Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday Review and Some Pound-Dropping Thoughts

Some Tweets from this Week:

* When you're sick, turn off your phone, shut down your computer, cease Tweeting & get some rest---like I'm about to do today!

* It's always best to start the day with a plan for what you are DOING and what you'll be EATING. Plan for one meal you'll really like!

* Confession: I keep a box of Slim Fast bars in my pantry at all times. When I am feeling REALLY indecisive or clueless abt what to eat for lunch, I grab one.

* Go for ENJOYMENT with ONE of your meals EVERY day. PICK one meal a day to LOVE. Like (or just accept) the other TWO, but LOVE one!

* Step on the scale EVERY morning, but don't obsess abt the weight! Stay connected to the FACTS (your weight), but FOCUS on where you're GOING

* Seriously People, STAY out of the kitchen, once you've finished your dinner. There's nothing new in there & you really aren't hungry (you're bored)! Go DANCE!

Ok Folks, here I am going to give a shout out, and plug a book I used when I first started changing my eating patterns, portions and choices....I CANNOT RECOMMEND ANOTHER BOOK WITH MORE PERSONAL CONVICTION:

By David Zinczenko
There are now SEVERAL books in this series, which highlight very simple changes to make in your grocery shopping patterns and dining-out choices. I also use the "Eat This, Not That, For Kids." I love ALL these books, and attribute probably 15lbs of weight lost just due to reading and trying the things suggested by the author. I keep the Eat This, Not That website, bookmarked and check it out ALL the time! You should too!

Additional Thoughts:
How is it going? Have you been keeping a journal? Are you a reader of the Blog, or a Doer? Is anything happening or changing in you? Are you looking for results? Are you getting any? Are you asking yourself "Why haven't I dropped any weight?"

Here are my thoughts. Not judgement. Thoughts:
You are in control of yourself. You really, really are. I have said this before and will repeat it a ton of times more in this blog (and to myself ALL day). You are where you are, at this very moment because of the decisions you have made leading up to this moment (or, You are where you are based on the decisions you have made in regard to the things that have happened TO, you leading up to this moment. Both statements are true).

IF you want change in your life...
IF you want TO change...
YOU have to change.
Sounds simple.
Simple, but not easy.
Simple, not easy, but TRUE.

A blog will not change you. Reading a blog will not change you. YOU have to change. Applying what is in a blog, doing the exercises recommended in a blog, keeping up with and staying current with a blog...will NOT change you.....but, it can, it will HELP you focus and concentrate YOUR efforts to Change.

You will change, when you REALLY want to change.
ONLY when you really want to.
ONLY when you are desperate enough or committed enough,
to STOP eating
and start FEEDING yourself.

If you are a Reader and not a Doer (yet), you are PREPARING to change.
You are CONSIDERING change.
You are INTERESTED in change.
You are seeking INSPIRATION or MOTIVATION to change,
but you are not ready to Change (yet).
And there is nothing wrong with that.
I simply do not want you confused about the results you are (or aren't getting)
or the changes you aren't (or are) seeing.

This is still your life. It is still, all about you. There will come a day (if it hasn't already)--there WILL come a day (hopefully), when you STICK your COURAGE and WANTS and DESIRES and DECISIONS into the GROUND (like Neil Armstrong sticking the flag on the moon), and state, "This is it. This is my giant step. This is the day I declare my new life. My changed life. There is no turning back from this moment. It all changes TODAY. NOW." Then, and only then, will you DO what it takes to change. To become. To decide. To connect with the REAL you and move yourself forward.

This is NOT about WILL power.
(To me, doing something out of sheer Will Power, is a FORCING of ourselves to go AGAINST what we want. A MAKING ourselves do something opposed or contrary to our desires. That is my take on Will Power. That is why I think people claim to not have the will power to keep with a diet, or attribute my 100lb loss to my strong will-power. Both are statements spoken from people who think they, themselves CANNOT change or lose weight--and their alibi, their excuse is that they lack or have NO will power--as though it is a talent, or gifting or character trait they were born without. I disagree with their conclusions.)

Perhaps it is just a case of word-choice,
but I believe CHANGE is about:

and our
Ultimate Desires...

...and really, truly being sick and tired of your life,
to the point that your
no longer satisfies.

Did you hear that?

We are SATISFIED with the
empty, hopeless, helpless, drained and depressed
lives we lead.
On some level, at least.

And until we become
frustrated enough,
desperate enough
maybe even ANGRY enough,
we won't REALLY change.

I mean, why would we?
Change means discomfort
Change means taking an honest look at ourselves
and owning up to Who We Really Are
and all the choices we have made leading up to Right Now.
Change is scary.
Change opens us up to our Fear of the Unknown
What will happen IF I change?
What will happen with my relationships if I change?
What will happen if I change and don't like HOW I change?
Who am I going to be, if I change?
Who is going to be there for me, if I change?
If I change, what else in my life has to change to SUPPORT the changes I've made?
How do I know I can stay changed?
What if I change and it still doesn't help?
What if....?

When you are ready,
When you have had enough,
When the empty, hopeless, helpless, drained and depressed
existence you lead, no longer satisfies,

And when you WANT change,
really and truly want change,
Want TO change,

And it will not be about forcing yourself to go against your desires.
Your DESIRES will match up with your determination and decisions.
You will find yourself WANTING, NOT DENYING.
You will discover how deeply you desire The Changing,
and the conflict between what you eat (or don't)
how much of it you eat (or don't)
when you eat (or don't)
when you move, or dance or run (or don't)
will become a lot less complicated and excruciating and
much less of a battle.
It will be easier to change BECAUSE of your ULTIMATE DESIRE TO CHANGE.
It will no longer be a forceful attempt to do something in OPPOSITION to your Want.

Until then, keep reading. Keeping thinking. Keep pondering.
And open up.
Try to open up.

Change is out there,
Waiting for you.
Ready for you.
You will Change, even if you haven't started, yet.
(and you get as many do-overs as you want!)

That's all.
Be Your Best,

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday NIGHT post!

