Keeping a secret is very hard so I’m very glad The Rachael Ray Show episode finally aired! I don’t know how it happened or why it happened, but we are truly thankful for the experience! Many great things have happened to us this year, but this has probably been the most life changing thing.
Why was it so life changing? Being on television and visiting NYC are great things, but this experience was life changing because it was a huge wake up call for us. We lost the weight and have managed to keep it off but everything else was still on the back burner. Losing the weight made it more exciting and special to actually go shopping at regular stores but we still hovered in our comfort zones. We didn’t really try to change anything up because we were still living in our old bodies and not embracing the bodies we are living in now.
The Rachael Ray experience gave us two things: time together without worrying about anything at all (which was definitely much needed) and confidence. Willie and I are secure with the people we are and never thought we needed a confidence boost. But as we were leaving the show, things we both realized things were different. I’m a take charge type of person and feel like I’m a natural leader, but in social situations I tend to blend into the crowd and hope to go unnoticed. Willie would much rather go unnoticed most of the time too.
On the show we were surprised with a makeover! Talk about being totally panicked but in a good way. We had no idea what to expect but we knew things could only get better so we went with it. I was excited to see what was going to come from all the fuss. I had not had my hair done in almost two years and I’ve never worn make up a day in my life. I was open to anything. I know Willie was also filled with excitement of the possibility of moving out of his comfort zone. We always struggle with what to wear because we really don’t know how clothes are supposed to fit or what we should be looking for in an outfit. Nine times out of 10 we’re going to go for the super casual look, so I was happy to have something totally different. The dress was something I NEVER would have picked out for me because I’m the cute girl and not the sexy woman! Willie looked so handsome in his new outfit! He has been struggling to find his own personal style and the look that was put together for him was something he really wanted. Who says a man can’t pull of purple? He wore it very nicely.
When I saw him for the first time, I just remember thinking he finally got everything he ever wanted and I was just so happy. These are the people we want to be but just didn’t know how to achieve it…or maybe we were just too afraid to try!
The trip to China was a huge surprise for us! China has always been a big deal for Willie and I and we know most people won’t understand our interest in visiting. I NEVER thought Willie and I would be able to travel much less travel abroad so this is really a huge blessing. We never really had a honeymoon after we were married, but we constantly talked about traveling the world together. This will be the first step in experiencing new things and cultures. Loyal blog readers know there will be lots of pictures, lots of food and lots of activity to report back on from the trip. Running The Great Wall Marathon was something I put on my list this year after falling in love with running so I’m really hoping to make this happen. The Great Wall Marathon is May 1, 2014 and I fully intend to be running a marathon in China and Willie might even run the half marathon! We’ve spent the past couple of weeks randomly turning to each other, grinning ear to ear, and saying, “I can’t believe we’re going to CHINA!” This is our trip of a lifetime!
I was wicked excited to meet Rachael Ray BECAUSE she is the reason I started cooking FOR REAL. My best friend and I would sit down to watch 30 minute meals in college and then head down to dorm kitchen to whip stuff up. I don’t think I would have started really caring about making meals if it wasn’t for her. I wanted to get the chance to tell her that in person because she changed the way I looked at food and got me cooking balanced meals. And I was so happy to see Gina Neely as co-host of the show. She is so funny and a southern gal just like myself. Plus, Willie is from Memphis so they have a little bit of a connection there. It’s also inspiring because she lost her weight and looks so good!
Before I end this post, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone at The Rachael Ray Show. The producers were so friendly and great. We spent some time with Stephanie, Mandie and Jessica and they were totally amazing. They helped change our lives and gave us an experience we’ll never forget. Rachael Ray and Gina Neely were so friendly and down to earth. They really made us feel at home and comfortable in a very scary situation for us. We want to thank all of these people we did get to meet and all the people we didn’t get to meet who made that day truly special for us! Just know, you have changed our lives for the better and we hope to continue to make your happy and proud every day! Thanks for taking a chance on us! Thank you for letting my best friend and I continue down a great rewarding journey of weight loss, motivation and inspiration!