Here it is... the whole story about our California trip and the Winsor Pilates Infomercial.
It all began oh about 7 years ago,when Maani purchased the Winsor Pilates workout system DVDs for me.I never knew anything about working out or pilates before that.So I was skeptical!I called Mari Winsor at her Santa Monica Studio.She was so patient with me,she answered all my questions,gave me tons of motivation,advice and ideas.At the end of our 15 minute conversation,she asked me to make sure and call her,whenever I lose weight( at that time I had about 35 lbs to loose) and I said,"Yes Ma'am"
I started working out,lost about 25lbs following Mari's advice.I was very happy.Then depression and many other unfortunate factors made me fall back and I gained so much weight.
Finally I lost all the weight I gained in about 8 1/2 months last year.I was so proud of myself,I knew I had to make one special phone call- to my mentor,Mari Winsor.
And I picked up the phone one Tuesday in January and dialed her number.She was gone for the evening,and I left a message with her receptionist.
The next morning,my phone rings.
Someone in a cheerful voice: "Haniya! is it too early to talk?"
me: "umm no it's OK, may I know who is calling?"
she: " O my God, you said you lost how much weight?, oh its me Mari"
Me:" MARI!!! THE MARI WINSOR,umm Hi, NO WAY!!!How are you,aww Thanks for calling me back"
Mari:" Yes ,Mari Winsor,Yes WAY!!! I am good, YOU TELL ME! YOU LOST 80 lbs???"
Me:" yes ma'am"
Mari: " Ya know, I am just so amazed ever since I heard about it, tell me more.I am so proud of you"
Me: ( the whole weight loss story plus an apology for not calling her since last 7 years)
Mari:" ya know,I remember our conversation many years ago,and I was wondering about you"
Me: ( almost ready to pass out knowing SHE remembered me!!! and I never called her :( sigh )
Mari:" hey I want to see you and meet you! we just finished shooting an infomercial for TV and it is supposed to go on air pretty soon,I'd like for you to be in it.We'd like to get you out here and put you in the video,show you my new workout system... How would you like something like that?"
Me( speechless) : umm yes ma'am! I'd love that =)
I am thinking, OK her infomercial is all set and ready for TV,she is talking about putting me in some other infomercial,a couple of months down the road.Little did I know!!!
Mari:"GREAT! OK, keep your phone handy,You will be getting a phone call from the Producer,he will finalize all the details and will get everything ready for you to get here soon,ALRIGHT?"
Me(perplexed):"umm ,yes ma'am,sounds good!"
(This is too much too soon,is it really happening!!)
Mari:" I am so excited,you are Godsend,what a perfect timing for you to call me and for me to find you again,I am SO excited!!! this is really amazing what you did!I am very proud of you"
Me(about to have a heart attack from happiness):"THANK YOU!!! You inspired me"
So, she asks me to be ready and wait for Mr Garcia to call me. OK, I am still puzzled, don't know what's going on! but I am HAPPY!!!
The next evening,I took Waaiz to the play park and I get a phone call from Mr Garcia of Script to Screen productions.He asks me about the weight loss story and asks me if I can fly out to California for the infomercial by Sunday. O.O!!! SUNDAY as in 2 days from today??? WOW,OK gimme a second to actually take it all in =)
He asked me to email him as soon as possible and confirm our plan.So I immediately call Maani, he is getting ready to wrap up his project and head home.
Me:"Maani, I think we are going to California"
Maani(In his ever calm voice):" hmmm, OK! good let's go :)"
Me:" are you serious!!! we are going,like on THIS SUNDAY!!! How can that even be possible???"
Maani:" Good, OK, I will see if I can take a few days off"
Me:" this is getting crazier by the minute,I think I am going crazy"
Me:(turning to Waaiz who is sliding down the slide)"what do you think?"
Waaiz:" yayyy! we are going to California,I am gonna start packing my bags"
haha! atleast my boys are more excited than I am.
That evening I email Mr Garcia,confirming our plan and saying YES!!!
The next day,Tracey Mora from Uniglobe calls me to finalize the flight details,car rental,hotel etc...all of this while taking care of packing,laundry and of course shopping for new shoes and workout cloths(obviously my everyday workout gear had a few hundred miles on it,heeheehee)
so much happening so soon! I still can't wrap my head around all of this.I still cannot believe this is actually happening!I just get busy doing what needs to be done before we leave for our trip.Our flight is on Sunday morning.I have only 1 day to get everything ready.
Saturday morning I wake up nice and early,still shaken and still not able to wrap my head around all this :) I can't believe I am going to meet Mari Winsor!!!
I did what I love doing the most,went for a nice long run.ahhhh I came back home refreshed and energized.Ready to pack our bags.
