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My theme song

(Psst..I know you guys probably want to hear about The Today Show and what Lester Holt smells like. I will write about it soon, but I have a job and a sleep schedule to attend to, so please enjoy this pre-written entry for now.)

Ten years ago I was lying in bed at summer camp when a floormate walked into the room. This wasn’t unusual because my roommate and I kept the door open and somehow a spontaneous bubble of popularity had formed over our room, a bubble I would never have been able to create if I tried.

“Do you have any CDs?” she asked.

“Yeah, over there,” I replied. “Why?”

“I need to find my theme song.” Her group had been assigned a task to pick a song that represented who they were. This was 1997 and MP3s hadn’t even been invented yet, so she was limited to the handful of CDs and cassettes (I’m so old) her peers had brought with them. I don’t know what song she ultimately picked, but the idea of a personal theme song has stuck with me over the years.

If you’d asked me 5 or 6 years ago what my theme song was, I’d have said “In Hiding” by Happy Rhodes. Here are the rather brief lyrics:

You’ll find me

forever in hiding

and only time will tell

what it’s done to me

I’ve tried to show

god only knows to grow

but music hides me so well

and reveals me

Oh well

You can find me in hiding

I spent a lot of my life in hiding, hiding behind my hair, hiding behind my fat. I’ve always been introverted (and I still am), and it’s still hard for me to strike up conversations with strangers, but I don’t feel like I’m in hiding anymore. The blog has helped a lot with that.

These days I’d say my theme song is “Come A Long Way” by Michelle Shocked from the album Arkansas Traveler. The full lyrics are here, but I really love the refrain:

I’ve come a long way

I’ve come a long way

I’ve gone 500 miles today

I’ve come a long way

I’ve come a long way

And never even left L.A.

The song is about someone who steals back her motorcycle from a repo man and goes driving around LA all day. Eventually she trashes it and says:

Now you tow it to the repo man’s front door,

And you give him these keys, I don’t need them no more

Granted, I’ve never even been to L.A., so I’ve never driven around it or left it or trashed a motorcycle there. But I think the song is really about self discovery and how you can travel very far without ever leaving yourself. I’m also plenty sure I’ve gone more than 500 miles in the past several years.

So that’s my theme song. What’s yours?

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35 Comments

Leanna • May 13, 2008 at 8:11 am

Mine is a Jennifer Lopez song from J To The L-O, The Remixes.

The Chorus is:

“I’m feeling so good

I knew that I would

been taking care of my self like I should.

And not one thing, can bring me down

nothin’ in the world’s gonna turn me ’round.”

“Like the stars above I’m gonna shine

anything I want will be mine

tonight I’m gonna have a good time,

call a few friends of mine

‘cuz I’m lovin’ life and tonight’s for me…”

It just makes me feel happy and good to listen to it.

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Nicole • May 13, 2008 at 8:17 am

As silly as it sounds Rhythm Is A Dancer by Snap! is my theme song. It’s been my theme song for four years since I started losing weight. It just pumps me up and makes me feel alive.

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Wendy • May 13, 2008 at 8:41 am

Gosh this is food for thought. I’m going to have to think about this for a while and get back to you!

Hi by the way – found my way here via Dietgirl and loving your work!

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Erin • May 13, 2008 at 9:14 am

Tubthumping by Chumbawuma.

I get knocked down

but I get up again

You’re never gonna keep me down

It’s my driving thought when I struggle or am hurt. I ALWAYS get back up again, no matter what.

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JourneyGirl • May 13, 2008 at 9:50 am

Hi! I’m so glad I got a chance to see your interview. I live in Japan right now so I was wondering if I’d be able to see it. Thanks for posting it! You did a great job. As for my theme song…right now it’s probably “Unwritten” by Natasha Beddingfield.

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cranky • May 13, 2008 at 10:05 am

Erin – did you know that Chumbawamba have said that in part that song was inspired by the UK’s McLibel case?

