2nd Annual Dotti's Weight Loss Zone Conference
Conference Memories - Page 1
St. Louis, MO - April 19th-21st, 2002

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Wow! What a weekend. Dotti and I arrived on Wednesday, a day earlier than the other early arrivers. We made better time than we had planned, and called ahead to the Sheridan hotel to see if we could get reservations a day early, and they gave us the same room we were going to have for the conference! Our room was on the 6th floor. So, we did not have to change rooms on Thursday. We were happy about that.

Our room opened into another room, that DWLZ had access to for the weekend, for a "hospitality" room. It had a fireplace, which we never ended up using, several couches and chairs, a nice large table where we had a large map of the USA laid out for people to put a marker with their name on it, showing where they came from. There was also a bed, which seemed out of place with the rest of the room, but I think it was so they could rent out the room as something other than a hospitality suite in case of a full hotel.

On the other side of the hospitality suite, was another room that had door access to it. In that room was Barb and Robin for the conference.

When Dotti and I arrived, we had just spent a day driving down from Lincoln, Nebraska. The drive had been fairly uneventful until we got close to St. Louis where we hit road construction and the freeway became a parking lot for a short while. We still pulled in fairly early in the afternoon, and got checked in. We were looking for a motel cart but they all came attached with a bellboy with his hand out. :) Well, we put our bellboy, who was named Melvin, to work and we made two trips from our car, getting boxes, bags, suitcases, hanging clothes, amp and guitar into the room.

We were surprised to find the temperature was 92 degrees in the shade when we arrived. It stayed warm the first couple of days, but it finally cooled off and was very pleasant for the conference itself.

We got back into the car one more time, and went in search of a few items we needed. We were heading for a mall, and the freeway suddenly came to a halt. I hopped off on Olive road, which the map said would take us to the mall also. However, only a block from the freeway we stumbled on a grocery store that had everything that we needed, including liquor, a cooler, and other sundry items. That was great! I was not looking forward to driving around all over the place after being in the car for 3 days straight. As we headed back to the motel, we spied a Denny's, and that took care of dinner for us. (I had a Reuben Sandwich, and applesauce for 15 points.)

Heading back to the room we settled in for the night. We had a couple of drinks and celebrated our arrival at the conference.

In the morning, we went downstairs and found they had a nice breakfast available with melons and cereal, oatmeal, etc., available. It wasn't long after that when the Zonies began to arrive. We were in the lobby or out front, as several of them showed up on the airport shuttle. I remember Barb waving from the bus as she arrived, and me snapping the picture of Flo and Don as they climbed off. Throughout Thursday and Friday, you could tell the arrival of another Zonie when the customary squeal was heard, followed by the sound of running feet, and then the sight of two ladies locked in an embrace. It was great watching all the people having so much fun getting acquainted.

There is a certain level of excitement that builds as someone waits to meet someone else that she has been posting or chatting with routinely, but has never seen in person. The release of that excitement when the meeting actually occurs is something to watch. Jumping up and down, tears, laughter, and various noisy expressions of joy are all bundled up into a real Kodak moment.

There were some Zonies that we did not recognize right away. For example, Deva doesn't have a picture up on the boards and so it was a great thrill to meet her. (She is a real beauty too!) Diver Lori had us all guessing who she was. Her picture on the board, has her face half covered (between her sunglasses and hat), and she is thin now making her old picture in the diving outfit completely obsolete. Deva figured out who she was without being told, but there were few others who did. Danielle (Viva Las Vegas) is tiny and gorgeous. Kristen (MEQTPIE) is a cutie pie, and it went on and on with new people arriving for two days. I can't say enough about how exciting and fun it was meeting all the arriving Zonies.

Much of the weekend runs together in my memory. Thursday and Friday all seem like one day, meeting and greeting the wonderful people coming to conference. For example, I was surprised when a commercial pilot in uniform came over and took an interest in our group in the hotel lobby. Then I found out that he was Gary (Hawkman) the husband of Colleen (SRQ FlyGirl). What a great couple! You definitely meet the nicest people at a DWLZ conference!

We finally got everyone that was going to arrive, into the hotel, and the group was quite large in the hospitality room on the 6th floor. The noise level was high and Dotti stood up and got everyone's attention to let them know that the conference was about to commence downstairs in a few minutes. It took several minutes for that message to get out, because all the people were so aggressively visiting with others that it was not easy to get their attention. :) However, we made it downstairs for the official kickoff of the conference.

