Yesterday my older brother got married. Even though we're not super close and tend to get on each other's nerves, I am thrilled at his choice of wife and firmly believe they will live happily ever after. There was some drama surrounding the wedding, but everything seemed to go off without a hitch, everyone had a blast, and I can firmly say it's the best wedding I've attended-- next to mine, of course. :)
The most frustrating part for me was... myself, actually. I was a bridesmaid and have known about my position for months, yet managed not to shed 1 pound before the big day. Picture a pimply, 315 pound white whale in a shiny, spaghetti strap blue dress and you get the idea of my self-disgust. Although, my hair looked awesome (someone else did it for me, thank goodness) and my makeup was how I usually do it. Leading up to the wedding, I went through a range of emotions from anger to depression about being morbidly obese and embarrassing myself in front of family, friends, and strangers. There were times I almost refused to go altogether (that would never have happened). After doing hair and makeup but before putting on the dress, I felt good. When I first put on the dress without straps (we were supposed to go strapless but my awkward boobs wouldn't allow that even after I had the thing altered) I almost burst into tears of embarrassment and my temper flared because I knew I'd look like an idiot and end up flashing everyone at the church. Fortunately the straps made everything come together in a more appropriate fashion and I felt... better.
And then, after a deep breath and a prayer, I reached a fork in the road and chose the path less traveled: confidence. I decided I could either be embarrassed, introverted, and not fully participate in the festivities OR I could smile, talk to everyone, and HAVE FUN. You know what? I had such an amazing time and got so many unwarranted compliments on how beautiful I looked, and I think it's because I felt beautiful. My smile was bright, I ate and drank like everyone else, greeted friends and family, and when the dancing started I hit the floor with energy and a sense of humor. I should probably note that I have high energy relatives who love to dance and make fools of themselves at weddings. It's kind of special. People on the outside looking in always compliment us on our lively, fun-loving nature, and that we're good people because we encourage others to dance with us... and we all happen to be nice. We're party animals.
So I danced. And I got other people to dance, grabbing unsuspecting onlookers and challenging them to give us their best moves. I didn't feel foolish, had a great time, and from what I could tell, no one really thought I was an idiot. Confidence truly makes a difference. Unfortunately, seeing the photos the day after is another story; all that inner strength completely deflated once I saw myself on the dance floor. Honestly, I can't believe people didn't run in the other direction when my giant form came at them to dance, all that fat rippling with my red face and back completely soaked. I still had an amazing time, I don't regret one moment, but those photos are a firm reminder of my ongoing trek toward health and happiness with myself.