The most exciting thing that has happened is that I was selected for the Hip Hop Abs 2 Infomercial, and I went to California in October to share my weight loss journey with the world. It was the most amazing experience and I would not trade that for the world. I am happy about my 48 pounds and 27 inches removed, and I am happy about where my life is right now. I really want others to experience this same feeling that I have. Here is a journal of what I did and what I experienced:
Wednesday, 10/15/2008 - We got in around 3:00. The driver picked us up and took us on the side streets to the hotel (since the freeway was a parking lot). The driver was REALLY good with his defensive driving skills - we were hanging on for dear life!! We were taking it all in, seeing how high the prices for rent were. I saw an apartment complex that did not look as good as mine does, and rent there was over $2000 a month!!! After we checked in to the Warner Center Marriott, we walked to the mall across the street to look around. We then went to Target three blocks down and picked up a few things for Anthony. Later we went to dinner at Kate Mantelini across the street from the hotel. The food was delicious! After dinner I came in to transfer all my clothes from the big suitcase to the smaller one so I could take them the next day. However, there was heavy rain at the connecting stop, and my clothes were damp as I took them out of the suitcase. I hung them to dry, and we rested the rest of the night.
Thursday, 10/16/2008 (interview day) - The van driver picked me up at 9:45 for my interview. We went to Panavision studio - about 4 or 5 minutes away from the hotel. First I went to the wardrobe trailer. The wardrobe people checked out my clothes to find the most fitted outfit they could. They liked all my pants, but only one of my tops. Luckily they brought EVERYTHING but the kitchen sink with them!! They ended up selecting a blue tee shirt, a cream camisole, and my blue jeans for my interview wear. While I was trying on a bunch of things, Chris (from the original HHA infomercial) came out from his interview session! I got a chance to meet him which was great! They then went to my fitness outfit. They loved my shorts, but hated my tops. We chose my shorts and a couple of tops to go for my fitness outfit. They also had my fat pants available to wear for the photo shoot. I then went to the hair & makeup trailer. They made me look glamorous with airbrushing and did my hair as close to my style as possible. As they were finishing with me, the producer came out and said that it was almost lunchtime and they did not want to start my interview and stop for lunch. So, the people on set checked lighting with me, then we had lunch. We had orange chicken, orange tofu, jasmine rice, green beans with soy sauce, and an asian salad with lettuce, mandarin oranges, bell peppers, sesame seeds, and asian vinagrette. After lunch, my makeup was touched up, then I went in for the interview. I talked to the producer for 1 1/2 hours about Hip Hop Abs, my experiences, how I feel now, what I want to share with everyone about it. The person after me was Dixon, another from the original HHA infomercial! I did have my camera in hand that time and got a picture of him. After the interview, it was time to take still shots in my interview outfit, my fitness gear, my size 16s, and a bikini that was selected for me. The van driver took me home after I changed and left my fitness gear with the wardrobe people. Anthony and I went to Target to get a camera and some other things, then went to TGI Fridays for dinner, and came back to the hotel to rest.
