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Formerly obese mom overcoming body-image issues and ailments with a healthy mix of self-depreciation and determination.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Last Day of Our Acquaintance

(song: The Last Day of Our Acquaintance/artist: Sinéad O'Connor)

Monday, June 13, 2011
Today was my final obligation to the Brazil Butt lift test group - the infomercial  interview! I have to admit, I was really really excited.  I arrived at the set and went straight to Marci the wardrobe stylist, whom I've now seen three times - at the day 1, 60 & 90-day photo shoots. She's a cute hipster who also has a toddler son, so we share mom tales while I'm cramming myself into workout clothes and bikinis. Today she gets to dress me in something other than the bikini and fitness wear I've been sporting for my monthly photos. I get to wear an actual outfit! She gives me a pair of jeans that look incredibly tiny, but I try them on anyway. Amazingly, they fit! We put them in the "maybe the one" pile, then I try on a few more jeans. Too big, too small, too blah...I tried them all. Then one more pair. Yep, these are the ones. I look in the mirror and behold myself wearing something I never thought I'd wear...size 4 skinny jeans! Having had a pretty staunch anti-skinny-jean stance for some time, it was hard for me to accept myself in a pair. But at the same time, I was floored that they fit. On March 2, at my day 6 assessment, Leandro said, "I think you can be a size 4." Well damn if that crazy Brazilian wasn't right! I told Jenny the producer that I felt so out of my comfort zone and she said, "This is your body now. This is how you should be dressing. No more Mom Jeans!" I love you Jenny...

Marci gives me a few different tops to try on before we settle on a hot pink sleeveless cross-back top. The outfit is finished with my own Betsey Johnson  platform wedges that are the perfect over-the-top companion to the skintight jeans and top. I look like a Boston Proper ad...minus the fake boobs. I'M READY FOR MY CLOSE-UP!

 I waddled a la Peg Bundy to my mark on the set. We filmed in a loft space that was decorated to look like I was being interviewed in my apartment. I got a brief run-down from Marc the dreamy director...sigh. I begged him not to make me demonstrate any Brazil Butt Lift dance moves as he did the gal that had her interview before me. No one needs to see me dancing on camera. No one.

We roll tape and Marc begins asking me a series of questions. Luckily I've been watching some Beachbody infomercials so I'm a little familiar with the types of things people say in their infomercial testimonials. However, I wasn't talking about my butt enough, so one of the producers said, "You have to say BUTT!" What can I say...I'm not a veteran of infomercial testimonials. Talking about my ass on camera, makes me the slightest bit self-concious. I take a deep breath and promise to say "butt" repeatedly. Marc is really great at asking questions specific to my body's - my BUTT'S - transformation. I felt super dorky because I'm really uncomfortable on camera, but I was completely honest in my responses. I mean, as cheesy as my answers were, they were totally from the heart. Leandro's Brazil Butt Lift program really does work and this experience really changed my life...and my butt. I am so extremely happy with my results and, as I said on camera, I will keep using what I've learned to maintain my new lifestyle and body and BUTT.  Continued success is the only option for me. I believe in myself in a way I never did before this test group.

The cheesiest and most fun part of the filming, was when I had to look into the camera and say, "Check out my butt!" Then I had to turn around and SHOW my butt. This of course, took three takes. I cracked up after each one...
Check Out My Butt!

After the testimonial interview, I changed into a workout costume and was filmed exercising with my Brazil Butt Lift DVDs "in my home". Smiling (as one does when exercising) the whole time of course. I was filmed from the left side, so my camera leg was throbbing after repeated leg lifts, but I had a lot of fun. Since I'm not a professional actress, this was a really interesting experience. I'm not sure what, if any, footage will make the final cut, but hey, the infomercial wasn't the reason I did the test group in the first place. Still, how awesome would it be to turn on the TV at 2AM and see me talking about my butt? If I'm in the infomercial, I'm totally having a viewing party with butt-themed party favors...

