May 21, 2012- Only God could have orchestrated the 48 hours I walked through including the taping of the Dr. Oz Transformation Nation Finale–I can HONESTLY say that although I didn’t win the million dollars….I WOULDN’T CHANGE ONE THING!!….This story of the finale with leave you absolutely in awe!!!!


I have been absolutely BUSTING to be able to share this story with all of you, and the world! The taping of the finale was on Friday, May 18th, and we all had to sign a confidentiality form until the show airs on Wednesday, May 23rd. Today is Monday, May21st, and it is the first chance I have gotten to be able to sit and write this entire story since being in NYC for the finale… because although it is a bit long, I don’t want to forget one single detail or moment. It has been soooo hard not being able to tell everyone following my story what happened, but for now, each time I am asked who won, etc… all I can answer is….ONLY GOD could have orchestrated this finale in such a way that, although I wasn’t the one who won the million dollars, I can honestly say that when I am able to share all about the 48 hours I walked through in NYC, I wouldn’t change one thing about all that happened!!!

At this point, I have told everyone to set their dvr’s,I’ve told them…you will see me on television, and after you all watch the show, I promise to share a story that will take your breath away, leave you in awe, you possibly cry a bit, and it will all bring you to the same place the Lord has brought me….truly knowing and believing that it was the perfect finale to the Dr. Oz Challenge.

Now THAT is pretty extraordinary being said by a woman who truly believed this entire journey that I would be the one standing next to Dr. Oz on 5/23/12 when he announced the winner of theTransformation Nation Challenge. Don’t forget, a few weeks ago, I got to stand next to him, fulling believing and telling him that I would see him again, and that I would be standing next to him on 5/23/12. (of course, back then, I didn’t know it was going to be taped on 5/18 then shown on 5/23)

Since September, I’ve worked out so hard, changed my life, and kept believing day by day, month by month that I could not only finally win my battle with weight, but truly believed that I could win the entire challenge…I got to the end and went from making it from 1.2 million people, down to 200 finalists, down to the finals, only to be cut right before they announced the final 10. That weekend was one of the hardest weekends of my life, trying to get through the disappointment, trying to understand why I wasn’t chosen, trying to understand what to do next.

I remember coming back into the house, after I had to take that very long walk, having a good long cry after watching the 10 finalists being announced…I sat down at the computer, opened the last email from the Dr. Oz show, which was an invitation to all those people who were in the challenge, who didn’t make the top ten, asking if we would like to be a part of the audience for the finale. If we did, they wanted us to send our information again. As I wrote in earlier on the blog, I wrote it all again, prayed with my husband and hit “send”.

I have to be honest with everyone, I had to really make the decision of whether or not I was going to go. It would have been easy to just decide to watch it from home. After all, it might be too hard for me to be there in the audience and not cry, since I really thought up until the weekend of the announcements, that I should have been there. And I know for sure, if the Lord hadn’t gotten me through that tough weekend, where He really brought me to the faith that the person He wanted to win was in the top 10 , that the money would change their life, they really needed it, etc. I would never have gone…..and I can tell you at this point, that I would have missed some of the most incredible blessings, and a finale for me that I hope that I can even put into words for all of you…. In fact a very close friend of mine said, and I never would have realized this unless she said it….”Wendy, do you realize that if you just stayed bitter and upset about not making it in the finals, and decided not to go and just watched it from home, you would have missed all that you got to experience?” Wow! I just stood there in amazement and thanked God, again, for softening my heart, answering my prayers and giving me such grace to be able to move forward and experience all that He orchestrated for me….

So here it goes…(hang in there… there will be some details, and you will wonder, “why is she going off on this tangent?”, but it will all come together in an amazing way…trust me….

On Thursday morning, I took the train into NYC, as I had a hair appointment at “Scott J Salon” on Columbus Ave. (had to take care of those grays, just in case I was caught on camera in the audience. I had also been praying that I would possibly be able to see the producers and publicists who were so kind to me when I went to the show a few weeks ago. I just wanted to thank them, again, for making that the most wonderful day, and I also wanted them to see how much more weight I had lost, thanks to their challenge. (I am now down 64 pounds). And, part of me was still excited that they still had my shirt, and maybe Dr. Oz could check it off with me. Just praying and hoping and dreaming.

On the train, I was reading Bob Harper’s new book, “The Skinny Rules”, and when I opened to the first page, I couldn’t believe my eyes, as I read that he wrote the book because he was inspired by Ben Ward, Olivia Ward’s (winner of The Biggest Loser) husband, who is our worship director at church. He decided to write this amazing book, all because Ben was following his tweets about what to eat, etc, and was losing weight by following Bob’s rules…so Bob took these rules that were working and created this book. I ended up emailing Ben and Olivia after coming home from NYC, just pointing out how amazing it is when the Lord uses our lives in the lives of others in such a special way.  (ok, this is a small tangent which will make sense later)

Halfway through getting my hair done, my friend, Sharon arrived from Pa. Her husband sent her in a car just for me. The driver dropped her at the salon, and I just hugged her when she walked up behind me. I hadn’t seen her in such a long time. You know that I always point out the God-incidences in my stories, and the fact that she could get away at this time was one of them. Lots of exciting things going on in the lives of her children and her husband, can’t get into the details, but it was amazing that she could get away for those 2 days, and she also pointed out to me, that it was only the second time in her entire married life that she has ever left her family! Believe me, God allowed it all to happen.

After I was “beautified”, we dropped off our bags and then went to grab lunch, walked through Central Park, down to Times Square. The weather was so beautiful, 70’s and sunny. It was around 6pm.. we thought, why not see a Broadway show?..there were only 4 people on the ticket line, we got half price tickets to a show, asked a local person to recommend a restaurant, ended up eating outside on the beautiful night, walked back to Broadway, got our seats, I went to turn off my phone for the show (as it was 5 minutes to the curtain going up….saw I had a voicemail, called to listen and heard….”Hi Wendy, this is _____ from the Dr. Oz show, we were wondering if you could come to the show early tomorrow and come back stage. We wanted to talk to you about your story and possibly have you on the show.”  Oh my goodness!!!! I was busting with excitement!  I told Sharon, then tried to call back, got her voicemail, left a message, and sat there with my head spinning. I said that I would try back during intermission, but then got nervous that it might be too late. At 2 minutes to curtain, I dialed one more time, and she answered.

