By now, most of you know that my weight loss story was featured on the show The Doctors earlier this month, and you are probably wondering how this happened. One thing about living in Los Angeles is that you’re never more than 2 degrees of separation from someone in the entertainment industry. My amazing coworker and friend Krissy is married to a producer on the show, and casually said one day “I need to tell Justin to put you on it.” I thought it was a sweet sentiment, but just something you say in passing. Lo and behold, months later, Justin asked me if I wanted to be on TV.
If you know me at all, you know that being in the spotlight makes me feel super weird and uncomfortable. There’s no way to say this without sounding like I’m full of myself, but I’ve turned down press opportunities in the past because I can’t deal with the attention. Honest to goodness, a big part of my aversion is that I don’t feel like what I’ve done is THAT impressive. Don’t get me wrong, losing a large amount of weight is a great thing that not just anyone has the drive and willpower to do. What I mean is, I know so many others just like myself who are kicking way more ass than me. Why do I get this chance? I’ve been half-assing my health for the past year and a half. But this is TV! I’d be an idiot to say no.
It all happened really quickly. From the moment Justin told me my segment got the green light, within the span of a week, I met with fashion stylist Lawrence Zarian so I could go shopping and try on clothes and twirl around in front of him like Pretty Woman. Then a story producer came to my house and taped my voice overs and B roll of my feet while I walked up and down the street. I tore my house apart looking for all the “before” pictures I could find (I can’t say it enough: TAKE THOSE BEFORE PICTURES AND KEEP THEM SAFE!). And on a Thursday afternoon, I went down to the Paramount Lot in Hollywood to tape my actual segment in front of a live audience.
Taping day lasted about 6 hours. I sat in my dressing room and read for a couple hours before I was taken to the backstage “makeover” room where I got a haircut and my makeup done. The style team and I sat around again for another hour or so, but it went by quickly because they were hilarious and awesome and totally my new BFFs.
Finally, it was my turn to face the Doctors and the audience. I was dashing around back stage barefoot, but from my holding place backstage I had to put my shoes on. During that 10 foot walk to the stage, I stumbled TWICE, which did not bode well for my onstage walking, but I managed to survive. The fact that I stayed upright was a fucking miracle, let me tell ya.
I was so grateful that my time in front of the camera was minimal, and that Lawrence did most of the talking. That helped ease my nerves quite a bit, and I wasn’t nearly as dorky as I thought I’d be. I remember someone telling me “just keep staring into my camera and smile until I give you the cue to stop. Can you keep that smile up?” I said I couldn’t stop smiling if I tried.
The day it aired, Crack and I watched it in my living room. Or I should say, Crack watched while I hid inside my hoodie and peeked through a hole. He teased me the whole time it was on, but in the end said that it kicked ass and I should be proud. And I was…am.
The phone calls, messages, emails I got from my friends and family after were so amazing. I’m not a cryer, but everyone who told me they cried watching it almost made me shed a tear. We all think we’re just one person that can’t ever make a difference in someone else’s life, but we can. Even if it’s just a little bit.