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.