She asked me if I could be at the show early the next day, explained where to go, etc. And after I hung up, my head was still spinning with what I was going to say, etc. Sharon and I were soooo excited! We enjoyed the show. I called my husband during intermission to tell him.

That night, we got in close to midnight, after ironing and getting our outfits ready, I looked over all of my notes in my binder, (I had all of my Dr. Oz and WW info with me). I also had 60 copies of packets I had originally made for friends/family with all of the info. from Dr. Oz and WW of what has been working for me on this journey, just in case I met anyone at the show who might want it. I was really looking forward to learning from other people who had been in the challenge, what really worked for them, as well as sharing with them all that has worked for me. Close to 1am, I went to bed after praying and putting the next day all in God’s hands.

Around 5am, I heard the beeping of taxis, and I decided to get up and start getting ready. By the time I was all set, Sharon got up and got ready also. We had a cup of coffee, but didn’t really have time for breakfast, because we had to get down to the show earlier than expected. Luckily I had 2 ww granola bars, we had that with our coffee and set out to find a taxi. All Sharon wanted was a big cup of coffee and something else to eat, but we had to keep going. We walked to the corner, and within seconds, got a taxi. Thank you, Lord!

We were told to go to a special entrance and find someone from the Dr. Oz show, which we did. My name was on a special list that they had, and they called someone from upstairs to come and get me. When she arrived, she took Sharon and I to a special room, where we had our pictures taken, and we were issued special ID tags that we had to wear. We were then brought up into the elevators to a main, backstage hallway where all of Dr. Oz’s people were. We were now “behind the scenes”, back stage and it was so exciting.

We walked down the hallway, and there was a table with coffee, fruit, muffins, drinks, etc., and Sharon was so excited as the woman told us that we could help ourselves. She was so happy to make her coffee, she was getting some fruit and a muffin….when all of a sudden the woman said, “oh, Sharon, I’m sorry, you’re not on the show, I didn’t realize that, you have to go back down with the audience.” OK, you had to see her face, she was so bummed. She asked if she could just take a cup of coffee, and the lovely woman,   told her to just help herself and take absolutely whatever she wanted, and she could take it all with her. (yes, thank you, Lord, for this amazing God- incidence….Sharon was never meant to come up with me, but because of that, she was able to have breakfast,(and I’ll just let you know that it is 8am….we sat down for lunch around 1:30, she would have been starving!)  As Sharon left, she had to also hand over her special ID tag…she was bummed. I knew that I would see her when I was brought down to the audience.

I was then taken over to a group of 3 women who were sitting in chairs along a wall, with a door on either side of them. I didn’t realize it yet, but the door to the right was where all of the 10 finalists were with some of their spouses, and the door to the left was the make up room for Jennifer Hudson’s WW leader, Liz. She has been on Dr. Oz’s show many times.

The 3 women and I started to share a bit about our stories, then a 4th woman joined us. One of the producers came over and explained to us that the 5 of us were chosen because of the stories we wrote when we applied for our audience tickets. (remember….the essay that I had to choose to write and decide if I really wanted to go? … the one that Warren and I prayed over before hitting “send”….this is the reason I was chosen to be a part of the show today.)

So, I’m standing in the main hallway, back stage…where all of the “behind the scenes hustle and bustle” is going on. Producers, publicists, make up artists, the top 10, other contestants with amazing stories to share…it was soooo exciting to be there! Already 2 people from the Dr. Oz staff, whom I had met last time, came right up to me and said, “Hi Wendy, so nice to see you, you look great!” I couldn’t believe they really remembered me. Again, his staff made me feel so special!

We continued to share stories with one another….one woman reached lifetime membership at WW at her final weigh in, one woman lost 62 pounds and ran her first 5k, one woman was 51 years old and just adopted 5 year old twins and lost weight and found the hope she needed to get healthy and be there for them, a woman sitting across the hall lost 100 pounds after being humiliated at a bridal dress shop, another woman lost 91 pounds after hitting rock bottom when she couldn’t click the seatbelt closed on an airplane and the attendant proceeded to yell across the plane that she needed an extender. She actually cried the entire flight, and took the extender off the plane with her to use as her “anchor”, to remind her that that was never going to happen to her again.

In between sharing, the producers came over to us a few times to go over what we were going to say to Dr. Oz on the show. The things that we were sharing came from our letters that we had sent in. While rehearsing, I was suppose to be number three in the order. As we got closer to the show, they changed the order, and I was now going to be the first one to speak! Very exciting, but I was very nervous. I just kept praying to say and do the right thing.

At one point, we were all talking about how amazing the WW plan is, and how it has changed our lives. A few of the women were really dreaming about one day being leaders at WW. Someone also, then, stated that they though WW had been the diet plan that has been around the longest. I had just grabbed my folder of the packets I made to share with the girls, one packet was all wise sayings and tidbits of knowledge that my WW leader, Elyse, has shared since the first day I walked in. The other packet was all the info I put together from Dr. Oz and WW. I was handing it out to the women there, when Liz, (Jennifer Hudson’s WW leader) peaked out from the one door next to us and said, “actually WW has been around over 50 years.”  I was so surprised to see her, as I have only seen her on tv. I smiled and said hi, and told her that my WW leader was able to be at the show also, and asked if she knew Elyse….and with that, she then said, “oh,.. you’re Wendy Trunz!” …..OK, take a breath with me here…Jennifer Hudson’s leader, Liz….Liz the WW leader on the Dr. Oz show knows who I AM!!?? The chills went down to my fingers and down to my toes. She explained that Elyse had been sending all of my emails and stories where I had been sharing parts of my blog and my journey and amazing successes….to her. She had been following some of my story. HOW AMAZING IS THAT??!!!

Elyse, my WW leader

With my folder in my hand, I asked if she wanted a copy of all of Elyse’s WW sayings and wisdom, along with my other packet. She said, yes, and took them. Unbelievable! She then went back in to finish her make up and get ready. Wow! That was an amazing moment.

