My fiancé is a boat Captain.
He currently works out of the gulf of Mexico, but over the years, he has worked in many ports including Alaska, Trinidad, and many different countries in Africa.
During the time at which my weight loss journey began, he had been working out of East Africa for about a year. While working overseas, he was on a schedule that had him abroad for 3 to 4 months at a time, and then home for one month.
I joined Weight Watchers during a time when he had just left for a four month trip. So I put him on a plane to Johannasburg South Africa, and began to count my points.
At first, I didn’t tell anybody what I was up to. At the time, I had not yet wrapped my mind around the possibility of my success, and as was usual, I doubted that I was capable of great things. I didn’t want to be a disappointment to anyone other than myself if I failed.
It was easy to keep my secret, because where he was, he had no access to the Internet, Facebook, Skype, or any other type of communications with me other then the satellite phone on the boat. We spoke once a week on the phone, and I kept my weight loss journey progress to myself.
The sad thing is, I didn’t keep it to myself because I wanted to surprise him, I kept it to myself because I expected to fail, and I didn’t want him to have any expectations upon seeing me.
I mean, here’s a man that loved me at my heaviest of 293 pounds, and never once pressured me to change who I was, but I knew he would be supportive of the changes I was making.
Right before I put him on that plane, I had suffered some very frightening medical issues (that I will blog about on another day), and we both knew things had gotten to an extremely critical level.
When he left in November 2012, and I had lost zero pounds, and upon his return four months later, in March 2013, I was down my first 50 pounds.
I’ve got to say, by that time it was a really hard secret to keep, but I did it. Because somewhere, around earning my 25 pound Weight Watchers award, I had begun to gain momentum, and feel a little less doubtful of my commitment.
Now I was excited.
Now I wanted to surprise him.
Now things had changed.
So I set about making a plan.
By this time I had gone from a size 26 jeans down to an 20. I had purchased a new pair of jeans after hitting my 25 pound goal, that were now too big, so I still had a lingering fear of buying any more new clothes while I was still so far from my end goal. So I went to the Goodwill and picked up a “new to me” pair of jeans. I remember that they had alot of bling on the backside. I had never once in my life, in public, worn jeans with that much bling on the butt. But I was feeling sassy, and shouted “When in Rome!”, while I threw caution to the wind and scored my flared leg Capri jeans with the sparkly bum.
I had to go way out of my comfort zone in order to find a shirt that allowed my rear end to show, so that the extra fancy bling would be properly showcased. But like I said, once you’re confidence is shouting “Sweet sassy molassey!” and you’re feeling your strut coming on, there’s no talking yourself out of a bad decision.
The day finally arrived for him to return home, and our usual routine was that I would pick him up at the curb.
I decided to surprise him by parking the car and going inside the international terminal. He was flying in through Amsterdam, and I thought it would be fun to surprise him there.
I went the whole 9 yards. Make up, contacts, hair (colored and curled), fancy bling jeans, a cute pair of gladiator sandals, and a mani/pedi. And I even went so far as to sport a regrettable spray tan, that proves what I said earlier about the finer points of talking yourself out of a bad decision.
I was ready.
Ready for him to see me, and be completely floored by my achievement.
Ready for him to look completely shocked, and embrace me with reckless abandon as he cried out in disbelief at my unexpected metamorphosis.
Well, that’s not exactly how it went down….
Well not at first.
I had gotten there a little bit early, and was nervously pacing by the elevator watching the baggage claim carousel. I saw him emerge from security, and my hands started shaking. I had this crazy secret fantasy that now that I actually weighed less than him, he would see me from afar and run over and scoop me up and spin me around as if we were re-enacting some ridiculous scene from Dirty Dancing….
He was walking towards me. I took a deep breath and sucked in my gut is much as I possibly could. I started to walk towards him, the soundtrack in my mind was playing our song….
Our eyes met, and I braced myself for our big moment….
And he kept going.
He looked at me briefly, gave a polite smile, walked past me…….and he kept going.
Did that just happen?
I was frozen for a moment. And then it hit me…
He didn’t recognize me.
He literally did not know it was me.
With all the confusion of me coming inside instead of being at the curb, and him being unaware of my makeover, he passed me right by.
I thought back to four months earlier, and remembered that the me that he had left, had sported no make up, had differently colored hair in a bun, and had worn 50 more pounds and glasses.
I pulled out my phone, and texted him.
I told him not to go out to the curb because I was in the baggage claim to pick him up. He texted back asking what I was wearing so he could find me. By this time I was standing right behind him, and I texted, “If you want to know what I am wearing, turn around.”
And he did.
He turned around and saw me…for real this time.
And the reaction was everything that I had hoped for and expected, and more.
We did not however do the “Dirty Dancing” move, but he did lift me off the ground with that first hug. It was a good day.
He was home for a month, and came with me to my meeting to watch me receive my 50 pound award. And now that my secret was out, I felt more motivated than ever to keep it going.
He left in April, and when he returned in August, I had lost 100 pounds. He was there with me again at my meeting when I received my 100 pound award.
Back onto a plane he went in September, and when he returned in January, I had hit my goal.
While he was home I finished my required six weeks of weight maintenance, and then he was there to watch me receive my Weight Watchers Lifetime status the week of my 44th Birthday.
Then to celebrate all of it, on January 17th, 2014, he took me to New Orleans, where he proposed to me, on my Birthday, in the middle Jackson Square.
And now, as I plan a wedding, I can happily say, “It’s good to be the Captain’s wench!” (officially)
And in the spirit of talking myself out of yet another bad decision, I may or may not tell him about the boy shorts I ordered for myself, with “Captain’s Booty” written on the backside.
I will have to get back to you on how that one turns out.