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….
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.
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.
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.
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.
It seems to be my greatest affair, or my worst enemy. For months, I will say ever a couple of years it was my EVERYTHING. I don’t think I went more than 2 days without getting some kind of workout in. And “some kind” of workout was usually at least a 3 mile run, at minimum. Because I trained myself to believe that anything less than 3 miles didn’t count.
Honestly, Exercise has been on the back burner ever since my Marathon in October. I thought after the marathon I would get bit by the running bug again, since I lost some of my passion for it during the summer, but no bug bit me.
Which brings me to today…
As I have shared. The end of November through beginning of January has been a little rough. I haven’t been following WW as well as I should and normally do. I’ve let a couple of lbs creep on. I let exercise become a faint memory. What?? I ran a marathon a few months ago??
BUT…I have taken back control!! I’ve been tracking like a fool, staying within my DPV (daily points values) and I haven’t had a beer since Sunday night. GO ME!! I’m feeling awesome and more like myself than I had the past few weeks.
I’ve even been working out a little bit, slowly adding it back into my routine as not to overwhelm myself as I tend to do sometimes. Right now I’ve been focusing more on what I’m eating & putting into my body with working out being next in line.
Running has still not caught up to me yet. Mind you, I’m not having issues with running more than 3 miles. Of course, it all pretty much has to be done on a treadmill because I do not like to run in the dark where I live and that’s really my only option. I don’t mind the treadmill though. But I’ve been switching it up and have been rocking it out on the elliptical lately as well. It’s been a nice change of pace.
But sometimes I think to myself “Suzi, you only ran a damn mile” or “Suzi, you only worked out for 20 minutes”.
I never in a million years thought I would get to a point in my life where I would say I’ve ONLY ran a mile and not been happy about it.
So here is where I’ve adopted a new mantra…”1 mile is better than 0 mile!”
Pop Quiz Time:
Is it better to-
A.) Sit on the couch tipping back yet another beer or
B.) Getting mildly sweaty on the elliptical for 20 minutes (I know, this one is kind of a trick question)
Is it better to-
A.) Do Walk/Run intervals for 2-3 miles or
B.) Sit in bed & read blogs about other people exercising.
Sometimes going “all or nothing” works, and sometimes it doesn’t. I’m at a point right now where all or nothing is not really sticking with me, so I’m breaking the mentality of what is “enough” and going with what feels best. Sure, the 2 mile run and 20 minute elliptical may not be the greatest sweat session that my old 8 mile runs would bring on, but I know that by getting myself back into my routine, I will be back to my “no less than 3” mentality sooner than I probably think.
When I am there getting my ½ hour workout in, someone else is out there eating a bag of Fritos. And I hate them, because I want some Fritos damnit, but I want to feel like my awesome self even more. And I want beer. Beer trumps Fritos every time…unless I’ve had too many beers.
I want to take a minute to thank The Anti-Jared again for his beautiful post yesterday. It was extremely nice of him to write such sweet words about me. Glad to call him a friend!! And and enourmous thank you to all of YOU for your never ending love and support. XOXO
That then led her to post this on her blog which can be read by clicking here. (*Please Note: Her blog post has since been edited*)
Now, I feel it is only fair to express *my* opinion as well. I am not angry with her…every one is entitled to their own opinion. So this is mine….I normally don’t respond to anything like this, but when you attack something I feel so strongly about I feel I have a right to respond…)
Kate, no need to be sorry for your snarky remark. I would say that I am sorry for the increase in WW posts but that would be a lie. Considering I am IN the new WW #Believe campaign, it would only make sense that I would promote it proudly. It is, other than my weight loss, the proudest thing I have done to date. I will be screaming it to the high heavens for as long as I can and as I said last week on Twitter, if no one likes it then too bad. Unfollow, as you did, because it is as simple as that. Because I will always stand up for what I believe in.
Congratulations to your mother for losing 101 lbs. Having lost that same amount myself I know that it is no small feat. I’m sure that the years she spent leading WW meetings were quite impactful on the members that came through that door. However, I will not comment on her position within the WW corporation since I do not know the reasons why they made her stop leading and took her meetings away. It is unfortunate that she had to lose a long time leader & friend…that happened to me last year and it can be a very difficult transition.
I did WW for the first time ever back in 2005…I lost 55 lbs.
Then I gained it all back, PLUS another 50.
Was that WW’s fault?? NO. Did WW make me stop going to meetings?? NO. Did WW put fatty burgers, fries & beer down my throat every night?? NO
So who’s fault was it….IT WAS MINE!!
Now I’m not saying that it’s your mother’s fault as to why she has gained weight and is no longer at goal. You spoke of medical issues dealing with a bad knee and shoulder, all of which can definitely hinder weight loss and/or maintenance. But none of that is WW fault. Obviously your mother knows the program works and *believes* it works because she continues to go each week. When I strayed a little from goal weight I have felt the same as she has…failure. But I can’t blame that on WW. I blame that on myself and the things that I am not doing that I know I *should* be doing. In my eyes the only one calling your mom a failure was herself (according to you) and well, you. She sounds like a fighter who isn’t giving up….that’s not failure. It may *feel* like it because she’s not seeing the results she wants, but that’s not failure.
When we did this Believe campaign we were not telling the public “Believe you can lose weight or you suck if you don’t.” we are telling you to BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. If you mom believes she can, just like you say she does, then she WILL do it!! Never give up, never back down, never stop fighting…BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.
You don’t have to care about Jennifer Hudson. She wasn’t what started me on my journey. But I respect a woman who chooses to make a healthier life not only for herself but for her son and the rest of her family as well. After meeting and working with her I have a lot more respect for her.
She was happy in her old body, yes….You know (here comes the dead daddy card…) what….
My father was happy being over 350 lbs and didn’t care one fucking bit about losing weight and guess where that got him?? Dead of a heart attack at the age of 34, leaving his 10 year old daughter behind. Maybe if programs like WW did these kind of campaigns (especially the ones with Charles Barkley) 18 years ago my father would have changed his tune a bit. Maybe. But I don’t believe he was a failure. That was his choice.
My mother has gone back and forth to WW more times than I know. Successful each and every time. It hasn’t always “worked” for her obviously, but again, that’s not WW fault. Funny because, since these new campaigns started she’s thinking about going back…Hmmmmm. Is she going to be a failure if it doesn’t work long term again this time Kate?
Sure, Weight Watchers doesn’t work for everyone. No plan works for everyone. But some people Kate, want to believe that this will work for them, and that doesn’t make them idiots or future failures.
I do not need to set a better example. I couldn’t be more fucking proud of the example I set for everyone online or in my real life. I AM A LIFETIME WEIGHT WATCHER MEMBER. I BELIEVE IN THE WEIGHT WATCHERS PROGRAM. I BELIEVE IN MYSELF.
You don’t have to believe in me or believe in Weight Watchers Kate, you can just flip the page when you see my ad or press the fast forward button when my commercial’s comes on.