Dr. Oz's 100th episode. By the time we got to the hotel, unpacked, and grabbed dinner we were too tired to do anything else and simply watched LOST and got some well-deserved rest. We woke up bright and early at 5:30 am to start getting ready for the taping. I ran over to Starbucks for a coffee and some food for us and, by chance, ran into Sarah from The Weight It Is. It was so wonderful to meet her in person. Her story is so inspiring, as she's lost and kept off 185 lbs.
Everyone met in the lobby of the hotel to wait for our shuttle bus to Rockefeller Plaza. I met a man named Ray who had lost over 100 lbs and his daughter who was his +1 and had also lost a substantial amount of weight. This was only the beginning, as in the hours leading up to the taping we had more than enough time to mingle with the other "Oz 100." I met a runner, a woman who had been on Oprah, a personal trainer, a woman who blogs for Dr. Oz, and countless other people with unique stories to go along with their successes. All of us had taken control of and actively changed our lives, regardless of how different the methods and roads we took to get there were. I felt this energy that I can't really describe.
They piled us into the studio for the taping. It was a lot smaller than I had expected, and certainly much brighter. The lights were blinding! They seated me and three other young brunettes in the front row (including Sarah, pictured above), which we decided was not by coincidence. I kept looking for my mom and at one point looked over and realized they had given her an Oz 100 shirt and put her in the back of the group of "losers" as filler. She looked slightly uncomfortable, but I couldn't stop looking over at the huge smile on her face. You see, Dr. Oz's books helped her find the strength to finally quit smoking after 30 years right around the time I started tackling my weight loss. This was a big day for her, too.
The show itself was a blur. My cheeks hurt from smiling so much, but it was genuine. I was so happy. So in my element. The featured guests (including the gorgeous Diane from Fit to the Finish) had such inspiring stories and I found so much I could relate to in them. Merrill talked about how the weight loss changed her life and I was right there with her. There's not way to fully describe how a physical transformation like 100 lb weight loss truly affects you. You're really reborn and renewed.
Did I also mention that THE Richard Simmons was there? OH MY GOD. He is amazing. This man has more energy than I've ever seen a human possess. He's so positive and full of life and trust me, it's not just for the cameras. He was even MORE energetic off camera (if you think it's even possible). When he came out and we gave him a standing ovation he started getting teary-eyed. I think it was then that it really clicked what we had all done and how getting us all together could inspire hundreds more to do it too. After all the segments, we piled onstage and danced with Richard. It was admittedly silly, but it brought back memories of Sweating to the Oldies with my sister-in-law Sue as I desperately tried (and failed and tried and failed) to lose weight as a teenager. I wished she could be there with me, because she's doing it too. She keeps me going. So Sue, if you're reading this, know you were right there with me on that stage with Richard while we danced to "Hit the Road, Jack"!
After the show, we were shuttled to a new hotel due to the blizzard that was brewing up here in the Northeast. Mom and I took advantage of the city for the rest of the day and attended a taping of the David Letterman Show (!!) followed up by our first Broadway show, Wicked. Does it get much better than that? We had an amazing trip and I feel like I really shared something special with my mom. It was nice to have a few girls' days.