As part of my whole Lapband decision and journey, I made one of those deals with God. You know what I mean.....a little bargaining and wheeling and dealing! I told God if He helped me figure out how to deal with my weight issues and got me through all of the requirements for the surgery and everything else---I'd stop lying. Lying about why I couldn't do certain things---like go on exotic vacations and attend certain business-social events for my husband and participate in adventures that looked like they would be exciting. I would no longer come up with elaborate reasons why we couldn't take romantic getaways or weekend excursions. I would stop shying away from family fun like water parks, swimming pools and hikes. And, I promised Him that I'd grab life by the balls and run with it (I'm sure God winced a little when I said "balls"....). All I needed was a little help. So, as part of my little deal with God, I told Him if He walked beside me....just for a little while.....until I got myself going.....maybe until I lost about 50 pounds....then, I'd be okay after that. In addition to my God dealing, I took a solemn oath---to my husband. I promised......with my hand raised up and everything......that I would no longer come up with excuses not to be the girl I used to be and the person I really am inside. You see, I've spent the better part of the last 8 years running the other way anytime I had to deal with anything that remotely resembled being on display---regardless of the situation. I was fine with the everyday stuff. But, put me in a situation where I had to look and feel good about myself with a group of strangers or even with my own husband---anxiety would build to the point that I either made myself so sick that I couldn't do it or I'd find a perfectly good excuse not to do it. Now, most people who know me well are probably shocked to hear that! Well, that's because they know me and I know them. So, I'm perfectly comfortable with them. I'm good at switching on " fun girl Judi". No matter what it took, I'd get it together and fool them all into thinking that no matter how many extra pounds managed to find their way to my hips and belly, it was okay with me---I'd make it all work. And, I think I did that. And, since I've always had a very active life and a busy social calendar, who would have even guessed that I had many moments when I felt ashamed, embarrassed and horribly self-conscious of how I looked. The weight was killing me in more ways than one. Yes, it was doing a major number on my legs and my back and my feet but it was also eating away at my most important relationships. All of it.....behind the face of a smiling, happy person. Now, I'm not saying that I was miserable or on the verge of divorce or anything quite that tragic. But, I was suffering from low self esteem and crushing hopelessness. It was the "elephant in the room". And, ironically, I felt like the elephant in the room. No matter where I was or who I was with or how many times people assured me that despite my weight, I rose above it by dressing well, having perfect make up, great jewelry and fabulous shoes. Well, that's what they thought. Those who know me know me as the girl who loves to entertain and go to parties and whoop it up every once in awhile. And, they probably think that I just emerged from my bedroom each day with complete confidence in how I looked.....since I'm known to be a bit of a fashionista. They probably never imagined that in my very private moments, I fretted over the next outing, the next presentation at work or the next party. I never knew if my jeans would fit me next time or if those black pants would still work out. I wasn't quite sure if my blazer would cover my ever growing stomach and I had major fears that the elastic on my underwear would give way at any moment. You see.....I was working very hard at keeping it all looking good. It was tiring and expensive and just kept feeding my feelings of hopelessness. It made me lie and cheat and steal. I lied about why I didn't do certain things. I cheated myself and my marriage. And, I stole the smile of the girl who lived inside of me and slapped it on my face. And God knew all of that. So, when I came along with my bargain.......He listened. And.....my husband.....well.....I'm pretty sure he knew all of this too...because he did a pretty good job of playing along.
Well, guess what? It's time to make good on my deal with God and prove to my husband that my promise was real. We're going on a cruise......of all things. To Bermuda. Bathing suits and shorts and bright colors and little sandals and short sleeved tops and lacey underwear and little nighties and yes......that girl that lives inside me.