"The Big Reveal (50th birthday shoot)!" - Patty's Story

Day 180 – The Big Reveal (used with permission from Patty's social media post). After reading this blog, we hope you'll be inspired to be a part of her upcoming 100-day Challenge, beginning April 1, 2022. (Details following her story).

Okay so technically this post is exactly one month late. Unfortunately, shortly after Jeff’s (hubby's) birthday our lives were turned upside down by the loss of a very close friend, so things got delayed. It’s long but you won’t be disappointed when you reach the end…I promise!

So, I’m finally going to reveal what the big “MOTIVATION” behind my whole entire journey was and what started it all. And before anyone starts freaking out Jeff knows about this post and actually has been on me to get this done for some time now, as he finally knows what the journey was all about. As he not only got a very beautiful book for his birthday but he also got my entire journey copied and pasted into a document and put in a 3-ring binder with the pics and comments from each post for his birthday! And boy…after seven very long months was he surprised to say the least to find out what his gift finally was.

If you remember back at the beginning…I had made the last college payment after eight years and felt a huge sense of FREEDOM after that. The very next day was my 9-year anniversary with Young Living which meant I had achieved all FIVE of my 10-year goals an entire year early. A couple weeks later (February 14th) I was turning 50 and my new motto was “50 is the new sexy”! So, after feeling like I had put my life on hold for the sake of others it was time to go on a search to find myself again…

NOW it was time for ME!!!

And this is when it all happened…the week of my birthday I had shared with a couple of friends that I wanted to do something way out of my comfort zone and if there was ever a time I was going to do this one crazy special thing it was going to be the year I turned 50. I decided on my birthday that I wanted to do a boudoir photo shoot for Jeff’s birthday this year, which would give me exactly 7 months to prepare for it. Funny thing, no more did it leave my mouth and my friend happens to say… “I happen to know one of the owners of the top Boudoir Photography Studio in the U.S. and they’re located right here in Minnesota.” Okay, so that was the easy part. I checked out their website and was so incredibly impressed and it was everything I was looking for. Since I was turning 50 I wanted to make sure I was expressing myself in a very classy, beautiful, fun and elegant way that was extremely tasteful. Done.

Then the work began…I was not going to take this lightly and I was going to also work in some light cosmetic removal of things that I have always wanted to do as well. So this was obviously my reason for starting the exercise regimen and weight loss. I have always been a pretty healthy eater and fairly fit person, but I just could never commit to the exercise part no matter how hard I tried...

BUT making this decision to do this photoshoot gave me the push I needed to be committed, and as hard as it was, it’s thanks to all of you for keeping me accountable and being such great cheerleaders, especially when I decided to share my journey by posting about it, which was NOT an easy decision for me for many reasons.

The biggest part of this whole thing for me was that I wanted my experience to be as completely authentic and real as possible for my photo shoot with very little editing, except for obvious things (just really wanted my skin tone evened out and a couple scars and bruises taken care of)…so the work began. I know I couldn’t do any kind of crazy workouts or intense exercise regimen due to my fibromyalgia (or I would be paying the price and then I would quit), so I decided I would just stick to walking and biking. I created my goal, the path I was going to take and how I was going to achieve it. The weight loss was never a big part of my plan at the beginning cause frankly I really didn’t want to WORK…THAT…HARD…and just committing to exercising daily was going to be hard enough work but when I posted the first time on day 15 and realized I had already lost 12 lbs in 15 days then things changed a bit. I was like HOLY CRAPSNACKS…I wasn’t expecting that at all, and frankly that was ½ of the weight right there that I had gained in the last 5-7 years, so then this also became part of my goal now, too.

Then you guys kept watch, joined me and kept me accountable so THE…JOURNEY…BEGAN.

Now, things get fun. In early June, I decided to finally call the studio to make my appointment and get it on the books so I knew when my final journey goal date was…the day of the photo shoot!

Okay so I have to share this part, 'cause frankly it’s just too funny not to. When I called to make my appointment, I had shared with her that I am not a big fan of driving in Minneapolis and so asked where they were really located hoping it was like the outskirts of Minneapolis instead, and she said, "Well, it depends when you need your shoot done, 'cause we’re actually moving locations.” YEAH, exactly what I wanted to hear. We pinned down my date when I would need my shoot done by so I had time to go thru the proofs and pick out the ones I wanted in the book and have the book here in time for Jeff’s birthday. We got the date down and then I ask, "So where am I driving to?" She said, “Hanover - have you heard of it?” You can just imagine the laughing and gasping I was doing. “Say what? Did you say you guys are moving to Hanover?” “Yes," she said, have you heard of it?” As I am trying to control my laughter, “Why yes I have heard of it…I have actually lived here for the past 27 years and own a business in town for the last four years as well!!” Seriously, this is the best part of the whole back story and it still makes me laugh!