I don’t necessarily have a reputation as a big planner. Some of the things I do may appear to come randomly. But I actually spend a great deal of time kicking things around in my head. It could be something as minute as deciding to buy a stool for my living room or when to drag the Xmas tree out to the trash. Or, it could be thematic such as “how do I change my life?” That means I am opening my mind up to anything like moving cross country for a job or landing on Amsterdam as my summer trip last year when it probably wasn’t even near my top 5 list of places to go. It may seem “random” but opening my mind is actually a form of planning.

When I had weight loss surgery in December of 2010, it had been kicking around in my head for a few years. I had asked my doctor about it a few times but she didn’t think I was fat enough. That was my doctor when I lived in Marlboro. I wasn’t fat enough but she also didn’t look for ways to help me manage my weight issues either. She sucked but she had evening and weekend hours so I never had to interrupt work to get appointments which is pretty important to me. Once I finally moved to a Tyngsboro, I was fatter but got a new doctor. She asked me an important question after hearing about all the dieting I had done since I was a kid. “So, you have been dieting your whole life and you are 100 pounds overweight, how is that working out for you?” Needless to say, we dove into my eating disorder issues to realize I wasn’t a bad person for being fat. But it wouldn’t be as simple as having surgery (which actually is not at all simple.). I was going to need to do a decent amount of therapy around it.

Here’s where the planning kicked in. I was 36 when I started the surgery process. I figured if I did it then, I would still have enough time to meet a great guy, get engaged and be able to buy a small sized wedding dress before 40 so it could still be a pretty dress. I would have years of recovery and healthy routines underway in case I decided I wanted to also have a baby. I figured, if I decided to have kids with great guy I would quickly find when thin, 39-41 wouldn’t be the end of the world for getting pregnant. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t want kids even then but I was also open to the idea that maybe I just hadn’t met the right person who would make me want to flip on that. So I was allowing for that to be part of the equation.

I went through a 6 month process of therapy and screenings for this surgery. You have to prove you have grit to do the hard things and stick to them after the surgery. You have to learn how to eat food properly and to listen to your body. You have to admit to all your disorders and to the ones your loved ones have. I remember having to plan ahead how I was going to be around my family with food because my parents have problems with it too. I had to consider what social life would look like after surgery when I wouldn’t be able to eat the way my friends could. I had to give up booze for awhile. I gave up caffeine. I had to go through a series of tests and examinations to prove I wasn’t crazy. I wasn’t. I enjoyed that medical stamp of approval when I spent my 20s being called crazy by my ex. It was nice to know I was physician approved as mentally stable. Depression is an illness but it didn’t mean I was nuts. It’s funny how much confidence I got from that.

I am not going to bore you with 7 years of my process since surgery. That’s probably 18 different blogs I will get to eventually. The point is, that 7 years later, I am not in a relationship. The beautiful white dress shopping is a missed opportunity. I am at Justice of the Peace white suit wedding point now. And kids can now never be part of the equation – at least not one of my own. I haven’t had trouble getting dates over the years or attracting men at bars when I have wanted to. It’s certainly easier when you weigh less. At least you know you aren’t attracting some guy’s fat fetish which is always a lingering doubt when you attract a “normal” guy when you are super fat. You know your motives are usually pretty parallel to his which is comforting when you know you can even the playing field and even become the more successful one at playing said field.

So why didn’t my plan work? Because being fat was a symptom of a hundred other things I hadn’t dealt with. When you are fat, everyone can see it and, therefore, that’s your big “problem.” It wasn’t until I had lost 80 pounds and remained single for awhile that I started to discover, through therapy, that I was ridiculously fucked up going back to childhood. I was going to have to sort through ALL of that first. And then 2 years in, I had to add bombing PTSD to the table. The PTSD was also a fresh turd on top of my father’s first brush with cancer which has gone on and off for 5 years now. While sorting through all these piles of crap, I also didn’t make the best decisions in how to deal with things. I added booze back in when my dad got sick. Not only did I start gaining weight back from that, it metabolizes far differently for me now so I am drunk before I have time to make a decision not to get drunk. I had to spend time cleaning up those messes too.

2017 was great. A lot of messes had been cleaned up. I had healthy plans I adhered to. I traveled and started a blog which were goals I set going into the new year. Tons of therapy breakthroughs throughout the year. My doctor is kind of amazing. But it’s taken that guy 5 years to crack open some things. You people think I am open book. That’s one of my tricks. Yet there are things buried quite deeply I don’t even give to him and that’s his job. I am tough. Lots of scar tissue to get through.

So, yeah. My wedding plans didn’t work out. And no kid either. I still resent that I can’t do a big, poofy, wedding gown if I even get married ever. I am beginning to start admitting it won’t happen and experimenting with seeing if I can still breathe after I say that. Yep, still breathing. This past year has been pretty fulfilling to the point the scale on marriage may actually be getting outweighed by all the things I do have which I think might actually be better. Even as a feminist, I am ok with being proven wrong on that if my prince should finally show up with a nice ring. But I am not sitting on the couch checking out the front window periodically to see if he might be trotting down the street. I’m too busy. He’ll be lucky if I am even home when he gets here. He’s going to have to start searching for me instead. I may be fat. I may lose weight again. Who knows? I just know all my plans fell through related to my weight loss and I may actually be better off for it.