Emmie Note: Today, we've got a guest post from Chris, who blogs at thiiirdly. He's also on a weight loss journey (down 25 pounds so far) and he's quite funny. When he emailed me and asked if he could do a guest post related to “Bridesmaids,” I automatically said yes because I think “Bridesmaids” is one of the most awesome films in cinematic history. Melissa McCarthy may have made me pee my pants when I first saw it. So now she and I are imaginary besties. But I digress. Take it away, Chris!
Who doesn't like Bridesmaids? If you haven't seen it, please read no more. Go to
your local Blockbuster Netflix and wait impatiently for the postal worker to drop off 132 minutes of crazy good.
Did I mention it's hilarious?
- the scene when you first meet Melissa McCarthy‘s character? I didn't know who she was but that scene made me an instant fan.
- Kristen Wiig stars—has you laughing and sighing in the same scenes—and her character reminds us that so much of life is important/ridiculous.
- A wedding is often important/ridiculous.
The story isn't really about weddings. It's about friendship, which is about sharing life. It's about what matters most.
When it comes to being healthy, this journey for us is important because it concerns what matters most to us.
This may be a stretch for you, but I've been thinking about what Bridesmaids teaches us about getting healthy—whether female or male—though you might have to dig to find the lesson.
Hidden Lesson 1: The timing has to be right
People at various stages of their journeys to better their health have often mentioned how important the timing was to make a lasting breakthrough.
I've encountered problems with being fat—but often the guilt would subside and I would return to business as usual.
But others made a change.
Maybe they hit bottom.
Or a doctor warned them.
Or their first child was born.
Or someone broke their heart.
Have you had the AHA moment?
Wiig took 5 years to write a story loved by millions—her life will never be the same. Each of us is writing our own story with goals that may take time to realize –our lives will never be the same.
Timing isn't an excuse to do nothing—it'll never be convenient. It will explain, however, why you were able to meet your goals this time.
Hidden Lesson 2: Everything will change
The central tension in the movie is whether or not a friendship will survive with all the changes happening in preparation for the wedding.
- The bride who seems to lose touch with who she is
- A scheming bridesmaid who wants the spotlight
- The maid of honor whose faux happiness for the bride barely masks her own loneliness
It's funny to watch because it's not us but, in another way, it's even funnier because it is us.
We've been there or we are there.
If we're honest, this journey can be terrifying.
- What if I fail (again)?
- Will I look ‘skinny fat'?
- Will my personality change? Will I become proud? Arrogant? Shallow?
- Will I still be funny?
- Will I be satisfied?
- Will my friends be jealous?
- Will my significant other feel threatened?
Those thoughts cross my mind as I'm sure they do yours—but we all know the alternative is much more terrifying.
The reality is that if we adopt deep change, nothing will be the same.
Our cravings, our discipline, our goals, our bodies, our energy, our appearance, our very livelihood—changed.
For a moment—think what your life would look like if being unhealthy was no longer a part of your identity. If you feel a dozen feelings at once then you know what I'm talking about.
Hidden Lesson 3: The Bridal and Diet Industries are the Same
Granted, it's easier to get married than it is to get healthy—but both industries want to influence how you get married/healthy.
A wedding is more than a wedding—though it is at least that. (Note: I'm talking about the event, not the actual concept of marriage).
A modern wedding is really a culmination of what seems like a thousand little things to do that begins at the engagement and lasts through showers, dress shopping, fittings, consultations, yadda yadda.
The wedding industry knows that a girl's vision for her wedding starts young.
Though there are people who wish to be single and unhealthy—I feel comfortable assuming that most do not.
The wedding and diet industries know this.
Eventually you'll want to get married—eventually you'll want to lose weight. But these industries want you to do it a certain way—it's more lucrative.
Just as you can go to a courthouse tomorrow and get just as married as another bride who dropped $100 k, you can decide tomorrow to eat better and get more active to embrace the life/get the body you always wanted just as much as someone choosing a program, a trainer or surgery
But the diet industry wants to tell a different story:
- take shortcuts with pills, shakes and cleanses
- completely avoid certain foods for the rest of your life
- extremely restrict calories
- spend hours with expensive trainers/programs
- buy machines you'll use once
I know because I've bought into that story before.
There's a pivotal scene in Bridesmaids where the maid of honor confronts the bride for getting caught up with the spectacle of the wedding and forgetting what matters most.
It's easy for us to do. We want results. We want to be different.
Making good eating choices and being active is simple and effective—but not sexy.
It's hard to make money off of that advice. Better to make it more complicated, exclusive, or medicated.
But it isn't.
If you want to have a wedding where you ride in on an elephant or say your vows on a space station—more power to you.
And if you want to use the Shakeweight to lose 100lbs—then have a blast and get to shakin'.
If you're wondering if I have a bias against the diet industry, you're probably right. Stuff like this doesn't help.
Hidden Lesson 4: The best day to start/re-start is today
It began with an idea.
Kristen Wiig needed to write a script but didn't know how. She bought a how-to book.
What's something we could do today to continue the script of our life in the right direction? We have the idea, now let's do it.
We won't reach the main goal by tomorrow, but we can reach the first of a 100 mini goals that will deliver that outcome.
- Journal what you consume. Emmie and I use myfitnesspal.
- Take a walk with the dog + the kids. You'd be surprised how meaningful it could be.
- Roast some vegetables in the oven.
- Fill up a large water bottle and keep it with you all day.
- Tell someone who loves you that you need to change. Together, come up with realistic goals + a plan.
Be sure to throw parties along the way and hope that Melissa McCarthy crashes it.