Thursday, July 9, 2009

My Adventures in Making an Infomercial...

I’m back from Charlotte, NC! You didn’t even know I’d been missing – other than the lack of blog postings, did you?. : ) I was off to my “big debut” into the infomercial world.

I left Tuesday morning for Charlotte. But let’s back it up. Tuesday morning I was stressed. Super stressed. It all started Monday late afternoon when I headed off to the mall to find a new suit to wear. I hate to admit it, but I had been putting off buying a new suit until I had gotten rid of my baby weight and was back to my “old” body. I even procrastinated over the 4th of July weekend.

Three years after the birth of Angelfish and Ladybug, several realizations finally came to me: 1) it is highly unlikely I will ever get back to my “old” body due to the spreading of my hips and my rib cage (Twins are a gift but they also do crazy things to your body while in gestation.) and my PCOS issues; 2) the last time I bought a new suit was in 2003 or 2004 before I went in-house and no longer have to wear suits on a daily basis; 3) squeezing myself into the old pre-baby suits is not as attractive as I could look; and 4) I am going to be on television. I decided the need for a new suit could no longer be denied. It is no secret that I do not like the way my body looks. I avoid mirrors and having my picture taken… unlike a vampire, it’s not that I fear my image won’t show up; I fear that I will definitely show up and not like the way I look. If a skirt is too long or too short, my legs end up looking like tree trunks. If a pair of pants waist is a little too high or too low, I look pregnant if you look at me from the right angle.

All the training for triathlons has helped my body. I am more muscular instead of more flabby (although I still have some fat too), except for my stomach. The irony that is my stomach is this: the stronger the muscles underneath my stretched out skin get, the looser the skin gets. Sure it doesn’t stick out as far as it used to when there was more fat under there, but it sure sticks out. I even tried what a girlfriend of mine calls the gift from heaven, “spanx.” For me, it didn’t really do much to change the situation… maybe I need a smaller size because it doesn’t seem to pull things like described by my friend. While I can pull the skin out, stretch it and even pull it up to my rib cage, I cannot make it disappear. I never realized how vain I was until my old body was gone and I was left with the one I have. Trying to find the beauty in what is left, is rather difficult. So, to say the least, I do not like to shop and generally having small people in tow helps me have an excuse not to do it. Of course, this also explains my complete lack of a decent wardrobe… But off I went. The quest in hand – the search for a black suit.

First stop, Florida Mall which has a Macy’s, a Dillards, a Nordstroms, and a Saks Fifth Avenue. Should be perfect. Uh, yeah. I either didn’t like the suits they had or they were complete inappropriate (hot pink? Black skirt and short sleeve green blazer?). Definitely not the attire I was looking for. I did find one nice brown houndstooth pantsuit, which I bought because it was a beautiful suit and I will have the occasion to need more than one suit… plus I don’t need to wear black suits every time.

Then I asked where the local Ann Taylor was. Pre-baby, these were the suits that fit the best and they never were lacking in the black suit department (remember this is like 2003/2004) and, that’s what I’d been squeezing myself into, so I had a general idea of what size I probably needed. I get in the car and start driving. I called a friend to find out directions, and followed what she said to discover she told me to go East when she meant West on the highway, turned around and passed the exit I needed, circled back around and finally got to The Mall of the Millenia. I headed straight to Macy’s, which had exactly the same selection as the other mall. On to Ann Taylor. They aren’t really carrying suits right now. Huh? The only suit they had was on clearance (cool) but they were completely out of the blazer. I need a suit, not pants or a skirt!

So, I go to Banana Republic, a place that I typically do not do well in because I have to go up a size from what I wear pretty much everywhere else and post-baby this used to make me hit a number that I refused to allow myself to buy for that kind of money. But, while still in double digits, one heck of a lot better than I used to be… and the black suit that they had and the suit shirts they had fit so well that I didn’t even need to get a tailor. I was tired – 4 hours after I started the quest – but feeling pretty happy that I got a suit and it wasn’t teetering on plus size.

Until I got home and totally freaked out because somewhere they didn’t ring up or give me the blue shirt that I REALLY had wanted to wear on TV because I thought it made me look pretty. There’s not a lot that I think makes me look pretty these days, so melt down central.

Poor Mr. Darcy had to endure the meltdown that resulted from 4 hours worth of my looking at my body under florescent lighting making my stomach looking even more like whale blubber than it normally does. I called the store and even with the miracle of fed ex, the timing would not work out.

After finishing my packing and recovering from the meltdown (hopefully poor Mr. Darcy has as well), you would have thought that Tuesday morning I would be jumping on my bike for a 25 mile ride. Nope. I just wanted to be home with my girls as long as I could, get some work done that I didn’t want to pile up before I left, and just go to the airport. Which is what I did. I optimistically told myself that I would run 4 miles when I got to the hotel before I went to dinner with my cousin and her new husband. Nope.