I added a post to my other blog Truth Time, but wanted to add it to the Dance Party (DP41) blog as well. It is a bit of a departure from the things I write about here. some of the letters I've been getting from you, I've come across many women who are puzzled as to how to balance ME time, and family, mother and wife time. They are worried about becoming selfish, at the cost of their families. They are struggling in their personal faith to reconcile spending time on themselves, when they have been taught to make their lives all about others and serving. got me thinking. Thinking about our worries. Our concerns. And our fears. Fears about what we are doing, why we are doing it and maybe even, "What will other people think about what I am doing and why I am doing it?" I have put my thoughts, conclusions and questions into this post and am pasting it here.

For me, what I am starting to think, is that we as women, have taken great pride in our self-neglect (for the sake of others). We have developed our sense of value, and have actually begun to draw our identity from, our exhaustion, stress and sacrifice. We take pride in our weariness.....until we FINALLY get to the point, when we realize crashing and burning, doesn't make us any happier, content or alive. It just burns us out and crushes our joy.

So, here is that post. It is a long one. I'll be posting the Wednesday Review tomorrow, with a re-cap of my Twitter posts, and a few SPECIFIC eating/feeding tips to help you work on the WEIGHT side of your journey.

I would appreciate your feedback on this, and any of the other posts on this blog. Your thoughts matter. Your questions matter. I am on the same journey as you, maybe a month or two further on the path, but still journeying, the same. So, please take a moment to comment. Sign up as a follower and spread the word. Who knows....maybe I am planning a book on this whole experience.....maybe there is a Dance Party for One Journal in the works and YOUR thoughts and comments will help me in the process of making it a reality! Join in and let me know you are HERE!

Be Your Best,


I've been thinking.
And I believe I've had a sort-of-epiphany.
I have been examining a critical question.
A question I have been asked a few time lately,
by women.

Women like me
who are navigating through
and faith.

Women who are wanting to be all they can be,
honor their God,
care for their children
and maintain good marriages.

First off,
I am always struck with the amount of
and selflessness
we as women
pour into our children (assuming we have them--I have FOUR).
I wonder how many minutes in any given week, would reflect the grand total of TIME
I spend on, for, with
my children.

I have been pondering the amount of time
and selflessness
we as women
pour into our husbands (assuming we have them--I have ONE)
AND YES, I am laughing at myself as I write this.
I am chuckling at the total number of minutes, in any given week, which would reflect the grand total of TIME
I spend on, for, with
my husband comparison to what I spend on my children.

Thirdly, am I the only one,
who's knows there is a GREAT discrepancy between those two totals?
Am I the only one,
who realizes (with some embarrassment)
that I do not
consciously GIVE
as freely, openly and sacrificially to
my husband
as I do to my children
(and I know, it is not because there are FOUR of them and ONE of him. I know it is not because he travels and commutes with work and is away from home a lot. I know it is not because he is a man of 44 and they are young people of 12 and 10 and 7)?

It is because of ME.
It is because of how I have placed importance on certain things and not others.
It is because I have made some things, some tasks, some duties (with my children)
more important, or necessary, or meaningful than him.
I know this.
I know I am doing better with this than I ever have before,
but I still know
there is a great imbalance between my EFFORTS toward Mike
and my ACCOMPLISHMENTS with my children.

even this confession, this realization, this fact...
is NOT my actual epiphany.

Here is the question I have been struggling to answer...
(and thus the epiphany for MY life)
As I work on ME,
as I connect with myself
and learn more about loving and accepting ME
and becoming the woman I want to be
OUTSIDE of the roles and duties of
How do I keep myself from becoming selfish?
How do I draw boundaries for myself, so I do not cross over into narcissism and neglect others?
Bottom line:
How do I know I am not being selfish when I take time out for me to REALLY focus on ME and what I want or need, and can I still be the kind of woman who loves and honors God with her life if I concentrate on ME?

This is the question I have been asked by others.
This is what I have been pondering.
I want to be able to answer this question, when asked.
I want to be able to answer it for myself.

This is a major question.
This is a question (I believe),
rooted in guilt
driven by fear
(dare, I even state it)...
only HALF of the question we (I) REALLY should be asking.

Deep breath, Becky.
Here's where I cross a line into an area that might shut down interest in anything else I have to say (ever)...
I think the OTHER side of this question,
the question I would ALSO like to be asked
(and frankly, have NEVER been asked, and until now, really never considered as a question for myself) is:

How do I know, I am not working, laboring, doing, being selfless, volunteering for everything, driving everyone everywhere, and pouring out every ounce of my life and my energy, and neglecting myself, me as a woman----out of PRIDE---in those very actions and sacrifices?


Both are risky business.

So why is it,
we feel guilty
and struggle with our fears
and question the possibility of

when we
take a look at ourselves
and feel guilty
and struggle with fears
and question the possibility
that we are riddled with and
drowning in

in what
we do for others,
what we give to our children
how we go without, for them
give up and drain ourselves for them.
Pride in how we have been
Good Mothers
or Good People,
because of what we have done, and
how exhausted we feel.

I think
Pride guides us,
as women,
much more than Selfishness.

Here's the epiphany part:
I am starting to see that
Pride is
another type of
It is a valuing of ourselves
because of who we THINK we are,
based on something we are doing RIGHT.
It is a focus on OURSELVES
and what we do and accomplish,
which makes us appear noble
and virtuous
and self-sacrificing.

I know that's harsh.
I know that sounds judgmental.

Maybe I am the only one looking at myself and my mothering
(and some of my wife-ing, friend-ing and church-ing)
through a magnifying glass...realizing I am truly
to walk
in pride
(and ignore it)
because it is OTHERS focused...
But makes me feel Good.
The exhaustion and stress and suffering and self-neglect
(on some level)
feed me
and make me feel like I am GOOD because of that exhaustion, stress, suffering and self-neglect,
like I am Good and Right, for DOING all the "right, self-sacrificing" things.
And then, when I crash at night, there are THINGS to SHOW for my day.
THINGS to SHOW for my time.
REASONS to point to,
as to why I am worn out and drained
and ready for sleep,
when my husband might be ready
(And then, I can do as I've done in the past...I can blame him, feel like it is him who is being selfish, because I have GIVEN ALL DAY LONG.)

