JOHNTJ1   67,987
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I Wonder

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I wonder what it would be like to live my life with no strings attached. To see someone in need and to rush to their aid without weighing the consequences of how it might be perceived. Would it affect my career? Would my friends abandon me?

I wonder what it would be like if I gave to other people simply because I see someone in need and want to help because itís what I believe deep down inside? No matter what they feel my motives are I continue on a path that embraces what I feel and believe. I wonder

I wonder what it would be like to stop thinking about rewards, tangible or otherwise. To watch someone else grow and mature and reach their goals rather that look upwards to the deity I worship and say that I deserved a check mark beside my name or wonder ďwhatís in it for me?Ē

I wonder how Iíd feel, if my life was built upon faith, trust and a belief that everyone felt the same as me

I wonder

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATHERINEL66 1/1/2012 8:49AM

    Have you done that exercise/visualization in the Course in Weight Loss that is all about imagining what you would feel like if you lifted all expectations, past, future, etc etc -- the point being to feel a glimpse of feeling free? This blog made me think of that. It's a feeling that I try to capture -- the being in the moment, and releasing the past/future/what-ifs/attachments. :)

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MORTICIAADDAMS 12/31/2011 6:27PM

    Not to be negative but I think that people who do the right thing in order to be rewarded will often be disappointed. The reward is actually doing the right thing. It's an internal reward. It leaves you with a clear conscience. You know you have done what your best and what is right. No regrets.

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NASFKAB 12/30/2011 12:35AM

  Thoughtful thanks

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CARTOONB 12/29/2011 9:13PM

    Let me know if you ever find out.

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SILLYHP1953 12/29/2011 9:10PM


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PEPPYPATTI 12/29/2011 4:11PM


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LYNMEINDERS 12/29/2011 4:08PM

    Obviously this is a path you are going to go down in 2012??????

I have been on this path for years now and it is awesome....very freeing and takes the focus off ourselves.....
Try might just like it.....after all what have you got to lose?????

Comment edited on: 12/29/2011 4:08:52 PM

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LUCYJOY 12/29/2011 11:55AM

    So, you going to try it?

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JSPIN74 12/29/2011 10:06AM


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CMA444 12/29/2011 9:33AM

    I share your wonders. :)

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Managing My Feelings

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I am blessed to have good friends. Whether they live up the road or on the other side of the globe they encourage me, poke and prod me, call me out when I need it and generally love and accept me just the way I am. I learn from them. There is never an end to their wisdom and knowledge and because of it I grow. So I wasnít very shocked when one of them made the following pronouncement: ďFeelings are deceptive and over rated!!Ē I settled in expecting a minor rant about insensitive people but instead I walked away with a new perspective on my life and how I view it. My friend went on to say sometimes the only reason an opportunity escapes us is because we change the way we feel about it. Ever get all amped up about a project and suddenly someone says something or does something and your entire perspective changes? You ďrethinkĒ your commitment and ďplay it safe.Ē

A number of years ago I had an opportunity to invest in a startup company that was going to sell things via the internet. The investment was moderate and the business plan looked solid. I happened to mention the opportunity to a friend who told me the person involved in brokering the deal, while a man of strong moral fiber and character, wasnít much of a business person. As a matter of fact he had failed at just about everything heíd attempted. ďBetter be careful, John.Ē That was the warning. I passed up the opportunity. ďA bird in the handÖ.Ē And all those other reassuring phrases. The company struggled at first and then it took off. Itís well known today by just about everyone, even if you never plan on purchasing anything on the internet. I am one of their biggest customers.

The opportunity never changed, only my feelings about it did. I placed faith and credence in someone else and missed an opportunity. Iíve had close to twenty years to think about the ďwhy.Ē Itís really simple: I had little to no faith in my own judgment and acquiesced control of my life to another person. Itís simpler and easier when we can find a feeling to match our indecision. It takes away the personal responsibility.

So moving forward Iíll heed my friends advice as best I can. Sometimes itís not the situation that changes itís the way I feel about it.

Be blessed today

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NASFKAB 12/29/2011 4:15AM

  Great as always

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LYNMEINDERS 12/28/2011 11:55PM

    Brilliant point...thankyou....
We so often doubt ourselves and our abilities to achieve.....

Random question.....

Where did you find the info on the books you shared in your video blog yesterday.....Kathy's books....

I went to get one of them today and was told that Veganist hasn't been released as yet????? Fascinating....

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CARTOONB 12/28/2011 9:15PM

    Good point. Excellent blog!

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7356WILMA 12/28/2011 9:11PM

  Negative thoughts can change the way we think about something even ourselves. Thank goodness we can make our own decisions good or bad. And are lucky enough to have friends and family who care about us!!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 12/28/2011 4:03PM

    It would be nice to be able to see into the future and how things will work out but sometimes you just have to take chance. You try to make informed decisions on what information is available but you have to trust your gut feelings too. Sometimes you will get it wrong. I have found over the years that I often was wrong more from failing to act than from acting. The bold decisions I made often turned out to be my brightest.

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TAMIPCHICAGO 12/28/2011 12:17PM

    That rings so true in so many ways. Sorry you missed out on a great opportunity, but, we all have to learn the hard way sometimes, LOL You really have me curious about what company it is. Was it That's about 20 years old. If so----OUCH. lol

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RR1_RR1 12/28/2011 12:12PM

    Its true when it gets right down to it, only the individual can be in charge of their own life. I feel this way a lot, like I need advice or to be consoled and it will make me feel better and it does to a certain extent. But in the end, I have to rely on myself and taking control of my own life and decisions and if they are bad, sit with the consequences..

