OHHHHH my gosh... Now, I PROMISED you guys a blog at the close of this week to cap off this Challenge - and I have THE mother of all blogs brewing in my head right now... I suggest you go make yourself a cup of tea, and quite possibly bring a snack... hahaha!
Now, as many of you reading this would know, Commando issued me a challenge this week that went along the lines of this: "out with the old, in with the new".... and after dismantling the poor old wardrobe in search of any remnants of clothing that fit properly (which was few and far between!) the verdict was in.... SHOPPING WAS A MUST!
Now, to be fair - that statement makes me sound like I was just busting at the seams for any excuse to go wave some cards around the shops and spend copious amounts of money on clothes... but the reality is actually quite different! YES, I've been "re-stocking" on essentials - you know the ones - basic tshirts and skirts that cover multi-occasions, OH, and ofcourse UNDIES! (a little higher on the essential list, hahaha). You can thank Target, K-Mart, Big W and eBay for fitting me out with these babies at minimal cost while I was still transitioning through into smaller sizes... and I was well and truly ok with that up until this point! I don't "DO" boutique shops, and quite literally happy to avoid plazas, shopping centres and endless hours of shop-to-shop shopping! (... and if you'd have asked 'before', I'd have said I HATED shopping with a vengeance!!! - it's humiliating for a girl who can't find anything on the shelves, not to mention intimidating to someone who can't handle crowds and feels like a whale ballooning her way through tight spaces and people... my type of HELL!)
Raiding the wardrobe and realising that bulk of the content needed to go (ebay here I come!) - and living off enough "bare minimums" that literally fit into a suitcase (as I've discovered, hahaha) - it was a HUGE eye opener when I was whisked off to Sydney at the close of this week for my "secret BLC business" that things were about to become exceedingly different....
Off to Sydney I drove on Thursday night - stuck my head in my sister's door in Penrith and took charge of the spare room!
Heading off to the "big bad city" on my own on Friday morning, I was NERVOUS!!! I'm very much a country girl - and despite my dalliance with Sydney when I was here training with Commando the other week - I had my sister in tow, to hold my hopeless hand!!! Not so on this day...
Off on the big bad train I go - looking like "a lost tourist" (as was pointed out by the train guard, hahahha!) - with my trusty suitcase in tow and a whole lot of EEEEK in my belly! I had to make it to Milsons Point by 11am, check in at the motel, meet up with my gorgeous Kate, and then head off to the BLC offices....
Insert tangent and character introductions here!KATE - a fellow BLC member, is one of my closest online forum buddies and support "posse" - she's "one of my girls" as I affectionately call them! I have a group of VERY gorgeous women who are all in this weightloss business together - we talk daily - online. They're from all over the country - from Brisbane to Melbourne and lots in between! Whilst I have a HUGE network of forum members and supporters, these women are so closely aligned with my own goals and visions that we're actually quite a force to be reckoned with! They are STRONG, confident, resourceful, positive and beautiful women who interconnect like nothing else. Distance has no bearing on our friendships...
KATE happened to be one of the girls I asked to accompany me on my Friday shenanigans - she was one of my posse who "held my hand" and offered me TWO shoulders to cry on a few weeks ago who I was very much struggling with my Challenge and needed some moral support, and a huge "cyber hug". She earnt this opportunity, and I wanted her to benefit from this one as much as I was!
SO meeting up with Kate at Milsons Point (after having finally found the right train, hahaha) - checking into the motel we were to stay the night at - and feeling like the person I'd literally just met was someone I'd known in person FOR YEARS - we jumped into a taxi and headed off to our next port of call.... The BLC office, and some chit-chat with the staff!
Not long after, off we were whisked with a Staffer to the studios where the Biggest Loser Families Finale was to be filmed - signed my confidentiality clause that I wouldn't release details (so don't ask me!!!) - we were herded into the studio and geared up for an HUGE day of filming and a fantastic insider-look at one of the TV shows that inspires us to keep working on our own goals!
