Wed. April 18,- Final Physical and blood work for Dr. Oz Challenge…. My Doctor is really proud of me!…

Wednesday, I went in to have my final physical and blood work done for the challenge. I had to fast from Tuesday night until Wednesday at 12:15. (wow, did I miss my morning coffee!)…I got into the room, the phlebotomist came in, who was soooo excited for me. She is a beautiful woman who has just lost over 57 pounds herself doing the P90X program. She is so fit and so nice….and she was so excited for me as she took my blood, did my EKG, which she said looked amazing, and told me twice during the time that she was with me, just how proud she was of me and how great I looked. According to their scale, I was also another 4 pounds down since my final Dr. Oz weigh in! It was a great feeling to be at a doctors office, expecting to get great results. And it was really special to have such a fit, medical person say that she was proud of me.

 

Then my doctor came in, she was really excited to hear that I had made it to the finals, and she looked over all of the paperwork that she had to fill out for the challenge, and then proceeded to do a thorough exam so that every part was filled in.

 

As she looked at my EKG, and then took my blood pressure, etc…she was filling out the paperwork and just saying how proud she was of me. At on point she said, “you have the heart and blood pressure of an athlete!”  Those words really overwhelmed me. I was a real athlete in school, but that was over 30 years ago (my high school 30 year reunion is actually next week). So, after working so hard in all of the classes at the gym…interval training, weight training, spinning, rowing, etc…to hear that after around 4 months of real workouts at a gym, that I now have the heart and blood pressure of an athlete, was truly amazing! What a gift!

 

After a very thorough exam, with my wonderful doctor filling out lots of paperwork, making sure everything was in order for me, I left, walking to my car with such a smile, and such gratitude. I just came from an office where everyone joined me today in this exciting place and time. They spent so much time with me, making sure everything was in order with the paperwork, doing a thorough exam of every possible thing, and just making me feel sooooo great about all of the numbers and results, explaining to me what they all really meant, and showing me in my folder, how far I have come in fitness and health.

 

Of course, as you begin trying to lose weight, it starts off as being all about the number on the scale, and that is still very important to me at this point, but to get to a point of understanding and seeing the important numbers from your doctor improve to a point where your doctor is astounded…..WOW!  I can’t wait to see the new blood results since my last one’s in February.(I should know by Friday).  In February, my triglycerides had already come down 51 points! And all of my cholesterol levels were in a great place. Even my blood pressure was great….now it’s the blood pressure of an “athlete”, wow!

 

Today, Thursday, I did a spin class and wore my heart monitor and pushed it hard, to a number I had never seen before, and then saw my heart go down, back to a resting place even faster than it had before. Another amazing accomplishment, as it shows that my aerobic heart function has really improved.

 

These are all of the “off scale victories” that Elyse points out at the WW meetings. She tries to get through to all of us, that if you are doing all of the right things, the scale will eventually catch up, but don’t get so stuck just on the number on the scale.  Take it as feedback, not failure. There are so many other things you have to look at as you know you are becoming more fit and healthy. From clothes fitting a little better, to seeing ankles for the first time, moving a belt one notch smaller, breathing better, sleeping better, getting through a workout a bit stronger…to all of these amazing numbers getting better and better. One small change at a time, one small choice at a time leads to one small victory at a time.

 

I went to rowing class last night, and the owner of the gym was there, and it was great to share all of this great news with him. I rowed a lot harder last night in the intervals, just to see how hard my body would push. When I started this challenge last October, I never even dreamed of trying anything like this. In October, I started out, just like Dr. Roizen and Dr. Oz said, just walk 30 minutes a day. That’s all that I did in the beginning…. and this is all what that has lead to.

 

As I am in the last weeks of this challenge, praying to make it to the end,  and still envisioning standing next to Dr. Oz, and having the opportunity to thank him and everyone who created this challenge, because it has changed my entire life..I am amazed at how far I have come. I knew the final number on the scale would be a big factor for me, I never imagined how incredible it would feel,  to be at my doctors office and see and experience medical numbers and results that showed such amazing improvement, and actually put me in the category of “an athlete”.  Continuing to walk in these amazing on scale and off scale victories, with such gratitude and awe!  I’ve learned so much.

The Final Process of the Dr. Oz Transformation Nation Challenge…Easter Sunday and the week following….

The Final Process of the Challenge….Easter Sunday and the week following…

Going into the weekend, I was overwhelmed with the thought of finalizing a 400 word essay which would be used to narrow me down in the challenge. How could I possibly give all the people deciding who should be narrowed down, just a glimpse of this incredible journey and all of the stories and “God-incidences”?

 

I wrote and rewrote, sent it out and handed it out to a few friends to get their opinions. Then one wonderful friend, actually stayed up until after midnight on the eve of

Easter, rewriting and putting more personal things of my story in the essay, and upon waking up on Easter morning, I read his version. It was wonderful. I couldn’t believe he stayed up until almost midnight working on making my essay wonderful, with a more personal feel to it. It is so hard to share this journey in just 400 words, but I used the suggestions of close friends, and did the best I could.

 

Going into Easter, I could barely focus on anything except finishing the strongest that I could. My amazing husband shopped, planned, cooked and took care of EVERYTHING this Easter. I think that I just about found the time to set the table the night before, but I knew that he had everything under control, and just kept supporting me, encouraging me and loving me right up to the last weigh in, helping with so much around the house and with the kids. He’s extraordinary….I am blessed beyond words!

 

Easter morning, we all went to church. Waking up that morning, I was really excited to put on some new clothes picked out this past week. Elyse always says in the ww meetings, “the world gets brighter as we get lighter”, and this was a brighter Easter morning for me this year.

 

As I posted earlier in the blog, last Easter I was watching the service on a computer from California, so excited to see Olivia and a few of the biggest loser contestants…I listened to their incredible inspiring stories, but was so sad for myself. I remember just crying in bed, watching and praying and asking God to help me get the motivation and knowledge and strength to do what they all accomplished. I was in California for Easter, where the weather was hot and beautiful, and I was getting up to get dressed in a dark suit, which hid the body that I was ashamed of….heading to a church service where all of the “California girls” were going to be in little fabulous, cute dresses, sleeveless of course! Very very depressing.

 

So, here we are, a year later, and although I am not in a cute sleeveless dress, YET, I am halfway there. I still have a ways to go, but I am heading into church this year over 57 pounds lighter, much more fit and stronger, feeling much lighter, with a new hope that    didn’t exist at all one year ago.

 

It was wonderful to see everyone at church, and really nice to receive so many beautiful, heart felt comments from so many people. It was nice to take a “break” from the challenge for the day, and just enjoy being with family. The only hard part of the day was that my mom didn’t feel well, and couldn’t join us for dinner. I’m just praying so hard that she can be healed and feeling better after all that she has been through.

We had so much to be thankful for, though,  as we prayed at the table, not only for my journey,  but also… my son’s band,“The Walking Tree”,  was picked up by a Christian record company..they will be touring this summer, and their first CD was released on the internet to be bought. My nephew, who lives with us, found a college that has the exact program that he was looking for, and he and his brother will be attending there together next fall.  My daughter is ending a wonderful first year of high school, and continues to get ready for all of her recitals for dance, singing, piano. It’s been exciting to continue to support one another in each of the amazing journeys we are walking through. Continuing to just pray for the Lord to lead each one of us, according to His will and His best plans for each of us.

