Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Perfect Weekend

I've had such a good weekend, and had a lot of fun. It was a weekend of real contrasts, so the girly glamourous stuff will be on here, and I'll do a report of the running bit over on BerlinBlog later.

Thank you for all the nice comments on the photo, and for those who haven't seen it yet it should be under this post. I suspect that if it enlarges OK from the scan that's christmas presents for various family members sorted out!

Anyway, yesterday was an early morning. I got the 8.05 train down from Leeds, and got down to London in plenty of time. Being neurotic about eating good stuff and not knowing what would be available later, the first priority on arrival was to find something to eat. I'd had breakfast early anyway, so at about 11.30 (I was due to arrive at the studio place at 12.30) I decided it was time for an early lunch and found a lovely Italian deli where I had a pumpkin tart.

I then walked up to the studio, and everything got going. I never knew that it was possible to spend so long doing make up. The hair bit didn't actually take too long (just a run through with some GHDs), but the make up? Dear god, it went on for hours. First of all she decided to de-hair my face. My face is pretty hairy, my eyebrows are unkempt and I have a perennial battle against chin and lip hair. I thought I'd got rid of most of it, but clearly not quite all of it. And the eyebrows. Well, I was considering having them done during the week but never got round to it, but it turned out that I effectively got them done for free, so that wasn't a problem.

Typically, my skin has flared up at the moment, with one particularly shiny red bit on my nose so she really had her work cut out but battled on regardless. I was the last person to turn up (they staggered us because there were 5 of us and only 2 make up people, plus 1 photography team), so I was being made up while a lot of people stopped for lunch.

A while back Dietgirl wrote about what would happen if there was a fatbloggers convention, and what would happen when the lunch buffet came out. Well, this was a bit like that. 5 weight loss people, assorted fashion and beauty types, and the photographers. And pizza. You could see people eyeing it up, deciding whether to let the guard down and admit that they eat pizza. Come on, we all do it from time to time, but when you're there telling people how fantastic your diet is you can sense all the eyes on you...

(Actually, on this subject, it seems I was far from the only person to plan ahead. I knew that I had time to eat before turning up, but I saw some of the others who'd been there earlier in the morning rummaging in their bags for tubs of cottage cheese and fruit. Everyone seemed to have a nice big rucksack filled with supplies! We plan!)

There was a brief break in the make up where I managed to acquire a bit of pizza and some salad, with a bit of bread too (carb loading for the 10k...). The food choices weren't too bad actually (other than the fact that I'd technically already eaten...), and it tided me over. There was fruit, and dried fruit too so I managed to get my 5 portions in.

Then the make up was finished and I had to go and get something to wear. This is where I got a bit pissed off. I was the last and all the really nice dresses had already been snaffled up. There was one I hated, and a couple that the stylist thought were too tight across the bust (they were size 10 though, so I'd be staggered if they were loose). In the end I ended up in a size 10 skirt from Hobbs which I loved, and a top from Miss Selfridge that I didn't like quite so much but which was better than any of the alternatives. I was very jealous of some of the dresses though. I also feel obliged to point out that they all had sleeveless dresses and I didn't, which is nothing to do with a bingo wing issue, just that there weren't any sleeveless tops that matched the skirt.

And then shoes. Or, as they became known, instruments of torture. I have (UK) size 10 feet. I knew that they wouldn't have anything in size 10, so I took some sandals of my own. They were scuffed up a bit through wear, but at least they would go on my feet. Except they were deemed not glam enough. The problem being that the biggest shoes they had were 7s. They asked me to try some closed style ones in, and I demonstrated that I could barely get my toes in, let alone my heel. They then saw that I wasn't joking and pulled out some shoes which had a minimal amount of shoe to them, and basically just (barely) held me on to the sole.

Now, I will admit they were fabulous shoes, and they look great in the photos. But the fact is that they were not one, not two but THREE sizes too small. You can't quite see my feet bulging out round the straps, and hanging off the end, but believe me, they were. I had to take them off at regular intervals to stop them cutting off the blood supply to my toes, they really were that tight. And they were so high. I was already the tallest there, and I swear they put me in the highest shoes. I couldn't actually walk in them without holding on to something (and grimacing every time I moved my foot). The things we suffer for beauty...

