s 30. Find her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Bloglovin, and channeling her inner Casey Neistat on her new YouTube channel.