 

Monday morning, April 9th, was the date that has been on my mind since the day I signed up for the challenge. On my calendar,  I put a huge star on the box for April 9th, with the words, “Last Weigh in, Dr. Oz, You did it…” I wrote this when I signed up in October, and couldn’t believe I was waking up to the actual day. It was almost surreal.

 

I spent the day working on the final changes to my essay, making sure that all of the sections were checked off for the Dr. Oz challenge, choosing the before and after pictures that had to be sent, and stressing over sending the final choices to the Dr. Oz people.  One last time for a few friends to look over the final essay and pictures, and then my husband and I just prayed and hit “send”. Leaving it in God’s hands, again.

 

Tuesday, April 10, Got up, went to zumba class at the gym, and when I got home and checked my email, the first amazing email came through…” Congratulations, You are one of the 200 Dr. Oz Transformation Nation Finalists”.  I screamed with excitement!! I couldn’t even breathe! Clicking on it, it took me to another page where, right away, they wanted the essay (which, thank God, I already sent), along with the pictures, and then a 12 page packet that had to be filled out and faxed and soon as possible.

 

I filled it all out, my husband helped me with all of the info, and then we took it to be faxed. Everything was sent in….and we left it in God’s hands, again.

 

I spent the next hour or so, telling friends and family, putting it on the blog and on facebook, and the emails of support coming in were just the best gifts ever! Thanks to all of you!

 

We had tickets to Godspell Tuesday night, a great way for my husband, the kids and I to celebrate this amazing first step. We realized on the train that the chance of being chosen as part of the 200 finalists, when 1.2 Million people signed up for the challenge, is a .00016 chance. AMAZING!! We were on the train just in awe of getting through this first cut. Again….only God!

 

We all enjoyed dinner and the show, it was such a wonderful gift to share the night with my husband and the kids. A beautiful night in NYC. When we got home around midnight, there were 2 messages from a producer at the Dr. Oz show, asking for me to call. I went to bed so excited/nervous!

 

Wednesday, April 10th

Woke up in the morning, called the number and left a message that I would be back after my work out at the gym.

 

I prayed before calling the number, and then dialed. The woman answered, congratulated me for making it to the 200, and then she asked if I had time to do the interview… now. I said, yes, and lots of questions began…. I thought it was a great interview, and after I hung up the phone, I was thanking God for guiding me with all of the answers to all of the questions, along with that amount of time to be able to share so much of this journey with the woman calling. She listened and typed the entire time while I answered. I thought I would be a nervous wreck, but it was actually really exhilarating and exciting to share with her how this Transformation Nation Challenge has changed my life. It was wonderful to be able to share so much of the journey with her. She was so kind, and I really felt blessed to be able to have the interview with her. I really hope that I get to meet her one day.

 

The essay is sent, the pictures are sent, all of my numbers are sent, and the interview is over…..again I place it all in God’s hands and pray that I will be narrowed down to the next 50. Another exciting day comes to a close.

   

April 15, Sunday-Still no word yet, but holding onto faith….

    As I sit here on Sunday afternoon, I am holding onto faith that the Lord, who is the author and finisher, has told me to trust him, and that it’s not over yet.

 

Friday was the toughest day of the entire journey so far, emotionally and spiritually, as I tried to hold onto my belief that I will make it to the end.

 

I kept wanting to look at the “rules” on the website, but the Lord kept saying in my spirit, “don’t look it up, trust me.”  I was doing ok for most of the day, but as the time went to around 5, I started to think and worry….what if everyone got the next email notice of being a finalist in the 50 group and I didn’t? I forgot to ask the producer interviewing me, if I would hear either way. I should have asked. Then again, I also had her phone number and could call and see what was going on….but my husband told me to leave it and trust God. Don’t manipulate the situation at all. Trust Him!

 

That afternoon, we went to lunch at Harbor Deli, and while we were on line, I noticed a young man from my church was working there. I told him to keep praying for me, and told him where I was in the challenge. As I shared, others on line heard me sharing, and 2 young children said, “you met Dr. Oz? We love him, my mom watches all the time…” I proceeded to tell them about the challenge and some of the amazing things that has happened on this journey, including having my poster on the walls of the gym. I told them about my blog, and they grabbed a pen and wrote it on their hand, and I also told them to set their dvr, because I would be the one standing next to Dr. Oz on May 23rd. The young girl was very cute, and wrote that on her hand also. The owner of the deli, asked about the challenge a bit more, he was really excited for me, and encouraged me when I left.

 

When I got home, so many friends were calling and emailing and asking when I should be hearing.  A close friend called from Pa., and when she asked, I did what I shouldn’t have done….I went to the computer to look up the rules. (Remember….I felt the Lord tell me earlier, DON’T look it up…trust me”.

According to the “rules” section on the Dr. Oz website, the next phase of narrowing down to the 50 should be done “on or around April 13th”. My face instantly got sooo hot with nerves, and my stomach began to churn…and I felt myself go into panic mode. I started to think I didn’t make it, I started to question all that I had been through on this journey. I started to think, what if it’s over?…could that really be it? I couldn’t imagine that the Lord would bring me this far, and place such a belief in my heart, and show me over and over again that this journey is so much bigger that me….for it to be over today. The narrowing down from 1.2 million to 200 people happened so fast….over night, and now it was Friday, late afternoon, and no email or notification.

 

We were all trying to figure it out, and I was getting more and more nervous and sick to my stomach…worrying with all of my, “what if’s?” Then, we started to think, 200 people sent in their 400 word essays and pictures, which were due on Wed. night by 6pm. I sent mine in early, which is probably why my interview happened on Wednesday. On Thursday and Friday, 199 other people had to be interviewed, and there were a group of people who now had to take 200 essays, pictures, weight loss numbers and accomplishments, and compare 200 interviews in order to narrow us down to 50 people, and ultimately 10. I’m guessing and hoping that that became a huge job, and they are taking more time to really decide. Which will bring us into next week.

 

My husband and I went to grab a bite to eat, and then got a movie to get our minds off of the worrying. I still had a stomach ache watching the movie, and kept praying and asking the Lord to show me that I was still in it, and to give me faith and take away the worry and anxiety. Before I went to bed, I checked the computer, and there was a message on my blog…..It was from the owner of the deli we went to for lunch. I read it and was absolutely amazed. It said….

 

“Hey Wendy would like to help u out with your quest how bout one of those nice posters for the deli”

I yelled to my husband, and told him what I just read, and just said, “can you believe that he went home after a long day at work and read my blog and then wrote to me and made this amazing offer?

Not only was it a special offer, but for me it was the Lord letting me know, “it’s not over.” When I went to bed, I grabbed my Bible and just asked the Lord to speak to me through His word, because I was still falling into being a wreck and didn’t know how I was going to go to sleep with all of this worry on my mind. I didn’t know where to begin to look, and just grabbed my Bible, trusting He would show me, as it has been so amazing, as I have grabbed my devotional and Bible and notes, or put on praise music during this time, the words and scriptures and lyrics have been EXACTLY what I have needed at that exact moment.

My Bible fell open to Psalm 91, which was perfect to read through, then I looked around Psalms, reading and found..

Psalm 138:8- The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me (I wrote this on a note with Amen written on it, and also put “standing by Dr. Oz”)

Then I looked around the Bible,  and I can’t remember where it was, but I read…”sleep in peace, I have heard your prayers.”  It was exactly what I needed to hold onto, Warren and I prayed, thanked Him. and I fell asleep right away!

Earlier that day, He gave me….