Pride is MY confidence in the things I do, making me Good.
Selfishness however, just makes me look plain ol' Bad, or at the least Not Good.

Both are risky.
Neither is worse, or better than the other.

So now, for me,
the bigger more important questions, based on what I am "knowing" about myself today (post-epiphany) are:
Why am I not more concerned about Pride in my life?
Why am I so riddled with guilt and convinced it is so wrong, or inappropriate to concern myself with ME?
What is at the root of my pride and my selfishness?
What is driving ME in each of these situations?

Asking such questions, can be risky business.
It may stir up some tough answers.
Answers which point to conclusions
and even, epiphanies-of-sorts,
leading me to understand and accept how much of a mess I really am,
and how much I need Someone to clean up after me
and make me right with Him,
each and every day of my life.

What I do know, for sure, is that
if I ask these questions because I am examining my SELF,
getting to know ME,
spending time on ME,
exploring who I want to be....
If I am asking these questions during the times when I am focused on SELF
and they lead me to an understanding of my need for Him,
isn't that the Point of it All?
Isn't that why He came?
Does He love me any more, or less or differently, because I am closer to the truth about who I really am AND who I want to be?
Nope. He's known the truth about me, all along.
And it's in the "getting closer to the truth,"
in the ME times, that I take FOR myself,
that I know myself even better
know even better (and deeper),
how very much He obviously loves me
and how very obviously,

Monday, September 27, 2010

It's a Date

I am all about dates. I have always LOVED dates! I remember, when I was single, schlumping it out ALL day on a Saturday, staying in PJs, and lazying around....waiting for the clock to tell me it was time to get ready for a big night out. And get ready--I DID!

For me, dates are an occasion to go ALL OUT, looking my best and taking as much time as I can spend...FEELING my best. The getting ready is half of the fun! Date night includes a long shower, fresh toenail polish, an at-home facial, perfume, special (new?) clothes, lotioned-up legs and elbows, bigger and better hair, lipstick, killer earrings and a cute bag....THAT is a DATE for ME!

And that's what I do--when I'm going out with my husband, or on a GNO....or taking my son to dinner...or one of my daughters to the mall for shopping and lunch. I go on dates with my children A LOT. I spend that kind of time with them, individually, a different child (I have four), weekly. I go out with Mike for dinner and/or drinks, just about every other weekend....and love the TIME it takes to get ready to be with each of them....and THEY love that I take all that time, FOR THEM. My daughters pick out my clothes for our dates. My son treats me like a REAL date, when we go out. He knows, they know, Mike knows, I have dressed up for ME, but I have also dressed up for THEM for our time together.

But here, I must make another confession....
I get "dressed" ALL the TIME
I don't mean, GLAMMED out to the MAX, every day...
but I DO put forth
EFFORT every day,
to look my best.
Every Day.

The way I see it,
I can take 5 minutes extra a day,
and add it to what I REALLY need in minutes to get ready,
and go from
"Showered and Ready"
"Showered and Great"
I can add 10 extra minutes and torque it up to
"Showered and Polished"
I can take 15 (just 15 minutes extra)
and end up with
"Showered and Fabulous."
No one else's Fabulous.
MY version of Fabulous.

Your fabulous will be different than mine
your comfort level will be different
your results will be different
because you are unique
You are incredibly unique
Who YOU want to be
is not who I WANT TO BE!
Who do you want to be?
(remember that question?)

So, think of your OWN fabulous.
And think of what YOU could do
with your SELF,
if you gave yourself 15 extra minutes to get ready
two mornings, a week.
Just two mornings.
What two mornings, do you want to devote an extra 15 minutes to,
in order to go from "Showered and Ready" to
"Showered and Fabulous?"

And before you start thinking this is altogether too vain,
too shallow,
too silly or stupid
or unnecessary...
maybe it would help if you went back to thinking about the stuff you listed last time....
The list of things you would do if you were preparing for the Dream Job Interview.
You made a list (maybe? hopefully? If not, there is always TODAY to make that list)
What if,
TODAY (or the two days you are going to pick during this week to be 15 minutes MORE fabulous), was the day you were heading out on that interview?
What if your First Impression, TODAY
was going to change YOUR LIFE?!?!

You see,
I believe,
Being (your version of) FABULOUS,
and does
Change Your Life.

I'll say it again:
(your version of)
and does
change your life.

I went shopping with a BFF I hadn't gone REALLY shopping with in more than TWO decades, during a recent visit to my college town. G and I tried on jeans. And more jeans. And more jeans. And chunky heels and platform shoes. And cute jackets and sweaters. And fitted tops and layering tanks, and accessories. WE had a blast. We laughed at some outfits. Rolled our eyes at others.....and then shed a few tears. Literally did a little crying in our dressing room...because it felt SO GOOD. We were fed, by the adventure of putting something NEW on our 40-something bodies. We were fed by the companionship while trying on "out there" outfits that pushed us beyond out comfort zones.




We FELT fabulous

I remember commenting to G, while we were deciding what (if anything) to purchase,
"You, know that when we wear these outfits,
we're going to remember today
and how fabulous this felt.
I bet we will be nicer to our children when we are wearing these,
and feeling so good about ourselves.
I bet I will be more kind to my husband when I look like this.
I bet I will smile a lot more in these clothes,
I will stand taller, hold my head higher and even speak differently
Because I feel so great. So fabulous! So "New Me," in them!"

I didn't buy ANYTHING that day.
I carried that,
feeling around with me, IN me,
even without a bag of new clothes.
Because I caught a look at myself in the mirror
and saw a glimpse of my
Inner Fabulousness
shining through, shining OUT of me
My Outer Me.

You see,
I had embraced my INNER fabulousness
and OUTER ME Fabulousness,
months earlier.
I had DECIDED I wanted to BE fabulous
rather than messy, baggy, thrown-together,
dressed down and dull,
about half-way through my weight loss journey.

