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Why You Don't Need To Lose Weight For Your Wedding

There are two types of brides.

One of them stresses themselves out until the last minute, counting crunches, calories, and pounds. The other bride is magnetically happy. She embraces what she is in the moment, drawing people in with her enthusiasm for life and love.

I was the first type of bride until my wedding day rolled around. As I type, I’m covering my eyes in embarrassment, but I actually convinced my then-fiancé, now-husband to do an exorbitant 15-day juice cleanse together to lose weight before the big day. But on our wedding day, I realized how important it was to let go of my need to control every single variable — my weight, the arrangements, the schedule, the dress, other people's experiences — and focus on the magic that was this day that I would join my life with the man I loved.

I surrendered to the divine splendor in the miraculous and fleeting moments of two families coming together, of pouring rain consuming my white silk dress, of a nourished tummy full of a five-star chef’s culinary feats. The size on the tag in my dress didn't matter anymore because it never should have mattered to begin with.I've been married now for two years and have been to many other weddings.

Between my friends and me, here's what I now know to be true about the five "sizes" that look perfect in a wedding dress, waist measurements be damned.

1. Loved

I was so consumed with the way I would look at my wedding that it took me far too long to realize how trivial all that worrying was. My family and friends were traveling from near and far to celebrate my partner and me. The people I love, and who love me, didn't care if I'd lost five pounds or not, they were just happy to see me happy.When you know you are loved and surrounded by the people most important to you, it's easy to feel confident, self-assured, and joyful.

2. Confident

Find the wedding dress that makes you feel like Sheryl Sandberg had a love child with Heidi Klum. Forget about the size of the dress; the number on the tag isn't what makes someone want to say yes to the dress. Instead, focus on finding a style or cut that makes you feel über-confident, just as you are.No one is going to remember if you were wearing a 00 or a 22 ... true beauty is confidence.

3. Self-assured

Of course this is easier said than done, and requires discipline and responsibility. But you need to stop second-guessing yourself and your wedding choices. Unless a dress or another aspect of your big day was forced on you, there's no need to question what you've picked. It's your day, and your taste is perfect for you and your soon-to-be spouse.If you remind yourself — and believe — that your dress is the perfect one for you and that you are beautiful just as you are, everyone will think the same.

4. Celebrated

Shower yourself with praise, and surround yourself with bridesmaids and friends who want to treat and celebrate you. Your wedding day is an incredibly special day, marking the beginning of a new chapter of your life. Spring for things that make you feel celebrated: a luxurious candle, lingerie, new heels, the cake of your dreams, a spa day with the girls, a special lunch with your parents.Celebrate yourself!

5. Joy

It poured rain on my wedding day. I could have postponed the wedding until the weather passed, but I wanted to spend the entire evening goofing with my family and dancing with abandon. I made the decision to embrace the rain and laugh as I chose to get soaked (with my parents by my side) walking down the aisle.Though it certainly was fun, getting soaked isn't the only way to experience joy on your wedding day. Choose to go with whatever sparks joy for you, regardless of plans and lists. That kind of easy, elated attitude creates space for your guests to loosen their ties, put on flip-flops, and celebrate the new couple.

I know this all sounds a bit cliché. Trust me, I often laugh and cringe when I see articles that promise to teach you to "love yourself more." But I want to inspire you to let go of needing to keep up with the proverbial Joneses when you're planning your wedding. Let my craziness in the lead-up to my wedding serve as an example of what not to do. You are magnetic and beautiful just the way you are, and that's something a number on a scale will never convey.

As seen on Mind Body Green