Third Annual Fashion Show: Summer Sizzler

It was a success! Did not quite meet my goal of 100 participants, but almost got there this year! Next year we will do it. The models looked ravishing. once again, we held it at The Herberman Conference Center at Shadyside Hospital, which is a perfect venue. The biggest difference this year was that three of the models – Jd, Valerie and Mark – took it upon themselves to do a tremendous amount of work to make it happen. It was a definite teamwork effort – there was our planning committee – Karen, Lynne, Beth, Jeff, Kalli, Mark, Jd, Valerie, cb and me. But Mark, Jd, Beth, and Kalli were tireless. Vic and Scott worked their magic – everything at Herberman from the set up to the food and drink was flawless. The place really vibrated with excitement.

For the past three years, BodyChangers has organized a fashion show in order to celebrate our members who have become healthier and happier while changing their bodies. All have lost weight, some in massive amounts, some through lifestyle alone and some with the tool of weight loss surgery. After losing weight, some of the models ended up having body contouring surgery to get rid of the pounds of loose skin that remained after their weight dropped. Most of the members have participated in BodyChangers events and/or Magee’s weight loss programs, either medical or surgical. Many of the models have been with us since year one, and still keeping their weight off. I think the fashion show gives them some incentive to stay on track. The veteran models become increasingly confident each year – you can see it in their step, in the way they carry themselves, in the way they have fun with the audience as they strut their stuff on the runway. The first year, it took them a lot of courage to out themselves out there – for so long they had done whatever they could to keep themselves hidden. Even now, they occasionally express self-doubt because their body images may not have caught up to reality, but they are getting better at putting those doubts aside. We tell their stories to the audience as they model their casual and dressy outfits – there are gasps and cheers as comparisons are made between the “before” photos on the slideshow and the new, fit and thin “afters” on the runway. The newer models, buoyed and mentored by the more experienced ones, may have been nervous, but it was impossible to tell. These are the models: Jd Doptis, Mark Dodd, Lynne Erlich, Pam Reiger, Valerie Billisits, Elizabeth Jones, Leo Beatty, Beth Walley, Barbara Khristy, Dana Black McGrath, and Lauren Barnes. I have my eye on at least six new ones for next year, and some of last year’s models who could not make it this time. I am so happy with how it went! Macy’s donated some of the clothing, Eleni Alexander, who owns a salon, volunteered to come in and do hair, and we got raffle baskets donated so we could raise money for Children’s Hospital Child Obesity Program. Karen put together one of the raffle baskets – she is very good at that – how does she make such beautiful bows?

This is the part that puzzles me: only one doctor from my practice, not a single staff member from my practice, not a single one of the bariatric surgeons, only one of their staff, and not a single member of my weight loss team have EVER EVER come to a fashion show, even though many of their patients are the models!!!! Even though they have been invited EVERY YEAR!!!! No other physician on our invite list has come either. Only one of Jeff’s partners comes to these – Carolyn de la Cruz. Rana Billeh came to the first one. Vicki Conti has come. Lou Baverso came to the first one. Oh, also not a single one of my non-BodyChangers friends, not even my Weight Watchers friends, has ever come, either. It is hard to believe that every single year, every single one of these peops is busy. It saddens me a lot not to get their support. Last year, my boys and Shannon came in from New York and Carol and Paul were there as well, which was amazing. And cb and Mollie have been loyal attendees.

The other infuriating thing: we got 110 “yes” RSVP’s. Many of the attendees yesterday were walk-ins who had not registered at all. So probably 2/3 of the peops who registered were no-shows! To a free event with food! How do they think we arrive at a head count? Do they understand that when you respond to a party invitation money is spent on the assumption that they will be there? They could not have all had last minute emergencies. It is pretty inconsiderate. Luckily, we had the walk-ins, so most of the food was consumed.

But despite these setbacks and less than optimal support from peops who should know better, we push on, and we succeed, and we get better and better. We will continue with this annual, feel-good, upbeat event. one by one, our little army of stealthy proselytizers will prevail upon our fellow Pittsburghers until before they know what is happening, they will catch the spirit and be persuaded the fun of healthy living. You know this: These lifestyle diseases are the biggest killers of Americans: tobacco use, alcohol overuse, unhealthy eating and inactivity.

This entry was posted on Sunday, June 14th, 2015 at 8:43 pm and is filed under aspirations, Attitude, Eating Behavior, Exercise, Fashion, fitness, fond memories, food!, friends & family, Healthy eating, inspiration, irritation, Lifestyle, love, Nutrition, weight, Weight Gain, Weight Loss, weight management, Wellness. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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