I called my cousin who got a hold of her husband and they came and picked me up pretty much right away. While I waited the half hour for them to arrive, I watched 1 ½ episodes of “The Golden Girls.” But I was in a better mood. And I had a great time with my cousin and her hubby. Ate at the best Mexican restaurant I’ve ever been to, even better than my old favorite – which is rather tough to beat. But move over Nuevo Laredo Cantina, Cantina 1115 has taken over top billing. All I can say is this: incredible house margaritas, guacamole, chicken Milanese tacos, and even (bad girl that I am) Nutella peanut butter pie (we split it 3 ways). No place better. Perhaps part of my problem is my love for food too.
Wednesday morning, I got up and biked 25 miles on the stationary bike in the hotel gym. I figured it would be better to leave out 4 miles running instead of 25 miles biking in the big scheme of things. Plus, if I get myself motivated enough, it would be easy enough to squeeze that into my Sunday morning than the 25 mile bike.

I missed my sweet Aerodite, even if I have seat issues with her. Stationary bikes are just not the same. I am definitely stronger than I was, doing a random hill program for 25 miles in level 10 and level 9… something unheard of several months ago. I laughed when I saw it estimated my mph at around 25 at one point. Definitely not reality. I’ve never gotten above 23 on my bike and that was on a downhill. But, it was completed at least. I read on another blog that sometimes we do not always have to have perfect workouts, but we do need to be present. Yup, that was today. So I’m hoping I’ll squeeze that 4 mile run in sometime soon too.

After doing some work and trying to make myself as beautiful as possible, I finally headed downstairs to check out and wait for the call to go for my filming. I had a grilled chicken sandwich and about 10 fries. It was the best resistance to the fries I could muster… they didn’t have vegetables for substitution. Not the best idea to hit a sports bar for lunch, but I didn’t know where else to go. They were running late due to malfunctioning equipment, so it was set to meet at the law firm’s law library at 1:15 pm. So, I am waiting in the Champion Sports Bar telling myself I’m beautiful, strong, intelligent and ready for the infomercial. The 1st part takes some convincing, but the rest of it I believed in. What’s the saying 3 out of 4 ain’t bad?
When I headed over to the other building, it turned out that it was literally just up the block from my hotel. I was thrilled because I was wearing very cute, but rather uncomfortable shoes. I had a lovely time chatting with the office administrator at the law firm we were filming at while we waited for the camera crew and the General Manager of our sister company to arrive for filming.

I had a great time! I've never done anything like this, so I was kind of nerve wracked but settled down as the make up artist made me beautiful. She did such an amazing job that I honestly had to take a double take when I saw myself in the mirror because I didn't recognize myself. I looked really pretty. Even the camera guy said that with the room we were in and the back drop that I looked amazing on camera. : ) I did my takes pretty easily, not too much stumbling - just once. I had practiced my lines a good bit... I didn't want to make a fool of myself! Then I helped prompt the General Manager for her lead ins, and it turned out she has twins too. So we talked about twins and things like that between takes as they were setting up shots. Then we did the "B-shots" which are basically stuff that's used in the background of voiced over information. I had fun giving pretend legal advice to a pretend client, and thumbing through documents, etc. It was like make believe about stuff I know about - being a lawyer. It took awhile though - getting the scene and the lighting just right, having make up freshened etc. I can see why movies can take a year or more to film!
The "infomercial" is really going to be part of a show with Fred Thompson (of Law and Order fame and a stint as a US Senator) called "Inside Business" that airs on MSNBC and sometimes on the LifeTime Channel. It can also be picked up by random local channels too because it gets put into the FoxFire programming thing. All I know at this point is that it will appear sometime in the Fall, and that hopefully I'll get an email with a more specific date in the future. So keep your eyes open! I'm hoping to DVR it. : )

After we finished filming around 6 pm, the General Manager drove me to the airport and I made my way through security, ate some dinner and got on the plane. The captain announced that we were to expect a pretty rough ride because of the rainy weather and that it had been so turbulent the up and back that they did earlier in the day that there would be no beverage service. While there was, in fact, no beverage service, we also didn't hit any turbulance. Thank goodness because my stomach wasn't feeling overly well.
I made it home and took some pictures of myself with the makeup that was left (which are what you see in this post - I looked even better when the makeup was fresh or freshly touched up... this is several hours later). Mr. Darcy saw me when I walked in and said "look at you all made up!" He was smiling, so I guess he thought I looked good. I was so tired that we just went straight to bed (we'd chatted on the phone on my way home from the airport).
At 3:30 am, I had the unpleasant experience of uhm, GI distress. Followed by periodic recurrences. So there's been no swim practice yet today and the way things are going at this point, no workout will be occurring today. You can't run, bike, or swim with this GI distress. Not sure if it was something I ate or if it's a little virus. Either way, I just hope it ends soon! A not so glamourous end to my adventures...

... but I'm glad to be home to my silly little ladies and Mr. Darcy!

Can't you just see the mischief unfolding in these pictures?

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