Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sending in my Slim in 6 Story

About a year and a half ago, a Video Fitness friend e-mailed me with some information about a contest was having that she thought I might like to enter. It was for anyone who'd lost weight with Slim in 6 (or Slim Series) and the prize was $1000 and a trip to Hollywood to take a class with Debbie or something like that. I guess I looked at the e-mail quickly, but it certainly looked like fun. The Slim in 6 infomercial shows Debbie leading groups in classes and I thought that's what the prize was -- to go take a class with her, meet her, and hopefully tell her how much you've loved her workouts. There had been some news on Video Fitness about Debbie's new workouts and I thought we'd just get to try them out -- know what they were like before they were made or something.

The only hitch was that to enter, you had to video yourself doing 5 minutes of Burn It Up and I didn't have Burn It Up -- it was part of the original Slim in 6 set. I looked for it on the Firm Ya-Ya Swap and e-bay and couldn't find it so I kind of forgot about it for awhile. Somehow I got reminded of it with just a few weeks to go and decided to look for Burn It Up again. I found it on the swap and decided if it came in time, I'd enter.

Meanwhile, I was doing another Slim Training rotation to get my body to where it could handle Debbie's workouts just fine. I'd been sick the whole spring and part of the summer leading up to this with either asthma or allergies to the point of not sleeping well and not being able to keep up with my usual workouts. I was lucky if I could do yoga.

Allergy season had passed, I had a little time and was hoping to get my body strong again. Burn It Up came in the mail right away and I went to work on learning it well. We don't have a digital video camera so it was tricky getting the video made (but not archaic -- I'm not complaining -- it just took some enduring in the process). Actually, the taping of the workout was the easy part. I recorded it once (propped the video camera up on a shelf near the TV), saw that I looked a little bored and recorded it one more time, trying to look a bit more enthusiastic. I probably could have used another time with lots of smiling, once I knew that's how they like it on videos, but I didn't have much time. This was 2 days before the deadline.

Next I had to tape myself talking for 5 minutes about what the Slim Series has done for me. My husband works from home and I have one little one still not in school. So it was tricky finding a spot to do this in private so I didn't feel so silly doing it. And I wanted the background to look good and all that. I would tape it, play it back on TV and find all sorts of problems -- hesitations, ums, looking and sounding depressed, having the camera too far back, too close. I tried several shots in our family room. Then the kids came home from school. I locked myself into my bedroom and tried it many times there. That didn't quite work either. Finally the next day I locked myself in my daughters' bedroom while my son was taking a bath and used their bedspread as a background (since their room didn't have any good backdrops naturally). I decided to smile the whole time I talked so I didn't look depressed like the other ones.

Everything went just fine -- I even got to the point where I had the viewfinder pointing to me so I could see myself talk the whole time and would save time on running up to the TV to see how it looked. Then my little one came running down the stairs (as I could see that I was almost to the 5 minute mark) and sure enough, he came pounding on my door yelling, "Mom! . . . . . Mom!" I kept smiling and filming like I didn't hear it, but figured it would come through to the camera. And it did. It was cute, but a little frustrating. I didn't really have time to film again, so I wrapped him up in his towel, put him on my lap and introduced him to the Beachbody people, explaining who was behind all that knocking and "Mom!" yelling. I was hoping they'd like it.

I also had to send in "before" and "after" pictures which are always embarrassing. I usually don't save bad bigger pictures, but found one that kind of worked. I had my husband take the "afters" and I thought they could look better, but like before, now or never.

I took the whole packet to Kinkos and sent it overnight to Beachbody, hoping it would work out, but not thinking it really would. Beachbody is more of a company that shows their Success Stories in bikinis and I'm not a bikini girl. Never have been, never will. But it was worth a shot.

A week or two went by and I found a better "before"picture. I called Beachbody and asked if I could send it in. They said to send it to the same place as I did before. So I did.

A few weeks later, I got an e-mail from Erika Brule' at Beachbody thanking everyone who entered -- saying they'd had an overwhelming response, etc., etc. I thought, "Oh here's the form letter of 'thanks, but you didn't make it.'" I even forwarded it to a friend, saying, "Guess I didn't get it." It also mentioned that in the next few weeks they'd notify the 4 winners. That sounded odd to me that only 4 won if they were going to take a class. I was thinking it would be more of a group trip like with 20 people.

The very next day I got another e-mail saying "Congratulations! You're in the top 10!" I jumped from the masses to 10 that fast! I was so excited. They still would have to narrow it down to 4, but wanted me to call Anna Eriksson to let her know if I was available within a few weeks of when they thought it would be possibe to shoot. I wasn't sure what that meant, but I called her (outside in the front yard so my kids couldn't interrupt).

The weeks worked out just perfectly before my oldest daughter's ear surgery and just after something else we had going on. I was so happy to be free. Anna kept telling me that they loved how I smiled so much and seemed so happy and energetic amidst having 6 children. She told me that Debbie had just been in her office and thought I had really good form. She started saying something about the 4 people and that she was pretty sure I would be in those 4, but had to go talk to someone to verify and hoped to be contacting me in the next few days to let me know for sure. I was puzzled about the 4 number and asked why so few and she told me that there are 4 new workouts and Debbie always has 2 cast members behind her in her workouts. I said, "Wait, you mean we're actually going to be IN the workouts?" I thought we were just trying them out before the videos were made -- like a sneak preview.

Debbie wanted real, regular people who used her program to be in the workouts this time -- not dancers or professional fitness people. What a blessing for me -- I'm about as real and regular as they get. When Anna kept mentioning Debbie said this or that, it seemed so surreal that someone who was in my family room for so many mornings could actually be talking and walking and seeing me on the TV? Too fun.

The very next day, I got an e-mail from Anna telling me that I was indeed one of the 4 selected. If I thought it was fun to find out I'd made it, it was just the tip of the iceberg because from that point on, it was a complete and total blast.

*to be continued*

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