Friday, 10/17/2008 (workout day) - The van driver picked all of us up at 9:15. I got a chance to meet those that I did not see during my interview time. We rode over to Dance Dimensions, which was in the mall across the street. Someone asked why we could not walk over. The driver just said, "I was asked to drive you guys over." When we got there, we were taken in two by two to change into our workout gear and get our makeup touched up. The shoot was to start at 11:00, so we sat in the front area just chatting about everything and nothing! :) The director called us in and we did a warmup led by Anna, another one of the HHA originals. As we were talking to the camera about how excited we were to be there, Shaun T came in!! EVERYONE was so excited!! We shared our weight loss stories with him and got a chance to thank him for creating Hip Hop Abs and transforming our lives. We then went into the workout. The actress, Jennifer, did a lot of talking about how great the program was and all while Shaun led us in a "warm up". Then, he really went for it. I don't remember all the moves we did, but we did a bunch of moves - the Flava, the Get Busy, the Washing Machine, the Party Bounce, the Kick It, the Booty Pop, a couple of oblique moves that I do not remember the names to, and some others. We were in rows of three, and we all got a chance to be in the front row at least four or five times. We worked out for about an hour and a half, taking breaks every 15 minutes or so. Shaun worked the crowd like he loves to do. He was showing off our Tilt-Tuck-Tighten skills by talking to the camera as we were doing certain moves. When he got to me, we were doing an side crunch to target our obliques, and he said, "Work it Clarissa!" He then talked about how my obliques were working and I was not even on the floor doing anything. He then held my right leg up with two fingers, and said to the camera, "I know she is hating me right now!" Um, yeah!! I was losing my balance and my left leg had started to buckle!!! I was thinking to myself, "OH MY GOODNESS! I am going to crash on the floor right here on national TV!!!!! Yeah, this part is getting CUT! WHOO!!!!" After the workout was over, Tania came in and we all shared how she helped us so much - one lady who had lost 96 pounds with Hip Hop Abs shared how she really used Tania to not do any jumping moves because of her knees. He wrapped it up for the shoot, then we all grabbed our cameras to take group pics. We went out and changed back into our regular clothes, and went to lunch at Kate Mantelini near the hotel. Shaun T and Tania and the executive producer and Leili came to lunch with us. We ate and laughed and talked for over 2 hours, then took individual pics with Shaun. Found out at lunch that Tania is engaged to her honey Derek! He's an artist from New York, and he proposed in a painting. She told us the story and it was SO SWEET!!! We finally left for the hotel. I got upstairs and called my cousin in San Bernardino. She told me that she was an hour and a half away. She said she would leave at 6 to give the traffic a chance to die down. Anthony got back around 5:45 from his tour and we talked while waiting for my cousin. She came about 7:45 and we all went out to Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles to eat dinner. (And NO, we did NOT go to the dangerous one down in L.A.!!) After dinner, we went to Hollywood Blvd and walked around on the walk of the stars and went to the chinese theater to get pictures of hand and footprints. We then tried to find the Hollywood sign - which was an adventure in itself that took us all around Hollywood and back to the hotel and back to Hollywood Boulevard. We finally got a chance to see it, but it was not lit up at 1:25 in the morning!!! Oh well, now she knows where it is.....ha ha ha ha ha!!! We got back to the hotel around 2:00 Saturday morning.
Saturday, 10/18/2008 - We packed our bags in the wee hours of the morning, since our flight out was at 9:00 and our driver would be picking us up at 6:45. We had our last free breakfast at the hotel, then went to the airport. We slept almost all the way to Houston. On the way back to Birmingham, there was a cat flying in its carrier in the seat in front of us. Poor kitty's ears were sensitive from all that pressure for ascending and descending!! (Sorry....I'm a cat person....) When we got home, we stopped at the Fish Market and picked up dinner. We then came home, ate, and went to sleep for Sunday.
AN INCREDIBLE, UNFORGETTABLE TRIP!!
I am also excited that I had a newspaper article written about me and my successes! I am in talks with a few people, helping them sign up to try Hip Hop Abs themselves. I want to see them succeed with their weight loss, changing their health issues, and overcoming things in their lives. I received an opportunity to be a part of the Alabama Obesity Task Force, helping to change the lives and health of people here in Alabama!! That is REALLY amazing!
All of the things that have happened over the past couple of months has really humbled me and made me see that my life is so much a part of others. This passion for helping people has always been inside me and God is allowing me to use that passion in ways that just blow my mind! I thank Him for blessing me to be a blessing to others. I will NOT let Him down!
That is why I am a coach, helping others as much as possible. I want to see SO MANY people have this same opportunity to change their health for the better and to change their financial futures for GOOD! I LOVE what I do!!!
I will keep this blog updated at least on a weekly basis with Mid Week Motivations (gonna play catch up for the holiday weekend). In the meantime, have a WONDERFUL and blessed Thanksgiving week! Keep doing it BIG!!!!