Show airing: Tuesday February 16, 2010!!
Phew. I don’t even know where to start! I had a complete blast! I could barely contain my excitement for most of the time (dork!!)
First off, there are no pictures of the actual taping, as that was not allowed, and I was a good person and followed those rules. There is no way they would not have seen me take them, either, as I was sitting in the center on the end of the row! My mother came with me as my guest (Yay!). The staff had train tickets for me, so we boarded up on Tuesday afternoon:
Mom and I on the way to NYC! I love riding the train!
After we got into Penn Station, we took a cab to the Hilton hotel. It was so cool to give them my reservation number and they said “Everything is taken care of”.
We were on the 39th floor
It was a cushy room! We went down to the lobby area and bumped into Dawn, whom we spent quite a bit of time chatting with. She was so warm and wonderful. So neat to put voices to faces. Didn’t see anyone else until the next morning. We had an early call at 7:20 am to meet in the lobby. There were about 25 of us at this hotel. There was much gabbing to be had in the lobby. I finally met Sarah in the lobby. She is such a wonderful lady:
I also met Diane, but very briefly. I would have liked to have chatted with her more. There just was not enough time to talk to people as we were moved around so much and in various lines. However, that led to meeting so many people! Some of these people lost an incredible amount of weight. Some over 300 pounds! Ironically, at 105 pounds lost, I was one of the ‘smaller’ losers LOL! That perception thing.
We spent a *lot* of time in lines:
I think we spent as much time in lines as we did actually taping. The ‘losers’ then separated out from the other guests and got our special tickets and tshirts.
They also had a paddle for each of us with how much weight we lost! Here are Dawn and I posing:
Why does my hair look so bleached in these pictures?? Surreal moment happened as I was walking with my paddle alone in Rockafeller center and I see Richard Simmons and his entourage come through. He must have seen my paddle because he starts walking in my direction. I didn’t think he was coming to me, but he came right up, hugged me and kissed me 4 times on the cheek and said “Congratulations” and then walked away. I was totally flabbergasted! And no one was around to take my picture LOL! He was exactly like you see him all the time on TV. The man never changes.
The taping itself was a sensory overload. I ended up sitting in the center section of the stage the rotates around so you are always facing were the doctor was, which was pretty cool. It basically taped in 7 segments, where the tape would roll and the action would happen. Then sets would be moved around and we would be given some instructions before the next live set. Diane did a segment on stage with Dr. Oz. She was so calm and cool about it and very professional. And tall and slender! (Everyone seemed tall to me, what is up with that lately?).
At the end we were all on stage with Dr. Oz. I have to say that I was so impressed with him. He honestly and truly seemed so genuine. There a point where the stage crew were saying to have the audience leave so they could do promo pics and he said “No, we made these drinks for them and I want them to have them” (referring to smoothies you will see during the show.) It was like he really noticed us and cared about us instead the cattle moving in and out. Not that the staff was not nice, they were, but you could tell they just wanted to move us along.
Dr. Oz was also very accessible. At the end while we were still on stage, I went up to thank him for letting me be part of the show, and he hugged me and said the show was for us.
I have to say that this show was so emotional in many ways – joy, tears, pride, enthusiasm and just so much energy! While only a few people were featured on the show, they could have pulled any one of us up there and had an inspirational story. It was almost overwhelming. Please, if you are struggling or if you know someone who is, they need to watch this show. Heck – even if you are maintaining, doing great, or just love healthy living, watch this show. There were 2 moments for me that I loved, and that was when a woman name Merrill (??) came out and talked. She was fabulous. And then Richard Simmons said something about when you wake up every day, you never know who you are going to inspire that day and how. That really struck a chord in me.
I felt so privileged and honored to be part of this. We are all big losers, but really – we are all big winners! What a special connection to have to all of these people.
Of course, as you know – there was a blizzard hitting the city the day of taping! I was so worried about getting home, but they actually booked us all for another night in a hotel, which was very nice of them. However, since we were going north, our train was still going ahead, so we were able to board and go home.
I did have a NY bagel, though – you all know I wouldn’t leave there without it! I was hangry by this time:
Nice quiet train ride home, where we had only an inch of snow (sorry mid Atlantic!)
All of this happened in 24 hours. I kept saying to my mother that I couldn’t believe all of that had happened.
I have a lot of thoughts and realizations that I came to because of this, and I need to mull them out into a post. I am still trying to process the whole experience.