One I was dressed up I had to go back down for toenail painting and fake tan on my legs. I really felt like I should apologise for the state of my feet. I felt like saying "I'm a runner, I'm meant to have manky feet!". While I was having this done pretty much everyone was sitting round waiting on the other side of the room (they did a couple of individual photos then they wanted to do the group one so the early people could go home, then they'd do the rest of the individual ones). I wasn't involved in this conversation, and I didn't hear how much everyone had lost, but judging from the gasps when one person said she'd lost seven stone I'd guess the other three had lost less than that. I am the biggest loser, I rule! (Sorry, will try not to get competitive about it). Actually, the interesting bit was that she'd lost six and a half then had a tummy tuck to remove half a stone of skin. She showed everyone her scar which didn't look too bad, but still looked quite drastic and not something I'd consider in a hurry. It sounds like she had far more of a skin issue than I have, but what she said didn't exactly get me hurring down to the nearest plastic surgeon.

My first forray into the room where they were doing the photos was for the group shot. If I thought the make up people were thorough that was nothing compared the the care the stylists took arranging shoes and boxes and bags and accessories for the shot. The basic theme of all the shots is us dressed in little black dresses as though we're going out surrounded by clothes, accessories and shopping bags etc.

They arranged us too, I got to sit down in both of the line ups they did, partly because I would have loomed over everyone if I'd been standing up, and partly because they took pity on my feet. And as for the actual photos, yoga is an advantage for being able to follow instructions like hips in one direction, head in another, eyes to the camera etc etc. Some of the shots might look nice and natural, but you felt like a contortionist. It's a decent abs work out though, as you're constantly concentrating on keeping your stomach in, shoulders back, bust out, hips swivelling!

The funniest bit was the way the make up artists hovered and between rolls of film would dash in and touch us all up, rearrange our hair, and generally make sure that everything was spot on. They wouldn't want the tiniest bit of shine to emerge under the lights.

After the group shot I had a bit of a rest while they did the remaining individual shots, I nibbled a bit more bread, and then time for the solo shot. They took far less photos at this stage than in the group photo, maybe because they only needed a shot where one person is looking good rather than getting 5 people looking good at the same time. I was leaning on the chair in various poses trying to take as much weight as possible off my feet, doing smile, half smile, serious, giggle, etc etc. And finally, I was free to go home.

I couldn't believe how long the whole thing took, I only left the studio after 6, to walk back to the tube and head back to Kings Cross. I got to Kings Cross in plenty of time for the train I thought was at 7.30 (printed out from the internet midweek), with a back up at 8.10 if I missed it, and discovered that the next train was actually listed to be at 8.30. Eek! I got some food from M&S, and sat down to wait. I couldn't be bothered to actually go anywhere (and I wanted to rest my feet) so I resigned myself to an exciting evening at Kings Cross. Then bizarrely they decided to put on a train up north from Peterborough, and if we got the 8pm to Peterborough they'd hold the train until we got there to connect with it. Odd, but I wasn't complaining. And because it was a special train, there was no problem with not having a seat reservation on it. The last thing I wanted was to stand all the way back to Leeds.

I finally got myself back to Leeds at about 11, with only time to scan in the polaroid (oh the vanity) and go to bed before the race.


As for today, after the race I met up with some people from the Runners World website for lunch and a couple of drinks. I had a good laugh, and the pub we went into did a veggie Sunday lunch (butternut squash and cashew roast), even more shockingly I actually ate my brocolli (one veg I can't really stand). Then they all headed off, I did a bit of christmas shopping, sat for a while in Starbucks reading the paper, drinking hot chocolate and eating cake, and then went to the cinema to watch Pan's Labyrinth.

That was part of a pact I made myself when I stopped Spanish classes, that I'd try to do fun Spanish related stuff. I actually bought a copy of Spanish Marie Claire when I was in GC and read an article with a couple of actresses who are in it. So when I saw it was on, I thought it would fit in well with my weekend plans. I'm definitely getting better at following the Spanish and not completely relying on the substitles.

The only thing is it was more violent than I was expecting. Not the CGI toads and monsters sort of violence, but the army type violence and torture, with fights with the guerillas, lots of shooting and torture and gore. That's partly why I don't go to the cinema too much, to be honest. I'm not a huge fan of violent films, and I'm not a huge fan of films with sex in them. Which narrows my choice down quite a lot!

But anyway, I did enjoy it so I shouldn't complain too much, and it was a nice relaxing (but educational) way to calm down after the run. Now I'm planning to get all my stuff ready for tomorrow, and then do some yoga before bed. Time to stretch those hamstrings again.


Blogger Deb said...

GREAT BLOG and congrats on the weight loss! The pic is beautiful as well!

10:09 PM  
Blogger "Grandi" said...

The picture is wonderful! What fun! (well, aside from the shoes!!) I know that what the outside looks like is not who you are, but how nice to have such a flattering picture of the "new you"!

12:13 AM  

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