My theme song is “Sleeper Coach Driver” by the Rev. Horton Heat. What a song. A man who is confident in the choices he has made career wise, and in his ability to be a good provider to family and clients.

:P

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Janet • May 13, 2008 at 12:38 pm

After having GBS and losing 140 pounds, my ‘new’ theme song.

“Ready To Fly” by Ronan Tynan

I’ve been trying to open the door

To the secrets of my destiny

And every new road I think is the one

Seems to lead right back to me

I’ve looked for a way to be wiser

A way to be strong

Now I see the answer was hiding

In me all along

CHORUS:

And I’m ready to fly over the sun

Like a rocket to heaven

And I’m ready to soar right through the sky

Never dreamed I’d find something to lift me so high

I’ve always had wings

But I wasn’t ready to fly

Restless, hopeless, and misunderstood

Like so many others I know

So busy trying to keep holding on

When I should have been letting go

I was given the gift to find it

This spirit inside me

But I never really imagined

All I could be

CHORUS

The answer to all of my wonder

Is right in my hands

Now it’s time for me to discover

All that I am

CHORUS

I’ve always had wings

Now I’m finally ready to fly

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victoria • May 13, 2008 at 12:51 pm

I just saw the clip. You’re so young & pretty! And you have such a beautiful voice! Thank you for posting this. You come across really well on camera. I’m so happy for you and for all your successes.

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Red • May 13, 2008 at 12:57 pm

My theme song…

Daft Punk’s “Da Funk”

The lyrics are:

doo doo doo doo doo doo doo

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Andrew is getting fit • May 13, 2008 at 1:38 pm

Hmm…some serious thought required here.

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Helen • May 13, 2008 at 1:43 pm

I don’t have a theme song although my boyfriend and I have two: “I Think I Love You” by The Partridge Family (and you think YOU’re old?!) and “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” by Jet. Speaking of my BF — he loved you on Today too when I showed him the recording last night — he said “is that the one who sucks Pooh brains?” (yes, we both loved that image). So you’ve made a mark on our lives, kinda like a song… ;-)

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Karen • May 13, 2008 at 2:04 pm

Coming Back to Life off Pink Floyd’s album The Division Bell

The line that clinched the decision for me?

“I took a heavenly ride through our silence,

I knew the moment had arrived

For killing the past

And coming back to life.”

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Sagan • May 13, 2008 at 2:20 pm

Having a theme song is such a good idea! I don’t have one at present. I shall have to find mine:)

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SarahJ • May 13, 2008 at 2:41 pm

Mine has got to be U2 ‘Beautiful Day’. It pumps me up and reminds me of my love for life, despite all odds.

It was a beautiful day

Don’t let it get away

Beautiful day

Touch me

Take me to that other place

Reach me

I know I’m not a hopeless case

What you don’t have you don’t need it now

What you don’t know you can feel it somehow

What you don’t have you don’t need it now

Don’t need it now

Was a beautiful day

http://youtube.com/watch?v=omFdpnSu57U

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Rachael • May 13, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Hold On by Wilson Phillips

I know this pain

Why do lock yourself up in these chains?

No one can change your life except for you

Don’t ever let anyone step all over you

Just open your heart and your mind

Is it really fair to feel this way inside?

Chorus:

Some day somebody’s gonna make you want to

Turn around and say goodbye

Until then baby are you going to let them

Hold you down and make you cry

Don’t you know?

Don’t you know things can change

Things’ll go your way

If you hold on for one more day

Can you hold on for one more day

Things’ll go your way

Hold on for one more day

You could sustain

Or are you comfortable with the pain?

You’ve got no one to blame for your unhappiness

You got yourself into your own mess

Lettin’ your worries pass you by

Don’t you think it’s worth your time

To change your mind?

