Monday, June 10, 2013
I finally found something that works for me. And my long…VERRRRRY long…weight loss journey has finally proved successful.
I started a plan in February, 2013 (2/25/13). Since then I have lost 30 pounds. Co-workers, family, and friends are all noticing. I am receiving compliments about my appearance and for the first time in a really long time, I feel attractive.
I went from a size 14/16 to a 10. I have a pair of pants that say they're an "8", but I am 100% sure they were mis-marked. I don't care. I'm still saying I can get into an "8". :) At least in those pants.
My goal is lose an additional 15-30 pounds.
But, I'm stuck. I have been stuck for the last 3 weeks. It's not that I've hit a plateau. I've lost my driving force. I've lost my motivation.
I am absolutely terrified about gaining all of the weight back, but that has not stopped me from going off my plan WAAAAAY more than I should. My doctor advised me that perfection is not the goal - consistency is. I am such a black & white thinker and am either all in or all out - I don't know why I'm that way, and it drives me bananas. But, such is life. So, when I first started, I was 100%. No cheating, no deviating, no "just this once..."
My doctor was pleased with my progress, but concerned that I was too strict and needed to lighten up a bit or I was setting myself up for disaster. So, she advised me to follow the 80/20 rule. Stick to the plan 80% of the time, but allow yourself to deviate 20% of the time. Don't put it all in "good or bad" categories. Live your life. Eat your birthday cupcake. Have the cocktail on your date night. Don't torture yourself if you deviate from the plan. Just get back on it and work that 80%.
Lately, it's been more like 40/60….I'm on plan about 40% of the time. The remaining 60% - I'm doing whatever I want. And I cannot seem to stop myself. Even after I eat something I shouldn't be eating - and I feel that shame spiral begin, and I feel sick...I just keep going. Like a crazy person. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. I am officially insane. And the worst part is that I know I'm insane! But, I cannot seem to get off the crazy train!!!!!
My cravings seem out of control. My hunger seems unstoppable. And my motivation to be a good girl and follow the rules (even the 80/20 rules) is out the window.
I have not reached my goal. I am not 100% comfortable at the weight that I am currently at. I so enjoyed stepping on the scale and seeing the weight drop every week. I enjoyed the compliments from everyone telling me how wonderful I look. And I feel like I am throwing all of it away.
I don't know what I need to do to refocus and get back to it. I tried looking through my meal plans and picking the two most successful weeks and trying to follow the plans that I had followed before. But, inevitably, a day or two into the "plan", I give in to the nagging little voice telling me to be 'naughty' and have that (insert carb-laden, sugary, processed, non-heart healthy food here).
The voice that told me to stay the course...that encouraged me to stick to the plan...drink my water...ensure I'm getting enough fiber and protein....that voice is all but silent. I don't know where she went, but I would REALLY like to get her to come back. I am not happy with my current weight and I know I have a lot of hard work ahead of me...but I cannot seem to get back on the train. My caboose is stuck in reverse.
How do I get back on track? Part of me feels like I need to "start over"…as if this was my first day of my new plan. I feel that comparing my current behaviors and feelings to my past successes is not doing me any favors at this point because I keep shaming myself for my current feelings/thoughts. For example, I tried to stick to my plan last week and eat what I had eaten one day during a particularly successful week in March. But, I was SO hungry...and no amount of water, or fiber supplements, was helping with the hunger. I wanted to eat more.
And so, I scolded myself for being so out of control, so gluttonistic because I was not able to eat as little as I was a couple of months ago. And I think this is not a very healthy practice. I don't know what was going on 2 months ago that allowed me to eat as little as I was. But, what worked on that day is not working for me right now. And I need to accept that and accept that sometimes things change and that is OK. I need to change too.
So, maybe a new start is exactly what I need. I am not going to compare my current work and goals to my past successes because for me, at least at this point, it causes shame and admonishment from my psyche. And to encourage healthy growth, I need to stop berating myself and start encouraging myself.
Good for you, Jenn for trying to get back to the plan! Good for you, Jenn for trying to figure out what is not working, identifying what is, and moving in a positive direction for your health! Good for you, Jenn for trying something and being wise enough to try something else when the original action is no longer effective.