I must say that Barbara (librarylady2), Robin ( Robin4040) and Tracy (tracylynn) were unbelievable in helping Dotti run the conference. I don't know how we could have gotten by without them. Barbara was handling many of the organizational details and Robin came up with some great games, and was always busy with making things happen. Tracy was great behind the microphone (she took charge so well that many said should have been a school teacher :) ) and I can't possibly give the proper credit to these hard working ladies. When our "St. Louis connection" dropped out of the conference during the planning phase, several months ago, Barbara and Robin, joined Dotti in jumping in with both feet, and working long distance, helped tremendously with tying up all the loose ends left dangling, and in booking and planning the Sunday Dinner Cruise, which would never have happened without their efforts. All of those who provided such tremendous help are far too kind to demand recognition for their efforts, but they deserve it! Thank you!!!

Friday night I broke out my new Fender guitar, that this year finally replaced the old Supra electric that I have had since 1967 (35 years???), and I played and sang "How Do You Like Dot Now?" to start the conference off. That song means a lot to Dotti and I, and it always makes her cry when I sing it. She had so much trouble with her weight for so many years, that remembering that struggle mentioned in that song, and the victory she finally achieved, always hits an emotional note inside of her, even though it has been nearly 4 years since she hit goal. I am so proud of her!

Next Dotti got up and greeted everyone to the conference and things were officially underway.

The Hotel -- The Sheridan is two hotels really. The one we stayed in has a nice lake beside it, that was mostly empty when we arrived. Over the next several days, they began to fill it using a totally inadequate hose. Then one good thunderstorm on Friday night, that turned out our lights on the conference for only a few seconds, did the job for them. The lake was filled nearly to the brim from the run off from the heavy rain. We had one more heavy down pour the next day that finished the job. The water was dirty brown, and there was some debris floating in it, but it was filled all the way up by the time we left.

The other Tower, which was across the plaza, had the swimming pool and Jacuzzi in it. I don't think anyone from our group made the trek over to use them, since it would have required fairly long walk in their swimming suits. After the thunderstorm, it was cool enough to make such a walk uncomfortable.

The hotel was a bit far from the airport, but it did have a shuttle. And the attendees found that for a nominal fee they could hire the shuttle to run them to various places in town. It was definitely cheaper than a taxis!

We did not get the "block of rooms" that we had been expecting. We were spread out all over the hotel, from the first floor to the sixth, and from one end to the other. Flo and Don were down on the first floor, at least a quarter of mile from the tower where the hospitality room was. They were compensated by having a room that opened right out onto the lake; complete with ducks. However, I don’t think this separation of rooms, proved to be too much of an inconvenience, since we spent most of our time in either the conference room or the hospitality suite.

The accommodations were very good, and the hotel staff was very eager to please. Sheridan has a good name in the hotel industry and this one showed why.

The sessions' setting -- A large conference room that could have been divided into two fairly large rooms. The 87 attendees were seated at 9 round tables with 10 chairs for each. There were long serving tables set up on the right side of the room as you walked in. They were placed end to end, and loaded down with food for the meals. The attendees could move along either side of the tables, buffet style, and gather in their goodies. Along the back left wall there were a couple of long tables loaded with door prizes. The ceiling had some very attractive chandeliers that gave the place an elegant touch. We had a very good PA system, and I only used my personal mike on the first night, for my first song. The rest of the time I used the PA mike for my songs and talk.

On Saturday night there was a wedding reception at the Hotel and they bumped us out of our room for one session. We had to move to a slightly smaller room for our evening meal and session. It was a bit inconvenient but we worked around it okay, and even the runway show came off with hardly a hitch.

Sunday morning we were back to our original room for the closing session.

Door Prizes -- As previously mentioned, there were tables at the back of the room holding "door prizes" and throughout the conference there would be little sessions where Zonies could go back and select a prize. There were prizes given for the one who was at goal the longest (Linguini -- 24 years and she gave a warmly received little WW meeting when she picked up her prize, with a Q&A session.) and the shortest (Sweetmary -- 4 days) amount of time, those who did the best (and worst) at the trivia games, and about anything else that Dotti and the others at the mike could think of to give a prize for. Finally, at the end, all those who had not won a prize yet got to go and pick a prize.

