Let’s start with my post on Facebook last night when I got home:
Tonight I went to SF to meet a fabulous NOLA girl turned YouTubelebrity (VsgTanya) whose journey I’ve followed for about 2 years now. Although I’d only known her from videos on YouTube and posts on FB, I just knew we’d hit it off, and we did. As a wonderful bonus, I met a bunch of other fabulous ladies who all live within an hour of me. Thank you, Tanya for coming to San Fran and bringing all the Bay Area peeps together. So fun!!”
Before I ever had the VSG surgery, I looked up other people’s WLS journeys on YouTube so that I could be really prepared for what I was about to experience. VSGTanya was one of the first channels that popped up, and I felt an immediate kinship with this beautiful girl from New Orleans. Maybe it was the eyebrows! LOL. She has this positive attitude and open demeanor that really helped me get ready for my own surgery. And in the time since, I’ve turned to her videos again and again for tips, advice, and information. Tanya shares so much of herself in her videos that I felt like I knew her. I told myself that when I make it to New Orleans, one of my bucket list destinations, I’ll definitely let Tanya know so we can meet up.
And then about a month ago, she posted that she was coming to San Fran for a work conference, and the next thing I know, there was a Bay Area WLS Peeps Meet Up set up and I was invited! The cool thing was, not only would I get the chance to meet Tanya, but I’d also get a chance to meet several WLS people I’m FB friends with, but whom I’d never met, even though we live so close to each other.
I was looking forward to today all week, and I was absolutely thrilled to see what a gorgeous day it was. As I made my way into SF, I was even happier that the weather held up! Usually at this time of year, San Francisco is chilly and foggy, even when the weather in the south bay is warm and sunny. But not today, today it was 79 degrees and sunny in SF! The weather really couldn’t have been better for Tanya’s visit.
Since it was so nice, I thought I’d wear one of the sundresses I’d recently purchased:
A few things to note about this outfit: The dress is from Target, and I love the way it fits! Since it was a nice day, I wanted to wear flip flops, but because the dress is a bit short, hitting me just above the knee, I wanted to wear tights. Not having any footless tights, and having even less time to go buy some, I cut up a pair of regular tights, and as long as no one looked too closely, I think it worked great. That purse that I’m wearing is a huge NSV for me. It’s an Issac Mizrahi purse that I’d bought a couple of years ago from QVC. It came as a 3-piece set: a wristlet, this crossbody, and a huge shopper. Whenever I’d worn the crossbody in the past, it hit me right under my chest, and looked miniscule compared to my girth, so I put it on the shelf until today. I’m so proud of how it looks now, and plan to make it a staple in my spring and summer wardrobe. Oh, and how can we forget Miss Sofi there? She’s freshly groomed and looking beautiful, sporting her strawberry dog collar.
We were meeting up near Tanya’s hotel in Union Square, which is the shopping district of SF. I was waiting to cross the street as I saw Tanya, and the whole thing felt really surreal – I was about to meet this person that I’d looked up to for so long on YouTube! We immediately hugged, and things were as easy between us as I’d hoped they would be. I confessed right away that I felt like I was meeting a celebrity, and she laughed, but it’s true. Tanya’s helped so many WLS people, and put herself out there to help others, and I was so glad to get the chance to meet her. Plus, she’s just a cool girl who like to have a good time.
The girls had spent the day playing tourists around SF, and this was their time before dinner to fit in some shopping. I told Tanya that I was glad she’d seen some of the prettier areas of the city, since Union Square is not very picturesque. But it does have good shopping! While a few of the ladies were getting their makeup done at MAC, some of us hit Macy’s up to find some shoes. For those who haven’t been, the Macy’s in Union Square is a thing to behold – the women’s store is 7 floors, and the shoe department is HUGE! (The men’s store is 5 floors, for those who are interested). We had a great time finding some shoes for Tanya.
On a quick side note, I have to tell about another NSV. Walking in SF was always a challenge for me, even when I lived there for two years. It’s a hilly city where you have to walk everywhere, which left my feet hurting and feeling breathless whenever I was out with friends walking around. Not things time! I was walking all around with no problem, and didn’t get breathless once. In fact, most of the time I was leading the pack, walking quickly. What a change from the past!
After shopping, we made our way to First Crush for some wine and dinner. I’d never been before, but I would definitely go again. San Francisco is an amazing food city, filled with terrific restaurants. So many that you could go out to eat every night for a year and not have to repeat places. We had the best time trading stories and getting to know each other. Jodi organized the entire meetup, and her husband Chuck, was a great ego booster as he told everyone within earshot what a lucky guy he was to be with all these gorgeous ladies. Without seeming immodest, I have to agree:
This is one fun group of women! The conversation went from WLS to shopping to working out to relationships to sex to everything in between. There’s just an unspoken bond among people who have had weight loss surgery, we “get” each other, because even though we may be from different backgrounds, we’ve shared an experience that you can’t understand unless you’ve lived it. And not just the surgery and the weight loss, but also living as an obese person for so many years and then having this amazing transformation.
Another side note NSV: in the past whenever friends and I took group photos, I would always worry about the angle and how heavy I would end up looking in the photos. Tonight I didn’t give it one thought. I had the confidence in knowing that I am a whole different person now, and that the photos would reflect that change.
This group just looks like fun, right? Or as one of the ladies posted on FB – trouble! This was our last photo as a whole group before Chandra (in that great maxi dress next to me in the photo) and I left. The rest of the girls were off to paint the town red, and judging from their posts on FB throughout the night, they did!
I feel so lucky to have met all these ladies, especially Tanya, and I am confident that we’ll all get together again very soon.