The Lakewood Diet

South Beach, Atkins, The Zone, French Women Don’t Get Fat, Weight Watchers, the Mediterranean Diet, I’ve tried them all thoughout the years. All have their merits, and I continue to use tidbits from each in my pursuit of a healthy lifestyle, but for me right now it's less about what I am putting in my mouth and more about movement. And lately, dear friends, I’ll be honest with you—I’ve been a real slug. So, in my car today as I thought about the 20 pounds or so I have packed on in the last 6 months, I decided to begin my very own diet trend called, you guessed it, the Lakewood Diet!

Before I go any further, please understand that this is very much still in the test phase—a theory—though I believe it shows real promise, and through the weeks and months ahead I hope to show you the benefits of taking this journey with me. What is the Lakewood Diet, you wonder?

The Lakewood Diet is community based—our community can and will help you get into shape—whether physically or mentally. If you follow this diet and my journey to lose this lingering 20 pounds, you will come to find that we have a myriad of experts in the field of health and fitness living and working right here in Lakewood. You just have to get out and get moving (after you read my articles, of course).

Day One of the Lakewood Diet journey: Dance Church

In the serene, candle-lit room of the Sacred Arts Healing Center on Sunday morning, a dozen or so dancers made a winding, joyous procession across the floor. This Sunday morning ritual (Dance Church), facilitated by Roger Sams, serves to launch the day, but also to use dance as a way to engage with God, the divine, or other conceptions of the most sacred. Roger holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Arts from Case Western Reserve University. He has training in Gestalt theory and is a certified Trance Dance Ritual Facilitator. Besides being a Parent Choice Honor Medal winning storyteller, Roger travels thoughout the US leading seminars in music and movement. Dance Church is multi-faith and broad in approach, choosing aspects from many spiritual paths.

The role of dance in religious life has been growing in significance. Many churches have "praise dance" or "liturgical dance" groups. Jewish "renewal" synagogues, which have blossomed in recent years, use communal dancing during many parts of their services. As Pauline, my guide, pointed out, many come to Dance Church with an “intention”—something they hope to gain from the experience. Thinking quickly and remembering the principles of The Secret (best-selling New Age self-help book by Rhonda Byrne), I said mine over and over…relax, enjoy (and lose weight). The class began with Roger reading Rumi to help with our focus, then some yoga inspired warm-ups, and then we danced, danced, and danced.

Did I mention that no formal dance education is required for Dance Church? It’s about moving in any way you feel comfortable and taking a break from your mind. An hour and a half later, I left feeling very positive, relaxed, and energized, and would recommend it without reservation to anyone reading this article (and a few others that I think could use it). Dance Church convenes each Sunday at Sacred Arts Studio, 13351 Madison Avenue, at 11:00am—a love offering of $20 is appreciated from those attending. Any ideas for the Lakewood Diet should be forwarded to Every effort will be made to include it in our next column.

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Volume 3, Issue 17, Posted 9:58 PM, 08.05.2007