Monday, June 20, 2005

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The Wedding Gown Challenge: Take It! Friday, August 5, 2005, New York

(June Brides, Women's Obesity & Eddie Van Halen? Scroll down...)

Pull it out of the closet, storage, your mom's house...or just wear white...and PROVE to the world that you can still fit into your wedding gown. Your big day may have been last week or the last Millennium; either way, it wasn't your final destination, nor the end of your being who you are. You've still got it going on, and this summer in New York City is your chance to show your stuff.

It's more important than ever for kids to see fit grownups. Children are invited to join their mothers during The Wedding Gown Challenge.

* Friday, August 5, 2005
* 7:30am - CBS The Early Show window at 59th Street and 5th Avenue
* 9am - Procession to Bethesda Fountain - Central Park
* Special Bouquet Toss sponsored by
* People Magazine photo shoot and more press coverage...Be there!
* RSVP today! FREE

Bethesda Fountain, in the heart of Central Park. Please enter the park at 69th Street and Fifth Avenue, or at 72nd Street and Central Park West.

Nearest Metro/Subway Stop: 6 train to 68th or 77th Streets (east side), 1/2/3/9/B/C
trains to 72nd Street (west side), 10-15 minute walk
Nearest Bus Stop: M1/M2/M3/M4 to 72nd St & Fifth Avenue (east side), M7/M10/M11
to 72nd Street & Central Park West (west side), M66/M/72 to Fifth Avenue or Central Park West (crosstown), 5-10 minute walk



-MeMe Roth, Wedding Gown Challenge Host, Ties It All Together-

New York, NY – June 20, 2005 – As brides-to-be across the country starve themselves into unhealthy and unrealistic weights for just one day--their wedding day--The Wedding Gown Challenge reaches its six-week countdown. The Wedding Gown Challenge celebrates like-minded women who have chosen to be fit for life rather than just one day. The driving concept behind The Wedding Gown challenge is for women to stop thinking of their wedding day as the “big day” when one works her self into a state of unhealthy and unrealistic expectations, only to outgrow her gown on the honeymoon. Instead it's about having the expectation of being fit before, during and well after the “big day.”

Today, there is little expectation that women will hover near their wedding day size. However, the facts according to Yale New Haven Hospital, and others, is that women need only blame five to 10 pounds on pregnancy. Additionally, gaining a modest 10-20 pounds after age 18 materially compromises one's health. According to the New England Journal of Medicine and reported by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), gaining merely 10-20 pounds after age 18 increases your chance of premature death by 15%.

Q & A with MeMe Roth, Wedding Gown Challenge host and organizer:

Q: What is the Wedding Gown Challenge?

MeMe Roth: It’s a celebration of women committed to being fit before, during and well after their wedding day. These are women who can still fit into their gowns days and years after their “big day.” We’ll be in Central Park, New York City. Pull out those gowns, dresses, suits--or just wear something white--and join us August 5, 2005.

Q: Why now?

MeMe Roth:
June Brides all over the country are starving themselves silly as we speak. They’ll get to an unhealthy and unrealistic weight just in time for their wedding day. And by the time they return from the honeymoon? Their gown won’t even fit. Forget those buff bride boot camps. Fitness is for life, not a cheesy wedding portrait on the mantle.

Also, it’s more important than ever for children to see fit grownups. The Wedding Gown Challenge is a celebration of just that. Children are invited to join their mothers during The Wedding Gown Challenge.

Q: Your critics say your idea is sexist.

MeMe Roth: Sexist? Projecting onto women that once they become wives or mothers it’s okay to just get fat is sexist. It’s no accident Gloria Steinem looks better than ever at 70-something.

Q: You used the word “fat.” What do you mean exactly?

MeMe Roth: Fat is health-compromising excess weight.

Q: Why the sole emphasis on women?

