Operation Bridesmaid

This summer I am in two weddings…a week apart…as a bridesmaid…for both. If that sentence seems a little overwhelming it’s probably because it is a little overwhelming.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore my friends who are getting married. I am beyond honored and excited to be in their weddings. Being a bridesmaid for two weddings makes you think. Two dresses, two bridal showers, two bachelorette parities, two “No, everything will come together and be fine” conversations, two ceremonies, two boxes of tissues and two photo sessions.

The last item on that list is the one that freaked me out the most. I used to not mind having my picture taken, but over the last couple of years I have come to loathe it. I hated looking at myself in photos and thinking, “Oh man, I need to lose weight.”

This past year I found the love of my life. Quickly after finding him, the relationship weight set in. We ate out all the time and never went to the gym. The unfortunate thought was,  “I have a manfriend, why would I care?” It was only in the last couple of months that I did, in fact, begin to care. As I said, I hated looking at myself in photos. During my friend’s bridal shower, my reality moment set in.

It was the weekend of April 30th this year. I stayed at the bride’s house and on the cabinet she had a countdown to the wedding. At that point there were 71 or 72 days until W-Day, as we affectionately call it. I finally realized I’m going to have my photo taken over and over again in about two months. My friends love me the way I am and would never tell me to change.

I am the one who didn’t want to look at their wedding photos in ten years and cringe at my face.

Over a McDonald’s breakfast, my boyfriend and I had a chat about how gross our eating habits were and how they had to change. That week awesome things happened. We bought fresh vegetables, fruits and granola bars instead of chips. The phrase “How many stars does that get?” resonated throughout the shopping trip.

Fruit & Vegetable Box
Fruit & Vegetable Box / Ali Karimian / CC BY 2.0

The knowledge I’ve gotten since working at Guiding Stars came raging through. I would stop and say, “No we can’t eat that because…” After two weeks of eating well and working out every day, the results started showing. My face is thinner, my waist and hips look like two separate areas and pants that were tight last month are a little looser. I joined MyFitnessPal.com and have learned how many calories I eat and how to burn them off with exercise.

I’ve lost about 11 pounds in the past month and I’m so happy. I am going to these weddings with my head held high and my arms, butt, thighs and waist a bit smaller. I’m not ashamed to say I’m proud of myself and now push myself to see what more I can do. For the first time a healthy way of life is my life.

And for the first time, I’m really happy with that.

Amy Doucette is a 25 year old living in Portland, Maine. When not working as a Lead Data Verifier for Guiding Stars, she is teaching dance at the Center of Movement in Gorham, Maine. Otherwise you can find Amy and her boyfriend, Tim, hiking or camping on the top of a mountain in Maine or New Hampshire.