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Think You Need To Lose Weight For An Upcoming Event?

Whether it’s a wedding, a work event, a reunion, or some other special occasion, there’s this idea we can have when we aren’t 100% happy with our bodies: we think we need to lose weight for an upcoming event.

There’s a certain seduction to losing weight or getting thinner…

We imagine a scenario in our heads where we’ll be the head turner, where others are envious of how amazing we look, where our partner will be proud to have us on their arm, where we’ll feel like the sexiest version of ourselves if we just lost a pound or twenty before the event!

I have a gala coming up on Sunday, and I hadn’t thought much about what I was going to wear until this week.

I borrowed some dresses from a friend a few days ago (who I didn’t realize is actually much smaller than me) and my first thought while looking in the mirror was:

“Oooh, if I ate clean for a week, I would totally fit into this dress and look so much better.”

(In the Normal Eaters Club, we talk about our “default tapes” that comes up when we want a quick solution. Mine is always “eat clean”).

A few other thoughts went through my head (“you could look skinnier if you cut out carbs this week” and “don’t you want to have your stomach look smaller in that dress?”) before my alarm bell went off.

need to lose weight for an upcoming event

I’m usually pretty quick to catch old tapes that I no longer listen to and I caught myself before I went down the rabbit hole.

My thoughts quickly turned to:

“C’mon, Jenn, you know you’d rather be forced to climb a mountain in the blistering sun than cut out carbs for a week.”

and

“Why do I STILL have an “old tape” there that if I was smaller I would be hotter/sexier/more acceptable/enough?!”

(I was kind of annoyed at myself for still having that belief in me…)

But the point is that the idea of ever cutting out carbs, going on a diet, or monitoring my food in any capacity sounds like TORTURE to me. (10 years ago it would have sounded like just the solution I needed).

As I was reflecting on this episode (and realizing that by sharing all of my internal mental conversations with you, it makes me sound like a crazy person…but that’s okay, we’re all crazy in some way, right?!), I knew it was something that many women struggle with, so I wanted to share in the hopes it would benefit you.

When you catch yourself thinking you should lose weight, go on a diet, eat clean, or do something to prep for an upcoming event, here are the 3 things I want you to remember: 

  1. It is bound to backfire.

If you “do” anything to lose a few pounds (aka  “saving up for” the feast you’ll have by cutting out carbs, exercising more to look better in your dress, or planning a quick cleanse to make you look less bloated), it’s never sustainable.

No matter what you “do”, you typically won’t be able to keep doing it, so at some point, you’ll either overeat, stop the exercise regimen, or feel like you’ve “blown it” and then get back in the start over tomorrow cycle.

And then you’ll end up feeling that old familiar feeling of being a failure (and I want to stop that in its tracks!)

  1. It’s reinforcing the belief that smaller is better.

Do we really need to change and “fix” our body for an event? Where is that belief stemming from?

We’ve been conditioned to think that we’ve got to change, whittle, sculpt and tone ourselves into a certain shape. But what if you found a dress you loved, rocked your curves, and showed up just as you are? (Sound terrifying? It can be at first! Baby steps 🙂 )

Smaller is not better. Thinner is not better. Nothing is better or worse than anything else. We are all unique and all have different shapes. Let’s start to embrace it and not resist it!

  1. Your energy is much better spent focusing on self-acceptance 🙂 

Instead of putting your energy towards cutting out carbs or doing a 3-day diet of some sort, put that same effort towards showing yourself that you are enough right now.

You can show up as you are RIGHT NOW to the wedding, reunion, or event and feel awesome in a dress that fits you exactly the size you’re in now. Not 10/20/100 pounds from now.

This feeling of confidence, comfort, and ease in your body has nothing to do with the outside. It has everything to do with the inside 🙂

You don’t need to be smaller for an upcoming event (or if it’s not an event but a visit with friends or family you haven’t seen in a while). You are enough exactly as you are now. Can you find that within you where you are?

