Today was one of the weirdest days of my life.
I woke up in New York city, in a hotel room, and I had miraculously transformed into a supermodel.
Okay, so that’s not exactly how it happened. In actuality, I participated in something that Woman’s World magazine is calling the Deskside Diet. For one week after Thanksgiving, I ate a reasonable diet and used a little bicycle pedaler that fit under my desk while I worked.
I used it for two hours a day, mostly while I was blogging or gabbing on the phone, and I lost 5 pounds in a week.
This was especially meaningful for me, as I have been battling a thyroid problem for the last several years, and my previous exercise and diet efforts have resulted in a steady and utterly depressing weight gain. (Sometimes so depressing I would occasionally be forced to eat ice cream for therapeutic reasons.) Work out three times a week with a personal trainer? Gained 8 pounds. Walk 5 days a week for an hour a day? Gained 3 pounds. Power-snack with Cheetos while trying to make my deadline for Fifteen Minutes of Shame? You don’t want to know.
After I lost the 5 pounds, Woman’s World asked me if I’d like to fly to NYC to be a model for their Valentine’s Day cover.
After I stopped jumping up and down and screaming, I said, “why yes, I’d love to.”
So, after an emergency hair appointment, an emergency body wrap, an emergency eyebrow waxing, and an emergency pedicure, I jetted off to the Big Apple.
I have been especially motivated to lose that last 10 pounds because I’ll be going on tour at the end of March for Fifteen Minutes of Shame and the last thing I want is to feel frumpy and flabby as I shlep myself through twenty cities. Mostly, I don’t want to look like I might eat one of the cute little TV hosts I’ll be sitting next to in every city.
(And as my friend and fellow author Lisa McLeod always says, “The only thing that will keep a writer from eating is the threat of an impending book tour.”)
So, this morning, I rolled out of bed at a leisurely 8:30, took a quick shower, ordered an omelet from room service and headed over to the photographer’s studio.
10 am — I arrive at the Pat Hill studio with clean hair and no makeup whatsoever, as per instructions. I also have a small welt over my eye where the woman who waxed my eyebrows yesterday accidentally yanked off a little skin with the stray hairs. I have been getting my eyebrows waxed for fifteen years, and have never before had any problems. I’m hoping that this is not a bad omen.
10:05 — I ask to use the restroom and when I’m finished, the toilet will not flush. (Not my fault, I swear.) Also hoping this is not a bad omen.
10:15 — My luck improves as I spot the craft services table, loaded with eggs, fruit, sweets, and a tray of beverages. I momentarily regret spending $34 for the omelette back at the hotel. (Welcome to New York.)
10:30 — Cynthia, the stylist (I have a stylist!) shows me the long rack of blouses and jeans for me to try on, all red and pink for Valentine’s day. I try on every piece of clothing, we pick the best ones, and wait for the Creative Director, Richie’s final decision. There are no skirts or dresses, (my staple!) only jeans. I usually avoid jeans because I am high-waisted and don’t find them flattering. But, we supermodels wear what we’re told, so I put the jeans on with a smile.
10:45 — Pascal, the fabulous French hairstylist begins straightening and styling my hair as Berta, the makeup artist attempts to manufacture cheekbones using only powder and magic. Berta is used to working on celebrities and musicians, and was mentored by Kevyn Aucoin, the only makeup artist I’ve ever heard of. (Well, him and Max Factor.) I am feeling pretty damned glamorous, and spend the next half hour trying to figure out how I can squeeze the word “dahling” into the conversation.
11:00 — Richie has selected my first outfit, and wonders out loud whether or not I might have any Spanx. I do, and they work their elastic miracle, keeping the muffin top under control for the moment. (I’m REALLY high-waisted. My jeans would pretty much have to come up to my underwire for me to avoid any lumps.)
11:15 — They start the fan, which blows my hair gently, and makes me feel like a real-life cover girl. (Who knew? I’m thinking of installing one in my bedroom.)
11:30 — 2:00. I stand in front of the camera for the first time, as Berta, Pascal, and Cynthia do their final touch-ups under the lights. Richie shows me how to balance on one leg, with the other foot thrust out, angling my hips to the side, with my shoulders facing the camera, my shoulders relaxed, my hands precisely placed at my sides, my elbow pointed forward, sucking in my stomach (but not so much that my chest sticks out,) smiling in such a way that my mouth is open enough that there is a one-inch space between my upper and lower teeth, but my forehead doesn’t wrinkle.
And of course, looking natural.
It was a strange day, a fun day, a thrilling day.
It was a day I’ll never forget, especially on the week of February 11th, when the issue hits a grocery store near you.
18 Replies to “Lisa Daily, unlikely supermodel.”
Lisa I LOVED this. Thanks for letting me live vicariously through you… and you look GORGEOUS!! Can’t wait to see the cover!!!!
Amazing what a hairstylist, makeup artist, wardrobe stylist, creative director, lighting guy, fan guy, and professional photographer can do 🙂
How absolutely fabulous! You superstar you! I wish I’d have been pedaling that thing too!!! (somehow that hour a day of yoga and hour of cross-training or spinning hasn’t been doing it for me!!! Hmmm…maybe I should get that thyroid checked out 😉
You should get it checked. I wish I hadn’t waited so long. I kept thinking, I’d feel better, “when the baby started sleeping through the night”, “when the baby stopped nursing”, “as soon as I got back into exercising.” Nothing worked, and the whole “burn more calories than you consume” model was not working on me — finally my doc told me I was only buring 800 calories a day at my resting rate (most women my age would burn 1600 – 1800), so short of starvation, there was no way to lose weight.
I just kept feeling betrayed, because my body wasn’t responding to diet and exercise the way a normal person’s would. Being on the thyroid meds has really turned things around (although it has taken about 7 months for me to feel the effects.)
Get yours checked — it’s a simple test.
What a dream experience and what a dream promotional event that will be! 😉
Oh my gosh Lisa, this is so exciting! You look GORGEOUS!!!!! I love that you posted pictures, too. Way to go, superstar! 🙂
ACK! You look FAB. Divine. Stunning. This is going to be amazing. I’m going to tell everyone I know you. Play along if anyone asks.
Thanks Larramie! You’re right!!
Thanks Jess! It was a great day 🙂
Eileen, I’ll tell Oprah we’re pals from way back. You do the same if you talk to her first. 🙂
What fun! I bought that pedaler from The Vermont Country Store last year for my Dad (who is elder) but he never used it. Maybe I’ll steal it for under my own desk.
$34 omelette? What, only one egg? I’ll never for my first $14 bowl of Rice Krispies at The Palace in 1995!
Will you please remind us to buy Woman’s World in Feb?
How exciting!!! and you look great in the photo. BTW, where can I get one of those pedal things?
Vermont Country Store sells the pedal exerciser.
Kim — hilarious 🙂 You should steal it back. And yes, I’ll be happy to remind you!!
Maureen — Thanks so much! I used the Magne Trainer (www.magnetrainer.com)
Kim again — thanks for the heads up!
Love the photos and the story, Lisa. You look wonderful!
Aww, you’re sweet.
Lisa, you look gorgeous! What fun! Thanks for sharing it with us, and please do remind everyone when the magazine comes out. I wouldn’t want to miss it OR the opportunity to say that I knew you “when.”
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