Music -- The 100's forum did a super job with their song, "Will Have Thin Thighs"! Gary (Hawkman … SRQ FlyGirl's husband) provided the accompaniment with his laptop computer speakers through the mike of the PA system. It sounded great. The enthusiasm that the group put into the song was absolutely thrilling. They were dancing around and spinning, having a great time of it. When they were all done, they were asked to do it again! And if that were not enough, at the end Karen (aka LALurker and aka KarenBowman99 on the message board) did a cartwheel right out of the group towards the audience! She had us all eating out of her hand by that time. (On Sunday, so we could get some pictures, she performed another cartwheel that ended with her going into the splits. This girl must have been in the Olympics in a previous life. :) )

Last year Becca sang her song a cappella, and she did a wonderful job of it. However, I felt bad that I had not been able to provide some background accompaniment. So, this year I was able to strum a bit behind her lovely voice, as she sang "Dotti's 2." (For the song I rewrote the words to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".) It was a very special moment for me; to be able performs with my "daughter" for the conference. She is a very dear person, and she has provided so much inspiration to others. On top that she has a voice that is a joy to listen to.

The Lifetimers forum sang "Leave a Little Room For the Zone"; a song that Barbara had written the words to (based upon the Neil Diamond song "Leave a Little Room For God"). It was a lot of fun, and carried the message that sharing on "the Zone" is an important help in our journeys, both to ourselves and others. It has a nice little tune that I found myself humming on the drive back home after the conference.

I did two solos for the conference, and the Zonies were very kind not to throw things at me then. (They waited until I gave my talk to do that. :) ) I opened the conference on Friday night with the same song as I did last year: "How Do You Like Dot Now?" On Saturday morning I sang "D-W-L-Z" (which I wrote the words to using the tune of "Surfin' USA") and it was fun. The Zonies were clapping to the beat of the song and gave me a very nice ovation afterwards. They even asked me to sing it again on Sunday just before the "Open Mike" which closed the conference. It was very kind of them.

Talks etc. -- Flo gave a very inspirational talk on Saturday. She started off dressed in the clothes that she wore before she lost her excess weight, and then she pulled them off to expose the smaller clothes that she wore when she made her WW goal. She then pulled that layer off to show where she is now. She is tiny today, and in great shape! She gave an emotional talk that grab the heartstrings of everyone present. She was a bit nervous at first but warmed to the audience and had them in her palm by the time she was finished. Thank you Flo!

Dotti gave her talk in a less formal manner this year, sharing with us some of the things that DWLZ and the Zonies have meant to her. It was followed by some questions and answers. I wish I had more of her ability to relate to other people so easily and freely. She gets up in front of a group of people and just bubbles out with humor and ideas, drawing out the same from those she is talking to. I am very proud of her!

There was a panel discussion on Saturday night that turned out to be very good. Becca (beccabell), Barbara (librarylady2), Tracy (Tracylynn), Jackie (HillCountryGal), Cynthia (Crazytrkr), and Robin (Robin4040) were originally scheduled for the panel. Robin deferred to Deborah (linguini) for her place on the panel, and the discussion began. There were questions from the audience, and some very interesting answers from the panel. It showed how completely different each journey is, and how successful people can use totally different approaches to weight loss and still come out at goal. The discussion lasted quite a while, and I don't think we came close to exhausting the wisdom that our panel had in store for us.

I gave a talk on my journey, and everything was going along fine until the subject of points that I am eating came up. The next thing you know, they were throwing things at me from the tables. I only said that I had eaten 81 points one day (Dotti said she ate 96 points and no one through anything at her :) ). I got no sympathy at all for my struggle to keep my weight up to my target range. I must say that they didn't throw anything heavy or hard, and I did have a nice solid podium to duck behind. :) In any case, I had a fun with the talk, and I hope that the others did to.

At the end of the conference we had an "Open Mike" where many Zonies came forward and shared their feelings about the conference, about Dotti, or whatever was on their minds at the time. Colleen (SRQ FlyGirl) started hers with what sounded like part of the standard stewardess' statement given on a plane, about the seat being functional as a floatation device. (I was looking for the door out of the plane about that time. :) ) There were a great many tears (and hugs) and heartfelt statements during this time by a great number of Zonies. I was amazed at all of the emotion and the number of people who got up to speak. We ran a half hour over, past the time we were supposed to give up the room at the close of the conference, but it was impossible to stop.

Meals -- We had some very good meals, low in points and high in taste. Friday I had some steak, potatoes, carrots, a roll and cherry pie. Saturday night I had some honeydew melon, vegetables, spaghetti, and a No Pudge brownie with strawberry sauce over it. Breakfasts included cereal and fruit, bagels, and bananas. There were many other items that I did not have, but I am just writing a few things that I had that are in my journal.

For myself, I ate 56, 40, and 72 points on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (average = 56 points/day), and my weight went from 183.0 on Friday down to 182.5 on Monday morning, dropping a half-pound for the conference. Looking at the thread on the message board it appears that many people did lose over the conference weekend, even though the food was delicious. This way of eating is a great lifestyle, and not even close to being "a diet"!