Mark 5:36- Don’t be afraid….Just believe! (on Sat. Morning I added to the note..”Faith pleases God–Lord, let me please you”)

On another note I wrote, Surrender, Trust and wait, do not fear, Live IN this moment, testify to Him. He is the author and finisher.

Saturday morning, I took these verses that I had put on small notes and placed next to the computer to hold onto every time I got anxious, and I taped them in the first page of my WW notebook, and went off to get weighed in. I got there very very early, and the doors weren’t even open yet. I remember standing there and just looking around at the trees all budding and the blue sky, and I just started talking to the Lord about my feelings and going over all that had been going on the past 24 hours. Then, I remembered something from a Bible study that I learned last year or so…it came to my mind so quickly…”faith pleases God.”

I stood there, and remembered the Bible study and how we all had such an “aha” moment back then, learning that faith pleases God. Wow, here is something that makes the Lord happy, and blesses HIM when we do this. I remembered in those few moments saying…”Lord, you have put a smile on my face, tears of joy and amazement in my eyes, provided me with soooo many moments of pure Awe in this journey….it is my turn to put a smile on your face.” I am choosing this moment to have faith at this time…faith in all that you are….you are all that you say you are and can do all that you say you can do….you are the author and finisher of this journey, and you have blessed me with so many incredible moments throughout, and I’m going to trust you, wait and believe.”

Just the thought, that our faith is what pleases God, made me stand there and smile at the thought of putting a smile on His face…being able to bless Him and make Him happy. So, since the doors opened to the building of ww that morning, I have chosen to walk in faith and believe, and all the fear, stomach aches, and anxiety has left.

It is Sunday night, and I have felt a few times this weekend that I was suppose to write all of this down. There’s a lot to be done in the house, and I will get to it next, but I know that I am suppose to keep writing this entire journey down for a reason. I don’t know what it is yet.  I have written a lot in this journal, that has not gone up on the blog for various reasons. Maybe all of it will, eventually. I’m hoping and praying that it will be used to inspire others for His purposes, or maybe it is just for my children, family and close friends to read. Either way, I will keep sharing all of this journey through this journal, and see where it leads. Today, I felt as if this journal/blog might be published one day….we’ll see. Only God knows….

Tomorrow is Monday….Praying and having faith…that the next winner notification will come…

Monday, April 16-Another Email from the Dr. Oz show…Yay!!!!

On Monday, I woke up hoping and praying that I would hear something more from the show. When I went to my email, there was a wonderful email from a friend which said….

“Checking in here to see what’s going on.  God is good and tonight I want to encourage you with Micah 7:7 – But me, I’m not giving up.  I am sticking around to see what God will do…. (message)  Sounds like your plan, right?  Love you my friend.  C”

It was the perfect scripture to start my day, before getting up, I went through the rest of my emails and noticed one from the Dr. Oz show. I opened it up, and it was a letter and list of lots of documents to print out, fill out and fax asap to the show. Show releases, medical releases, paperwork for my doctor, a form for a physical, etc. Wow!

I knew that no matter what, first I had to head to the gym to work out. Everyone was excited for me there, and the workout was brutal, but I kicked it in full gear, as I want to keep going strong no matter what happens, but would love to also lose even more weight for when I am on the show!

After the workout, I came home, Warren printed out all of the paperwork. I’m so thankful that all of this came again on a day where he was off, because he knows how to do all of the faxing, etc. I filled out all of the paperwork that I could, we went to fax it all, and then I took the medical forms to my doctor’s office to let her know that I had been narrowed down, and needed to have another physical and blood work taken, as we both agreed, it could only be better and better numbers, so why not? The earliest they could get me in is Wednesday. The email also said that someone would be calling to set up a 2-3 hour psychological evaluation. The next deadline for everything is April 24th.

So, I’m continuing to walk through this with such gratitude and awe….Also doing my best to keep up the exercising and eating right. So thankful that I spent over 2 hours yesterday prepping all of my good food for the week…something tells me it is going to be a crazy week ahead….Also praying that when I go to the doctor, all of my numbers are even more extraordinary than they were before!…as I continue to transform inside and out!

 

 

Praising God!!!!……I made the first cut…..1.2 million signed up for the challenge, 200 were chosen for the first cut, I’m one of them!!!! Will keep you posted…soooooo excited!!!!!!

I sent my 400 word essay with my before and after pictures. In the next 2 days or so, they will narrow it down to 50 people. Then we will be interviewed, and the last cut will be made to the final 10 people. When that happens, we will be put on a website and then the voting begins. Please continue to pray that I make it through the next cut, and then that  am chosen for the final 10. Soooo excited, Many thanks, Wendy

April 7th-Final Weigh in For the Dr. Oz Challenge….”Only God could pull out a final number like this….”

This morning I woke up early, butterflies in my stomach, wondering how Olivia Ward did her final weigh-in, in front of millions of people. My family was still sleeping, I checked the computer, and at exactly the perfect time, as it was such an emotional morning knowing that this was the final day of this Transformation Nation Challenge, a few encouraging emails came through from friends who knew what a big morning this was. Part of me wished that some of us in the challenge would have taped walking through our final mornings, sharing all that was going through our minds. I didn’t realize how emotional this day would actually be.

I took my bag of clothes the change into after the weigh in, along with my binder for ww, and drove over, praying the entire drive… praising God for what He has done so far, and continuing to place this entire journey in His hands. I went very very early in order to weigh in alone.  I wanted Jen, the woman who has been weighing me in most of the weeks to do this final big weigh in, (she is the woman who encouraged me each time I  would plateau or gain a pound, saying that, “there is no “plan B”, you are going to stick to plan A, and as you continue to do everything right, the weight WILL come off”.)

I walked down the hall and shouted, “it’s the final weigh in!”. I dropped my bags, ran to change into my light clothes, then got ready to step on the scale. My heart was pounding, my knees were weak, my hands were sweating… Jen had the official Dr. Oz paperwork in front of her, and when she wrote down the number, I saw a number that was beyond my wildest dreams…I started trying to calculate the loss for the week, and when she finished with the calculator, she said, “you lost 5.2 pounds!”…I just broke down and cried, and tried to catch my breath, and just said, “Only God!, Only God could pull out a number like that for my final week!” WOW!!!! What an incredible ending for this challenge!! It still takes my breath away as I type this.

We filled out all of the Dr. Oz paperwork, I took a picture with Jen and with the paperwork and a sign that I quickly made that said, “Dr. Oz Final Weigh in 4/7/12  Lost 47.0 pounds!”…. My total loss is 57.0 from September, as I lost the first 10 pounds when I put on the “Just 10” bracelet from the Dr. Oz show and began the journey.
I changed my clothes, went to sit in the WW meeting and couldn’t wait until Elyse, the leader arrived, to share the amazing news with her, along with the entire group. I know with all my hear, and was able to share this morning, that I never could have done this without all of them. The meeting was about having “anchors” in our lives in order to help us overcome obstacles, and to stay on the weight loss journey successfully….anchors which include people, items that remind us to stay on course, sayings, scriptures, etc.

When I think of all of the anchors that I have been blessed with during this journey, they would fill pages! My family, friends, even strangers who have now become friends through this…all of the encouraging emails, scriptures, stories shared…those who have joined me in getting fit and using every opportunity to spur each other on, and a strengthened faith in this journey with a relationship that anchors it all!