We were still all sharing, and I was just thinking that there are still two more people I would really love to see…the two publicists who listened to so much of my story last time, one of them was the man who really took care of me, held my bag while I talked to Dr. Oz last time, and then they both continue to talk with me as they walked me out of the studio and down the hall last time I was here and had that incredible day.

I was about to ask one of the producers if they were here today, and as I turned to the right,  I actually saw him coming down the hall. I was so excited, I couldn’t believe God’s timing…again. I stepped out and said hi ____ and hugged him. Before I could remind him of my name, he was already smiling, said, “Hi Wendy”, told me how great I looked, and then proceeded to say that he was so sorry that he couldn’t write back to me at all, as it would have interfered with the contest, and he knew how far I was making it, and didn’t want anything to ruin that. I told him that I was just happy to have been able to send him my notes of thanks for making that first day so incredible. But it was really neat to know that he wanted to write back. It was so nice to see him. He was headed to the room with the top 10 to check on them. He really has such a gift of taking care of people and making them feel really special.

At that point, many of the top 10 were hanging out in the hall with us. I wanted to take the opportunity to learn from as many of them as I could. First, I talked to Mike (the man who was losing weight in order to be able to give his wife who had lupus, his kidney). He was talking about how great the ww program was. He talked about how he had lost and gained weight his entire life, he said to all of us…we are all really great at riding that roller coaster, going up and down in our lives, but now this time it is different. We have learned so much, and we are not going to go back. He was also really honest in saying, everyone has to find their own internal switch to turn on, his was originally turned on in order to save his wife. He had to get his body healthy in order to be able to give her his kidney, as he was a match. Eventually, though, he started to feel so much better, he looked younger, felt stronger and more fit, and realized how amazing it was to get his life back, his switch was now turned on for him also. He was very inspiring to listen to, so sweet and so genuine. He was also, as a teacher, inspiring his students, as they watched him transform his life.

Then, I saw Karl, the teacher who lost 88 pounds. I wanted to find out how he lost so much weight in that amount of time. I asked him if he did it completely following the ww program. He said “yes, but thanks to my wife, every single day, 7 days a week, she watched the kids so that I could go down the basement right after work and work out. I did the bike and then weights( because doing weights makes your body burn and boosts your metabolism for much longer), alternating upper and lower body workout, and watched the Dr Oz show she taped for me, just in case I had to know something from the show for the challenge. Then when I was finished, she would have a healthy dinner waiting for me. I couldn’t have done this without her.”  His wife was standing by me. She was the nicest woman, ever. So sweet. She was a bit discouraged with her weight, and just hadn’t found the will to do this for herself, yet. I was able to talk with her for a while, share some of what I found helpful, also gave her my packets and card. It was so nice to meet her.

I also got the chance to ask her what they did to rally votes for the last week. That was something that, at times, kept me awake worrying about. I thought about how I would make up posters, get the word out, etc. When I asked her, she explained how they both had to keep working, and life is busy…she went to the library to vote on those computers, depended on all of the kids at school facebooking, tweeting, etc., she said she did her best and left it up to America to vote.

Slowly, different finalists were being called to make up, and then we were told that we were going to make up, to be touched up since we would be on camera. We were taken to another section of the hall to a professional make up room….big lights around a wall of mirrors, loads of make up boxes all opened, 2 people being made up at a time. I was sitting in the chair wondering about all of the famous people who had sat in the chair I was in. I wanted to take a picture so badly (no cameras allowed at all), It was another very surreal “moment”.

After my make up was done, a few of us were then brought down to the show. We walked back down the hall, as we got closer, to the door at the end, I could hear the warm up guy getting the audience excited. Last time I was at the show, I ended up sitting in the second row, end seat, and I couldn’t believe that God had placed me in that seat. A few times before this show, I just prayed for a good seat, not ever imagining it could top where I sat last time….but then again, just know that when I sit down in my seat today….. I’m reminded again of whose hands I am in…(take a breath….)

The doors opened, and we walked across the set. I looked all over for Sharon and Elyse as I walked across the main floor. When I looked over to the audience to the right, I noticed a woman standing up and waving. It was Gwyn, a woman I met through my blog who was also in the challenge, who came to NYC from Illinois, for her first time ever, to come to the show, as well as see NYC. We have been emailing back and forth throughout the challenge, keeping up with each other’s blogs and stories,  and I would finally be meeting her after the show for lunch.

I then looked to the left and saw Sharon a few rows back, still following the person who was taking me to my seat. When we stopped, I looked down, as he was reaching to pull the tape off, that was holding 3 seats all in a row…..all in the VERY FRONT ROW!!
There were 3 names written across the tape…”Heidi, Wendy, and Jodi.” He ripped the tape… And…. I was sitting in the second seat from the end, first row on the floor! I turned back and looked at Sharon, mouthing, “can you believe this?”

I kept fixing myself, deciding how to sit, as I was going to be right behind Dr. Oz for most of the show, and I also knew that he was going to come over to me, first thing in the show, as I was going to be the first one to speak…yes, the nerves were definitely kicking in, and I had dry mouth.

We were all given paddles with our total weight loss during the challenge. Although mine should have said 47, they gave me one that said 51, (that was ok, since I knew I was 64 pounds down at that point. I just had to remember to use that number when I spoke to Dr. Oz). Heidi sat down next to me. She had a paddle that said 100. She was the girl I met upstairs who was humiliated at the bridal store. I talked to her for a bit while we sat there. A small blonde woman sat on the other side of me, but I didn’t notice a paddle.

The warm up of the audience continued, my head was spinning with what I was suppose to say, praying not to mess up. The stage manager was pointing to me, telling Dr. Oz that he was to go over to me first. I smiled at him, and all that I was thinking was that I just wanted to get up, give him a hug, thank him for saving my life, and ask him if he remembered that I told him that I would be standing next to him on this day! It was a full circle moment for me….But I was only given a few seconds to speak, and we went over what I was allowed to say. I did, however, ask the producer if I could thank him for saving my life, and she said yes.

The show was starting to tape, they counted down…5, 4, 3, 2, 1…we were all bursting with applause, and the show began. After showing a tape, Dr. Oz walked over to me and I stood up. I’m not sure what he asked me, but I proceeded to thank him for saving my life, and the lives of everyone in that audience, and I told him that thanks to all of the knowledge and wisdom he shared, along with all that I learned at ww, in fact my ww leader was able to be there to celebrate with me (another part of my dream come true), I wanted to let him know that it’s ALL that he said it would be!