The Runway Show -- Ooo-wee!!! What a lovely group of lifetimers we had at the conference. They were beautiful! The participants each brought a skirt and top outfit for the show and they walked the runway one at a time while Jackie (hillcountrygal) read their biographical info to the audience. It was a real treat to watch! Joan (Jsche123) did not provide any biographical info, so Robin wrote up a hilarious piece for her, about her career of "dancing for dollars." Joan played it up to the hilt and had a great time of it. (She even collected a dollar from the audience. :) )

I think it is so awesome seeing these ladies who at one time would be hiding from the camera out of embarrassment, out there walking proudly with a smile for not only a camera but a fairly large audience. I snagged one of the pictures I took of Dotti in her dress for my wallpaper on my home computer. Ooo-la-la!

The Newlywed Game -- Robin called up Dotti and I to the front of the room and put us on two chairs turned around so that we were facing the group. I had just made a run to the food table and had grabbed a 2-point muffin and some coffee, so I took them with me. (I was hungry. :) ). Robin tells us that Dotti is going to have to go into the sound proof booth first and I was to going to have to answer some questions. Oh boy. I was an old fan of the Newlywed Game when I was a younger and I remembered the embarrassing questions those folks were asked. I was wondering what we had in store for ourselves. Dotti was escorted to the soundproof booth (the ladies restroom), and Robin started asking her questions. They were not too bad.

Would Dotti say that…

  1. She was a tomboy or a girl who was prim and proper (Tomboy -- Right!)
  2. It was she or I who first brought up the subject of marriage (It was I -- Right!)
  3. It was she or I who kissed who first. (It was I -- Right!)
  4. She felt that article of my clothing is ready for the rag bad. (Holy sock -- Wrong!)
  5. What was the name of Dotti's dearest childhood friend. (Rayanne [I couldn't remember the first name.] Roach -- Wrong!)
Then it was my turn for the "sound proof booth." Rick (Jackie's guy), escorted me to the sound proof booth, and we had a nice discussion while the questions were put to Dotti. When I came back Robin asked me…
  1. On what day did Dotti and I meet? (Saturday -- Wrong!)
  2. What is Dotti's favorite ice cream? (Pralines and Cream -- Wrong!)
  3. How many Tweetie watches does Dotti have? (Two --Wrong!)
  4. What is my favorite movie? (It's a Wonderful Life -- Right!)
  5. What is Dotti's favorite movie? (My Fair Lady -- Right!)
  6. How many thongs did the Forties send to Dotti? ( I guessed 10 -- Right!)

By this time, we were wondering where all of this was leading to. Joan (Jsche123) came up next, and while Dotti and I were sitting there still, she proceeded to pull prizes out of a bag she had with her. She played it up well and had me guessing what was coming. She started off by telling us that they had gotten a "thong" for me. I was thinking to myself, "Oh great." Then she pulls out a pair of walking thongs. ("Beachwalks," "thongs," or "zorries" I called them as a kid and in the Navy they called them "shower shoes".) That was good for a laugh! She also pulled out a pair for Dotti. Next, came some free sample size sunscreen packets. Where was this heading? There were a couple of plastic "beach bags" that she produced, and those were filled with money! The attendees at the conference had taken up a collection and gave us over $400 to use on a trip to the Oregon coast, which they knew we love to do. What a lovely thing to do! They had traveled from all over America and Canada, with Betty and Sam even flying in from France where they were vacationing, to be at the conference and then they did this. We were very touched by the kindness, and really didn't know what to say. THANK YOU!!!!

Sunday Night Cruise -- After the official end of the conference, and many headed back home, there were quite a few Zonies who stayed around for one last fling. Dotti and Mary (SwtMary) headed for the Admiral's Casino on the river, a good healthy walk from the docking point for the Gateway cruise we were going to take later, to see how much money they could lose, I mean win. Robin (Robin4040), Barbara (librarylady2), Tracy (tracylynn) and Kelly (aurora22) stopped by the casino at first and then joined me later at the arch museum. Unfortunately, it was too late in the day to catch a ride to the top of the arch, but we visited the gift shop and walked outside and took some pictures. When it came time to pick up Dotti from the casino, I walked back down and met her outside the entrance. Mary had not come out yet, and so Dotti headed back in to look for her, while I waited at the front entrance to make sure she didn't come out while Dotti was looking for her. Dotti couldn't find her the first time, so she headed in again. Neither one of us spotted her, and so we headed for the boat, thinking maybe she had headed out ahead of us. As it turned out she was not at the boat yet either. She finally showed up, and we found that our watches were reading 15 minutes different from each other and that had caused a confusion. Anyway, we all made it safe and sound to the boat.

