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Published December 20, 2012, 11:35 PM

Holt: Dress dilemma brings weight issues to light

On June 8, 2013, my best friend of seven years will marry her boyfriend of eight, and I’ll be standing by her side in a short, strapless dress with flowy layers of turquoise organza.

By: Meredith Holt, INFORUM

On June 8, 2013, my best friend of seven years will marry her boyfriend of eight, and I’ll be standing by her side in a short, strapless dress with flowy layers of turquoise organza.

I need to order that dress by January, and I’m the last of the five bridesmaids to do so.

The problem is, I don’t know what size to order. Do I order my current size and try to lose enough weight to at least take it in? Do I order one size down and hope I can fit into it? Do I go two sizes down, grit my teeth and make losing weight my part-time job for the next six months?

I feel like I’m betting against myself and I don’t know the odds.

I haven’t done well with weight-loss timelines in the past. First I thought I could lose 120 pounds in a year. Nope. I lost about 60, then about 40 more. My weight loss has been at a standstill for a year. I’ve even regained 10-15 pounds.

I wanted to be in maintenance mode by 30, but it’s unlikely I’ll hit my goal weight in five months.

You’d think deadlines would work for me because I’m ruled by them in my job. But apparently “performs well under pressure” doesn’t apply to my personal health and well-being.

Maybe I overestimated my desire for change. My commitment started wavering until it came crashing to the floor, and now I’m slowly trying to pick up the pieces. Is now the time to set a six-month goal for myself, over a dress?

That dress will be part of one the biggest days in a close friend’s life – and in mine. I’ve always wanted to be a bridesmaid, and now I’m going to be a maid of honor.

I don’t want to be the fat girl who stands out in the wedding photos. I want Amanda to be the center of attention, not my flappy bat wings.

I don’t want to worry about whether my back rolls or stretch marks are showing when I should be worrying about whether the bride has everything she needs.

To avoid that, I’ll have to dig deep to reclaim the dedication I once had. I have the reason, I have the know-how, and I have the support, but I seem to be missing that special something I need to put it into action.

For two years, I worked out for an hour a day, five days a week, consistently. I didn’t pay close attention to my diet, I had setbacks, and I hit plateaus, but my commitment to fitness remained a constant.

As other things took precedence, it slipped from my priorities list.

My work, my relationship and my friends come first, but I realize that if I don’t make time for myself, too, I won’t reach my goals and my self-worth will suffer. It already is suffering.

I know I have good people in my corner, and I’m thankful for that, but I still feel like I’m on my own because the fight’s in my head, not theirs.

A former trainer spotted me on the treadmill recently, and the tears poured out as we started talking. I told him I felt like I was letting everyone down. Here I am talking about other people’s successes when I’m not setting a good example myself.

I know change doesn’t happen overnight and I should be proud of how far I’ve come, but I tend to focus on how far I have yet to go and how long it’s taking me.

“So do something about it,” I tell myself. “But I’d rather do x, y or z,” I counter.

In some ways, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, but this nagging feeling remains that I’m not good enough, I’m not doing enough, and I’ll never reach my goal.

Even when I do, I’ll have to work to maintain it. I gain weight ridiculously easy, and it’s only going to get harder as I get older and my metabolism slows even more than it already has.

I don’t have to be there by Amanda’s wedding – and realistically, I know I won’t, and that’s OK – but I do want to be a little closer, and I want it to show.

Forum reporter Meredith Holt has lost 105 pounds since May 2010. She will share stories of her weight-loss journey in her column, which runs the first and third Friday of each month in SheSays. Readers can reach her at (701) 241-5590.