And please, keep in mind, FABULOUS is different for me than for you.
All I am talking about here, is EFFORT and CARE...
Effort, equalling TIME spent on yourself.
Time you LEAVE yourself to get ready.
TIME you PLAN on, and give yourself to get ready for your day...
CARE, equalling WHAT you do with that time.
HOW you spend it on yourself.
WHAT you consciously work into your routine and prep time before you leave the house for your day, or afternoon or evening.
Consider how YOU can go from

I went on a date with my oldest girl last week for brunch.
We both looked fabulous.
I am going out today with my brother for lunch to celebrate his birthday,
and I am GOING to Look Fabulous.

Here is what YOU are going to do...
Here is the greatest challenge I have posed YET...
Here is what I am asking you to do THIS week...
or afternoon
or evening
(and I would really like to hear about it, so post a comment, or send me a private note telling me all about it)...

1) Turn to the next blank page in your journal and make a list of your favorite lunch or dinner places (WITH a MENU and drive thrus, no sticky counters where you place your order, no teenage employees with funny hats, big microphones or polyester pants and goofy nametags). Make a list of restaurants.

2) GO BACK a page to where you made the list of things you'd do to get ready for a job interview...and do some crossing out or erasing...MAKE you page a list of things you would do to get ready for a DATE...MANY items will stay the same, maybe a couple with change.

3) Pick two days THIS WEEK, to take 15 extra minutes to get take yourself from READY to FABULOUS.

4) On the second day.....SOME TIME THIS WEEK.......(GET READY, HERE IT COMES....)
Pick one of the restaurants
Looking Fabulous
Feeling your best

Ask for a table for ONE
Take a long time looking at the menu
DECIDE what you want to FEED yourself
and order it.
Do not rush
TRY not to feel too self conscious
TRY to enjoy yourself
TRY to connect with being on your own, eating what you like and FEEDING yourself.

If you must,
take your Dance Party journal along.
Fill in the pages you haven't done yet.
Focus your thinking
Connect with YOU
Be WHO you are wanting to be.

I am serious about this.
This is a MAJOR thing to ask (for some of you)
For others, you go out for lunch alone a lot, because of work and such...
but this time, it will be different. It will be a conscious decision to do so--
while looking fabulous.

Hire a babysitter, or trade with a friend who will do this for you.
Expense is not the issue.
You do not have to pick a fancy place.
You MUST put forth CARE and EFFORT into getting yourself ready
YOU must go alone.....
and SPEND ONE HOUR doing it.

Can you?
Are you Ready?
Of COURSE you are!
You just need a little practice
in letting it OUT!

That's all.
Be Your Best!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

In the Meantime

Not a blogging day for me.
But I have been away,
Away from writing my thoughts,
sending Tweets
and posting ideas to be contemplated and pondered.

I am the one who has been doing to contemplating and pondering.
I have been thinking and sharing, talking and visiting
with friends, like you and me.
Getting together with other women. Wives. Moms. Women.
Who are interested in This.
Who are interested in Me.
And where I am going with This.
This blog. This experience. This opportunity.
I have been with my friends.
Some old, some new, and some I have met through this blog.

I answered questions.
I posed questions.
I shared my heart, got a little vulnerable
and opened up with them,
about me.

I didn't sleep much
I ended up a bit overwhelmed
with my head spinning.


In six days,
I gained five pounds


And I can lose them.
I know this.
I know I can lose five pounds.
I know I can do just about ANYTHING.

It's just a matter of DECIDING to do it.
And then deciding HOW I want to do it.

Here's how I will DO it:

First, I will look at those five pounds, and determine what they MEAN to me.

In this case, those five pounds mean I drove my children to Orlando so they could hang out with my husband (their dad), a great guy, in Florida--visiting theme parks, playing miniature golf and building memories. I ate pretzels, and chugged Diet Cokes while I drove the seven hours to get them to Florida (and then seven hours back a few days later). Those five pounds also mean, I was at an airport for SEVERAL glorious hours...alone.  I sat at an airport waiting on a plane (four planes actually, after counting the lay-overs and return flights). I sat in solitude and enjoyed some McDonald's fries. I sat with strangers on a plane, and told them my story. And felt myself inspired by the looks in their eyes and the stories THEY shared in return). Those five pounds mean I went "out" ten times for FOOD with friends and family. At each gathering, I was AGAIN, inspired and connected to MYSELF and the people I love. It also means, I made a trip to the hometown where my mother grew up, so I could visit her 82 year-old sister, and tell HER my story and allow my four children the opportunity to spend time getting to know MY aunt, my cousins. Those five pounds also mean I felt myself running on fumes and needing rest. I had to cancel one of my meetings during the trip (sorry, G). I needed to rest. I needed to tune out and turn off my "Story" and just BE. I needed to be plain ol' Becky. Without any insight to share or motivation to impart. I needed to call my husband and have him "manage" me and tell me what do to. Which he did. He told me to get into the car and close my eyes and rest. And spend the rest of the day, having fun. Just having fun. Not talking or sharing or giving or 'living with intention and purpose.' He told me to go have fun. And I did.

In six days, I had FIVE pounds-worth of fun and friendship and meaning and connection and inspiration.

Next, I will set about losing the five pounds, shedding them, working on them...but holding on to the fun. The sharing. The lessons. The encounters and inspiration I met with on the way to gaining them.

I will cut back here and there. I will dance a little harder and for a few extra minutes. I will make a few additional CONSCIOUS decisions with how I FEED myself for the next few weeks. And with every decision, extra song I move to and each additional do-over I give myself, I will think of you...the ones who were there with me, while I gained the five pounds. You were a part of my story this weekend. You were a part of my learning and sharing and growing. will be a part of my losing. You will be a part of the energy that keeps me going. That makes me proud of the time I spent, the moments when I relaxed with you, was challenged by you, cried with (and in front of) you and was myself, my true, honest, vulnerable, flawed, french-fry-eating, wine-drinking, black-leather-boot-strutting, red-lipstick-wearing, five-pounds-heavier-than-when-I got-in-the-car-to-see-you, SELF.

What I won't do with those five pounds is:
Feel guilty about them
Regret that they are there
Give up on myself
Blame you for even an ounce
Let them stay on me
Add to them
because I think they don't matter.