In the meantime, the rest of the Zonies showed up at that boat and there was a photographer there taking pictures of us all in various sized groups, to buy when we got back from the dinner cruise. Dotti and I had fun with it, and we got one with her on my lap. We also got a good one with the entire group (except for Mary who had not made it yet from the casino).

The boat was ready and we climbed aboard, a few minutes ahead of departure time, and there was a piano man with a banjo player, who played nearly the entire time we were on the boat. There was a microphone that picked up the music and transported it throughout all three of the decks of the boat that we had access to. As we pulled out at 7:30 PM onto the Mississippi River, we could see the arch, still in sunlight, but soon night fell and the city lights began to stand out, along with the stars above.

People were visiting, having a good time, and then the meals were delivered to our tables. I had a delicious manicotti, a dinner roll with butter, and a delicious piece of cheesecake. It was a very tasty meal! Dotti was visiting with the table behind us, and so I headed topside to see what the view was like. The sun had gone down, by this time and the wind was cold. I put on my knit cap and pulled my hood over that, and I was comfortable. The boat was going just north of the arch, turning around and heading south well past the city center area. It then turned around and did it again. It ran that circuit several times during the 2 hours cruise.

East of the river, there stands a large factory of some sort, with 6 huge smoke stacks reaching into the sky. It was dark with the exception of a door that was open in the side of the building, reminding me of a docking door in the side of a huge battle cruiser, that one would see in a sci-fi movie. The whole thing looked like it could easily have been the abode of lonely ghosts.

On the west bank, things were quite different. There were city lights covering the terrain, and there stood the arch, lit up, and proudly overlooking the great Mississippi River. It was gorgeous.

All the meals were being served on the first deck. The second deck was empty, and the unoccupied tables and chairs looked eerie in the darkly lit compartment there. Outside on the weather decks, the first and second decks were lit, while the upper deck, which only had the bridge sticking up above, and open areas for walking and some deck chairs for sitting, was completely dark. As I walked aft and looked over the rail from the third deck, I saw that the paddle wheel was a dummy. It was being turned by the motion of the boat rather than moving the boat through its turning. The engines were vibrating through the deck, and the screws in the back were churning the water as we moved along. I looked up the black pipes extending a few feet over my head with the "exploded" end pieces, customary to the riverboat era and wondered what it was like living at that time.

I wandered around the deck for a while, and then when I headed back in, I found that several people had just headed topside, including Dotti. So, I followed their trail and caught up with them on the way up. It was too cold for most of them to stay too long, but Gary (Hawkman) found a place behind the bridge that kept the wind off almost completely. We had a nice visit, and I was asking about the difference between Douglas and Boeing design in the cockpit, when Colleen (SQR FlyGirl), his lovely wife came up to tell me that I needed to go see Dotti doing the Charleston! Wow! Dotti just normally doesn't dance and this was something I had to go see.

Down the ladders we went, and there she was, with Donna (Dsjohnson) dancing up a storm. What a kick! By the time they finished, Dotti was totally winded and ready for a rest. That is really good exercise. We don't need a gym, we need a dance floor! :) Donna is a very good dancer, and she even dipped Dotti. A good time was had by all.

When we pulled in, purchased our pictures and said our goodnights and/or goodbyes, I walked down and picked up the car and shuttled some people to their cars so they all didn't have to make the long trek.

Then came the Sunday night ride, which has become a conference tradition. The signs were abysmal coming out of the arch area, and when we hit highway 64 the road was blocked off, and there were people in the middle of the road a block or two away. It was unclear what was going on, but we steered around it. By the time we made it back to the freeway, we had taken a merry tour of east St. Louis, and we hope never to do that again. Fortunately we all made it back safely and we settled in for a good night's sleep, in anticipation of the trip home.

Surprises -- You can't have a gathering of people this size (87 attendees) without a few surprises. I can't list them all but here are a few that come to mind. Thursday night, we had a dinner together with 20 early arrivals for the conference. The cook was overwhelmed it seems because we had to wait for a very long time for our cooked items. As I recall, Donna, Dotti, Robin and myself were still waiting, as most were finishing up their meals. Robin was so hungry she was threatening to sink her teeth into my arm. :) In any case, the waitress was very nice and we were having some good-natured fun with the wait, and once the food finally arrived, the waitress said she would love to join our group. Dotti gave her the URL for the page, and her email address and I even took a picture of her with some of the Zonies at the table.

