We Danced

As I have put weight on, I know that there are parts of me that I have stuffed away. Self-esteem (or lack of it) can cause a person to not do and enjoy the things they once did. At least that’s the case for me. Even though I lean into introvert tendencies, there is this other side of me where I’m very sociable. That is the side of me that suffers the most when I don’t feel good about myself, so introversion can become worse.

I had a wonderful Saturday with my husband. We did work around our home in preparation for one of our granddaughter’s birthday parties, ran errands, went to see a good move (“Wonder Woman” – loved it!) and then we went to an evening concert in the park. I love summer nights and the weather that evening was perfect for music and dancing.

Yes, dancing. We had been there just a little under an hour, when I turned to my husband and asked him if he wanted to dance. He had a shocked deer-in-the-headlights expression at my request. I had been sitting there rocking away to their music and watching all of the other brave souls on the dance floor. A few made me giggle, but I more admired their unabashed courage to just have fun. I wanted to throw my own self-conscious anxieties out and have some fun of my own. I wanted to reclaim a little piece of myself.

I can keep a pretty good beat and was blessed with a bit of rhythm, so in my mind I pictured myself going out there and really showing some moves. HA! My first steps felt awkward, like I just couldn’t get my flip-flopped feet to move the graceful way I had envisioned. For a moment, I thought, “What the heck was I thinking?! What am I doing out here in front of ALL of these people?!” Red-faced, which fortunately people would have thought came from the warmth of the air, I looked at my husband who was also awkwardly trying to work out his moves. Once we got eye-contact we laughed out loud and something inside of me switched on. My relationship with my husband began on a dance floor and other than a few slow dances at weddings we’ve attended, we hadn’t been out on the dance floor, like this, in years. At that point, my awkwardness left and I allowed myself to just enjoy and embrace this piece of time with him. I’m sure we still looked awkward up there, but we didn’t care. The whole world went away and it was us…it was me. I felt like I pulled a big piece of the shell off, that I have covered myself in. It was freeing.

That piece of shell that I peeled off set the course for the remainder of my weekend. I didn’t go out and hit more dance floors but I took that moment with me into everything else I did. I felt like I stood a little bit taller and felt a lot braver. Oh, what a good feeling that is.

Life can be such a mental game…and for me, the extra physical weight causes the mental weight to become very heavy, as well. It’s so true that we are our own worst enemies. If someone said to me what my internal voice says, I’d throat-punch them. This weekend really reminded me of how unkind I can be to myself and that was my biggest take-away…I’m going to be kinder to me.

You know, some of us (usually people who journal like me) make notes of what our “Plan of Attack” will be as we step into the healthier living lifestyle. It often goes something like this:

1) Eat breakfast (stop skipping).
2) Exercise.
3) Drink more water, etc.

…a list of bullet points to begin our plan of attack. But over the weekend, mine has been re-written. My list looks like this now:

1) Remind myself of what is good in me.
2) Pay attention to the parts of me that I like.
3) Be gentle and kind to me.
4) Nourish me in a way that says, “I care about me.” etc.

Do you see the difference? Instead of starting my morning like a mental drill sergeant, I want to feed the deepest parts of me. I believe that as I do, the other things that I need for this journey (eating well, exercising, drinking my water…) won’t feel so much like chores, but will cause it all to begin to fall into its proper place. Caring for my physical heart health has to begin with caring for what’s in the depths of it.

My hope was to have my first 10-pound loss by this morning. It didn’t happen. Had my Saturday played out some other way, it’s possible I’d feel a little discouraged this morning. But I’m not. I’ve made good headway and I am holding steady at my 8-pound loss (in spite of allowing myself a yummy coconut cupcake at my granddaughter’s birthday party yesterday). But…as I reflect on my weekend, I’m reminded of the great time I had with family and friends…and that moment, of reclaiming a bit of our youth, as my sweet husband and I danced our awkward legs off. I think that’s a little…or actually, a really big, victory!


