Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Reflections of Year Two of Living Lean

I can’t believe it has been two years since I reached my goal size!! Still wearing my size 8/10 pants and my size 10 tops! I even have a few pairs of men’s SMALL sweatpants that I wear to mow the lawn!! I never thought when I was wearing Men’s XXL shirts that I couldn’t button all the way down that I would ever be able to wear anything that was a SMALL (men’s or women’s size!)

I have discovered in the past year that to maintain this new size 10 body, cardio fat burning exercise is VERY IMPORTANT!! Gotta get my heart rate in the 60 – 65% zone and walking just wasn’t cutting it for me anymore! So, in May I bought myself a bike!! I LOVE my bike! Once I got a comfortable bike seat and got my backside ‘broken in’, I road 6 days a week for about 12-13 miles per day from June until November! I averaged about 62%THR for 60 of the 65 minutes I was riding each day. Very exhilarating and also a great fat burning activity that was fun! I even participated in the Tour de Cure at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July. I rode 12 laps on the speedway in about 2½ hours. That’s 30 miles! I had so much fun, I am doing it again in 2008. This time I want to do 24 laps! (that’s 60 miles!)

Victory Lane at the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway!!

In year two of Living Lean, I also cashed in on my 1 year at goal reward of going to the Jeff Gordon Racing School for a day! I made 28 laps and my top speed was over 134 MPH!! I am DEFINITELY doing this again and that will be my Three years of Living Lean present to myself! And the next time, I want to go faster than I weigh. Hopefully, I can do that at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, too. Just think, one year from today is when I will make my reservation!!

That's my nephew Sam cheering me on.
He also took all the great shots of my racing experience!!
Thanks Sam!!

In September I spent a wonderful week with seven other Skinny Minnies at Annie’s lake house in New Hampshire. In spite of a dead refrigerator full of food, broken car locks, broken bones, attempted self-drowning (by me!), kidney stone attack, and (2) trips to the emergency room, we all had a great time. We even ate mostly on plan (except for some KPBC!!) and most of us even dropped a few pounds while there!! Mary and I attended the first Race in the Chase for the Nextel Cup (NASCAR). My guy Jeff Gordon finished a strong second in the race too!! It was great meeting other success stories of the Six Week Body Makeover plan and sharing all of our experiences and trials of Living Lean. I am proud to call them my friends!

The Skinny Minnies at Lakescape 2007
(This group lost over 650 lbs!)

I attended my 25th high school class reunion in October. Of course, being half the size that I was in high school AND being 25 years older, NO ONE recognized me without at least one clue. Lots of surprised looks, too. I still love it when people I have known ‘before’ don’t recognize me now! I always say it is like walking around in disguise in plain view!!

But the biggest highlight of the year came in November when I was chosen to participate in the filming of the next infomercial for the Six Week Body Makeover!! I spent four fabulous days in warm and sunny (and a little bit foggy at times, too!) California! First trip west of Missouri and my first flight longer than 2 ½ hours. Needless to say it was also my first time using an airplane rest room, too!! Roomier than I thought it would be but I was glad I am the size I am now verses before!! Don’t know if I would have fit then!

I arrived early Saturday morning and spent most of the day looking around the hotel while trying to avoid the onslaught of teenagers that were staying there, too. Lucky for us, they all left Sunday morning, much to the delight of the hotel staff and guests! I also walked through a craft show that was being held on the grounds of the hotel! I bought myself a kaleidoscope made by a California craftsman!! My first souvenir of my trip! Later in the afternoon, I finally got to meet up with more of the 6WBMO infomercial participants which included two of my fellow Skinny Minnies (Mary and Karen) who were also at Lakescape in September and Leslie, another Skinny Minnie who I had chatted with online, but had never met face to face!

'Skinny Minnies in LA'
Leslie, Karen, Mary and Jenny

All 18 of us plus Dolores and her husband enjoyed dinner together and sharing autographs, pictures, and stories! We nicknamed our group the ‘Ton of Fun Gang’ because the total weight loss for us including Dee’s, was over 2000 lbs.!! Divided by 19 people, that is an average loss of over 100 pounds PER PERSON!!! WOW!!!