We cheered, we hooted, we hollered and we saluted! The contestants looked AMAZING and had not let us down - and as you guys will see, they're absolutely gob-smacking and there were tears to be had... Not just in celebration for them, but because it's just so fitting, reminiscent and emotional for US too - parallels our own work and our own dreams...
Now, you can't help but laugh at this - typical Amy - but for bulk of the show, we were quite happy to hoot and holler from our back row "VIP" seating... but when a few seats became empty down the front (for whatever reason), and one of the floor staff came looking up the back row for "replacements" to fill the void, I instantly waved my hands!! Kate and I were moved down just two rows behind the past contestants - all some of MY most inspirational people, and I was ecstatic! We brought our best hooting and hollering voices (despite the sore throats starting to take effect, hahaha) - and I was SO excited to be so close to the action going on on stage! I could SEE all these amazing people up close and personal now!!!
You guys are going to LOVE it - I won't tease you further - the Finale is on tonight, and you MUST WATCH IT!! OHHH and if you happen to spot one distinct "that red top" on a certain someone either up the back corner OR just two rows behind the past contestants... well, wave, and see if I wave back!!!! hahaha... Would LOVE to show you photos of this one - but we were on a strict "no cameras, no phones" policy - so you'll just have to WATCH THE SHOW!!!
SO you can imagine, after a VERY long day of that (about 7 hours worth!) - Kate and I were ushered back to the motel. I was up for a workout at this point - sitting on my bum for 7 hours straight isn't exactly productive to my Challenge Goal now is it?! - and I felt terrible for the lack of work the previous few days in prep for my whirlwind trip...
Off to the gym we go! Busting out a solid hour on the cross trainer, and then walking back for a late night dinner thereafter, both Kate and I were pretty beat after that! HUGE day, and an even bigger one on the cards ahead....
Ohhhh hail the 6.30am phone alarm! ARGH! Yup, outta bed Missy - it's time to get GLAMOROUS!!!
You bet! A quick "wash your hair" shower later, and Kate and I pack up our gear and head off out the door. Taxi and BLC chaperon is out the front on arrival, and we get driven over to East Sydney for the glamour shoot...
OHHHHHH my gosh. Half asleep, with wet hair and trying to feel "semi-normal" - I walk in and it all gets very real, very quickly! What on earth have I signed up for here?! There's studio lights and equipment, makeup counter all along one side of the wall, clothes racks and copious amounts of garments, jewellery and shoes later.... Oh god. They can't be serious...
Bit of background here - when I was asked what sizing I was (in prep for the shoot) I spieled off a hundred insane responses. I had NO IDEA what official sizing I was - my body is out of proportion, and just in the past two months alone, it's dropped from roughly a size 20 down to 16-18s! I couldn't even tell them what size bra I was (as per the "bra issue" via Facebook recently, haha) - and even my shoes have changed sizes! I'm a MESS!!!
I've NEVER been easy to fit - and here I was just assuming I was about to give the poor stylist one hell of an unpleasant time trying to fit me in something that would work - I was nothing short of insanely NERVOUS. The BLC ladies had assured me it'd be fine though, and to put my faith in these professionals.... Ok, time to loosen the grip and depart with the fear (eeeek) - my "look is in your hands"....
OUT WITH THE OLD - IN WITH THE NEW! That was the whole point of this yeah?!
|See more pics on the Biggest Loser Club facebook page here|
Hair curled, makeup on - I was then ushered over to the gorgeous stylist Colette who unleashed a HUGE whammy on me - dresses.
Crap crap crap crap crap....
Don't they know the last time I wore a dress it was the hideous monster tent from my Year 12 formal?! Head to toe black, full length arms, and self-applied makeup and hair - I felt as foul as I looked!! God please, not a dress?!!!! (crap crap crap crap...)
Off to the bathroom I head before I need to start the wardrobing.... and who should I reappear to find...?!!