I'm a Beachbody success!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Y'all Ready For This?

(song: Get Ready For This/artist: 2 unlimited)

Hey hey hey everybody! I'm outta town and have limited computer access, but you've been so patient so - FINALLY - here's the post you've been waiting for. THE PHOTOS!
And the final stats...


So without further hesitation, I give you:


DAY ONE
2-15-2011/164 pounds/Size 10 (sometimes 12)

I know, I know...hideous right? Before you vomit, allow me to impart some perspective. The jiggly body in that picture, is the exact same jiggly body in this picture, just two months prior:

1-1-2011/Also 164 pounds and a size 10/12. See, everybody looks better in clothes!

DAY 30 
3-25-11/149 pounds/Waistline dwindling, abs still flabby, no inches lost off those thunder thighs. Grrr.

DAY 60
5-6-2011/142 pounds/Hello developing abs! 1.25" gone from each thigh!! Check out the arms.
 
DAY 90!
6-9-2011/137 pounds/Size 4/6!!!!
(I am still working on those thighs, but I'm extremely pleased with the progress I've made so far.)

But then I got to wear an even cuter swimsuit because the bottoms on my now infamous Target bikini were such a bad cut for my new booty. Here's the awesome swimsuit that I wish was mine and not the Beachbody wardrobe department's:

The awesome swimsuit that I wish was mine and not the Beachbody wardrobe department's.


So...to sum it up, in 110 days, I lost:
~28 pounds
~3.5" from my chest
~4" from my waist
~4" from my hips
~2" from each thunder thigh
~And my booty lifted 1 whole inch! (Though I question the science behind this measurement...)

I started at 164 pounds and ended at 137 pounds. Just two pounds shy of Leandro's prediction! On the day of the infomercial filming, I wore SIZE 4 SKINNY JEANS! Exactly the size Leandro said I would be. He believed; I achieved. And I am never looking back...

Friday, June 17, 2011

What I Like About You

(song: What I Like About You/artist: The Romantics)

Oh hey. I've been travelling without computer access, but fear not, I've been jotting things down on my trusty iPhone so I could paste my thoughts into a new post once I got my hands on a computer. I need a laptop!

Monday - June 13, 2011
Because I am so in love with Leandro and have now adopted his booty obsession, I got a guest pass to his Monday pool class at Equinox. Of course I wanted to see the Butt Master, but I also wanted to utilize the gym before my big infomercial interview. (By the way, the bathing suit I wore for today's class was the same one-piece I wore for my Polaroid at the audition back in February. Like everything I own now, the top was too big, but I safety-pinned the straps so my sad deflated boobs didn't go rogue during class. It's a SPANX brand bathing suit, so it's made of super thick suck-it-all-in Lycra. At the audition, my ass and thighs were oozing out of the leg holes like sausage from it's casing. You know how bad it looks when a big squishy butt doesn't all fit into your big-girl panties. It was the first of my mortifying experiences during this test group. Today, the suit looks not-so-great for an entirely different reason. How awesome is that?! Anyway...)

I suit up and head into the pool area. The first person I see is Georgia, the gorgeous blond Australian!! We hugged like it was a war buddy reunion. Come to think of it...
It was wonderful to see her. She was a knockout on day 1. Tall, with a flat belly. Maybe she had a dimple on her butt before but all I know is, I still don't look as good as she did on the first day. Now, she's flawless. She has my dream legs. Tall, lean and fit. A triple threat, if you will. Her booty is perfection. She was chosen to be in a couple of Leandro's videos and she also provided background booty sculpting moves on Leandro's recent QVC tour.


The gorgeous blond Australian
 We talked about how hard it is to lift yourself from the post-test-group depression. The obligation of class became such a routine for us. Throw in the daily food delivery and the amazing results, it's a full-time job that you never want to quit. I had trouble adjusting to three-days-week; I'm so glad I didn't have to go "cold turkey".