I sit here adding to a journal that started last October, and I am in total awe of all that has “transformed” in my life, and occurred in this challenge. When I finish this entry, I will be putting my final numbers in the Dr. Oz Transformation Nation Challenge website and will then hit “send”. Then, starting Monday there will by many people working on and deciding who will be chosen as finalists…first cut is down to 200 people, next cut is down to 50 and then down to the final 10. There will be a 400 word essay which I have to write, along with some interviews to get through.

I just want to be able to share from my heart with whomever is reading my info or hearing my story, and to be able to give them even just a glimpse of this amazing journey that I have been blessed to walk through. I also want to thank them for creating the challenge, because although I always dreamed of being on The Biggest Loser, I know that I could never have left my family for that length of time, especially with ailing parents who really depend on me. Although the weight doesn’t come off as fast as it does on the BL,(which every day I wish it did), it is the right way to do it and the healthy way to do it, one pound, sometimes one ounce at a time. And, although it would be nice to be on a ranch, and have losing weight as my only job, without any distractions, that is not something that I could do right now, so being able to accomplish all of this, balancing it with everyday life, although very very hard at times…has been amazing..thanks to the support of family and friends, and even strangers!

So, as I am placed on your heart and minds in the next few days, please pray that I am chosen as one of the final 10 at this point. I truly still believe in a GREAT God who can do GREAT things. He is the author and finisher of our faith…. and I’m praying that He will bring me to the ultimate finish…. to be standing next to Dr. Oz on the final show when he announces the winner!  Thanks again for all of your prayers, encouragement and love. Happy Easter!

I’m in the FINAL WEEK OF THE DR. OZ CHALLENGE!!!!! Doubling up the workouts!

March 24th- Weighed in at WW and lost another 3.2! I reached the goal that I set for myself 2 weeks early! I charted my progress on a sheet of graph paper 27 weeks ago, and at the top was the 40 pound goal. I reached 40.8 pounds today.(50.8 since September). The girl weighing me in actually said that you don’t see numbers like that at this point, especially after losing so much weight consistently.. so 3.2 was a great loss today. I couldn’t wait to call everyone waiting for my weekly call, and email those whom I email each week when I get home.

 
I emailed Steve, the owner of the gym that I go to (he is one of my weekly emails after ww each week), and his response has become another amazing moment in this journey that I will never forget…He wrote…

“You should wear it with pride, you are doing an amazing job, what to you need for this final push to then, let me know and we’ll do it. Is it extra rowing classes, personal training, anything let me know. You’ve do so much for so many people let me haul you to the end, no cost,  just whatever additional you feel will help you get to the finish line”

I couldn’t believe it…that email made me feel like some sort of celebrity! Steve, along with his staff, have supported me since the first day Meg and I walked through the gym with our “coupon” to just try it for a week. I was a very overweight woman, filled with fear about walking through those doors of the gym. I remember videotaping myself out in the parking lot of the gym, talking to Dr. Oz, saying that gyms seem filled with perfectly fit people already, and I wished there were gyms for people who had a lot of work to do.

I am so thankful that the Lord lead us, and gave us the courage, to walk through those gym doors. I remember everyone at the desk being so kind to us, and making us feel so welcome right away. I remember the very first week, when Steve brought me to tears when he tagged my blog that I had just created for the first time in my life, and put it on the gym’s facebook page. I, still, when I share that story, tear up, as I ask, “who does that?, Who puts an overweight woman on the facebook page of a gym?”  These are just some of the incredible moments that I continue to share with others as they ask me about this journey.

The night of March 24th, I received another email that took my breath away. A wonderful friend, who is a professional photographer, sent me an email and offered to take pictures of me every week until I reach my goal. She said that she wished she had thought to do this sooner, but was offering to see if it would be something that I would like to do. Again, I felt like I had to pinch myself. First the amazing offer from the owner of a gym, and now a beautiful offer from a professional photographer. How does this happen??? All I can continue to do, is share these incredible stories and end with two powerful words….ONLY GOD!  Only God could orchestrate all of this, and as I continue to walk through it, I am just in awe!

So, as I now head into the last week of the challenge, and sometimes the fear and doubt start to creep in a bit, especially at the thought that 1.2 million people have supposedly signed up for the challenge….I stop and hold onto all of these incredible “God incidences” which have happened since the day I sat up on the edge of the couch, listening to Dr. Oz launch this challenge, running to the computer to sign up and start the process….I remember having that overwhelming belief that this was going to be the time I could overcome this battle with weight… and I also had then, and have had so many times throughout this entire journey… a full belief that I will be standing next to Dr. Oz on the 23rd of May when he announces the winner.

This past Monday, I finally went clothes shopping for the first time since the challenge started 27 weeks ago, October 1st.  I knew that I had to go get pants, as all of mine are way too big. I’ve been living in work out clothes, and just wearing everything way too big. (the waist of the pants are rolled over 2 or 3 times under big shirts. So, it was time to get some clothes, as I certainly had nothing to wear for Easter coming up. It took me 4 hours of shopping get some clothes. Mainly, because I had no idea what size I was, and after losing a lot of weight, it doesn’t really register in your head yet. I started out taking 1 or 2 sizes smaller into the dressing room. Then, when I would walk out to get something else, I would realize the pants were still too big. It took a while, but at one point, I was standing in the dressing room with pants on, in a size that I have not been in for 25 years! I thought, maybe it’s just that designer, go get a different pair in the same size…and those fit also….I kept looking at the tags and just stood there for a moment and looked in the mirror and just said, “Wow, thank you Lord. This is, again, above and beyond what I ever could have imagined at this moment.” Each time I have taken off my workout clothes, and grabbed the jeans this week, I am amazed.

Yesterday, Jen came over to take some pictures. She had me put on very form fitting clothes, and yes,  of course, I had that “third layer” blouse over it… and we went outside in the backyard to take the first group of pictures. She took a few and then said, “ok, the outside shirt has to come off.” It was so hard to do, but she was so amazed, and she continued to click away as she just kept saying, “you look amazing”.  It was very difficult for me to take the pictures, but I know that it is important to document every step of this journey, and I am so thankful that she offered, or it would never happen. Again, after she left, I closed the door, and just thanked God for putting it on Jen’s heart to do that for me.

So, it is now Wednesday…halfway through the last week of the challenge. When I met with Steve and asked him what I should do to pull out one last big number, he said to double up the workouts for as many days as I can. So each day, Meg and I have done at least 2 workout sessions. In fact, today, I played platform paddle tennis from 8:30-10, then took a Zumba class from 12:30-1:30, and tonight I will take a rowing class from 7:30-8:30. I am exhausted, but excited to finish as strong as I can.

As I’m praying and listening reading and thinking about so many things this week, even worrying about getting narrowed down as a finalist…. I am reminded over and over again of all of the amazing moments in this journey so far. As we go into Easter Sunday, I remember that last Easter Sunday I was in California watching our Church’s Easter Service on the computer …as Olivia and some of the other contestants from the Biggest Loser shared their testimony during the service…I was just watching and praying that maybe one day I could get to where they were. That maybe something extraordinary could happen to me, so that I could get motivated and put together all that need to be put together to finally win the battle with my weight. I was in California, about to go to the church service there, wearing clothes to hide my weight, knowing that it was spring, and summer was around the corner..and it would be another season where shorts would not be worn, and cute summer clothes were still something in the distant past.

When I signed up for this challenge, I didn’t realize that the final week would be going into Easter week. At first I thought, wow, that’s a strange time to have everything due, and the kids are off for vacation, etc. Then in these past few weeks, I realized.. what better time to finish this challenge…Easter week. The hugest Christian holiday of the year, as we celebrate that Christ had the ultimate victory over death…and I realize that because of that victory, in His power and through His grace I have had victory over this battle with weight.

