Monday, August 30, 2010

Chew on This

So, how did it go with the gum?
Did you really sit down and follow the steps I suggested last week?
I really, really hope you did
(if you didn't, that's ok. Maybe try it this week!)

If you did, it means
you put yourself OUT THERE.
You took a step.
You were willing to step out, without knowing
the whats and whys.
That took courage and guts.
You just DID IT.
Because. Just because.

It also means you were truly WILLING to make a change.
Some of you don't know me at all,
but there is something you are looking for
something you are wanting
something you are wanting to change
or become
or let go of
or conquer
and your CHOICE to try the gum, as I suggested
means you are at a place in YOUR life,
where you are earnestly, assertively
Taking action
Following your heart
Willingly moving away from the old
and into the new.

I am crazy proud of you.

Maybe you didn't even realize what you were doing
(and still don't know why)
but on some level,
you were willing to invest in the hope
that it wasn't a waste of time,
that there would indeed, be a pay off.

And there was a pay off.
You, took a step toward feeding yourself.
You changed your breath
You changed the environment of your mouth
You refreshed yourself
Your taste buds got a wake-up
Your teeth and your jaw, got a workout
You fed your curiosity
You made yourself pause and think and reflect and express
Hopefully it gave you a little pleasure
Maybe even made you feel good about yourself, because
You Did Something For Yourself.

Here's what it didn't do:
Cost you much
Make you feel guilty
Blow some diet
Take away from your husband or children

That minty fresh feeling you had,
The flavor wore off.
And, if you followed it with a gulp of water,
even the softness disappeared
The pleasure and freshness of biting into that candy shell and
FEELING the gum
EXPERIENCING the jolt of mint,
Tasting, smelling and breathing in the ESSENCE of the gum,
had a short life span.

YOU are much like that gum.
You will (and maybe have already)
Lose your freshness and your flavor will fade
Over time
If you do not
consistently refresh yourself.
FEED yourself.

The chewing of your teeth, the working of your jaws
is like the daily grind of living.
The work of mothering
The tasks of housekeeping
The duties of wife-ing, volunteer-ing, friend-ing, family-ing and career-ing
The gulp of water that made the gum tough and unworkable?
That's the reality of life. Disillusionment. Sacrifice. Loss. Burnout.
Financial Hardship, Marital Strife, Long-term Singleness, Loneliness

I am not the type who can chew a piece of gum after it loses its flavor
but, there are some of you who can.
Some, can chew and chew and chew,
until their gum turns gray and tastes like cardboard.

I propose, here and now, that that's what a lot of us are doing
in our lives.
That is how we are living
We're being chewed
and chomped
and losing our flavor.

We are gray
and we taste like cardboard.
In fact, sometimes,
we have no taste
We are simply doing
and handling
and being chewed.
And some of us, aren't even miserable
or feeling unhappy.
Some of us are ok with all the work.
The exhaustion.
The chaos.
The stress and strain.
The pace of our lives.
For some of us, gray is ok,
because on some level
It defines us.
We've forgotten
or never felt
what it was like
to be

Ah, but I am here to tell you
(and please believe me)
(some of you are hoping this.
longing for this,
but are afraid to really believe this)...
There. Is. More.
There is more to this life,
than the chewing.
There is flavor to experience
and refreshment to taste
and an entirely different environment in which to live...

I received an email from one of the women who's been paying attention to what I've been writing.
She noted what she called an "addiction to food."
Others have mentioned in writing, that they are "Emotional Eaters"
And one friend alluded to her struggle as "knowing this is about my relationship with food."
Ahhhh...all of them are close,
close to the truth.
And maybe, it is their truth.
But that was NOT my truth.

It would almost be easier,
if the answer to weight loss, were about food.
Then we could all just eat the right food.
In right portions.
Combined with the right amount of cardio...
and be happy when the weight disappeared
and Never Gain Back an Ounce.

I believe it's harder than that
Bigger than that
Deeper than that
Much, much, much sadder than that.

I do NOT think it is about our relationship with Food.
I think, believe and KNOW (at least for, me)
That it is about:
My Relationship with My Self.

That is what we'll tackle...
Next Time.

For now, while you are waiting,
I ask you to do the following:
1) Put on your lipstick (or gloss or balm)
(I'll explain that part Next Time, too)

2) Pull out your notebook and turn to the next blank page. Number 1-10 down the left-hand margin. Across the top of the blank page, write the names of four women you know, plus your own name, forming columns. Pick any four women. You may all play tennis together, live in the same neighborhood, have kids in the same school, attend the same church, or have attended the same college. Or, you may choose four random women with no visible connection whatsoever. Create a chart-of-sorts, filling in the following information for each woman (as best you can):
1) Marital Status
2) Car they drive
3) Their hair color
4) Age
5) Number of children
6) One word describing their personality
7) The state where they were born
8) Coffee, tea or Diet Drink they use to begin their day
9) Siblings (how many, if you know)
10) Career or Stay-at-Home

3) Turn again, to the first page of your notebook (where you have ALREADY written: STOP EATING. START FEEDING MYSELF). In the upper right hand corner, print:
This is not about my relationship with food.
It is about my relationship with My Self.