Again, it was such a surreal moment, such a blur, as there was so much I wanted to share with him. I wish I could just have dinner with him and Lisa, his wife, and just share my journey so far with them. Anyway, I’m hoping I sound ok when I watch it on Wed. It all feels like a dream in slow motion as it is taking place.

So, I sat back down, and he went to a few other people in the audience. Then, each time when they stopped taping, we could talk a bit to the people next to us. Heidi was called up for her segment, and after sharing her story, Mrs. Obama’s dress guy came out and surprised her, promising he will find her a dress for the next wedding she has to be in, in September. He was so nice. Then, each of the 10 finalists shared a segment about something that had really made a difference in their weight loss. The taping took a long time, but it was all so exciting, and I just kept wanting to pinch myself sitting in that front row. Little did I know what was in store for me…..

There were only a few segments left, and I turned to the other woman without the paddle, who had switched seats with Heidi, and she was now on my right, sitting on the aisle.When taping paused again, I asked her how much weight she had lost, and she said, “I didn’t lose any weight, my husband is in the top 10.” With that… my body went into a bit of a stunned state, I felt tears start to well up in my eyes, and I said, “oh my gosh, you’re the woman who needs a kidney”….I was sitting right next to Mike’s wife. I just started to say in my mind, as I was awestruck… “God, really? You placed me right next to her?”

I told her that I voted for her husband. Then I asked her, “When do you have to have your surgery?” and she explained that it wasn’t scheduled yet. She was in stage 3 and you don’t have to have surgery until stage 5. Either way, Mike had to keep getting healthy in case anything happened at any time. She then continued to tell me that she can no longer pay a co-pay, all of her deductibles are over, and all of their money is going to medical bills. She said,”if we win this money….it will change our lives.” (OK everyone reading this, stop and catch your breath…you DO remember why the Lord told me I am not up there?)

At this point, we are told to be quiet, again as they are taping. I sat there and the Lord was putting it on my heart…”tell her your story, let her know, you were told that they are going to win. Do it BEFORE they announce the winner.”

I was hoping they would take a break again, and due to some “technical difficulties”, I was able to have just long enough to share with her. I put my hand on her knee and I asked her if she had any kind of faith, if she believed in God, and she told me that she did. I told her that I needed to share my story with her. I didn’t know how much time I would have, so I told her quickly…. I told her that I was in the challenge and I honestly believed that I would be up there winning the million dollars, and that I got to look Dr. Oz in the eyes and tell him that, just weeks ago. I told her that I made it all the way to the end, and was cut on Friday, before the top 10 were announced on Monday. I told her how I took a long walk through my town, down to the water and cried and pleaded with God to give me an answer as to why, and I got to tell her that He told me that the person who was going to win really needed the money for medical bills and that winning would change their lives. (it was the exact thing that she just said to me). I then said, “you’re going to win. Do you realize you’re going to win the money?” She wasn’t sure, and the waiting at this point was so surreal for her.

Then she told me that today, nobody realizes it, “but today is National Lupus Day.” Then she said something like, “it seems like all the stars are aligned.” I told her, “if you get up there, you have to tell everyone that it’s National Lupus Day.   I then saw them place the big cardboard million dollar check, wrapped in a black cloth on the wall to the left of where we were sitting. I pointed to it, and said to her, “there’s your check. You guys are going to win.”

I still couldn’t believe that the Lord placed me in the seat right next to her, allowed me to hear a bit of her story, which included exactly what he told me in my heart the day I cried and pleaded for an answer walking down by the water. And, I was able to share a bit of my story with her….and there we were waiting for, which seemed like a long time for them to announce the winner. But the “glitch” they were having was just long enough for me to share with her…and there we were on “National Lupus Day”, sitting next to the wife of one of the top 10 finalists who lost weight in order to give his wife his kidney….there we were, about to find out who the winner was.

They were finally ready. Dr. Oz had the envelope in his hand. All 10 finalists were holding hands, standing in each of their “truth tubes”. Jodi and I could see right between 2 big cameras, and we were both staring right at her husband, Mike. Dr. Oz opened the envelope and announced, “The winner of the Transformation Nation Challenge is…..Mike!” ….I threw my arms around his wife, Jodi, and just cried. I couldn’t believe all that had just happened. I just cried and hugged her and said, “I’m so happy for you, It’s all exactly how it is suppose to be, I told you that you would win, congratulations.” Then I let go, and we watched Mike cry and accept the check with an amazing speech. As he spoke, I just cried and thanked God for the perfect ending. I whispered out loud, through the tears, while clapping like crazy, “it’s all OK with me, thank you”. One of the cameras turned toward us, to capture the reaction of Jodi, I leaned away, as I didn’t want to be crying so hard on camera. Eventually they motioned for her to come on stage with her husband.

Standing next to her husband, she then gave the most beautiful speech. She said, “this money is not going to buy us a bigger house or fancy clothes or go toward vacations. This money is going to pay for all of our medical bills, and I thank you, America for voting for us, this money will change our lives.” I just stood there in awe of all that was happening, thanking and praising God….standing there at that point, being able to honestly say….I wouldn’t change one thing, it was all as it should have been. ONLY GOD could have orchestrated all of this, and once again I was blessed to be a part of it. Tears poured down my cheeks, goosebumps were all over my arms, chills in my body, and I was FILLED with the most beautiful peace and joy that passes all understanding!….

The audience was ushered out, I asked one of the women on staff if I could wait and have Dr. Oz check off my shirt that they still had. She said, “let’s see what we can do”, and she took me back stage to wait. I was able to thank everyone back there for an amazing day, and shortly after that, they realized that Dr. Oz was swamped with pictures of the winners, etc. And they offered to either give me my shirt there, or they would have him sign it, and then send it to me. So, I told them that I would love it if he could sign it and mail it to me.

I was sent down a special elevator… met Sharon, Elyse, 2 of Elyse’s friends, and Gwyn.  We all enjoyed lunch together. It was great to share about the day and get to know one another better. What a special day it was to experience together.

