22 days out and the anxiety is setting in with the fierocity of a fat kid trying to shove the last piece of cake down his throat before his mom comes back into the room. Sadly, and yet amusingly, I have been that kid. But not with mom coming back into the room, with ANYONE coming into the room. I look back and think, "How many times have I done that?". Anyone overweight will know exactly what I am talking about here. You go to a party or a gathering and there is a multitude of deliciosity spread along one of those fold out buffet tables just waiting to extend your waistline, and you try to demonstrate even an ounce of self control so people don't stare in amazement as you shovel little hotdogs wrapped in dough into your mouth faster than a horny dog will hump a still leg. You wait for them to be distracted, or leave the room to refill the tray you ate while they weren't looking, so you can speedily down a handful of chips, a pocket full of m&m's (before the melt!) and a couple chocolate covered strawberries for good measure (hey, there is your fruit serving for the day!!). Then you walk away quietly, hoping no one noticed, and distract the attention of potential onlookers by talking about your newest diet, and your superhuman ability to redirect your self control to healthier habits. Meanwhile, you are sucking in your gut, praying the button on your pants holds and trying not to breathe for fear your secret will be discovered.
After awhile, even Spanx begin to fail you. Instead of flattening and flattering, it redirects your fat rolls to places no fat roll should ever go. So while you might end up with a lifted derriere or a flat upper waistline, you usually end up with a spare tire around your lower section that rivals a Dunlop tire and can most certainly serve as a drink tray for the evening.
Despite living through years of hiding my insecurities and creating diversion tactics, I finally like who I am. I like who I know I can evolve to be over time. I like me for a change, flaws and all. I like my green eyes which are beginning to wrinkle in the corners, and my big butt, and my sometimes too loud laugh, and my ability to make the people around me laugh. I like waking up each day with the possibility that this could be the best day of my life. And if it isn't, then tomorrow is another day.
I love my kids, my husband, my family, my friends, the friends I have yet to meet and the ones who are too ignorant to know what a good friend I can be. I know this sounds a little hokey, and I promise not to bust out a rendition of "We Are the World", but I realized today that I am happy. I realized how stress free I am for the first time in a long time, and I am reveling in it.
Anxiety or not, the big day is quickly approaching and I stand before it like a sumo wrestler ready to take it down if it tries to impede my progress or stand in my way.