Weight Watchers Magazine Photo Shoot

As a kid, I became a magazine addict. Every month I would hang out for the latest TV Hits or Smash Hits magazine, and later did the same with Dolly, Girlfriend and Chick. As a young adult it was all about Cosmo and Cleo, then came home decorating, wedding and baby magazines. I love reading the stories and poring over the pictures. Despite the hundreds of dollars I have spent on magazines over the years, I never entertained the thought that I would be in one.

When I started the Weight Watchers program I loved picking up their mag, and reading about people who had lost similar amounts of weight to my goal. I knew they had real people who had reached their goal weight in the magazine, but had no idea how the journalists found them. In 2013 I entered the Healthy Life Awards, and although I didn’t win, I did receive a phone call from the magazine in mid-2014 asking if I would like to take part in a photo shoot. The post about that is over here. In late October last year, I received another call from the magazine asking if I would like to do another photo shoot, this time with an interview as well. I had such a great experience the first time I couldn’t say yes fast enough.

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The shoot was going to take place at a private house on the north shore of Sydney. I was up bright and early on what turned out to be one of the warmest days of Summer. The magazine had ordered a driver for me, so I was able to travel in air conditioned comfort from the station which I was incredibly grateful for!

I arrived at the most beautiful house – I would have moved in on the spot – at the same time as the team. They transformed the dining and living rooms into a mobile studio. There were six or seven of us having our photos taken this time, and all the girls were lovely. We chatted away while waiting to have our hair and make up done. I felt a lot more at ease this time around as I knew what to expect. After getting glammed up (I definitely requested false eyelashes again this time round!) I was able to choose two outfits. The request was to have one casual and one a little dressier. There were lots of lovely clothes to choose from – many different from what I would usually there but I was there to have fun and was definitely open to trying new things. The stylist was fantastic, suggesting colour combinations and pieces that would go together. She was incredibly patient while I tried and re-tried clothes until we settled on two perfect outfits.

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The natural light in the home was gorgeous, and they decided to take my photos on the front porch. The first was the casual outfit, with blue jeans, a singlet top and blazer. I felt really comfortable in this outfit as it is similar to something I would choose to wear. The stylist made the clothes fit as if they had been tailored to me – tricks of the trade included a multitude of pins and bulldog clips! I had to stand in a few different poses with and without the jacket, and do lots of fake laughing to get a nice big grin in the photo. It felt so unnatural at first, but once you do one fake laugh and everyone else cracks up, you will get the giggles. One of the things I loved best about both the shoots I did was being told how to pose. While you might feel silly initially, practice in front of the mirror. Adjusting your chin (pushing your neck out and chin down) makes a big difference, and holding your arms and legs in different ways will alter the way your body looks. The second outfit was a gorgeous patterned pencil skirt and top. I was glad I was sitting down, because those shoes were so high I could barely walk!

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In addition to the photos, we also had to do an interview each. The journalist asked questions, and it was designed to be like an informal chat. I felt quite self conscious, but the editors worked miracles and I don’t actually mind watching the video. You can see it through the iPad edition of the magazine, or through the Viewa app in the print version.

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The magazine coming out snuck up on me – I was expecting it to be this week. It wasn’t until a friend on Instagram mentioned that she had read it that I knew it was out. I downloaded the iPad version so I could see the pictures, and then went to purchase a hard copy the next day.

I had an absolute ball doing my photo shoot and interview again this time around. Thank you to Weight Watchers magazine and the team of miracle workers (photographers, make up artists, hair dressers and stylists).

Are you a magazine addict too? Have you ever been in a magazine? Which one would you be in if you could?

12 Weeks to Calm – Week Nine

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Yesterday afternoon I was driving to the supermarket. My husband had forgotten one of our bags, and I volunteered to go and retrieve it as he had already run the food shopping gauntlet for the afternoon. As I was waiting for my turn at the round-about near home, I noticed how beautiful the light was becoming. Instead of turning right at the round-about I went all the way around, and back home to pick up my camera, recently found tripod (still hiding in a box from our move three years ago) and my son. We went to chase the light.