To me...
those five pounds

On so may levels,
those five pounds
and the other 95 I lost...

In the meantime, while I am working on those five
(for however long it takes),
I will chew my gum,
I will save a dollar in the back of MY journal
(you need to have about $25 set aside by now),
I will put on my lipstick
I will keep my gray roots touched up
I will keep my legs shaved
I will put lotion on my elbows
I will pluck my eyebrows as needed
I will hunt for new, fun music for my personal dance parties
I will blog and tweet and post on Facebook
I will tell my story to strangers at the mall in the shoe department
I will encourage my girls to put on their lipgloss
I will take off my nail polish when it gets chipped
I will sit on the porch for a glass of red at night

I will NOT stop doing the things that feed me,
REALLY feed me,
While I am in the process of working on five pounds.

All of the things I listed above are the things I used to "LET GO"of, when I was feeling my worst. When I was feeling fat, and tired and hopeless. Those are the things I just STOPPED tending to, in terms of my appearance. I felt like those things didn't really MATTER. That NOTHING was worth the time or effort in terms of MY APPEARANCE, when I was unhappy with my weight.

How 'bout you? Are there things You have "Let Go" of, because you felt like they just didn't add up to much in the grand picture of YOU? I mean GOOD, healthy, look-your-best practices and habits?

Here is your assignment for the next day or two (I will blog again tomorrow, so get to work on this one, ASAP):

1) Turn to the next clean page in your journal and print:
If I were going for a job interview in three days for my DREAM JOB, in order to make the best FIRST IMPRESSION I am capable of, I would do the following things to my appearance to get ready:

Then, print the word TODAY at the left margin, and leave a few lines for listing your ideas.

Half-way down the page, print the word TOMORROW at the left margin, leaving a few more lines for listing your ideas.

A few lines from the bottom, print the words THE DAY BEFORE at the left margin.

2) Guess what you're going to do now? Exactly. You're going to fill in those blank lines on your paper with your answers. I know for me, I would get my hair cut. I would file my nails so they're even. I would look into getting my roots touched up. I would find something to wear that made me look the way I WANT TO BE SEEN. There are any number of things you can list. Make them specific to you! Little things and big things you can work on, highlight, change, alter, TRY over the course of three days to get yourself ready for your DREAM JOB INTERVIEW! Fill in your list. Be specific.

3) Turn to the front of your that FIRST page where you are recording the little nuggets of inspiration, and READ what you have written, a few times. I will give you something to add to that page, Next Time. In the meantime, do today's little assignment. See if you can fill in all three parts of the page in one sitting (with your gum in your mouth and your lips properly glossed).

That's all.
Be Your Best,

(FOLLOW this BLOG! FOLLOW on TWITTER! TELL your friends and family about THIS. WE ALL NEED IT...especially ME, while I'm working on those five pounds!)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Let Freedom Ring

Ok, this is a RE-post from my other blog "Truth Time" (you can link to it from my Blogspot profile over to the right >>>>). I was encouraged by a friend, to post here on DP41 (AKA: Dance Party for One...a much quicker way to refer to THIS blog, so when you see that abbreviation, you'll know what it means).

Enjoy this post, think about how YOU can become more free, and use today and the weekend to catch up on some of the previous posts in this spot!

I eat dessert first (sometimes)
I eat my favorite chicken salad for breakfast (on occasion)
I head to the movies when my kids are in school (once a week, in August)
I put on make-up & re-do my hair at night, just to try new things (quite often)
I don't make my bed every morning
I eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch from the box
I don't return all of my phone calls
I wear my over-the-knee boots around the house (in August)
I put on lipstick to check the mail
I try on dresses at the store, that I'd never wear in public
I wear in public, dresses some of you would never wear in your life
I wear skirts and dresses to school events
I wear heels to school meetings
I skip a real dinner sometimes, and fill up on wine
I buy pretty notecards I might never use, because I like them
I have three American Girl dolls, I don't let my girls play with
I don't finish reading books I don't like
I cut pages out of InStyle magazine & tape them into my Fashion Journal
I change to & start a new bottle of shampoo, when my other bottle isn't empty
I give/receive make-overs from my 7 year-old daughters
I don't volunteer at school. Really
I make my kids do their homework by themselves
I don't walk my kids to the bus stop
I let my kids skip school for Mental Health Days
I play Christmas music whenever the mood strikes
I slip treats under my kids' pillows for no reason at all
and I text suggestive messages to my husband (a lot)

Today, I bought a sweater.
A yummy, textured, burnt orange,
ruffle-y collared

And it was 82 degrees out.
But I wanted to wear it.
I cranked the AC,
Put on my sweater,
and a pair of jeans,
and a pair of boots,
lit my LEAVES scented candle in one room
and my PUMPKIN PIE candle in another
And sat in my Dining Room
which is ALWAYS decorated for Autumn.
I looked at and studied
the pumpkins,
and pine cones
in my favorite ceramic trays
arranged with
bark-covered candles and
And I was delighted
I felt Fall
I felt all the wonderful things I love about
and ignored the fact that my kids were in shorts
and had been throwing water balloons a little earlier in the yard.
I escaped from the reality that Mike had mowed the yard on Saturday because the grass is still growing like crazy.
I allowed myself to experience TODAY
what is probably another 6 weeks from being TRUE

I did this today,
and do all the other things I listed above
I am free.
I am free to do them.
I have finally given myself the FREEDOM to
and have fun
and enjoy
and grab hold of, the things that bring me joy
and enhance my wonder, of this beautiful thing I have

I have been hung up
for so long
on doing things RIGHT
or being RIGHT
Abiding by Laws and Rules
of my own making,
or by cultural,
grown-up or
"what's expected"

I spent too much time,
years, decades even,
DOING things I didn't want to do
or NOT doing things I REALLY wanted to do
because the calendar
the season
the neighbors
or other moms
or other wives
or other southerners
or other religious people
or other family members
DID them or DIDN'T do them.