Ton of Fun!!

Sunday was my filming and testimonial day. I had a late call, so I slept in until 6 am (that is late for me!!), did 60 minutes on the bikes in the fitness room of the hotel, and waited anxiously for my ride to the studio. I didn’t know what to expect, even after talking with those who did their filming on Saturday.

We were called to the shoot an hour early and it was a whopping 10 minute ride to the studio (I thought it would be farther). I went into wardrobe first. David, our fashion coordinator, picked out the two outfits I would need for the day. The first one was for my ’on air’ shots. (Purple shirt, black cammy and black pants) The second one was for my stills (teal shirt, black cammy and black pants). I also needed to wear high heels for my stills (makes your legs look thinner!!). Being a barefoot and sneakers kind of gal, this was a new experience for me! I could barely walk in them, but they did make my legs look great!! And the only jewelry I wore were diamond stud clip on earrings. I got to keep the clothes, but not the shoes (Ha) or the earrings!! (Bummer)

My next stop was make-up and hair and the first thing I had to do there was take off my glasses! I couldn’t put them back on until I was finished for the day, too!! From that point on, I never really saw anything in focus, including myself and my lunch! But I survived!!

While I was in the make-up chair, I just sat back, closed my eyes and let Don do his magic on me! He even ‘fixed’ my eyebrows! (plucked them actually, another first for me!) When I sat up and opened my eyes, even out of focus I could see a huge difference! Lots of Wow’s from the other people in the trailer at the time, too! I started my hair styling to give Don a feel for how I do it, and then he finished it off – PERFECTLY!! I wish I could get it to look that good when I do it every day! I guess I just don’t have enough arms or hands. I need more hair spray, too!!

In the chair!!

We had to break for lunch (I was starving too) before my hair and make-up were finished. Even with only half of the job completed, a couple of the others didn’t recognize me at first and Dee had to do a double take!! Lunch was yummy, even though I was eating blind. I even brought a doggie bag of food back to the hotel with me!

After lunch, it was back to make-up and hair for Don to put the final touches on my make-up and finish my hair. Once I was done there, I went back to wardrobe and got into my ‘on air’ outfit, had one last hair/make-up check, then it was off to the filming studio! I was introduced to the production crew, they miked me up, showed me where to stand, and then they just asked me questions about my weight loss journey! And NO SCRIPT for me! All I had to do was answer the questions that were asked! And since I love to talk about this subject, after some initial nervous jitters, I got more comfortable and the time just flew! Before I knew it, I was done!

Lights, Camera, Action!!
Six Week Body Makeover Infomercial Filming in November!

Now it was back to wardrobe to change clothes, have one last stop at hair/make-up for a quick check, and then I was off to my stills shoot! Walking in high heels and with no glasses!! Double Trouble!! Just had to walk really slow!!

Again, after introductions to the photographer and crew, I just posed as directed and just like that (and about 40 pictures later) I was finished!! Bonnie snapped a quick shot of Don and I before I ditched the heels!!! That picture is my favorite candid picture from my trip!! I just loved how I looked in that shot!!

After filling out the obligatory paperwork (releases and such), I returned the shoes and earrings to wardrobe and headed back to the hotel. Once everyone returned to the hotel from the studio, we all had dinner together.

Monday was supposed to be another day of filming for me, but unfortunately, four of us did not get to go (luck of the draw). Instead, we were treated to lunch the Michael Thurmond at P.F. Chang’s!! It was great! We had good food made to order (plan friendly!) and great conversation with Michael, Matt and Paul!! It was a pleasure and a thrill meeting them all!! After our two hour lunch, we all had our pictures taken with Michael and got autographs and then he was off to visit the crew on location and we returned to the hotel.

I just relaxed in the hotel for a while and went for a walk around the mall across the street. I also had the best oatmeal cookie I have ever had from The Corner Bakery. NOT ON PLAN, but delicious!!

Tuesday morning it was an early departure for the airport thru the fog! And I did get to see the Pacific Ocean as my plane took off!! So in 2007, I saw the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans!! (Another first for me!) I even made $30 on the plan ride home!! (Sold some of my ornaments I had with me!!)

