Sunday, September 26, 2010

How Do Models Survive?

All right, so after my last post, I feel I should follow up with a caveat.  You see, it worries me that 95% of brides seem to feel the need to diet.  I mean think about it, that means almost no one is comfortable with their weight.  That's scary.

I know you all know you should diet healthily and not too fast and not with scary products, yadda yadda yadda.  But I'm going to tell you a story about how easy it is to go too far because people just don't think about it as much as they should.  Not about going anorexic or bulimic or anything like that, but about how a reasonable person can make small choices that greatly affect the way she sees herself.

During my senior year of high school, I developed a weird stomach condition took away my appetite.  It was sort of like acid reflux disease; the high amount of acid in my stomach kept me from wanting to eat because eating basically gave me a stomach ache.  Heaven for most people, right?  There is no better way to lose weight than not wanting to eat (except of course the stomach flu).

I wasn't uncomfortable with my weight before this happened, but I was conscious of it.  I wasn't really dieting, but I did start watching what I ate at the age of 15.  Most of the time, it was just cutting unnecessary sugar out of my diet which was healthy.

But at the onset of this disease, I did the most unhealthy thing possible.  I didn't eat.  I didn't want to, so I didn't.  Not to the point of starvation of course, but enough to lose a lot more weight than I should have.  10 pounds in 2 weeks to be exact.  And people started to notice.  It wasn't until my dance teacher pulled me aside and basically asked me if I had an eating disorder that I realized how bad it was.

I didn't do it on purpose.  I didn't even realize what was going on.  But I could have stopped it, and I didn't because I liked it.  I liked looking like a model.  I was happy when my weight finally dipped under 100 pounds.  I liked it so much that it took someone telling me I was sick for me to realize something was wrong.

After that encounter, I did something about it.  I went to the doctor, was told this was caused by stress (also something to think about!), got on acid-reducing pills, and learned what foods were easy on the stomach and basically ate just Wheat Thins and Triscuits for weeks.  I couldn't even eat the food at my prom for fear I'd get sick.  Eventually, I started gaining the weight back and feeling better.  I wish I could say that I was completely happy about that, but it took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I'd have to give up looking like a model to be healthy.

It took years for me to get over the way I looked during that period and years for me to realize what a healthy weight for me was and that I would have to stay at it even if it didn't look perfect.

All that from 2 little weeks of self-indulgent thoughts about my weight.

I don't usually tell people this story because they assume that I had an eating disorder.  It wasn't like that because I wasn't really trying to lose weight.  I was just happy that I did.  And I think that's really telling of a lot of girls out there.  We don't want to be unhealthy, but we still have images in our head that we'd like to live up to.  Sometimes the image wins, and there can be major consequences, both psychological and physical.  To this day, I can't skip meals, or I'll get really dizzy and black out.  And I don't think it's from the disease, I think it's my body's way of forcing me to get enough to eat.

What I'm trying to get at is, a lot of people have a goal of what they want to look like, but if your goal isn't realistic to your body, getting there can have consequences.  And it's always better to feel good about yourself regardless of what you look like (because that's so easy after all).

I'm not against dieting or anything.  I think being at an unhealthily high weight is also bad.  My point is, being healthy and being skinny are not the same thing, so don't try to kill yourself.  It won't end well.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Job Applications = Procrastination, or Tips for the Wedding Diet

Unlike about 95% of brides (from my personal observations), I am not going on a wedding diet.  I don't want to brag or sound bitchy or anything, but I just don't need to.  I'm pretty happy with this:

Personal Photo

But just because I'm relatively thin doesn't mean I don't work at it.  My friends seem to have an immense amount of difficulty understanding this.  Yes, my metabolism doesn't suck, but going the extra mile from normal to slender in my case is due to choices, not luck.  So I thought since there are a lot of you out there trying to lose weight that I'd share what I've been doing since I was 15 to get a body that I'm happy with.