(Chorus)

I know that there is pain

But you hold on for one more day and

Break free the chains

Yeah I know that there is pain

But you hold on for one more day and you

Break free, break from the chains

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Rachael • May 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm

And I’m always singing myself this chorus by Bif Naked from the song “I love myself today”:

I’ve had enough, made up my mind

I’m gonna get up and out and wahhh!

I love myself today

Not like yesterday

I’m cool, I’m calm

I’m gonna be okay! Uh huh

I love myself today

Gonna step right up. Spit shine my soul

I’m gonna be proud and loud and outta control!

I’m lookin’ in the mirror and I like what I see:

I’ve lost the fear & the horror that’s been eating at me

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deanna • May 13, 2008 at 5:31 pm

good question. the first thing that comes to mind is Van Halen’s Right Now – see below, but want to reserve the right to think about this more:

Right Now

Don’t wanna wait ’til tomorrow

Why put it off another day?

One by one, little problems

Build up, and stand in our way. Oh

One step ahead, one step behind it

Now ya gotta run to get even

Make future plans I’ll dream about yesterday, hey! Come on turn, turn this thing around

(Right now) Hey! It’s your tomorrow

(Right now) Come on, it’s everything

(Right now) Catch your magic moment

Do it right here and now

It means everything

Miss a beat, you lose a rhythm

An nothin’ falls into place. No!

Only missed by a fraction

Slipped a little off your pace. Oh!

The more things you get, the more you want

Just trade in one for another

Workin’ so hard to make it easy

Whoa, got to turn. Come on, turn this thing around

(Right now) Hey, it’s your tomorrow

(Right now) Come on, it’s everything

(Right now) catch that magic moment

Do it right here and now

It means everything

Said a lie to me

Right now

What are ya waitin’ for? Oh! Yeah!

Right now

(Guitar Solo)

(Right now) Hey! It’s your tomorrow

(Right now) Come on, it’s everything

(Right now) Catch that magic moment

And do it right, right now (Right now)

Oh, right now!

It’s what’s happening

Right here and now

Right now, it’s right now

Oh!

Tell me, what are ya waitin’ for?

Turn this thing around

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sarah • May 13, 2008 at 7:37 pm

What a great post!! My theme song is Better Version of Me by Fiona Apple:

The nickel dropped

When I was on

My way beyond

The rubicon

What did I do

And of the games that I can handle

None are ones worth the candle

What should I do

I’m a frightened, fickle person

Fighting, cryin’, kickin’, cursin’

What can I do

Oooh, after all the folderol

And hauling over coals stops

What will I do

Can’t take a good day without a bad one

Don’t feel just to smile until I’ve had one

Where did I learn

I make a fuss about a little thing

The rhyme is losing to the riddling

Where’s the turn

I don’t want a home

I’d ruin that

Home is where my habits have a habitat

Why give it a turn

Oooh, after all the folderol

And hauling over coals stops

What did I learn

I am likely to miss the main event

If I stop to cry or complain again

So I will keep a deliberate pace

Let the damned breeze dry my face

Ooooh mister wait until you see

What I’m gonna be

I’ve got a plan, a demand and it just began

And if you’re right, you’ll agree

Here’s coming a better version of me

Here it comes, a better version of me

Here it comes, a better version of me

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Laura • May 13, 2008 at 7:37 pm

Great post. I don’t have a theme song, but I love the idea of one. I really like Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten,” and without thinking about it too hard, that’s what I would pick right now. It meant a lot to me when I was first starting to run and ran my first 5K last September.

Remember the Seinfeld episode when Elaine tried to figure out her theme song. So funny. (Seriously, every single day there is something you can find in life that was in a Seinfeld episode.)