We had a beautiful hour together, driving around our area looking for places to stop and take photos. We chose a safe location on the side of the road, bordering a paddock, and played with our cameras taking in the clouds, sun and trees. I also took him to picturesque part of our town with a little babbling stream, wind whistling through the trees and a historic bridge as old as our town. We chatted away, compared photos and enjoyed the peace and quiet.

It’s not often that we take time out of our busy days to do something that we really enjoy. I ‘should’ have been doing many other things like work, folding washing and vacuuming the floor. The vacuuming waited until I got home, and the washing will still be there tomorrow (the work was finished tonight). Instead, we chased the light, relaxed and had fun. It turned out to be something that was sorely needed, and something I have now promised I will do more often. Spontaneous outings are so good for the soul.

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This week, I would love you to something out of the ordinary, something spontaneous, something just for you. Perhaps it will be taking a long walk in your lunch break, treating yourself to a magazine and a coffee, or visiting a loved one you haven’t seen for a while.

If you would like to share your ‘chase the light’ moment on social media as part of 12 Weeks to Calm – Week Nine, please hashtag it #12weekstocalm so everyone participating in the project can see it and support you.

Do you take moments out of your week to pursue things you enjoy?

What will you do this week to chase the light?

Five Must See TV Shows

One of the advantages of being forced to sit still recently after I hurt my ankle was catching up on television shows I have missed, and discovering new ones. Today I am sharing my five must see TV shows with you.

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt


This hilarious new offering from Tina Fey follows the journey of Kimmy, a girl who has spent all of her adult life thus far trapped in a post-apocalypse bunker as part of a doomsday cult. After being rescued and visiting New York City for a television interview, she decides to stay there to make a new life. Kimmy lands a job, a theatrical room mate, and finds adventure in the every day tasks that are usually mundane. The episodes are only short, but they all contain Fey’s trademark wit. It’s definitely going to be one of the best shows of 2015.

The Mindy Project

This is one of my new discoveries, and I love it so much I binged on two and a bit seasons in a week. I had read about the writer and actress of the main role, Mindy Kailing on People’s website, but initially thought The Mindy Project was a reality show. I decided to watch the first episode when I was on couch arrest with my sprained ankle and the rest is history! The show is currently in it’s third season, so there’s lots to catch up on! Mindy Lahiri is an obstetrician/gynaecologist of Indian descent living in New York City. She is unlucky in love and constantly searching for her Prince Charming to try and emulate the romantic comedy movies she loves so much. There are lots of laughs (some with Mindy, and some at her expense), and a fair few warm fuzzies as well thrown in for good measure. The episodes are only 21 minutes long, so you can fit a fair few in during your night time viewing.

State of Affairs

Katherine Heigl stars as a CIA operative who is trying to avenge her fiance’s death. The twist is that her fiance was also the President of the United States’ son. It is an action based show, but there are a few love stories intertwined. I love mystery stories that keep you on your toes, and despite a couple of slower episodes here and there, State of Affairs will keep you guessing. It airs here in Australia on Channel 7, but you can also access it on NBC America or Hulu.

Jane the Virgin

Jane Villanueva is a 20-something woman who finds herself in a sticky situation. She visits her doctor for a check up of the female variety, and ends up being artificially inseminated, resulting in a surprise immaculate conception. Written in the style of a tele-novella, Jane the Virgin is both funny and heart warming. Each episode ends with ‘To Be Continued’, and I’m sure you will end up as sucked in as I am!

House of Cards

Kevin Spacey stars as congressman Francis Underwood in this political drama, based on an English show of the same name. The show follows the dirty tricks played out in American politics. Underwood’s wife Claire (played by Robin Wright) is privy to all his wheeling and dealing, and has a few secrets of her own. The third season has just premiered on Netflix. We’re up to season two, and I’m avoiding any spoilers until we can get through the rest of this season!

What are your must-see TV shows? Have you got anything new for me to discover?