Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Arnold Recap

And now, we return to our previously scheduled program :-) The Arnold!

My camera went kerplutzy on me, so I have Tracey to thank for these pics!
So to fill in a few blanks from Friday... we walked (and walked and walked!) through the expo, and got the opportunity to meet a few celebrities...

Jen Hendershott (view her website)

Jennifer Nicole Lee (she signed her book for me)  View her website

A funny story about Lou Ferrigno... Sunday morning I'm in the booth early to help set up. The books had been stored under the tables, so I'm reaching down & grabbing books then setting them up on the table. The expo is empty (and cold!). I bend down under the table, come up with books and find myself staring at a midriff. A very large midriff. My eyes slowly travel up, and up, and up... to find Lou Ferrigno staring at me. No expression on his face. OMG! My eyes round as saucers stare back at him as my jaw hit the floor... after a moment he says, with that deep voice & accent, "Good morning". I think I managed to squeek out a "hi". He stared for a moment more then started chuckling. He patted the table in front of me (I'm still holding out those books, frozen), turned away, then turned back, chuckled again and left. Now, I'm not one to really be star-struck, I know very well these folks are people just like us, but for some reason, this just stopped me cold! Total deer-in-the-headlights moment! And as I'm watching him walk away, it suddenly occurs to me... CAMERA!!!  Sigh. Too late. LOL! So that's my "I'm a big dork" story :-)  

Moving on...
Jamie Eason is as charming as she is beautiful! View her website.

Now for my next funny moment... Greg Plitt. You might know him from a wide variety of fitness magazine covers & spreads, or from Jackie Warner's Bravo TV show... WorkOut. I waited in line  to have him sign a photo for Ariel (my 18yo daughter). He wrote out a quick note as we chatted then allowed Tracey to take a pic. I said Ariel was going to have a cow when she saw this, and he stopped me and said, "Wait... Ariel really is your daughter?" then he looked down and read my badge and got the funniest sheepish look on his face. He said, "Give me that back" and took the picture then wrote "Listen to your Mom" on the side. LOL!

View his website (the intro video is totally worth the watch!)

And of course, Arnold. Tracey had to stand on a chair to get this shot! He was surrounded by security.

And the lovely figure competitors

This effectively brings me back to where I left off yesterday.

Saturday - our scheduled day on the Eat Clean Diet booth. Tracey and I began our day with clean eats and excitement. We had each brought oatmeal, and Tracey had brought fruit. I drank much coffee (probably more than was wise, lol, as I'm already a tad hyper). At the booth we were quickly amazed at the sheer number of people already lining up to speak with Tosca, have books signed and take pictures. And as we chatted with folks, heard their stories of challenge and victory, we very quickly became aware that these moments were extraordinary.

Before I get teary-eyed all over again, I must throw out a blanket apology to the fine people waiting in line. At various points throughout my two days on the booth, some of you became victim to my incredible equilibrium. Yes, that's right. My klutz went to Ohio with me. I lost count of the number of times I would turn and tumble into some poor unsuspecting visitor, or flat out bowl one over. Once I think I attempted to mow down an entire family. I am so sorry! If it makes you feel any better, I did come home with a whole new batch of bruises (most of which I have no idea how I got, LOL!). At one point, I had bumped some long-suffering folks a couple times and I finally just threw my hands in the air and said something about being the entertainment for the duration of their wait. <shrug> I am what I am. :-)

I was stunned by so many of the stories I heard. I was moved by the vast array of life-changes, both desired and achieved. It was humbling to listen to one women talk about losing 135 lbs, and another about regaining her health. One woman I chatted with turned to clean eating when her teenage daughter was diagnosed with cancer. Another gentleman was a recovered addict who used clean eating to get clean so that he could donate a kidney to his brother and save his life. One couple rediscovered their youth and are embarking on these amazing bike trips across the nation. Story after story, real person after real person... it was incredible.

I was inspired, motivated and challenged by these amazing people. 
And I was able to share my experience with those who were just starting out on their journeys. I'm vain enough to be thrilled that so many people just couldn't believe the before picture was me :-) Lol, but to be able to show those photos to folks who were just starting to hope that eating clean could change their lives... those pictures are proof it works, proof it does change lives - it changed mine.

A lot of what I do here on my website is share with anyone who is interested what transformed me. I show my food, my workouts, I share my thoughts and sometimes my rants :-) I try to be very transparent and open in the hopes that there might be something I've experienced or learned that can help someone else achieve their own success.  I'm passionate about fitness & nutrition, I'm passionate about helping others reach their goals and keep hold of that success. But I have to say that I have never before seen the absolute dedication, compassion, motivation and warmth that I saw in Tosca Reno, her team, and Robert Kennedy this last weekend. The work they do is changing lives and they take that responsibility very seriously. It was beyond words to watch Tosca visit and share with so many, rarely taking so much as a bathroom break! She gave and gave, with joy and verve! It was compelling.

Those two days of working at the Eat Clean Diet booth, alongside the awesome team & Tosca, listening to people share their journeys, has changed me. My view is wider, my passion & commitment to this lifestyle and helping others is stronger. To all of you who talked with me at the booth, to those who worked so tirelessly to make the event happen, to those of you who contact me here on my website, the forum & the Kitchen Table... Thank you. Thank you for sharing your journey. Thank you for helping me continue to grow and evolve. You're helping to make me a better me.

The weekend left me with amazing memories, moments etched in tears and laughter, as well as some things to think about. I have some goals to meet, and more to strive toward. And I'm looking forward to the future with more joy and excitement than ever before.

(I'm also really, really happy to be back home with my hubby and family!! I missed them sooo much!!) 


  1. Hi there. I stumbled upon your blog via Tosca Reno's tweet and I am so moved by your story and your recap of the Arnold event. Thank you so much for setting a positive example for people. I am on my own health journey as well, I don't know exactly how yet, but I know that I want to help people achieving the body they want. I look forward to following your blog.

  2. Sounds like such an amazing trip! Such amazing stories, it's wonderful to hear about people who are so loving with their families and committed to changing their own lives for the better. Really moving!

    Also, hilarious about your constantly bumping into people. I was reading this at work and could barely stifle my laughter (a little awkward when the office is dead silent and the kid in the corner starts giggling to himself). I can totally picture you falling all over these random people :)

    Anyway, I'm glad you had such a fantastic time, I can only imagine how wonderful that experience must have been!