Friday, January 20, 2012

How I Became a “Believer”

Well, I guess the secret to how I became a Weight Watchers “Believer” is not really much of a secret at all…I joined WW on September 18th, 2008 and lost 101 lbs on their program.  I became a Lifetime member on December 23rd 2010 and have managed to keep my weight off for slightly over a year now. But you all know this already.

This is the story of how I became one of the faces in their beautiful BELIEVE campaign….

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My story really starts in January of 2011.  Day’s before I got an email asking me if I would be interested in becoming a Weight Watcher success story for their online site (which of course I said “HELL YEAH!!”).  A few days prior I saw that they were casting for their upcoming TV commercials.  I said to myself “Suzi…you just hit your Lifetime status…You’ve lost 101 lbs…why not give it a shot!?”  So I broke out of my comfort zone and made a little video thing.  I didn’t go all the way through the video application process because I didn’t think you could put the application on hold.  So I did this whole video talking about my journey & success.  Come to find out they wanted a video talking about the new Points Plus system...Oops. 

I started to wonder if I got this email asking about doing the online success story from submitting my video & maybe I just wasn’t good enough for TV.  Come to find out this person found my story through my blog & didn’t have anything to do with the casting for the commercial.  I kind of had a sigh of relief that I wasn’t out of the running yet.

Then it happened.  The night before I was to fly out to NYC I got an email.  It was from someone at WW saying that they received my application and they were interested in seeing me audition but they needed my weight record.

I was in shock. I was in panic. I had SO much to do.

I ended up spending all night looking for places to scan my weight record but had no luck.  So I woke up extra early before my already very early flight to NYC and stopped at work to scan them there and email them off.

I arrived in NYC…one of the best experiences in my life.  Then I got an email from WW the very next morning before heading out to my photo shoot.

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They needed ALL my weight records.  Not just my current one.  I must have misread it with being in such a hurry and with so much on my mind.  All I could think of at that moment was “I’m screwed”.

I had to somehow find THREE YEARS worth of my WW records and get them mailed off ASAP…even though I was 5+ hours away from home and wouldn’t be there for another day.  I felt I was doomed.

As soon as I got home (2 days later) it was the first thing I did.  Thankfully I had actually kept all of my records.  I went to work, scanned and emailed them right off.

A few weeks later I received the automated email they send out to all the people who did not make the cut for auditions.

I was OK with it.  I thought it was a long shot anyways.  Plus, I just did the NYC shoot with them.  Plus I had the Oprah thing coming up.  Life was going great, with or without the commercial.

Then came August.  I saw that they were casting again.  Somebody told me to try and submit a tape again…so I did. It was always a secret dream in the back of my mind to do this. I just felt like this was for me. Like all those years as a kid spent in chorus, in plays, on the stage…I was meant to do this. So I submitted a video.  I wore the red dress from Valentines Day last year. I had my digital camera propped up against a candy jar (I wanted to be alone for this part) and I told my story again.

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Months went by. Life got a little tough. Money was extra tough.  Marathon coming up was looking tough.  I was bored watching TV and decided to check my email around 9:30 at night. About 5 minutes prior to me checking I received this in my inbox… 

“Dear Susan…We have been trying to reach you for over a week but it seems the phone # we have has been disconnected. We would love to speak to you about the video you submitted for the next Weight Watcher television commercial.  Please give me a call at your earliest convenience.”

My exact words as I dropped my iPod touch were “Oh my god…Ohhhmy god….OH MY GOD!!” (I even got mad at The Frank because he mocked me and seemed uninterested LOL…jokes on him huh)

My earliest convenience was right then and there!! So I called and thankfully the person on the other line wasn’t sleeping.  She said that they loved my video and would love for me to audition.  Could I audition this Sunday??

This Sunday?? You mean, the day I am scheduled to run my very first full marathon?? GULP.

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I explained to her my plans and started to say “but I can…” and she stopped me.  She told me it was fine. I immediately thought “there goes another chance”, when she said “How about Tuesday?”

YES!! I could do Tuesday!!

As soon as I hung up I was elated.  I was in shock and disbelief. I was also in a panic…I have to audition for my dream TWO days after running 26.2 miles for the first time ever in my life.  WOW.

I didn’t sleep much the next few days.  Between that news and the upcoming marathon I was a ball of...I don’t even know what…Nerves?? Excitement??

I’m not going to lie…this news really carried me through those miles at the Wineglass Marathon.  When I was start focusing on the weather (abnormal cold, heavy winds, ice cold rain) or how my hip (slightly injured) felt I would adjust my focus back onto the possibility of this commercial. Without a doubt, this news helped me cross that finish line.

