My Engagement: Interfaith conflict + Weight Watchers Hypnosis + Releasing my Inner Control Freak

Blog · Your Body · Your Relationships · Your Self · Your Work

Last week I introduced you to the love of my life, Jonathan.  And I divulged our less than perfect dating journey.  If you missed it, you can get the whole back story here.

I mentioned that Jonathan and I never talked about marriage, and a lot of women have asked me, “How did I not freak out?”  So to answers your questions (and to give you a little advice)… I knew Jonathan wasn’t one of those guys who was going to drag it out forever.  I paid attention to his actions and words, and even though we never talked about timing, I could tell he was for real.  So if you’re panicking about your boyfriend popping the question, look at his signs for commitment.  If they’re lacking, don’t use an engagement as a way to pin him down, he’ll just continue to push back.

As a result of not speaking a word of marriage, Jonathan and I had a lot of ground to cover.  When we were dating we had one or two “hypothetical” conversations about religion.  Jonathan is Jewish and the holidays and traditions were a huge part of his upbringing.  I am just about as WASPy as you can get, and grew up attending a congregational church on a regular basis and there is no one more obsessed with Christmas than I.

I brought up the subject against his will because I had to make sure that he did not expect me to convert and give up my own traditions.  Choosing between Santa and Jonathan would’ve been a tough decision.

Luckily, it was an easy conversation (though slightly awkward as we had not talked about kids before) and we agreed that raising kids as “both” Christian and Jewish was the best way to go.

But when we got engaged we realized we really had no idea how faith was going to fit into OUR lives as a couple.

We ventured where very few 20-something care to go, to Church.  Through learning the teachings of Unity, we adopted the philosophy that God doesn’t give a sh*t what religion we are, we all have access to divine love, abundance and support.  Instead of thinking about our “situation” (as some people like to call it) as how to best “mix” religions, we concentrated on how we can completely share and celebrate faith together. As a result, we experienced a new love and openness for each other’s traditions and were able to experience the rush and clarity of connecting to a high power together.

Though I had spent 13 years planning the reception, dreaming up flower arrangements and bridesmaid dresses, our new commitment to finding a common faith motivated us to move our ceremony to the top of our wedding priority list. We spent weeks writing a ceremony that would be a perfect reflection of our love and spiritual relationship.  In my mind, I needed Martha to move over a little (just a little) to make some space for God. This was by far the best thing we could have done to make our wedding successful.

Which brings me to the planning process and my next surprise… I assumed that I was going to be able to run my business, develop friendships, enjoy New York City, plan a move across the country and execute every detail of my wedding all at the same time without breaking a sweat.  After all, this was what I was planning for for frickin’ 13 years!!! But I was dramatically, and shockingly, overwhelmed by the task.

The control freak in me wanted to be in charge of everything, to be the creator of this fabulous event, and if I’m being honest with myself, so I could ensure being the center of attention.

I wanted full credit for everything: how I looked, my hot husband and the amazing event.

I became intoxicated by the stress of handling all the details, and weighed down by the self-criticism induced by my inability to “pull it together”.  As I was struggling to keep all the balls in the air, my mother was gracefully checking off her wedding to-dos behind the scenes, creating color-coded filing systems, 6 month timelines, and personalized marching orders so that nothing fell through the cracks. Here is a small example of her organizational genius, the wedding board that hung in her office.

To be honst, her effortless organization really pissed me off.  I felt like she was stealing my thunder and my spotlight.

After a few weeks of stereotypical mother-of-the-bride/bride-to-be bickering, I moved from haughty to humbled.  I accepted that my mother was not only more organized than I was, but she has an innate talent for managing a gazillion details that is truly super-human.  She could honestly run a small country.

So I relinquished total control to the master planner, faced my unevolved obsession with being a total control freak and the center of attention, and accepted that my talents lay elsewhere.

Mom and I created a fabulous system where I operated as the creative director, brainstorming and dreaming up delicious flower arrangements and comforting food combinations (thanks to my years of wedding research) and she executed like a champ.  I could have spent months getting bogged down in contracts and deadlines, but instead I used the extra brain space, tapped into my true talents and created a gorgeous atmosphere.

If it’s one thing I drill into my clients heads as a result, it’s delegate, delegate, DELEGATE!!!

You have so many things going on in your life, the emotional transitions, life management and not to mention getting your bod in the best shape of your life…

Now here’s what everyone wants to know about…weight loss. And Here’s the big shocker… as a holistic weight loss coach for brides, I make money leading brides through the delicate process of creating an amazing body without dieting. So you can imagine my shock when after my first dress fitting, I felt myself wanting to sprint at full speed to find the next weight watchers meeting!

I also spent a good few months fighting the urge to hire a personal trainer.  Not because I don’t think that exercise is important, or that personal trainers are amazing, but because I have NEVER gotten as much out of personal training as I did out of street jazz classes, pilates or chisel (a group cardio and weight lifting class by Crunch).   I thought just because getting a trainer is what brides “do”, I would miraculously turn into a personal training obsessed gym rat as soon as I had a ring on my finger. I was mistaken.

The wedding weight loss hype got to me.  I was not immune to the intense pressure that our culture puts on women to be thin for their wedding.  It is a paradigm that captures even the most alert brides.

I had a lot of old voices of self-criticism come up and felt myself over eating at times to quiet them.  There were moments I forgot that acceptance does not mean giving up and that eating foods I enjoy does not mean I am going to binge on them.

Layer that with the self-imposed expectation to be immune to the social pressure and feel completely blissful about my body all the time, and I wasn’t feeling so hot about myself.

The way out started with accepting I was human, and not perfect.  The next steps involved replacing my obsession with being a new version of myself,with the desire to be the best version of myself.

By getting reconnected with my own philosophy and taking on myself as a VIP client, I have to say, I f*cking rocked that wedding dress.  I have never felt so beautiful.

I can’t wait to show you pics and tell you all about the wedding next week.

See you then.  Love,


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