Thursday, December 16, 2010

We Have Winners!

Decided to DOUBLE the Fun, and chose TWO winners for the Dance Party for One Favorite Things Contest! Congratulations to Becky Zemansky from GA and Kerri McCrimmon from MI! Your TREATS will be on their way SOON!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Just Because I'm Thinking of You...

The holidays can be tough.
Not just in the over-eating (rather than feeding)
or over-spending sense...
but in the
I'm sad
and lonely
and miss my family
or ache for the family I've lost
kind of way.

I was thinking the other day
about how I have felt at different times of my life,
during different years
at the holidays...
and I sat down and wrote this (on my other blog where I write for myself)
for you,
in case you need it.
Especially, if you need it.

Just in case.
From me
to you.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Twelve Tune Tuesday: Top 12 of Two Thousand Ten (Kinda)

Here is a simple list.
Just went to my iTunes library and picked from the Most Played 100 songs,
Twelve of the Most Played songs, I like to play when I dance.

This time, I am listing them from 12 to 1
#1 is the THE song in my library with the MOST plays of all
(THE number one song of the thousands I possess!)

I edited out the more mellow songs,
and rounded out the list with ONLY up-tempo, dance-able music.

Here's the list of 12 of my most played...
not ALL of my favorites are on the list...
but, these got the most play time!

How 'bout you?
Can you make an end-of-the-year retrospective
of YOUR most-played songs?
It might give you a picture of your life, set to music for the year!

Judge Me Not (please?!?)

Top Twelve of Two-Thousand-Ten

12. Butterfly - Jason Mraz
11. Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) - Beyonce
10. Boom Boom Pow - Black Eyed Peas
9.  I Feel Good - Mary J Blige
8. A Little Less Conversation - Elvis
7. Kiss - Prince
6. Empire State of Mind - Jay-Z
5. Put It in a Love Song - Alicia Keys
4. The One - Mary j. Blige and Drake
3. Grown Woman - Mary J. Blige
2. Big Girls Are Best - U2
1 Shake Me Like a Monkey - Dave Matthews (How much MUST I love this song, for it to be #1?)

Oh, if you're AT ALL interested in what my list looked like last year feel free to check out my other blog. I posted a list last December of 70 songs by 70 artists I was listening at the time. Just a little trivia for inquiring minds!

That's all.
Be Your Best!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Twelve Tune Tuesday: On Dancer! On Prancer!

With the THOUSANDS of Christmas songs out there,
I am hard-pressed to come up with a collection of 12
designed exclusively for Dance Party for One,
But alas, I have done my best.

Here are 12 for you.
Christmas Movers.
Not inspiring.
Not solemn.
Not spiritual.
But FUN!

Make your own playlist of your favorite holiday songs,
and MOVE around while to decorate your house.
Play them in your car and move (a little), while you drive.
Play them in the morning when you are getting ready.

The final song,
is simply
my most-played song from Christmas last year.
I recommend the entire album.
Love it 'til it hurts.
Just do.

Listen to the first 12.
The 13th is just there because it's my list.

On Dancer! On Prancer!
(That means you're supposed to dance and prance to these!)

1. Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt
2. All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey
3. It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas - Harry Connick
4. Santa Bring My Baby Back (to Me) - Elvis Presley
5. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - U2
6. We Wish You a Merry Christmas - Weezer
7. Hey Santa! - Straight No Chaser
8. Santa Claus is Back in Town - Elvis Presley
9. Jingle Bell Rock - Bobby Helms
10. Step into Christmas - Elton John
11. Santa Claus is Comin' to Town - Bruce Springsteen
12. Must Be Santa - Bob Dylan
13. Wintersong - Sarah McLachlan

That's All.
Be Your Best
(and send me your 10 Favorite Things List - TODAY!!!),


Monday, November 29, 2010

The Two Go Hand-in-Hand

Maybe I'm assuming too much.
Maybe it's just me.
Maybe I am the only one.
Here is one thing I know:
(about me)
(not necessarily about you)
(but I'm going to blog about it anyway)
(I'm going to address it here, just in case...)

During all the years when I was EATING myself to a place of numbness,
All-the-while I was EATING rather than feeding my SELF,
I was also
like crazy.

I was shopping
and buying
and collecting
and purchasing
and filling up...

And I was filling my children up
with stuff.

I hated trying on clothing for me, because I hated
my size
my options
my stores
my head-to-toe look.
OK, maybe I didn't hate all that.
I didn't really hate me.
I still loved and liked me,
but I was very saaaaad about me...
sad about how I looked
sad about my face
sad about my body
sad about my waist
my butt
my boobs
my chins
my hair
my legs
I was just sad about it

I didn't buy a lot of clothes for me

I bought a lot of stuff for me:
for my house
for my craft room
for my daughters
for my son
for trips
for friends
for parties

And a lot of it...
was just to

My husband had a good job,
so I had extra money to do so.
But then, I spent even more than we had
and that was not good.

My spending was just another means
of eating
rather than feeding.
It was a means of consuming.
Rather than feeding
I consumed stuff.

And the internet made it

I didn't have to leave my house!!!
Didn't have to take a shower, get ready, look at myself in the mirror...
SEE how I looked.
I didn't have to try things on in a fitting room
(in one of those tiny, poorly lit, mirror-covered cubes)
(I dreaded the 3-way mirrors the most).
I could sit at my computer,
look at the models on the screen
punch in my credit card number
and get excited about the UPS guy delivering me a package
in a few days.
Oh, how the internet FED my habit..

...while I was EATING through our money.

here I sit
On Cyber Monday.
With an inbox filled with
Save Big!
Stock Up!
Get it all Done!
$pend money
we don't have this year.

My husband lost his job this month.
We have money set aside for Christmas.
A real budget.
A nice Christmas.
He and I are giving up Christmas for our kids.
He is home for the first Christmas season in FOUR years.
We are going to shop together
Go to the stores together
Pick out each present together
Wrap the gifts together
We have already decorated together
That is his Christmas gift to me.
It costs nothing for him to give me this gift
but it FEEDS me more than I can even express.
It FEEDS us.
It will fill us.
It is more of Christmas than we have shared since we were a couple with no children.

This Christmas,
I am feeding myself.
I am feeding myself:
the warmth of him.
the simplicity of a reasonable,
responsible Christmas.
I am feeding myself
the time I get to spend with my children
the time I get with Mike
the time we share as a family.

(As I mentioned in last week's vlog)
I am headed into this holiday season
I will not gain weight.
Not even worried about it.

I know my source...
My source for happiness and peace and joy and satisfaction
is NOT food.
Food is a part of the celebrations.
I WILL celebrate with food.
But the food,
in and of itself
is NOT the celebration.
It is not the resource for my happiness
neither is the spending
or the shopping.

will leave you empty

you will want more
you will run out
cannot satisfy

I've said enough.

No journal assignment this time.
Just think.
All I ask you to do,
(This is actually, A LOT to ask).

Look at your holiday plans for shopping
and eating
and think.

See if there is a connection
a pattern
a way you lived in the past
(especially this time of year)
before today
before now,
where you filled up with EATING
and/or SPENDING...
or Ba-Humbugging
or jealousy
or complaining
or sadness
or discontent
or disillusionment
or anger
or loneliness
or chaos
or stress
or activities
or busyness
or obligations
or people
or dysfunctional gatherings
or ________________
(you fill in the blank, you know yourself better than I do)

Think about what YOU
have filled up on,
in past holiday seasons
and decide what you are going to
This time.

That's all.
Be Your Best!

Oh, and remember to enter the Favorite Things contest here. SOMEONE is going to win...why not you? I'll add a written post detailing the info on THURSDAY. Send your list to by December 15, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Twelve Tune Tuesday: Giving Thanks for These

This week's DP41 Playlist is a collection of folks I've seen in concert in the past year or so. These are folks I've paid to see, and would pay to see again and again. They make me move, cry, feel and remember. Not all are Boogie Bands---but they have moved me in one way or another! Make YOUR list from the ones you like, and know that THESE songs are playing in MY ears for the next week. I'm giving thanks for THEM and for YOU and for all the wonderful things I've been through and a part of This Year!