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VerseFameBeauty • May 13, 2008 at 8:19 pm

Jamie O’Neal, “I Love My Life”. It’s a little weird because I’m neither married nor have a kid, and unfortunately that’s sort of a large part of it (why can’t singable songs just be about being happy?, but everything else is awesome:

I’ve got everything, more than I ever dreamed

I love my life

I thank God for all I have…

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Cara • May 13, 2008 at 8:50 pm

That I Would be Good by Alanis Morrissette. It’s rather angsty, and a tad morose, but that song just really struck a chord with me when I was an impressionable teenager and struggling with my self worth, and now that I’m an impressionable 20 something and struggling with self worth it continues to resonate.

that I would be good even if I did nothing

that I would be good even if I got the thumbs down

that I would be good if I got and stayed sick

that I would be good even if I gained ten pounds

that I would be fine even if I went bankrupt

that I would be good if I lost my hair and my youth

that I would be great if I was no longer queen

that I would be grand if I was not all knowing

that I would be loved even when I numb myself

that I would be good even when I am overwhelmed

that I would be loved even when I was fuming

that I would be good even if I was clingy

that I would be good even if I lost sanity

that I would be good

whether with or without you

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origamifreak • May 13, 2008 at 10:10 pm

OMG, I’m impressed you actually know who Happy Rhodes even IS!

I’m one of the original 5 members of SMOE that formed while waitig for her gig to start at Joyous Lake for Alternative Woodstock about 15 years ago. http://www.smoe.org/smoe/smoe.html

My theme song in high school used to be “Sounds of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel. When I was in a particularly bad mood, it became “I am a rock.”

I think my current theme song is purring. No, seriously! When I got my MP3 player I recorded my new kitten purring, and it’s nice to listen to when I’m travelling or upset.

I like to listen to swing music when I work out, though. It has a better rhythm than purring, which makes me want to sleep. :-)

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Boilergrad1993 • May 13, 2008 at 10:28 pm

It’s definitely ‘Proud’ by Heather Small…I fell in love with the song the first time I heard it on ‘The Biggest Loser’…For as long as I can remember I try to accomplish something each and every day and I think this song reflects that attitude:

I look into the window of my mind

Reflections of the fears I know I’ve left behind

I step out of the ordinary

I can feel my soul ascending

I am on my way

Can’t stop me now

And you can do the same

What have you done today to make you feel proud?

It’s never too late to try

What have you done today to make you feel proud?

You could be so many people

If you make that break for freedom

What have you done today to make you feel proud?

Still so many answers I don’t know

Realise that to question is how we grow

So I step out of the ordinary

I can feel my soul ascending

I am on my way

Can’t stop me now

And you can do the same

What have you done today to make you feel proud?

It’s never too late to try

What have you done today to make you feel proud?

You could be so many people

If you make that break for freedom

What have you done today to make you feel proud?

We need a change

Do it today

I can feel my spirit rising

We need a change

So do it today

‘Cause I can see a clear horizon

What have you done today to make you feel proud?

So what have you done today to make you feel proud?

‘Cause you could be so many people

If you make that break for freedom

So what have you done today to make you feel proud?

What have you done today to make you feel proud?

What have you done today

You could be so many people?

Just make that break for freedom

So what have you done today to make you feel proud?

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Cindy • May 13, 2008 at 10:56 pm

This is a toughie—it depends on the kind of day I’m having. When I am feeling bold (or the need to be bold!) it is “Defying Gravity” from the musical “Wicked.” So for now I will go with that. If you haven’t seen it and it comes your way, you should give it a try. It is AMAZING!!! I love Elphaba and could totally identify with her, even if she was only green and not morbidly obese… Her feelings were not dissimilar…

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Christy • May 13, 2008 at 11:16 pm

Work in Progress- by Sister Hazel

Well I’m sick, I’m annoyed

And I’m nasty and I’m incomplete

I am angry, I am lost

Yeah I’m hard as stone

I am sore, well I am worried

And I’m disgusted

I am lonely and I’m scared

And it’s crushing me

You said “what is worthy?