Insert tangent and SECOND character introduction here!Pand - another of my gorgeous posse has arrived! Just flown in from Melbourne, she's another of my fellow BLCers and one of my super amazing girls - who came to offer me support, friendship, love and super cheering!!! Another that I haven't met in person, and again, just like we'd been old friends forever...!!! I was SO happy to have both my girls with me - and instantly helped take a bit of the building pressure off.... She armed herself with the camera, and became my "unofficial photographer" for the day to help document the FUN!!!
BUT - back to work!! Trinny and Susannah "suck me in" undergarments later - just to smooth out the body below (and trust me, after my "bra debacle" at Target the other day, I was happy for ANYTHING to help me get my head around this part - hessian bag, blow torch, scalpel... gah!). I wiggled my way into the bloody tight things and then realised breathing was certainly a skill we often take for granted - and forget bending down!!! (hahahhaa!!!!) BUT they worked and suddenly I had "smoother lines" and it "was time"....
Bring on the dresses.... Trying on a couple of Leona Edmiston dresses, I felt instantly intimidated. These are seriously EXPENSIVE, and I was so scared I was going to damage them.
Now, ironically, I shoot women's footwear for catalogues, and have that same feeling "most of the time" when I'm unboxing and reboxing shoes ranging in price from $80 to $450 - I value the Merch!!! ... being THIS SIDE of the photo shoot, was a totally new experience (on MANY levels!) - but I was SO conscious of trying not to break anything, particularly when you haven't paid for it!!!
I got to try on the sassy red number here - whilst the cowl neck worked a WONDER for my top half, the bottom half left a lot to be desired... (argh at body "leftovers"). Fitting me out in the teal dress instead, what an eye opener to the fact I could carry THAT colour - this one worked much better on the bod, but it was the second red number that won on the day...
This one was VERY flattering on the figure - hid the "lumps and bumps" quite brilliantly... and well... you all keep telling me that "red is your colour!"
.... but I felt a bit out of place in it. Not particularly my styling, and I was kind of happy to just "go with the flow" and all.... but yeah... !
Colette comes back in with a new dress - something a bit sassy, nothing I'd have EVER considered wearing - a print! I don't "DO" prints, I certainly don't like drawing attention myself, and good god - it's TINY!
"Just try it!" she says... and I flick this one on over my "suck me in pants"....
Ohhhhh my gosh...! INSTANT love love love! A few unwarranted lumps and bumps - a second pair of "suck me ins" (now I REALLY can't breathe or move - I'm seriously double-bagged, hahaha!) - BUT better lines, and I feel instantly more confident about my body shape and where this one was heading!!!
|See more pics on the Biggest Loser Club facebook page here|
I just pose, smile, pose, smile.. change... pose, smile, pose... do as I'm told! haha!
Meanwhile my other BLC "success story" counterparts are off being groomed and glamourised too - Christine and Karen get the works, and off onto the stage they head!
|See more pics on the |
BLC facebook page here
NOW we were talking! NOW I was LOVING IT STUPID!!!
I bring out the "old clothes" for the comparison shot. My old arch-nemesis black pants. They were the last pair of pants I had to wear at my absolute heaviest - the seams are stretched to the max, the material (a stretch polyester cotton) was at absolute breaking point and they'd been re-sewn in the hems, crotch and legs multiple times just to make them last longer. I literally lived in these pants and my biggest skirts until they "died" - because I simply couldn't find anything else to wear...
I've held onto this particular pair of pants since the beginning - they've been stashed in a bag and hidden under my bed for years now - since I shrunk out of them and they were no longer wearable. They've sat there... waiting...
When I was asked to bring something "old" along with me to the shoot, it was a toss up between the pants or the denim skirt (my "old faithful" skirt - also sitting there under the bed... but we'll save that for another day! I have plans for the skirt...!!!) - and I reluctantly pulled them out of the bag and stashed them very hurriedly into my suitcase. I didn't have the heart to try them on or really look at them - just picking them up was enough...