I am, by nature
A Pleaser
A Rule Keeper
A Good Girl
(still true, all of the above)

But now,
I am an adult.
I waited all of my young life,
to Grow Up....
and I love being a grown up.
I love being a woman.
It is now time,
for me to
step into,
walk through
and enjoy
all the experience,
I have at my disposal.

I am not a rebel
I am not out to buck the system
or do destructive things

But I am ready
to LIVE.
To live FULLY ALIVE and Awake!

I can say NO
when I don't want to do something

I can say
"I'll think about it"
When I'm not sure
and need more time to consider

I can
Change My MIND
in the middle of almost anything.
I can.
I am free to do that
and will take responsibility for my actions when
doing so necessitates it.

I can say YES to doing things
I have wanted to do
(but have NOT done because I felt silly or immature doing them
or considered FIRST what other people would think,
rather than what I wanted.)

I can put on a cozy sweater
and rig the AC to make the house chilly,
so I can savor a 30 minute preview
of my favorite season-to-come,
SIX weeks before it gets here.

There is absolutely
with being free.

Let Freedom Ring
(I've decided to listen to Elvis sing, Blue Christmas before I head to bed tonight.)

OH, just a reminder...I would really appreciate you deciding to FOLLOW this blog, by clicking over to the right. Make it a statement of your decision to try these ideas or at the least, read and be entertained by my ramblings! Thanks!

That's all.
Be Your Best,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesday Review AND BONUS POST!!!

Uh-oh! Looks like SOMEONE has been falling a bit short on her "I'll Tweet three times a day for you" pledge....Only a few tweets worthy of a listing (read them, and I'll toss in a little insight afterward...)

* When you've lost 5lbs, pick up a 5lb bag of sugar & carry it around your house for 5 minutes. 5lbs is NOT small! 5lbs, makes a difference!

* I leave the table when finished with my dinner. My kids can clear their own places & it keeps my from EATING when I've already FED myself

* Mike brought home dessert from my favorite bakery. I ate 1/4 of a serving BEFORE dinner. MY family finished the rest AFTER I left the table

That's Three.
Three little Tweets to re-post for review, this week.
There were a few other things I tweeted, but they were mostly about blogs I'd posted or requests for YOU to pass the word about this blog or sign up, or blah, blah, blah.
In my opinion, not much to RE-POST or worth taking up your time...

I COULD feel like a failure for NOT posting three times a day.

I COULD feel like I have let you down, and beat myself up with guilt about it.

I COULD feel like I bit off more than I could chew by even committing to do three.

I COULD start to reconsider the WHOLE entire Twitter thing.

I COULD begin to doubt that it even makes a difference.

I COULD begin to wonder if ANYONE even notices the Tweets, or this blog, or the page I've
started on Facebook.

I COULD begin to think about YOU, and judge you, I mean....if you had actually NOTICED I had not been posting a lot of tweets, you really COULD have sent me a note and let me know they were missed. YOU could have made me feel better about what I have been doing by even using Twitter in the first place. YOU could have given me more support!

I COULD start making stuff up and posting it, just to get it done.

I COULD let the whole Twitter thing pass away and eventually forget about it.

I COULD give up.

That would be the old me.
That would be the ol' Strong Starter, Poor Finisher Becky.
And that is not Who I Want to Be.
That is not Who I am NOW.
Because I changed
I made a decision to change

And even when, I am presented with things
I COULD do...
I can STOP the COULDs
Any Time I Want.

I. Can. Start. Again. Any. Time. I. Want.
Taking a break
Falling behind
Momentary lapses
Surprise Spurts of the Old Me...
DO NOT mean, I didn't (or can't) really change.
They just mean, I am still CHANGING.
I am still building my confidence in my ability to follow through on my changes.

We give up too easily.
Way too easily.
And it is not that we give up on our diet too easily
or that we give up on our exercising too easily
It's that we give up on our SELVES too easily.

We think we CAN'T,
Just because we DIDN'T (a time or two, or ten times).

We think, that just because we made A choice, or TWO choices, or TEN choices today, in a different direction than we had PLANNED on going....
That we have failed.
We think of everything in terms of Good and Bad
and Success or Failure
Instead of choosing
Just choosing

We see the food we eat,
as good or bad.
We make so many of our choices
and our judgements
about ourselves
and others....
center around
Good and Bad.
When we really need to make choices

Choose LIFE, people!
Choose to live.
When you start to think you have failed with your day....
STOP. Stop yourself RIGHT THERE....
and choose LIFE
Ask yourself,
"Who do I want to be....RIGHT NOW, This Second?"
And answer,
"I choose to STOP.
And start again,
Right now."

You may end up choosing to STOP 50 times in one day!
Go ahead and do it.
And go to bed knowing that you
...and start again, each and every time you wanted to
(even if it was 100 times!)

It's simple, really.
Breathe for 10 seconds
Start Over.
All DAY!

In my house, we call this a Do-Over. There are mornings (typically on a weekend, or in the summer, but we are known to do this even on a school morning, or after school, or even at dinner time), when someone (one of the kids...or often, ME), falls apart. Or has a rotten attitude. Or cannot seem to get along with anyone else. Or seems really tired and frustrated. Sometimes, there is just a terrible amount of tension in the house. I will look at the child (or even the entire family) who is struggling (or realize I am the one struggling), and will say, "I think we need a Do-over. Go upstairs to your room(s), close your door and get back in your bed. I will be in to 'wake' you up in five minutes and we'll start this day all over. You can have another chance. We'll act like this never happened." Or, I will announce to my children, I NEED a Do-Over. I am going to my room and shutting my door and getting into my bed. I will be back downstairs in five minutes and we'll start all over.

And they, we, I--do exactly that!
Crazy, huh?
So crazy, that it works.

Don't you wish you got Do-Overs?

You Do!

There is nothing PREVENTING you
from giving yourself a do-over.
You have limitless do-overs at your disposal,
at any point in your day!
every minute of the day!
each and every day!
each day of every week!
any day of the month!

You may need a BIG may need to apologize to a friend, or your spouse for days, weeks or years of reacting or behaving a certain way, holding a grudge or taking for granted their presence in your life. Don't just apologize...ask for a Do-Over.

