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I want you to dance.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

A lot of us on SparkPeople have "presents" that we plan to award ourselves when we meet certain fitness goals. Some of us even list those presents and goals on our pages, and keep track of when each mini-goal was met. Some people plan on awarding themselves a new outfit when they reach "goal" weight. I have the same plan, but I want you to consider something, just for a second.

Every day is a chance to feel pretty. (Or handsome -- guys can relate too!) And no matter how far into your goal you are today (whether it's 1 percent, 10 percent, or 99.95 percent) you have made a commitment to healthy and positive change in your life, and frankly you should reward yourself a little bit for having the courage and making the effort.

You don't have to buy a whole new outfit, but sometimes wearing a nice new blouse or bracelet or pair of shoes (!!!) can make a huge difference in how we feel about ourselves. I recently went to Versona and bought a $7 skirt that now makes me feel like a million bucks! Will I outgrow it if I continue to lose weight? Sure, eventually. But I'll get at least a couple of months of wear out of it, and frankly it's worth $7 to me to feel PRETTY for that couple of months.

Do you ever catch yourself looking at your reflection in the mirror, and hear yourself say "I'll be pretty once I lose this weight." OUCH! What are you really saying? "I'm hideous now, but in a few pounds I'll be gorgeous" ?

Consider this: You're beautiful NOW! But don't take my word for it -- go look in a mirror. Look at the person in the mirror who has committed to 10 minutes of daily exercise, or who is determined to walk a 5K, or who has lost 5 pounds, 50 pounds, 100 pounds!!!!! Who is that person? That's the amazing, incredible, and BEAUTIFUL YOU!

Sometimes the "beautiful me" is hard to see. I understand, really. I spend most of my day in yoga pants and a tank top, barefoot, my hair in a messy ponytail or twist, no makeup, no jewelry, sweaty and covered in dog hair and whatever pieces of lunch Little Bear happened to throw on me. Super sexy, right? Who has time for pearls and mascara! But whenever I go out, to the grocery or running errands, I stop to put on earrings and a little lipstick -- because I DESERVE to look as pretty as I want to feel inside.

So do you.

So here's what I want you to do. Okay?

I want you to look pretty. I want you to take a moment and reflect on your favorite outfit and how it makes you feel about yourself when you wear it. If you don't have a favorite outfit and all your clothes are baggy or frumpy, well what message are you sending yourself?

Don't fall into the "I don't want to buy new clothes at this weight because I'm going to lose it" trap. Of course you'll lose it, but it takes most people about 5-10 pounds before they notice they need a different size. That's two months of wear.

You don't have to buy the most expensive dress at Macy's -- just find ONE nice item that you can wear through the end of summer. Most of that stuff is already on clearance now anyway! If it makes you feel fabulous, then get it. And WEAR IT. You deserve that. don't you? (If clothes aren't your thing, try a nice piece of costume jewelry. I scour the clearance racks at Kohl's for end-of-season jewelry and get the cutest things for next to nothing. Or find a hat, jacket, shows, whatever makes you feel special. WEAR IT. You are special, and you deserve to feel special.)

One more thing:

I want you to dance.

I want you to self-express, rather, since I know dancing isn't everybody's cup of tea. I want you to take some time today, tomorrow, this weekend, and self-express. Just for you. Dance. Draw. Sing. Do something to express that beautiful and amazing self.

Almost every day I meet someone who tells me, "Oh I have always wanted to dance." I ask, "What's stopping you?" and they give me whatever excuse they have on hand. Don't give me any excuses -- I've heard them all, believe me. If you can't move your feet or hips, move your hands (chair dancing is a valid art form.) You don't have to quit your job and perform for a living. You don't have to commit to six months of lessons. Just for one day --for one hour even -- put on a hip scarf, or hard-soled shoes, or ballroom-style heels, or soft slippers, and dance. Paraphrasing the words of Sesame Street, "make it simple, to last the whole day long. Don't worry if it's not good enough for anyone else to see" -- just dance.

So, my long-distance friends, will you do that for me? And if you want, tell me about it. How does it feel to actually FEEL pretty? To FEEL like a dancer? Don't wait -- go now and DANCE!

Dangel117 -- I know you will! You gave me the idea for this blog post :)
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