No matter what the weekend held for you, keep your focus my friends. Be reminded of what is good in you. And hey, dance!


couple dancing


The Journey Begins…

Welcome Friends! This is my first day of blogging my health journey, however, my story began on June 1st. (See more on my About Me page.) It just took me this long to decide to blog about it.

My name is Cynthia (my friends and family call me Cindy) and I look forward to sharing the road ahead with you. Here you’ll find the realness, and often rawness, of setting out to make Big Changes with Little Steps. Years ago, I successfully lost a lot weight, coming within 20 lbs. of my goal weight. I did it by focusing on little goals. Instead of looking at that gigantic number I needed to lose, I only looked at 5 lbs. at-a-time. That was seven years ago and I have since put all of that weight back on, plus some. I’ve struggled in finding my focus and motivation again, the way I once had it. I allowed myself to believe that it had just slipped away, but I know those are the lies I listen to when the battle just seems so difficult – and so far away.

But as I said, my journey began on June 1st, 2017 and I’ve been on a focused road to claiming my life – my healthy life, that is, once again. When I stepped on the scale that morning, I just couldn’t believe my eyes. “How did I get here?!” But I knew the answer to that. Somewhere I had just stopped caring for myself. I mean, I really like who I am. But, I can somehow look in a mirror and see something different from the reality. I somehow see myself much thinner than I really am, and then I walk past a mirror in a department store, or I see my reflection in a window and I’m dumbfounded, “Who the heck is that?!”

That first morning in June, I immediately logged into my old My Fitness Pal account and updated everything. Ouch! But, it began something else in me. I saw “Hope.” It was a beginning to the journey and I truly felt ready.

I used to walk five to six miles a day with a close friend. I don’t really know what happened, but we no longer walk together. She has found others to continue on her journey. I guess I just needed to walk another path for a while. My walking decreased to the point where it became non-existent. I no longer woke up feeling passionate about what I was doing. It felt depressing and like a big chore.

But earlier this month, a light began to flicker again and I began walking, just a little bit, each day. There are many people out there who love to walk in big groups. They say it makes the time go by so much faster and they love the accountability. While this is true, I am someone who likes to do a lot of things alone. I’m a deep thinker and when I’m alone, I can sort out my thoughts, my dreams, my struggles, my life. It’s free therapy for me. And I guess I’m not good in the accountability part of it all. I like being accountable to myself. I feel like when I’m in a group, comparisons begin to happen and this begins to feed my feelings of doubt and self-esteem. I hate competition in this area of my life. Plus, I’m someone who leans in the direction of introvert (probably why I love to write) and my time is a great treasure to me. I struggle with schedules and routines. I like my days to flow. I exercise in some fashion almost every day now, but it’s not always at the same time. I fit it into my life, and my life is often a moving target. Let’s just say, the wheels are always turning in my head, the dialogue is always in motion, and I beat myself up internally more than anyone even knows.

So as I began doing little walks again, my mind began to think about my super cute beach cruiser bike that was just collecting dust in the garage. Back in the day, I road a mountain bike and would even hit the trails with my husband. I have since gotten rid of that bike; trading it in for my cruiser.  When my husband came home that night, I asked him if he would help me get it down from where it was hanging. We cleaned it off, he made sure the tires were full, and I was on my way. It has rekindled an old, but new, passion of mine. Taking my morning rides is the highlight of my day.

Since stepping on that scale, I’ve been diligent about visiting my Fitness Pal (Cynthia_Sunshine) account, logging my bike rides (and any other exercises I do), and inputting all that I eat and drink. This was key for me seven years ago, so I know it is key for me today. If I don’t write it down, I will lose track of what I put into my body.

I’m happy to say that the scale is already moving in my favor. In 23 days, I’ve had a couple of slip ups (and I’ll admit, they discouraged me) but, to date, I have lost 8 lbs. 🙂

Oh, dear friends, I have so much more to share with you…but for the sake of not writing a book right here, I’ll save it for tomorrow.

Thanks for reading. I wish you the very best on your own journey! Don’t listen to the negative talk going on inside of you. We can – and WILL – earn our champion belts as we take Little Steps to Big Changes!