Friday, May 18, 2012

Makeover and 250 Pounds Gone, Oh My!

So much has happened since I last blogged. I have to say I’ve been very busy. Not a bad thing at all necessarily but nonetheless it is what it is! J So I am hoping I can break everything in an organized manner as there is so much to talk about. Let’s start with what many people don’t know about or have asked me about.

“THE MAKEOVER”. Yes, that is right I got not one, but TWO makeovers for FREE. I always love the word FREE. So to start off with, some of you know that I was almost selected to be on the Biggest Loser Season 8. At the last minute they changed their mind. I was very upset at the time but looking back I think it was definitely the best thing to happen. So many people that go on the show come home and gain their weight back for many different reasons (which is my biggest fear) and I really think I needed something more drastic (my surgery). As they say, things happen for a reason. So the casting company has me in their database and has contacted me in the past with different shows which I have applied for but never got anywhere. I’m also friends with a few of those people on Twitter. So one of them contacted me for a makeover show. I responded that I was interested and then was asked to send a picture of myself and my phone number to a certain email address. I did and the same day I got a phone call. They told me that they wanted to do a interview with me via Skype that day. I was working so I told them I wasn’t available until after 6:00 that I would still need to go home and download Skype onto my computer. So the interview was set. So I had the interview and they asked me the same questions but in a different way. I was smart enough to realize that they were looking for a different answer so I said my answers to their questions in a different way. That lasted about 15-20 minutes. They told me they recorded the interview and it would be sent to the producers for a decision. They briefly told me they hadn’t exactly figured out what the show was going to be called but something about looking younger and that I would receive a makeover if I were picked. All of that took place in February. I was also told they would be emailing me an application and I needed to fill it out and get it over to them. So I did. Also, just as a FYI, I did focus on my weight loss progress so far as the reason for being deserving of this makeover. So I didn’t hear anything for a few months and just figured I didn’t get picked. Then in April I get a call stating that the producers were still deciding on the contestants but they wanted to have us fill out the paperwork now. So we had to fill out more paperwork (basically giving up our rights to the photos/video of us). Then a week later I got a call stating they were still deciding but were going to tape on Sunday, April 29th and Monday April 30th and asked me which day would be better. I told them Sunday would be best (since I have to work and this was only a little over a week away with no decision yet). This was on a Wednesday and I asked if I didn’t hear anything if I could call on Friday. She was very sweet and said I could call anytime. So I didn’t hear anything so I called on Friday. She stated, “Oh yes I just got an email with those that made it let me look if your name is on the list… Ummmm…ohhhh…nope… oh wait… yes… Shanda Macomber, you are on the list you made it.” I screamed for joy and probably caused her to lose her hearing for the day. My coworkers came into congratulate me (they knew I was waiting and urged me to make that phone call). She told me that I should be receiving a call from the producer with details. All she knew was that I was going to be getting TWO makeovers and the show is called “Make Me Younger”. I was also told it would be a YouTube show that they are doing a beauty channel on (and who knows it could go to TV). I didn’t care if it was on TV or not just getting a FREE makeover is something I am always up for. So I didn’t get the “Call Sheet” until the day before I got my makeover. It has the executive producers information, camera guys, stylist, contestants (me), etc.  It was so cool to see my name on that. I did some research the night before and realized the executive producers are the same executive producers as The Biggest Loser & The Amazing Race (among other shows). That made me very nervous and excited at the same time. So I had to drive to West Hollywood and I left early and got there a few hours early. So River and I went and got some coffee and took bathroom breaks. I was super nervous! I finally went in and people were greeting me and congratulating me. I wasn’t sure what they were congratulating me on until I asked and they said your weight loss of course. Everyone knew my story apparently and everyone was so inspired. I was so humbled. So I had to weight hour and a half before anything started happening. Then I did my before pictures and my plea as to why I deserved this in front of the cameras. They coached me somewhat and were so impressed that I had lost an additional 20 pounds from what they had on their sheet. So I really did a bad job at that because I was so nervous. Luckily they can edit and put together all the pieces which is what they are going to have to do. Then we took a break for lunch and they had food catered. I was so nervous there wasn’t going to be anything I could eat but they did have some chicken and veggies that I was able to eat. Then it was time to go back and I had my first makeover with Joey. He was the most awesome stylist. He asked me what my original hair color is (because I had some blonde and brown in my hair) and I told him I’m a natural red-head. He said he couldn’t imagine me as anything but a red-head but he wanted to die my hair a different shade of red and go with a Julianne Moore look. I told him I thought she was absolutely gorgeous and to go for it. Now let me intervene here for a second that there were no mirrors in this salon and if there were mirrors they were covered up with trash bags. They really did not want us to see ourselves ahead of time. So Joey dyed my hair, put me under the dryer, rinsed my hair and then blow dried me. People were walking by saying “Oh you look gorgeous” or “Wow, you look amazing”. All these comments was making me more anxious. I’m telling you EVERYONE was gawking over me (what a nice change). So then next was the make-up. The camera guys were on us pretty much the entire time. They would ask questions and we would respond. If there wasn’t a camera in front of us then there a camera on the wall that was recording us as well. We had microphones taped inside of our shirts so they could have better sound quality. So the last thing we had to do was go get changed. I told him I had a blue shirt or a purple shirt and asked which would look better. He said to go with the purple. So I went and changed. I came out of the dressing room and some staff was standing outside of the room and I walked out and all I heard was “Oh my god, wow, ohhhhhh!” and then the next thing I heard is “SHHHHHHHHHHHH QUIET ON THE SET!” They were recording someone’s reveal of their makeover and that is when we had to be quiet. I did feel pretty fantastic though even though I did not know what I looked like. So the reveal went like this. Everyone had to be quiet and they did one at a time (so 3 of the contestants/stylists had to basically just wait). So they did the reveal with the stylist and the contestant. Then when that was done they did an interview with just the contestant. Then after that they would do an interview with just the stylist.  This was a long process multiply that by 4 contestants/stylists per session. Anyhow when they finally revealed me I cried. I finally saw the beauty in myself but not only the beauty for the first time in the mirror I saw the weight loss and it baffled me. I can’t really see the weight loss unless I am looking at pictures but I saw it in the mirror so it was quite overwhelming for me. So then when that was over they gave me makeup remover clothes and told me to change back into my “before” clothes and wipe off the make-up for the next makeover. Joey saw me wiping off the make-up and said “I see how you are” I told him I felt bad because he did such a great job and I really wanted to show the world the way I looked at that moment. So I got my 2nd makeover by Norma. I think she was really perplexed since he did such a great job. She left my hair color alone and decided to focus on my eyes and make them look more dramatic. I think she did a great job but the look was not as drastic as the first makeover. As a side note I had one of the other stylist come up to me wanting to make me over. He was very nice and I really did feel like the star there that day. The other makeovers turned out great but really I don’t think anyone’s was as dramatic as mine was that day. I left feeling like a super star which is exactly what I needed to boost my confidence to help me push forward to the last 136 pounds (as of that point) I have to lose. I’ve included pictures of the two different makeovers below (the first one is makeover one and the second one is makeover two). I don’t have any information as to when the video will be up but once I do I will be sure to let everyone know. I must say the most touching part of the whole day was when one of the contestants came up to me and said “I know why I was here today”. I said, “Yeah, me too, you were here to get two makeovers” and then I smiled. She said, “No, I was here to get inspiration from your story. You have really inspired me to lose some weight and I want to thank you.” I was so touched by that and I got a few tears in my eyes. I know I’ve done a great job but I am always so touched when someone is inspired by me. ME!? Yes, me!