Yeah, you say you belong, belong, belong, belong

Well you say if it matters

Well tell me I’m not dead because I’m going crazy

I’m a mess, such a mess

I’m a coward and a hypocritical sinner

Like a bitchin’ politician

But my anger’s true

I am tense and intentional

I’m passionate to a fault

I am old

But I’m a work in progress

Well, tell me that I’m worthy

Oh, tell me I belong, belong, belong, belong

Tell me that I matter

Well tell me I’m not dead, ’cause I’m going crazy…

Well I’m hung up on the past

Finished up in last

Idealistic in case you missed it

Later, self-mutilator

Killing time, procrastinator

Why worry about my health

Ripping on myself

Idealistic in case you missed it

Well you said “what is worthy?

Oh, tell me I belong, belong, belong, belong

Well tell me that I matter

Well tell me I’m not dead ’cause I’m not that lazy

Well I’m a wreck, such a wreck

Well I’m a martyr and a perpetual loser

Not a sin-free Oprah Winfrey

But I do mean well

I am tense and intentional

I’m passionate to a fault

I am old

But I’m a work in progress

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Kristen • May 13, 2008 at 11:37 pm

There have been times when I have felt really down about myself and my life and the one song that seemed to perfectly fit that was called “Funny” from the musical “City of Angels.” It’s a very bitter song, the singer on the cd is fantastic, and by the end it just oozes self loathing. It’s a very powerful, dark song. The best line is “Sad enough my life’s a joke that suffers in the telling.” It makes more sense in context, of course.

Anyway, I don’t really have a positive, uplifting song to call my own right now. Hmm. I will agree that the song “Proud” that is used in the Biggest Loser is pretty good. And I like “Soak up the Sun” by Sheryl Crow. It’s optimistic.

It’s not having what you want

It’s wanting what you’ve got

I’m gonna soak up the sun

Gonna tell everyone

To lighten up (I’m gonna tell ’em that)

I’ve got no one to blame

For every time I feel lame

I’m looking up I’m gonna soak up the sun

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Shelley • May 13, 2008 at 11:57 pm

I’ve always told people that my theme song was “Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen.

Are you gonna take me home tonight ?

Ah down beside that red firelight

Are you gonna let it all hang out ?

Fat bottomed girls

You make the rockin’ world go round

Hey I was just a skinny lad

Never knew no good from bad

But I knew life before I left my nursery – huh

Left alone with big fat Fanny

She was such a naughty nanny

Heap big woman you made a bad boy out of me

Ok, that’s dirty, right? :)

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Ashley • May 14, 2008 at 1:52 am

So, I can admit it. I still love Britney and hope she gets herself together and puts out a new album. I realize some of you consider this kind of pop the domain of 14 year old girls everywhere, but my theme song is none other than Britney’s Stronger, which is a truly fabulous girl power song, in addition to being a great running song.

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cathy • May 14, 2008 at 8:43 am

Free by Marie Wilson (on the Anywhere but Here soundtrack) has always stuck a cord with me.

It’s not the final destination

It’s the journey on the way

And I can feel these times are changing

And nothing could stand in my way

I wanna be free, free to find where I belong

Free to find my way

I know at times I act a little crazy

And I’ve made mistakes along the way

But I can see the silver lining

It’s about to bring the change I have been waiting for

Hey, Hey

I wanna be free, free to find where I belong

Free to find my way

I wanna be free

I won’t fight this feeling

It’s leading me so far away

Believe in me my baby

`Cause everything’s gonna be okay

Well I don’t know where I’m going

And I don’t know where I might be

But I can feel these times are changing

And that’s alright by me

`Cause I’m free, free to find where I belong

Free to find my way

I wanna be free

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Wendy • May 14, 2008 at 10:13 am

OK here’s mine for now, it gets me singing along at the top of my voice any time I here it! But I reserve the right to change it to something else in the future!