SO when I dragged these out of the suitcase and stood in front of the room ready for the shot - it was like I'd just been hit with a truck. The emotions just raged through my entire body, and it was sheer dumb luck that I didn't have tears streaming down my very made up face! It wasn't the "suck me in pants" limiting my breathing now - it was the reminder of what those pants were and what I'd intentionally left behind....
Trying to "compose myself" - my gorgeous girls came to my rescue! THIS is why I love them so much - THEY are the reason why I can break through things like this and why it meant SO MUCH for me to have them along for the day. Pand disembarked from her photo duties and "healed" with her magic reiki (she IS "The Pand" - she's amazing!!) and Kate soothed and encouraged. I felt ridiculous for getting so upset over holding a silly pair of pants - but it was THAT MOMENT where you suddenly realise you are simply NOT that person anymore - and you won't ever, ever, ever let yourself feel like that again. Those pants represented years of torment and pain - and here I was, standing in all my "new you" glory thumbing my nose at them!
Photographer says to me as I was leaving, "Do you think you'd fit into just one leg of those pants?" - and I didn't know... would I? Did I even dare?!!
Standing in the change room in my gorgeous teal top and my double-layer "suck me ins" (not the prettiest sight in the mirror might I add - I couldn't look, haha!) - I dared.... ONE LEG BABY!!! I literally AM half the size I used to be - and I didn't know whether to laugh or cry!!! I shuffled to the curtain, and sent a "psst" to the girls to come and look - and it was THAT MOMENT right there when the bad left and the GOOD finally clicked in! OH MY GOD!!!! I'm a ONE LEG GIRL! I am half the size I used to be!!!!
Wrapping up my shoot, and feeling VERY overwhelmed, emotional and somewhat exhausted - Kate, Pand and I cross paths with two of the BL TV finalists on their way into the shoot! A couple of snaps later, and we're back out the door - off to enjoy the rest of the afternoon together before we all have to head off on our own separate paths!
|The Pand, Kate, moi and Karen - |
just a small handful of my gorgeous posse!!
A jaunt out in Woolloomooloo and we're on the hunt for some lunch! The gorgeous Karen - whose now finished her shoot - catches up with us down at the pub overlooking the water - and we chat like a bunch of old friends on a lunch date! Karen's a BLC success story - has lost about 50kgs herself and is simply STUNNING - both inside and out. I've only spoken to her through the BLC forums, but having met her in person, knew INSTANTLY she was "one of us" - and the other girls knew it too! We bonded quicker than two pieces of paper with tacky glue!!! A sweetheart through and through, there was much chit-chat and FUN to be had - and she totally made my day when she pulled out the current edition of That's Life mag and asked me to sign my article for her...!!! (talk about make a girl blush! haha)
Karen departs early to catch her flight home to Adelaide - and the girls and I head on over towards the bridge, and a gorgeous walk through the King George Gardens (girls, please correct me if I'm wrong - I'm SO guessing here, I had no idea where the hell you were taking me, hahaha!)... to work off some of that lunch...!!! A good 5kms or more, and much gibber-gabbering later, and we head back to the photo studio to collect our luggage, say another bunch of thankyous to the gorgeous style team, say au revoir to the BLC team and head out the door!
Off to the train station, the girls head off to the airport back to Melbourne, and I head back to Penrith to my sis' place.... but not before hugs and thankyous and much LOVE!!! My gorgeous girls made my day - literally - and I am SO incredibly grateful and happy that they went so far out of their way to come and share in this experience with me! They're just beautiful and truly helped me survive a day I was really quite overwhelmed about!! xxx
SO, you'd think that'd be where I'd pretty much wrap it up yeah?! HAHA you wish!!!! You can go have that snack now though if you want?! Cup of tea? Toilet break?!!! Counting down... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1....
SO, I train it home - feeling awfully happy with myself that I've caught the train alone again (hahaha!) - and super content after a HUGE day of fun and frivolity (and a giant jolt to the system about just how different I truly am!)....
