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Family Fallout From the TBB Challenge

I like to involve my children in most aspects of my life. From planning my high school reunion (my daughter assembled name badges) to preparing a column (my oldest son loves chasing the baby around the house while I write), I look forward to working with them all of the time. At least I did — until I unleashed my terrible secret last week about my bulges.

DOD (Dear Oldest Daughter): "Oh, my gosh! Mommy, did you really take that picture? "

DOS (Dear Oldest Son), proud that he was in the know: "Yep. I took it right there in the office. "

DOD: "Is that really your stomach?!" The shock and horror on her face should have been captured on film.

Me: "Yes, honey. That is my stomach and I'm working with some virtual buddies to take off the unsightly pounds."

DOD: "But did you have to take a picture?"

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I guess last week’s photo got her to share all one thousand words. After my daughter got over her initial response, she said, "Mommy, we’re going to work this out together."

Now my daughter, an avid dancer, wants to help me drop 20 pounds in the midsection. Yeah, right. She doesn't understand my pain and my struggles, so I thanked her for volunteering and told her to just drop it. I knew she was trying to help, but then I didn't know what to do, where to start...Since my belly needs help, how about 100 sit-ups a day? But wait, what if I don't do them right? Or worse, what if I get hurt and sabotage myself before I ever get started? Am I the only one who does that? What do you say to yourself to make sure that you don't fail? How do you keep track and stay consistent if you are not being held accountable?

Okay, I surrendered.

My daughter, who listens to me on the phone with coaching clients all of the time, decided to use some of my own techniques on me, like visually tracking the goal and putting the progress on a scale or timeline, so that everyone can support me in the goal. She suggested a family workout session now that the cold weather has set in, and we are encouraging everyone on the TBB challenge to do the same. The easiest way to do it, of course, is to pop in an exercise video, but we do a few other things that may work for you. We love to dance. I mean, turn on any kind of music and we dance wildly non-stop for 30 minutes. Talk about a cardio workout. We play Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes and a Cranium game called Hullabaloo. We have a blast. Another tactic: There are approximately 36 stairs going up from the main floor to the third floor of our house. The kids want to time me running up and down those stairs a few times. I better look up "asthma attack" in my natural health book. I get tired walking up those stairs, but I do it for the challenge.

I need to get a visual motivation to keep me interested in exercising. My husband is looking into our first cruise as a couple next year with a few of our old friends.

Now that's incentive.

Okay, I'm ready. Pass me that five pound weights. Ugh. Let’s start with three pounds. Pitiful, huh?

Yes, men can join the challenge, Dave, and we are going to track just how much we lose as a group by December 31, 2006. There are some cool prizes involved (even though you in a bikini could be reason enough to get moving!).

Check in with us TBB-ers at Please sign in so that I can send you fun stuff as we go on this journey together.