This brings to mind the serenty prayer - God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
I cannot change past behaviors and outcomes. But, I can change my current and future actions/behaviors. And I can be strong enough to realize that although something worked 2 months ago, it's ok if it no longer works now…and it's ok to change and find something that works for me right now. That is what life is about - growth and change.
So, here I go on my new journey. Starting today, June 10, 2013, I am heading down a healthy path. I am preparing meal plans for foods that sound delicious and meet my nutritional needs. I am planning for success! And today is the first day of this new journey. I will not look back and compare my current journey to my past successes (except to maybe copy recipes I enjoyed). I will look ahead. And I will strive for new successes and new goals.
Saturday, April 06, 2013
As with many people, I have struggled with my weight all of my adult life. I have never been thin, fit, or been in a single digit size as an adult.
I have never been hit on in a bar or club. I am usually approached by men to ask about one of my hot friends. I am the "ugly" friend that guys make jokes about with regard to having to "take one for the team" in order for one of their friends to get in good with one of my hot friends.
I've been told I have a "pretty face", usually by well meaning aunts or friends of the family. My mother loves me unconditionally and tells me that I'm beautiful, constantly. But my father made comments about my weight while I was growing up - warning cousins not to eat the way I eat or what I eat or they'll end up fat like me.
When I was 15 years old, I was 125 pounds. I was extremely self conscious of my weight, and felt that it was such a defining aspect of who I was as a person that my appearance ruled my world.
My uncle and aunt sat me down and told me that I was heavy and should start exercising, maybe take a dance class, or some other physical activity that I would enjoy - so that I could get the weight off.
My 15 year old brain took their criticism to an extreme. I started bingeing and purging. I refused to eat after 5pm. I did sit ups, push ups and jumping jacks.
I had not adopted healthy eating habits, so the binge eating and the purging did nothing for my waistline. The workouts were helpful, I'm sure, but my teenage brain was more focused on the scale. And the scale didn't really move.
So, I gave up. I resigned myself to being the fat ugly friend. And that is exactly what I became. Don't get me wrong - I dated. But I didn't aim high in the dating department because I figured no one wanted me, so I should take what I could get. The boys I dated always felt it was necessary to inform me that they liked "big girls".
Instead of a social life - which revolved around looks and appearances, I focused on what I was good at. School. Studying. Academics. I was on the National Honor Society, Student Body VP (2 years in a row), Leadership, various volunteer groups, Speech & Debate team, etc. I graduated 16 out of 250 students in my HS class. I got 2 Bs my entire HS career.
I had found my identity. I was not the "pretty one", or the "funny one". I was the "smart one".
I applied to private, mostly all-female colleges. I told everyone (and myself) that it was because most of the boys I went to HS with were morons and a distraction in the class. I didn't want to be surrounded by stupid boys who say stupid things and are only in college to binge drink and frat their way through life.
But, I realized (only very recently, mind you) that the real reason I chose to go to an all girl school was because I couldn't be rejected on a daily basis. I wouldn't have to worry about what this boy or that boy thought of me. I wouldn't have to worry about boys telling me they like "big girls". Because I was pushing them away...out of my circle.
I chose to focus on college, academics, and my future - a professional, who didn't need affirmations from boys to make me feel worthy. I was worthy because I was smart. And I was a good girl. I did what I was told to do. I followed all the rules (ok, almost all of them). On my "permanent record" in the universe, I was getting top marks!
My weight continued to creep up. I started college at 145 pounds. I graduated at 190+.
I tried weight watchers. In 4 months, I had lost 32 pounds. I was pleased! I felt like I could actually be the thin, pretty girl! And then, for some reason, I lost my motivation. And I went back to old habits.
My weight yo-yoed from 158 to 170 to 165 to 175 to 185 and so on. At my highest, I was 198. And I was miserable. I eventually got back down to 175...but my weight seemed to fluctuate between the 175-185 range.
I half-heartedly tried other diets. But I was not able to stick to them. I wanted instant results. I wanted immediate changes. And I wasn't putting the amount of work in to see those changes, so I gave up. I naively continued to expect to change my diet one day and wake up the next day 20 pounds lighter. And over and over I would play this tug of war with food.
