One day at work I got down to the kitchen and there was Pete with an email saying he was a finalist! I called my son Bill who was home and asked him to check my emails. Sure enough I had one too! Not Fiji but Bondi. 5 nights with all the people we had hoped to be there and 3 extras thrown in for good measure!
There was the initial worry. We were sharing a house, hell we were even sharing rooms. I was even concerned that we were sharing beds! We stayed in a 4 bedroom yoga retreat. Carol, who I had spoken to lots, and I shared our room. We were the farters of the group so I don't think anybody minded! Here we are getting ready for a big day on the ocean . We liked to do our bathroom shots! :
Rebecca and Debra were the contestants that we hadn't met. We eventually got to know them via the Rapid Loss facebook page and they joined our group. I felt bad for them, it must have been intimidating to come along and share a house and room with total strangers.
So... here's Pete and I at the airport, on our way!
We popped this on facebook as we were meeting Frances and Chris for the first time in Melbourne so they'd know what we'd look like. (This was one of many of Pete's hats, or props as the shy bugger liked to call them! From that moment on the whole thing was surreal and we absorbed ourselves into every experience.
The first afternoon was settling in. We found out that the food at Bondi Yoga House was all vegetarian. We popped down to a café for a late lunch as we didn't get there until 2. I had bacon of course! The food was actually lovely, it was nice to see different ways healthy foods can be presented. Breakfast was my favourite meal with chia seed pudding, or one day a Mexican bowl with lovely fresh salsa and avocado. We had a nutrition workshop and met the lovely Robert, one of the managers of Rapid Loss. He's a true gentleman, really caring about us as people. Rebecca had been our contact via email but she wasn't well so we didn't meet her until Tuesday. Poor love was still poorly but she was such a trouper and spent the rest of the week with us. After dinner we all went for a walk to the beach to see the super moon. Unfortunately it was behind a cloud so cheeky Pete posted a photo he'd found on the internet for the others to see who had gone on ahead!
Tuesday was a coastal walk. This was when we met our lovely host Rebecca. What a gorgeous girl she is, inside and out. We also met Pedj, the personal trainer. Of course a few of us wanted photos of ourselves with him. Poor love, he was very tolerant of our pawing! Here's a photo with all of us with him. How amazing does the beach look?!
We then did a yoga session with our lovely house host Amanda. This was really nice too, really relaxing. I drank kombucha? I think it was called, a yummy tea that I actually didn't think I'd enjoy. It's interesting isn't it what you will try when you get out of your comfort zone. Pete kept trying to push me over. Here we are :
Tuesday afternoon we all went into town. Pete was getting his hair cut to look good for our makeover day and the rest of us wanted to just check out Bondi. I bought a nice dress and skirt and a hat for my Bill. Lauren (our lovely winner) bought 3 rather skimpy but sexy dresses! We found a shop that was reasonably priced and sold 'normal' sized clothes. One we had been in earlier was ridiculously priced and, after the owner looking down her nose at me (think Pretty Woman), only went up to a size 12! Tuesday night I got a spray tan which I love! I think I may become a bit addicted. Though I learnt my lesson by not wearing a bra. After I was finished I lifted up my boobs and had 2 long white patches! I wasn't planning on wearing my bikini anyway so it didn't matter, and it was very funny!
Wednesday was a workout on the beach which was fun. Then the big day began. We all got changed into our casual / dressy / I always look like this on a 90 foot boat clothes and I would say had one of the best experiences of our lives! From the moment we stepped on to the boat we felt like royalty. The staff were just beautiful and amazing and went above and beyond to make us feel special. There was Moet champagne flowing (wished I still drank at that point) and a lovely meal, lots of different levels to sit on and gaze at the scenery we sailed past. Simply amazing in every way. We kept looking at each other and saying 'this beats Fiji hands down!' After 5 hours of decadence we went back to the house then some of us popped out for dinner and others went shopping. Here's a few snippets of our day on Sydney Harbour.
Thursday was the makeup and photo shoot. Again, a lovely staff member did our hair and makeup. I LOVED IT! Here is am getting my makeup applied.
We did testimonials first, talking about the incredible product/company that had brought us all together. Here's the dress I wore for the testimonial.
Then we did the photo shoot. I felt a bit silly as I had worn a swing dress for my photo shoot, which I love, so I was asked to do a bit of a dance.
Everybody was cheering everybody else on, it was such a fun day. One of the things that we all commented on, and so did the staff, was how well we had all gelled. We were truly happy for each other and happy to know that one of us was going to win the 'big one' the $25000. Of course we all would have liked to have won it, it's a huge amount of money, but we were so happy for Lauren to win.
That night we all went out for dinner for the big announcement. The food was sensational and the company as usual was great. Most of the staff that we had met were there. Peter - the head of Rapid Loss, and the owner of the fabulous boat - was the one who made the announcements. His gorgeous wife was there too. First he announced Lauren, then he made another announcement about Pete, saying if he loses another 10 kilos within the year he will send him anywhere in the world business class for a week in 5 star accommodation. We were all in tears, it was just wonderful! Then he said he'd like us all to come back for a paid reunion in a year if we can all lose another 2 kilos! Of course we said yes. Not only would the money come at a perfect time just before Christmas, it will be so wonderful to see everybody again. Hopefully we'll do other things over the year, Peter said he'd like us to all be ambassadors for Rapid Loss.
Here we are in our courtyard on the last morning. Exhausted, we'd stayed up late the night before because nobody really wanted it to end!
It honestly doesn't feel like the end to me. It truly feels like a new beginning. I'm excited to see what the next year brings me.
It almost feels like when you see people in reality shows and how they are in their own little bubble. We shared photos and stories but only those 8 of us who were there can really know what it felt like. For 5 days we weren't anybody but ourselves. Not a workmate, not a parent, not a partner or a child, but us, celebrated for our individual selves. Not that it takes away from all of our other roles of course, not at all, but how wonderful to be celebrated for doing something wonderful for ourselves. We all agree that Rapid Loss truly did change our lives, our friendships for life are the icing on the cake. And the amazing staff were such a bonus too, so supportive and happy for each and every one of us.
So to Pete - you're a bloody shitstirrer but I love you, Chris - you're an absolute gentleman, it was so nice getting to know you, Frances - our Gwenny the country bumpkin, let's not mention the knickers, so glad you didn't end up being a straighty one eighty, Lauren - the headstand looks amazing, can't wait to learn it at our reunion, congrats gorgeous girl, Rebecca, my fellow hearing aide mate, I loved spending time with you, you are stunningly beautiful inside and out, and Debra, my partner in crime when it came to pizzas, you're hilarious and I loved getting to know you. And Carol of course, I've left her til last. My roomie and fellow farter and swearer. You are everything I hoped for and basically I f@$%ing love you!
To the wonderful staff, Bec, the gorgeous one who I adore, Robert; a true gentleman, such a lovely man, Pedj, thanks for letting us use you as our photo prop! Peter and Belinda, it was so lovely to meet you and thankyou so much for making our dreams come true. What a sensational week we had, what an amazing ride we've all been on.
Can't wait to see you all in a year. I love youse all! xxx