4) Pop in a piece of chewing gum whenever you want to from now until Friday (That's when I'll post again and get you ready for the weekend). As you chew, THINK about THIS BLOG POST. Ask yourself if it makes sense, how it applies to you, how it doesn't apply. Add your thoughts to the BACK of the page you wrote on when you tried the gum for the first time, a few days ago.

Of note:
Please sign up to follow me on Twitter @danceparty4one I will post three Tweets a day to fill you in on how I spend my day Feeding Myself. I'll be honest, too. Sometimes I EAT rather than feed myself. No faking with you. I'll tell you the truth.

I will be blogging on Mondays and Fridays from here on out.

It keeps ME inspired (and you know how important inspiration is, right?)!

And please pass on my story, the YouTube link, the link to this blog and my Twitter info to whomever you want. Get the word out. It's fun when you can talk about it with people. You never, ever know who you are helping with you reach out and share.

And for those who are really wanting TIPS and Things to DO to lose weight
Here are a couple of my sure things:

* Feed yourself all of your food in the first 12 hrs after you wake up. STOP EATING after your dinner! Just stop it. Decide to stop. And then stop.
* Split your meals with your oldest child or spouse. This saves money when you eat out. My son gets almost 2/3 of whatever I order. I get what I want, but he gets to finish it.
* (Or) ask for a To-Go box as soon as your server brings your meal. Put half in the box and take it home. That half = TWO fantastic lunches at your place!
* Make a list of what you purchase at the grocery store and post it on your frig. This way you know what is in your cabinets and pantry and you will be LESS likely to open the door and start GRAZING or searching for something to eat. REFER to the list and KNOW what you want to feed yourself BEFORE you open that door.

That's all
Be Your Best,

Friday, August 27, 2010


If you want tips, thoughts and comments through the day (or at least once, every day), follow me on Twitter!

I will be posting (hopefully), inspiring thoughts, real-life tips and actual things I am doing to FEED MYSELF as I go along through my day. Just might be the little nudge YOU need to get to the place you want to be in your life.

So....join me--and Be Your Best!



Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Giving My Secrets Away

Getting started is always the hardest past of any endeavor, whether it be starting a blog, losing weight or acquiring a new skill. The first moments, days and lessons are often accompanied by an odd combination of excitement and fear. Worry and hope. Want and dread.

The questioning starts almost immediately:
Is this really my answer?
Can I do this?
What if it doesn't work?
Am I ready for this?
Will it even matter?
Will it be too much work?

I am asking these questions about this blog.
You may be asking these questions about yourself.
I don't know the ultimate outcome for your life,
but in terms of mine,
this is part of my journey:
Letting everyone in on my experiences
My shame
My secrets
My failures
My desires
My needs
and my flaws, is another step
toward my wholeness.
I want to embrace the vulnerability this blog requires
I know who I want to be
as a woman...
and this blog is a means of stretching myself
and putting it all "out there"
for you.
And you are totally worth it

You are here
reading this
exploring the possibilities
trusting my voice
to tell you the truth
to show you to a better way
to give you help
and assist you in your efforts
I've got your back
I'll do my best
I'll be my best, for you
because you matter
who you are as a woman, matters
your heart matters

I am ready for this chapter.
Are you?
If you're not sure, that's fine.
If you are, then we'll work this out together.
If you're already on your way,
then read along and jump in when we get to the parts you've been waiting for.

In any case,
I ask you mostly
to be honest
Honest with yourself
Open to receive
Committed to considering
Willing to give it all a try

I don't want anyone to feel duped here, so I am going to be upfront about my core belief about my 100lb weight-loss journey. Here is it:

My journey,
Meaning the SUCCESS of my Journey,
My Journey was about finding myself
Being Me
Being Free
Being Whole
and in some ways (many ways)
being me, free and whole, in ways I have never been before.

If you are here simply to find out how to drop a few pounds,
I can help you with that.
If you are here to take a look at yourself and who you want to be
and how you want to live your life....
All it takes is a little trust, and honesty and openness.
I will be doing with you, anything and everything I suggest in this blog.
Because, as you'll see...this really is NOT about a diet.
It is about you.
It is about me.
It is about us as women.
And once we start this, once we really "get" what this is all about,
We will want to continue it for the rest of our lives,
Pass it on to our friends
Our daughters
Our sisters and mothers.
Our weight will be a minor factor in our lives.
Because we'll be living again, as the women we've wanted to be
And there's no going back to who were once were!

Are you READY?

What I Didn't Do

When I ask my husband how I lost 100 lbs., he says, "Mind over Matter, Baby. Mind over Matter."
When I ask my kids, they say, "You stopped eating as much and you danced."

That, my friends, is really all there is to it. I know that sounds simple.'s true.
You, I know, are wanting pointers, steps, ideas, answers.
So I will oblige.

