Woo! So, this post has been a long time coming & is pretty darn marvelous. You’ve been warned, prepare for a lot of pictures!
Last April, I found out (and announced it later on the blog) that I had been selected for the 2014 Woman’s Day Live Longer and Stronger Challenge. I couldn’t believe it! Out of all the women in the country that had applied, they picked me. How could that be?
This was an amazing, amazing opportunity, and I still have to pinch myself sometimes to believe that it was me getting to do everything that they were allowing us to do. But, let me start from the beginning.
The Mama and I took the train in on Sunday (it’s not too far of a trip from where I grew up) and had a lovely time on the train! We chatted, I listened to the Serial podcast – I’m finally almost done, by the way – and Da Mama listened to an audio book.
We arrived to NYC and the gorgeous hotel we were staying at, and had a bit of time before I needed to be anywhere. We checked in, and then had lunch at Whole Foods! I am way to indecisive of a person to eat at Whole Foods – too many options! Also, it was way too crowded and I was overwhelmed, but our food was delicious and I had a great time!
We had media training and our first round of dress fittings for the Red Dress Awards Sunday night, and then it was bedtime for this old lady! We had the Today Show the next morning!!!!
My sister snapped both of these on our home TV! It was so cool to see them right away I have to say, that I was terrified, yet excited to do the Today Show.
You couldn’t tell at all, but I’m not afraid to tell you that I started bawling about 5 minutes before we went on. I got so overwhelmed and nervous! You know I keep it real here on Lindsay Weighs In.
Afterwards, we got to meet Clinton Kelly or our second dress fitting!
You can see the pins in my dress – it was tailored within 24 hours! Holy guacamole.
He was hands down one of the nicest people I’ve ever met! When I found out he was styling us, I was so stinkin’ excited. I’m a long time fan of What Not To Wear, and always just thought he seemed like such a nice person. That was 100% correct!
He taught us how to take an expert selfie, and was just so excited for us and really made it all about us. He (and his staff) also made sure to get us all tickets for The Chew the next day for us AND our guests!!!
Shanna and I were able to get at the Tasting Table during our taping, and let me tell you – that food was delicious!
I also got to meet Daphne Oz, Carla Hall (whom I had met at FitBlogNYC!) and say hello to my new bestie, Clinton.
These were seriously amazing seats, y’all! Afterwards, it was time to head to the Woman’s Day offices. It was hair and makeup time for the Red Dress Awards!
We got our hair and makeup done at the Woman’s Day offices (I actually got to be there three times over the course of my time in NYC – so fun!) and it was an awesome experience. I even got to wear fake eyelashes for the first time!
After hair and makeup, we headed back to the hotel to get dressed. We were so lucky that the venue for the Red Dress Awards was right across the street from the hotel!
I L-O-V-E-D, pink puffy hearted, my Betsey Johnson dress. It was so my style, and fit like a glove. Obsessed!
We walked the red carpet with both Clinton and Joy Bauer and boy was it fun! I was little worried in my heels that I would fall on my face, but that did not happen thank goodness.
For more info on how we were styled, click here!
I was so excited to meet Andie MacDowell! She was so sweet to us. I also got to meet Denise Austin, and many of the other awardees/presenters that were there. Andy Cohen was the host of the event, but unfortunately I didn’t get meet him!
They showed the video they had made about our stories before they brought us up on stage.
It was breathtaking to be up there with everyone clapping – such a cool moment!
I am SO glad that I got to meet Eliza, my main girl throughout the challenge who helped me make smart decisions, and figured out every menu for me to make the best choice. She is amazing, and I’m so happy to have her in my life!
They had the most fun photo booth too, and I got to hop in with my girl Shanna!! SO fun!!
Elvis Costello’s performance was amazing, and it was so cool to see him live!
Check out this video here to see the highlight reel of the event. It really captures what a fun night it was!
Mom and I made it a little bit through the after party, but I was exhausted after such a busy day (and long week!) and was more than happy to head back to the hotel and dig into my swag bag!
It was another early morning then on Wednesday, because we had tickets to see Live! With Kelly and Michael!
This is one of my mom and I’s favorite shows, and it was a great way to end the trip! I wanted to get these tickets for my mom for her being such a big supporter throughout the whole challenge (and my life of course!) We had a great time, and got to see Hugh Grant in person. Hot tamale!
After Kelly and Michael, we made our way back to PA. After all the hustle and bustle, I sure was happy to be back at home, and in my own bed that night!
Click here if you’d like to apply for the 2015 Live Longer & Stronger Challenge. <– Applications are open!!
Again, I can’t say thank you enough for all the support, well wishes, congratulations and love I’ve received on this journey. Do I still have a long way to go? Yes. This is not the end of my weight loss journey, but it sure was an awesome beginning. This is a stepping stone towards the rest of my life, and I can’t thank Woman’s Day enough for giving me my life back.