If any of you get Weight Watchers magazine, you might have seen a familiar face when you turned to page 67. I was incredibly fortunate to be given the opportunity to participate in an amazing article that was recently released in the May/ June 2016 issue of Weight Watchers magazine called “I Love What My Body Can Do.”
The article tells the stories of 3 different women (myself being one of them) and how we love what our bodies can do right now, even if we aren’t at our desired goal weight. While it doesn’t seem like a huge thing, so many of us (myself included) put so much of our self worth and focus on the scale that we forget to stop and appreciate all of the things that already does for us right now, at this current weight.
One day back in January an email pinged in my inbox and it turned out to be from the author of the article asking if I’d be interested in being a part of the issue. After I did a little research and figured out she wasn’t a scam, I responded saying that I would love to. A little while later the author and I set up a call and had an interview where I got to tell her my story. Since the topic was body confidence I decided to discuss the subject of living with CMT and how despite my difficulties having the disease, I went to college for theater and almost graduated with a dance minor. This topic seemed to be the type of subject she was looking for, so that’s the direction we went. Shortly thereafter I got an email from someone working for Weight Watchers wanting to set up a photoshoot.
Knowing nothing about the process of putting a magazine together, I was really excited to learn about everything that went into getting this article from concept to print. Weight Watchers wanted to do an entire photoshoot for me at my location, so they managed to find local photographers, a venue, wardrobe, and hair/makeup for the shoot. We set a date and all showed up at the location ready for the experience. I felt like a superstar! I was the only subject to be shot, so I was the total center of attention. I was beautified by the makeup artist and then wardrobe (which was not one, but two people) helped me dress in dance attire (since that was one of the angles we were going for). It was crazy because they even helped me get my tights and stuff on, which sounds ridiculous, but one of the pretty regular problems I have with CMT is getting certain types of clothes on and off on my own. Tights and leotards are definitely not things I wear, so it was nice to have help.
Once the shooting started it was 3 hours of constant photo snapping and even more constant moving. In order to give the photos a true look of movement, I had to move the whole time. I had put together a playlist of some of my Broadway favorites to sing and dance to so I would be in my natural “habitat,” which worked great, but it was more complex than that. I had to move my arms a lot (they’re the thing I’m most self conscious about), and sometimes I’d do a dance move (I was just goofing off. None of this was actually choreographed), and one of the photographers would say “Stop! Do that move you just did like three more times.” It was exhausting.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved being the center of attention, and I’ll happily sing or be in a show in front of a ton of people, but this was a kind of attention and performance that I wasn’t used to getting or giving, so it was quite the learning experience. After 5 outfit changes and 3 hours of shooting, we finally wrapped and that was that. I would have no power over what photo got chosen or anything. If it wasn’t for the fact I emailed the photographers directly, I probably wouldn’t have seen the shoot at all, but they graciously sent me the gallery to look at since I was dying to see the results of all our hard work.
After the shoot I didn’t hear anything until one day the words of the article showed up in my inbox for fact checking. There was no layout and no photo. Just the plain old text for me to read so I could verify everything was accurate. Once I sent my reply approving the wording of the article that was it. I didn’t see anything until the magazine was published.
Anyway, the article turned out great, and I just wanted to say a quick thank you to you, my readers. Without you taking the time to read, comment, and care enough about what I have to say, I wouldn’t have been given this awesome opportunity, so thank you. Whether you’re a reader alone or you also subscribe to my YouTube channel, you played a part in making this happen. I hope that Diva and the Divine continues to grow as we create a community that can talk about health, weight loss, beauty, and whatever else crosses our minds.