Sunday morning,we left for the airport.All three of us are happy!Happy and excited to meet Mari!
Here is our little tourist all set and ready for his adventure :D
I am still unsure of the fact that I am going to Santa Monica,California.
heading into the aircraft.
almost there :D
ahhhhh finally all settled in and ready for a nap(umm that would be me! last few days have been very very exhausting,overwhelming and hectic for me)
me and my sunshine :)
he is getting comfortable and the "stuff" from his backpack is starting to find its way out of the bag pretty quickly,he is really good at entertaining himself.
Take off and bye bye Texas!
he is super excited!
the morning sun started to come out.
a few hours later,hello California =) see the mountains below!
Late evening,we arrived at our hotel,The Ambrose Hotel. It was exactly what I needed after all these crazy days.It had a nice vintage feel to it.I loved that.I loved th nice fire place,tons of books,nice cozy chairs by the fire place,I have to say that reading nook was our favorite place to hang out each night we were there.
Here are few pictures of our room.
ahhh the comfiest beds EVER!!! and their pillows were just ahhhhhhhh so good =)
Maani deciding on a location to set his cell phone,wallet and glasses( he likes to "leave" them where he can find them easily =)
Then we all decided to get out and check out the downtown Santa Monica.And ofcourse we were getting hungry and had to find something to eat.
So we put on our tourist shoes and headed out to explore the beautiful downtown.It was around 8:00PM but this place was alive and we loved it.
I forgot to take my digital camera,so I used my cell phone to take these pictures.
First off I found a knitting boutique =) ofcourse I can never have too many skeins of yarn!
yayyyy FINALLY after walking about a mile and a half, we found Whole Foods.It think dinner is served :)
The next morning was the big day :D We arrived at the Winsor Pilates Studios.Which was about less then 2 miles from our hotel.
All the celebs who love Mari as much as I do :)
Here she is! oh and this hoodie stole my heart the moment I saw it!!! and I got a few of these as a gift :p
here I am while I was "checking out" the fabulous studio.while we were waiting for Mari.Meanwhile I met Mr Garcia,what an awesome fellow he is.He made sure we were comfortable and took really good care of us.
We watched his team empty out the workout room and hang dark curtains and convert it into a "set" ,pretty amazing!
While all that was happening, our creative little fella made some friends while keeping himself entertained by drawing superheros.Here he is with Adam Christopher,Mari's make up artist for the video shoot.He is absolutely amazing!he has beautifies many many celebrities like Oprah,Kathy Griffin,Megan Fox,the ladies from Deal or No Deal and many many more.
His work is absolutely fabulous ,very talented yet very very humble and down to earth person.We loved him!
Mari stepped into the studio and we were all awww and hugs for the first few minutes,then there were thank yous,then WOWs then came the turn for Mari to see my before and after pictures! she did not believe what she saw =) She kept saying how proud she is of me.And how the timing of my phone call couldn't have been perfect! she was very happy to see us.What an honor for me!!!
Mari got her makeup and hair done and she was busy shooting her part of the video,while I took a few of these pictures.
next was my turn to stand there and tell my weightloss story to millions of people :D how exciting.
Adam getting my tired face ready for TV.
Maani was super awesome to capture these moments on camera.I was literally itching to jump up my seat and pick up the camera and start taking pictures :)
Little Waaiz kept himself pretty happy and others around him entertained with his amazing drawings skills.
Saying Hello to the camera.
LIGHTS CAMERA ACTION time for me :D
I was so pleasantly surprised at the fact that we didn't have to take any 100 million retakes :) that was fun! I just stood there in front of the camera and told my story,answered Ken's questions and told millions of people,"If I can lose weight,anyone can lose weight".
I could go on and on over the benefits of Pilates,and the wonderful results it brings to your body in such a short time.There is just something amazing about it...the way you feel after a Pilates workout,the results you see sooner than you expect them,the health benefits etc etc...I told ya...I could go on and on...
You can watch some clips of that infomercial here.
Darryl and his team did a wonderful job creating this infomercial.
Meanwhile W got to try Mari's new Slimming Pilates Workout system with Instructor Susannah.lucky fellow!he got a Pilates lesson even before me!
...as in keeping the rest of the production team company :) he had turned their equipment into some sort of StarWars battle field.
Script to Screen's team was really really nice,they kept Waaiz busy and entertained.What a blessing!
plus Maani got a few beauty tips from the fabulous makeup artist.heeheehee
Finally in a little while the team called it a "wrap" and it was time for a nice lunch,lots of pictures,exchanging contact informations and then eventually THANK YOUs and Bye byes!
I finally got a few minutes to talk to each and every member of our fabulous production team and thank them personally.Many of them had questions and comments on my weightloss.