The final leg of my LA trip was a treat for myself – A shared ride car service home from the airport! It just so happened that my flight was late arriving from Detroit, and the only car available once I got back to Indy was a black stretch limo!! And I was the only one in it!! The perfect end to a fabulous four days!! Now all I had to do was wait for my professional stills to arrive. Little did I know that the USPS would decide that I needed a lesson in patience!! What took only a few days to get delivered to most everyone else took almost 2 weeks to get to me!!

But boy were they worth the wait!! I looked at them and couldn’t believe that was me! What started out as a body makeover has now (3 years later) turned into a complete makeover!

All the credit goes to Michael Thurmond, Dolores, and everyone at Provida for providing me with the tools to makeover my life! I plan on using them every day and sharing my success story with anyone who wants to listen (and even some who don't!)

And a special THANK YOU goes to Don – my makeup and hair wizard! You will never know how much you have changed my life! All it took was a little make-up and hair styling by you for me to see what I have never seen before! You are the best!!

My 1 year of Living Lean gift to myself was my day at the Jeff Gordon Racing School. My 2 years of Living Lean gift to myself is ME! I am actually going to try the whole make-up and hair thing, even if only occasionally. It is amazing what a difference it made in the way I see myself.

What will year #3 bring?

Besides the infomercial debut sometime in the Spring of 2008, who knows?

I am really going to concentrate on my toning and my winter cardio program because riding my bike in the cold and snow is not an option and I need to keep up my fat burning routine! I also want and need to work on my stress reliever activities aka my knitting and felting business. My body does NOT handle stress well as it seems to add 5 lbs literally overnight when I am feeling stressed. I do not like that and I am going to eliminate that as much as I can!! Knitting is my best remedy for that, too!!

New recipes are also on the agenda….on plan and healthy of course!

Here’s to year #3 – It’s gonna be the best one yet!!

To see more pictures from the infomercial shoot,
see the LA Story blog entry

To read my weight loss story from the beginning,
see My Body Makeover blog entry


The making of Glamorous Jenny!

Finished Product!!

Not bad, Huh?!

Thanks Don!!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Goal Achieved!!!

Back in 2004 when I weighed over 300 lbs., doing something like driving a race car was an impossibility. I was simply too fat to squeeze through the window of the car. And even if I could get in, I don’t know how I would have gotten out! (Pry bar maybe?)

Then in 2005, I changed my body and my life! Using a great weight loss program, (Thanks again Michael!) I lost over 160 lbs. in 11 months. Now I was small enough to fit in size 10 clothes and a race car sans pry bar!

But just reaching my goal of a size 10 body wasn’t enough of an achievement to reward myself with such a special gift. I needed to MAINTAIN that weight loss for a year and then I would cash in on my reward.

Well, one year later in December 2006, I was still in my size 10’s, so I called and ordered my Jeff Gordon Racing School package! I decided to make it worthwhile, so I ordered the Ultimate Winner’s Circle package – 28 Laps!! Later in the Spring I booked my date at the Kentucky Speedway. And on June 30, 2007, I cashed in on my reward!!

Winner’s Circle

My first thrill was fitting in the driver’s suit comfortably. My next thrill was sliding through the window rather easily (helmet made it a little tricky, but not too bad).

Going through the window!

Waiting to go!!

Heading out on the track!!

Me at speed on the track!!

And my final thrill was driving the race car over 134 MPH!!! It was awesome!!

The guys and gals running the school were very friendly and helpful!! (Thanks!!)

The longer I drove, the more confident I felt! Now I wish I had opted for the 40 lap package! Oh well, that’s for the next time!! Maybe after 3 years of Living Lean! (which is actually only 18 months from now if I can even wait that long!!)

Next time, I want to exceed my weight in speed!! (140 – 150 MPH!)

(Helmet hair and all!!)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Update for March 2007

It's been a while since I have updated my blog. I just added a few more recipes in the Healthy Recipes for Living Lean section!! They are 6WBM friendly, but mostly for Living Lean. The Honey Grain Bars are definately NOT plan friendly unless you are not reducing.
Hope you enjoy the recipes! If anyone tries them, leave a comment!!

Have a great day!!