This week, I was not as dilligent as I have been. It was my birthday, so I gave myself a few allowances, like cake and half a bacon cheeseburger from the Vortex and soda.
However, on Sunday, I did hike/walk slowly/crawl Little Kennesaw Mountain. It was tons of fun!
My overall weight loss has been three pounds over the last two weeks.
This week, I'm going to kick it into high gear. I'm working out every day of the week. On Tuesday, I'll join in with the . and I will update this article with other local events so that you all can join me.
As I mentioned last week, I am going to begin Weight Watchers. Last week, I wasn't sure, but because of what happened Wednesday, I'm convinced that it's the next best step for me.
So what happened Wednesday?
Early Wednesday morning, I was working as usual. I saw on Kennesaw Patch (thank God for Patch!) that Jennifer Hudson, THE Jennifer Hudson, was coming to Kennesaw at 2 p.m. to sign a copy of her book about her weight loss journey.
As soon as I read it, I knew I was going to meet her. It would be perfect for this column. Oooh, what if I could get a photo of her in a Patch t-shirt? What if I could get a video clip of her saying “Hey South Cobb, you can do it! Keep it moving!” or something?
I was so excited, and Lindsey Davidson, Woodstock-Towne Lake Patch editor, was joining me.
So, where’s the picture with Ms. Hudson with the Patch tee?
I handed my iPhone to the woman in line behind us. It was set on “camera,” so all she had to do was point and click the button, which I showed her.
Lindsey and I stood on either side of Jennifer, who held up the Patch t-shirt. We stood there frozen with smiles for a very long 20 seconds waiting as the woman took our photo.
“OK, guys, move along,” we were told.
“Thanks Jennifer!” we said, giddy, as someone handed me back my phone.
I smiled as I looked down at it and saw the picture above. I was horrified. I browsed through the photos. No, no, this could not be. This woman certainly did not take that long to snap a photo of her finger and the sleeve of someone’s coat!
“What? Whaaaat??!! You’re kidding” or “I would be so mad,” friends told me after I told them the story.
“I’d have chopped that woman in the throat,” others said to make me laugh.
I was never once angry. There was nothing left to do but laugh. I showed it to Lindsey. She laughed.
OK, OK, they’ll let us take another. We told our story to a few people and after a little hesitation, they let us get back in line. Excitement grew again as we got closer to her.
This time we had someone who we knew could take the photo. As we got up to the table, we were shooed away.
“No, you can’t,” they told us.
“Oh, the last picture didn’t—“
“Nope. You gotta go.”
I looked back and saw there were only three people behind us in line. Surely, Jennifer Hudson would say something.
However, she wasn’t sure what was happening. It was all happening so fast. This must’ve been how Ralphie felt in “A Christmas Story” when he tried to ask Santa for a Red Ryder BB gun.
A public relations gentleman said, “Sorry guys. We can’t let you take a photo. It says right there (and I never turned to see where he was pointing, but I never saw a sign either time we went through the line) that you cannot take a photo with her. We didn’t let US Weekly or People, so…”
I’m sure the expression on my face prompted him to explain further.
“I know that’s not the answer you wanted to hear,” he said, with even a twinge of sympathy this time.
It would be too disappointing to walk out without a photo. As my mind raced to find another solution, the man finished talking and had even walked away.
Slowly, we made our way to the exit. I looked over and next to me stood… Jennifer Hudson.
Sweet, sweet Jennifer Hudson.
She was thin and model-like. Her wavy locks blew in the wind and her black belt wrapped around her electric blue minidress showed just how far she had come.
It was amazing.
The small crowd still there instantly pulled out their cameras and began snapping.
They thanked her for coming out.
Once Jennifer Hudson left, I excitedly asked the small group of women if anyone had accidentally shot a photo with me next to her.
They chuckled, but shook their heads no. (Somebody was lying, but hey, whatever helps you sleep at night.)
Insert huge, deep, exaggerated sigh here.
The best part of the entire experience is the time I spent waiting earlier and talking with other women, all of whom were Weight Watchers users.
When I first pulled into the parking lot, I fully expected a gigantic line of women just as excited as I was.
I was surprised to see only four women there.
As we talked, I began to wonder if I was in a Weight Watchers commercial. Are there cameras around? Hidden mics?
These women absolutely believed in Weight Watchers and as I listened to their stories, I absolutely believed in them.
They came from various walks of life. One woman had lost 115 pounds and another had lost 65 pounds.
“I can eat whatever I want,” one woman said. “It’s just about how much of it I eat.”
The ladies all nodded in agreement.
One woman shared her story. She is always on the go with work, an 8-year-old son and a dad in poor health. When she has free time, she spends it taking care of her ailing father, she said.
She eats out often and takes her Weight Watchers dining guide with her wherever she goes.
We shared our stories of the moment we knew it was time to make a lifestyle change.
“I knew it when I was out of breath just walking up stairs,” someone said.
“Oh, and how about getting winded when you tie your shoes?” another said, who walked up a few minutes earlier.
They laughed at the familiar challenge.
“Oh, yeah, I had to do the one-leg-kick-out,” a third lady said and showed us the move she would do 65 pounds ago.
We laughed again.
“I knew it when I couldn’t wear heels like I used to,” I said.
They knew about that as well. It was nice to share experiences and have other women understand exactly what you’ve been through.
At one point, the women began showing their “before” pictures. This was the real kicker. The pictures were of women who looked vaguely like them, but were not them. Couldn’t be.
“I was always athletic. Shapely, but athletic. It wasn’t until after I got married that I started gaining weight.”
Hm, not that I’m in any rush to get married, but this was certainly another con against the institution, I thought. I made a mental note of it.
“My husband and son have metabolism that is unfair, but now it’s starting to catch up with my husband.”
“I’ve always been confident. Even at my heaviest, I didn’t feel ugly or anything. I just wanted to get healthy for me. You can’t help other people when you’re not healthy.”
Sometimes God finds ways to provide confirmation of a revelation you’ve had recently.
This was mine. Last week’s column was supposed to be about how I started the challenge not because I felt like I didn’t look good. I may be at my heaviest, but I certainly don’t feel unattractive.
This challenge is not about vanity. It’s about feeling good and being healthy. It’s about changing my life and learning to make commitments.
I piped up. “That’s exactly how I felt! You know at the beginning of every flight, they tell you, ‘In the event of an emergency, put your oxygen mask on first and then help your neighbor.’ You can’t help others when you’re fighting to breathe.”
The woman leaned in and said a little softer, “That’s what I always say. You gotta put on your oxygen mask first.” She smiled.
What I kept hearing again and again was commitment.
“You are not going to change unless you really want to and are committed,” they’d tell me.
Tenacity is one of my best character traits. I can’t give up on a challenge. I was telling someone just last week not to worry about a certain test. “You got this,” I told her. If only I would take my own advice, or even Jennifer Hudson’s. The name of her book, I learned yesterday when I bought it, is “I Got This.”
This weight loss challenge is one of the biggest, most visible commitments I’ve made in a long time. I’ve got this, and if that’s what you needed to realize right now, know that you, also, have got this– whatever this is in your life right now.
So, it was certainly disappointing to not get my photo with Jennifer Hudson. At least it made for a good story, and all things works together. I’ve seen it happen time and time again in my life, and I still believe Lindsey and I will meet Jennifer Hudson and tell her this story. You know, maybe she’ll fly us out to L.A. and we’ll have lunch, a healthy but delicious lunch. And when I politely make a gesture to pay the check, she’ll say, “No, girl. Don’t worry about that. I got this.”