MeMe Roth: Women are the focus because women--married women, especially mothers--are most at risk. On the flip side we’re the most likely to stop the obesity epidemic. It’s never reported that women are central to the obesity epidemic, but we are. Women make more than 90% of food-buying decisions. I hate to give women one more thing to do, but intervening in the obesity epidemic is up to us.

Plus there’s a long list of diseases and complications obese women are likely to suffer from or make worse: Breast cancer, gallstones, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, colon cancer, dementia, infertility—it goes on and on. Not to mention sleep apnea, snoring and psoriasis.

Q: What about child obesity?

MeMe Roth: Apples don’t fall far from the tree, and neither do peaches. Mothers must break the obesity cycle; we can’t leave it solely up to our children. If we’re fat, our children are 15 times more likely to be fat. This generation of children is the first to be given a lesser life expectancy than their parents. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease, social stigma—you know the list.

Some child somewhere will sue his parents for making him obese. Mark my words; there will be a lawsuit.

Q: Isn’t obesity hereditary?

MeMe Roth: I come from a long line of obesity and always assumed I would get fat after I got married and fatter still with each child—just like my relatives. The groomsmen on my wedding day even wagered as to how long it would be until I got fat. I don’t blame them; I wondered the same thing.

The worst thing you can do is tell someone her weight is not up to her. Genetics, pregnancy, depression—all great excuses, but unless you have a doctor’s note stating otherwise, your fitness is 100% up to you.

Q: What do you weigh?

MeMe Roth: It’s not about the number. I know the five-pound range where I recognize myself—in looks, energy and confidence. The rest of the world told me I looked great 15 pounds heavier, well with that dreaded caveat “you look great for having had children.” Forget that; I just want to look great.

I don’t believe in diets and never have. It’s up to you to decide your fitness is of paramount importance. Once a woman makes that decision, she’ll figure out the right balance of food and exercise that works for her.

Q: What about Anorexia?

MeMe Roth: This isn’t about women struggling with Anorexia and other serious eating disorders, or those diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome. The Wedding Gown Challenge speaks to the general population of women—where more than half are overweight or obese. Outside of Hollywood and New York City, the bar is set entirely too low.

Q: You’ve suggested dumping ones fat friends?

MeMe Roth: Your fat friends are more likely to suggest a Starbucks topped with whipped cream than your fit friends who might think a yoga class or quick jog sounds fun. This is about your health; it’s no different than alcoholics avoiding drinkers.

Q: Any special motivation?

MeMe Roth:
I see staying fit as an obligation to my self and my family. Back in the 80s when I was Van Halen’s “number one fan,” I did get the chance to meet the band. Eddie Van Halen made me promise I’d never get fat. He said I looked like something out of Playboy. Talk about making a girl swoon... I kept my part of the bargain; maybe he’ll come to the Wedding Gown Challenge?

Q: I heard you’re in Playboy.

MeMe Roth: I’m told by the editors they’re publishing a piece I wrote about MILFs in the August issue of Playboy. I agree with Uma Thurman; being a mom is sexy sexy sexy!

Q: Parting advice?

MeMe Roth:
Join me August 5, 2005 in New York City for the Wedding Gown Challenge. I’ll be there—this year and every year. Some will choose to don their gowns among a small circle of friends, others alone, and still others have set goals to join us next year or the year after. The Wedding Gown Challenge is a standing invitation to all women.

About MeMe Roth:
MeMe Roth is host and organizer of the Wedding Gown Challenge. As an anti-obesity advocate, Ms. Roth's efforts to eliminate junk food from schools, eradicate Secondhand Obesity™ (obesity handed down from one generation to the next, as well as from citizen to citizen), and to celebrate women committed to remaining fit have been featured on Fox’s Your World with Neil Cavuto, New York Magazine, The New York Post, Playboy Magazine, The New Jersey Star-Ledger, WABCRadio, Q104.3, Parents Magazine, Vicinity Magazine, School Administrator, American School Board Journal, The Winnipeg Sun, UPN Channel 9 News,, The Item, WCRN Boston, BigFatBlog and Health Magazine.