It was so fun to be in a class with her again. We got in trouble for talking too much - not unlike our test group days. I'm sorry that I didn't get more of an opportunity to spend time with her during the test group.

That's actually the one regret I have. Because of my son's school schedule, I always had to leave immediately following class, so I barely had a chance to socialize. I did meet a few girls that made an impression though. One girl was the hot blond that taught us the stripper routine on "sexy Thursday". She's surfer-babe beautiful - blond hair, blue eyes, killer body. She's also really smart and has a terrific sense of humor. She's like...a sexy hipster - if that were possible. Oh, and she's a competitive pole dancer, so she could cut down a tree using only the strength of her rock-hard abs. If she weren't so damn nice, I'd hate her. Instead I'm just extremely jealous of her.

Then there's the gal that read my blog and got offended, but then we had a "coming to Jesus" talk and ended up really liking each other. She's got a bawdy sense of humor, which I love. Kind-of a lady Howard Stern. We quickly felt comfortable telling each other really personal stories as we rushed to the subway after class. She's a remarkably strong woman with great insight, though she doesn't give herself enough credit for either. Also, I'd like to see her kick her Red Bull habit.

Then there was the rail-thin runway model. I of course assumed I wouldn't like her because, well, she's a rail-thin runway model. Isn't there a girl code rule that tells us to hate tall, thin, pretty girls? She's actually really grounded and kind. When she tells me she's praying for me, I believe her. We had a very in-depth conversation about family one day after class, and she helped me to see some things in a completely different way. This one chat had a huge impact on me.


 
I miss talking to the gorgeous Australian, the sexy pole dancer, the potty-mouthed Red Bull addict and the religious model. I shared an amazing experience with all of them. We all came into the test group for our own reasons. I learned a lot about acceptance; of myself and others. And learned not to make assumptions about strangers. Take a second to get to know people. You might be surprised.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

And In the End...

 (song: The End/artist: The Beatles)

Well, my last week of Brazil Butt Lift test group workouts is officially over. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't emotional during my final workout at Leandro's studio. I had a lump in my throat the second I stepped into the studio. I got a little teary during the arabesque series on the Cybex. Overwhelmed with emotion...and of course the seering pain in my ass from lifting 40 pounds of weight using the power of a single butt cheek.

Leandro told us how proud he is of us and that this test group was the hardest he's worked on a single project in years. He went through a lot of personal turmoil during the test group and he said how much it helped him to have this project so that he was focused on something positive while he sorted out the negative. He got a little choked up, which of course made me cry. I am terrible with  goodbyes, and couldn't say anything so after the workout, I discreetly left a gift behind for Leandro. A copy of a book aptly titled "Rear Ends", in which I wrote him a note of gratitude for helping me achieve goals I believed for so long, were far beyond my grasp.


Before I left, I took a minute to breathe and reflect on all that I've accomplished. Now it's time to go Alison. Take what you've learned and live your life the right way. Don't look back...

Friday was my triumphant return to the rotating turntable and the Target bikini I've been photographed in every thirty days for the last three months. God I hate that bikini! I hated it on February 15 because I was spilling out of it. I hate it today because the bottoms are a terrible cut for my newly improved bum bum. I brought the yellow bikini and told the producer that I had withheld it on day one because it looked so awful, but that I wore it proudly for the first time last weekend. She loved the story and decided to have me photographed in it as well. And then the wardrobe lady put me in an even cuter bikini because they just loved how awesome my results are. I felt fantastic! While I was on the rotisserie, the director and producer were simultaneously playing the footage of my day one turntable shoot. I heard a lot of "oh my gods" and "it's just incredible", and it made me feel so awesome to hear the accolades. My hard work is being noticed and I feel wonderful. 

