A whole new me :-)

2 Sep

One evening in May, Jo Ann, Connie and I went to the Delta Bessborough Hotel for the annual launch of the Beautiful You, a makeover program run by the Star Phoenix, our city newspaper.  There are nine members of the Beautiful You team, and each of them had a display stand and prizes to be won.  We wandered from stall to stall, entering all the competitions and eating the refreshments; we bargained with each other over the prizes, and collected goodie bags of free samples.  There was live entertainment in the huge room next door, and then speeches by the Star Phoenix editorial team and the local businesses who are part of the makeover program.  Finally, Margaret, the Beautiful You candidate for the yea,r was unveiled, and made a speech outlining the transformation that she had undergone for the previous nine months.  She looked amazing.  There were before-and-after photos of Margaret and the eight candidates that had gone before her, and I can honestly say that some of them were unrecognisable.

So then the fun began.  “You’ve got to enter”, said Jo Ann firmly.  “No. Way.”, I replied.  “Go on, it would be great if you won!”, said Connie.  “All you need to do is fill in the application form and have a full-length photo taken.”  A full-length photo? After ten years of avoiding cameras like the plague?  “Not on your nelly”, I reiterated.  “But sure just give it a go, and if you hear from them, that’s great, and if you don’t, nothing lost!” I was losing ground.  The photographer was waiting for the next victim, and glancing over to see who was going to win our argument.  “Just DO IT, eh?” said Jo Ann, shoving an application form into my hand, and I was propelled over to Jeff, feeling ridiculously self-conscious.  I smiled, he snapped, I filled in the form outlining why I’d like to win and we left to eat ice-cream at the Cold Stone creamery in Tim Horton’s on 4th Avenue.

Four weeks later, I was pulling wet laundry out of the machine when the phone rang upstairs.  I cursed and stamped up to answer it.  It wasn’t on the cradle, naturally, so I tracked it down and issued an abrupt “Hello?”.   “Hi, is this Barbara?  this is Denise from the Star Phoenix”.  Why on earth is the newspaper calling me? I thought, having forgotten about the contest altogether.  She was ringing to invite me to an interview as one of the final four candidates selected.  I couldn’t believe it.  The interview was the following week, and I went along nervously.  The room seemed to be full of people, and they all had their own questions to ask.  We chatted for about an hour, and then Jeff whisked me upstairs for more photos, including a couple of me baring my teeth like a horse.  Very attractive.

A few days later, while I was still in the middle of sorting laundry (I need a laundry elf), Denise rang to ask me would I like to be the Beautiful You.  I was flabbergasted (and tearful).  It’s an incredible opportunity, a once-in-a-lifetime chance to attempt Yummy Mummyhood.  I met Denise and Jeannie at the Star Phoenix the following day, and accepted their offer gratefully.  So last month, the whirlwind of appointments and consultations began.  I have been given a VIP membership at Fitness for 10, a gym on 8th Street that only costs 10 dollars a month.  My new personal trainer (!) Amanda (of A-team Training) will work with me there, and I can bring a guest with me to the gym each time I go.  I started a new diet with Simple Solutions Weight Loss Clinic on 8th Street last month, and I’m down a stone already.  It’s the Ideal Protein diet, which involves replacing breakfast and lunch with special high-protein packs, and then eating my own meal of protein and vegetables for dinner.  Jaedean is my nutritionist, and she fizzes with energy and positive thinking.

FYI Doctors on 22nd Street are my new opticians, and will be supplying me with glasses, sunglasses and maybe contacts if I can summon up the courage to use them.  Wes Antosh of Saskatoon Smiles on Central Avenue has the dubious pleasure of looking after my teeth – I usually start hyperventilating before I even sit in the chair.  Sandbox in the City on Broadway will supply me with outfits for the monthly photo-shoots, and I’ll be getting shod in Durand’s  Footwear on 2nd Avenue each month as well.  Paulette in Merle Norman Beauty on 2nd Avenue will be providing manicures, pedicures and make-up lessons, and will be doing my make-up for the photo-shoots.  The hairdresser who’s been given the task of doing something constructive with my mad hair is Joy of Visions Salon and Spa; she’s looking forward to the challenge and I’m looking forward to seeing what it’ll be like not to look like I’ve come through a hedge backwards.  Belle Sante Cosmetic Clinic on Queen Street have started me on a skincare regime with their Biophora products, and will be doing loads of things that I’d never heard of,  like IPL, and microdermabrasion.  I’ll have laser hair removal and non-surgical face-lifts, and anything else that they think I might need to transform my skin.