Hitting Penrith an hour later, my sis meeting me at the station, and heading 'home'.... the exhaustion kicks in! Feeling flat and tired and super mellow at that point, really just wanted to curl up and go to sleep - but dinner was on the cards, and as it turned out, there was a surprise in the fridge...!
... and then she pulled the biggest whammy on me YET!
She'd left a birthday card envelope on the desk - which I opened and thought was lovely.... then said "can't wait any longer" and gave me another one. Despite my birthday being the following day - she couldn't wait - and I flipped it over and saw the gold embossed printing on the front.
We put the word out to the "posse" and were already organising a HUGE celebration / challenge weekend in August together - the Bridge Climb being on one day - and the City to Surf the following - and a celebration dinner in the middle! We'd literally only just started to organise the festivities .... and right here in my hot little hands was my BRIDGE CLIMB! My sis and bro-in-law knew I'd missed out with BLC, and were "already on it" - so you can imagine what that meant to me right about now that it was a "work in progress" challenge with the bunch of women I admire and love the most!!! No words..... !!!! Just tears - how awesome is my sis?!!!
SO when Pand gave me this little bead, I was VERY impressed... and added a new chain to my "shopping wish list" so I could wear this little gem with pride!!!
SUNDAY - My Birthday!
It was pre-determined last week that Sunday would be a day of SHOPPING! I was about to break the stigma of being anti-plaza, go and find me some new clothes and spend some time with my sis on my birthday before I'd headed off into the sunset...
Little did I realise just what an absolutely PROFOUND day this would become when we set off on our shopping spree!
Armed with a bunch of style and colour tips from Colette (SO generous with her help - she truly was trying to help me figure out how to work this new body!!!) - and having seen myself in new colours, outfits, styles and a bit of a "new light" - the NEW ME strutted into that Plaza like I'd been a merry shopper for YEARS!!!
.... and which shop should I happen to spot first on our jaunt - DIANA FERRARI! OHHHH my gosh.... I nearly ran in there!!
I spotted my sexy print dress and showed my sis - gushing over how fabulous it was and how exciting it was to see it on the shelf! ME - I'd WORN THAT!!! THEN I spotted my top... MY BELOVED TEAL TOP!! Yup, I snapped that baby up, and then turned around and found a red one on the rack! AHHHHH! Yup, add that to the pile....
SO excited by the prospect of actually shopping in a REAL BOUTIQUE shop - I start going through the dresses... and pick up a size 16 black cotton shift dress off the rack... and tentatively head on in to the change rooms.... DARE I?!! HA! Yeah, you know me too well....!!!
"Not quite there" when I tried to zip it up the back - but DEFINITELY on the aspiration list! I've never been able to wear non-stretch cotton and this baby wasn't too far off at all! EXCITING!!! I try on a few other pieces "just to see" and I'm pleasantly surprised with how different I can look in these types of clothes - I've never been able to handle the "try it on, put it back" thing - because NOTHING ever fit, and it'd just break my heart... repeatedly! TODAY was a NEW DAY - I gave myself incentive!!! I walked out with my two gorgeous tops and was SUPER happy!! (seriously, they were 30% off too - how could I NOT be happy?!! hahaha)
... onto the next one! We found City Chic next - and I was SO excited when I walked in to see a wall full of dresses! Given my issues AGAINST dresses - prior to the shoot (hahaha!) - it became quite apparent that I was about to embark on yet another pivotal milestone! .... and I really had no clue just what that truly meant, until...
|City Chic you rock my world!!!|
In a couple of weeks time, I'm meeting up with my "posse" in Melbourne - the girls are celebrating the end of THEIR challenge, and me with mine that I've been doing parallel - we FINALLY get to meet each other in person, train with each other and party it up with each other - which ofcourse means GLAMMING IT UP! ... and "a dress". Not having had worn a dress until the day before, had absolutely no clue what I was going to do about that.... so heading into City Chic I was definitely "eyes open" for something to hit the dancefloor in!