Big Girls You Are Beautiful by Mika

Walks into the room

Feels like a big balloon I said,

Hey girls you are beautiful’

Diet coke and a pizza please

Diet coke I’m on my knees screamin,

Big girls you are beautiful’

You take your skinny girl

Feel like I’m gonna die

‘Cause a real woman

Needs a real man here’s why

You take your girl

And multiply her by four

Now a whole lot of woman

Needs a whole lot more

Get yourself to the Butterfly Lounge

Find yourself a big lady

Big boy come on around

And they’ll be calling you baby

No need to fantasize

Since I was in my braces

A watering hole

With the girls around

And curves in all the right places

Big girls you are beautiful

Big girls you are beautiful

Big girls you are beautiful

Big Girls you are beautiful

I especially love the bit where it says a whole lot of of woman needs a whole lot more (real man) because for me that lays down a gauntlet – are you man enough to love a big girl?

It’s cheesy but I love it!

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kcsolly • May 14, 2008 at 11:06 am

It would have to be “The Secrets of Loveliness” by The Easys.(http://theeasys.com/)

There’s magic in her make-up,

fine art when she fixes her hair.

She’s got pointers on panties

and she understands underwear.

She always cross her T’s and dots her I’s

She knows how to please with the blink

of an eye.

And I found I’m falling again.

She’s got it.

She knows it.

She knows the secrets of loveliness.

She’ll grab you with a glance and beat you up,

and kill you with a kiss.

You know you never had a chance

but you don’t mind the risk.

She’s a little bit lost

and a little bit found.

She’s Satan in a sundress and

she’s coming to your town.

And for the story behind the song…my friend Catherine found this book at a flea market a few years ago. Published in 1964, it’s an instructional manual for women called “The Secrets of Loveliness.” The foreward reads:

“Not every girl can be beautiful. Beauty is a quality that a special few are born with. But loveliness, the aim of all women through the ages, can be acquired.” And it goes on to instruct on the proper way a lady should sit, dress, behave. It even has a sub-chapter titled, “What About Falsies?”

So one of the songwriters for The Easys picked up the book one day and found it amusing, and voila! The song was born. And it’s become one of my all-time favorites.

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psychsarah • May 14, 2008 at 12:38 pm

Wow-a theme song-I love it! I am always singing or whistling to myself (just ask my husband and coworkers…) and I have so many songs that I use to regulate my mood (i.e., wallow when needed, inspire when necessary etc.) that it was hard to pick just one, but here I go with what has sprung to mind reading everyone else’s great picks:

I love this verse from Stuck in a Moment… by U2

“I am not afraid of anything in this world.

There’s nothing you can throw at me that I haven’t already heard.

I’m just trying to find a decent melody,

One that I can sing, in my own company…”

That’s what I think of when I want to feel strong and get myself “unstuck”.

I agree with Cara that “That I Would be Good” is the perfect thing to sing to yourself when you’re feeling less than good. Sometimes that song makes me cry.

Great question to ask PQ-it really made me think (and want to sing!)

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Marina • May 15, 2008 at 10:35 am

Congratulations! I lost 50 lbs 8 years ago and have never looked back. It absolutely changed my life.

My theme song is “Suddenly I See” by KT Tunstall…

Her face is a map of the world

Is a map of the world

You can see she’s a beautiful girl

She’s a beautiful girl

And everything around her is a silver pool of light

The people who surround her feel the benefit of it

It makes you calm

She holds you captivated in her palm

Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)

This is what I wanna be

Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)

Why the hell it means so much to me

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K • May 17, 2008 at 10:05 am

I have fond feelings for “Suddenly I See” too!

When I need a boost, I tend to listen to the Divine Comedy, particularly the albums “Liberation” and “Casanova”. They give me the feeling that although life is terribly complicated and sometimes bittersweet, and we are all imperfect, somehow that’s all right.

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Alexander • May 22, 2008 at 4:05 am

For those who would like to hear the Happy Rhodes song “In hiding” in full can do so at http://www.myspace.com/happyrhodes4 (last track)

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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