After lunch, we all parted, Sharon and I decided to walk back to where we were staying. It was about 18 blocks, but it was a beautiful sunny day, temp in the high 70’s, and we had so much to talk about, I couldn’t wait to tell her everything!!  By the time we were walking through Columbus Circle, Sharon looked around and said, “I feel like we are in Disney World!” Everything was so beautiful. It was getting hot, she took off her jacket and was wearing a black tank top. I looked over and said, “someday, I’m going to walk around in a sleeveless tank top and feel great!” She said, “do you know anyone in the city right now?” I said, “no”. Then she said, “stop and just take your blazer off and walk all the way there. It will be another “first”, just do it.”  So I did. I had a Nike fitted tank top on, and I walked the rest of the way feeling the breeze, feeling the freedom of wearing just a tank top, and it was an amazing way to end the day!

We packed up, the car was waiting for Sharon, and they dropped me at the Subway. As I rode on the subway, with a smile that just remained on my face as I just kept going over in my mind all that had occurred in the last 2 days, I was just praying, thanking God for every single moment that I had experienced. I couldn’t wait to go home and share it all with my husband, and I couldn’t wait to sit and write in my journal and try to put into words all that I had experienced and all that had happened, so that I could share it with all of you.

As I thought about that, I was brought back to the very beginning, where I was reading Bob Harper’s book on the train the day before, and the Lord put it on my heart, “Wendy, your journal and your blog is going to become a book. The finale is over, but your journey is not. You are halfway there. You were worried about what you would possibly continue writing about and sharing….and I just had you experience the greatest finale story to continue with. You know that only I could have orchestrated what you just walked through from beginning to end.  I told you that you would touch lives and inspire people even more by not winning. Your story and your journey is far from over. You have a lot more to write about this challenge, about this journey until you reach your goal weight, (which will probably be sometime around Thanksgiving). You have to keep writing and taking pictures and documenting the whole thing, and put it all together and share it with the world.”

I walked, then got on the train, and pondered and thought about so many things, so excited to figure out how to continue all of this, and work towards creating the book.  My friend, who came up with my blog name, actually came up with the title of the book…. but you will have to wait for that….

For now, I will keep going and keep writing, and I hold onto the 2 promises that I held onto when I was devastated finding out that I hadn’t made the top 10…..”He works ALL things together for good for those who love Him”,  and “He promises to do ABUNDANTLY MORE than we can ever ask or imagine.”  Clearly, this finale, and these 2 days are a great testimony to His promises. I can’t wait to see what the future holds, and I will continue to share it as it unfolds.

Many times we watch finales, and we just get to experience and process what we see on tv, I hope you enjoyed watching the Dr. Oz Transformation Nation Finale, and really hope that by hearing my “behind the scenes story” you could see that it was absolutely the perfect ending and finale, not only for Mike and Jodi, but for me also. I never would have imagined that I could be at a place where I didn’t win the challenge, didn’t win the million dollars, and could tell you honestly… is exactly how it is suppose to be, I wouldn’t change a thing….Only God could have orchestrated it all!

Thank you, again, for all of your encouragement, support, prayers and love. You have all been such a huge part of this journey which I have been so blessed to walk through….and it’s not over yet!
….To be continued…..

May 15- I Will be at Dr. Oz’s Transformation Nation Challenge Finale on Friday…Very Excited!!

This Friday I will be at the taping of the Transformation Nation Finale! Those who were in the challenge were sent an email to see if we would like to be in the audience for the finale. I’m really excited to be able to go and be a part of it. I forwarded the info to my friend, Sharon, who also signed up when I began, and she was able to get a ticket also. So we are really excited to be going together. I am waiting to see if Meg, my workout buddy, who has been working out with me 5 days a week for this challenge, is able to get a ticket. They will let me know soon. Meanwhile, my famous Weight Watchers leader, Elyse, was able to get a VIP ticket to be there.

I had been telling Elyse since the beginning of the challenge, each time I weighed in at WW…. to get her beautiful red dress and be ready to be standing next to me when I win the entire challenge at the end….Well, I won’t be standing next to Dr. Oz winning the million, but she will be with me at the show to celebrate all that I have accomplished. That’s a dream come true! She was actually on the show when Dr. Oz announced the challenge, so it’s really great that she will be at the finale.

I’m excited to be in a room filled with people who have changed their lives. I can’t wait to talk to them and learn from all of their knowledge and wisdom while I am there. When I was confirmed for the audience, we were asked to send in our stories and before and after pictures, again. We were asked to write about why we joined, how our lives have changed, and if we inspired family or friends. I shared some of my story with them, again,  I forwarded the letter of thanks that I shared with all of you, and I also asked if Dr. Oz would possibly check off my shirt that they still have.

I re-read over the letter, had Warren check it over, we prayed and then hit “send”. The last time I went to the Dr. Oz show, it was a day filled with the most amazing “God-incidences”…I have replayed that day over in my mind many times. Now, I am looking forward to Friday, when I get to go back and be a part of the celebration.

So, I’m hoping that I will have some great stories to share with all of you when I get home from the show. Although I won’t be next to Dr. Oz when the confetti falls…I will be in the audience with friends and my amazing ww leader who literally brought me to this place through all that she has taught me! Soooo excited!!!!

Monday, May 7, 2012-Although I did not make the final 10 of Dr. Oz’s Transformation Nation Challenge, my journey is not over!…

This morning was a new day, a new week, and I knew that I had to get up and head to the gym. There is still so much going through my mind, and yes, my face is blotchy from the occasional tears which still sneak down my cheeks, but what I know for sure is that my journey is NOT over! On Saturday I reached 63.4 pounds! I am half way there. I really wanted to hit that mark, and pictured myself standing next to Dr. Oz, inspiring others, because although I had achieved so much already, I was half way there, and knew that I was in it to finish it. That part has not changed…I am in it to finish it.

Today, I am walking through a few more tough moments, as I’m sure many others are, who didn’t make it to the final 10. One of the hardest parts of finding out you didn’t make it, is telling everyone, everywhere you go, that you didn’t make it. This has been extremely hard for me, as the people at the gym, my church, my local Starbuck’s, local stores, friends, family,  even strangers whom I have given my blog card to…everyone has rallied around me and has been waiting to find out when and how to vote for me.