In 2010 I met the man who is going to be my husband. And as with many happy women in relationships, I put on weight - about 20 pounds in about 7 months. And my new relationship changed...my future husband was no longer interested in sex. He was affectionate with me, but there was a noticeable change.
On New Year's Eve 2010/2011, I wrote a letter to myself. I told myself 2011 was going to be my year. I was going to lose all my weight and reach my goals. I was going to do it! I was determined. I was motivated. I needed to make a change.
So, I joined a Biggest Loser competition at work. I tried the new Weight Watchers plan for about 2 months. I lost 2 pounds in that time. I was following the plan, to a "T" - little perfectionist Jenn was going to follow all the rules. But, I only lost 2 pounds. In 8 weeks! I was disheartened. And, I gave up.
My motivation was gone.
In May, another competition started at work. I decided THIS was going to be it. I would DEFINITELY do it this time. And it would be different. I decided to count calories, and use sparkpeople's ranges to keep track my nutrition. I could eat anything I wanted - but it needed to fit into my nutrition plan. I figured that was not so restrictive so that I could stick to it.
At the same time, I was also training for the 2011 Portland Half Marathon. I figured I was going to be great this time - running and sticking to a nutrition plan! I couldn't lose this battle!
In my nutrition plan, to avoid going crazy and giving up, I allowed myself a "cheat day". I could eat what I wanted, didn't have to track it, and could be guilt free. The freedom my cheat day gave me allowed me to be focused and motivated the other 6 days of the week.
I was exercising 4-5 days a week, sticking to a 1300 calorie average (6 days/week), and I was losing weight. Slowly. Verrrry slowly.
From May, 2011 to October, 2011, I lost about 15 pounds. Five months. Fifteen pounds. It was about 3 lbs/month. I tried to tell myself that it was a lifestyle change. The weight loss would be slow - but it would come off! I just needed to stick to it.
After my half marathon, I diligently followed my plan, allowing for Thanksgiving and Christmas. After the holidays, I had only gained 8 pounds.
New Years Eve 2011/2012...I re-read the letter I had written to myself. And I felt defeated and deflated. I hadn't achieved my goals. I had not lost all the weight. And although I weighed less at this time than I did a year before, I still had a REALLY long way to go and felt that I was in the exact same boat I was in the year before.
I became overwhelmed with the distance of my journey. If it took me 5 months to lose 15 pounds...it would take me at least a year and a half to reach my goal. And that thought depressed me.
But, I kept at the journey. I told myself I could give up - but that would only put me right back to where I had been...and since I had already been there...I knew I didn't want to go back. Or, I could keep going and see what else was out there.
I worked and lost the holiday weight. And got back down to 173. And stayed there. And stayed there. And then got frustrated, and it went up. And then got pissed and got it back down...to 173. Then I gave up hope again, and it went back up to 182.
I had continued the calorie counting and tracking plan, but I decided that I needed to do something different since I couldn't seem to get past the 173 mark. So, I started researching the 17 day diet. The science and logic made sense to me. I thought "this is something I can stick to!".
So, I bought the book, cleaned out my pantry and fridge and got to it. In Phase I, I lost 9 pounds. Phase II involved cycling Phase I days and "carb" days. After 2 weeks on Phase II, my weight had not moved. AT ALL. I had gotten it down to 173/172. And it stayed there. For 2 weeks.
So, I got frustrated and gave up. Again. And my weight went back up to 183/184.
I went to a naturopath. He put me on a 10 day cleanse that had me eating pretty much a vegan diet. I got down to 169. FINALLY! I passed the 172/173 mark!!!
He wanted me to continue the cleanse for 28 days. After debating it, I decided I couldn't do it. Yes, it would be an effective weight loss tool, but I was MISERABLE. I couldn't have coffee - the one joy in my food deprived life. I had eliminated everything from my diet except fruits and vegetables. And I couldn't do it. I could not stick to this plan for 28 days. And then what about after? Would I have to do this for the rest of my life? This was torture!
So, I stopped. And my weight creeped back up. So, I started a running and walking plan (Run 3 x/week, walk 2 x/week). And I went back to my calorie counting and food logging. And I got back down to 168.
My then boyfriend, officially became my future husband when he proposed in October, 2012. I WAS GETTING MARRIED!