Happy Thanksgiving 2010!

Giving Thanks With:

1. Different Kind of Fine - Zac Brown Band

2. Shake Shake Mamma - Bob Dylan

3. Jack and Diane - John Mellencamp

4. No Bad News - Patty Griffin (OK, I didn't see her, but I am thankful for her nonetheless)

5. No Where to Go - Joshua Radin

6. Undisclosed Desires - Muse

7. Walk On - U2

8. The Charging Sky - Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins (saw The Watson Twins)

9. Short Skirt/Long Jacket - Cake (didn't see them either, but they KILL me...and you may eat some CAKE over Thanksgiving, so there's a loose connection)

10. Come Together - The Beatles (I saw Crystal Bowersocks do this one, NOT the Beatles...duh!)

11. Hallelujah, I Love Her So - Ray Charles (Saw him AGES ago--ADORE him!)

12. Lie in Our Graves - Dave Matthews Band (This is a Thanksgiving Theme song for ME!)

45 minutes of Folks for Whom I'm Thankful!

Quite a variety of sounds and themes in that list! Take a minute to make YOUR OWN playlist of groups/artists you are thankful for THIS year (or always)!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Glass Houses, Cats & Pilgrims

It's almost Thanksgiving
The perfect (and predictable) time to make
a traditional "What I am Thankful for..." List.

I kind of feel like I already did that,
with my 100 pound list, so I am not going to do it yet again.
I am however going to make a list.

A confessional list
of THINGS I used to do,
which I no longer do.
A list of patterns, habits, stuff...
that were a part of me before,
but are not a part of me now
(most of the time...I mean, we all have relapses now and again, right?)

here is my, "What I am Thankful I No Longer Do" List
(It's short, but kind of tough for me to come clean about)

I am Thankful I No Longer:

* Head to the Drive Thru and order Value Meals between lunch and dinner.
* Hide the wrappers/boxes/cups from these EXTRA MEALS from my family (at the bottom of the trash can in the garage, or in trash cans out side of stores I stop at before heading home).
* Eat the equivalent of a meal while making dinner for my family.
* Finish the leftovers while straightening the kitchen after dinner.
* Eat 3+ slices of pizza at a sitting.
* Eat 3+ donuts at a sitting.
* Lie about what I've eaten, or how much.
* Wake myself up in the middle of the night and walk down the kitchen to sneak Pop-tarts, cookies, chips and whatever I could find in the frig.

(My palms are sweaty
and my pulse has quickened
because I've just said all this.
I've told the truth
about me...
And most of the people closest to me,
have no idea
I used to do these things...
and sometimes still want to do them
but just don't anymore.
No idea.)

I know, to some of you reading this,
these confessions are startling.
The thought that anyone would DO
any of the things I listed
(much less, ALL of the things I listed),
is a little bewildering.

But to others,
Now you know
The Only One.


Some of you cannot imagine polishing off 6 donuts
or eating food in the middle of the night
or hiding Whopper wrappers from your family.

But some of you can.
Because some of you do, too.

There is one other thing I must say
I am Thankful I No Longer Do
for it,
I am the most, deeply 

In fact, the years (a decade worth)
of living the way I lived
the year and a half
of changing the way I changed
and the daily, conscious effort it takes
to stay living changed, and as I am
For. This. One. Thing.

Every year
Every change
Every decision
Every challenge it takes to stay
has led me to be


at this point--
I have walked (lived), in an assortment of different "shoes,"
at this point--

I realize I have no right to judge you, as a woman
for where you are, who you are, or what you do.

I have been blessed to have been allowed to live
Nine Lives in the past 40+ years.
(As much as I dislike cats, this is about the best
metaphor I can conjure to represent my story.)

And, from living these 9 lives,
I know what it is like
how it feels
how it hurts
how it stings

to be

for being,


a Yankee & a Southerner
prudish & wild
boisterous & quiet
strong & vulnerable
driven & lazy
too conservative & too liberal
too young & too old
traditional & progressive
fearless & afraid
a loner & the life of the party
faith-full & faithless

while also being judged as...
too religious
too open
too sensual
too funny
too deep
too emotional
too passionate
too flirtatious
too aggressive


just about
everything else.

I am (or have been)
of those

And at one time or another,
I have judged
for being those very things.
I walked in their shoes
I acknowledged how very much it hurt.

How much it hurt me,
and how much I hurt them.

I have yet to figure out
if I am judged more now because of who I am,
or if I was judged more then, before I changed.

I do know I was more of a Pleaser, then.
I wanted everyone to be happy,
and happy with me.
I wanted acceptance from others
and for their opinions of me to be favorable.
I wanted to make sure
No One had a good reason to judge me.
I guess, because I knew, I was judging them for so much.

All that is to say,
I am thankful for the changes.
Thankful for the freedom
Thankful for the opportunity
to let you know me
and not be afraid of what you will think,
when I share with you,
the truth about me...
where I have been
what I have done
and who I am devoted to being from here on out.

I am filled with thanks.
I am Thankful.

That's all.
Be your best,

OH, if you haven't already, be sure to check out the contest I am running here on the blog! Be sure to enter your list by December 15, 2010 to WIN!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Twelve Tune Tuesday: Bono-licious Booty Shakers

Here's a NEW Addition to the Dance Party for One Blog...A WEEKLY TUESDAY POST! But not just any ol' kind of post...Tuesday is going to be a THEME DAY! Just as Wednesday's blog is now set aside to be a Video Blog Post (VLOG)...

Each Tuesday
is going to be

Dance Party Music!

I've heard from several of you who want to know what I LISTEN TO when I am having my own little dance party, so I've decided to fill you in on how I
Get Down
Get With It
Shake My Groove Thing
Freak Out!

Here's the way this is gonna work:
EACH and every Tuesday, I will post a dozen songs...
(thus the title: Twelve Tune Tuesday)
revolving around a specific theme, or artist.
YOU are free to make your own playlist from these songs,
or just pick and choose as you go from any of the lists.

I would love to hear what YOU are listening to!
What is getting YOU moving?
On Tuesdays in 2011, I will post YOUR 12 tunes on Tuesdays!
Start sending them in ANYTIME!
I have started an email account JUST FOR YOU
For DP41
For US!

Send me lists,
pictures (before and after)
questions and comments
ideas for topics on the VLOG or here on the blog
ANYTHING you want to see, hear or get from this SPOT!

THIS is where WE can connect with each other!
This is what will make THIS blog--YOURS!

But, back to the music....
I love music
I connect with music
Music connects ME to myself
to my emotions
to the world around me
to the people I love
to the woman I want to be
to my past
and my present

When I look back at my hardest, heaviest, heart-achiest times
in the past,
specifically during the years I feel like I lost ME,
I realize how silent those years were
how music-less those years were
how little time I spent listening to music
how often my home, my car, my time was filled with their music
and not mine.

I remember a time when I knew music
I got music
I was into music
I got to know people through the music they listened to
I related to people, understood myself & lived through the music I heard

and then I forgot.
I forgot about music

When I started remembering me again,
pursuing My Self, again...
It was music that revived me.
It was new music,
old music
favorite music
the music of my youth
the music of people I loved
the music of people who loved me
that ushered in a whole new sense of

No lie,
My iTunes library has DOUBLED in the two years since I have been
changing me
losing weight
discovering and becoming
Who I am today...
Who I wanted to be

Music healed me
Set me free.

Here I go.
Letting you in.
Letting you know who I am
by sharing what I listen to
who I listen to
and what they do for me, with their words
and their beats.

Some Tuesdays, I will list songs and artists only.
Other days, I will go into detail as to WHY the songs made the list
Some Tuesdays I'll get personal and share the gut-wrenching songs I turn to when I hurt and need comfort.

