3 Year Wedding Anniversary + Letter to Any Bride to Be

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Happy Wednesday! Today is such a special day, as it is mine and Nick's 3 year wedding anniversary!

Nick and I actually have two anniversaries we celebrate. We have been together since the age of 16, almost 13 years now! So I of  course make sure we still celebrate our dating anniversary and our wedding anniversary, too. I mean, any excuse to celebrate our love I will take :)

3 Year Wedding Anniversary + Letter to Any Bride to Be
3 Year Wedding Anniversary + Letter to Any Bride to Be

We are celebrating tonight by having a date night and enjoying a delicious meal with likely lots of wine :) We are in major savings mode right now since I am starting my own business and trying to transition to this being my full time job, so no big trips or celebrating this year. 100% worth it if you ask me! Also, as I become more of a "hippie" (I suppose people would call it that) I realize I don't need gifts, big trips and money to fulfill my inner happiness or to celebrate our love. Nick and I are pretty damn fortunate in that we found each other at such a young age and have grown into such different people over these 13 years, but we have grown even more together than ever. I know Nick and I have something that is quite rare, and I cherish that everyday versus only on our anniversaries...But I'll stop gushing now :)

3 Year Wedding Anniversary + Letter to Any Bride to Be
3 Year Wedding Anniversary + Letter to Any Bride to Be

On our wedding anniversary, I wanted to bring up something that happens to almost everyone during wedding planning...

I want to discuss the  pressure every bride to be feels to look and be perfect on their wedding day.

I tried hard to fight it, but I honestly totally felt that pressure. While I started eating better quality food during that year of our engagement, I was still obsessed with trying to look perfect on my wedding day. I tracked my eating obsessively, weighed myself multiple times a day, binge ate because of the restriction and then restricted because of the bingeing.

3 Year Wedding Anniversary + Letter to Any Bride to Be
3 Year Wedding Anniversary + Letter to Any Bride to Be

Shortly after our wedding and getting back from our honeymoon, I quite literally snapped and couldn't handle the thought of dieting ever again. (Read more here.)

From there, I healed my relationship with food and then healed my health. I feel like for most people I know (friends, family and clients) and myself, the time before your wedding really perpetuates the dieting behaviors.

So to any Bride-to-Be out there reading this please read this letter...to you.

3 Year Wedding Anniversary + Letter to Any Bride to Be

Dear Bride to Be,

Hey girl.

I know you are so excited to marry the love of your life. To Pinterest like hell and make everything picture perfect for your wedding.

I know you are thinking you also need to look picture perfect, too.

There's a lot of pressure to be and look perfect. From the moment you begin to try on wedding dresses, there's pressure from friends, family and the wedding industry. Don't gain weight...or you won't be able to fit into your dress! Do bridal boot camp! You must look perfect! Perfect, perfect, perfect!

I know, because I have been there. I too thought I needed to look and be a perfect specimen on my wedding day. Because almost every bride to be is focused on losing weight during their engagement, it's almost expected. I had countless people ask me during that year what I was or would be doing to lose weight.

And I did lose weight. I tracked my eating on My Fitness Pal, spent too many hours of my life obsessing over what I was going to eat, constantly thinking about food because I was always so hungry and weighing myself literally numerous times a day.

I want you to know that none of it is worth it. None. Of. It.

Because you are beautiful the way you are and look, right now.

It wasn't worth spending an entire year of my life obsessing over my looks and how I would look in pictures.

It wasn't worth the weight gain that occurred so quickly after the wedding because I had damaged my metabolism so badly.

It wasn't worth all the mental power I put into trying to look and be perfect. Because there is no such thing as being or looking perfect.

I don't regret a single thing that's happened in my life, including my obsession with getting skinny for my wedding.

But if I had to do it again, I wouldn't do it.

So learn from me. Love yourself the way you are. Right here, right now.

Focus on your mental health just as much as you focus on your physical looks.

Do things and actions while engaged, that make you a better person. Not actions that cause you to take up less space because you weigh less.

Take all that brain power you would spend obsessing over food and your looks and use it to become the best version of yourself. A version of yourself that has nothing to do with the way you look, and has everything to do with being internally happy, loving yourself and spending time doing acts of self care that build you up versus tearing you down.

Stop trying to make your body fit into everyone's expectations and challenge the world to think differently.

Challenge yourself to focus on what's most important, the fact that you are marrying the love of your life and started a beautiful chapter of your life.

Challenge yourself to love who you are and love your body, no matter the amount of body fat it carries.

You are beautiful.

XOXO, Victoria

P.S. I love our wedding pictures so much. I can tell you though, my bride to be, that even reaching my goal weight I still thought I needed to lose more weight. Lose my  belly fat. Tone my arms. You are always going to be striving for more if perfection is your goal. And it doesn't exist. My body is meant to be more curvy and it will always be this way. I am heavier now that I am in the pictures above, but I love my body so infinitely more. It's not about how much  you weigh, it's about loving yourself- flaws and all.

Tell me: Did you experience or are you currently experiencing the need to be and look perfect in your life? If so, let's challenge it together! Comment below on how you challenge the need to be and look perfect!