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The TBB Challenge

My girlfriend calls to ask a favor.

Girlfriend: "Hey, Shawn. I was wondering if you could work out with me in the morning. I need an accountability partner."

Me (in a shameful voice): "Of course. I need to work out too. This will be great."

The situation is ideal. We live near each other. We'll wake up around our normal 6 A.M. hour, walk a few miles and be home before the husbands have to leave for work. Great, right? Well, we all know where the path filled with good intentions will get you. It's been five weeks and we haven't worked out a single day. There were several good efforts like the days we woke up on time, got dressed, grabbed the chilled bottled water from the fridge, and then heard the rain.

"Is that rain I hear outside?"

"Hold on. Let me check." As I rush quietly to the window, I'm hoping that it is raining. "Yeah, it's more than a drizzle."

"Well, I don't want to get sick just for the sake of working out."

"I understand what you mean. Now, I will walk in the rain if you want to since you're the one who has the goal to meet." Oh, I'm embarrassed to admit that I had no intention of walking in the rain, but I wanted her to repeat that she didn't want to work out in the rain.

"No, we can try again on Friday."

"Okay. I'll talk to you later."

Whew! I escaped the truth again.

I am committed to a lot of things, but exercise just isn't one of them. I've tried to work out before and I do feel better after a session, but I just can't justify it right now. I eat very well: Fresh food, 80 ounces of water a day, soy milk, no sugar, not a lot of snacking (an occasional bag of popcorn), no soda, no red meat, and no junk food. (The mere mention of the Golden Arches causes nausea.) But still I have "The Pouch," a.k.a my flabby belly — compliments of my five children! I'm tall and have a long torso, so no one notices except me and my husband, who I think quietly wonders if it will ever go away. I'm not overweight; I'm just not buff, cut, or toned. I need some ummmph, a kick in the pants.

What would motivate me? Hmmm.

Seeing JLo or Angela Bassett with their fabulous physiques? Nah, doesn't move me.

Getting dressed up to look cute at the gym surrounded by men a step away from steroids? Nope, not my idea of a good time.

Buying countless DVDs featuring the latest workout craze and hoping they won't end up in a pile with the ones I already own? Uh-uh, not going to work. Committing to exercise requires motivation that I just don't have for this project right now.

So, is there anything that will pull me out of this pit of dysfunction and get me on the road to a better, fitter me? Well, yes. Public humiliation, embarrassment, and accountability, of course.

I think it's time to take off the girdles, ditch the horrid mom jeans, and finally get rid of that flab around the thighs, buttocks, and belly (what I call the "TBB"). I've decided that I want to put on a swimsuit, a leotard, a tight-fitting whatever and not feel like my stomach makes me look five months pregnant.

Can anyone relate to what I'm saying? I am going to do something never before seen in the blogosphere (just kidding...but not seen at The Parenting Post). I am going to publicize my pouch. I consulted with my family and they voted against the bare pouch (hey, this is a family site), so this close-up is my compromise.

Dahgurl weight challenge

I am asking at least 20 women to join me in the TBB Weight Loss Challenge. I am going to chronicle my 90-day journey weekly at my website, , complete with articles, podcasts and gruesome photos. I'm also going to feature those of you who are willing to share your stories and photos. T-shirts and other prizes are on the horizon!

Why wait for the New Year to shape up? By New Year's Eve, your resolutions will include sunbathing in a two-piece bathing suit instead of hiding in the cabin on the cruise.