Makeover #1

Makeover #2

So then the bad news showed up and we (my husband and I) got the miserable 3. His godmother passed away, then his Mom’s dog (who he picked out and had a strong bond with) and my great aunt (who was one of my favorites of my great aunts). That was really horrible but we get through things like that. It made me realize that it could have been me if I had kept up my old lifestyle. It really upset me that I let myself get out of control but again there is a purpose for everything so maybe I am supposed to help others get their lives back on track. I still don’t know and I may never know but I keep living day by day and helping others when I can.

Then back to the good news. I can officially say I’ve lost 250 pounds! WOW! I am soooooooo proud of myself! It has been a fight and lots of hard work but I’ve done it. I still have over 100 pounds to lose but 129 pounds seems like nothing at this point. Of course I won’t be saying that during a plateau but hey right now it seems so doable. More doable than at my highest when I needed to lose 379 pounds! I’m 29 pounds away from being in the 200’s since my early 20’s which will be a huge victory and I’m certain I will get there this year (even possibly in the next 3 months) which I am pumped about!

This journey has brought so many great things. I am so fortunate to have so much support and thank all of you! I had voiced my concern to my therapist that what if this was just the “honeymoon”. She said well it has been almost a year and you are connected to others with support so it isn’t just the “honeymoon”. She said support groups and supportive people in general is what made AA so successful. That we, as humans, need to connect with others that understand what we are going through. It was profound and something I already knew but never really made the connection. It is so very true. We definitely cannot get through anything alone. Whether it is death, food addiction, alcohol addition, etc. We always need friends and family as support to get us through our toughest moments and to congratulate us through our victories. We do rely on others much more than I even realized.

So thank you to YOU for being my support and being a part of my success. Now let’s celebrate! J