And then the holidays came. And my weight went back up. And all the while I'm thinking about the fact that I have a wedding to plan, and I want to be thin and pretty for my wedding day. I do NOT want to HATE all the wedding photos because I am so fat and gross. I want to enjoy my day, my husband, and have happy photos I am pleased with.
New Year's Eve 2012/2013...once again I looked back at the last 2 years. Every year I had promised this would be the year. And every year...I was pretty much back to where I had started.
But I realized something. All this time I had been talking about how this was a lifelong journey...one day at a time...a lifestyle change...and yet I was beating myself up for the fact that this had been a long journey. I was failing to see all the changes I had made.
No, I was not 120 pounds. But, I had NOT given up on my long term journey. I kept at it for 2 years. Yes, I stumbled. Yes, I had weeks where I was in the food gutter and had to use every ounce of motivation and strength to pull me out of it. But I had perservered for TWO years. I found what worked, and what didn't. I adopted things I liked and got rid of things I didn't like. The last 2 years were not for naught. I had learned and I had grown in this journey. And I realized I needed more help than sparkpeople could give me.
So, I signed up for a medical weight loss program. I work with a doctor and a nutritionist and a specialized meal plan. In 6 weeks I have lost almost 20 pounds. People are noticing. I am noticing. I am finally past the 172/173 mark.
The plan I am on now will help me achieve my goals. And once I achieve my goals, I am able to modify my current plan slightly to allow for maintenance. But, I plan on sticking to this.
Yes, there will be days where I give in. There will always be birthdays, celebrations, and my love of food. But, it's not about making EVERY choice a 100% healthy, on plan choice. It's about making MOST choices good ones, and allowing myself to be human and hedonistic occasionally.
I have put the dedication and perfectionism into my weight loss journey that I put into my academics. Failure is not an option. And failure = not getting an A every time.
But, I need to learn to let go and ease up. Failure isn't about not being 100% all of the time. It's about not trying to give it 100%. I am going to stumble. I am going to have a "bad day". But, it doesn't matter that I have a scraped knee, or have completely fallen apart. That's life. It happens.
What truly matters is that I get back up...put a band aid on that knee, or gather the pieces and put myself back together. And I continue. Because not EVERY day is going to be a "bad day". Not every day is going to result in my falling apart. But, I can't move forward if I don't even TRY.
Yesterday, I was weak. I tried over and over again to find my motivation and my strength...but I could NOT stick to my plan. I did NOT want to stick to my plan. So, I went off script. And it was not planned. And I felt guilty (still do).
But, I am trying to reason with myself. In 6 weeks of this new plan, I have not had an unplanned fall or falter. It is OK. It is not about perfection. It's a journey. And journeys have bumps in the road. It's about getting over that bump and back onto the road.
So, I am still on this journey. I'm seeing results. I am pleased.
And I am NOT going to beat myself up for my stumble yesterday. I do not know what happened - why I felt so weak and unable to move past my cravings or hunger. But, I got through yesterday. And today is a new day. And I have a new day to make good choices that will make me feel better.
I can do this.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
So, I had my 3rd week with the EXACT same weigh-in (2nd week with no loss). I'm getting frustrated and feeling hopeless about this journey.
I am a numbers, data, statistics person. I work in accounting and love formulas, algebra, long division, and excel. So, I decided to put the numbers to work to figure out WHAT was going on.
So, I took the data from Sparkpeople (calories consumed & calories burned), and I put everything into an excel table. I weigh in on Wednesdays, so I used Wednesday-Tuesday (day before weigh in) and compared the data to weight loss mon my weigh in day (the following Wednesday).
Here is what I found:
1. The week that I lost 3.8 pounds, I had burned the most calories in that week (1488 total, average 212.5714), and I had eaten the least amount of calories (10,358 total, average 1479.71429).
2. I thought I had burned the most calories last week, which would put me at an advantage for my weigh in this week. Turns out it was one of the LOWEST weekly numbers (1374 total, 196.2857 average).