First I will tell you what I did NOT do:
I did not join a club, hire a trainer, or attend even ONE fitness class.
I did not watch a single work-out DVD
I did not attend a group meeting, calculate points, or buy meals in a cardboard box.
I did not count calories
I did not measure food
I did not keep a food journal
I did not look at a clock, or time a workout
I did not invest any money (really) in the process of losing weight
I did not give up my favorite foods
or cut out sugar (or carbs, or meat, or dairy)
or obsess over fat grams (I was aware of fat I'll detail later)

If you are doing any of these things....GREAT!
More power to you! They will make a huge difference in your success.
They will certainly (probably), impact the SPEED of your success.
Go for it! Keep it up! You are doing MORE than I did!

I needed to do this alone.
The way I see it, I gained the weight, alone (with no one's help)
and I HAD to lose the weight, alone.
I needed to make permanent changes in ME.

I knew, I would not be able to maintain, at home, something someone got me to do in a class. I knew I could not follow a diet, because the moment I quit the diet--I'd be back to my old ways. I knew I could not give ANYTHING up completely--because I have a memory like an elephant--and elephant-sized taste buds to match. To give up something I LOVED, would mean the memory of what I gave up, would live as a Phantom in my gut...beckoning me, wooing me to return again--and consume enormous heaps of whatever I had sacrificed. (I'm talking about Bacon, here people. And Lay's potato chips, and McDonald's fries, and grape slushes and peanut butter cups and burgers, and.....the list goes on!)

I know myself, and knew I'd have a great time drawing a chart, creating menus on my computer, setting goals and pledging to work out 45 minutes a day, 5 days a week....and then...I'd lose steam in about 3 days. I'd swear off sweets and vow to drink 6 glasses of water a day, and buy new sneakers, and a new arm band for my iPod. And I'd still lose steam in 3 days. I knew I'd get all excited about getting up early in the morning to start my day, and then (by the third day) hit my snooze three times, or pray for a rainy morning, when I was heading to bed. And then I knew I'd feel guilty. And like a bad person. And a worthless woman, because I couldn't do it. I'd be even more upset with myself than I had been four days before, when I'd gotten on the scale and seen the latest, Mt. Everest-sized numbers staring back at me.

I also knew I couldn't be on a rigid schedule or plan. I couldn't JOURNAL my foods, because I'd fudge. I mean LIE, about what I ate...even though no one would ever see the journal but me! My life is busy with four kids. Places to go and people to see. Meetings to attend? I KNEW I'd be a failure before I even started, if getting to the place I wanted to be weight-wise, meant adding any commitments or obligations, to what I already had going on in my life!

So (drumroll)...
Here is what I did:

I stopped eating.

Did you get that?
I. Stopped. Eating.


I started feeding myself.
I. Started. Feeding. Myself.

And that is what I am going to teach you how to do.

Next time.
(I kind of feel like Ryan Seacrest saying, After the break....)

For now, here is what I ask you to do:
SOME TIME, VERY SOON....(like, in the next three days)
1) Buy a spiral notebook (THIS IS NOT A FOOD JOURNAL). Get one that is fun, or funky. With something on the cover that makes you laugh or smile, or captures you now, or who you were when you were young.
2) Find a pen you really like the feel of, in your hands.
3) Get yourself one of those big ol' CONTAINERS of minty gum (the kind that fit in the cup holder of your car).
4) Pick up a new lipstick, or lip gloss or lip balm.

Then, find FIVE minutes to sit down somewhere...
5) Pour yourself a glass of ice cold water.

6) Pop a piece of gum in your mouth and chew it. Taste it. Feel the candy shell crunch with your teeth. Get it really soft, work on it for a minute. Pucker your lips and suck in some air. Feel how cool your mouth gets. Take a sip of that water. A nice gulp. It's almost too cold to handle isn't it? Notice how it freezes the gum? Makes it all tough and hard? Crazy stuff.

7) Now, put on the lip stick/balm.

8) Open up your spiral notebook to the SECOND page and describe what you JUST did. Make a list of 10 words, detailing the sensations, experience, feeling, thoughts you have about that gum, the water and your mouth. REALLY DO THIS. DON'T JUST READ THIS.....DO IT! Write a paragraph if you want. Fill up that sheet of paper, focusing on the gum. Draw a picture if you want. Fill up that page, as best as you can. We'll talk about why you're doing time.

9) Go back to the FIRST page in your spiral and print (in the center of the page):

10) Chew a piece of gum, whenever you want, as often as you want for the next several days, but take the time to experience it, like you did in #6 (but without the water).

That's all.
Be your best,

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

First Post Premiere: August 25, 2010

This space is reserved for tomorrow's post.
but while you're waiting,
(since you took the time to check in)
Consider this, and get prepared...

For the adventure
You will need $10
This is ALL you really HAVE to have to lose 100 lbs.
(Contrary to what advertisers & creators of diet plans claim!):

A spiral notebook ($1)
Your favorite writing pen ($2)
Fabric Measuring tape ($3)
Breath freshening gum ($1)
A new shade of lipstick (or gloss) (cheap is fine) ($3)

Oh, and PLEASE sign up to be a follower of the blog.
Talking to (or writing for) myself, is fine
But having listeners, really makes it better (for me, at least)

Be your best,