When I was a little girl in central South Dakota, there were often hot summer days that would crank up to over 100*. My mom would pack my siblings and all kinds of neighboring ranch kids into our big red station wagon (luckily we weren’t hampered by seat belts back in the day, making the number of bodies you could stuff in there almost limitless). She’d drive us 11 miles over to the nearby “big” town that had a public swimming pool. The swimming pool was such an incredible place to me… the glorious foreign smell of all that chlorine, the feel of that incredible cool water and the freedom I felt slicing through the waves with my Olympic dog-paddle stroke. I was the youngest of our family tribe, and usually the youngest of all the kids that tumbled out of that station wagon, racing into that pool house. I can remember watching all the big kids jump and cannonball off the diving board in the deep end while I paddled around in the shallow end like a baby. One day my brother - who is four years older than me - dragged me into the long line of kids waiting their turn at the diving board. When we finally made our way to the front of the line, our bodies had dried off somewhat and the sun was feeling pretty good. My brother jumped up on the board, sprinted off the end and did one of the coolest spinning karate chops I’d ever seen, as he sailed into the water. I really wanted to run off the board and be a karate queen, but nature took over. I can so clearly see that little girl I was. Long, skinny white legs all shaky and timidly edging out about an inch at a time, trying to make it to the end of the board. Long before I got there the kids in line behind me were losing any graciousness for the newbie on the board. My brother was in the water below coaxing me. And before too long, all 16 kids who had ridden in our station wagon were in a half circle around the end of the board, treading water and cheering me on. The ridicule behind me grew as the cheers of my “team” in the water pleaded with me. I’m not sure if it was the ridicule or the support; but eventually I barely stepped off the board and slipped into the water. The elapsed time from stepping on that board to finally stepping off into the water might have been 15 minutes (which evidently seemed like a lifetime to those kids in line behind me but surprisingly swift to me)… Once in, with the realization that I had survived, I hustled with my Olympic-winning dog-paddle stroke to the ladder and was back in line; all in about 25 seconds. I dominated that diving board the rest of that day. Oh it didn’t take long, my friends, and I was the Karate Queen of South Dakota. Yesterday I took a call on the Skinny Up! support line from a man I’ll call “Tom”, for the sake of anonymity. Tom had not purchased our protocol and products yet. But he was very intrigued. You could say he was at the very edge of the diving board, staring into the water: The temperature outside was about 105*. Tom had been standing on the edge of the diving board for hours; maybe weeks or months… I was treading water in the pool ahead of him, trying to patiently answer all his questions. “Does the water really feel good enough to be worth that initial shock of jumping in?” “Yes, Tom. It’s delightful in here. “ “Well, I mean, I know what’s it like up here on this diving board. But I jumped into a pool one time and I froze.” “Tom, the water temp is perfect; it’s incredibly refreshing.” “Also, that time I dove in I sank right to the bottom. That wasn’t good for me.” “Tom, this is a different pool. This time you’ve been instructed. Not only will you not sink, you will swim! And I’m here. I’ll be here to help you.” “One time I jumped into a pool and I swam, and then I got out. And I stayed out for so long and now I’m finally at the end of the diving board again, and I can’t make myself jump back in. I lost all my nerve.” “Tom. You made it this far. You’ve been staring into the pool for weeks. You can do it.” “Did I tell you about my family? No one in my family is a good swimmer. They all sit way over on the side on the benches, sweating and eating ice cream cones. They have reminded me again and again that we don’t swim. That’s just the way it is in our family.” “Tom, your family and your past don’t get to define your future. You can become a swimmer today and live the rest of your life as a swimmer.” “Can you hear my family right now? They are yelling at me that I tried to swim before and it didn’t work.” “Tom, this is a new pool, a new day, and it is about to be a new you. I encourage you to jump in, Tom. You got this.” “Tom” and I spoke for quite awhile. He has so many pounds to lose, he can barely say the number out loud (over the phone to a complete stranger). Oh, but he wants to be healthier! He wants to lose the weight and detoxify and live with vitality! But his brain keeps rolling the video and reminding him of the last time he lost a little weight and then gained it right back. It wasn’t worth the trouble and it left him feeling so defeated. We talked about the Skinny Up! ReTrain Phase; that portion of the Skinny Up! protocol that leads you through 21 days of training the hypothalamus to set your end-of-diet weight as your new set weight. Once the weight is off, The Re-Train Phase is a beautiful process that sustains you in a victorious state. (You can watch a video about the Skinny Up! ReTrain Phase here (link to ReTrain video).) How about you? Are you at the end of the diving board trying to “get up the gumption” to jump in? I encourage you to join us! This pool is full of delighted, joyful people. And the Skinny Up! support staff is here when you jump in. Take the plunge today. You are worth it.