Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Life Lessons from Dove Chocolate Wrappers

Make the most of everyday. Take an extra deep breath whenever you need it. Remember that you are strong and beautiful. Cherish each day--take time to play. If they can do it, you know you can.

You gotta love Dove chocolate. The creamy chocolate makes my tongue happy, and the affirming messages make my soul happy. When I have major writing deadlines at work, a Dove chocolate is the calming elixir needed to help me finish my work. When I'm stressed at home, a Dove chocolate--or two or three or four--is the pick-me-up I need to get going again.

Unfortunately, for the last few years, I've been looking for affirmation from Dove much, much too often. My doctor is not happy, and neither am I. So next week I am beginning a "Biggest Loser" challenge at my local gym. I've been assured that I would not be forced to strip down to my sports bra and climb onto a scale for all the world to see. But I will have the benefit of a personal trainer and teammates with the same goal in mind: learn a new lifestyle, change my attitude, change my weight, change my life.

The weight crept on after the kids were born, and then after I turned forty. Now with fifty just around the bend, I believe I must learn how to be the best 50 year old woman I can. Along the way, I'll have to seek affirmation from something other than Dove chocolate.

Am I afraid? Yes. The last time I went to this gym, I tried to set the treadmill on my fast walking speed of 3 1/2 miles per hour. I accidentally set it on 12 miles an hour. My feet were flying, arms flailing, voice screaming for what seemed like an eternity. In reality, it was probably less than two minutes. The skinny, cool blonde who was jogging on the treadmill right next to me could have reached over and hit the OFF button. But she didn't. Finally, I found the OFF button, got off the treadmill and left the gym.

I didn't return until last week when I signed up for the Biggest Loser. Am I ready? Yes. Am I afraid? Yes. But I'm dancing toward 50, so I must do this now, before it's too late. To quote one of my favorite Dove chocolate affirmations:

If not now, when?

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