So, now all of us who have made it this far, only to find out this weekend that we didn’t make it to the final 10, everywhere we go, we need to let people know that the challenge is over for us, we didn’t make it.

Yesterday at church, I let more people who hadn’t read my blog yet know…and they all comforted and encouraged me…this morning I got up and headed to the gym. It was the second hardest time walking through those doors for me (the first time was months ago when I decided to try the gym, filled with intimidation)…now, I stopped for a moment in the parking lot with Meg, and had to get the tears to stop before walking into the gym to tell “my gym family” that I didn’t make it.  I brought a copy of what I wrote on the blog and left it for everyone who works there to read. And, of course, just like my family and friends, they all continued to encourage me. It’s still not easy, though.

During the tough workout, I continued to just pray for the Lord to give me strength, and to remind me that my journey is not over, and He hasn’t left me on it, either. From there, we went to Starbucks to let everyone else know there, as they were also excited to put posters up and have everyone vote for me. I left my story for them to read there.

This afternoon, I will sit and watch the Dr. Oz show as he announces the final 10, and although I know it won’t be easy, I am excited to see other lives that were transformed. I will have a box of tissues ready, and I’ll get through it surrounded by friends and family. I also sent in my information to the show, as they asked if anyone in the challenge who made it would like to be in the audience, so I hope I get to go and be a part of that show.

So, as I walk though this day, I still hold onto the fact that this journey is not over for me, I am halfway there for weight loss. I am excited to continue to push myself to do things I have never dreamed of. I hold onto all of the Lord’s promises to get me through, especially…He works all things together for my good….and promises to do abundantly more than I could ever ask for or imagine! So after praying for months,  to be standing next to Dr. Oz, winning the million dollars…if He hasn’t chosen that path for me, I’m holding on and having faith that this journey that is not over yet is going to be even more amazing than that.

So, although it’s been sooooo hard to get through these last 3 days, I’ve been sooo blessed walking through this miraculous journey so far….and  excited to see where this all leads. And through it all, I am so grateful for how my life has been transformed.

On Saturday, it was really placed on my heart to send a note to thank everyone who created this challenge, because win or lose, it truly transformed my life. And since you have all walked through this with me, I wanted to share it with you, also…

Dear Dr. Oz Team, WW Team and Sharecare Team,

Win or lose, I had to write to thank you for creating a challenge that truly transformed my life inside and out! Although I just got the email yesterday that I didn’t make it to the final 10, I knew I had to write this letter to all of you.

This journey, since you launched it 7 months ago, has been a journey of transformation, inspiration and many miracles. I actually got to stand with Dr. Oz a few weeks ago and tell him that I truly believed that I would be the one standing next to him when he announced the winner of the challenge.

Since September, when I put the “just 10” bracelet on, lost 10 pounds, and then sat on the edge of the sofa when Dr. Oz announced the challenge, believing for the first time that I could win the battle with weight….I am 63.4 pounds down as of weighing in at ww this morning, all of my doctor’s numbers are in the optimal and perfect range. My doctor actually told me how proud she was of me when I went for the physical when I made it into the final 200 winners….she said at that visit that I had “the heart rate and blood pressure of an athlete!” It was a huge moment for me.

As an overweight woman who was afraid to walk through the doors of a gym, I now do things I never dreamed of…cardio blast, zumba, circuit training, spinning, weight training, rowing….and during this challenge the owner of the gym tagged my blog about the challenge on the facebook of the gym, and also put my picture up on the walls of the gym to inspire others. This journey has been beyond words. Learning in this journey that an overweight woman could inspire others now, before getting to my goal weight (which is still another 63 pounds away), that has been incredible.

I also was able to learn and take in something that I couldn’t take in for over 30 years…the fact that I am beautiful and was beautiful 63.4 pounds ago. That is something that I wished I could have shared with all of the women in america, when I pictured myself as the winner of the entire challenge. I just want every woman to really and truly believe that she is beautiful right now, as she is.

Weight Watchers, along with everything I have learned keeping my Dr. Oz notebook when I watch the show everyday, along with all of the knowledge sharecare has been sending….it has ALL finally come together, in order for me to make one small choice at a time, one small change at a time…which has me on the amazing road to victory over the battle with weight and changing my life for a long healthy life ahead.

It was impressed on my heart early on, to keep a journal, which turned into a blog where hundreds of people have been following me on this journey. ( In fact today, when I put the last blog up, where I had to let everyone know that I didn’t make it to the final 10, as I write this, the most amazing emails of encouragement are filling my mailbox, facebook and blog page. Right now, they are all getting me through the really tough reality that I didn’t make the next cut.

I don’t know what this journey is going to lead to. I have felt, since the beginning that it will lead beyond the actual challenge. Although, as I told some people at the show, along with Dr. Oz….I honestly and truly believed that I would be the one standing next to him on 5/23/12.

Do you know when people tell you all about a restaurant or a vacation that they went on…they tell you where to stay, exactly what to order, what excursions to take, what do do exactly….and they can’t wait until you return and tell them, “it’s all that you said it would be!”…..well that is what you all did for me….you gave me all of the information, knowledge and wisdom, told me which choices to make and how…..and I am here to tell you, even though I am exactly half way there……IT’S ALL THAT YOU SAID IT WOULD BE!!!!

I am in a size I have not been in for over 25 years, I have the heart rate and blood pressure of an athlete, my body is able to do things that I never even dreamed of, and now with each challenge met, I add another one…because I truly believe that I can do it.

So, thank you all, for your commitment to transforming lives. You created a challenge and equipped me with everything I needed to be successful and make changes that will last a lifetime. I have gone from pity and feeling deprived of what I can’t have….to feeling fully empowered by what I can have. Each good choice, each piece of wisdom and knowledge has all come together for such a time as this!….and I am so grateful.

