Before and After… with or without Boy George!

Normally this would probably be a combination of embarrassing and humiliating with a touch of pride and, wow – go me!  But, some of these have already been seen on national television this summer so much of my visceral reaction has been permanently eliminated. I’ll include that crazy life story here because it too has been part of the journey.

Like I mentioned in my previous post, DO take a before picture – total body.  I didn’t really let myself be photographed from head to toe when I was at my biggest.  So doing a true juxtaposition of before and after was a challenge.  I don’t really have a photo of myself at my largest, but these are pretty close.

Another motivator for me was taking photos of my scale when I stepped on it and saw progress.  I still have many of them – and used the first below 200 pound shot for the party invites.  I don’t have them all, but here are some that kept me going.  Each goal attained within the larger one made it easier to keep moving forward.

Believe me each and every time I watched Biggest Loser or Extreme Weight Loss Makeover after the weight loss I’d kick myself and say…that could’ve been me. It never dawned on me to try to get on one of those shows – though I watched them for inspiration.  So karma caught up with me this summer on our vacation. I was raised in New York and miss home each and every day.  So as often as I can go back I do. This trip was particularly special because we took our nephews who had never been to New York before, and have grown up in Wichita Falls, TX (population: 104,898) There were three must do’s on their list (BTW they are 14 and 9):

  • Eat a hot dog from a vendor cart
  • See the Statue of Liberty
  • Be on television on the TODAY show

Now none of these things for a native New Yorker are unattainable, however I simply had no interest whatsoever in waking up around 4 AM to be at Rockefeller Plaza before daybreak to ensure a spot at the front for the TODAY show.  I don’t even watch the TODAY show, LOL – I am a GMA girl.  But, being the good aunt that I am – I made sure to work our TODAY show appearance into the itinerary.

During vacation preparations it came to my attention that a surprise concert was being held one of our mornings in New York – at the TODAY show – by Boy George.  Well, this changed my entire outlook on our 4 AM wake up.  As a child of the 80’s (and a member of the GLBT community) I LOVE Boy George.  Now I was equally determined to get there on time to be front and center so that I could see my teenage idol.  I pre-registered with the TODAY show to get the “special passes” to be closer to the front, the boys colored their home made sign, we rose bright and early and arrived at the crack of dawn that morning.

We were ushered right into the front pit where the stage was and had a spot up against the railings where the boys could rest their poster.  I was an AMAZING aunt.  After a long time waiting for things to get started the warm up band came out and began playing some of Boy George’s oldest hits.  The whole audience was singing and my nephews were like: “Who’s Boy George?”

Various NBC employees and affiliates were working the crowds – asking them if they knew the lyrics, etc. (I know all of them!)  There were two particular individuals who approached us with an entirely different question.  They asked me if I had heard of their Thursday Ambush Makeovers.  Not being a TODAY show watcher (which I certainly did NOT mention), I had not.  I was quickly informed that Thursday’s in the summer they come out into the public and choose two women for a head-to-toe makeover, and would I be interested?  Well, hell yeah I was interested in having a makeover.  I had just lost all this weight and it was going to be my 5 minutes of fame.  They told me to wait a few minutes and they would come back to me to let me know if I had been chosen. Well about 5-7 minutes later I was being rushed back stage to be interviewed and then completely made over.  Here is the link to my makeover for those of you who have not seen it.



Needless to say it was an amazing experience.  Here is the reaction shot edited by friends:

Jans reaction

This was all well and good – and I was thrilled with the results, BUT… I never heard or saw Boy George (the one reason I actually woke up at 4 AM).  But guess who DID get to not only hear him, but meet him and get photos?  You got it, my family…none of whom are the big fan that I am.  So if you are out there anywhere @BoyGeorge – I cannot believe that I missed you.  Maybe I’ll have another opportunity before I die.

Let me tell you how hard it was being in New York around all my most favorite trigger foods and having to stay focused on the comfort and pleasure I was getting from being with my loved ones and in the city I love versus the comfort and pleasure of a real bagel.

In New York it is MUCH easier however to eat a gluten free diet, but I had to forgo the vendor hot dog in Central Park, the pretzel, real pizza… the list goes on.  I have learned to make the company and the environment my focus and not the food.  It is not an easy transformation – it takes time and will power, but it is achievable.  It is more easily achieved when you have the support and encouragement of those around you.  Make it a point to surround yourself with people who will lift you up and help you move forward, not those that bring you down and/or sabotage your efforts.

In my next post I will include my thought process when making choices off of menus.  Just remember do not let one bad day, or one bad choice define you or break your will.  No one is perfect… even those whose bodies look like they are.



  • liz

    October 21, 2015


  • Becky Young

    October 21, 2015

    Just a quick second to tell you how you inspire me and my puny little 40-pound weight loss, LOL. I’ll be back with you soon.

    • Judy

      October 21, 2015

      I’m glad I can Beck – keep reading I’m going to try to keep this amusing and informative. If you know anyone struggling with weight loss direct them to subscribe to my blog and I will answer any individual questions that I can.

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