Since I was a little girl, I have always been acutely aware that I am built larger than most of the girls around me, and occasionally, some of the boys. Looking back at photographs of myself as a kid, I realize that I was never really fat, just “big-boned” in the most exact sense of the term. Sure, I had some unfortunate haircuts here and there — a home perm or two — and I wore overalls over all of my clothes, but I wasn’t a horrible looking kid. I just felt bad about myself because I was shaped differently, and no matter what I did, I would never be as tiny as Kelly Kapowski, Rachel Green or Ally McBeal — the woman whose completely inappropriate courtroom attire and demeanor made me want to be an attorney at 12. After spending most of my college years at Notre Dame frustrated about my weight (parkas and snowboots are universally forgiving), I finally stopped thinking about my body when I started Teach for America, which took me on a complete 180. I went from being overly conscious about my diet to being completely absentminded, frequently missing meals and fueling my 5 a.m. workday with nothing but caffeine and fear. The stress of teaching algebra each day with an English degree to 90 teenagers made me drop weight like it was going out of style. Without working out or consciously dieting, I was at my lowest weight in years, but I knew I still wasn’t healthy. Worse, I knew it was only temporary, and I panicked every time I thought about sitting down for a normal meal or going out with friends. During my time teaching, I met “Coach Love,” a PE teacher and football/basketball/track/golf/tennis/swimming/taking-requests coach at the high school where I was teaching. Literally, it was Love at First Sight. Within about six months after we met, Neil and I were inseparable, and we have been since then. He’s seen me at my tiniest when I was teaching, to my current largest, the result of a dreadful combination of comfort, stability and law school. At any size, I know that Neil is crazy about me and will love me for better or worse, but I refuse to settle for the latter when there is something that I can do about it. I want to be able to keep up with my husband and his cross country team when they’re running 5ks, and I hope to eventually be at my fittest when we’re ready to start a family. For the next eight months and well beyond, I am making a promise to myself and to you, my reader, to be a Wedding Warrior, who will not only get fit for her big day next March, but who will hopefully inspire you to make changes in your life to be a better person for yourself, your mate and your families, current or future. I can’t wait to share my journey with you and hopefully a couple of laughs along the way. If you’d like to know more about me and Neil, please stop by our wedding website.