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When I talk to people about changing the world (yes, really, I have conversations about it), I always end up feeling overwhelmed. No matter what I do, it’s not going to be enough. I can save this dog, but I can’t save 200 others in need. I can help one child, but not the rest of her family.

Except, maybe I can.

Sometimes you need to believe, especially this time of year. Maybe whatever small donation of time or money you’re able to make really can be integral in changing the world, and if you don’t believe me, watch this. I hope it inspires you as much as it inspired me.

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Last week I decided I was going to run the Gator Gallop, which is an easy two mile run (in the middle of the day) preceeding the UF homecoming parade. People run with their dogs and kids and strollers and stuff, so it’s not like it’s all hard and competitive, but because it’s immediately before the parade, there are TONS of people lining the streets, theoretically cheering you on, but mostly wishing you’d hurry up so the parade can start and they can get candy.

I did this race a couple of years ago, and actually trained for it. I knew I wasn’t going to win or anything, but I wanted to get MY best time, and outdoors, at noon, I’d be really happy to run two miles in 16 minutes. REALLY happy. For lo, I am slower than the tortoise. Anyway, that didn’t exactly work out. In fact, due to a whole bunch of different things, I probably ran the slowest two miles of my life. EVER.

So this year, I’m going into it with LOW expectations. And Jared’s right there with me — he even went running with me this afternoon, and kicked my ass. It was my second workout of the day, so I’m going to blame my utter slowness on that. And on the fact that I did a longer run, because not only am I doing the Gator Gallop (next Friday), but I’m doing a 5K the following weekend.

Literally HOURS after I decided to do the Gator Gallop, another friend asked me to run with her in the Dog Days 5K. I figure, two miles, three miles, no big difference. But let me tell you, that last mile today? Oooh, I was hurting. Of course, it was approximately a million degrees outside (rumor has it that it’ll cool down next week), but still, I’m going to need a little luck thrown my way, if you can spare it. Because while I’m not UNhappy with three 10-minute miles, I’d like to show a little improvement. Either way, though, I get t-shirts. And isn’t that what races are all about?

Tragedy struck our home on Friday. My beloved OPI nail polish in Don’t Socratease Me died.

I never thought I would be one of those girls who just HAD to have a particular color. I have a decent skin tone, so I can wear most colors. But this, my friends, is THE color to end ALL colors. It’s the perfect mix of reddish-pinky-orange, so it looks funky but a little preppy, and girly without being too girly. It is the only thing I ever want to see on my toenails ever again, and my bottle is DONE, out, kaput, EMPTY. And it appears OPI might not make it anymore. I am judging this solely based on the fact that they don’t carry it in the Trade Secret in my local mall anymore, since that’s where I bought it the first time.

I was crying about this to my friend Cat, who also writes for StyleDash (she’s good — you should check her out), and she suggested, of all things, the INTERNET. How it didn’t occur to me to shop for discontinued nail polish online beats me. I buy jeans, shoes, anti-blister magic stuff, but in my panic I didn’t consider it. Duh.

Not only did Cat make the suggestion, but she FOUND the color for me, AND it was on sale!!! I should totally send her a thank you card, or a bottle of vodka, or something.

I bought three bottles and hope to god I don’t decide I hate it next season.

So, I’ve finally acknowledged the fact that the shorts that looked so cute on me at this time last year are requiring some extra effort to button. Mostly I’d been ignoring this fact by just not wearing anything that caused such discomfort, but, it’s time to face the big, fat, ugly music.

The thing is, I know I can lose it, and I know what it takes to lose it (have you met my good friend Steamed Broccoli?). I just have to actually do it. Not just think about it, or bitch about it, or read books about it, but do it. And, I got an email from my friend Kyle the other day saying she was dieting, and I thought, “You know what? So am I. Well, so will I, because I’m not giving up on the fabulous dinner I’ve already planned, and that dessert on the counter isn’t going to eat itself. And I’ll write about it so other people jump on the bandwagon with us and keep us accountable.” That’s where you all come in.

And so, starting today, I am going to be hot and sexy. I am going to eat so many fruits and vegetables that it will make you want to puke. I will politely decline offers of ice cream without ripping my husband’s head off because he’s really just being nice and forgot that I’m not eating goddamn ice cream anymore. And I will not drink wine I will not drink too much wine I will not drink wine everyday, but when there’s a special occasion I will because it would be rude and not fun if I didn’t, and I hate to be rude or not fun.

I would like be very self righteous and tell you how I’m embarking on a new lifestyle, and how this is a life choice — never again will I succumb to the evils of cream-based soups and apple pie, but I won’t. A little part of me (probably the skinny bitch inside who’s squished to death by my big ass) truly believes I’ll make a permanent change, and I would love to believe whole-heartedly that, from this day forward, I will always reach for an apple or strawberries when I feel hungry, and I’ll no longer be tempted to chop up a pile of cheese and shove it in my mouth with a box or six of crackers. But, I know, at some point, I’m probably going to let my guard down again and start eating whatever yummy things cross my path, because I really do enjoy it.

And don’t worry, I’ll always workout hard, and I feel very confident I won’t ever let it get totally out of control, because I don’t like feeling self-conscious. I much prefer feeling really, really sexy. But, for the moment, I’m convincing myself that baby carrots are much tastier without any fat-laden dip, and that I don’t need pizza to survive. Wait, do I? Oh, God, I’m hungry. Somebody throw me a stupid apple already.

The only reality competition show I’ve ever really gotten into is So You Think You Can Dance. I was a dancer all through my childhood — tap, jazz, ballet, gymnastics, baton — you name it, I did it. And some of it pretty well. So, when I watch that show, I often think about whether I would be able to do that stuff now if I gave it a try.

I now know the answer is a big fat clumsy NO.

My gym has a Hip Hop Live class, and I’d never been able to go before because of my work schedule. But now, my boss (me!) lets me take off early if I finish my work, so I went. A “Learn the Moves” segment started at 5, and the actual class (with a DJ and turntables and everything) was 5:30 to 6:30. Even though I was sure I’d catch right on, I went to the “Learn the Moves.” And I still sucked.

What happened? Has the soul with which I once danced left my body? Or is it that I grew up dancing with a bunch of other little white girls from the country, so in comparison I had some moves? I could Roger Rabbit and Hammer with the best of them! But tonight, I did not have much hip hoppy-ness at all. But, I got a great workout, so that counts for something. And I kind of learned how to crank that Souljia Boy (but I refuse to Superman that ho).

I wonder if I can find a tap class that’s not filled with five-year-old little blonde girls … shuffle STEP … shuffle STEP … shuffle BALLCHANGE shuffle STEP. Yeah, it’s all coming back to me now …

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