Dearest Readers, our Ashley got married! Which is why she and I have been so behind on our posting. Within the thralls of wedding madness, we have neglected you, and we apologize.
Ashley is presently still on her honeymoon, and I am still recovering by watching a lot of TV while frantically trying to find a job.
Up until the very moment of her wedding, Ash was still getting up at the crack of dawn to exercise and eating salads without dressing. Like always, I have not been doing well with my eating, but I have learned a lot about “Embracing Myself” just as I am, and I would like to share it with you, but first –please check out our “July ’16 – Wedding” tab under “shoots” and see some pictures from Ashley’s wedding. It was a truly beautiful day.
Ashley had a five month engagement, which is very short by today’s standards, especially in Los Angeles. Hopefully she will tell you more about this process from her perspective, but for me, knowing that I had five months to get “bridesmaid dress ready” was very daunting. The first month I tried very hard. I lost ten pounds and I was lingering around the 200lbs mark, desperate to get under it. But the harder I tried, the worse it got. I injured my foot while trying to prepare for my half-marathon and I was without a job and could not afford the copious amounts of healthy food I had been enjoying. So I lingered around 201lbs, frantic and hopeless that “this is what I am going to look like for Ashley’s wedding.” I was mortified thinking that my chubby self was going to be in the pictures that would be immortalized in her wedding albums and therefore mocked by our children for all eternity. But that’s when it hit me, this is not the last time I am going to be photographed with my Ashley.
Ash and I have been best friends for eighteen years. We have been through everything together. We have been photographed at every stage of life from braces to bridesmaids gowns and we will continue into babies and wrinkles. I was honored to be her bridesmaid. She chose me to stand beside her, whatever I looked like, and I was going to be beautiful, no matter what. So I stopped worrying about what I looked like, and started focusing on how I was going to feel. I chose to feel beautiful. Of course I held my bouquet in a way that made my arms look as thin as possible, but I embraced my body as it was. I was proud of my body.
I do not know what I weighed the morning of Ashley’s wedding. I have not weighted myself for three weeks. But I felt beautiful. My fantastic mother had sewn a little extra fabric in the front of my dress so that I wasn’t falling out of it. I put an entire bottle of gel in my hair so it didn’t fizz, and I spent an hour on my makeup, rather than the ten minutes I spend on a usual “fancy day.” Setting up in the brides’ room, I felt stunning, proud not only of my eyes and lips as I usually do, but of my whole form. I was proud of my body, with all its curves and “flubs.” I walked down the isle with confidence. I gave my toast with pride. And I danced the night away.
Ashley was the most beautiful bride there has ever been and she handled the day with perfect grace and elegance. She looked like a movie star and it was my greatest joy to stand beside her. I also only cried a little bit through my speech, so VICTORY! It was the perfect day, but I CANNOT WAIT until she gets back from her honeymoon tonight, because I have been DYING to see her! So we can start another 18 years of being photographed together, no matter what we look like. Love you Ash! Come home soon!
Weight: I don’t know How do you feel?: I miss my Ashley Small Victory: I felt beautiful in a bridesmaids dress at a wedding Biggest Disappointment: My foot really hurts. Thing I appreciated about my body this week: I can dance! #embraceablenow: Because I am me.