1.  Portions:  Portion sizes are probably the most important element of weight loss.  You can eat anything you want even while dieting as long as you keep the portion sizes down.  For me, the easiest way to do this at home is to eat from small plates, bowls, etc.  In high school, I would come home everyday and fill a small cup with ice cream.  It was still less satisfying than 4 scoops, but using a cup instead of a bowl made me feel like I was eating more than I was, and even ice cream became a low-calorie snack.  Restaurants are obviously more difficult, but you can always try to order something small (like an appetizer) for your meal or save half to eat another day.

2.  Eat from Home:  I lied.  This is the most important aspect of weight loss.  Eating out is ALWAYS worse for you than eating at home.  Obviously, I don't expect you to never go out, but eating at home and bringing food with you to work, school, etc. will decrease your calorie intake immensely and allow you to have more control over what you're eating.  I seriously believe that if everyone in America brought their lunch from home everyday, obesity rates would plummet.

3.  Fruits and Veggies:  I'm sure you all know that they're good for you, but they can also be a useful and healthy way to fill your stomach when you're hungry.  When I pack a lunch, I usually include a main dish of some sort (something that will satisfy) that contains fewer calories than I need and then fill the rest of the calories in with fruits and/or vegetables.  You'd be amazed how much better raw carrots taste when you're starving.  Truth be told, I despise vegetables, but when I'm hungry, and they're all I have, I'll eat them.

4.  Count Calories:  I don't do this anymore, but everyone I know who has dieted by counting calories has had good results.  The hard thing is that you have to stick to it, and you have to find out how many calories you're getting from EVERYTHING you're eating.  Sometimes it's good just to look up the calories of your favorite snacks, drinks, or fast food places just so you know what you're eating.  If you want more information, is a good place to start if you're going to count calories.

5.  Drink Water:  More importantly, don't drink anything but water.  Seriously.  Sodas and even juices have way more calories than you need and really are not very satisfying or good for you.  Water of course is always good for you, and sometimes it will help fill you up a bit.  If you want to drink something besides water, drink milk (great source of protein!).  Just remember to add its calories into your daily count.  Oh, and if you frequent Starbucks or somewhere like that, check out how many calories are in your favorite drinks.  You'll be amazed (and horrified).

6.  Exercise:  I hate it too.  And to be perfectly honest, exercising does not make that much of a difference in weight for most women.  However, exercising can actually decrease your appetite to a certain extent if you do it in moderation.  On that note, moving around all day can also decrease your appetite if you eat when you're bored (like I do).  I know many jobs make this difficult, but I always feel better when I do something physical in the evenings or on the weekends.  Anyway, the best way I've found to exercise without hating it is to do a sport or something that will keep your mind occupied, so you don't concentrate on the pain.  Personally, I enjoy aerobic dance like Zumba, but if you're not a dancing kind of gal, look for an adult sports league or a gym class that does interest you.  And walk.  Walk whenever you can.  It's better than nothing.

7.  Indulge Yourself:  Never try to kill yourself dieting.  It doesn't work.  I learned this the hard way.  Sometimes, you have to give up on the dieting and go eat something fun.  You don't want to be hungry all the time, and you don't want to exercise to the point of exhaustion.  In all likelihood, doing these things will cause you to eat more than you would have if you had given yourself a break.  It's all about moderation.  You also don't want to think about food all the time.  I know from personal experience that that can be hard when you're trying not to eat too much, but the more you can get into a routine with your eating habits, the less you'll be hungry, the less you'll think about food, and the less you'll want to indulge.  And once you get to your goal weight, staying at it won't be as bad as getting there.

All right, well I hope that didn't sound too much like a dieting brochure, but I do feel like hearing these things from real people is more helpful than from people getting paid to say them.  If you have any questions or want any personal advice about any of this, please don't hesitate to email me:  Also, though I may not be going the wedding diet route, Daniel kind of is (not so much on the "wedding" part, but timing-wise, if he sticks with it, the wedding may be a good goal date anyway), so perhaps I can convince him to share his experience via "Groom-inations."

What's worked for you?  What weight-related advice would you give to other brides?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Wedding Websites

OK, so I have a question.  I'm starting to look into getting us a wedding website, and, well, there are a lot of choices.  So I need your help.  If you have a wedding website, what site did you use?  Are you happy with it?  What features did you find most useful?