An even bigger surprise came when a very lovely lady, Robin (RobinWhat), who could not join us for the conference because she was studying for her finals for her master's degree, did join us for dinner on Thursday night. She showed her "before" and "after" pictures around, and she had dropped 97 pounds, with only three pounds to go to reach goal. She said that she started her journey after finding DWLZ, and that it had literally "saved her life." She previously had some heart issues that were life-threatening. The overwhelming feelings that I had listening to her tell that to Dotti was something that I cannot express. How can you measure that? How can you put that into perspective? I am so happy for her that she has come so far!

So many of the Zonies look completely different in real life than they do in the pictures they have posted. I haven't seen such a large group of beautiful ladies since I was in the navy and they had the Miss America pageant participants come onboard in NYC. Rick (Jackie's guy) spent most of his time flirting with the ladies, including Dotti when she went out for a cigarette with him. :)

The continuing surprise is that the whole thing happened at all. It sometimes seems as if the internet were made for Dotti especially, because it provides her the opportunity to use her talents and personality in ways we could have never dreamed of before. She was always a natural "people person." But now she can reach millions of people, thousands a day, and once a year, she gets to meet some of them face to face at the conference. It just doesn’t seem real.

It has been fun living with "The Dotti" as this whole process has continued to grow in its own fashion. I don't know what is coming next. If it all went away tomorrow, Dotti and I would go on, happy with each other, but we certainly would miss all the wonderful people who are helping to make "The Zone" such a great and supportive place. I hope that it does not go away tomorrow, because I think DWLZ is something that is doing a good work for many people. It is also good for Dotti, and it is has been good for me as well. I am lighter, and Dotti has continued to remain at goal. I think that DWLZ has been very helpful in that. And the truly wonderful people we have met, completely drowning out the occasional scoundrel who has popped up, as they always will in any large group, have made all of this a tremendously emotionally rewarding trip for the two of us. This second conference was a super expression of DWLZ in action. Great people joining together for some good clean fun, where they can cement together some friendships that will hopefully remain dear for their rest of their lives.

Dotti's First Annual Conference, and Dotti's Second Annual Conference were quite different in many ways. However, at their heart they were the same. They both had people populating their activities who were in search of fun, support, and giving to others and the mix produced in each case an event that will be remembered by all the participants for the rest of their days. Thank you each and every one who contributed towards making both of these conferences such memorable experiences. Thank you to those who attended, and who brought with them a spirit, which contributed, to the general friendly and happy atmosphere. Thank you all from Dotti and myself!

Flo (webbmom)

I'm still here and bored - no Zonies milling through the hotel - it's like a Zone ghost town. SO I thought I'd start a thread and if anyone wants to add some memories - this will be a good place to keep them all together.

For those of you who were not at the dinner last night, one of my memories is gonna be of Dotti, DonnaJ and Harmony doing the Charleston! Another is seeing Al's face when he was waiting for Joan to give him his "thongs"

Come on...let the fun continue ... what will you never forget?

~~ flo ~~
~ Goal: 3/01 ~ Lifetime: 5/01 ~
"It's never too late to be what you might have been."

Karen (KarenBowman99)

I couldn't believe how many lurkers there were, so here I am posting! I guess I do have more than one or two posts! But Dotti made me feel VERY welcome by bringing me up to the front of the room as I walked in the door Friday night!!

And webbmom, I have to tell you that one of most inspirational conference moments was your "before" work photo with the guys and your "after" stroll in that short short skirt! You are such an inspiration!

What else - Denny's at midnight.... Riding the pod to the top of the arch! Rick and his women. Susan's shoulder and back! Robin4040 and Deva making me laugh! The map and all the California attendees. All the lurkers. The teens and all the 2 year attendees.

Well maybe more later - that way it will count as another post!

This time I am going to succeed! 242/201.5/135WW
Total Loss to date - 41.5 pounds YEA!!!
New Goal - Stick to the plan for 60 days!
Progress to New Goal - Just getting started!

Susan (sue4mmlp)

I can't remember a time that I talked and laughed so much.
Some favorite memories:
Trying and failing to make Karen and Danielle "behave".
Saying I was so tired I would pass out and then staying up talking in the hotel room for another hour or two with Jackie.
Making the trip up and down the arch.
Getting a little note of inspiration from Danielle (VivaLasVegas) that touched me so much that I started to cry. (Thank you!)
Meeting the Bakery Chick!
And many, many more...


Brenda (bzrenew)

What a wonderful 2nd conference for me!!! Just got home and this is the first place I came!

