So the wedding is over. Hopefully, you enjoyed your honeymoon and the relief of having the wedding stress behind you. Hopefully, you splurged, relaxed, ate and drank outside of the bounds of your normal routine. Hopefully, you basked in the glow of fun memories and experienced some post-wedding bliss.
It’s normal to put on a pound or two during this time.
It’s also normal to feel a bit let down as you head back to the routine of your normal life.
A Vulnerable Time
If you put on a few pounds on your honeymoon, resist the urge to embark on a post-honeymoon diet. Your body has a set point, a happy weight that it will try to defend and protect. Any honeymoon weight will likely fall off on its own once you re-establish your regular eating routine. Trust your body and the process of recovery.
Another post-honeymoon danger is the “F*ck It” mentality.
If you were super-vigilant food-wise prior to your wedding but relaxed your rules on the honeymoon, ED may pop up with his typical crazy logic: “Well, you’ve-been-bad-so-you-might-as-well-be-really-bad.” This is a set-up for binge eating. If you find yourself sliding down that slippery slope, see your dietitian STAT. The longer these habits go on, the harder they can be to turn around.
Now that you are a wife, you may be having thoughts and feelings that you did not anticipate. Thoughts like: “Holy Crap! I’m married!” You may feel like you’ve lost your identity; worried about being the perfect wife; panicked that you’ve made a huge mistake. Eating or starving these feelings away is unwise. See your therapist and talk it through. You’ve just been through a major life change. It will take some time to re-calibrate your sense of self.
This is normal and OK. Just feel the feelings and discover what they are trying to tell you.
When the photos arrive, instead of letting ED critique every angle, ask yourself: How was I feeling in that moment? Embrace that healthy perspective you adopted, reminding yourself that the day was about love, connection, and celebration. Don’t let ED interfere with your enjoyment of the photos. Indulge in the joyous memories, share the photos and bathe in the loving comments from friends and family.
You may have figured that, since you had an ED-Free wedding, your eating disorder should be gone for good. You’re surprised to still be struggling with cravings for sugar, urges to binge or obsessions about exercise. The fact is, if you continue to practice the principles of recovery, over time these thoughts will subside. They may not disappear for good, but they will be less powerful. They will no longer control your feelings and your behaviors.
Recovery is brain surgery without a scalpel.
It takes time and patience and lots of repetition of new healthy messages and behaviors. Marriage is an opportunity for a fresh start and a new perspective. We’ve used the analogy of “ED” as being like an abusive boyfriend. This is an excellent metaphor: who would invite an asshole ex- into your marriage? A loving relationship with an actual human is a potent antidote to this old flame of yours. When you feel yourself being pulled into ED’s web of lies, instead of fighting it alone, now you can share your struggles with your spouse.
Remember, secrecy fuels addiction. Openness and honesty are the water splashed on The Wicked Witch of the West. Expose the beast and it loses its power.
Love is the salve. Love is the cure.
Congratulations and best of luck in this new stage of your life’s journey!