He has been answering my prayers,  placing the most incredible people in my life throughout this journey, strengthening me and providing just what I needed when at times I didn’t think I could get through another day, as some of life’s toughest moments and situations happened this past season in our lives and the lives of family and friends.   He has blessed me with moments and opportunities that have literally taken my breath away…He has been with me, strengthening me and walking with me through some of the toughest of times on this journey, times where I had to ask for help, and help arrived in ways that I never could have imagined.

So, although I’m  in the final days of the challenge, I still have a long way to go until reaching my goal weight. I continue to hold onto all that I have learned, and continue to learn from Weight Watchers, Dr. Oz, the owner and trainers at the gym…and continue to watch my body transform…inside and outside!  I have shared with many people, I know that I am walking through something that is much bigger than I am. I am so excited to keep watching it all unfold. I know that there are millions of people in this challenge, but if it is the Lord’s will that I am the one, then I will be the one. I’m asking Him for it, praying that He will continue to lead me one day at a time, holding onto the promise that, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philipians 4:13) and as He is the author and finisher of our faith, I’m holding onto this promise as I pray that He will bring me to an amazing finish…abundantly more than I could ever ask for or even imagine! He has done it over and over again already.

Thank you, all, for encouraging me through your emails, letters, phone calls…and especially your prayers. You have inspired me to keep going, and your words and love have been such an important part of my inner transformation. My heart overflows with gratitude!

The final weigh in is this Saturday, all of my information is due by April 9th (Monday). Then they will choose 200 people….then we have to send a 400 word essay and they narrow it down to 50 people, then we are interviewed and they choose the top 10 finalists. That is my prayer right now…that I will be chosen in the top 10. Then after that, I will need all of you to vote for me from May 7- May 13th, and pass it on to everyone you know. I will let everyone know how to do that as soon as they let us know.

So for now, I am heading back to the gym….going to finish strong for Saturday’s weigh in…praying for the biggest number yet….and then praying to make it to the top 10 finalists!  Doing my absolute best…and then placing it in His hands!

 

March 25,2012-Another incredible Week to Remember….

March 25,2012-Another incredible Week to Remember….Conquered my first Race Day of Spinning, tried a rowing class, lost another 3.2 pounds-which lead to a big weight loss number….50.8 pounds!!!!!!

This was another incredible week of more new “firsts” in my life. Even as I type this, I look back on the week with utter amazement, and pray that I can put into words what took place this week, so that even just one person reading this would be inspired to realize that…. With God, ALL things are possible.

As I type this, there are 2 weeks left until my final weigh in of this Transformation Nation Challenge. I remember, in October, watching Dr. Oz announce the challenge, and I literally sat up from laying down on the couch, and I sat on the edge of the couch with my notebook, and started to write down everything he was saying, and an overwhelming feeling came over me that it was time to do this, and an incredible belief came over me, feeling that..not only could I do this, but I truly believed that I could win the entire challenge.

That was in October. I didn’t belong to a gym, didn’t have a workout buddy, didn’t have a plan, hadn’t set up a great exercise schedule..hadn’t put myself first for as long as I could remember. How could I?…I had kids to take care of, responsibilities to take care of at their schools, a husband, ailing parents getting older that I had to take care of, responsibilities at home, responsibilities at church, friends who needed help….all great and important things that I had to do, and with all of that, who has time to exercise and do all that it takes to get fit?

I would continue to watch the Biggest Loser and other inspiring shows, or even see friends who had finally conquered the battle, and I would just keep praying, “Lord, please just give me the motivation. Why can’t I do it? I’m competitive, I was an amazing athlete all through my childhood and into High School. Why can’t I find what I need to do this?

I watch and write down all the information, I’ve tried every diet…but why can’t I connect it to a lifestyle? Am I just too old now? Do I have to just be satisfied with never looking and feeling my best again, just giving in to getting older…blaming it on perimenopause or age or slowing down?

I’m not sure why it all began to “click” and come together in October. As I wrote in my very first blog, Olivia and Ben Ward took me out to breakfast and believed in me. I watched 2 regular people completely change their lives in less than a year, both losing over 100 pounds each. We watched them on “make-over” week, where they saw each other transformed for the first time. Then we watched her stand on the scale and win the entire challenge. Just an ordinary guy and girl from our church, whose lives became extraordinary in less than a year.

Olivia spoke at our church about 3 weeks ago, and shared even more of her amazing testimony, and in the very beginning, as she started her talk, she began by saying, “I’m just an ordinary woman, who serves an awesome God, who was placed in an extraordinary circumstance.”….those words pierced my heart as she said them, and tears welled up in my eyes, because I watched her week after week on the Biggest Loser, wishing I could do what she did…then she shared some of her wisdom and believed in me…and I was now sitting at church listening to her, already walking through my own extraordinary circumstances since October, and I’m so thankful that it was placed on my heart to write as much of it down as I could. (which lead to the beginning of this blog)

So….Here is the story of another extraordinary week…for a woman who finally got off the couch in October, and one small choice at a time, along with many prayers… got to this week. Meg and I started off the week with a bit of fear each day, because we had joined the gym around 8 or 9 weeks ago, and if you remember a former blog, we started spinning, and the instructor said that she would be training us for 8 weeks in order to accomplish a Race Day in spinning.  I still don’t like spinning, it is the hardest class for me, but it is also a class that I can’t believe how far I have come. The first time I went, I was happy to just keep my legs moving. I couldn’t stand and ride or jump or do anything the other riders were doing. Meg and I hung in there and kept going each week to train. We would dread every Thursday, but would always leave feeling proud of each small victory. I wrote about week 3, where we stood and jumped and kept up with everyone. In fact on Race Day, this past Thursday, I printed that journal entry out, and read it out loud in the car to Meg, because there was a place in it that stated, it was the very first time we believed that we could possibly do the race…..and there we were, this past Thursday, in the car, reading this entry…on our way to the actual race! It was incredible to read those words in the car that morning looking at where we were only 5 weeks earlier.

But, let me back up a moment. On Tuesday night, some friends asked if we wanted to try a rowing class? We looked at each other and said, “why not, let’s try something new.” We were a bit nervous, but held onto all the other things we had gotten through, and thought.. “we can give it a try.” We arrived in a big warehouse where the rowing teams meet and train on all of the equipment. There was even a huge simulator rowing boat that we all got to climb into,  to feel what it is like to row all together. We had a lot of laughs, and rowed for an hour, and we were really proud of ourselves for trying something new.  We also left and decided, after zumba the next day, we would do a half hour on the rowing machines at the gym (now that we know how to do it) and then a half hour on the treadmill, just to break it up. It really felt empowering to know how to use another piece of equipment in the gym.

On Wednesday night, Meg and I picked up shirts we had made, to put on after we completed the race. On the back it said, “ I conquered my first Race Day at Power Ten Fitness (and underneath it said in smaller letters)……and I didn’t die”  On the front pocket area it said, “There’s no place like home..Power Ten Fitness.”  We couldn’t wait to put them on after the race and wear them proudly.