You may need a SMALL Do-over...You may have EATEN like a horse, at breakfast. Give yourself a Do-over, RIGHT THEN. Don't agonize over it. Just STOP and move on. Start again, the moment your MIND and your HEART connect with it.

You may have started following this blog with enthusiasm and grand plans...and have noticed the excitement tapering off. STOP yourself. DON'T give up. Just give yourself a DO-OVER and begin again! or pick up where you left off. or go back to a post that inspired you or gave you momentum.

In most cases.....It's NOT that big of a deal. It's not that big of a deal to just START again!


Typically, you don't use your journal on Wednesday, but this time, you will. I only want you to do two things (in addition to continuing with the gum, the lipstick and the dancing)....

1) Open your journal to the first page and write (anywhere)


2) Take your measuring tape (I mentioned this waaaay back in the FIRST post and in the Getting Started tab), and measure yourself, in a slim t-shirt and shorts, or your fancy underpants and brassiere....measure (and record on the LAST page of your journal)

Your waist
Your upper arm
Your thigh
Your hips (the widest, bulkiest part)
Your boobs (again, the widest, bulkiest part)
Your ribs (right there, under your boobs)
and Your neck

IF you are afraid your journal might fall into enemy hands, and get published on the internet, find a way to write it in code, just remember how to translate the code. (I'm not really kidding here....I know you're clever, you can think of SOME way to do this).

I hope you are still putting ONE dollar in the envelope at the back of your journal, for each day of the month. At this point, you really need to have about $15 saved...

That's all.
Be Your Best,

PS. Did you see what I did here? I STOPPED dwelling on how I had fallen short of my goal to post three things a day on Twitter...I stopped droning on and on about how I only had three measly things to re-post. I didn't take ANY of the "I'm a failure, I'll never be able to do this, look how I've already blown it and it's only been a couple of weeks...." options, and I did something ELSE. I stopped myself where I was, and I started again....Adding a NEW post, a BONUS post! I turned the set-back, into an accomplishment, because the very set-back I was aware of, gave me material for a NEW BLOG Post! It moved me OUT of NOT tweeting, into a FULL-BLOWN, wordy, helpful (?), insightful (?) POST! And I didn't beat myself up, give up, or QUIT! I just stopped what I was doing (actually WASN'T doing, in the case of NOT Twittering) and STARTED myself again...with a WHOLE post. WOW! That felt good!!!!

Think you can do the same?
I bet you can.


PS II. You also GET that the whole TWITTER thing is a metaphor for the Ups and Downs you're bound to go through with this weight loss/discover yourself/become who you want to be THING that we're doing together (and how YOU can choose to respond with blame, self loathing, defeat...or jumping back in wherever you left off) right? Just making sure.

Monday, September 13, 2010

That is the Question...

Today, we start with a question.

Who do you want to be?

I cannot even COUNT the number of times I have heard myself pose that myself, to my children and to my friends. Might be a tough question. Might be an easy one. Certainly, it can be answered in countless ways...and it is your ANSWERS to that question, which will serve as the compass for the remainder of your journey....and your life.

When it all comes down to it, whether I am looking at my marriage, my role as a mother, friend or sister, even my appearance and my weight,

I have realized, it is not about what I do
or the hats I wear or jobs I hold
or the people I care for, lead and love,
or the challenges I face, trials I encounter or setbacks I suffer
or the bad days, bum deals, short-ended-sticks I'm given
losses, ordeals or chaos I succumb to
it is not even about my marriage
or my family
or my community
or my position, place or status in this world....

about WHO I AM
about ME.

And while I know it sounds

to say, it is NOT about me,
or it shouldn't be about me
or it is selfish to make it about me
or egocentric to make it about me
or narcissistic to make it about me

It really is about me,
which means it really is about
Everything is about YOU
EVERYTHING is IN FACT about you...
interacting with
participating in
living through
on this planet
at this time

And what you do with yourself.
I am not a philosopher
I do not know how to say it any plainer
or more elaborately than that.

It is about YOU.
You may choose to deflect that,
or try to explain it away
or sugar coat it in some way,
but your life,
is about you.
And throwing yourself on the train track
Living for the sake of others
Losing yourself
Getting a grip on your issues
Acknowledging you have much to learn,
much to conquer
much to discover
all the
and effort that
learning, conquering and discovering
require---are your choices to make.
You are already making 100 choices a day...
It's just that you're not even conscious for half of them.

For the record:
You are NOT
being selfish when you take time for yourself.
You are NOT
neglecting others
or crossing over into
some wack-o religious heresy or cult
because you dedicate yourself to
knowing yourself and becoming more.

Some of us need to hear that.
We aren't doing ANYONE any good,
if we are glossing over WHO we ARE, for sake of helping someone ELSE grow-up or find love or be taken care of. We are sending a mixed message to our children, our spouses and our communities if we tell them they are loved, lay down our lives to help them become and grow, teach them they have value and significance, and then live OUR lives in a way contrary to the lessons we are teaching and love we are giving.

I told my husband today on the phone,
I would never want to
grow up or
get married or
and have children
if it meant
I had to cease
knowing, growing, and experiencing life
If I automatically became a Selfish Person
because I wanted to be MORE
after I became an adult or wife or mother.

Seriously, what a rip off!
What a bunch of liars we are,
if we are telling our children they can dream
and want and hope and desire
to be great people....
if we ourselves, don't really believe it.

What an awfully sad thing it would be,
if we told our daughters to dream of driving a mini-van
and hope for a new flavor of Hamburger Helper
and have visions for themselves of clipping coupons and arranging play-dates for their yet-to-be-born kids.

What an empty hope we'd be passing on to our children,
if we told them, to do their best, try their hardest,
work on their character and talents and giftings
and relationships
and themselves....NOW
because once you hit 25 or so,
the rest is just flat and gray
and carpool and t-shirts with socks for sleeping
"Hope you liked your life and lived it well before adulthood, because after that, you're pretty much selfish if you try to keep up what you were doing and who you were interested in BEING before that....."

You know I'm not trying to be funny right?
I think that is EXACTLY the struggle some of us are having...
even with this blog.
Even with the exercises I am giving you to try in your notebooks.