Some upcoming 12 Tune Tuesdays to look forward to:
* Everything Elvis
* 80s Eclectic
* Wedding Reception/Prom Must-Haves
* Kicka$$ Girl Groups
* PMS Mix
* Yes, I Listen to Rap List
* Too Sad to Dance, So I'll Just Sit Here and Cry Songs
* Dance with Your Kids Tunes
* I Love Being a Woman Selections
* I'm Too Sexy for This Playlist
* and MORE
(AND what YOU send in!)

I am!
After I post a list, it will become MY Dance Party Playlist for that week,
so if YOU choose to upload the tunes for yourself,
we'll be hosting our own parties,
and shakin' it to the same tunes
in our own corners of the world!

THIS week...
The Premiere "Twelve Tune Tuesday" DP41 Playlist
of my
(of course)!!!

So, put on your heels (sexy boots), smooth on your lipstick, slip into something sexy, fix your hair, close the door, get in front of the mirror and dance your heart out. Feed yourself a little fun and enjoy Sir Bono!

12 Bono Beats Making Me Move
(as if I Bono himself isn't enough!)
 1. Big Girls are Best (a little hard to find, B side of Stuck in a Moment)
 2. Elevation
 3. Mysterious Ways
 4. Get on Your Boots
 5. Vertigo
 6. Stand Up Comedy
 7. Desire
 8. Even Better than the Real Thing
 9. Trip Through Your Wires
10. Gloria
11. I'll Go Crazy if I Don't Go Crazy Tonight
12. Wild Honey (A mellow one, to make you "sway")
13. Elevation (listen to it is my favorite U2 song to dance to! In case you can't find Big Girls are Best)
48 minutes of Bonolicious Booty Shakers!

Feel free to add your own favorite U2s here....These are just 12 of my favorites!

Be Your Best!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Number 4 is a Doozy!

Well, what I thought would NEVER happen, has happened.
He asked for help.
He asked me for advice
He wants to join the party
My husband.

Apparently, he thinks we're having a little more fun than him,
and he doesn't want to miss out.
So, he asked me what he needs to do to enlist in
Becky's Boot Camp.
(He has changed the name for himself, as to escape having to run out and get lipgloss and high heels.)

So, I'm embarking on a new path with him.
the DP41 plan, for HIM.
For Dudes.
So, if you have one (a guy that is),
or if you ARE one (and have been reading and watching on the sly),
Now is your moment to step out of the shadows,
and make yourself known.
(All two of you)

And women,
if you have yet to REALLY dive in:
heart first,
head second,
and body last,
and want to start NOW...
GO ahead and do it!

Mike is running to the store to buy a journal, as I type.
(I refuse to even BEGIN with him, unless he has a journal).
A Superhero spiral caught my eye the other day, and he is on a quest to find it for himself before lunch today.

Before he left for the store, I asked him some questions to consider while he drives. Hopefully, he will have some answers for me when he returns, and can record them in his Justice League Log (this is what we will call his MANLY journal from now on...)

Please ask yourself these same questions and ponder your responses. Write out your thoughts, being as honest with yourself as possible...

1) Why? Why OTHER than dropping pounds on a scale, do you WANT to do this? (if you need a few springboard ideas to get yourself started as to the "WHYs" go back and check out my "100 Results" list, it might point out what is possible for YOU too! Mike has already said, he wants to wake up not feeling SORE every morning. He wants his knees to have less stress on them. He wants to have more energy. How 'bout you? What are the physical, emotional and mental reasons you want this? LIST THEM!!!

2) When in your adult life, did you put on the greatest MASS of weight? What were the circumstances in your life at that time? What were your work circumstances, relational circumstances, emotional circumstances and spiritual circumstances?

3) What do YOU think are the causes for YOU being where you are today, in terms of your BODY, your WEIGHT, your FEELINGS ABOUT YOURSELF? WHY are you HERE right now? What decisions, habits, patterns and thoughts, LED you THIS point...where there are things CHANGE-WORTHY about YOU...about YOUR LIFE? (Remember please, that this is not ALL about weight. In fact, I believe weight is the simplest thing to change about yourself. It's ALL the other stuff that is HARD to change!)

and finally...

4) What are you prepared to do? What time allotment are you willing to invest in YOU? How much are you willing to change, or put into CHANGING, to get results? On a scale of 1 to 10, how SERIOUS is this for you (1 being mildly important, 10 being I want this for myself more than any other single thing in my life).

That last question (number 4), and your answers to the REAL doozy. The first three questions, are FACT-finding questions. They are information-gathering, personal-assessing, analytical questions. These are the questions we tend to be able to answer more quickly. Easier. Though some of the answers to these questions require confessional responses, most of us are willing to "go there" and give answers, because no one is going to see our journals anyway, and our answers aren't really surprises to ourselves (well, maybe they are, if we haven't stopped ourselves and asked them before)....

number 4.
That one is the doozy

Number 4 is about the future.
It is not about the past
or what got you here
or why you are where you are.

Number 4
is about
where you are going.

It is about
how you are going to get there
you are going to get there.

as I've said before,
it is not about your diet...
your specific exercise...
your PLAN...

It is about

Are you
REALLY, truly, honestly
to pursue this,
pursue YOUR SELF
through WHATEVER food choices you make,
physical activity you undertake,
relationship shifts you determine,
personal changes you internalize???

It all comes down to
YOU and
HOW BADLY you want to change.

Personal story...
I was overweight for many years.
MANY years.
Not a year went by, when I didn't gain
at least some weight.
I would catch a glimpse of myself in the window of a building and gasp at my reflection.
I'd get ready in the morning, see myself in the mirror, shake my head at myself
and move on to start my day.
I remember trying on clothes in a fitting room and holding in tears.
I remember times when I couldn't hold back the tears.
I remember going up size, after size.
I remember that awful scraping sound of the metal hangers sliding across the pole of the clothing rack in the women's department as I moved from the smaller plus sizes to the larger plus sizes, hoping they even HAD my size.
(That sound of metal hangers sliding on a metal pole, still gets to me!)

And for years,
I remember
saying to myself,
and sometimes out loud to Mike,
"I will NOT be fat forever."
and then I would add, from a very honest place in my heart
(again, for years),
"But, I'm not ready yet.
There WILL come a day, when I am ready.
I will stop all of this, one day.
But it's not now.
Not yet.
I am NOT going to die this way.
I AM going to get it together.
But I'm not going to play around with it,
and say I'm ready when I'm not.
I'm not going to pretend,
and start
and ACT like I really want to change
WHEN the fact is,
I don't.
I don't really want to change
I am not yet ready to pay the price,
face my fears,
make the changes I'd have to make
or become who I know I'd have to be
to change.
there will come a day when I am ready.
And there will be no stopping me....

For me,
all the gasps, and sighs, and held-back tears,
and head-shaking-at-myself, and shame,
and personal disappointment, and "I'm such a loser" feelings
I felt
Were not enough reason to change.
They were not enough.
Pain and shame were not my motivators.
Fat was not my motivator.
Being a size 22 was not a motivator.
Weighing over 250 pounds was not a motivator.
Having children to raise,
A husband to love
and great faith in my God
These were not my

The Woman
The Woman
who was aching
Start Living
Start Being
Start Loving
and Dancing
and Playing
and Reaching
and Smiling
and Savoring
and Touching
and Feeling...
That Woman
My Motivator.
She was ready.
She wanted it more than she wanted ANY OTHER THING for herself.

I was at a 9 (on that scale of 1 to 10)
when I asked myself Number 4.
I was there.
I spent a few weeks (months?)
AT a 9,
before I started.
Remember, I said this before,
I picked a day.
I marked it on the calendar
I stuck all of my courage into the ground,
like a sticking post...
and began the process of changing.
And I

I have rested from time to time.
I have plateaued.
I have paused.
I have assessed.
I have been discouraged.
I have felt weak.
I have considered looking back
I have contemplated stopping where I stood
But have NOT
wanted to GO BACK
to who I was then
or how I lived my life
or what I used to do
That is not an option for me.
Going back is not an option.

