Polka Dot Hot Spot – Weighing In

by | Polka Dot Hot Spot, Weddings


Polka Dot Bride

Who knew it’d come around so quickly? That’s right, the column I always hesitate to dip my toes into, the one where I’m a little shy (conflict adverse? who me?) It’s Polka Dot Hot Spot!

This week I want to talk about an issue that kind of plagues the wedding industry, or the life of a bride whether it’s consciously or just purely through those that surround you. Weight.

Did you feel like you had to lose weight for your wedding day? Why? Did you feel the pressure of looking your best? of looking perfect?

How do we come to the realisation that we don’t need to feel embarrassed about our bodies on our wedding days, that our body, is fine at the weight we’re at, that crash dieting is not healthy, that weddings don’t have to be this pinnacle of perfection in our lives?

I have always been specific in my quest to not buy into this- to the point we don’t accept weight loss advertisement placements on our site (healthy change of life style? yes! weight loss for your wedding day? no!) However in my daily life? Not so much. My battle with my own figure, my own weight is a constant one and one I cannot seem to mentally overcome.


So here’s the hot spot. I want to know what you think about weight loss and weddings. Are you dieting for your wedding day? Have you not even thought about it? Why do we even do this?

  • Friday Roundup | Polka Dot Bride says:
    June 22, 2012 at 10:26 am

    […] 3.Caitlin and Adam’s Blue and White Country Wedding 4.Inspired Blooms – Tulips 5. Polka Dot Hot Spot- This month, a weighty topic!   This Week On Polka Dot Wisdom Polka Dot Wisdom is a treasure trove of advice, news and […]

  • [email protected] Over Function says:
    June 22, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Proud to be assoicated with a site that does not take advertisements from weight loss companies. Seeing ads for plastic surgery in bridal magazines always sickens me also. Over the thirteen years I’ve worked for brides I have seen so many embark on crazy starvation diets to be as thin as they can be on the day…when they’re a size 8 to start with it’s seriously scary stuff. And then they wonder why they are tired/stressed/cranky. But I don’t blame them for feeling like they need to look like a model for the day. The internet has revolutionised the access we all have to images….and instead of women seeing weddings with lots of models in magazines (again showing real weddings are relatively new trend), they now have access to literally millions of images of brides from all over the world, and what’s to bet they hone in on only the youngest/prettiest/thinnest as the model of what they need to strive for. Hard as it is with the onslaught of beautiful images at every turn, I wish women would stop being so hard on themselves. It’s one thing to aim for healthy, fit, strong; it’s quite another to tell yourself nothing but a size 6 to 8 is worthwhile, when the average Australian woman is a size 14. Your proposal did not come with a “only if you lose weight” clause, now did it?

    • Polka Dot Bride says:
      June 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm

      I suppose too, the problem is I can understand the mindset behind the crazy starvation diet thinking and that scares me and frustrates me!

      But THIS “Your proposal did not come with a “only if you lose weight” clause, now did it?” THIS THIS THIS (need a “like” button!)

  • Jamie-Lee says:
    June 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    I have lost about 40 kilos in almost 2 years … i was overweight & sick of being overweight & sick and tired of crying everytime it was summer and id have to wear shorts!. After losing probably 20kilos my partner proposed (not because of my weight loss) & then i felt alot of pressure to lose more weight from my peers & myself…i know they did not intentionally mean to make me feel that way but i think it is just how my mind works i get obsessive & know instead of just being happy to take my time … it has become more about THE DRESS & the pictures! Needless to say i do feel GREAT but wish i did not feel a sense of pressure… I think us women can sometimes be too hard on ourselves

  • Nikkie says:
    June 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I am 7 weeks away from my wedding and just had a dress fitting. I am proud to say that I have not changed my diet/exercise regime in response to planning for the big day – however I have always been an active person and quite healthy (with naughty food and wine mixed in).

    I think the issue is that brides feel the pressure of wanting to look their best on the big day because they feel they have a goal to work towards, however you cannot reverse years of unhealthy habits in the unrealistic time frame of a few weeks or even months in some cases.
    I live my life with the concept that my body is an engine, it requires good fuel and regular use to maintain a good condition. I eat something naughty everyday (whether it be a Tim Tam, or a slice of pizza etc) and know that I am going to burn it off with some form of exercise for the day: everything in moderation.

    Brides shouldn’t diet because of an upcoming wedding – ‘women’ should strive for health throughout their entire life and display confidence in their skin, treating their body like a temple for their entire life (not just an occasion because it’s a goal to work towards and then fall back into the same old habits). After all, it is the body that will carry your children, get you from A to B and see the world.

