Launching a TV Channel is a Blast!! (and a real pain….)

EVERY SHOW OPENER-THUMBNAILAs of next week, approximately August 9, I will be the proud owner of my very own TV Channel, “Get Sexy, Lean and Strong TV” on the BONBON Networks, being distributed on over 30 networks, world-wide!!!  Who would have thought I would be doing this at this time in my life?  I am turning 65 in just a few weeks, and most folks are winding-down at this point.  I am actually taking on something on the scale of projects I did back in high-tech, in my 30s and 40s!  Creating a TV show is an amazing, exhilarating, and daunting experience.  Especially for someone who does not make many videos or use Facebook Live (yet), and who has yet to post on Instagram!  So, what made me want to put out a TV show, you ask?  I have a great practice as a health coach, helping folks be Sexy, Lean and Strong at Any Age, and I love what I do!  Most folks resonate with my message, and my clients all experience improvement.  So, when the offer came along, I decided to stop second-guessing myself and hold my nose and jump!

I chose that name for the show to tie in with my best-selling book, “Sexy, Lean and Strong After 50!”.  I felt the teachings in the book would be of interest and could be distilled down into bite-size chunks.  Hah!!  It took several days of planning, scripting, checking lighting and furniture arrangement, booking guests, practicing with makeup and wardrobe, and then the day came!  A major issue is every frickin’ wall in my home is a blah, beige-y light cocoa brown, and there are no ceiling fixtures — witness the picture above.  This means I, a beige-y blonde, blend right into the walls and the shadows give me huge under-eye circles!  I tried hanging pictures that would not wash me out. I tried using every lamp I owned to lighten the room.

Then the videographer arrived and I found out I just froze in front of the camera!  Finally, I shook off the feeling of being under surveillance and was able to get the message on tape. The videographer had those square, multi-light contraptions, facing right at me.  (I found out you are supposed to stare at the camera, not the red light or the light stands….)  We taped the first video and it seemed OK.  Then, I changed my outfit and all hell broke loose.  Suddenly I had a shiny face, because I did not re-powder, my hair was all messed-up and the jewelry clanked in the microphone.  In another video, my hair (wig) moved around, my necklace was crooked, my bra-strap was showing and my eyes looked really tired.  (No wonder, I was up until 1:30 a.m. most nights, reviewing the day’s videos. We shot two to three a day, each requiring costume changes and moving furniture.)  And I moved the furniture!  Exhaustion began showing on my face.  As a health coach, that is not a good thing.  My practice was put on-hold, with clients being very understanding, for the most part.

I was the show director, producer, writer, script-girl, stylist, set designer, fed the crew and guests, and had to review all the dailies.  Many little things, like my super-oily face in a few videos, shifting jewelry, guests who talked too low or avoided looking at the camera, escaped my notice until too late.  However, I learned a ton about lighting and now own a Diva light (available on Amazon) and truly amazing for brightening your complexion, creating a pleasant hue and removing shadows.  Too bad I did not have it until the last day, for the last video.  Which is brilliant, I have to say!  All my learning came together that one last day.

The biggest issue was not understanding how to provide a video with a thumbnail, to a TV network.  It is not like YouTube (which I have used a bit), where you upload the video and YouTube comes back and shows you three thumbnails and you pick one.  In television land, the first scene is the thumbnail.  So, two nights of work creating great power-point slides, title slides, adding in a photo collage for each show, and a musical theme, was trashed once the network uploaded our videos and we found out we now had twelve identical thumbnails, with just numbers for the name of the show.  And, we had duplicate shows, were missing shows, could not find shows.  Catastrophe!  We pulled back all the videos, deleted all the intro stuff, edited down so there were unique thumbnails for most of the shows.  We had to shorten the music, which broke my heart.  It was a really cool jazzy riff. Now, it may be all of four notes.  But, we have the first season under our belt.  Total hours spent filming and editing by my videographer — 40, plus all my scripting and design work, another 80.  Not too bad for beginners!

Ultimately, I have launched with twelve videos, with very diverse topics. I will list them at the end of this and see if you readers have new ones to suggest.  Season 2 begins in September and the network is letting me upload my own videos!!  Scary thought!!!

Here are the topics we launched with:

Show 1 – Meet Deb Dutcher (1.25 minutes, short and sweet)

Show 2 – Don’t Give Up On Your Body!