My last obligation to Beachbody is the interview for the infomercial. That will happen tomorrow afternoon. I'm excited to deliver my onscreen testimonial to the effectiveness of the Butt Master's program and to see all of my final photos and results. And as soon as I have permission from Beachbody, I'll post all the picture. The before, the middle, the after. I'll give you the numbers. And I'll tell you all about my plans to maintain my body and this life. I already know that I'll be successful.

But now, it's time for bed. Because I just can't get enough Leandro in my diet, I'm going to one of his classes before my interview tomorrow. It may not be a one-on-one training session, but it's ONE MORE DAY of getting a great workout from the man that changed my body and my life. I wouldn't miss it for the world!

My god, am I sad!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The World Outside is Tugging Like a Beggar at My Sleeve

(song: Something Fine/artist: Jackson Browne)


Over the past weekend, my husband, son and I took a family roadtrip down to Richmond, VA to visit my husband's super fun cousin and her equally awesome husband. This has become an annual trip, which we plan far in advance because of everyone's hectic work schedules and because it's our official start of the summer season. 

They've got a giant yard with a pool and a hot tub and we usually spend the weekend floating around, with a (few) cold beers in hand. Well...you can imagine my dismay when I learned that the extension would extend through the first two weeks of June, thus negatively impacting my usual debauchery during the Virginia trip. And to make matters worse, I'm doing the "6-day Supermodel Slimdown" for the last week of the test group. Yep, my green & white food - 1000 calories-a-day - diet week started in Virginia. There was a nano-second when I entertained canceling the trip, but I had to be able to put all this hard work and learning to good use. This trip was my  first extended experience in "the real world".


Leandro knew I was going out of town for four days, so we talked about ways to exercise and the importance of staying focused on the clean diet. I'm pretty sure he means not to get wasted every night. So I packed my exercise wear, ankle weights, foam roller and Brazil Butt Lift DVDs and headed south for the weekend. Since my cousins-in-law are completely aware of my little booty school adventure, they were 100% supportive and accommodating. They have an elliptical machine and weights and an exercise room. No excuses Alison! So I mapped out my plan for the weekend and committed to working out every day during the visit. And workout I did! I logged one hour on Friday (after our six-hour drive I might add), one hour on Saturday, 45 minutes on Sunday and a brief ab and leg workout on Monday morning before our drive home. Not bad eh?

It was hard as hell to abstain from drinking, but I managed. The thing is, I've become so comfortable with who I am, that I no longer feel the desire to be drunk. Don't get me wrong, I miss drinking. I just don't miss drinking to excess. I used to feel like being tipsy (drunk) was the only way I could enjoy myself and/or the only way people enjoyed me. I wasn't confidant enough to just be...me. I have to tell you, I had a great time NOT drinking last weekend! I really love the people I was with, but most importantly, I really love me! Yay for personal breakthroughs! Don't get me started on how awesome it feels to wake up without a pounding headache and the morning-after bloat that accompanies the dreaded hangover. I really like feeling good! 

On Sunday, I allowed myself some "cheat time" - not a cheat DAY - and had some yummy food at the Richmond Food Festival. I didn't obsess about how much I was eating, I just enjoyed the food and the desserts and the two glasses of wine I had. It was four hours out of one weekend..and that is reality. I'm in control of my life and my choices, and I have no regrets. That's how I'll be able to live healthy and be happy.

Oh, and I totally wore a two-piece swimsuit! Back in February when I had to buy a bikini for the day-one shoot, I bought two suits. One is the suit I've been wearing in all the monthly photos, the other I refused to even bring to the shoot because I felt my my body was horrendous in it and I didn't want to risk having Beachbody choose that as my test group photo swimsuit. Well, last weekend I wore that rejected suit, and my body looked much less horrendous. Though I wish my vow to sculpt and tone my body hadn't coincided with my vow to never tan again. If my belly were any whiter, I'd glow in the dark. But I digress...

Here it is!