SO, here is my NEW plan of attack:
1. Ensure that my weekly calorie average is no higher than 1450.
2. Ensure that I burn at least 1400 calories during my weekly work outs.
3. Limit processed crap.
4. Eliminate refined sugars until 10/24 (have a wedding to go to).
I'm going to see if this helps to make a difference. I am really hoping so! I might be at a disadvantage for the next weigh in because I've already made poor choices and may have set myself back.
Yesterday was my "free day" - and I went kind of crazy with the food. I was feeling depressed, hopeless, and frustrated - and I used food as a crutch. Additionally, instead of getting my workout and burning my 250-300 calories, I was sick and did not work out at all.
Today, I started the day with the right attitude, but gave up around 9 and began to feel extremely defeated and depressed again. I once again chose food as my comfort and then got the whole "I screwed the whole day I might as well keep going" mentality thing going and made a poor choice for lunch as well. ALSO, because of aforementioned illness, I have to work until at least 8pm tonight (13 hour day) - so I'm not really thinking a workout is going to happen. Although, maybe I can do some of the fitness videos and get a workout in that way. It's not a walk, or a run, but something is better than nothing, right?
Tomorrow, I'm going to make healthy food choices. I have to drop my car off at the tire place tomorrow at 6:45 am, to be in to work at 7am. cause the day is full - have to get in to work by 7, no lunch break because I have to leave by 3 in order to get home, pack up the car, and head out to the beach for the weekend (with my family), I'm concerned about getting a work out in.
I am hoping to get to the beach no later than 6 AND that the weather forecast is wrong (calling for rain all day), in which case I can go on a long walk on the beach! The sun will still be up and I can get some fitness in! I just need to be creative. If I can't do that - I'll take my laptop and try to do some fitness videos - once again, not a walk or a run, but better than nothing! I'll try to do the same on Saturday and Sunday.
Monday, I'll be back to my normal schedule and can get a run in. Tuesday, I have a long walk scheduled, and will try to add extra fitness minutes in then as well.
I will do my best to make healthy choices this weekend, and I will make healthy choices M and T as well.
I cannot undo what I have already done. I cannot go back and fix poor choices. I can only learn from my mistakes and move forward with good intentions.
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
I am in a negative space right now. I know that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and I just have to ride the waves until I reach the end of this darkness. I also need to put things into perspective.
I am feeling hopeless about this weight loss journey.
I have been at the same weight (essentially) since June. Let me back track a little.
I started this journey (seriously) in May, 2011 when I joined a "biggest loser" competition at work. I started at 194. Using spark, I logged all my food and started training for a half marathon (to be run October 2011). Slowly, and I mean SLOWLY, the weight started to come off. With my training runs (in all honesty, I ran only about 3x week - should have run more), and my eye on my nutrition, I dropped down to about 175 the day of the half marathon (about 19 pounds lost in 5 months - glacier slow weight loss).
After the half marathon, I was determined to keep my fitness up and maintain a running schedule (after every marathon/half marathon, I seem to stop training and then eventually have to start at square one - again). Then I was hit with a large project at work. It's not the best excuse in the world - but I was pulling 14+ hour days, getting into the office around 6am...and leaving by around 8 or 9 pm (sometimes later) and working weekends. I was exhausted and emotionally drained - the last thing I wanted to do was run. So, after about the second week in November, my running died down.
Although I stuck to my nutrition plan, I allowed myself some freedom around the holidays with the intention of getting back on plan in January. Thankfully, I only put on about 8 pounds or so from November through December. So, I jumped back on my plan and by March, had gotten back down to 175...then dropped it to 173.
Then, I went off plan again (my birthday's in March (2012 marked my 31st year), I moved out of my boyfriend's house and we discussed breaking up - it was a stressful time). In April, I got back on plan again and jump started it was the 17 day diet. At this point, I had gotten up to about 184 (I think). I quickly lost the weight and was back down to 175 by the end of the first phase.
When I transitioned to the second phase, I was faltering on the weekends. So, week after week for a month (though to June), I stayed at 175. FRUSTRATING. Then, I went to a naturopath who put me on a 10 day cleanse (that was not fun) and I got down to 169!!!! FINALLY - out of the 170s!!!! He wanted to extend the cleanse for 28 days. After much consideration I decided not to follow through (it was super expensive, and 10 days is one thing - 28 was SO long!). My weight went back up to about 173 (July).
