It’s a very exciting thing, albeit strange as hell, to see my face on a magazine. Seven months ago, just as I was starting this blog, I wrote letters to a number of magazines. In these letters to editors, I shared my journey of losing 135 lbs, my reflections about life then and now, and asked if they’d be interested in allowing me to write a piece for their magazines. Not a one wrote me back. Until four months ago.
Woman’s World called me at the beginning of June, or maybe July. I should really know this, but the memory disk in my brain only has room for pumpkin spice cake and chocolate toffee almond bars. Anyway, they’d read my letter, clicked through this blog, and wanted to feature my story in the magazine. An interview. A photo shoot. The cover of the Halloween issue. I carefully hung up the phone and searched my apartment for Ashton Kutcher, certain that it was a Punk’d revival. It was one thing to write in this space, this .com where my craziness is allowed and even…welcomed? But being on the cover of a magazine felt very…exposed. I agreed, a few weeks passed, and before I knew it I was sitting cross-legged in my living room at 8am for a phone interview. In my favorite pajama pants, I answered nearly 50 questions. An hour and a half. What did I weigh before? When and why did I decide to lose weight? Was I always big? What did I eat when I weighed my most? What did I eat while I lost weight? How many calories? Did I use a program? Did I exercise? How much weight did I lose per week? When did I realize that I had made it? What advice can I offer people who are trying to lose weight? What foods and meals would I recommend? What strategies would I recommend to lose weight? Any tips and tricks?
It was comfortable. My interviewer, Michelle, was friendly; she was calm; she put me at ease. She remained patient when I lost my train of thought on the subject of Doritos. I tried not to dissect our conversation. I realized two minutes into it that I’d probably have a much different story spread across two pages of a magazine if I’d had my way. Then again, if I had my way Cadbury Creme Eggs would be sold year ’round. We can’t always get what we want. But back to the article. If I wrote it myself, I’d speak less about numbers and specifics and tips and tactics, and instead spend two full pages bleeding publicly about emotionally eating myself into an oblivion for twenty years and then, over the course of thirteen months and four years, healing. Less the how and more the why. Because that’s what really matters and, on the deepest level, that is what changed me. But I understood that the direction and tone of the article wouldn’t be as heavy and intense as I would have wanted it to be. And that’s genuinely okay. It’s not necessarily Woman’s World’s cup of tea to let me steer the magazine into a therapy session. I get it. I hung up the phone, said, “Well, that was that,” read People News, ate a slice of banana bread, and went to work.
Two weeks later I was on a plane to Los Angeles for the cover shoot. A day that began with me summer-saulting out of bed at 3:30 am to catch a 7am flight. That damn cell phone is always just a smidgen farther than my wingspan allows. Two Starbucks Venti black coffees and a two and a half hour plane ride later, I was greeted in baggage claim by a driver displaying a placard with my name on it. Let me say that seeing my name printed on a sign, being held by a hair-slicked and suited gentleman, makes me feel a little like Will Smith must have when he showed up on Uncle Phil’s doorstep in Bel Air. Maybe just uncomfortable letting him tote my Jansport. I will admit to doing my best rendition of Kim Kardashian at LAX, though. Oversized black shades, the big bouncy hairdo, and a larger-than-Santa’s-sack purse. Wishing I had a rear end to match.
My stay in the City of Angels was truly five hours long. Barely enough time to develop a drug addiction and dine at the Ivy. But, short as it was, I got quite a bit accomplished. The photo shoot included a rack of designer clothing, me trying on seventeen outfits and flinging each one out of the changing room like Joan Crawford in “Mommy Dearest,” getting my hair done, my makeup shelacked on, and pretending to have some sort of confidence and grace. The last one was a doozy.
When all was said and done, I was whisked back to the airport and onto a plane home to Seattle. I waltzed through the front door of my apartment and told Daniel a story involving a flutter of paparazzi, cameras flashing, a go ’round with Brody Jenner, the Viper Room, caviar, and champagne. Then we ate Domino’s.
And fast forward to now, that photo shoot is (dis?)gracing the cover of Woman’s World on news stands.
I read the article about my story today and on the whole, I think it’s good. I feel very very lucky. I should send Woman’s World a Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake in gratitude.
I just might.