Show 3 – Is Your Body Mad at You?

Show 4 – You Can’t Jump Off a Mountain

Show 5 – Setting Real Goals — with guest — Alison Conigliaro-Hubbard

Show 6 – Moms – Making Time for You — with guest Erin Green-Astone

Show 7 – Exercise Demo by Me

Show 8 – Nutrition Demo by Me

Show 9 – Supplements Saved My Life

Show 10 – Moms – Single, Smart and Thriving — with guests Jennifer Alvarez and Jennifer Jost

Show 11 – Addiction and Families – with guest Donna Lynn Spahn

Show 12 – Staying Balanced

Whew!  I have so much more I want to cover, but, the network was targeting an August 1 launch.  It feels like we produced the equivalent of 90 days of work in just four weeks!  A big shout-out to my videographer, who stuck with me, and learned about TV with me, Larry Curtin, of MobileTraxPro videography.   He is a dream to work with!  We are ready for the next season!  I am even going to try my hand at shooting my own videos.  Wish me luck!!!  Oh, and if you want your own channel, use my link to get a big discount:  http://www.younetworks.tv?afmc=1g

And now, to sleep, perchance to dream of new worlds to conquer, even at 65!!!  (Instagram???)

My Book Is Finished!

I finished it!  A labor-of-love for all of you.  I have been working to distill down all I know about calming our bodies down and supporting our natural healing processes.  It is done!  My first book:  “Sexy, Lean and Strong After 50! — How I went from Fat, Depressed and Divorced to the Best Shape of My Life, and How You Can Too!”  It will be available on Amazon Kindle for download December 7, 2015.

I am sharing my concept of the Mad-Body Syndrome that puts you on your Mad-Body Mountain, and how it takes more than crash-diets or hours at the gym to get back to Sexy, Lean and Strong Valley.  Those of us of a certain age (mine is 63….) have to do a bit more soul-searching and self-analysis to get to the core reasons we are on the mountain in the first place.  My journey has lasted for over fourteen years and taken me through some amazing discoveries.

The first amazing discovery was that life does not end at divorce.  Life does not end when your only son dies suddenly or when you lose your home and livelihood.  Life does not end when your only daughter refuses to speak to you and your husband, lover and best friend of over thirty years cuts you off from all you know and love.  Life does not end when you are fat, depressed and want to die.  Life begins again and it is all about saying Yes! to getting off the mountain and reclaiming your vitality and energy.   Life is there for the taking and I want everyone to have it all!  Health, love, sex, energy and a joie-de-vivre, at Any Age, but, especially after 50!

My life began anew at 51, when all hell broke loose and all I had lived for and built was torn away from me.  Here is an excerpt from the book:

“Living alone for the first time in almost my entire life, at 51, was gut-wrenching.  I would try to find ways to calm myself and get to sleep.  I tried to eat but the though of food made me nauseous.  I could not even smell it…..Finally I was learning to take care of myself….I was trying to keep my ranch going, learning to date for the first time in over thirty years, selling the family home, and running my nutrition products business.  All at the same time, plus trying unsuccessfully to re-connect and build a relationship with my daughter.”

As I was able to turn my life around, reclaim my health and energy, and live with total happiness and purpose, so can you.  Here is another piece I want to share:  “Getting off the mountain successfully requires really understanding who you are, what you want to be, do, and have, and what it will take to make this happen…..To discover your path will mean some real digging.  It is buried deep inside you and we have to draw it out.  You are going to go on a self-discovery journey, which will ultimately tell you how to get off the mountain.”

I hope this book helps others who are going through their own hell to discover a way off the mountain.  I am committed to helping everyone who asks.  I am here for you.

Be Well and Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!  Watch here for the final book announcement!

Getting By With a Little Help From Your Friends

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I GOT BY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS

As I shared in my last blog, the year my marriage ended my 19-year old son also passed away.   I moved to an apartment and started living alone for the first time in thirty-plus years.  I had no furniture as it all had to stay behind while the home was sold.  I tried to maintain my ranch, traveling three hours each way on weekends to work alone.   I lived frugally in order to make the mortgage payments on both properties.  My dog, Boomer, had to stay with the caretaker at the ranch.  I was desperately alone most days and nights.