Here I am with the magician Adam Christopher.
Gaiam's Tracey Kimmel.She is a sweetheart.I just totally adore this lady! Waaiz absolutely fell in love with Ms Tracey :D She was kind enough to give me tons of Winsor Pilates and Gaiam goodies to take home.One of which is my workout mat,which she designed herself! I love working out on my pretty mat.Thanks Tracey.And obviously you can see me sporting my new Winsor Pilates Hoodie jacket :D I have a few of those in my closet now.
Tracey helped me a lot throughout the day.I loved talking to her.she is so much fun.
Tracey offered to take my picture with the humble guy who started this all,of course he was the one who bought the Pilates DVDs for me 7 years ago :D
And I still can not believe I actually stood next to Mari Winsor!!!We were both happy at the end of a successful video shoot.
cheeeeezzzzzzz. She cracks me up! I loved her humbleness,her spirits,her enthusiasm for Pilates,her love for changing other people's lives and her sense of humor.She is an absolutely amazing person.
The guys with the magic touch! Lights Camera and Action dudes.They were all very very helpful and very sweet.
yayyy Susannah.Those of you who have the Pilates DVDs must have recognized her by now :)
I met her during the shoot and I cracked her up when I told her that I envied her Pilates butt! haha. She is a darling.Loved the time I spent with her.
The awesome Ken Kerri,I liked the fact that he made me look even tinier :D He was the one who interviewed me for the infomercial and was very patient with me.
haha! Waaiz and his hugs! I think he got more hugs from Mari and Susannah than I did!The person sitting down is the very sweet member of Garcia's team.He was the "sounds" guy.he was incharge of the mic and sounds.
The amazing,Darryl Garcia and his team member.
I showed Mari that calender that I maintained during my workouts all these months and she proudly signed it for me :)
I had to get our new friend Tracey's signatures on it as well.She signed it on the month of May,when I started working out and May 10Th is my birthday.
Then how can we forget Adam! He is the sweetest thing ever.He gifted 3 tickets to Disney world for Waaiz.WOW another blessing from God!Thank You Adam.
Of course Maani had to write something on there for me...all this would not have been possible without his love,understanding and unconditional support.
Waaiz said, one day he will sign this calender for me as well.I am thinking another one of his superb out of this world superhero drawings.haha.
That evening,Mari generously invited me and Waaiz to her studio for a workout session the next day! How exciting.
So the next morning I woke up all pumped up and excited.I decided to go for a run early in the morning.It was beautiful and COLD!!! A few images that I captured from my phone while I was on my run.Not so busy yet highway.
Beautiful palm trees on Santa Monica Blvd :D
and Broadway.It was so pretty outside with the sun just starting to come out.
When I came back to the Hotel lobby after my run,I asked the guy at the front desk how far that particular intersection was,where I decided to turn around and head back to the hotel.He calmly said, "oh about 2.5 miles or perhaps a little bit more",He said, it isn't too far and he can arrange a courtesy Shuttle for me if I plan on going there.
I laughed and told him,"I just came from there and I was wondering how many miles I ran"
The look on his face was just priceless :D ahh I like to surprise people ;)
Waaiz and I walked to her studio the next morning.Where Waaiz made many many more friends and inspired all of them with his drawing skills.
Here is Ms Sandy having a Spider man drawing competition with Waaiz and Michael at the front desk.
work in progress.
One of Mari's client Mike,who had just finished his workout,stopped at the front desk to see what was going on and decided to sport his drawing and illustrating skills.
Mari being the Judge for the best drawing contest.She told Waaiz that he has got an amazing skill on his hands :)
I got to play with Mari's new Slimming Pilates System equipment! Boy did I feel that work out!!!
Here check it out.
ooh and it is red :D ya know how much I love Red.
Then it was time for him to get a Pilates lesson from Mari :D
Here they are,she said he did pretty good :) and she was surprised when she found out that Waaiz has been doing the Pilates workouts with me since he was a toddler.
See his picture in the blue outfit.That's his morning workout :)
Finally it was time to say goodbye and head out the door for some Santa Monica tourism :) We had places to visit,sights to see and Disney World to explore.So we had to say goodbye to our friends at the Pilates Studios.
Waaiz and I wanted to keep this beautiful day captured in memories forever so we both took each other's pictures at the studio enterance.
First it was W's turn :)
Then it was my turn :)
What a true once in a lifetime experience this has been for me,Waaiz and Maani.We found this to be a very humbling experience.Like always God blessed us beautifully,with more than what we could ever imagine,He opened doors that we never knew existed.Brought things in our life in a way we never thought were possible,but nothing is impossible for Him.We can only thank Him for blessing us with such unconditional love and sincere friends- new and old!