Me, My Newlywed-Weight, and Miami
I intended to start this post with the story of my first tropical beach. I was going to tell you how it was my first vacation with my husband’s family, how we were all on different flights, and how everyone’s flight was delayed except mine. Then, I would have told you how I experienced my first tropical beach alone at our resort and was entirely in awe. Finally (and this would have been the kicker!), I’d tell you that Christian’s family arrived from Venezuela, saw the beach and said, “Oh, it’s not that nice, is it?”
After that, I would have gone into how for me, tropical places are still magical (because it’s magic month, after all!).
It would have been clever!
I’m not telling that story. Instead, I’m too preoccupied with my weight.
Last weekend, we traveled to Miami for a wedding. My rule-breaking outfit was planned, and I was all prepped and prepared for some tropical magic.
Instead, I got into my own way. Instead, I worried an awful lot about my big round face, and my behind and my stomach and my general width, and would anyone notice? Would anyone think, “Wow, Rebecca has really packed on the pounds since her wedding”?
Here’s how it all shook out:
THE EVENT: A wedding in Miami
THE BROKEN RULE(S): Every outfit should have a neutral. Neutral colors are black, white, tan, grey, or navy. (In this case, my neutral was polka-dots.)
THE OUTFIT: My husband is Venezuelan and, on several occasions, he has told me how casual Seattleites are in comparison. The wedding we were attending was Venezuelan, and I felt round, and I let the ideas of formality and fatness overrun my brain. I tore out every dress in my closet (and not in a Marie Kondo sort of way). I asked Christian if certain outfits would work over and over and over. I changed my mind and then changed it back again.
Finally, when I’d grown exhausted by my own anxieties, I settled on this outfit:
A striped Kate Spade dress with a gathered waist and a high neckline. I love this dress (it was a gift from my mom!) and I knew that it would hide the bits I was insecure about. The pattern also allows it to be dressed-up easily.
A polka-dot striped clutch big enough to hold lots of Kleenex. (I managed to get the flu right before we left.)
Polka-dot platform sandals I originally purchased for my bachelorette party. I love these heels, but I struggle to find an occasion to wear them in Seattle. I also loved the idea of pairing them with the striped dress because their color palettes were the same, but the patterns were different.
THE EXPERIENCE: I love weddings. Even when I spin myself into anxieties over my weight and my outfit and my raw, peeling nose, I love weddings. And this one was no different! We started in a church on Miami Beach for the ceremony, and then moved to a yacht for the reception. We saw the sunset on the water before heading downstairs for dinner and dancing, and it was beautiful! It was a wonderful way to celebrate love.
I was not underdressed. No one commented on my weight (or my nose).
Instead, I had a lovely evening.
THE CONCLUSION: When I first gained this newlywed weight, I was proud of myself because I didn’t mind. I thought, “well, that’s life! When I return to my normal routine, I’ll lose it.” I grew up as a chubby kid, so this change in attitude toward weight gain was monumental. As a young(er) adult, I was constantly on weight gain watch. I didn’t want to return to where I’d been. When I would gain weight, it felt like a catastrophe. It felt like, in some way, I had failed.
However, my positive attitude, my newlywed weight and I have mostly hermited away since our return from our honeymoon. I haven’t attended formal events, or performed publicly, or done much outside of our house. This wedding was my first soiree with all of my extra bits and it sent me into a tailspin. I’ve been equally overwhelmed by the many, many points of view about weight loss online at this time of year. There are weight loss promotions, but also posts about loving your new weight. There are posts saying “Don’t talk about it! It’s insensitive to other people” and posts saying “Who’s in for the fittest year of your life?” All of them make me want to throw up my hands and yell for awhile.
It’s magic month. I’d wanted to celebrate the magic of year-round tropical weather because, having grown up with seasons, to me, it’s still mystical. (And yes, I understand how the sun and the equator and earth’s rotation works. Even so, tropical weather feels magical.)
Instead, I worried an awful lot about how I looked in pictures, and how my face looked even bigger because it was fat-round but also flu-puffed. And that sucks! It sucks because I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. We just crossed weight-gain season. Most of us are bigger, yet we’re all so worried about it, and then we feel guilty because some meme on Instagram told us that we should celebrate our bodies even with weight gain and not shame them, and that’s true, we should do that, but it’s REALLY HARD WHEN YOU’RE PANTS ARE CUTTING OFF YOUR CIRCULATION.
I don’t have any pithy weight advice to end this with. I’m not going to advocate for you to lose the weight, or keep the weight, or gain more weight, because it’s your body and only you make those decisions. I’m just here trying to ignore the society-shame of weight gain, but also wishing that I wasn’t so damn uncomfortable.
I will say this. It’s magic month. Let’s not let some love handles get in the way of it. Find your magic regardless. Because, chances are, everyone else is too preoccupied with their own weight gain to notice yours.
Have you had an experience similar to mine? Are you experiencing it right now? I’d love to hear about it! There’s always the comment box below, but if this isn’t a comment-box type of subject for you, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you on Sunday! I’ll be back with a long-awaited Stitch Fix Review.