Wednesday night I woke up around every 2 hours all night worrying about getting through this race. I have no idea what people do before half or whole marathons or any race for their first time. The fear that creeps in is absolutely ridiculous. I kept praying and trying to get some sleep. I finally got up early, got everyone off to school and work, and then Meg and I got in the car, both excited but fearful, and drove to the gym, while I read the blog entry (see blog from Feb. 23rd)

We walked in, the bikes were set up. We actually showed our shirts to a few of the instructors who wouldn’t be there when we came out. They were all really excited for us. The instructor came in, she had us choose numbers to wear, started out with an inspirational saying, told us that she would guide us through the entire race, and then started the music and put on her headset….and we started pedaling. Meg said to me,”don’t worry, the Lord is right here between us, He’ll get us through.” and the race began..

It was amazing, exhilarating, scary, hard…but the music was great, (even the theme from “Rocky” was on it at one point), and every time I thought that I couldn’t make it, I would just keep saying over and over again, the verse that I say every time I need strength to make it through really tough moments in any class, “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me, I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me”….over and over and over again. And that’s what always gets me through.

The instructor brought us through different laps and hills…standing, jumping, adding more and more resistance…and when we sprinted across the finish line with our legs burning, Meg and I both burst into tears! It was soooo overwhelming to see where we had come from, and what we were able to accomplish. Most of the race we were standing and jumping and riding hard. It was amazing! We cooled down, then got off the bikes and put our shirts on and took a bunch of pictures and hugged all the women who encouraged us to stick it out and helped us along the way, along with our amazing instructor.

We left the gym that day so in awe of what we accomplished. A wonderful friend who was in the race with us, had us over to her house for yogurt and fruit and tea and it was the perfect celebration!

We came home to our families who were soooo proud of us. We downloaded the pictures and sent them to everyone who has been rooting for us…it was such an amazing accomplishment which has moved us to keep dreaming and putting new goals on our wish lists!

On Saturday morning, I couldn’t wait to weigh in at ww and tell them about the race. I wore my shirt and got to share about the experience, and when I got on the scale…I was another 3.2 pounds down! The woman weighing me in said, “that’s a number you really only see in the beginning of weight loss, not after all the weight you have been losing. That’s amazing.” She even said that she was praying for me and really had a good feeling about my winning. She believes I can do it. She calculated the total so far and then said…”you hit 50.8! I was sooooo excited I just yelled on the scale and threw my hands up in the air!
It also made me have even more faith that I could lose 2-5 more and maybe hit 55, (which would be 45 for the challenge). So, I continue to pray and walk through this amazing journey, as I claim those same amazing words Olivia shared, but now for my own life…

“I’m just an ordinary woman…who serves an awesome God…who is walking through extraordinary circumstances!”  What a week, filled with more amazing blessings!

Please keep me in your prayers as I look forward to standing next to Dr. Oz on May 23rd when he announces the winner of this challenge!

 

 

March 16-Flyers of Me are on the Walls of Power Ten Fitness Gym!!

 

Today we went to the gym for one of our favorite classes, which we refer to as our “last chance workout” for the week, (as it is Friday, and weigh in at WW is every Saturday morning). As we stopped and signed in for the class, someone pointed at the wall and said, “isn’t that you?”, then Meg said, “Wendy, look, it’s you!”…I looked up on the wall, and there was a framed flyer all made up about me and the challenge, with the picture of me and Dr. Oz on it.

I stood there and read everything it said, and tears welled up in my eyes. I was ON the wall of the Power Ten Fitness gym!!!…not only on that wall, but another one was right at the door when you walk in!  Another absolutely incredible moment in this journey, that I will NEVER forget.

I turned around, and the owner of the gym was training someone, but I just had to run over and hug him and thank him. He, along with my zumba instructor got together and created it, and framed them and hung them on the walls of the gym…for me.….WOW! Who gets to experience something like that, without being some sort of celebrity? Even as I type this, I still can’t believe it happened.

As we worked out in our “last chance workout” class,..I pumped those weights, and did all those crunches, and all those repetitions…constantly thinking, “Wendy, your picture is on the walls of this gym. Steve and Holly took time out from all that they have to do,  to create an amazing flyer all about you!, and it is hanging right outside! Wow!”

I was also thinking, my day is crazy today, but I have to grab my husband and my friend as soon as they are both home, and bring them back to the gym to walk in and experience what I just experienced…..and of course, to take pictures of it!

We met in the parking lot later that afternoon, and they had no idea why I was taking them in (both of them actually thought I signed them up for a class or something). We walked through the door, and I stopped right in front of the framed flyer, and just watched their faces….they were sooo excited for me. We took pictures, then walked back out in the parking and they just took it all in with me. It was truly another extraordinary experience in this journey. I actually left a note at the gym telling them that this experience and what they did for me was just as exciting as standing next to Dr. Oz the other day….at it was!

I am heading to bed… sore from the work out, exhausted and excited from the day, still smiling, beaming from this experience…looking forward to weighing in tomorrow morning at weight watchers…and my prayers as my head hits my pillow tonight will be filled with thank-you’s for this day that was filled with more incredible blessings!

Met Dr. Oz!… Dreams Do Come True… Believe!

Ok…..I just came in from N.Y.C. From the Dr. Oz show, and I am sitting here in absolute awe of how the day unfolded. I can barely catch my breath thinking about all that happened today. Dreams do come true….

Let me start with the first “God-incidence” of how I got a ticket to the show….A few weeks ago, Meg and I were coming out of a class at the gym.. all hot, sweaty and looking pretty gross. As we walked toward the door to leave, we noticed a few girls standing by the desk, looking at the schedule of classes. We went over to tell them that they would LOVE every class, I told them that I would actually do commercials for this gym, and that was saying a lot, from a girl who was petrified to even walk in a gym 3 weeks before that. We all started talking a bit, I shared with them that I was in Dr. Oz’s challenge, and they were sooo nice and mentioned that they, along with a group of girls from their children’s school, had tickets to the Dr. Oz show, and they said they would try to get me one. (OK…you did get the fact that I have never met them before…).

The girls started coming to the gym and taking some classes with us, and during the vacation week, one of those women called me from Florida, while she was on vacation, to let me know that they got a ticket for me.

In the meantime, I started to think, if I got a ticket, maybe I could make up a great shirt to let Dr. Oz and his team know that I was in the challenge, and did all the steps I had to, to win… and that I truly believed I could win the entire challenge. During this journey, also, a friend of mine, Everardo, who is a spectacular artist, had told me that I should really have business cards made, so that when I share about my journey, I could give out a card that has my blog website on it. He came in from the city about 2 weeks ago, and spent hours creating a card for me. Then he asked to see my idea for the shirt I was thinking about, and in a matter of minutes, he sketched out the most amazing plan for the shirt. It took a whole day to find someone who would make it, but we found the perfect place that understood what we were trying to do. It would take at least a week to have made.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About 2 days later, the artwork plan for the shirt was sent to me by email. I was sooo excited when I saw it, and I sent the picture of it to my Weight Watcher’s leader. Elyse was so excited for me, and asked if she could send it to the public relations people at Weight Watchers. By the following Monday, I started to receive emails from public relations at Weight Watchers, and was asked to fill out some paperwork, to give a bit of my story in about 2 pages (which was the hardest thing to do, as this journey has been one extraordinary experience after another…how was I going to convey this in less than 2 pages?), and also send them a “before” and “after” picture so far. (That was also difficult, because I realized trying to find a “before” picture… that as overweight women, we throw out any picture we don’t like of ourselves, and the ones that are left, we are usually standing and hiding behind someone else.) It took a while, but I guess there were a few awful ones that I didn’t destroy.

