Ok, I may as well come clean. I've been avoiding this for a long time - hoping it would just go away. Alas, with my propensity for making almost every detail of my life public, I can't believe I expected to somehow make it through this without being found out. Sigh.
Remember how I was taking a big trip last summer to somewhere very secret? Well:
Believe me, I'm just as digusted as you are. Here's the scoop on what went down:
I was contacted about potentially being on a show, but the show had an altogether different name when they spoke with me. The show also had an altogether different concept than what this show is about. It was about getting your dream wedding, and yes, plastic surgery if you wanted BUT, the focus on my "inspirational story" was really pushed harder than the wedding and way more stressed than any mention of plastic surgery. They made a VERY BIG DEAL about how inspirational my story was, and I was led to believe that the weight loss itself, the journey I had been through with the hospital and everything else was a story that would be interesting. Wrong.
Now before you judge me, hear me out. I lost my job well over a year ago, and since then Rob and I have been struggling to make ends meet. When I tell you we barely get everything paid each month, I'm not kidding. I'm lucky enough to have someone who loves me enough to support all the volunteer work I do each week because he knows how passionate I am about it, and were lucky enough to still have a roof over our heads. So when I was contacted about the show initially, I thought two things:
1. This is probably the only way Rob and I would be able to afford a wedding. We don't want anything glitzy (they didn't like it when I said that), but being able to celebrate with the friends and family we love is SUPER important to us. We thought this may be a way to make it happen. (And no, we're no different gazillions of other people in this country right now.)
2. I have been denied coverage for reconstructive coverage of any sort. I have at least 15-20 of extra skin hanging from my body. I wake up in pain DAILY. I'm in pain DAILY. The thought of having that done and covered? SIGN ME UP. I honestly cannot even remember the last day I had where I did NOT have back and neck pain - it's just part of my every day routine now. The thought of that ending was overwhelming, and I saw an opportunity and wanted to try.
The production assistant screwed up before we left, sending an email out to all the girls slated to be on the show (without BCCing, so all email addys were revealed). Being a Google and Facebook detective, I quickly found out my competition. Twenty-something bikini models. It wasn't looking good for me, but I thought that maybe my late-bloomer weight loss-bride story might be interesting enough for me to do well.
Now fast forward to me arriving in "Hollywood." I was immediately stripped naked for the whole crew to exploit. Yes, I knew it was coming but I had no clue how deeply and emotionally that would affect me. Honestly? If I had known I'd come back in the near-suicidal state I came back in, I would never have gone. But, I went there a bit naive about my own coping abilities. (And now? I'm in hard-core therapy, yo. At least FINALLY getting some help was a good thing to come out of this.)
When I was in with the plastic surgeon, I looked down at the desk and saw the title "Bridalplasty," on the doc's folder. I immediately knew that this was not how they sold it to me, and I felt really embarassed that I had been so naive and so ready and excited to go. One of the production assistants realized what I had just seen and tried to cover it up by saying they kept changing the title, but I knew what was going on, and I knew it wasn't good.
I also knew by the time I put my clothes back on, that I was not going to be on the show. The surgeon told me that my surgery was very extensive, and recovery would take a very long time and because of my kidney issues, it could potentially be a risky surgery. They had previously told me what the production schedule and airing schedule was, and I knew as soon as he said that, I knew I would not be on the show. The night before I flew home, they knocked on my door at almost 11pm (after I was already in bed) and told me that I had a 7:30 am flight back to NH. And honestly? I was relieved.
So there you have it. Yes, it's Bridalplasty. Yes, it's horrific. Yes, I was naive and not thinking clearly when I made that decision and things sometimes things look way better than they actually are. In my case, I was lucky enough to be sent home and not part of it. And I've been breathing a sigh of relief ever since.