So that’s the prize, and I can’t believe that they chose me.  Of course, it’s kind of a double-edged sword, isn’t it?  I’m officially the haggiest woman in Saskatoon :-). Or all of Saskatchewan, even, if I want to boast about it.  Next year, though, I’m hoping to be svelte, toned, and glowing, with a funky haircut, expertly-applied make-up; gleaming teeth and trendy glasses, gorgeous clothes and shoes, and nine months of stories and experiences. With any luck I’ll have adapted to the lack of chocolate by then.

There are links below to the team who will be with me until next May, and some have before-and-after pictures of previous winners.  I’ll be writing an online blog for the newspaper, and every month there will be articles in the Star Phoenix about my progress, with the monthly photo-shoot on display for everyone to see the transformation as it’s happening.











The official Before picture:


7 Responses to “A whole new me :-)”

  1. Angela furlong September 3, 2013 at 1:44 am #

    Can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait xx

  2. Deirdre Durkin September 4, 2013 at 3:25 am #

    Barbara, I want to wish you congrats on winning the ‘Beautiful You’, well deserved, your a great lady and mother, looking forward to the big reveal… Dx

  3. Peter Deegan September 6, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    Congratulations, and God love you!

    • cibnr September 6, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

      Thanks Peter, it should be a bit of craic anyway. How are things in the Far North?

      • Peter Deegan September 6, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

        All is well in the North, was home for two weeks and had a good time. Saw my bro, Paul Deegan and his buddy Luke Caldwell who both know Mikey – small world!

      • cibnr September 6, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

        that is HILARIOUS! I actually wondered at one stage whether you were any relation to Paul, but never thought about it afterwards. He’s laughing here on the couch beside me. You lucky thing, getting home for a fortnight (though I wouldn’t fancy the journey again!). Did your family come over?

  4. Alan September 6, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    Congrats on winning the contest! When I was first married my wife entered her name in Bridal Affair which promised lots of prizes to newlyweds. We won nothing but were plagued by insurance agents for days after. So I am always suspicious of such events. Glad yours was genuine.

    I have been job hunting for the last few months so I have not been on the Internet too much. (Our American company was bought out by a Canadian company so we all lost our jobs. Go figure.) I didn’t realize that you asked me a question about the Science Museum in Regina. If you are talking about the one the the IMAX then yes it is worth a visit. I haven’t been to the one in Regina but I went to the one in Edmonton and it was great!

    Bye the bye, with a little perservence I found a new job with a dollar an hour increase and a better company. “God helps those that help themselves!”

    I really enjoyed you account of your relatives visit from Ireland. I was in the same circumstances when my wife’s aunt came from Manchester for a visit. You have to find them things to do. I felt like a tour guide. Truth to tell I learned more about things to do in Edmonton when she came then I did living there for a whole year. The only shock was on her first night at our place she said “knock me up in the morning.” Believe me it means something different in Canada than in England.

    I can’t believe you haven’t been to Regina yet! The largest urban park in North America,Wascana Park, and much more beautiful than Saskatoon’s parks. It is only a skip and a hop, I shop up in Saskatoon and come back the same day. 180 miles or 2 to 2 and one half hours, but watch you speed, the RCs love that highway. Travelling at night I used to drive 80 but I would let one car pass me. That was the canary in the cole mine. I could see the red and blue lights flashing a mile away then I slowed down and let another canary pass me. I word of warning this doesn’t always work. One time a went to pass, neck and neck, doing 80 and its an RC. I thought, pass him anyway or he will pull you over for be a jamtart. So I went by, no red lights. I thought, must have been going off duty.

    Summer is almost over and I am so glad. I can’t stand the heat. It has been 32C here and 43C with the humidex for the last few weeks. It is murder at work. You can only wear casual shirts at work if it gets over 33C inside and they post it on the board. Horray for Fall I can’t wait. The forecast for the coming weeks is a tolerable 21C, at lest I can get some outside work done like bodywork on my car.

    Have you any plans for winter activity? One thing that I want to do this winter is ice fishing and some skiing. I not sure if Cypress Hills is open for skiing or not. That is one place you have to go. It is about 5 or 6 hours south of you by the Montana border but it is the same elevation as Banff Alberta. It is one part of Saskatchewan that the glaciers didn’t flatten, Your ears pop as you go from Maple Creek and up 3000 feet in 20 miles.

    Next stop Halloween! Have your kids been asking about costumes yet?

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