The other thing that I realized, was that I really haven’t taken many pictures during this journey, so I had to quickly grab something to wear and have my husband take some pictures. Someone said to, “grab the jeans that use to be tight, and now are falling off of you”. So that’s what I put on and had him take a bunch of pictures. I was really under a time restraint, and was just praying that we could quickly get this done, and that I would be happy with just one picture. When we downloaded them, I actually really liked the picture, and was so thankful to see the progress so far, even though I have a long way to go. It was really a gift to be made to stop and take some pictures right now. I will really try to do that more, so that I have the pictures along the way, as uncomfortable as that is at times.

After I sent them to WW, I mailed the before and after pictures, side by side, out to a few friends, really stating under the pictures, that I chose one of my worst before pictures, which was very hard to put out there…. with that, a friend emailed back a short email that left me stunned and in tears, it said simply, “I love both Wendy’s!!!!”. Wow, that was a huge “aha moment for me”. Why is it that we don’t believe that we are seen as beautiful and loved just the way we are, feeling that “beautiful” can only be attached to us when we are at our goal weight? I’m finally understanding that I am seen as beautiful now, and was seen by friends as beautiful 46 pounds ago. Why did it take 47 years to understand that? That is going to be one of the hugest things that I want to pass on to other friends and strangers dealing with weight loss. You truly are beautiful… now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, let me bring you back to Tuesday of my “Dr. Oz” week, (the show we went to was the Wed. taping). On Tuesday, I started to get some more exciting emails, and the last email Tues. night said that the PR people at WW got in touch with people at the Dr. Oz show, and told them to keep a look out for me and my “cute shirt”.  My husband, Warren, brought the shirt home from work that night, I looked at it and couldn’t believe how perfect it was, and it was so exciting to see Everardo’s plan for the shirt come alive. I placed it on a chair and took pictures of it. I got everything together for the next morning, planned out an alternative outfit in case they made me take it off (as the notes for the audience stated “no words or logos”, went to bed with the shirt hanging next to my bed, looking at it and just praying that the Lord would continue to orchestrate the next day, praising Him for what He had done so far, and just asking Him to help me walk through the day, showing me what to do, and giving me the right words to be able to express to anyone I would talk to at the show, this amazing journey, and how it has been something bigger than I could have ever imagined. I know it is much bigger than I am, and I just want to continue to walk through it with God’s wisdom and grace.

I met the 15 ladies who invited me to go with them at the train station at 6:30am. They were all so wonderful. I took off my coat to show them the shirt, and tell them a bit of the story. They were all so excited for me and we continued walking through NYC to get to the show, talking and getting to know one another. We walked into the room to check in, and I opened my coat to show my shirt to a person in charge, and let them know that I was told that ww let someone know that I was coming. They told us to go and walk around after checking in, and come back at 9:10. We did, and when we walked back in, someone called my name and took me over to a table in the corner to ask me a little bit about my story. I had my ww binder, all the things that I wanted to share, and shared some of my story with them. I took off my coat to show them my shirt, and turned around to show them the check list on the back, I told them that I had a hot pink marker for Dr. Oz to check the second to last box which said, “Met Dr. Oz”….and then I shared with them that I totally believed that I would be telling him that I will be back, standing next to him when he checks off the last box that says, “5/23/12-Won the challenge!”

There was a couple standing near the table, waiting for the show, listening to what I was sharing, and the man said, “I think we should get a picture with you, I think you are going to be famous!”….  One of the women I was talking to, asked if I could take off the shirt, and she was going to bring it to the producers. I did, and I also asked if she could bring a packet that I created, to the producers also. It had the packet that I created for everyone asking me what I am doing to lose the weight, along with the first 2 blog stories, my new business cards, and my before and after pictures. She was really happy for me and said that she would give it to them.

We all went into the studio to get our seats, and the amazing day continued to unfold, as we were seated in the second and third rows, and I was on the end seat of the second row. The studio was beautiful, and everyone working there were so nice. The warm-up guy who takes care of the audience was fabulous! A great comedian. While we waited, another person came up to me and asked more about my story and weight loss, and then she said that they have never seen a shirt like mine, and they wanted to keep it and possibly have me back on the show. They are looking to ask some people who have been successful in the challenge to come on and share. I asked if maybe I could meet Dr. Oz and have him check the “met Dr. Oz” box, but she said that they really wanted to wait and do it when I possibly came back. I had told her already that this was all so much bigger than me, and I trusted her and would do anything that they wanted. She left, and I sat there thanking God for the opportunity of talking to everyone so far, and just asked Him to take all that I had given them…the shirt and packet, and place it in the right hands, and let His will be done. I was a little sad that I wouldn’t be meeting Dr. Oz today, but trusted that I someday would.

The show was so much fun! Great information, a wonderful interview with Kristen Johnston, and Dr. Oz was even more spectacular in person! After the last segment, we were told that it was time for last applause and then Dr. Oz would be leaving. During our standing ovation, Dr. Oz came over and shook hands with the row in front of us, then he came up 2 steps and shook my hand. As he looked me in the eyes and shook my hand, I smiled and said, “I’m in your million dollar challenge, and I believe I’m going to win the entire thing.” He smiled, said something that I didn’t hear,  and kept going to shake a few more hands before leaving. I thought at that point, maybe when I am standing next to him on May 23rd, he will remember me from that moment. Not sure, but was hoping.

A few minutes later, they announced that we were all to leave the studio area. It was over. I stood there for a moment, looked around and just thanked the Lord, again, for an amazing day, and thanked Him for the gift of all that had happened. As we turned to make our way up the stairs, I heard someone call out my name. I turned around, and someone from the show asked if I had a few moments. I was stunned a bit, and walked down the stairs. The girls I was with went downstairs to see if they could get a table for lunch.

As I reached the floor of the studio, I was introduced to a publicist of the show and his assistant or partner. They started to ask me all kinds of questions about my weight loss, my background, my story, etc. They were soooo kind and so nice, and I was so excited to share so many of the “God-incidences” of this journey. It was a bit surreal standing on the set of Dr. Oz, telling some of my story to important people from the show. They made me feel so comfortable. We talked for a while, and then they took me over to see Dr. Oz, who had just finished taking some pictures with a few people. As I type these words at this very moment…my hands are sweating and I have chills just thinking about the next moments..

They walked me over to Dr. Oz, and as I shook his hand, I said, “Hi Dr. Oz, my name is Wendy Trunz. I am in your Million Dollar Transformation Nation Challenge, and I honestly and truly believe that I will win the entire challenge.”  He said, “Oh, you’re the one who told me that, over there.” …We continued to talk for a bit, I told him some of my story. I explained how Olivia had won the Biggest Loser and met with me and said that she believed in me, and taught me so much about what she learned.  I told him about watching Ben (her husband), as our worship director get thinner and thinner before our eyes. I told him that I never could have imagined during this journey, that I, as an overweight woman, could inspire others even now, before losing all the weight and being at goal. It was so surreal as I stood there, on the Dr. Oz set, in front of Dr. Oz….He was the kindest, sweetest man…he looked in my eyes and listened to every word I shared. I felt like I was the only one in that room with him, and that he had all the time in the world for me. Yes, everyone….DREAMS DO COME TRUE! ….We talked a bit more, he shared that his friend, Rick Warren (author of The Purpose Driven Life, which I have read) had recently lost so much weight On the Daniel Diet, and that so many churches were joining in. I was able to share with him that many people in our church had decided to do that for Lent, and I shared with him that that was how Ben lost most of his weight while Olivia was gone. I also said that I wasn’t sure if he saw the shirt that I brought there, but I explained what the last 2 boxes said, and I told him that I would be back with my hot pink marker to check the box, “met Dr. Oz”, and then I told him that I truly believe that I will be standing next to him on the 23rd when he checks the last box, “won the challenge”. His eyes never left mine as I was talking, and at one point he said, “do you see it in her eyes, she really believes that she is going to win the whole thing. And I believe she can.” That was an incredible moment! He could see it in my eyes, Wow!