.... and there was much choice to be had! My sis handed me a STUNNING black number, a couple of cute cocktail numbers and I found a gorgeous one on the rack right behind me - in the smallest size in store... BUT, good god, dare I do SLEEVELESS?! Ahhhh why the hell not...?!! It's "just skin" Amy...!!!!
Standing in the changeroom trying on the cutesie little frocks, I had to laugh! I looked like a mushroom in most of them - and I certainly didn't have the bust to hold the buggers up!!! The floor-length number, however, was simply STUNNING on and I couldn't believe I was standing there wearing something like that... Couldn't believe it actually FIT and actually looked good on?! Seriously, who was that girl in the change room mirror... ?!!
|What NOT to wear, |
looking like a curry puff!!
... but at the end of all that fun and frivolity, it was MY choice dress that I'd picked up as a fluke that won - the XS tag had thrown me off initially (being the only one left on the rack) I assumed it wouldn't fit - everything else was a medium I was trying on, and here I was with an XS in my hands... Stepping out of the change room in this dress, my sis looked at me, I looked at her, she looked at me, I shook my head and nearly screamed! THIS was MY DRESS! My very first purchased dress - straight off the rack - and it's freaking FUN, sexy and super super AMY!!!
... and I'm going to be the biggest tease EVER and not post the photos - because I want to surprise my gorgeous girls and show THEM just what it is they've helped create...!! Let's just say, it's black and red - just like a ladybug, and I'm totally in love with it.... ! ;)
MOVING ON - we hit Myer next - let's knock this bra issue on the head once and for all! My sis and I venture in, me with a $25 Myer voucher in hand, and her on a mission to find a pair to cover her bountiful assets (hahaha).... and NO repeat of aforementioned bra trauma of the week prior - this time it was alot easier to handle!! (plus the lighting was much more forgiving!!!)
|Annalee, your hat is just so...|
I found myself two bras - a nude and a black - very well fitted and very good on the pricing - paid my way and walked out! ANOTHER mission down!!! (OH and my sis found herself some too - AND 30% OFF!!) ..... and ofcourse there was much shenanigans to be had in the shop! (we have a thing about trying on hats, hahaha!)
|Just slightly POSH!|
Heading off on our next stop, I hit the jewelery shop in search of my new necklace (for ladybug bead) - and score myself a chain for $7!! (courtesy of a $25 gift card I'd been hanging onto) - another Mission down!!!
We stop off for a pit-stop, and standing at the sinks washing our hands, my sis says "Ohhhh someone's dropped a ring here - oh it's a ladybug!" No-one else is there - someone's just misplaced this cheap little silver ladybug ring - which ordinarily would have made little to no impact on me given I could never wear rings before (til the shoot!) AND my affiliation with my ladybugs now! We decide that I should take this as a SIGN that the Universe is definitely on my side! There's "signs" cropping up everywhere!!!
... and off we merrily trot to the carpark - off to pay our parking, and insert a $20 note into the machine to pay the $12 fee. It spits out the ticket PAID - along with my $20 note AND a $5 note and $3 in coins, and we both just stand there dumbfounded!!! Happy Birthday Amy from the Parking Staff!!! hahahaha!!!
SO travelling home tonight, I was on such a HUGE high - I've had, without doubt, THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!! BLF Finale, Friends, Photoshoot, Presents (AMAZING PRESENTS), Missions accomplished, CAKE (yes, I ate the cake...!!!) and came home to one VERY happy-to-see-me-cat who just topped off my day!
I am one VERY lucky girl - and ironically - one very DIFFERENT girl - and nothing made me acknowledge that more than when I was driving home.... and realised this was the FIRST birthday I've had in the last 15 years where I've been truly happy, so blissfully excited and can't wait to see the year ahead and what happens prior to the next one! If that's not the biggest present EVER, then I truly don't know what is....
Out with the old.... and HELLO NEW ME!!!! WOOOOOOOT!