So Tuesday finally came.  My audition was in downtown Syracuse (about 10 minutes from me) in the afternoon.  It would be a video conference with the Manhattan casting agency.  I was hurting. I was sore. I could barely stand. But there I stood in 5 inch heels waiting…and waiting….and waiting….Malfunction with the web cam. I was too nervous to sit though. I was too scared of wrinkling my blouse. I was too scared the thing would turn on and I would be crying in pain. So I just stood there, with blood filling up in my shoes because they were so swollen & in so deformed, trying to hold back the tears of pain. They auditioned someone else while I waited for them to fix whatever problems.  There was talk of them rescheduling me…but 45 minutes later, we got it working.   

I tried my best.  I gave it my best. I tried to be myself as best I could considering how I felt. I left there feeling proud that I was able to give that much, but  I didn’t think I had a shot in hell.

Then I got a call two days later to come back for a 2nd and final audition. I couldn’t believe it. (ha…Believe…get it??)

Now I had to go and be awesome in front of the producers…with the worst cold I’ve had in years (thank you Corning, NY for the great weather marathon day!!).

So I showed up for my second audition, in the same clothes I wore to the last one.  Only this time I came armed with a package of Halls Cough Drops and a box of tissues.  I felt like death.  But again, I gave it my all.  The very best that I could do considering how I felt.  On my way there a man stopped me on the street and said “I just want to tell you that you are so beautiful”.  I almost cried. I didn’t really feel beautiful that day, but I held onto his words going into the audition. 

I left feeling like maybe this COULD happen.  Maybe it was GOING to happen.  But I was still so unsure.  I still didn’t feel on top of my game.

Then, on October 18th, the day before my birthday….I got the call at work.  I happened to be out back in an area of the warehouse where no one was taking a check list of calendar supplies.  I heard the loudspeaker say that I had a call.  I rarely get calls.  I decided to just pick the phone up back there.

It was one of the ladies from the agency. But not the one I had been dealing with. My heart sank. 
“Susan…It’s “insertnamehere”…I have great news…..”

I finally Believed…and proceeded to bawl like a little girl.     

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18 comments:

  1. Kiddo, I mess with you a bunch, but you ARE beautiful, and a testament to the power of believing in yourself. Congrats on your success.

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  2. lot's of tears here Suzi!! You deserved this and so much more!!! I'm so proud of everything you've done and have overcome this past year. Wonderful things are headed your way!

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  3. This is so so so great! And you are beautiful, inside & out. (cheesy I know, but it's true). It was funny the first time I saw the commercial. I was behind on all my blog reading and then I was sitting there, watching the tv and all of a sudden, there you were. I jumped up and squealed! My sister looked at me like I was crazy so I had to grab my computer and show her your blog. Awesome! Also funny, is that once I hit goal and maintain, I want to work at WW. Now I'm thinking I need to dream bigger! :)

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  4. Girl, you are SO deserving of this and everything else wonderful that you have been blessed to experience and achieve. I'm super uber proud of you. I think you are a friggin' wonderful, strong, beautiful, funny, badass,and amazing woman. And, I will shout it from every mountain top if I could. Rock on. Be awesome. Be epic. Be beautiful. Be YOU. BElieve... xoxo

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  5. Loved reading your story about this whole process! As Jack said, you ARE beautiful and I'm so proud of you!!

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  6. That is truly amazing and I got chills reading it!
    You truly are an inspiration and they picked a winner for sure!

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  7. Thanks for sharing, what a great story. Sounds like it was meant to be!

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  8. you are so f*cking awesome and so deserved this!!!! xxxx

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  9. You are such an inspiration! Thanks for sharing this story. One question-- do you know why they needed your paper trackers when all of your weight records are available in etools? Just curious...

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  10. That's a great story, congrats on getting the commercial. I don't know how you mustered the energy to make it through that first callback only 2 days after a marathon (in high heels!! yikes) and then again sick. You're so strong and such an inspiration, congrats again!!!

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  11. This is just AWESOME!!! You are such a pretty person inside and out and I am thrilled that Weight Watchers chose YOU to be part of their campaign. CONGRATS again!

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  12. I've seen the ad play a couple of times now, and I always cheer when I see you! Cheers!!!

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  13. I saw this ad a couple weeks ago and said to my husband...that looks just like this girl I follow on my weight loss blog!!! So, today I checked, and yep...it's you! Congrats!!! This is so amazing :)

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  14. It's amazing that you've gone so far. And inspirational.

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  15. I just saw the ad a few days ago...there you were! On the TV...
    So. Cool. :)

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  16. We finally hear the story behind all the cryptic tweets! Congratulations on your success. You are such an inspiration to so many of us.

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  17. I am going to put this here so anyone else who reads this post can see it.

    I remember you Suzi. I remember the day you put out a post on weight watchers some 3 or so years ago asking for other women to be on an email string with you. I automatically jumped at the chance to have women like me as a personal support team (since at the time I only did WW online). I remember the emails that started and dwindled away as woman and woman bailed, but how we stayed in touch and emailed weekly. That meant and still means so much to me. What I remember more was the day it clicked for you. The day you decided this is it and I am doing it. Look at all you have accomplished. I could not be more proud to call you friend or more honored to know you. Congratulations again my love, everything you got you deserve and more!!

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