Number 4.
What is your answer?
What are you willing to do?
When are you willing to start?
How ready Are You?

My challenge....
START thinking about it.
Take this holiday season, and think
really think
make the decision to choose honesty.
Be truthful with yourself about what you want,
why you want it,
and what you are willing to pay
in terms of sweat, tears, change and love
to get it.

And pick a date.
Pick a date to get serious
about YOU.
About who you want to be.
Pick a date
and start

Mike is back with his Superman Notebook.
Let's see how he's done with his questions.
I'll keep you posted!

That's all.
Be Your Best,

Monday, November 8, 2010

Being Schooled

Ok. Folks
In about 30 minutes, I'm being picked up for a three-day event
A blogging event
Sponsored by Coca-Cola
and BlogHer (major blogging name here, for your info)
I was invited.
One of 15 women, nationwide.
All expense paid.
I'll be treated well.
I'm being whisked away,
driven to a hotel
dining in nice places
networking, hob-nobbing, and rubbing shoulders with some of the big kids

I'm the Newbie
The Rookie
The Oh-So-Green, Wet-Behind-the Ears
Baby Blogger
This blog, Dance Party for One,
is 75 DAYS old...
75, puny, short days YOUNG!
There are ladies whom I'll keep company who have
YEARS of experience in this.
HUNDREDS of followers.
I CANNOT wait to learn from them
Find out what I can do to improve
Get to know their stories
and grow, grow, grow.

I plan on coming back Inspired
and ready
Ready for whatever is next.
Ready to inspire YOU
and take us wherever YOU want to go!
I'll post newsy stuff in the next couple of days
when I get a moment to breathe!
I'm planning on taping the next VLOG from the fancy-schmancy hotel.

I am beyond excited about this opportunity~
Out of My Skin, happy!
I'm taking YOU
and your stories
with me....because
8,000 "hits" in 75 days, is no small thing
It is actually a bit ridiculous.
(One for almost every day this BLOG has been a blog)
and lots of uncounted lurkers, from 15 NATIONS!!!
Are nothing insignificant
It is all something
All of it, is something
YOU are something
We are something

Every pound
Every change
Every pause
Every thought
Every pursuit
Every conscious decision
It all matters
There is no Small Stuff here, people...

Think of the possibilities
Imagine the outcomes
Dream of where you want to be THIS time next year
Dare to believe you can make the changes you desire
Invest in yourself
Pursue Your Self, again
for the Very First Time Ever.

Begin again
Do over
Start today

I am doing the same thing
and from now on!

That's all.
Be Your Best,

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

100 of the BEST Results of Losing 100 lbs.

I am re-posting this FIRST post on Dance Party for One, for those who are taking a look at the blog for THIER first time. THIS is where this blog started. Now almost 2 1/2 months later and 8,000 views strong, this list, got the ball rolling, the questions being asked and the blog being written.

Thank you for stopping by.
Take a moment to watch the Youtube clip on this page.
Sign in to follow along.
Start at the very beginning, or jump in wherever you feel comfortable.

I am thrilled you are here!
Be Your Best!

100. Being able to post before and after pics
99. Not having to hide behind other people when cameras are flashing
98. Having one chin
97. No longer having to buy WIDE shoes (because my feet went down a size and width)
96. Having a neck
95. Wearing belts
94. Discovering it's easy to climb a flight of stairs without gasping
93. Double-takes in the mirror because I don't recognize myself
92. Trying on smaller and smaller (and smaller) sizes
91. Looking forward to bathing suit shopping
90. Surprising friends (and non-friends) who haven't seen me in a long time
89. Getting on the scale at the doctor's office, and being happy
88. Riding a roller coaster, and listening to the harness go: click, click, click, click, click... (instead of hoping it catches after ONE click)
87. Having normal sized eyes in my head, instead of squinty ones
86. My children saying I'm pretty
85. Liking what I see in the mirror
84. Having a selection of stores for shopping
83. Posing for pictures with my old jeans, like they do on TV
82. Recognizing MY problems are of MY own making
81. Feeling like I can do ANYTHING
80. Inspiring others
79. Off-the-charts confidence
78. Discovering my husband, re-discovering ME!
77. No longer having migraines
76. Being able to walk without my thighs rubbing together
75. Knowing I look better at 40, than I did at 30...and 20...and 15...
74. Wanting to meet new people, rather than hiding
73. Finding creative ways to reward myself for every 10 pounds I lost
73. Filling my closet with color, rather than always wearing black
72. Knowing I am FINALLY, on the outside, who I've always been, on the inside
70. Admitting it is a CHOICE to live as a victim and resist change
69. Going strapless
68. Dropping 8 sizes
66. Having a husband who can't keep his hands off me
65. My children being able to completely wrap their arms around my waist and hold on to their own elbows
64. Sitting comfortably in movie theatre seats
63. Going down two ring sizes
62. Learning I can refuse to give up, sit back or wallow in SELF
60. Being proud of myself
59. Waking up NOT SORE in the morning
58. Not sweating (as much!)
57. Celebrating it as a permanent change, because I took 18 months to do it
59. Embracing and accepting that I really can re-start my life whenever I choose
58. Finding mental, emotional and physical strength I never knew I had
57. Feeling and being emotionally free and open
56. Knowing my husband is proud of me
55. Finding supportive friends in new places
54. Letting people in on my struggles, rather than shutting them out
53. Clear skin
54. Having a better body than ever before in my life
53. Watching The Biggest Loser and knowing I did it, without a trainer, chef, surgery or diet
52. Watching The Biggest Loser and NOT thinking, "One Day I will do that..."
51. Getting a part-time job so I can buy new clothes
50. Giving my clothes away when they get too big
49. Liking Every Single Item in my closet
48. Dressing like a woman instead of a mom
47. Having a waist
46. Discovering my legs are a lot better than I thought
45. Realizing how much my weight, was weighing me down emotionally
44. Understanding my weight had become a suit of armor I used to protect myself
43. Re-learning how to shop and dress for my body-type
42. Finding out I ACTUALLY have a body type
41. Having a man ask for my phone number at the grocery store
40 Having a stranger buy me a dozen roses at another grocery store
39. Seeing a surprised look from people when they find out I have four kids (as they give me the "once-over" from head to toe)
38. Celebrating Every Single Day of My Life, Because I Took It Back, and Became ME, Again!
37. Shopping at Victoria's Secret
36. Strutting around in things from Victoria's Secret
35. Rediscovering my love of music...and dancing
34. Not being fat
33. Getting clothes for Christmas instead of "stuff"
32. Putting my 11 year-old son on my back and walking around for ten remind me I carried THAT much extra weight for a decade
31. Drinking LESS wine, and it having a stronger effect (who am I kidding, I don't drink any less than before)
30. Eating cheesecake, donuts, nachos and Reese's without fear that I'm going to gain it all back if I treat myself, every now and then.
29. Decreasing my risk of diabetes
28. Knowing I've set a good example for my daughters by taking responsibility for, and control of, my health
27. Knowing my children are not embarrassed by my size (now I can embarrass them in other ways)
26. Feeling beautiful
25. Believing this is just the beginning of new things in my life
24. Watching 90% less TV (my favorite snacking time), and it not bothering me one bit
23. Buying fashion magazines and attempting what I see
22. Not feeling jealous or envious of women who managed to lose their pregnancy weight and look great as moms
21. Connecting with the woman in me and becoming a better wife and mother, because of it
20. Not having to unbutton my pants after eating out
19. Realizing mayo doesn't really change the flavor of a great burger, so I can leave it off
18. Finding myself getting cold on a chilly night and needing to wear socks to bed.
17. Choosing to NEVER look SCHLUMPY again, because I did that for 10 years and looked like crap most of the time
16. Wearing my hair pulled back, and liking my face
15. Wearing my hair straight because I don't have to hide behind big hair
14. Growing my hair past my shoulders because I like how it looks on my smaller face
13. Climbing on top of the house to hang Christmas lights without being afraid I'll step through the roof
12. Looking FORWARD to being 45 and 50 and 55 and so on...because Everything is Different now. I am
11. Not having to come up with "funny" one liners about my size and weight--getting to think of one-liners that are actually FUNNY and not self-deprecating


