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

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Channel Surfing? CHECK OUT THE DP41 Youtube Channel!

You can link to the CHANNEL on Youtube (and become a subscriber) by clicking on this link:

I'll be adding a permanent link on the blog too!
What do you think?

I promise I'll cut it to 10 minutes or less in the future!
I know you're busy!
Thanks for your time, interest and support!

That's all.
Be Your Best!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Something to Smile About

The DP41 blog is now about six weeks old, and has surpassed 5,500 hits! This blows me away. This makes me think, It's Not Just Me! There are women out there, really looking to change their lives, turn themselves around, connect with themselves and lose weight! 

The blog has readers in the USA,
United Kingdom
and Indonesia.
(and who knows where else?)
How outrageous is that?

I am excited and honored knowing there are women all over the place, stopping by, checking in and pausing (hopefully!) to think, ponder, consider and "try" what they read.

Every woman reading,
is Incredibly Unique.
No two are the same.
We represent different cultures, countries, faiths,
economic status, family status and life experiences.

But we have things in common, as well.
For one,
We all crave beauty.
All cultures have a standard of beauty.
Seen in the eyes of the beholders,
this standard is different from person to person,
culture to culture
woman to woman.

Beauty in nature
Beauty in art
Beauty in appearance

I am getting ready to spout out some beauty tips here.
One in particular,
I have been preparing you for
(and hopefully you've been preparing yourself for)
for the past month.
You've been tucking away a dollar a day, in your journal, RIGHT?
You now have, well over $30 in that envelope, RIGHT?
Well, just a few lines from now, I'm going to tell you what to do with that money.
How to spend it.
What to do for yourself,
for the next 14 days,
to make a visible difference, in YOU
and it won't require you to sweat.
or measure food.
or think about your next meal.

But first, my story:
When I started to CHANGE ME, now well over 2 years ago,
I knew I wanted to change things in my heart.
I knew I wanted to change things in my head.
I knew I wanted to lose weight.
I wanted to lose 80 lbs.
But I also wanted to change other things.
I wanted to look better.
I wanted a clearer complexion
I wanted longer hair.
I wanted softer skin.
I wanted to get rid of callouses.
I wanted better eyebrows
I wanted betters arms.
I wanted a defined style.
So, I went to work on all these things,
while I was working on ME
and My Body.
I worked on my beauty.
The Superficial Shell.
I went to work on The Total Package.

Because I wanted to be:
The Total Package.
And to this day,
I work (almost) every day
The Total Package
because that is still who I want to be
how I want to stay.

With 80 pounds to lose,
the first few pounds didn't make a huge impact on the overall ME.
In fact, even though I knew I had lost weight,
and my clothes fit differently
(and even started to not fit at all),
it really wasn't until I had lost about 35 pounds,
maybe even 40,
that anyone truly noticed my weight loss

Do you know what they DID notice?
My Smile.
For the first time
EVER (that I could remember),
people started complimenting my SMILE
and telling me how HAPPY I looked.
I know I was smiling more.
I was Happier!
I was feeling GREAT!

And since I knew I was happier
and smiling more
I decided to bite the bullet,
drop the thirty bucks
and buy Whitening Strips for My Teeth.

And I used them
for 14 days
day and night
for 15 minutes
Just Like The Package Said.


Because I changed my smile.
No lie.
White teeth, made my face change.
My confidence change.
My countenance change.
And I found it easy to make the decisions I WANTED to make about FEEDING and DANCING!

And people started telling me I looked GREAT.
And FINALLY, asking if I was losing weight.
Because I had white teeth!

That's what your cash envelope is for.
Run out and buy yourself some teeth whitening strips
and use them!
And take the time required each day, to sit, and reflect, and connect with YOU.
Take that 15 (or 30) minutes in the morning and evening,
to think about Who You Want to Be.
How Incredibly Unique You Are.
And How You Can FEED yourself during those minutes
(since it's impossible to EAT during that time!)

Listen to music
Pluck your eyebrows
Maybe even paint your toenails
Take Care of You!

This will take commitment.
This will require you to stay consistent for two weeks
and you will see results
quicker with your teeth,
than you may be seeing with your weight.
or the other changes you are wanting to make with your life.
With and in YOU.

I am hoping you will do this.
I am really hoping you will try this...
so you can point to SOMETHING in you,
about YOU
that is different in just 14 days!

Think of how great your lipstick is going to look surrounding those
Imagine your new smile!

simple assignment:

1) Snap a picture of yourself with NO MAKEUP! Get someone to do this for you, if you dare.

2) Put on a full face of Make-up (whatever that means to you). You do not have to glam-out, if you are not the glamming-out type. You can be YOURSELF, but with whatever make-up you typically wear--having added that extra 15 minutes to your getting ready time, we talked about last time! Put on your FABULOUS and get your picture the Same Position as your make-up-less face in #1.

3) Get these pictures printed, and paste them in your journal, on the next empty page.

4) Look at, and study these pictures. WITHOUT criticism. Just look at them. Take them in. Look at your teeth, because those teeth are about to change! And look at your eyebrows. Check them out. Look at your lips and your neck. No criticism. Just look at them. And notice the differences between the two pictures. Notice the improvements. Notice the changes. Then start thinking. Start thinking about your skin. And your eyebrows (again). And how you want your hair to look in your holiday pictures and six months from now, and next year at this time. And those teeth.

5) On the next fresh page in your journal, make a short list. No more than five items in length. Make a short list of things you'd like to Pay More Attention To (NOT get "fixed" or areas of HATRED), just some details about YOU and Your Face, that you'd like to spend some of those Fabulous 15 minutes, tending to. Write them down, and start taking care of them. Start taking care of you.

6) On the NEXT fresh page, number the margin 1-20
Jot down 20 (yes, TWENTY) things (AT LEAST) that make you smile. Look outside at the changing seasons. Look in the eyes of your children, friends and loved ones. Think about your favorite Hunk on TV or in your favorite movie. Refer to the lists you made about your favorite scents and songs. And make your list. SMILE as you think. SMILE as you write them down. Smile. Smile. Smile!

7) On the first page of your journal, where you are printing all those Great Reminders to focus on as you host your own Dance Parties, please print---in a downward arch, that looks like a SMILE:

I have so much to smile about, so I am going to smile more!

8) BUY your Teeth Whitening Strips! The pack that takes 14 days to work (or whatever you can afford). AND USE THEM!

Nothing too heavy or deep to dwell on or dissect this time.
We all need a break now and then,
to just breath
and enjoy
and look in the mirror
and smile about what we see.
So THAT is what you get to do this time.

I'll throw something else your way,
Next Time.

Until then, think about the women around the world,
in the state next to yours,
and in your town,
who have started the journey with you.
Who are hosting their own Dance Parties for One.
Who are finding out who they want to BE,
and beginning the work to BECOME those very women.
SMILE, that you are part of something bigger than you realized.
You are in good company.
Smiling, changing, becoming.

Who else needs to be here?
Who else needs to be at the Party?
Who do you know, who started following this blog, but needs to be invited back?
Who do you know who would love an invitation to be here, but hasn't found us on her own, yet?
Invite them
Invite her
Call her
Send her the link
Share your smile with her
She will thank you
and you will have even more to smile about...knowing you have made a difference!

That's all.
Be Your Best,