This journey at times has left me in awe, left me in tears of joy, and left me absolutely breathless as I have walked through it. I know, although I am still stunned and tears are still running down my face all weekend after finding out that I did not make the final 10, this journey is not over for me. And it has just been impressed all morning on my heart that, win or lose…I HAD to thank all of you for changing my life, and the lives of so many people who came alongside me to cheer me on and learn what I learned from all of you. I will continue to share it all with the world. I am living testimony that miracles still happen!
Many thanks,
Wendy Trunz

May 4, 2012- Just received the toughest email throughout this entire challenge….I didn’t make the final 10 in the Dr. Oz Transformation Nation Challenge…

Thank you for your participation in the Dr. Oz Transformation Nation: Million Dollar You Contest. Sharecare considered all entries in accordance with the Official Rules. All participants selected for the next round of judging have been notified.  If you have not been notified, you did not advance to the final round of the contest.

The Dr. Oz and Sharecare Team would like to congratulate you for making positive changes to improve your health and hope you continue your transformation.

Best Regards,

Dr. Oz and Sharecare Team

As I was writing about the rest of the week in my journal, this email popped up from the Dr. Oz and sharecare team. I read it over about 3 times, broke out in a sweat and waited for my husband to get back from an errand. I didn’t even know how to take it in. When he walked in, I pointed at the screen, and then after he read it, I fell into his arms and he held me as I cried my eyes out. I just couldn’t believe that this challenge was over for me. It just didn’t, and doesn’t make sense. How could this entire miraculous journey end today, when the voting starts on Monday? I never imagined that I wouldn’t make it to the top 10, everything that the Lord has been doing has been increasing my faith that I would actually be the one standing next to Dr. Oz in the end.

I forwarded the email to my ww instructor, Elyse, and then also called the woman who interviewed me, and the publicist who spoke to me at the show. I left messages asking if it was truly over. I also sent a few emails to ask if It was really over for me. Part of me keeps thinking it has to be a mistake, it just doesn’t make sense.

I went upstairs on my bed to just cry and pray and try to make sense of all of this. I keep hoping that I am dreaming, but I’m not. After talking to Elyse for a bit on the phone, I cried for a bit more on while my husband just held me, and then he prayed over me, I threw on my sneakers and went for a long walk, with big dark sunglasses on, so that I could just have a really good cry and a long walk and talk with the Lord.

I walked and talked and prayed and cried all the way down to the town dock, then I sat on the dock, in the exact spot that Warren and I sat when I was around 18, and I was giving him a montage of pictures of us all framed for him to take to college, as we were about to be apart for a long time. Then the Lord had me remember all of that, all of the fears at that time, and here I am sitting there almost 30 years later, married to him…reminded that God works ALL things together for our good.

As I sat there for a long time pleading with him to show me the purpose of all of this, I kept singing that worship song, “He makes all things work together for our good”.  The tears continued, and I had to just keep holding onto all that He has done in my life. The hardest part right now is trying to understand why it is all ending here with the challenge. Every miracle and every spectacular moment that has happened in this journey has all had me believing that I would definitely make it to where I would be asking everyone to vote and bring me through to the finish line. So many people have joined me in this journey, and I was so excited to continue to share it all with everyone, and just continue to glorify God and stand next to Dr. Oz proclaiming that God truly is all that He says He is and can do all that He says He can do.

So, as I walked and cried and cried and walked, I had to hold onto all of His promises, and I kept asking Him to give me the words and the reason that all of this is happening. I don’t know how to call and email and facebook everyone and just say, “it’s over.”  Because, in my heart, I just don’t believe it is.

As I kept walking, it was impressed on my heart to go home now and write the hard stuff, write about this really tough afternoon that I am walking through. I don’t know how to do this right now, so I just keep asking for His words and His strength to get me through, and to help me stop crying (as I have to go to a big fundraising dinner for YFC tonight, and I don’t want to go with a red blotchy face).

As I came to the last part of the walk, I held onto 2 promises….He promises to work all thing together for my good, so I have to trust in that….and the other promise He brought to my mind is….” I will do ABUNDANTLY MORE than you can ever ask or imagine.”  Wow. I know that I have prayed many times to win this challenge, and be the one standing next to Dr. Oz on 5/23/12, and as of today, that doesn’t seem like it is going to happen. Yes, I am crushed, and the tears keep coming, but there is something in my spirit that says, this is not over yet.

When my husband held me crying, he felt the same thing. Our feelings and emotions are crushed right now. Lots of tears, some anger, lots of confusion….but my faith in an awesome God does not change. I’m not sure what is ahead, but if I prayed to win Dr. Oz’s Transformation Nation Challenge….and God promises to do abundantly more than I could ever ask or imagine….then in faith, I have to wait and see what is ahead. Faith means having a confident expectation in God…..and so I’m praying for Him to equip me with that faith, and looking forward to see what He is going to do with all of this. Not easy…. even as I write this my face is blotchy, I have a headache from crying, but I also have that crazy peace that passes all understanding that He is working on something. And I can’t wait to be able to share it with everyone when it happens…

So, on the hardest day of this challenge, receiving this really tough email….please lift me up in your prayers…please pray for an increase in faith and for the Lord to reveal His plan to me.   Thanks, Wendy

Saturday, May 5 2012- Going to WW to weigh in and share the news that I did not make the final 10….It’s a REALLY tough morning….

Last night I fell asleep in my husbands arms crying and just praying to make sense of all of this, wondering also, in my head…how am I going to make it through telling everyone at ww tomorrow? On one hand, I can’t wait to get there to see how I have done for the past 2 weeks, I also really miss everyone there, and I know that everyone there will help me through this tough time, and continue to be on this weight loss journey with me as we all battle it together. On the other hand, I keep picturing myself walking down that long hallway, trying to keep it all together as I share the news, but I know above all, the Lord hasn’t left me, and will walk down that hallway with me, and give me the words to get through it. Still trusting. Last night I read…Blessed in He who trusts in the Lord…still trusting.

I woke up this morning, although trusting, the tears keep rolling down my cheeks. Hopped in the shower to try to get rid of some of the blotchiness, put on make up (knowing it’s going to get messed up, but trying), and this morning checked the email hoping maybe it was a mistake and someone sent an update. Didn’t happen, but this was the email that came up from my mother in law, as she sends everyone a scripture every day….

Dear Precious Ones,  “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.   But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33   Jesus has overcome the world, so lets trust Him and have that peace which is there for each of us who know our Lord and Lord and Savior.   This is a decision to trust Him, knowing He doesn’t lie.  Love to each of you, Mom/Nana/Gail

This was perfect timing for this morning….trying to hold onto peace, and taking heart knowing that He has overcome the world. And the big “aha” that I am holding onto all morning is that, “He doesn’t lie”.  All that has happened up until this point, all of the God-incidences, all of the miracles that have happened are still all true.

