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With This Ring…

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wardrobe oxygen engagement ring
Dropping my ring off at Fleisher's of Maryland

When I got engaged, I was 27 and a size 12. Karl bought me a ring in a size 8 which fit perfectly in November 2002 when he proposed, but was a bit snug in the warmer months when hands swell.

When I got engaged, I went on a diet. Actually, I went on a few different diets, finally settling on the South Beach Diet. By time I was having my wedding dress altered, I was a size 10. This was the time when we also bought my wedding band, also a size 8.

I got married in June of 2004. By August, wearing both rings was uncomfortable. By December, I was down to just wearing my engagement ring, only putting on the wedding band for social situations. When I got pregnant, the engagement ring no longer fit. I would try to squeeze it on occasionally, but couldn’t wear for long before it got uncomfortable.

wardrobe oxygen engagement ring
Let's be honest, that ring was still snug in 2011…

I shared on the blog when thanks to Weight Watchers I was able to fit my ring again. But that didn’t last. I stopped Weight Watchers when I saw myself adopting bad habits to stay within my points. I haven’t been able to wear any of my wedding set for more than a couple hours for many years.

This made me feel bad, every time I opened my jewelry box and saw that gorgeous engagement ring Karl bought me. He picked it out himself, I had no say, he just knew me and my style so well. And now I was too fat to wear it. I felt bad about my body, I had no willpower, my priorities were clearly out of whack when I would choose sleep over the gym. It was as clear as that ring collecting dust, judging me.

I am constantly preaching on this blog to buy clothing in the size you are now, not the size you used to be or hope to be or just know you will be if you do X, Y, or Z. Yet here I am, not wearing my most prized accessory because my body doesn’t fit in it.

So last month I got my engagement ring resized. Why the hell did I wait so long? I waited so long because I felt I didn’t deserve it because I didn’t get myself thin again. Thin to a size that even then, 29 and never had a baby, was still hard to maintain.

But I do deserve it. This body deserves it, no matter what size or shape it is. My love for my husband and his love for me haven’t changed even though both of our bodies have changed with the time we have been married. The only person who was punishing me for gaining weight was myself.

We often punish ourselves without even realizing it. No one else sees us as fat, or ugly, or lazy, or bad but we do and we restrict, chastise, criticize, withhold, and feel shame for this invisible fault. And doing this doesn’t improve us, it only makes us feel guilty and resentful.

So buy the dress, eat the dessert, take your shoes off and go on the dancefloor. And resize that ring because you deserve to wear it. Right now, just the way you are.

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. My husband lost a lot of weight because of chronic illness, and his wedding ring was spinning loose on his finger for over a year. I kept urging him to resize it but he didn’t want to because it was engraved on the inside. Ultimately, he lost it while gardening and mourned it deeply. We got new, matching ones this summer (I wear mine on top of my original band and engagement ring) and recommitted after 23 years. But he still wishes he had had his original one resized!

  2. This translates to clothing – buy new clothes! Don’t wait until you hit that perfect size. My bff has told me for 20yrs that she would buy that cute item when she lost weight…she’s been the same size. Live in the present.
    I instill this in my daughters, find clothes that fit you – beauty comes in all sizes! I think the clothing industry doesn’t take sizes over sample seriously because we don’t embrace who we are today.

  3. Good for you, and that ring really sets off the sparkle in your eyes. I hope you get your wedding band resized next month.

  4. Brava! Good for you for doing that and sharing it here and inspiring so many others. One other person I bet is really happy is your husband — seeing you wear the ring he picked out, shows him both that you love and appreciate him, and also that you love and appreciate the woman he loves and appreciates. So happy for both of you.

  5. It’s not even a matter of putting on weight that does your rings in. I started a drug that made my hands swell, just a bit, and my rings started leaving an indent in my finger. I work near a not too notable mall -CVS, Dress Barn, Post Office- and BINGO – a small jeweler. He resized my rings, it didn’t cost much at all. If they don’t fit, don’t acquit — get’em fixed!

  6. I appreciate your sharing this. It boosts my fragile confidence to know that even a woman as stylish and comfortable in her own skin (and clothes!) as you has moments of not feeling as sure of herself and her right to claim her present body’s beauty. Thank you for stepping forward with courage and sharing your journey with us.

    1. Everyone, EVERYONE feels insecure and unsure at times. Especially these days, it seems like women exude all this confidence and self-love but all of us have times when we look in the mirror and find ourselves less than. It’s important for us to motivate one another, but it’s also important to know we’re not alone. <3

  7. This is so brilliant. I am on the other side of this, having unintentionally lost weight because of illness, and wearing my too-big ring felt like a promise to myself that I would be well again and back to the same size, but I am going to go get my ring resized so it is comfortable now instead of waiting until I am “fixed”.

  8. Wow I’ve got to say this post caught me off guard. By the time I got to the end of it I had tears in my eyes. I’d never really looked at why I feel gross every time I see my too small wedding ring in my jewelry box. But when I read your words “I felt I didn’t deserve it because I didn’t get myself thin again”… that’s when the tears started stinging my eyes. Ef that!! I miss my ring…I’ve been married 18 years and we’ve been through a lot of “life stuff”… it holds even more meaning to me now. I can’t wait to resize my ring and wear it everyday! Thank you!!

  9. I feel like when people are preaching about “authenticity” – this is what they mean. Thanks so much for sharing <3 I'm in the process of planning my wedding. The biggest hurdle for me was to stop looking at dresses with my "what if i lose the weight" blinders on, and find something that I love NOW. Something that I can wear NOW (and maybe for my anniversary?). Shedding for the wedding be damned 😉

    Ended up finding the perfect dress for me, and there's no shame in wearing my size 16 dress!

  10. Been there, done this, felt so much better when I had my rings back on my finger! Well done you, and well said.

  11. Thank you for this post, Alison. My rings have been sitting in my jewelry box for the past 4.5 year for the very same reason. Time to get moving on getting them resized!

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