10. Feeling TALL (for the first time), rather than BIG-BONED

9. Getting to post this:
I currently weigh
30 pounds less than on my wedding day
35 pounds less than when I graduated from college
20 pounds less than I did on the day a boyfriend told me he might be more attracted to me if I'd lose ten pounds (stupid that I remember this almost 20 years later...but sometimes words hurt and linger long after break-ups.)
(By the way, I forgive you...I realize you were young then and didn't know better--right?)
12 pounds less than when I graduated from high school.
I am not skinny, nor do I want to be,
but I do wear the same size jeans
I wore when I was 13,
in the 8th grade

8. Knowing my husband weighs a WHOLE lot more than me...NOW

7. Having collar-bones

6. Wearing VERY high heels and boots, because in them, I look taller, thinner and sexier...and my feet don't hurt because there are 100 fewer pounds bearing down on them.

5. Getting a tattoo to commemorate, mark and celebrate the whole experience of meeting my goals and changing my life.

4. Being surprised by an amazing, powerful love for myself and from others I never knew before.

3. Gaining the courage to post this list--letting everyone know what I've accomplished, because the shame I felt about NEEDING to lose 100 pounds, is now a part of my PAST, my HISTORY, my STORY, and it does not define ME, my PRESENT or my FUTURE.

2. Recognizing that overcoming the greatest struggle and area of personal disappointment/failure I have felt in my entire life, is worth shouting, singing, dancing and blogging about--even if it means people who didn't know it, find out I used to be really fat.

1. Knowing that no matter what,
completely regardless of the 100 pounds,
even if I hadn't lost the weight,
even if I needed to lose 200 or 600 pounds,
and never
even tried
to lose it,
God loves me
and gave His Son to, and for me
to make me right with Him.

Knowing that God looks at my heart,
loves me
because of Who HE is,
finds me to be pleasing because of Jesus.

Knowing that He knows
loves me...
of me.
No matter what.

Resting in the assurance,
and truth
that my body is just a shell, anyway
A house-of-sorts, for my soul.
A temporary place where my spirit and His, reside.
For now...
Until one day,
when I am greeted
face to face
with open arms
by Him...

for all eternity

That is worth more than 100 Million pounds of gold.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Team Effort

right now
this minute...

I could eat a dozen donuts
go back
for a Whopper
and Mickey D's large fry
(and a Route 44 Grape Slush from Sonic)

and I am not hungry
not even close
I am just
terribly bored

There is work to be done
things I could/should take care of,
but, here I sit
putting words on the screen,
to keep my fingers busy
to occupy my mind
to figure out, what exactly
is under my skin right now...
inching me closer to the kitchen
pulling me to the pantry
egging me on to the frig.

It is not hunger
It is not stress
It is not emotional need
I know, I know, I know
It is boredom.

Boredom with myself
with my surroundings
I am feeling unchallenged
Un-productive (but not wanting to actually produce anything).

Fresh air
These would all do me well.
These would all feed me.
But I would rather have something salty
and crunchy
and potato-y
and meaty
and ketchup-y
and peanut-butter-y

Here is what I will do.
I have been in this position before.
I have been in this position for years,
and in the past,
I would venture into the kitchen and begin grazing.
and eating anything and everything I found along the way
That is what I used to do
(and sometimes, still do),
this time,
I am enlisting the help of my support team...

My children.
I need them, right now.

They need me ALL the time, and I am there for them,
so now, I am calling them in as reinforcements,
and getting help from them...
I know one will take a sunset walk with me
I know another will cuddle with me on the couch
I know another will throw a football around with me in the backyard
I know another will make mac & cheese for her sisters and brother for dinner
and make up a plate for me with hummus and chips and a little of my favorite chicken salad.
They will serve me dinner, and get me a Diet Coke to enjoy on the front porch.
I will ask them to take care of me this afternoon
and they will gladly oblige.
I have taught them how to do this.
I have taught them TO do this.

They will help me through the boredom.
They will be my team.
We work together on days like this.
I am vulnerable with them, about my struggles
and my decisions
and my weaknesses
and my boredom
They want to see my succeed.
They know how far I have come.
They have been there through it all.
They are my support system, even though they are 12, 10 and 8 (x2)

And then,
at the right time,
I will tuck them in
and thank them
really thank them,
for caring for me so much
for looking out for me
for helping me get through the day
for being on my team.

Do you know who you need?
Look around.
Who is there to help you?
Who is there to be on your team?
Not to hold you accountable
(you have to hold your SELF accountable, if you really want success),
but to hold your hand
walk a few blocks
have a conversation
enjoy the sunset
sit a spell
or spend some time

Who is there to tell you
(after you've told yourself a few times),
that's it's ok to relax
and not always DO something
not always Make Something Happen
not always Go! Go! Go!
These are the folks to spend time with.

Use your journal to make a list, assemble a team of sorts, of people who love you.
ANYONE who loves you
and likes you
and wants to see you succeed.
These are the people YOU need as your "go-to" folks.
These are not people who will make you feel guilty or judge you or demand from you. These are not people who you will disappointment with your realness or struggles. These are the people who genuinely think you're great, just the way you are, and would like to be able to spend more time with you than they already get to. These are the people YOU are going to start spending more time with--because you need them. YOU need people. You need your family. You need your friends and neighbors. YOU need them to help you be a better YOU.

1) Make your list of team-mates

2) Write a specific activity or thing you can do or share with or for EACH specific may be emailing, texting, talking, walking, listening, may be cuddling, playing, coloring, manicuring, reading, WHATEVER...Make the name list, and the "what I can share with them" list.

3) Each time THIS week, you feel about to EAT, when you are not really hungry, think through that list, reach out and FEED yourself THAT person. FEED yourself (as odd as that sounds), that person and what you two can share.

4) Follow up with a note to them. FEED them your thanks. Your encouragement. Your genuine heart. Let them know what they mean to you. FEED them with words. A note filled with actual words. You have no idea how this will impact them. No idea.

As for me, as soon as I'm done here,
I'm calling my kids in from outside where they've been playing.
I am going to invite my daughter and two of her friends to go for a walk.
I am going to tell my son to get the football ready, 'cause we're gonna play for a bit when I get home.
I'm getting out the mac and cheese, and turning over dinner responsibilities tonight.
I'm making sure the porch is ready for me, when I'm ready for it.

I am dealing with my boredom
Challenging myself, and my children,
to turn this evening into something significant
something different than what it was a few minutes ago when I started typing.

And I feel better already.

That's all.
Be You Best,

Friday, October 29, 2010

Stretch Marks

I have been on the road a lot in the past two months.
In hotels
On planes

The hotels, I love
The planes, I dread

Put me up in a hotel, and I am a happy girl.
I have been known to check into a hotel 25 minutes from home,
to get away for an over-night.
It matters not where I stay, as long as there are tiny bottles of
shampoos and lotions,
someone to make my bed
and towels to use, I didn't have to wash

I like traveling ALONE
completely ALONE
I can stay at a hotel for three days and two nights
and never speak to anyone.
I did this once in Greenville, and had
The. Best. Time.

As for the flying?
Hate it
Dread it.
Fear it.

The dips
The shaking
The pressure in my head
The cramped spaces
The security
(I mean, really...who wants to take their boots off in a line, cram their belongings into little containers, and practically disrobe In Line, for a 10 second waltz through a metal detector?)
(I know, I know, I get that it is necessary, and I appreciate all the efforts to keep me safe, but still, I despise it)

So, in the past, I have limited my travels to DRIVING distances
I have avoided airplanes.
Until now.

