People answered "I'd open the quilt shop I've always dreamed of", and "I'd buy a lottery ticket".
I answered with the first thing that popped into my head: "I'd try out for The Biggest Loser."
I've only seen snippets of the show. I don't think I've ever even seen a full episode. Never ever even once have I thought I should be on the show, so for that answer to come flying out the end of my fingertips as I typed was.... odd.
The next morning, I was driving home after dropping the kids at school when I heard on the radio, "Open casting call in Dallas this weekend for The Biggest Loser." I gotta tell ya, after posting that JUST THE DAY BEFORE, I got chills up my spine thinking about. At home, I immediately logged onto ScrapShare and the very first thread I saw was titled: Biggest Loser Casting Call!! I thought to myself, "That's two signs in a row." My friend Amy had posted the details about the Dallas audition, saying, "SOMEONE said she'd like to do this. Here's your big chance, my friend!"
I replied, "It would be a logistical nightmare, figuring out how my family would run without me. I think I could make the cut for the show. I mean, I am a PRIME candidate for weight loss. I'm the right age. I have personality. I don't know if I could cut it though. That's the failure part I was talking about. GAH. This is gonna be all I think about for the rest of the day!"
Friends from across the nation (and even from other countries!) piled on the posts, encouraging me to go for it. I couldn't believe the encouragement!! I needed to talk to someone about it. So I called Darren at work, but got his voicemail. Then I called Kristi.
She said, "Stace, this is so weird. Last night I was lying in bed, and I was thinking about you being on the show! I was thinking you'd be GREAT! But I decided I'd never tell you I was thinking about it, because I'd never want you to fear that your weight bothers me. You know it doesn't. But.... you'd be perfect for that show! Do it!"
Okay, that's sign #3. Then, Darren called me back, and I told him the whole story."Do it," he said.
"But.... what about the logistics? What about the kids? I mean, I think this thing could last a long time... 3 or 4 months, maybe."
"We'll figure it out," he answered.
"I can't believe you just said that. I KNEW you'd say, 'Stace, come on. There's no way we can make it work'."
"We can make it work. We talked about this in New York."
"What?? We talked about Biggest Loser?"
"No, we talked about you getting healthy. How both of us want it. How you want to be able to do things with me." Darren was sign #4.
Then I had lunch with Dani, and I said, "I'm thinking of trying out for The Biggest Loser this Saturday."
"Wow," she replied.
"What would you think?" I asked.
"I think that would be AWESOME," she answered.
"But would you be embarrassed to have your Mom on that show?"
She snarled her lip at me and said, all huffy, "No." Then she asked, "Would YOU be embarrassed to stand on the scale with your fat hanging out on national TV?"
"You bet yer batootie I would!" I laughed.
Then I got serious and said, "It would be hard on everyone."
"It would be worth it. You'd be able to take better care of us when you got back."
"A lot of extra responsibility would fall on you," I warned.
"I know. I already thought about that. It would suck. But it would be okay. It'd be worth it."
I had several instant offers from ScrapShare friends who were willing to be my partner. (Season 6 will be another "couples" season on the show.) I took that as Sign #6. But Dani had a bright idea: my neighbor. Marjorie and I went so far as taking photos together and filling out our applications. We talked about the ins and outs, the dangers and distractions, the reality of reality TV. And then mere hours before we were to attend the Open Casting Call, she had to back out.
I was strangely okay with that. I briefly considered going alone to the audition, but since I didn't have a partner to list on the application, I didn't go. Even so, I was okay with that. I posted on ScrapShare,
Marjorie backed out tonight. I'm very sad, but not beaten. There are
friends in the wings who have expressed genuine interest in doing it with
me. One is local, two are not. I have photos with the two friends who
aren't local, so that's not a problem. We have a couple of weeks to do
videos and send it in. I'm not giving up yet. But tomorrow, I'll be
sleeping in instead of standing for hours in the freezing drizzle. I
can't say I'm too bummed about THAT. lol!! Darren and I talked about me
going down there by myself, but I really think it would be a waste of
time. I mean, I don't even HAVE a partner at this moment,
and that's a requirement on the application. LOL!! Ah, well. If this thing is
meant to be, it's STILL meant to be, with or without Marjorie.
I spoke with several people about being my new partner. Cara had to decide not to, because she still has a preschooler. Several of my ScrapShare friends talked about it, too, but in the end, sign # 784 happened: Desiree.
Desi is one of my favorite friends ever. We met online years ago, and somewhere along the way, we both went on a health kick and started losing weight. When she got too small for her clothes, she sent them to me. We both left our warm home states of Texas and California and met up at a scrapbooking retreat in Wisconsin. In the winter. That's when we met in person for the first time, but we were old friends instantly. This winter, neither of us were able to return to Wisconsin for the annual retreat, but Desi was able to swing a visit to see me here in Texas! It was already booked and scheduled when we started talking about Biggest Loser, and the timing was perfect. It'd give us a chance to take fresh photos, shoot some video, and do it TOGETHER. Her husband and daughters are as supportive as my family has been. Signs, signs, everywhere a sign.
So, I'm doing this thing.
The mere fact that I'm willing to RISK (lol!) being cast on the show says a lot to me.
It says that I'm really ready to do this thing, for real this time.
Years ago, I said of Oprah, "Yah, *I* could lose all that weight too, if I had a personal trainer and a chef at my disposal, making sure I eat right." This is my chance to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak.
I like to say how lazy I am. That's only partially true. When I decide I want to do something, i do it all the way. When I wanted to see as much of NYC as I could, I did, even though it meant doing it with a sprained ankle. When I wanted to see Paris, I did it with everything I had, even though I was miserable with strep throat and a double ear infection. When I wanted to see Bash Bish Falls, I made the hike, even though I was 7 months pregnant and in great pain. I am capable of doing what it takes. I'm strong - both emotionally and mentally. I have immense faith in God, and He tells me that I can do all things through Him. I believe that He would include losing this weight in that promise.
I need to lose it. I have 150 pounds to lose, and even then, I'd be considered over my "ideal weight". I owe it to Darren, who didn't marry a fat girl, and who dreams of me being able to climb mountains with him. I owe it to Dani, who leaves for college in 18 months and who needs a healthy Mom she can depend on. I owe it to Aidan, who would love for me to run with him. I owe it to Ian, who loves me with everything in him, even though I'm a girl. I owe it to my friends, to my parents, to my sister. I owe it to the kids at Fortress who make me laugh and make me cry and make me remember why God put me in this place. And I owe it to God. He has plans for me. He promised. Plans to give me a hope and a future. It's time I took that seriously. I want that future. I owe it to ME.