Steven Curtis Chapman spoke at a women’s event shortly after his daughter had died and he shared with us, that at this darkest time in his life, he needed to hold onto every song he had written, every scripture he had read, every Bible story he had learned, everything that He knew about God……and He had to make a big decision…..Either it’s all true…or none of it is true……and He decided to choose that it’s all true…and that’s what I had to decide yesterday, in the midst of this crushing news for me….I have to hold onto the fact that His words and His promises are all true. He does not lie, that would go against his very character…and I just have to keep trusting. Sounds so easy….but it’s soooo hard to do right now, when every part of me just keeps saying, the fact that I didn’t make the final 10 just doesn’t make sense.

(In Esther, we learned about acrostics….something tells me that He is going to do this in this situation…???)

So, I’m heading to ww, holding onto his promises, and literally his hand as I make that walk down the hallway to the scale. To God be the Glory!

(Lost another 4.4 pounds this week….total now 63.4!)

STILL Haven’t Heard Any News from the Dr. Oz Show Yet…But the story continues as I wait and walk through the journey…..

Friday, April 27, 2012- The Night of my 30 Year Reunion and The Psychological Evaluation for Dr. Oz show.

I’m sitting here, with hot rollers in my hair, waiting to go to my 30 year High School reunion. Still haven’t heard from the Dr. Oz show, but each time I have the urge to google or search if there is anyone who has heard anything, the Lord just tells me to wait and trust…be still and know that He is God, and He is working on it.

On Monday, I had to go to the JFK Hilton and have a psychological evaluation done for the next step of the challenge. I was all dressed and ready to leave, and the woman who was doing the evaluation called to let me know that her plane was delayed. We rescheduled for later that afternoon, so I took the time to run over and pick up all of my paperwork from my doctor, with the results of my blood work, etc. When I entered the office, my doctor happened to be out front, and she said that all of the blood work came out great. All of my numbers improved even more. My triglycerides came down 67 points! The whole office was really excited for me. Again, what a great feeling to have your doctor say she is really proud of you.

For years, many times I would postpone my appointment thinking, “I’ll wait until I lose some weight, so I don’t get in trouble for the number on the scale.” I know that sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. Whether it’s my primary doctor or the obgyn, I’m always embarrassed to step on the scale when I go there. But I do know that not going, because of weight is not the right thing to do, especially when it is so important to get all the regular tests done and catch anything that is wrong, in the early stages, especially any types of cancer.  My number is still not one that I am proud of yet, but it is going in the right direction.

One really important thing that I did learn about all of my numbers, is that they were never terrible. My doctor pointed out, before I left, that because I have always been active and athletic, playing tennis, paddle, etc….even 61 pounds ago my numbers were not in a dangerous range. So, it goes to show how important it is to move a little at any weight and size. That was something that I had never thought about before.

I brought all of the paperwork home, picked up lunch for my husband and I, and for the woman doing my evaluation, figuring with her plane delay, she probably wouldn’t have eaten, and the instructions said that the test could take 3-4 hours.

I emailed everyone to pray for me that day, and by the time I left, my mailbox was FILLED with scriptures and special words of encouragement. One of my close friends, who has such an amazing gift of prayer, actually called me from her job to pray with me on the phone. It was absolutely beautiful!

My husband drove me to the meeting, I’m so glad that it was his day off, and that he could be with me, as I had no idea what to expect.  As I sat in the lobby and waited and prayed, (because the nerves were definitely beginning to kick in), the Lord had me start remembering all that He had done so far, and my fear actually left, and I actually became excited to meet the woman that the Lord hand picked for me to have this evaluation with. This is what I wrote as I sat in the lobby waiting…

“Sitting here praying the Lord will give me the right words–His words, not mine. HE KNOWS! Resting in His mighty power and loving hands. Just thinking about all of the “God-incidences” throughout this entire journey, which have led me to tears, taken my breath away and left me in awe–which gives me renewed hope and joy and faith sitting here in the lobby of the JFK Hilton–that I just need to enjoy every single moment that He is blessing me with–surrendering the fear and anxiety, and excited to see what will happen next. I can’t wait to share the testimony of this meeting with everyone when it is over–knowing He will be glorified in the conversation. Excited to meet the woman who has been hand picked by God to meet with me for the evaluation in just a few moments.” (written in the lobby, Monday, April 23)

Well, I can share with everyone now that it is over, that she was so nice. She had such a wonderful way of putting me at ease, and she got me started in right away. She handed me a test booklet of, I think, over 400 true/false questions, and I proceeded to work through the test, until she came over about half way through and asked for me to join her over by her computer. She asked me lots of questions, we had a great discussion, and then I went back and finished the test. When I was finished,  I looked over my answers, then placed my hand on the book and answer sheet and asked the Lord to take it and have His will be done.  I  gave her the test, spoke with her for a little while longer, and then before I knew it, over 3 hours had passed and it was over.

I felt good about the meeting. I can actually now say, that I have had a psychological evaluation in my lifetime. Of course, you leave and in the car, you start thinking, “oh, I should have said this or that”, but then Warren and I just laughed and he said, “you did your best, and it’s still in God’s hands, don’t worry.”
We drove home, got all of the paperwork together that need to be faxed by 6pm on Tuesday, and we went to fax it, so that it was completely in and finished Monday night. I went to bed praising God for the day, for the wonderful woman he put me with, the fact that Warren was off to be with me through it all and then help me fax everything out early. We placed it all in His hands and we have continued to pray that everyone reading my stuff and making the decision will choose me as one of the finalists.

So, it is now Friday, April 27, still no word or email, I check it all the time. I’m heading to my reunion. I was hoping that I could tell everyone there about my journey, and tell them that I am a finalist, but I guess we won’t be finding out until next week.

However, I am headed to my 30 year reunion, and thanks to this challenge and journey, I feel like a million bucks tonight!! What a gift. So…I will write all about the night when I can. Praying that it will be a special night where I can share what the Lord has done for me with people I graduated with 30 years ago!