See where you can shift your focus from appearance to experience.

Instead of being consumed by how you look, can you experience the beauty of the event, the taste of the food, the conversations with new people, the amazing decorations, and beautiful venue?

It’s your turn now-tell me, do you have an upcoming event? Has this come up for you? Share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂 

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8 comments

  • Yep! I have 2 weddings, one next week & one in Oct. For niece & nephew. Instead of worrying about what I look like (since I’ll be invisible to the “younger” crowd anyway!) I’ve got a comfortable, flattering dress and Im going to spend my time soaking up my out-of-town sister’s company and my mom’s too. We lost Dad last year so it’ll be bittersweet, all the more reason to live and enjoy THE NOW.

  • I love your intention to soak up the company 🙂 And thank you for the reminder to live and enjoy the now…I think we all need to remind ourselves of that every day! Enjoy the wedding next week.

  • I don’t have an event coming, but I remember deciding that for my prom and again for my wedding that I wasn’t going to try to fit into the dress I thought I wanted, I was going to find a dress that looked good on me as I was. Instead of focusing on weight, I focused on other aspects of myself that make me feel pretty asthetically. Hair, teeth, skin, and enjoy those. I don’t know exactly how in the last few years I’ve gone so askew in this department. I realized recently that I’m stuck in a past identity of myself — I’m over identifying with a thinner me that only existed for a brief period of my life and acting like that is the “real” me. This is keeping me from accepting me as the real me right now! So I am trying to reconnect with the other parts of physical beauty besides weight. I colored my hair for the first time in years, bought some new eye cream, did my nails, and am getting a spray tan. I know these are superficial things, but it feels good to allow myself to be worthy of those things NOW and not have to be a certain weight to have them. For the last few years, weight has been my only measure of my own physical beauty. But it doesn’t have to be. I am going to stop putting all my eggs in that basket.

  • What a tender insight to see that you have been identifying with a thinner you that only existed for a brief period…that is a great step towards moving on from it. And yes, you ARE worthy of all of those things now! I will keep reminding you of that 🙂

  • When I hear the term “clean eating” I cringe. To me it implies that any other kind of eating is “dirty” and therefore bad or wrong. I fall victim to the desire to look and be thinner before visiting friends and family back home. My internal dialogue or tape tells me that if I’m not thin when I return, people will judge me and I’ll somehow be a failure. It stinks because what I know is that people just want to see me and catch up, they don’t care if I’m in a larger body. But it happens, in the past I have ended up spending a bunch of money before going home, to try to get bathing suits, dress and other summer wear that would make me look thinner or flatter my current shape. This year, I’m not doing it. I am trying ot push those thoughts out and go, happily, as I am. Thank you for your post and the work that you do. It helps to know that I am not alone.

  • What courage to go home as YOU. Without buying new clothes to make you look thinner. That takes a lot of courage and will feel vulnerable…so know that you may have to remind yourself 1000 times when you’re home “I’m enjoying my family and friends and not focusing on my body…I am absolutely enough as I am…people love me for me” or whatever reminder helps. (Or just keep this post handy and keep rereading it to inspire you that 1. you’re not alone and 2. you’re enough as you are!) 🙂

  • LOVE your tips, Jenn. Thank you. In the past, I have weighed myself every Monday, and kept note of it. Apart from a couple of times in my life when I WORKED REALLY HARD to loose weight, and obviously had no fun or a relaxed life until I got where I “thought” I should be – I have actually been the weight I am now since I can remember. And yes, I am going away in a few weeks for a wedding. And no, I’m not on a diet so I can be “perfect” (my eyes, no-one else’s) I bought a very flattering dress, some fun shoes and am having a radical haircut in a day or so. That’s it. I feel very relaxed about this visit and intend having fun catching up with family and friends. Thank you for your insights and great tips, always. Warm wishes, CeeDee.

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