Extreme Makeover—from the Inside
- Monday, July 18, 2005
One of my favorite musicals is My Fair Lady. About halfway through the film, the title character, played by Audrey Hepburn, makes a head-turning appearance at a grand ball. All eyes in the room are on this former ugly duckling as she floats down the main staircase in a white gown with the largest diamond necklace and biggest hairstyle I've ever seen.
It's all about transformation … and I loved every minute of it.
Our culture is obsessed with transformation. The media leads the pack with shows like The Swan, Extreme Makeover, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, and MTV's I Want a Famous Face. I remember crying over a Home Edition when a farming family who has just lost their dad to cancer received a multi-million dollar home renovation, complete with two luxury cars, a new barn, and an indoor reptile tank. Who doesn't love a happy ending?
It's not easy to be ordinary these days; it seems that everyone we know is in search of over-the-top beauty or careers or relationships. We want it immediately, at the cost of learning something about how we can have lasting change by developing better habits, setting goals, and having self-control. It's easy to look like Lindsay Lohan when you have a team of plastic surgeons standing at the ready to suck the fat out of your thighs.
So, when the "Christian Music Makeover" came along, my band, Daniel's Window, saw an opportunity to use this obsession with transformation in a new way. The makeover's purpose was to showcase not only a physical and musical transformation, but a spiritual one as well. We knew the Daniel's Window audience well enough to realize that they would enjoy watching us get more physically fit, but that they would also get a chance to watch what God was teaching us about ourselves individually and as a band during this six-month process.
In all honesty, I have to admit that the physical part of the makeover process consumed me at first.? Remember, one of my favorite movies is about a poor flower girl who gets to wear ball gowns and is courted by handsome men with wonderful British accents. So I immersed myself in learning from my MAC cosmetics consultant, Thomas, about how to apply my makeup with brushes instead of sponge applicators and how to gently squeeze the eyelash curler several times against my lashes before brushing on my mascara.
I ate my low-sodium Jenny Craig Vegetable Garden Soup with enthusiasm, looking forward to my weekly weigh-ins where the scale would reveal another pound lost. I actually joined a gym and walked on an elliptical machine where I would burn 230 calories every half hour. I went down a dress size. I could fit in my old jeans. I was going to be the next Swan!
Then I hit a slump: My weight loss just stopped. My Jenny Craig consultant patted me on the back and said it was probably the fact that I was wearing heavy jeans when I weighed in that week. At the next weigh-in, I wore gym shorts, and the scale didn't go down a single pound. All hopes of looking like Lindsay Lohan were beginning to fade. To my relief, I read in People magazine that Lindsay had decided to dye her hair blond that week, so at least our hair color was the same.
I was also supposed to learn how to play the guitar during the makeover, with the goal of actually playing a song on stage with the rest of the band. However, things weren't going so well in my guitar lessons either. I had practiced my new butterfly guitar with robot-like diligence for the first month, and when the band's tour schedule had gotten heavier, I began to make excuses to my guitar teacher that there just wasn't enough time in my day to practice. I was pulling out all the excuses I used with Mrs. Buckwalter in seventh grade piano lessons again.
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