I decided I needed to get serious about the exercise thing. So, in August, I started my current fitness plan (running M W F; walking T Th). By the 3rd week in August, although my weight had not changed (it would fluctuate between 172.6 and 173), my body started to change. People were noticing and complimenting me. But my weight stayed the same.
I went on a week long vacation (from nutrition and fitness as well), and put on less than 4 pounds.
Then in September, I joined the BLC20 competition on spark and I was hoping that it would kick my butt into gear - there were some things I could change and a competition might be just what I need to give myself the momentum.
The first week I lost 1 pound. The second week I lost almost 4 pounds. The third week I lost nothing (my weight is back to the 172.6 range). I'm ending the fourth week (weigh in is Wed) soon and I am not anticipating a weight loss.
And that frustrates me to no end. Especially because the week before the status quo weigh in, I had increased my fitness and maintained a good weekend, nutritionally. I blame the lack of loss on the TMO - but regardless of what I try to tell myself, logically, I cannot seem to emotionally get past the fact that my weight did not go down (despite good nutrition and good fitness).
And this Wednesday...I am dreading the weigh in. Although this last week was my BEST fitness wise - it was not my best nutritionally. I went over calories on Saturday by 30. And went over astronomically on Sunday.
THEN, today I should have gone on a 3 mile run. But, I'm coming down with a cold and not feeling 100%. So, I did an 8 minute spark cardio video, twice, in addition to a 10 minute arm toning video for a total of 26 minutes of fitness today - pretty good considering I didn't want to do anything. But 26 minutes of fitness cannot erase the massive caloric binge from Sunday.
I have a nice hour long walk planned tomorrow with a friend (which is fine because I am really not feeling well and don't think I can get a run in), but it definitely cannot erase the calorie binge from Sunday either.
So, here I am. Concerned over a number on the scale...two days from now...and feeling frustrated with this entire journey so far!
I feel that a change of perspective can help me get out of the darkness. I'm not doing EVERYTHING that I could be doing on this journey. There are still things I can change...which means there is room for improvement!
These are my current areas that need improvement:
1) Weekends. I am not always very good about sticking to my nutrition plan on the weekends. I don't know why but it seems extra hard for me to stay within my calorie range. I need to be much more strict about my weekend nutrition, especially since I allow myself a 'cheat' day;
2) Fitness. I have recently upped my workouts (am now running 3 miles/day M, W, F, and continuing to walk 60 mins T and Th). I only work out for a maximum of an hour and a minimum of 20 minutes M-F. I think I need to up my fitness - the problem is that I don't see that as truly feasible right now....;
3) Simple carbs. I think I need to eat more fruits and vegetables and stay away from refined flours/sugars. I am having a hard time sticking to a whole food diet at the moment - this can definitely be improved!
So, here's a little more perspective: If I continue to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result - that is the definition of insanity. If I continuously falter nutritionally on the weekends, then my weight will continuously stay the same. If I do not increase my fitness levels, then my weight will stay the same. If I continue to eat simple sugars (i.e. pretzels, bread products, bagels, etc.) then I cannot be surprised when my weight does not change.
Maybe if I make some changes, it will be reflected in my weight?
I'm scared about making large changes because I don't want to set myself up for failure. I don't want to go too strong too quickly only to burn out after 3 days and go back to my old pattern. So, I think I'm going to set small goals to work toward.
My main concern is my nutrition. So, in the next week, I am going to work on the following goals:
1) Eat 5 vegetable servings/day;
2) Eat 2 fruit servings/day;
3) Limit simple sugars/carbs to one day a week (cheat day);
4) Draw up a nutrition plan for the weekend and have all foods prepared prior to so that there is not room for error
I will reassess next week and see what can be further improved and what needs tweaking.
I already feel much better now that I have a plan of attack and a new perspective on everything.
Just hoping it will be reflected on the scale...
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
My boyfriend of almost 3 years and I are discussing getting married. We have both been married before, and this is going to be the 2nd marriage for both of us.
We have set a date of February 2nd, 2013 and are talking about throwing a surprise wedding. We have a "game night" every 3-4 months and invite our friends and some of our family. We're thinking we're going to throw a game night, invite everyone, and then surprise them with a wedding and game night as the reception! Obviously, we are informing our immediate family of the wedding and they are invited (no surprise there).