I have been on 8 flights in the past 6 weeks
For some, this is NOT a lot.
For me, this is more than I have flown in 6 years.

I am doing this, to stretch myself.
I am doing a LOT of things to stretch myself.
And it all started at 39, when I decided
once and for all
to stop thinking and talking about losing weight
and changing my life
and Do It.

Here's the thing,
I lost the weight
a ton of it
(or 100 pounds of it)
and I feel great.
Even when I look in the mirror and I see
my very
than young
than perfect
than firm

My pregnant-three-times,
stretch-mark laced

I have stretch marks.
There I said it.
I have only a few Baby Stretch Marks
But, I am riddled with 100 pound stretch marks.
The Baby stretch marks, are Stripes of Honor.
I carried life
I held two baby's bodies (at one time) WITHIN mine,
and parts of me will never be the same.
I am proud of these marks.
They are awards for 9 months of pregnancy
10 months of nourishing
I am in awe of these marks on my flesh

the other lines
the other stretch marks
play a little differently with my eyes
when I catch a glance of myself in the mirror
They represent
a different part of my history
A time of neglect
and unconsciousness
and sadness
and depression
and invisibility
they are Battle Scars

These stretch marks were not nearly as obvious
BEFORE I lost the weight.
My skin was stretched past a good capacity
and there were marks even then,
but it was when those PUFFED up and out
areas went BACK to their intended size,
that the deep marks really surfaced.
Deep tracks where my skin won't ever be the same.
Deep grooves, where the elasticity is simply shot.
This makes me sad, and proud, and challenged
All At The Same Time.

Sad...that I made choices for years to ALLOW my body to be so pushed and unappreciated.
Proud...that those MARKS are NOW there...because I lost the weight to show them CONSCIOUSLY stretch myself in body, mind, spirit, emotion and accomplishments for the rest of my days.

Stretch Marks


I am now choosing to be stretched
looking for opportunities
booking flights
hopping on planes
telling my story
sharing the details
telling the truth
letting you in on my stretch marks
and finding confidence and power
and pleasure and delight
and freedom and Life

Your assignment

1) Take your journal. Go back a read EVERY thing you have written thus far. Fill in lists you never finished. Answer questions, make comments, add to the thoughts you've recorded (or START doing these things for the first time...NOW)

2) Turn to the next fresh sheet of paper and print;

How have I STRETCHED myself since I started this Dance Party for One?

And write your answers.

If you have bought a lipstick, you stretched yourself.
If you chewed your gum, you stretched yourself.
If you completed a single list, wrote me a note, left a comment on the blog, signed up to be a follower, tuned in for a VLOG, took your measurements, even BOUGHT a journal, had a meal by yourself, stood in front of the mirror and stretched yourself.

Write all of these things down, and anything else you can think of that you have done while thinking, questioning, considering and trying the things from these posts.
You have been stretching yourself
and now
it is time to stretch yourself even further.

3) Think of three ways you will stretch yourself this week.
What are three things you can try, overcome, attempt This Week?
Relating to your food, your clothes, your look, your free time, your interests, your fears....YOU
Think of three things you are
to do
For Your Self
to stretch yourself
THIS week.

4) Turn to the Now Crowded first page of your notebook and print:
I am determined to Stretch my Self, while I am shrinking my body

Sign up to follow the blog if you haven't already.
Please leave comments and share your experiences,
here on the blog on on Facebook on the Dance Party for One page
Sign up for Twitter (I admit, I have fallen behind on my tweets, I will catch up soon)
Check out the Dance Party for One Youtube channel, and subscribe
share the links to all of these with your friends and family.

In all my business, writing and travel,
I am thinking of You
Those I have met
those I know
those who are reading and thinking and doing
and those
who's names and faces I have yet to recognize.
You're with me when I challenge myself
peel back a layer
want to skip out
can't think of what to say
and push myself to share

Thank you for your time and interest and support
WE are BOTH better for it.

That's all.
Be Your Best,

Monday, October 18, 2010

Speak for Yourself

I will not be blogging today

You will.

If you've been reading for a while (all of the seven weeks Dance Party has been up and running), you know the routine....

I share something,
typically, a part of My Story
I comment on it
I apply it to myself
(and you)
and I suggest an exercise
a task of sorts,
to help you apply what I've written

this time,
it's your turn.

I'm not being lazy
or trying to rip you off.
And, it doesn't even matter if this is your first time reading the blog
your first time trying what I suggest...
Give it a try
take a chance
pause for a moment
and write...


Your story,
in two parts.

Pull out your journal
or a blank sheet of paper
or even a napkin
or gum wrapper (you'll have to write really, really tiny)
and start writing.

Write TWO portions
(one on each side of the paper, is possible)

The first, (a paragraph or something similar)
is YOUR story
We've been talking about it enough
drawing from it enough
referencing it for a while
NOW, it is time to write it out.

Tell your story, however you choose to tell it. You can make it a comic strip, a fairy tale, a timeline, a chronological list, simple story or WHATEVER....Just TELL it. Take a few moments to write out your history. It can be related solely to your weight, or more expansive to tell about different areas of your life. Different circumstances leading you here...leading you to Dance Party for One. Leading you to consider and possibly pursue, changing your life.

Can you do it?
Will you do it?
It is for your eyes only...unless you choose to share it.
You may choose to share it with someone you trust
or with someone you know who loves you
You may elect to keep it completely private
I did that.
I kept my story private
for a long time
I shared a few parts of it
here and there over the time when I was overhauling ME
but in many ways,
sharing it here on the blog--has been my first, true, real, re-telling of the Story That is Me.

Next (for the second part, the second paragraph on the back of your paper)
Craft a second story.

The story of your Success

For this one,
I am not giving you as much room to get creative with how you tell it.
For this portion, I want you to tell it, in the PAST though it has already happened.
I want you to tell your story,
as though you are sharing it with an audience
an audience of blog readers
a Dance Party for One Reunion in 2012

This is YOUR blog entry to share with the other women
who have been dancing solo, along with you
over the course of 18 months.

Tell us your Story.
Tell us who YOU became
Tell us how YOUR life changed
Tell us how you spend YOUR free time, NOW, in 2012.
How you share
YOUR energy
YOUR resources
YOUR creativity
YOUR love
In 2012.
Tell us how you look and feel and live, Today

We want to hear it
You need to hear it
Write as though it has already happened.
(It is already happening,
so just take it further).
Stretch your hopes and dreams a bit further
Describe in detail
Where your life IS in 2012
you ARE, in 2012

This is a private one, too.
Until it is you turn.
Until you are writing your own blog
and answering letters
and responding to questions
and challenging others
and inspiring strangers
and connecting with women from all walks of life
who want to know
how you did it.

YOU will take my place
in your family
in your community
with your friends
in your corner of the world
and you will be a part of ushering other women
into a new place with themselves.

I can't wait until it is your turn!
Get to writing,
so you'll be ready!

(Share with me ANYTHING you want. I'd love to hear ALL of it)
(If you are behind on the blog, or just getting started, don't forget you get as many Do-Overs as you could possibly want! Just kick it in, and re-start whenever you want!)

That's all
Be Your Best!

(here she goes....I am adding a Post Script. Here's where I push's where I ask the tough question. But I just have to ask)....

How badly do you really want to much are you really willing to truly desperate are you.......if you're NOT willing to try "Working on Yourself" with your journal? How deep is you want and desire and need to change, if you are reading and not doing?

Just wondering.
Just remembering myself.
My Self. Me.

...And remembering how sadness,
depression, hopelessness, complaining,
beating myself up and moaning about it
didn't help me drop One Single Pound...
nor did any of it,
keep me from gaining more weight
in addition to what I was already carrying.

