We kept trying to remind ourselves that we still were up against many other pairs but it was hard not to get our hopes up at this point. They had loved us and told us to start talking to our employers, they really thought that we would be awesome candidates and so did we. It was so hard to try to start making plans to be a part of it while it was still so up in the air. The next day we made plans to make our home video. It was tough to know what we should do or say because we felt we said everything we could in the interview. We decided to just try to show a day in our lives as over weight people and drive home the keep parts of our story. We shoot the video in less takes than I thought it would take but more than the hubby would have liked. Since we couldn't edited it ourselves we had to make sure it was perfect. We took the video and 28-page background checks and sent them off over night to LA. We didn't know what to think after that step. They never said when we would hear from them next.
We thought about it day and night. Even though it has only been 4 days since our call back interview it felt like a lifetime. We finally heard something that afternoon. We got an email from another casting director named Lucy and she said we had made it to the next stage in casting. My heart started pounding, things kept rolling along. Could this be it for us!? She gave us the dates we would possibly be away for the taping of the show and again encouraged us to talk to our employers and get back to her asap that we could get the time off and everything was a go. My employer was a snap. My boss is amazing and we have a great relationship. My company isn't that large so there wasn't a lot of red tape to cut through. My boss immediately said yes and gave me his blessing. For my husband it wasn't so easy. He has a government job and there red tape abounds. The initial reaction from his boss wasn't so great. They seemed to think it was not a valid reason to ask for a leave of absence. His contract stated that he could have unpaid leave if it was a medical reason or if it was a educational endeavor. We decided we could argue it was both of those things if given the chance. Because of the urgent tone of the email we wanted to get back to Lucy as soon as possible. We decided to let her know it was a go ahead on the dates and we would figure it all out later when we got more information.
More waiting, but not for long. A couple days later another email came asking us for more pictures and this time they were very specific. They wanted: one of us at our thinnest, one of us shirtless currently, and one of us at our heaviest. They also wanted any other pictures we thought were important or showed our personality. They remind us that this is material they will use to sell us to the producers. I scrambled to get the task done as quickly as possible. A couple days later, another email comes asking us five more questions about ourselves to answer in essay form. At this point I am beginning to think Biggest Loser will know more about me than my closet friend. A few days after that we got an email asking us to write a bio about ourselves. It gave no guidelines for what the bio should include or how long it should be. It was difficult for me. Should I write one page, two pages? Should I include only things related to weight loss or all the highs and lows in my life? I went back and forth for two days and finally wrote what I thought I should. It was honest and interesting, not too long, but not to short. Pulling all this information from the depths of my mind was both therapeutic and exhausting. I was living life in a constant state of being on pins and needles. Every time I would start to think I may not hear from Lucy again she would email me. She had originally said we would know if we were heading out to LA on September 22nd. I had everything in my life revolving around that day. I wish I had known in Hollywood, these dates are more like guidelines and everything is extremely flexible. On the 20th we were sent an email saying our final step was to get a medical evaluation from our doctor before we got out there. They wanted to make sure we were healthy enough to participant. Lucy said they would also give us extensive evaluations and tests once we were in LA but they wanted to get the preliminary work out of the way since they were in a time crunch. I had to practically cry and beg to get a Doctors appointment as they again wanted the papers faxed over to them ASAP. Everything with them needed to be done yesterday but the latest. We had our physicals and faxed everything over. We were then told to fill out these very long surveys about out activity level, sleep patterns, eating patterns, and emotions. We did not have to send these in yet but they should be pack in our carry on when we fly out to LA. They needed to be ready to turn in once we got there.
The day of the 22nd came and I could barely focus. This was it, the moment of truth. Every time the phone rang I jumped out of my skin. I got an email from Lucy that afternoon saying the deadline was pushed back, not we wouldn't know anything until the 29th...a whole week later. That evening she called me and said she needed some better quality 5x7's of hubby without his shirt on. She said they were making the casting pitch books and videos and needed those to be included. I asked her how everything was coming and if she thought the 29th would truly be the date. She said they were doing there best and that everyone was pulling for us. She went on about how she thought we were great and had an awesome shot. Ahhh, just the reassurance I needed. We are so in.
The problem: hubby had filed an appeal with the leadership at his job to ask for the time off. It looked like we would only have a week once we were told we were going to LA so we had to get this in line now. He appeal was denied. How could this happen? This is meant to be. We were devastated. Hubby knew he had to fight this until the end. He stuck his neck out there and scheduled a meeting with the head of the county. He would plead his case yet again hoping for a better outcome.
The 29th came and we were given the fateful news. Lucy called me, which I thought was sweet. They said they would call us if we were on, and we would hear nothing if we did not get picked. Hubby and I were not going to LA. The sentence stung as if I had been in a swarm of angry bees. She explained that everyone loved us but that the producers really wanted people who had at least 100 pounds to lose. Hubby who is 6'5'' and 305 pounds truly couldn't have lost more than about 80 pounds, if that. In the end they wanted someone heavier. When I called hubby we had a good laugh. All his life he has struggled with is weight and now they were telling him he wasn't fat enough??!? Oh the irony.
I felt so many mixed emotions. I felt so disappointed. I felt this was my chance. It was a once in a life time opportunity and I wanted it so badly I could taste it. Every step in the processes had gone so smoothly, everyone kept saying how much they loved us. We made it through every stage of the game, and yet they still ruled us out. It was tough to swallow, and yes, I did have a big cry about it. The first thing my 12-year-old sister said to us when I told her was "Oh no! You won't be on TV now?" But for me it was never about being on TV. In fact being on TV shirtless trying to exercise is not my idea was a great time. It was about hope. Hope that I would finally have help. Hope I would get this weight off once and for all. Hope I would gain my fertility and have a baby. Hope hubby and I could get healthy together and live the life we were meant to live. I did have to mourn the loss of missing out on the biggest loser.
I also felt a bit relieved. We got the final word back on hubby's final appeal the day before and they had again said no. At this point there would have been nothing else he could do. If they had picked us he would have had to quit his job or we would have had to say no to the opportunity. It would have killed me to say no to the biggest loser and I feel I could have resented hubby for it even though it is not his fault at all. I would have been bitter. I could never have let him quit his job though, he loves it, he is so good at it, and it is a great job that is not easy to come by around here. So in the end, maybe I was spared.
So that's it. All the drama and jumping through biggest loser hoops is over. Just as quickly as everything started, it faded away. Now I stand alone again. It is up to me, and me alone to make the change. Agirlworthlosing is not the biggest loser.