Did you really think I was going to reveal the new bod? Not until the 90-day photos are taken! I promise to post EVERYTHING! The before, the middle, the after...I'll give it all to you. Even though the "after" photos will NOT be the "end" photos. Both Leandro and I know that my journey doesn't end this week. The test group ends, but I still have work to do. 

I have a vision of my future body and I am on a mission. A mission to eradicate all cellulite and fat from my thighs. A mission to look like a model from the Athleta catalog.  And I will not stop until my mission is complete. And when my mission is complete, I will spend the rest of my life in the body I've worked so hard to achieve. 

Model from the Athleta catalog
Me

And because I know I can do it, I'm not totally freaked out by a weekend in Virginia, or my upcoming trip to my hometown in Georgia, or any event in life for that matter. I've already started living life outside the protective test group bubble. Of course I'm nervous, but I'm ready. I'm ready...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Final Countdown!

(song: The Final Countdown/artist: Europe)

If you're a fan of Arrested Development, you're totally picturing Gob doing his "illusions" right now...


Okay, I'm behind on my blogging so allow me to bring you up-to-speed. I started writing this post on June 1st, so humor me and pretend it's June 1 will ya?

June 1, 2011 - Wednesday with The Butt Master
There's a rumor going around that I'm obsessed. No shit! This was going to go one of two ways: either I worked my ass off and learned to live a healthier life or, I half-assed it then celebrated the end of the test group with a tall beer and a bag of pork rinds. I am so glad the former happened!

Well, I just finished my 3rd of 6 final workouts at the Butt Master's lair. OH MY GOD am I sore!! As he did at the end of the full class test group, Leandro has upped the ante and is pushing us HARD. Not only has he increased our weights and reps, our sessions are now a minimum of 90 minutes. Tuesday's session was nearly two-hours long. We start with a cardio circuit: Me on the treadmill, Marissa on the trampoline with light dumbbells, Courtney doing step-ups on the weight bench. Every 4 minutes, we switch stations until we've each done all of them. Then we do a circuit of three sets of walking lunges with 25-pound weights, squats with 25-pound weights, split squats with 25-pound weights, dead lifts with 25-pound weights. On the third set, I had to drop to 20-pound dumbbells because my forearms were throbbing and my palms were numb. After that brutal circuit, two of us go on the Cybex for inner and outer thigh work, while the third girl gets more cardio time on the treadmill. And then there's some on-the-floor with ankle weights stuff, some lunging-in-place with ankle weights, some jumping rope, squats with a medicine ball, some abs on a Bosu ball stuff...not all on the same day, but a mix of of these exercises are peppered into our three days with Leandro. And of course, I am still doing Leandro's ab DVD at home....every day.

6.2.11 - Thursday
Another 90 minutes of non-stop ass busting work! My hamstrings and inner-thighs were so sore when I woke up. I had to take ibuprofen before I got to Leandro's studio because I was practically crippled. Thirty minutes rolling my thighs and butt on the foam roller and 800mg of Motrin made it possible for me to crank out another brutal workout. After our session, Leandro sits us down to discuss our weekend homework and reiterate the importance of the next several days leading up to THE END. He tells us to try to workout twice a day because we all "need as much work as possible". He tells Marissa and Courtney to do extra cardio and tells me to really focus on sculpting. This makes me feel awesome. Really! He's been telling me to do as much cardio as possible throughout this test group, and now he's saying to focus more on the sculpting. I know he means to do both, but I also know he sees that I'm committed to cardio homework so he doesn't have to say it anymore. It's like getting to a higher level in a video game!

The last thing he tells us is that he still needs to see our bodies. I know exactly where this is going...he wants us to wear shorts. I am over the self-consciousness of working out with a bare midriff, but now I have to trade in my cute, ass-shaping, thigh-sucking Lululemon leggings for some short shorts so the Butt Master can see how much cellulite he's working with on these last few days. And so, I headed right to the sporting goods store for a new pair of shorts. What the Butt Master wants, the Butt Master gets...