Whenever the first of the month happens on a Monday, or even a Sunday, I feel like it is the perfect time to start anew. Whether you need to refocus on your fitness and nutrition goals, start a hobby you’ve been meaning to pick up, or something as simple as queuing up that TV series on Netflix you’ve wanted to watch forever. Maybe you just want to say to yourself, “Today is a new day, a new month, a fresh start, and I’m going to try my hardest to be super nice to that really, really annoying dude in my class/office.”
October 1st fell on a Monday, and I was determined to make the remainder of this year a good one. Little did I know just how good it would be. In the late afternoon, my phone rang displaying an unknown 212 area code number. I hardly ever answer my phone even when it’s someone I know, but something told me I should pick this one up. Per usual, I Googled the number before answering and learned that the unknown caller was Weight Watchers corporate office.
Ruh roh. What could they possibly want? Did I piss someone off with my less-than-stellar ActiveLink review? Was my credit card declined? How did they know I just deleted the eTools app from my phone?! Mind you, my phone was still ringing during this self-interrogation but I snapped out of it quickly enough to pick up before it went to voicemail.
On the other end was a lovely-sounding woman calling to discuss the essay I submitted for Weight Watchers’ Celebrate Success contest back in August. OH YEAH…I DID submit an essay! But, I thought they already picked the finalists? What? So confused. Then again I am easily confused. But I digress…
The lovely woman explained that she’s with a department separate from the contest, and that upon reviewing my submission, Weight Watchers decided they would like to invite me to New York City for a Success Story photo shoot. At this point, all my four and a half senses diminished and her voice became a muffled sound in the distance as I attempted to process what she was telling me. Somehow I managed to blurt out a “WOW Uh… WOW! Yes. WOW! What? YES PLEASE!”
She explained that I would be receiving an email the following day with more details about the shoot, and information on how to get my travel arrangements booked. I thanked her a thousand times for the opportunity, ended the call, and sat silently at my desk for a minute wondering if that all really happened. For the next 24 hours prior to receiving the confirmation email, it didn’t seem real. I was certain I misheard her, and that she was only telling me I was being considered, not chosen.
I didn’t want to tell anyone yet, but I couldn’t hold it in so I sent Dawn a multiple-text freakout. Waiting for that email to arrive seemed like a lifetime and a half, and by lunch time (3pm east coast time) I was starting to get discouraged. I eventually received it, let out a sigh of relief, and allowed myself to be proud for a mere moment.
Not to downplay what I’ve accomplished this past year and a half (I have come here to get fit and chew bubblegum…and I’m pretty sure bubblegum isn’t veganish) but I imagine the decision makers had to read thousands of essays, and that mine landed on someone’s desk at the right place and right time. Sure, I’ve lost over 130 pounds, but there is an amazing Twitter world and blogosphere out there that has accomplished the same if not more. To say that I feel incredibly blessed to have been given this opportunity would just not cover it.
Here are some random details about the shoot that I’ve managed to retain in my pea brain:
I fly to NYC the morning of October 18th and have the evening to myself to explore the city that I love so much. (On a related note, I kind of wish I didn’t already have an NYC vacation planned just a couple weeks later!) What will actually happen: I will stay in my room, do some work remotely, probably write some long and rambling blog about how excited and nervous I am, then turn in early.
My shoot will last for a few hours on Friday the 19th where I’ll be painted and prettied up and dressed in some borrowed clothes. I was also instructed to bring my own shoes, and a nice outfit as a backup. Someone will be calling me to get my measurements and style preferences.
After that, if I’m not too drained, I will probably meet up with local friends in the area for dinner and drinks or maybe troll the city for BBH, then get up bright and early Saturday morning for some SHOPPING!!! until my flight leaves in the late afternoon.
I’m still not sure how this will all work, so I have no idea if my package is just going into a database for the web people to choose from whenever they need to rotate fresh stories or what. I was told that my story would go up “in the next few months to a year,” but honestly? Even if it never sees the light of day, the opportunity and moment of recognition by a company that is largely responsible for my success is more than I could have ever asked for.
And! The timing of the shoot couldn’t have been more perfect. When she told me it would happen THIS MONTH, I panicked. October is already the busiest month of the year for me with my corporate seminar coming up. Thankfully, the seminar is being held the weekend before. It is also perfect because two weeks’ lead time is enough for me to prepare, but not so far away that I’d be miserable counting down the days. I apologize in advance if I can’t shut up about it for the next two and a half weeks. I’ll try my best to keep a lid on it. No promises though!
And finally…thank you. To all of you. You, you, and you as well. Yeah, I guess you too.