    The problem is not necessarily the plastic surgery companies or weight loss programs (they are simply meeting the needs of a growing market of an increasingly unhealthy population), the problem is people not loving their body for the long term, not respecting the boundaries of their body, and neglecting their internal organs (smoking, drinking, unhealthy food choices) and falling into unhealthy patterns with regards to diet and exercise.

    If you are a plus size lady, but a healthy plus size lady eating fruit and vegies regularly and exercising knowing that you are treating your body well, then you should be proud of your body, willing and able and beautiful!

    Brides and women should simply ask themselves with every choice : IS THIS GOOD FOR ME

    Rant over 🙂

  • tara says:
    June 22, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Late last year I got a little comfortable and celebrated a bit too much over the holiday season so my new years resolution was to lose the weight I had put on and get fit & healthy again. I have always had a, lets call it ‘athletic body’ & when I am in good shape I feel amazingly healthy (bonus – my boy loves my curves), I just let the ball drop for a few months and needed to get back on the wagon.

    It isn’t all about losing weight for the wedding for me, it’s about feeling ecstatic in my own skin again.

    I am not following any diets as I am not a diet fan (I love food waaaay too much), just making smarter choices in what I eat and sticking to my gym and sport routine and feeling healthy and not sluggish. I am feeling sooooo good in my own skin again! I have lost about 6kg and am extremely happy with that result… if I do happen to lose more through toning then great. But I am not putting myself under immense pressure like a lot of brides do to lose serious amounts of weight…. I am happy where I am at & am looking forward to feeling amazing on the day!

    • Polka Dot Bride says:
      June 22, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      Is that a point too then? that you (as in a general you) want to feel your best on your wedding day so naturally that leads your mind to thinking about what is it that is your ultimate body? your ultimate shape? and pressuring yourself to get to that. so that you can have that ECSTATIC feeling about yourself on the day rather than “god I wish I was the size I was when i was 20!”

      • tara says:
        June 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm

        No, I just wanted to get back to my fit, toned, healthy old self. That is my ultimate body, as I always felt great because I was exercising and the endorphins were flowing & I just felt really healthy and happy in general. I am not pressuring myself to get to anything other then my normal healthier version of me. It isnt just for the feeling on the day it is about the feeling I now feel every day again. I have always been an active fit person but dropped the ball over the festive season and had some other issues that lead to some weight gain. It was about getting back to that point again not about becoming a size 8 and being stick thin. I am a size 12 and I really do love my curvy athletic body, the toned version of this is my ultimate shape. I wouldnt have it any other way.

  • Paula says:
    June 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    conversation went like this…. (ps i was not trying to lose weight for my wedding)

    Paula – no more dress fittings for me ! (4 mths out from wedding)
    SIL – what? so you can’t lose anymore weight?
    Paula – (wishing i could slap SIL right now) no. the dress fits perfectly now – i cannot lose anymore weight or put anymore on – just have to stay perfertly normal like right now

    Mmm moral of the story – there will always be outside pressure for a bride to ‘lose’ weight – whether it be from 1 person or more… there is always that 1 !

  • Jess says:
    June 22, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    I think that if you are overweight and your wedding motivates you to finally shed those kilos you have wanted to then, great but crash course dieting isn’t the way to do it.

    I personally feel fine and fit in my own skin – I could cut down on eating my baked goods, drinking wine and other treats to shed 5kg, but I won’t. When I met with my dressmaker I told her to make it to fit me now because no kilo’s would be coming off and they haven’t.

    Just think, your partner who you are engaged to marry loves you for who you are now and he/she will love you no matter whether you ship shape and drop some weight or stay as you are.

    I think the main thing is not to go all crazy lady on your wedding and just make it a lovely memorable day for you, your partner and your guests.

  • Hailey says:
    June 22, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    For me, it’s more about being healthy on our big day. I’m probably about 5kgs over my ideal weight at the moment and I will steadily try to loose this over the next few months with exercise and healthy eating. It’s great motivation to have a ‘date’ or ‘event’ as a goal, but I guess the most important part is to know that it’s not ‘only’ for your wedding day and you don’t put all the weight back on after the wedding.

  • Natalie @girlaboutlove says:
    June 22, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    With just under a year until my wedding, I have recently embarked on my wedding ‘diet’. My ‘diet’ consists of clean eats 80% of the time with room for treats (because what lady doesn’t enjoy a little treat) and keeping a healthy and active lifestyle.

    I actually don’t call it a diet though. I simply have changed the way I live my life. I want to look the best version of me on my wedding day there is no denying that, however I want to change my really unhealthy habits and what better time to start.

