Ten months before my wedding, I was standing in a floor-length white lace gown, looking in the dressing room mirror, and thinking, "I'm going to be a bride!" Then I heard a woman's voice on the other side of the wall: "Do you have this in a size 0? I'm swimming in the 2." I ran my hands over the formfitting size 8 I was wearing and smiled. In the past, trying on dresses next to a waif would have sent me running for the gym. But not anymore. Three years ago, I lost 10 pounds and was at my lowest adult weight, a svelte 134 pounds. Of course, to maintain it, I had to run four miles every day and shun cookies, pasta, and bagels-basically anything with white flour or sugar. When my motivation flagged, I'd think about how it felt to zip up my skinny jeans or receive a compliment from an old friend.

Then I moved to a new city, and work and socializing left little time for the gym. The scale crept up until it hit 150. At 5'8" I knew I was still within a healthy weight range, but I was mortified by that number. Having slimmed down before, I knew I could do it again; I began getting up early to exercise before work, monitored every bite, and skipped happy hours and parties.

I did drop a few pounds, but it wasn't as satisfying as I'd hoped. Sitting at home alone one Saturday night, I realized I wasn't only depriving myself of my favorite foods, I was also missing out on good times with friends. My old rationale-that socializing isn't fun without a cute figure-no longer worked for me.

Around that time, I moved in with my fiancé, Fred. Supportive and affectionate, he would often tell me how sexy my body was. Soon I stopped obsessing over my imperfections and counting calories. After a month, I stepped on the scale and was shocked to see I was down to 144 pounds-the weight I started at before jumping on this weight-loss roller coaster.

When I think about what it would take to get back down to 134 pounds, I consider the things I'd have to give up, like dinners at cool new restaurants and lazy weekend mornings. It's just not worth it, so I decided to put my dieting demons to rest. I still work out and eat well, but I don't feel guilty for enjoying the occasional ice cream cone. I'm convinced that by relaxing about my size, I've settled into the body I was meant to have.

On my wedding day, I felt beautiful and confident as I walked down the aisle in my size 8 gown. I knew Fred loved me, curves and all-and I can honestly say I did too.