Just thinking out loud.
...and realizing how LITTLE
my inspirational tidbits and challenges
will impact the overall YOU,
until you are ready to take it from here,
and DO something about it.
It's ok, though...move at your own pace.
You WILL change, when you REALLY want to change.
I am sure of it!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Lighten Your Load

Three specific SHOUT-OUTS for some Dance Party for One readers (and doers!)

Celeste for losing 11 pounds!
Jill for losing 5 pounds!
Gina for dropping 2 sizes!

SERIOUSLY wonderful, grand and exciting accomplishments!
You should each be very proud of and amazed by your Selves! We all are, for you!

There is no accomplishment too small here ladies.
One good decision a day
One conscious moment
One effort in the right direction
One change in your routine
One different action

ALL are worthy of your attention
and your joy!

Here's the thing.
A little reminder.
THIS is all about YOU
You making an effort
You thinking again
You feeling again
You SHOWING up again
For your own life!

I wrote earlier this week about looking at your weight and your WEIGHTs,
and making those weights your new goals.
I wanted to let you know something else I did.

One morning, about a month into my whole Change-My-Life Quest, after I weighed myself, I called my four kids into the room, and weighed each of them.

NOT to find out how they were doing in terms of weight or growth,
but because I wanted a record of their weights, for ME.

At the time, my twins (who are really ONLY twins in the respect that they were born the same day--they are as opposite in appearance and personality, as I am from YOU), weighed 44 and 49 pounds. My oldest daughter weighed about 78 pounds and my 11 year-old son weighed right at 99 pounds.

I wrote these weights down in my journal
Along with my measurements.
(Remember when you recorded your measurements? Remember when I asked you to do that? Did you? It's ok if you didn't. You can do it TODAY!)
I wrote down their weights
and my measurements.

And I went to work again
I fed myself Food, when I was hungry
Music when I was needing to connect with my emotions
Dancing when I was needing to release those emotions and have fun
Fresh air and nature when I was needing to feel alive and connect with my senses
Friendship when I was needing to talk out my feelings and share my experiences
The Bible when I hungered spiritually
Barnes and Noble when I craved knowledge
Facebook when I wanted to remember myself from highschool and college
Macy's when I wanted to step into a new style
InStyle Magazine when I wanted to dream about my longer hair
Crayons, art pencils, sketch pads and coloring books when I needed a quick creativity fix

I fed myself in countless, creative ways.
I filled ME up
and found I needed FOOD a whole lot less than before.

While I was weighing myself on the scale each morning,
I was looking for two different numbers
I was looking for the WEIGHT I wanted to return to from previous Life Moments
I was looking for my smallest child's body weight....
I was waiting for the number on the scale,
to indicate I had lost...

I remember the day
I weighed myself
(and did the math)
and saw, I had lost 44 pounds.
I had lost a Haily (my Peanut, as I call her)

I called for Haily to come to me and step on the scale
I looked at HER
I looked down at HER weight on the scale
I looked at her face
her head
her arms
her legs
and her torso.
I imagined her INSIDES
I thought of her heart
her brain
her kidneys
her skeleton
her muscles
her organs

I cried
I got on my knees,
pulled her off the scale
and into my lap
and hugged her
I held her as close to me as I could manage

I remembered
THAT collection of weight
THAT mass of living, breathing, alive tissue,
THAT 6 year-old, 44-pound collection of girl,
THAT SAME amount of Weight,
had ONCE
Attached to my skeleton
weighing on my heart
pressing down on my feet.

That same 44 pounds,
visually represented by my child
which had
been poured into jeans
squished into bathing suits
hidden and covered up by baggy tops
and buffered by elastic waisted pants

I looked at Haily
saw the face of the 44 pounds I had lost

I got off the floor.
Pulled Haily up in my arms
and carried her down the stairs to the kitchen
then carried her down another flight of stairs to the basement
then walked right back up to the kitchen
and back up the stairs to my room
and put on some music
and danced
with Haily in my arms

It was an amazing
inspiring moment

I put her down
sent her to "go play"
leaned myself against the foot of my bed,
held on the bedpost
looked in my dresser mirror
and wept. again.
Proud of myself. again.
Amazed by ME.
Because I was 44 pounds FREER than before
I was 44 pounds LIGHTER than before
I was 44 pounds CLOSER to my SELF than before

I repeated my stair walks
and dancing sessions
again with Haily's twin
and her big sister

When I lost my son's weight,
I carried him too.
He had watched me with my girls
he knew it was coming
he was a big boy then
far too big for piggy back rides
far too cool for such silliness
far too pre-teen to want such a ride...
But he loves his mother
He was proud of his mother
He had told me, all along the way
That he was waiting,
just waiting...

just waiting...on me

He was ready, and willing,
and waiting
For the day when
My Victory Lap

And he was...
When it came for his turn....

I attempted to make dinner with him on my back
and it was hard
I didn't get very far

But I loved it
and so did he

I could not believe how HEAVY 100 pounds
felt on my back
though I had worn it on my frame for years.
My feet went down a size,
and a width
because 100 pounds of ME
were no longer

100 pounds were no longer pushing my heart too far
100 pounds were no longer over-working my organs
100 pounds were no longer taxing my lungs
100 pounds were no longer straining my joints
100 pounds were no longer weighing down my soul
100 pounds were no longer rattling around in my head
whispering things
telling me things
taunting me
taking away from my successes
and draining me of my freedom
and possibilities
and courage

Returning to my previous Weights
and looking into the faces of my children as concrete, touchable, hold-able, carry-able representations of how far I had come, how much I had LOST
Were the KEYS for me losing 100 physical pounds,
countless emotional hang-ups
endless regrets and feelings of failure
immeasurable gains in becoming the Woman I wanted to be

Weights on a chart, really don't matter
Sizes in a fitting room are fun
Having cheek bones
and collar bones
and a neck
are wonderful
nothing compares to
taking a Victory Lap
Celebrating a Victory

A Victory that led to Freedom

Journal TIME:

1) Get out your journal, turn to a clean page and number a list from 1-10

2) Go to your pantry or kitchen cabinets, and start weighing stuff: cans of vegetables, sacks of potatoes, cases of juice boxes, etc. Weigh your kids, or pets, or anything else you can manage to fit on a scale, that has a little MASS to it. Take a moment to remember, if you have children, what they weighed at birth.

3) Locate (in your house, or take a trip to the grocery store) a 5 lb. sack of flour or sugar. Pick it up and hold it in the palm of your hand (if you can). FEEL that five pounds. Imagine wedging that same 5 pound sack into your purse and putting the purse on your shoulder. That EXTRA five pounds, would take a toll on your back and your shoulder and your arm after a while. Imagine adding ANOTHER five pound sack to another purse, and putting it on your other shoulder.

4) After you have felt the sack of sugar (or flour), and weighed the people, pets or objects in your home, list TEN of the items (or people) and their corresponding weights, from least to greatest, on the page in your journal.

5) THESE are ALSO your NEW goals. Incorporate THESE Weights, into your thinking. ADD these Weights to the list you made last time.

6) Stop dreading the scale. Stop HATING getting up on that scale! Stop avoiding that SCALE! It is your ally! It is your CHEERLEADER! IT tells you how CLOSE you are getting to your goals! It tells you how much closer you are to your FIRST celebration...that day, when you will go back and weigh AGAIN one of the things you just listed! THAT scale is the FIRST friend who will tell you, you have DONE it, you have changed, you have Become More of the YOU, You are Wanting to BE!

I am serious!

7) Turn to the first page of your journal, and write:

My Scale is ready and waiting to give me a Shout Out! My scale wants to cheer for me. It will know I have reached a goal, even before I can tell my best friend! I no longer hate scales!

That's all.
Be Your Best.
(You're already on your way.)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Numbers Don't Lie

Some people are good with faces
Others are good at remembering important dates.
I am good with numbers.
Well, not numbers, really...
I am good with weights.
Not the circus or carnival,
"I can guess your weight for a dollar"
kind of good with weights
but the
"I know my weight at any given occasion of my life"
kind of good with weights

Maybe that's just because my weight
was a huge part of my life
for a big chunk of my life

I have talked to thin people, friends, other women,
who have never struggled with their weight,
to whom this is a foreign concept.
They don't remember their weights like I do...