We are either struggling to even believe it is OK to work on ourselves
We are afraid to hope, try and believe that it
Might Actually Work
We've tried before,
or at least have been desperate before.
We WANT to change
We HOPE it is possible.
But we are afraid,
We are terrified that we will fail again.

I get that.
I understand that.
I am going to tell you more of my story,
how I faced those fears
what I did to make it DIFFERENT this time
how I REALLY managed to make it happen...
Next Time.

This time, here is what I want you to do in your notebook:

1) Get your gum and your lipstick ready. Prepare your mouth!

2) Sit down with your notebook and THINK...REMEMBER...go back in your head and memories to the times when your teachers, parents, neighbors, friends and families asked you the timeless question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

3) Open your notebook to the BACK of the last page where you wrote something (this should be the left-hand side of your journal). Make a list of as many "careers" or "what you wanted to be's" on this page. For example, you might write: I wanted to be a nurse, or a teacher, or a writer, or a gymnast, or a lawyer, or a model or a....
Just make a list of everything you can remember.

4) Examine your list and try to think of WHY those careers were appealing. What was it about being a model that you liked? What about being a teacher, was appealing? What did you think about nurses, why did you want to be one? As you are thinking, start to consider what KIND of PEOPLE enter those careers and have success. Think of QUALITIES and TRAITS central to success in the fields you noted. JUST start thinking....

And then come back and read the rest of this post.
(I know you're going to go ahead a read it right NOW. I know, most of you read these posts and think of your answers, but don't really keep the notebook, and might not even have on lipgloss. I get that. I also get, that if you are REALLY desperate, if you really want to change, you will take the time to go back over these posts again and DO what I suggest, because you really are willing to pay the price at all cost to make something happen in your life---which is why I am so happy for you and proud of you....and it doesn't bother me one bit that you are moving at your own pace and doing this your own is afterall, all about you. I already lost the 100 pounds. I already made my decisions and counted the cost. And DID IT! This is about You!)

Here is the rest of the post....and it is about ME.
It is about how I CHANGED ONE CRITICAL THING in my life...
This is the one thing that I believe, made the greatest difference in every other decision and change:

I no longer think in terms of what I WANT to HAVE or DO.
I do not think about the kind of marriage I WANT.
I do not think in terms of the kind of FAMILY I WANT.
Or the kind of kids I WANT.

I think of WHO I want to be.

I want to be patient
and loving
and generous
and affectionate
and attentive
and present
and bold
and decisive
and purposeful
and devoted
and genuine
and beautiful
and fun
and caring
and enthusiastic
and discerning
and accepting
and free


I AM WHO I want to BE.
It matters NOT how my husband is
or my kids
or my friends.

I have a running list in MY spiral notebook, of words describing WHO I want to be. Not what I want to do, or how I want things and relationships to be, but

It all started for me, when I really accepted that I wasn't GETTING what I wanted out my personal/marriage/family LIFE. I
knew what I wanted. Knew it from the earliest days of my life, when I was a young girl....

I realized, I was WAITING for something I could not MAKE happen, or get for myself. Because marriage is between TWO people. Family, at least mine, is about SIX people. All of my friendships involved at least one other person and ME.

but then....
I realized, I could still be the WOMAN I
and my FAMILY
and my friendships.
I could still be the WIFE, MOTHER, FRIEND I wanted to be....
NOT because it was RIGHT to act certain ways,
or because I HAD to be a "good" wife (mom or friend),
I wanted to BE,
really wanted to BE
a certain kind of person,
a certain kind of wife...regardless of who I was married to.
A certain kind of mom....
really, I knew the

And so, I ask...
Here is the question again...
Who do YOU want to be?

5) Go back to your notebook and turn to the first page.
Read what you wrote the first day:

Stop eating.
Start feeding myself.

That statement really applies to ALL of my life.....
I STOPPED analyzing and AGONIZING the relationships
(or lack thereof), in my life.
I STOPPED dwelling on my expectations (aka DISAPPOINTMENTS)
I STOPPED looking at the PEOPLE in my life...
and started looking AT ME.
Started thinking about the
ME I wanted to be
IN the different circumstances and relationships in my life
Rather than looking AT the AREAS and RELATIONSHIPS of my life.

And, I set out to BECOME the version of myself I had WANTED to be all along.
It was risky.
It made me vulnerable to hurts and rejection, but I DID IT.
I connected with WHO I WANTED to BE....
I became MORE KIND.
I became more attentive,
I WANTED TO BE kind, affectionate and attentive.
and it had NOTHING to do with
who I was married to,
or who my kids were or
who I was friends with.

It was all about me.
It is always about me
(and in your life, it is always about you)

6) Turn to the next blank page in your journal, and print the following question at the top:
Who do I want to be?
Then, on the first line underneath, at the left margin, print the beginning of the following sentence:
I want to be a/an.......
Then, go to the very last line on the page and in the center, print "Woman."

7) This week, today, NOW....list as many WORDS as you can think of, you would LIKE to be described as...words you would like to have said about you. Words you WANT TO BE! WHO YOU WANT TO BE. Use your thoughts and conclusions from the earlier stuff you did when thinking about the careers you were interested in as a girl. Draw from the traits you identified as common to the TYPES of PEOPLE who are successful in the careers you listed. I think your answers from when you were a girl, and the kinds of careers and people you found interesting...are still a part of your CORE, your essence, today.

Please try this one.
I really think it is important.
SO important in fact, that I am going to add MY ACTUAL list, what is in MY journal, to a post on this blog so you can see what I mean. So you can LOOK INTO MY LIFE and understand ME a little better. My hope is that it will help you. I am willing to show you who I want to be and risk your laughter, snickers, judgement and whatever else you may think of me, after reading it.

8. Please print on the first page of your notebook (where you have written all the other clever little phrases), WHEREVER YOU WANT:

It REALLY is ALL about me
WHO do I want to BE?

Pass along the link to this blog and the YouTube clip and sign up to FOLLOW (please?)

That's all.
Be Your Best,

My List of WHO I WANT TO BE follows this one (just below it)