We want to do this for a few reasons:
1) we don't want people to feel obligated to come to our wedding;
2) we don't want people to feel obligated to buy us a gift;
3) we don't have a lot of money and want to keep this as low budget as possible
So, immediate family and friends only are invited. It's being held at my boyfriend's home - which can accommodate may be 25-30 people, MAX. Game night has always been BYOB, so we don't have to provide beverages. We do usually provide food (nachos, game night type foods - which we will be doing), and I wanted my mom to make wedding cupcakes.
We're hiring an officiant, and we're writing our own vows.
We haven't told his family. We did announce it to my parents because he asked for their blessing. My mother's reaction was less than enthused.
Then, I told my mom our wedding plans - the surprise aspect, game night, etc. She is extremely upset.
She is so hurt that I'm not inviting my aunt (her sister, who she loves dearly and is close to), nor her two brothers. I tried to tell her it is an intimate affair and that if we started inviting my side of the family, then we have to invite Josh's side of the family...and my dad's side...and a 25-30 person party is now 100+....and instead of BYOB, we have to provide alcohol...and hire a caterer...and rent a venue b/c his house can't accommodate everyone...and then send invitations...and a private, intimate event is turned into a giant party that is not fun or a reflection of Josh and me, but a cliche wedding party.
I have had the big wedding with people invited who I have only met once...AT my wedding. I had the ceremonial cake cutting, first dance, etc. It didn't go the way I expected it to (my father did not toast me - he left the toasting to my mother...the mics didn't work and no one could hear her...there was not really any dancing b/c most everyone there was old (And we had only met them ONCE - that day!!!) and left early....). we want to have a celebration surrounded by people we love and enjoy, and who love and enjoy us!
My aunt, who my mom adores, does not like Josh. She actually is quite rude toward him (for the most part). I don't particularly want her at my wedding as she is not truly there to celebrate my union with Josh - she would be there because she is obligated to go (if she's invited) and because I'm her niece. She will spend the entire time looking down at the games we play, the food we're serving, and his house (nothing will be up to her standards). It's not exactly comfortable for me.
My mom and dad already paid for a lavish wedding - which ended in divorce. I am not going to ask them to do it again. I got the wedding I wanted. Just to the wrong groom. And now I'm getting the groom I wanted, and a celebration that makes me happy.
Instead, my mom is losing sleep over the fact that she doesn't know how to tell my aunt she's not invited to the wedding and I am snubbing her. She told me she wished I would have just eloped and then she and my family could throw a party for me later. In other words, she would rather NOT attend my wedding than feel that her sister has been snubbed. Because her sister is not invited, she does not want to be invited either. And then she has the nerve to tell me she loves me "MORE THAN LIFE ITSELF". Except, for her sister, who she apparently loves more. She loves her so much more she would rather not attend my wedding than not have her sister as her date (plus her sister's husband, my two cousins, their husbands, and their child).
She is accusing me of trivializing marriage because I want to play games at my reception, instead of do the chicken dance and smash cake into my groom's face.
So, I told her not to come. If she wants to choose my aunt over me, that's her choice.
But now I'm so upset because my mom doesn't want to be at my wedding. Instead, none of my family will be there. And that is the most depressing thing. I thought my mom loved me more than anything, but she would rather miss my wedding than not go without her sister.
My mom and I talked some more. She said she would feel better if I told my aunt she wasn't invited to the wedding. I told my mom we were putting the cart before the horse. Josh and I aren't "officially" engaged. We had spoken to my parents to get their blessing PRIOR to the actual engagement. Aside from my parents, and SP, we have not mentioned marriage or an engagement to ANYONE else. Josh's parents don't even know yet.
I told her that once we were officially engaged, we would make the announcement and Josh and I would handle any issues regarding who is or is not invited to our ceremony. She said that it was a relief not to have to worry about being the one to tell my aunt. And then we made up. So, all is well with my mom again.
Although I have no idea what caused the reaction that she had. My feeling is there are some underlying issues that she may or may not be aware of that might be pushing to the surface and this is how she chose to release some of her feelings.
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