Memories -
The waitress on thurs nite thinking we were wonderful and waiting so long for our dinner.
Dotti climbing over a short wall to greet non-zonies.
Making paperclip chains for our costume for the 100+ song.
Practicing for the 100+ "I Will Have Thin Thighs" song...have never laughed so hard (and I really did have an underwear problem).
Karen doing a cartwheel and then agreeing to do it again with the splits for all of us that wanted to get a pic.
Re-hugging all the zonies from DWLZ I, seems like just yesterday we met.
Meeting the zonies for the first time.
The sunday night cruise when Donna and Dotti were doing the dip when Dotti slipped out of Donna's arms and fell to the floor Donna yelling..."she's just too much woman for me"
So many memories....

DWLZ 2003 here we come!
300.4/230.4 /The Great Beyond!

Michelle (whalersfan)

Memories... there are lots, but here's a few -

- Meeting meqtpie, ww wendy, tracylynn, and myaL while wating for the shuttle at the airport
- Waiting anxiously for my "missing" roommates
- Meeting my roommates Whitr and harmony for the first time
- All of the wonderfully entertaining songs
- The St. Louis Blues game and hanging out with my Hockey Girls MyaL and katevt
- Watching Whitr laugh hysterically at everything that katevt said

I think thats all for now - I'll edit later if I think of anything!


Kelly (aurora22)

Woah... where to begin? Let's see, we could start with my super-amazing roomie, Emily! Then we could talk about my being a blubbering idiot up at the mike on Sunday because I finally had my catharsis and am going to get back to this business of losing weight. We could talk about all the love and support everyone gave me in telling me that I'm NOT using the chaos of my life as a crutch to avoid losing weight. We could talk about how much I love you guys, and how I'm about to lose it again as I'm typing.... My 7 items of clothing for $35 from the Dillard's clearance rack on Saturday....

The cruise on Sunday night was a blast! Dotti, Donna J, and Harmony, thank you for the show (see Flo's post)!

A favorite memory of mine will be our late-night tour of St. Louis (my thanks to our drivers, Al and Mary [SwtMary]). Those of us in two of the three cars had a little trouble finding our way back from the riverfront. What should have been a 20- or 30-minute ride took about an hour and a half! I will remember calls back and forth on the cell phones, and Tracy and I laughing so hard, that Dotti gave up and hung up on us on more than one occasion! One sample call to share with everyone: (Dotti) "Al told me to call and make sure you guys have enough gas and that your doors are locked." I'm sure it was really frustrating for the drivers to be lost, but thank goodness for a sense of humor. We all got home in one piece! The final tally for our little adventure: ran through 3 red lights and made 2 illegal u-turns!


Gin (gin505)

Here are a couple

Relief when Bernadette got there
Finding my camera Thanks Melinda
Flo talking from the heart
Throwing things at AL
Pictures, Pictures, Pictures
Singing (I can't carry a tune} But it did not matter, 100+ WE ROCK!
Sitting in Mare's room with the Fab 50's just talking. You guys are the best!

I love you all so much.

Gin 282/195.6/183/ who knows 10% at a time [4th]
Gin's Photo Site

Dawne (cyns sis)

meeting both of my families.....(Cyn and Barb and then 86 members of my other family!)
meeting Bakery Chick!
listening to all the guys support their wives/SO (you ROCK!)
Watching Karen do the splits over and over so we could all get pics (you are sooooo brave!)
Being accepted for who I am as I am
Watching everyone open their mugs and reading the little words of encouragement
Swimming in the pool watching the buff guy work out on the weight machine (see what you guys all missed Saturday afternoon!!!)

Dawne aka Cyn's Sis

start/current/my goal
62 lbs gone since May 2000
Dawne's Journey

Kathy (baggybritches)

Wow, that is a tough question to answer!!!! So many things, so little bandwidth!

I think the "panel" discussion was fabulous and there were so many personal stories to relate to! (No wonder there were tissues packed in the Welcome bag! ) That was the serious side to things...

The rest was wonderful, at times whacky, and definitely never to be forgotten moments! Meeting everyone! The before/after pictures! Shopping with Danielle and Flo was fabulous fun...Dotti & Donna dancing on the boat...singing with the L & M'rs...The "gent" from the wedding asking all the runway girls what their evening plans were....and Becca's snappy comeback! Al's songs...the mug exchange...Alistair taking "charge" and leading our "band of angels" thru St. Louis Airport!...Becca's beautiful song...The "Newly Wed Game--Revisited"...and just meeting so many nice wonderful people, to numerous to mention! I keep thinking of all the little things and get the warm "fuzzies"...

