So, they ask a guy to write his perspective for a magazine issue devoted to bridal season?
There’s a bridal season? You mean like football, baseball and basketball seasons?
Whether I like it or not, I’m a bridal season veteran. That’s what happens when you have daughters.
And it just so happens that my family is smack-dab in the middle of planning another wedding, with the big event scheduled to take place in just a few weeks. It’s our second big wedding in the past two years. (A different daughter had one. Not the same girl this time.)
Yeah, I know weddings. The guy parts, anyway. I know enough to stay out of the way.
The stuff women endure during these times? I’m clueless, and thankfully so.
I am, however, a witness.
I’ve kept my distance as the ladies in my life plan everything down to the tiniest of details. I’ve kept my mouth shut — and probably survived this long because of it — when it comes to pointing out any potential flaws in the planning. My role has been to stand by, meaning I just hang around until someone needs me.
There is, however, one particular element of a wedding I’ve noticed seems to bully its way into every bride’s plans: the dress size.
(See how I worded that? I ain’t dumb.)
As a lifelong dude (for the eleventy billionth time: Thank you, God, for making me a guy), I’m immune to the insecurities women suffer. I’ve actually heard the term “back fat” used in regard to some part of a body refusing to tuck itself inside a bridal gown’s hems. When it comes to body shaming, women are their own worst critics.
I can’t relate. At all. Not once in my life have I gone into a full-blown, six-month fast with the hopes of fitting into a two-piece by the summer — or a smaller-sized dress for a wedding. Single digits don’t dictate my clothing sizes. Something in that size might fit my right leg. I grew out of petite sizes about the same time I ditched my last diaper.
And having spent all this time as a male, getting me to forgo any food whatsoever for the sake of one event is a lost cause. I need my occasional pizza and wings like Texans need air conditioning.
But time and again, I hear women of every age worrying about how they’re going to fit into a certain dress by a certain date. My suggestion of “Buy a bigger dress” nearly got me killed, so I won’t be repeating that here.
Believe it or not, I can offer a little guidance on how to drop a few sizes in time for the big day, and none of my input has anything to do with dieting. I subscribe to Garfield the Cat’s theory: “Diet is just ‘Die’ with a ‘t.’”
Those occasional diets don’t work, and there’s a reason they don’t. Our bodies, especially — and in my case — the blubber parts, are pretty smart. Our system grows accustomed to a certain level of food intake, and even if we try to cut it down, our bodies refuse to cooperate. For example, my poor eating habits include often going long hours without eating a single bite. One would think such day-long fasts would leave me so scrawny I have to tie a board to my butt to keep from sliding down the shower drain, and that going all day without eating is a sure-fire way to lose weight. It doesn’t work that way. Our bodies fall into a state of paranoia. We think we’ll lose weight by starving ourselves, but the truth is our fat cells are all like, “Nah, bro. We’re hanging onto this stuff. We never know when you’re gonna eat again.”
Worse, the longer we go without eating, the more we’ll scarf down when we actually take the time. When I’m finally reacquainted with a meal, I don’t dive into my food. I go full-blown cannonball into that plate.
So basically, any pounds I lose, I guarantee I’m gonna get ’em back. This past year alone, I’ve dropped a total of close to 200 pounds. By my math, I should be down to my original birth weight. Nope. I can drop five pounds in a week, but I promise we’ll get together again within days. Reunited, and it feels so good …
To gain a better perspective on the right way to lose and/or maintain one’s weight, I consulted someone who can offer a personal testimony: my wife. This past year, she’s dropped pounds and clothing sizes without actually dieting. In her words, she didn’t try any sort of diet; she simply decided to make a lifestyle change. She didn’t so much change what she eats as much as she did the way she eats. She says she eats every two hours — you can bet my ears perked up at that idea — but just enough to keep her from getting hungry. It stabilizes her metabolism and doesn’t freak out