After a few more stories, their photographer, with a huge lens, took a bunch of pictures of Dr. Oz and I together. He put his arm around me, and as I smiled and the camera clicked away, I just could not believe that moment was happening. I wanted someone to pinch me. After that, Dr. Oz, held my hand as he asked if everyone around me had everything they needed from me,( by the way, he has THE softest hands I have ever felt!)… and then he said that he was sorry, but had to get to a luncheon appointment. I thanked him….and he said as he walked away, “I’m sure that I will see you again.” and I said that I knew he would, and I said that I would definitely see him on the 23rd.

He smiled and walked away, and there I was, still standing on the set, smiling and in awe of what just happened. The two publicists walked me out of the studio, into the elevator, and down a long hallway toward the restaurant where I would meet the girls I came with. We continued to talk and walk, and then he gave me his card, and told me that they would email me the pictures that were taken. He also said that he knew I had the blog, and he gave me permission to put the pictures up on my blog when I get them.

Many times you hear people talk about the kindness of strangers, and the impact that has on people. At one point, in the studio, the publicist asked me how I actually got to come to the show today. It was great to be able to share that ultimate “God-incidence”, because I was there today, with 15 girls who I never knew before. I met a few of them at the front desk of a gym that I was originally afraid to walk into. By walking over to them and encouraging them to join…here we are today…I am standing on the actual set of the Dr. Oz show, sharing my journey so far. And again, every single “stranger” that I met and talked to from the staff that day, were the kindest people, who asked me great questions, and were really interested in hearing my story, and really congratulated me on the weight loss so far. I have never met them, I’m sure that everyone is always wanting to talk with all of them, and again, each one of them spent so much time with me and really made me feel special today. I gave out my cards to some of them, and I hope that they read this story, mainly to just hear how thankful I am, and how special they made me feel. I know that I am in this million dollar challenge, and I truly believe in my heart that I can be the one standing next to Dr. Oz, once again, on May 23rd. I also believe that this whole journey is much bigger, and is even more than winning this challenge… But today, March 7h, Dr. Oz, and every one of his staff, and the girls who shared this day with me….made me feel like a million bucks!  What an incredible day…..it’s one of those days that dreams are made of….and yes…Dreams do come true…BELIEVE!!

My business
cards, and
the holder
Winnie
blessed me
with….

March 3, 2012- The Scale Finally Caught Up!…and the journey continues…

Just got in from WW. I was excited to go, knowing everyone would help me get through another week, but wasn’t sure what the scale would say, as I had 2 amazing weeks of doing everything right, yet only had a 1 pound loss. As I wrote before, I went into the week holding onto everything I had learned so far, along with holding onto the promises from everyone who had been where I was now,… assurances that if I kept doing the right things, the scale would catch up.

I stepped on the scale, the man who weighed me in said, “I’m proud of you, you did a good job”, then as he was writing, he said,”you lost 3.2 pounds” (46.2 total now). The woman next to him, Jennifer, is the woman who usually weighs me in, and she has been the one who keeps telling me to hang tough, and the scale will catch up. Well, I shouted out, “The scale finally caught up!”, jumped off the scale and ran over to give her a high five! It was a great moment this morning. A few of the other members who were in the same predicament last week, also saw the scale move. And yes, there were some who didn’t, but they came in and stayed, and it was time to encourage them this week, as they did for me last week.

The theme this week was exercising, and all the excuses we make to avoid it. I’m really happy and proud that I am now at a place where I am committing to exercise at least 5 times a week. When they talked about the benefits of it today…more energy, less  stress, better numbers at your doctor visits…I really was thankful that I had experienced all of that in the last few weeks. It’s not always easy to make the effort and go, and there are classes I am still afraid of…but Elyse shared another very profound statement today with all of us….”you will NEVER regret exercising…you will regret not exercising”. It is so true. Even when I am afraid to go, or fearful of not being able to do something, or even not sure if I can complete a class or do another extra mile on the treadmill…when I press through and complete it and it’s over…I feel absolutely great every single time! Sweaty, gross, tired, exhausted…yet always along with it…empowered and proud of the accomplishment. It definitely sets the tone for my day now.

This past week has been filled with the most amazing “God-incidences” that I can’t wait to write about. A close friend lost 2 pounds at a family resort that had plenty of incredible food, but she held onto the fact that I had lost 6 pounds on the Disney Cruise on Thanksgiving weekend, and we are celebrating her amazing success of losing weight during that vacation week….I met a few girls at the gym who were new, and when they found out that I was in Dr. Oz’s challenge, they actually got me a ticket to go to the show with them THIS Wednesday!!….  A dear friend, who is an amazing artist (you can see his work at http://www.lalinstudio.com) came out to Long Island to help me create business cards to share this blog and my journey with others, he also helped me create an amazing shirt to wear to the Dr. Oz show. I will post pictures in the coming days after I pick it up….Yesterday, my business cards arrived in the mail ( I have never had a business card in my life), and last night I went to a ladies night out of shopping to raise money for a school. I ended up talking to a woman who made beautiful leather pocket books. We chatted for a bit, and as we got on my Dr. Oz story, she told me wonderful stories about him as she use to be a phlebotomist at the same hospital and worked with him. She said he was as wonderful and special in real life, as he is on the show. She, along with the wonderful man she was with, both asked for my cards and told me that they believed in me and would vote for me when it was time.

We talked a bit more, and then she said, “I really want to bless you, and would like to give you one of my business card holders that I made”. She pointed to the end of the table where all of the beautiful holders were. I said that she didn’t have to do that, I would buy one. She sweetly said, “are you raising your voice at me while I am trying to bless you?” I smiled, and the moment left me speechless. All I could think was, “wow Lord, this journey is so much bigger than I could have ever imagined!” Really… what is the chance that on the day that I receive business cards for the first time ever in my life, that I would then be out at night at a school I have never been to, meeting a woman I have never met, who worked with Dr. Oz, and now wants to “bless me” with a business card holder that she made with her own hands?  WOW! I told her to pick one out for me that she loved making. I stood there, and I put my business cards in one section, and in the outside pocket, I put her business card so that I would forever remember this woman, Winnie, who never met me before, and chose to bless me with this beautiful gift this night. As I walked out of the auditorium she said loudly in her kind, sweet voice, “ I love you!”, and without hesitation I responded, “I love you, too!” (and I did)…and I walked out into the rainy night to my car, with tears in my eyes, smiling…goosebumps all over, in total awe of what happened, looking up into the dark cloudy sky just thanking God for what He was continuing to orchestrate in such an awesome way. I couldn’t wait to get in the car and call my husband, to try to put into words what just happened.

I have been sharing last night’s story with my family, friend’s and children all day, and  now with all of you…. I am excited to keep writing and sharing all that is happening, and look forward to what continues to unfold, day after day. Thank you, again and again… for joining in this with me…. For all of your encouragement and powerful words that keep me going and persevering. I am blessed beyond words!