And I could probably go on for weeks....but the best was just meeting each and everyone of you!

183/114/120 January 19, 2001

Barb (librarylady2)

Oh, the memories!

Of us watching possible Zonies arriving during breakfast and pointing Dotti in their direction. And getting loudly hysterical after she asked them if they were attending Dotti's Weight Loss Zone Conference and the answer was, "NO!" She could have killed us all!

Of watching and listening to the 100's sing their amazing song! What an inspirational group of beautiful people! And having Karen Bowman turn a perfect cartwheel on the encore! You guys are awesome and inspire ME!

Of wandering around a "less than affluent" part of the city late Sunday night. Exhausted and giddy. Not the type of neighborhood where you should sit on the side of your road in your rental car and pull out a map . . . And then having Mary pull up beside the car, roll down her window, lean out and sweetly say, "Pardon Me, but do you have any Grey Poupon?" Poor Al, dealing with a bunch of crazy women!

Of running up to Baggy Britches (Kathy) in the airport Sunday morning, arms outstretched, for just one last hug and having her positively recoil! (Wasn't her! ) That what sleep deprivation will do! The gracious woman accepted my apology and after a short visit, gave me a little hug anyway!

Of countless moments that touched my heart. A late night with some very dear friends. A very special roomie. Meeting ALL of you. Seeing Jackie at goal! Watching Rick out of the corner of my eye, enjoying every minute! Having Colleen bring some levity to our emotional open mike session going into "flight attendent mode!" Listening to Becca's angelic voice. And hearing of your not so little successes - everything from no longer needing a seat extender to modeling a size 1/2 skirt! The awesome-ness of seeing beautiful trim women next to their projected before pictures.

I could only hope it would have been as good as last year. How could it have been better? I will hold it in my heart all year. See you at DWLZ3, wherever that may be! Thanks, everyone for one of the most wonderful weekends of my life!


Tracy (tracylynn)

Memories!! Probably too many to post, but here goes!

Waiting for the hotel shuttle Friday afternoon, wondering if the 4 other people milling about were from Dotti's... of course the were ... meqtpie, WW Wendi, whalersfan, and whitr!!

The mugs Friday night were wonderful! DEVA!! I love my pot/mug!! I didn't even realize the tea you put inside was Chai!! That's really the only kind of tea I like!! I think it was meant to be! Thank you so much, and I love you dear!

Denny's at midnight Friday night w/ Karen!

All the speaches, all the runway shows! The Arch!

Practicing for the 100+ Song!! Never laughed so much in my life!! Never mind actually singing it Saturday night! I would have been fine if we didn't have to do an encore, then all of a sudden, Karen jumps out with a cartwheel in the middle of it!! I think we were all shocked at that! I could barely keep it together! Not only did she do 1 cartwheel, she did a few later so we could all get pictures, then another on Sunday!!! And who can do the splits???? Karen can!!!

I have to agree w/ the post above about all the hubbies showing up to support wives!! OMG! When Gary (SRQFlyGrl's hubby) opened is mug Friday night and said he was here to support his wife, I was soo impressed!!!

Beaming games and other programs from PDA to PDA with Karen, Kelly, Danielle, and others!

Rick!! Who can forget Rick, Hillcountrygal's man!!! He just has a thing for all the girls! (And we have a thing for him too!!!) PS - Jackie, HOW COULD YOU HAVE LEFT WITHOUT SAYING GOODBYE TO ME???????)

Sunday was wonderful (except me blubbering at the mike)! It was great to hear what everyone had to say, and how they truly felt. You all really do inspire me.

The cruise was AWESOME! And so was the dinner, even if the chicken was fried and topped with gravy (right Becca??)

Like Kel said, the drive home was even funnier! We really did wonder if we would ever get home, but of course, with Al leading the way, we did!

A nice breakfast with Barb this morning before leaving on our seperate flights! Thanks for keeping me company, and see you in June!

I have to say, I love all of you, and will see you in 2003!

OP since 10/30/00
A year from now, you'll wish you started today!

Larry (Lurker Larry)

Meeting other Lurkers.
Meeting the people I lurk.
Alistair leading us (literally) to the boat and back...we'd still be trying to buy a train ticket if it wasn't for him!
Saying long goodbyes, only to run into the same people again and saying goodbye again after another 30 minutes.
Meeting Zonies who live near us, who we never knew because they lurk too.
Making Baggy Happy! You don't know how much she's been looking forward to meeting you guys.

Larry O 195/165/?

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