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Sense of Permanence

It's finally happened.  The Big One.  The thing I've been waiting for since getting engaged.

No, silly, we don't have a date yet, but...

I got a ring tan!

 It's hard to see in the picture, but I swear it's more definite in person.
Personal Photo

Haha, all right, I'm probably the only person alive who's excited about this, but hear me out.  Ever since getting my engagment ring, I've wanted some ring-shaped tan lines.  It just feels more permanent that way, like having my ring basically engraved in my skin makes me more of a bride or something.  I know it's silly, but I'm excited about it anyway.

While we're on the subject of permanent rings, I thought I'd share some other couples who have forever relationships with their rings.

Wedding Ring Tattoos!

I think wedding ring tattoos are BAD ASS!  I mean, nothing really says forever like writing it on your finger in permanent ink, right?  And it would be so much less of a hassle to never have to take the ring off or worry about losing it, but people would still always know that you're married.  I'm not really cool enough to pull this off, and it definitely would not work for Daniel, but I think it's a great idea.

 This is my favorite.  They tattooed each other's names on their fingers.

To view more awesome ring tattoos, check out Offbeat Bride's ring tattoo page.

Would you ever consider making your wedding ring a little more permanent?  Would you keep it simple or do a cool design or something else unique?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Driving Down the 1, California Wedding Here We Come*

I may still have 1,000,001 things to do in the next few weeks, but I am feeling better about the wedding stuff at least.  Daniel and I had a lovely time hunting for venues on Friday, and I have renewed hope that we will get everything done before our families and friends knock down our door and demand a date.

We finally got to do what I've been wanting to do pretty much since the beginning:  drive down PCH (or the 1 for those of you who don't live near Long Beach) in Laguna and look for parks or cheaper looking areas with an ocean view.

For the most part, this resulted in us turning down one way, no outlet side streets in a fruitless search for secluded patches of grass.  However, it was totally worth it because we did find a few gems.  I was particularly excited about this one:

Random Park on Random Side Street in Laguna Beach

Perfect view, secluded, and the only pedestrians that might bother us would be the ones sneaking down the stairs to the beach.  If we're allowed to rent this area, it could turn out really well for us.  Parking would be...impossible, but there's always renting a party bus.

We found several real venues on our drive as well that I can now look into.  I don't know if any of this is even going to be worth the effort because I'm still rooting for Catalina, but regardless, it's nice to be able to make progress.

So here is my solution to wedding stress:

Step 1:  Steal Mom's convertible
Step 2:  Look for wedding stuff while driving down some of the most beautiful coastline in the world
Step 3:  Stop at the Shake Shack for a peanut butter shake while taking in the view
Step 4:  Come home with enough new options to feel like you did something instead of just enjoying the sun

View from the Shake Shack

*All Personal Photos

What do you do to relieve wedding stress?  Do you have ways of getting things done that don't leave out the fun?

*A gold star if you get the song reference

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Oh Shit, I Have to Do WHAT?!

For the first time, I am genuinely experiencing a time crunch.  Now I know how much I really should have done while I was still in Chicago.  While I now have the ability to look at venues, I lack time to research, and as much as I really want to get the ball rolling on the wedding, getting a job and making our living space livable are just more important right now.  For both of us.  Plus Daniel has to study for the BAR, and so once again I seem to have just enough more time to be the one that all the wedding stuff falls on.  Great.

Things that really must be done before the end of October:

Book a venue
Open a joint bank account
Obtain money from contributor(s?)
Figure out my own money contribution situation
Finalize initial guest list
Create and send out STDs
Obtain contact info for everyone who will receive a STD
Finalize wedding theme
Figure out my dress situation
Finalize wedding party and officiant
Choose official date, haha

And that's just the wedding list.  My "things to do in order to survive until (and after) the end of October" list is much longer.   Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


After six long days in the car, I am back in my beautiful home state!  And I am really tired and have a shit ton of stuff to unpack/rearrange/etc, so I probably still won't be around for a while.  BUT!  I am now able to look at venues--and everything else local--so expect ACTUAL decisions to be made in the very near future!

Classy Wedding by the Sea