The stress was intense!  I had the support of good nutrition and exercise to keep my body strong, but perhaps even more important  was the support of my friends and family to soothe my heart and mind.   When you are lost and everything you know has been torn away, you have to cling to those who love and accept you.  If you try to make it alone, you will succumb to deep depression and even suicidal thoughts.

Friends are able to listen to the deepest longings and regrets, not pass judgement, and allow you to heal.  Sometimes they have to listen to the same things over and over, and they will simply say things like:  “You are going to be OK.  You will get through this.  You are strong.  I love you.  How can I help?”

It made all the difference in the world for me in my time of adversity.  Be a friend.  If you have a friend or family member who is going through some tough stuff, don’t feel you cannot just call up and say something supportive.  Don’t feel you will be imposing or will blow it.  Anything you can do to make that person feel loved and appreciated and recognized as a useful member of society will help.  They may fall apart and sob uncontrollably.  You are strong and you can help them.

Make sure they are eating well and getting outside.  Make sure they have some activity to take their mind off of their own troubles.  By helping another going through a hard time, you will also get a sense of how good your life is.  It will make you grateful and you will be blessing the other person with your presence and goodness.  In that time of stress, what helped me was to help those who had health challenges.  I would share nutrition with them and see them experience improvements.  I would be able to realize that, even with all my troubles, I was at least healthy and strong.  It got me out of bed every day, because I would say, “I wonder who I will help today?” 

A lot of people share with me about losing their jobs, their homes, their lifestyle.  I really try to sympathize, but then I share my year of adversity story and suddenly they realize – “This too shall pass.”  Even the people going through a divorce do not usually have to combine it with the loss of a child in the same year.  Even those who have lost a child rarely have lost their marriage at the same time.  Those who have lost a home still have a loving family.  I became a symbol of not just surviving but thriving through adversity.  I am happy if I can inspire people to be all that they can be.  The founder of the nutrition company that helps me maintain my health has a saying:  “Live life to its fullest in happiness and health.”  I would add, “Inspire and support others through their times of adversity.”

Be the friend your friends need.  We all can get by with a little help from our friends.  A big shout-out to the friends and family who helped me weather my adversity:  Maria, Regina, Tom, Sandie, Sue my Placerville neighbor, Melanie, Mom, Sis, my bros, my team, all my coaches and therapists.  Thanks to them, I am here today to help others stay strong and get through their times of adversity.

Becoming and Staying Strong through Adversity

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Step 1 – Caring for our Body and Pushing Past Our Limits

Ten years ago in 2003 I was sad, fat and unhealthy, and going through a really bad year.  I was separated from my husband of 28 years, my son was having big troubles with the law and drugs and I was without a job, living on my savings.  I was 50 and did not know what I was going to do.

The first thing I learned was we have to get up every day.  We have to get our body working – with some exercise.  We have to take in the right nourishment, nourishment that will help our mind and body to perform even when our heart is breaking.

There are some tricks to staying positive in the face of so much adversity.  One I used, and use today, is to stand in front of the mirror, with a loving smile and say:  “I am beautiful, I am loving, I am lovable and I am worthy of love.”  This allowed me to feel that there would someday be someone else in my life to give all my love and passion to.

I also decided that I would get in the best shape of my life and make my ex-husband drool!  I did!  I quit eating junk food, soothing my sadness with Ben & Jerry’s and chips, and moved to healthy protein shakes, veggies, fish and chicken.  I ate very little sweets, gave up dairy and especially my beloved cheese.    I started taking my supplements every day, morning and night and added fish-oil fatty-acids, fiber and everything USANA’s scientists recommended.  (www.energyunlimited.usana.com).  I rode my bike, swam and ran with my dog.  I joined a gym and hired a trainer.

I lost 24 lbs in three months.  I got off my anti-depressant.  I cleared up my skin.  I dated some great guys and learned I was beautiful, loving, lovable and worthy of love.  I learned life does not end with divorce.  Later that year, when my son passed away in October, I almost collapsed, but, I kept going. I stayed off anti-depressants and doubled my fish-oil capsules (which are natural anti-depressants).

I honor his memory by speaking to youth groups about breaking through addictions with exercise and nutrition.

If you are in a bad place and feel trapped, make sure you are taking care of your body.  This will give you the strength to Be Lean and Strong and overcome all adversity.  In my next post I will talk about Step 2 in Staying Strong in the Face of Adversity — the Support of Friends.

Love,

Deb Dutcher, Energy Unlimited Coach