I can tell you
what I weighed in eighth grade
the day I graduated from high school

I can tell you
what I weighed when I went home for fall break my Freshman year of college
what I weighed when I fell in love for the first time my Sophomore year

I can tell you
what I weighed during my (first) Senior year
what I weighed after a bad break-up later that year
what I weighed when I got my diploma (after my second Senior year)

I can tell you what I weighed the day my mother was diagnosed with cancer
what I weighed after taking care of her for a year

What I weighed when I met Michael
What I weighed when I married Michael

And what I weighed
when I went to pick out a suit
my mother's funeral

I can tell you what I weighed when I got pregnant the first time
and gave birth the first time
I can tell you what I weighed the second and third times I got pregnant
I can remember MY weight just before each of THOSE births,
faster than I can tell you how LONG each of my babies were at THEIR births

I can tell you what I weighed after my darkest, most depressed year.

I can tell you what I weighed when I hit rock bottom and

I remember what I weighed
the day

The day
I took charge of ME again
and STOPPED letting the scale
measure my value

allowing the scale to
alert me to
on the inside.

Because, that is what I had been doing

I was letting the scale,
DIMINISH my value.
Because I had allowed the scale
to be the
I knew I had OTHER value.
I knew I was loved
I knew I was fun, and interesting
and creative and genuine and real
and loving and giving and kind
and entertaining and significant,

On some level,
as I ALLOWED pounds to be added to my frame,
and the numbers on the scale got bigger---
I grew smaller....on the inside.
I FELT smaller on the inside.
I FELT like less of all the things I just listed above,
that I KNEW about myself....
because I started just knowing the
every time I looked in the mirror.

When I decided I wanted to get ME back again,
I took a look at the numbers, again.
I pulled out the List of Weights I could remember,
and made those Weights, my goals.

I wanted to lose 80 pounds
But that number was a pie-in-the-sky-fantasy
I remember the first time I told someone I was going to lose 80 pounds between my 39th and 40th birthdays.
I was walking to the pool with my brother early in the summer.
I simply spoke it,
I am going to lose weight this year. I am going to do it.
How much do you want to lose?
80 pounds.
I didn't believe my own words the moment I spoke them.
I didn't believe my words, but I KNEW I would do it.

So, I took out my mental List of Weights
and went to work on getting BACK to the first, highest weight I could remember.
My weight when I got pregnant with my twins.
When I reached THAT weight,
I went to work on getting back to the weight I was when I gave birth to my second child
When I reached THAT weight, I went to work on getting back to the weight I was when I got pregnant with my first child, my son.

Each time I GOT BACK to a PREVIOUS weight,
I found I had GAINED back
a part of me.

The most impacting number I reached....
The first time I got on my scale and cried
and cried
and sat on the floor and sobbed...
was when
I reached the weight
I had
my mother's funeral.

The morning I got on the scale,
the moment
I saw that number--
again, after 11 years...
the number that had once represented
the deepest loss
hardest experience
loneliest, darkest, saddest season in my life,
---that moment in my journey BACK to me,
seeing that number,
that weight again
was the most meaningful of all moments
in my 18-month
Pursuit of Myself.

I couldn't believe I had done it.
I had really done it.

I had lost 38 pounds,
but had gained ME, again.
Believing in myself again.
Desiring to be MORE again.
Hopeful and invigorated
Caring and Loving
Me, again.

There have been other,
since THAT day.
But few have compared.
Few have made me prouder.
Few have had as deep of an impact on my heart
and my feelings about myself.

Since my
I-weigh-what-I-weighed-at-my-Mother's-Funeral Day,
there have been other days when I have cried:
The day I fit into a Misses size, instead of a plus size
The day I broke the 199 pound barrier
The day I dropped to a single digit size for the first time since I was a teenager
The day I tried on bathing suits and FELT GOOD
The day I hit my Wedding Day weight
And my College Graduation Day weight
And my High School Graduation Day weight

And the day I stepped on that scale,
and the numbers declared
100 pounds....gone.

By then, I had already
My Self:
my confidence
my enthusiasm
my sense of purpose
my hopes and dreams
my love for life
my delight in my relationships
my gratitude for each day
my faith in my God

The 100 pound LOSS was a HUGE accomplishment
But what I gained in the process,
changed my life
in every way imaginable.


it's your turn.

Journal TIME.

1) Take out your journal and make a list. Make a list of your "Weights." Jot down as many NUMBERs from the scale, as you can recall. And make a note beside each one of them about that TIME in your life. What you were doing. What was happening. How you think you got to that weight. Write down the year if you can remember it.

2) THIS is you new GOAL list. Consider looking at THOSE numbers (not the numbers on a chart on web site) to tell you, guide you, motivate you. Rather than focus on an impersonal height and weight chart devised by a dietician or even doctor......look at YOUR NUMBERS. Look at your WEIGHTs from the past.

This is really what it is about,
THIS is about getting back to YOU
NOT getting to a black and white number on a chart.
IGNORE the chart
INGORE the "this is what you should weigh for your height."
And start thinking,
I am on my way back.
I am heading BACK to when I was better than I am now
I am moving forward to where I want to be, and who I want to be
This is a completely different MINDSET
than looking at a number
and trying to lose weight to fit into a chart
or fit into a size
This is about finding where YOU fit best into YOUR SKIN
In To Your Self

Make your list. Remember your weights. Remember your days. Remember YOU.

3) On the first page of your journal (are you running out of room?), please print, in all caps:


That's all.
Be Your Best,

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sweet Tweets (For THIS Week)!

Here are my TWEETS! Hope you're also getting these through the Dance Party for One page on Facebook (sign up to "LIKE" it, if you haven't already, and these tips will show up on your Facebook wall 2-3 times a day, throughout the day)!
  1. * Nothing wrong with a slice of pizza when you want it! Nothing at all. ENJOY IT and FEED your real hunger. Take it slow & have fun!
    * If you are a woman. With a beating heart. You should be listening to Patty Griffin's music. She will make you feel again.
    * When was the last time you ACTUALLY felt hungry? I mean, really truly FELT hunger? And how long did you FEEL it before you ate something?
    * Intentionally serve yourself LAST for meals (not just because it's good manners), but because there will be LESS LEFT for YOUR plate!
    * I think I could drink salsa by the gallon.
    * Just hit 5,500 hits on the DP41 blog for the first 6 weeks!!! (as of THIS post, the blog is at 5,800 views! Thanks so much!)
    * My 4 kids had donuts today. I had 1/2 of one & tossed the rest in the trash. It's PERFECTLY OK to do this. Better in the trash, than on me.
    * PLAN for a snack at 3PM today. You need it! Feed yourself something to boost your energy and blueberries. I am have three Hershey Kisses!
    * Items to add to your grocery list this week: Black Beans, Salsa, Oatmeal, Blueberries, Yogurt, Carrots & Walnuts. REALLY! Eat LOTS of these!
    * If you can manage to start your Monday morning DANCING, you may find it will change your whole week!
    * Plan ur week: Dance Time, food you'll eat & ways you'll feed yourself in the next 5 days! Think of all the do-overs, $ & stress you'll save!
    * When you eat at night, you are GAINING BACK the weight you MIGHT have seen LOST on the scale in the morning!
    * The State Fair is NOT the best lunch spot for healthy eating, but NOTHING feeds my fun side like a funnel cake!
    * Stop rewarding yourself with food or eating with an, "I deserve this," attitude! Eat to FEED your body & reward yourself with DANCING TIME!
    * Eat lunch. Don't work through it or skip it. Make IT your biggest meal of the day, so you've got the rest of the day to USE UP what you ate!

    That's all.Be Your Best!Becky