Episode 8- Prom Diggity

I'm up for the challenge now.So we are down to the top 6! The week starts out with us being taken to a campus, we didn’t know where we were going or what to expect, but I knew General Lee was going to be there somewhere waiting for us. We are let out of the van and we walk onto a field, but to get to the center of the field where we see Mel B waiting we have to cross over a track. That made me nervous because I hate running, and a track means running to me.



Mel B reveals that we are on the football field of a High School because this week is Dance Your Ass Off Prom! Now when I was in high school I was always over committed to Concert Choir, Madrigal Singers, competition dance teams, dance classes, community theater, children's theater and I'm sure many other things I can't even remember. So when it came time for my Senior Prom at Princeton Day School, I was actually performing that night as the lovely Appassionata Von Climax in a production of "Lil Abner," so I couldn't go. I think a "Dance Your Ass Off" Prom is exactly what I need. It's a week to celebrate our accomplishments. We have all reached goals that we thought we could never reach in this amount of time, so it’s really nice to have this week be DYAO Prom Week where we can take a step back and recognize where we are, and how far we have come on our journey.

So then of course, Lee appears and tells us all that we will be running a timed mile. See, now I told you I knew Lee would show up, and that track wasn't there for show either. We get lined up to run this mile. Honestly, I was less than thrilled, I know I've lost weight, and that I'm getting into shape but running still might be one of my least favorite things to do. Then the twist: Lee tells us we forgot something, and shows us 6 weighted vests. Lee gives me my vest, and it was so heavy! When I saw them I was thinking I wonder how much they weigh, but I never ever thought I would be expected to beat my best mile time wearing that! It felt like I had a whole piano or something on me! So we walked back to our line and began our mile. Man was that hard. That vest was SO HEAVY! I felt every step in every joint in my body. My knees and my ankles especially were having a hard time. Just the weight of the vest on my chest was a lot, it made it so hard to breathe, and it was already hard to breath and run, but that vest made it feel impossible to catch your breath. But I did it!

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When we were all finished Lee told us to take off our vests and remove a piece of tape on the inside of the neck, where we would see a number, and that number would represent the number of pounds we had lost so far. I lost 32 lbs. I couldn’t believe that I had been walking around with that much extra weight on me. It hurt so much -- I was running with 32 extra pounds on me. A month or two ago I couldn't just take the vest off like I did that day. It was very emotional for me. I think at that moment I couldn't understand why but I just knew I was overwhelmed. Later, I thought about it and realized that I was truly proud of myself. For the first time, not just in the house and on the show, but ever; I was proud. I have done a lot of things in my life: graduate college, work on Broadway, make it into the top 12 on “Dance Your Ass Off” Season 2; these things I can say and have said I am proud of, but I could have never imagined what it was actually like to feel that way. I set high goals and I expect to achieve them so when I do, I guess it’s always been easy to say, "Well yea, of course I did it." But diet, exercise, weight loss and nutrition; these are things I have never thought I could challenge and overcome successfully.

This week I danced to "Love Game" or as Mario and I referred to it, the disco stick song -- definitely a completely different side of me. No lady this week, Lisa Ann! I know I didn't nail my triple turn in my performance like I had been doing in rehearsal but I thought I had one of the most challenging and technically difficult tricks of the night. Overall, I’m really glad I got to go outside my box on this one. I kind of wish my grandfather didn’t see me doing it to the lyrics "I wanna take a ride on your disco stick" on national television, but, it certainly was an experience. LOL!

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Mario and I were really perfectly paired. We are the two craziest, and babbling ones in bunch! He really was always there for me and worked so incredibly hard with me every week. He was amazing. I couldn't have done it without him. I think the hardest part about going home and ending my journey on DYAO is going to be continuing on the journey alone. I was always mad when LaToya would say that we weren't her friends, and that she had no intention of ever calling us after this show. She made it seem like she didn’t need any of us. Well I do. I’m going to need the support of my friends in the house in order to continue my journey.

This week I lost over 3 lbs, and that was after a week of losing 6 lbs. I know it's going to be hard and scary to do it alone, but I'm up for the challenge now. One of the biggest things I learned about working out, well, and maybe life, is it's scary but you'll be ok. If you don't push yourself harder than ever before how will you know how hard you can work?

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Leaving the show I was asked, "What is the most important thing you've learned while in the DYAO house?" And I want to share that: be yourself. Figure out what’s important to you, what you love and go do it. Anything is possible so don’t let anyone or anything stop you. If you do what you love, you will be happy. I love to dance. And I think taking this time away from my life and being able to focus and dedicate myself to something like my health has made me learn the most important lesson. I had tried to convince myself that my weight wasn't worth the effort or the time and that it was impossible. But I learned that my weight has been something I had been hiding in for a very long time, and I am worth the effort and the time. I learned to love myself, and believe that I can do anything I want. I'm 25 and I feel alive! Thank you to everyone, every single person that helped me on this journey; it’s not over yet but now I know I'll cross the finish line.

You may not be able to watch me in the competition anymore but make sure you keep watching the rest of my friends Dance their asses off every Monday at 10pm! And to stay up to date with my journey you can follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/KatieFanok and on my fan page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Katie-Fanok-DYAO-Season-2-Official-Fan-Page/138118622870049?ref=ts . Look out for me at the reunion show!

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