    So gone are the two cokes per day and the KFC and pizza dinners each week. I’ve replaced these with green tea, grilled lean meats, lots of fresh produce and a really well balanced meal plan that works for me (and keeps me full and satisfied without nasty sugar crashes).

    I’m all for empowering women and I don’t believe in quick fixes i.e. shakes, surgery and so on. It’s really upsetting that there is so much focus on weight and numbers rather than health and fitness and feeling good about yourself and your choices.

    I absolutely love that there are positive role models out there, like Michelle Bridges for one, who teenage girls can look up to rather than some of the crazy things you see from ‘stars’.

    One thing is for sure. I want my future husband to see me walk down that aisle in 11 months looking radiant, healthy and above everything else, happy.

  • Sarah says:
    June 22, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    My mother-in-law is making my wedding dress for me and I feel incredibly special. I’m a busty lady & quite often dresses will fit me everywhere else but not in the bust section. We have designed together a dress that flatters my shape & fits my bust. If I happen to lose weight before the wedding then that’s a bonus, but my dress is being made to fit me exactly as I am. I did have a crazy moment when I felt like I needed to lose 20kg before the wedding, but now my focus is on eating well and enjoying exercise. Exercising and eating well equate with me taking care of myself, and I know when I do this I am better able to cope with whatever life throws at me (including the demands of planning a wedding!).

  • Ms Gingham says:
    June 22, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Short of plastic surgery (and I know I’m not going there) there’s lots of things about my body that I simply cannot change. How many times have I looked in the mirror and thought, “I wish my eyes were blue/green/brown… I wish my bottom was smaller/bigger/rounder… I wish my legs were slimmer/more toned/longer”… and with this I can continue all day.

    No matter what we say, all of us to some degree or another have something about us that we want to change. Weight seems like one of those things that we could acheive and in doing so, our lives would be all shiny and perfect and new.

    Hmmmm too good to be true? You betcha! But still, we buy into the weight loss schemes with the slim (excuse the pun) hope that one will work and suddenly we’ll morph into this super glamorous, amazing fembot type bride/woman. Then what?

    I agree with all the comments that when you are closer to a healthy weight you feel better. More energetic, less sluggish and in a better mood. These are great reasons to pursue a healthy lifestyle but if you’re doing it because you think that skinny brides don’t have problems then you need to examine your motives a little more closely.

    Second rant of the day over!

  • Von says:
    July 1, 2012 at 2:10 am

    Soooo over the wedding weight loss ads on facebook. They’re never ending once I changed my status to Engaged.

    I found a 60’s shift dress (with no waist line) and was so happy that it meant I didn’t have to control my body size during the next 9 months but as I am small everyone seems to want me in something tight..

    Not sure why there’s so much emphasis on looking like someone different on my wedding day..

    I just want to be relaxed and comfortable. 🙂

  • Katie says:
    August 6, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    I know I’m a latecomer in this conversation, but just wanted to share my perspective on this. I agree with all the other comments when they say it’s about how YOU feel within yourself…I gained a lot of ‘happy’ weight prior to my engagement, but upon becoming engaged my motivation to get back to the old healthy me was on fire. I’ve lost 10kg so far and ideally would like to lose another 6-8kg, but I’m not fussed if I don’t. My problem lies in people around me who continually make out that I have an eating disorder and I’m wasting away and telling me that I couldnt possibly lose any more weight. I say to them that I understand where they’re coming from, but I want to do this so I can feel my best…and I also want to make a lifestyle change so I can be a good role model for my children (when they come along in a year or two). It’s not about losing weight, or how much you weigh, it’s how you feel in that white dress on YOUR day…shouldn’t YOU dictate how you look??

    • Polka Dot Bride says:
      August 13, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      Not late at all Katie, the discussions never end 🙂

      I think your perspective is a wise one and I think that this conversation has shown me that it’s not so much “Wedding related pressure” as it is that the wedding has shown up as a life stage and one that perhaps motivates people to move form the day by day of “being in a relationship” to “Wow I am going to marry this person and I want to get my butt into gear and make some changes”. Kind of like (but not really!) making resolutions at the beginning of a new year, or throwing out stuff that you’d always said you’d throw out when you move.. or doing huge things like skydiving before you turn 30!

      I’d also like to express how surprised I am about recent weight related comments I have received about brides/models on this site. I honestly don’t care about a model or brides weight when posting something.. it’s nto a factor that plays into will or won’t I post something. So I am endlessly fascinated (and quite frankly angry) that this has to be even commented on. When it comes to our brides I won’t stand for it.



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