I'll let Amy tell her own story. You can find her blog at http://www.aim-to-change.blogspot.com/ .
I've "known" Amy for three years online. We've been forum buddies - only in the last six months or so we've become friends, along with a group of us who are on similar journeys. We refer to each other as "The Posse". These bright, articulate, fun, courageous wome are there to watch your back, pick you up and dust you off when things get rough, applaud your wins and offer friendship, love and support unconditionally. It's a blessing, not only for this weight loss journey, but for life.
There wasn't a second thought about going to Sydney yesterday. Over the last few weeks the group and I have watched as Amy's jumped through a lot of hoops - at times at the expense of her physical and mental wellbeing. Being there for her photo shoot on Saturday needed to be done - not that she wouldn't have been okay by herself, but I really wanted to lend her some moral support. Both Trin and I felt the same. We were going to be there to help her celebrate as well as let her know she wasn't alone.
Trin and I are in the middle of our own journeys. We're aware of how hard and confronting a total makever could be. Gee, we can get emotional when you buy something in the next size down - what would it be like to be totally transformed?!
Being in Sydney yesterday was a no brainer.
Meeting up with Amy for the first time was like being with a very old friend after years of separation - as if no time had ever passed - even though we'd technically never met. The Biggest Loser support staff were amazed that the three of us weren't the oldest of friends. But Trin and Amy and I are old friends - we've just never physically been in the same space. Strangely, it feels like this with all of the support group.
During the course of the morning, we watched as Amy was tranformed. With a lovely, patient, encouraging stylist and a very down to earth makeup artist our friend was zhushed into the glorious being we know her to be on the outside to match insides - not that there is anything wrong with her outsides now as they normally are. The photographer on hand was a great fellow as well, funny, approachable and able to put our girl at ease.
It was a great morning, watching over the process as Amy and two others had their photo shoots. At times, there was a bit of chicken dancing going on in the background to take her mind off things (my speciality is the Chicken Dance - goes with my chicken legs) We were there to prop her up when needed and just be there to let her know things were okay.
Things came a little unstuck for a few minutes when they asked her to pull out an "old" article of clothing. I will also let Amy relate this if she wishes to - but it was an incredibly poignant moment as we watched our friend face her former self. A few tears, some reiki and a lot of encouragement and things got back on track again.
I had a chat the managing director of the Biggest Loser Club - a laid back Kiwi, who was mooching around the set. Being the nosy person I am I asked who he belonged to and we struck up a conversation. Had a good chat about life, the club and the journey in general. He asked what I liked about the club. The tools and the forums - realising you're not alone on this journey was a powerful message. And what I didn't like. Well, I found the meal replacements and the express model they have going a sell out - but as an occasional user of the meal replacements I couldn't judge too harshly. And what was the club missing? More on the psychology of the journey. Eating right and exercising is nearly pointless if you don't have your head in the right spot. More should be done about getting you through the journey emotionally. It takes time to get your head around the changes as not only I, but every one of the club members in the room has experienced.
Karen, another club member receiving a makeover was in exactly the same boat. She was shown the photos of herself on the computer and burst into tears. She hadn't realised just how far this journey had taken her. Karen looked incredible. Losing 50 kilos will do that to you. A beautiful spirit inside and out as well - and that not only because she's from Adelaide.
Trin and I now have it in our heads to keep going. We want a makeover! It's quite a few kilos away for both of us, but gee we want one. Watch this space.
Once the shoot was over, after we'd met a couple of contestants who'd come to the studio for further shoots Amy, Trin and I went and found some lunch and has a walk around Sydney, taking in the enormity of the morning. It was huge. What Amy has done is nothing short of incredible.
I'm honoured to call her and Trin my friends.
Of course, the obligatory shots of the big coat hanger and the "Nuns in a Scrum" building had to be taken.
Yeah, I know, you can't really make me out - but I have a waist now and here's proof - and I'm loving that!.. (And just like the Stig, I'm The Pand - nobody knows my real identity...)
After a bit more mooching and some lunch, it was back to the studio to grab our stuff. We left Amy to get back to her sister's place in outer Sydney and Trin and I went to the airport to make our way home.
A day filled with the best blessings imaginable. The blessing of friendship.
The full force of yesterday hit me this morning. I'm exhausted - a little headachy even. I missed pump - feeling too blah to even give it a go, though I met up with Emm after for a coffee. I cried off the engineering barbeque - too tired. And now I'm off to Blarney and Barney's to wish Chance and Lance a happy first birthday. I made them a cake.
It's been a memorable weekend. I'm pretty sure the weekend in two weeks time will be even bigger. 12wbt finale, the whole of the posse is getting together.
Think I'd better stock up on berocca.