And, I always feel like sitting down to a cup of coffee when I read your blogs- very enlightening.

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KKINNEA 12/28/2011 11:00AM

    Interesting thoughts - I'm going to give this some consideration.

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HDHAWK 12/28/2011 10:22AM

    I can say I've given in to other people's advice too many times. Trust your gut!

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SILLYHP1953 12/28/2011 10:20AM

    So very, very true. Negative comments can throw a wet blanket on me and struggle hard to get out from under it. Even when I do I find my feelings have changed. You've given me new perspective on feelings. Sorry about that opportunity and that you aren't still kicking yourself.

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DDOORN 12/28/2011 10:12AM

    Friends like yours sound so precious! Kudos for "growing" such friendships...not so easy in this day & age of so many competing demands!


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Ahhhhhhhh Those Dreaded Resolutions

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Looking at change in a new light via Kathy Freston

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARTOONB 1/1/2012 10:13PM

    Lean on, my friend!

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NASFKAB 12/29/2011 4:13AM


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NASFKAB 12/29/2011 4:13AM


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SILLYHP1953 12/28/2011 5:33PM

    Leaning into my goals...I like that, I think I can do that, I can do that, I am leaning into my goals. Sometimes it takes me a while to actually write an affirmation in it's proper format. I show up here every day, too, and can't imagine my life without spark in it.

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LYNMEINDERS 12/28/2011 4:07AM

    Just what i needed to hear....
Kathy's books sound great....will look to purchase them and read them....

Thanks heaps....

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AJDOVER1 12/27/2011 9:24PM

    Thanks for this, John. I always wait until my birthday before I make my resolutions -- that's the real New Year for me.

I know you'll find your way to first place by the end of 2012!

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REDSHOES2011 12/27/2011 12:36PM

    Nope, I don't make resolutions.. I keep basic's 1.track the food, 2. exercise and 3. keep working on habits.. All the rest are irrelevant- some goals happen when we work with the first three "basic needs" from the bottom of Maslow Needs Pyramid...

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TERRIPAL1 12/27/2011 10:20AM

    Thanks for being here every day ! Your blog was perfect!
I loved the "rock paper scissors "lol!
You're so right regardless we all learn something!
Thanks again and Happy 2012!

Comment edited on: 12/27/2011 10:21:23 AM

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HDHAWK 12/27/2011 9:45AM

    You hit the nail on the head John. I could consider this year a total failure as far as weight loss and health goes, but like you, I show up here every day. Even when I have months where I gain or maintain I'm learning something and not quitting. I truly hope we can both figure out what we need to to get and stay healthy in the coming year. emoticon

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Practicing The Basics

Thursday, December 22, 2011

ďÖ..But practice it in the quite small things, and then you will find you will do it easily, naturally, lovingly, trustingly, in the big things of life.Ē

My dad has been in and out of the hospital since early September. Heís 88 and my mom is 81. I am 450 miles away and the lionís share of taking care of all the details involved Ė doctorsí visits, rehabilitation, physical therapy, home health care Ė has fallen to my youngest sister. At times this has included transporting my mom to the hospital in the middle of the night when dadís had a setback. She is tired and stressed. In the midst of all this her oldest daughter was married. Iíve been where she is and I know you feel as if the walls are closing in. A lot of what she has to deal with involves phone calls to health providers and the like Ė time consuming.

I have struggled with what I could do to help. The other morning I asked her to make me a list of people she called daily. I have started making those phone calls for her. Itís not a big thing and all told it takes about thirty minutes of my time in the morning. Itís removed a small burden from her.

My sister called yesterday morning. She went to her exercise class for the first time in over a month. She felt great and when I spoke with her last night she said it really made a difference in her day.

Simply put, the basics of life, love and no one really knows how wonderful (lol) I really am. A small thing making a huge difference in someoneís day.

ďÖ..But practice it in the quite small things, and then you will find you will do it easily, naturally, lovingly, trustingly, in the big things of life.Ē

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCYNA 12/25/2011 8:56AM

    Helping someone in your family sometimes makes a difference, glad you've made it, John!
Merry Xmas!!! emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/25/2011 8:57:14 AM

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MORTICIAADDAMS 12/24/2011 3:25PM

    It's so nice that you can help her from that far away. I have been through what she is going through and it's very stressful. I hope your father has a complete recovery soon and many more healthy years.

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GEEMAWEST 12/24/2011 12:11AM

    That is so awesome, John. You have done more than you can ever know for your sister.

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NASFKAB 12/23/2011 4:19AM


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LYNMEINDERS 12/22/2011 5:19PM

    Thta is so so true.....
Something to take into 2012 and work on for me.....


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BLACKROSE_222 12/22/2011 11:48AM

    Wow, you and your family have such an amazing bond. I'm thinking of all of you.

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KENDRACARROLL 12/22/2011 11:04AM

    Thirty minutes to you - I bet it feels like 3 hours to your overburdened sister.
You are wonderful indeed :)

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KKINNEA 12/22/2011 10:02AM

    Wonderful, love this.

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SILLYHP1953 12/22/2011 9:29AM

    I'm sure taking over those phone calls helped you as much as your sister. I only hope I never reach a point where a lot of care for me is needed. I wish the very best for you and yours today and all days.

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CARTOONB 12/22/2011 9:26AM

    I'm glad you found a way to help your sister. Sometimes the smallest things do make the biggest difference.

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COCOONGIRL 12/22/2011 8:28AM

    So true...what a loving and kind thing you have done for your sister!! I take care of a lot at home ( I have a sick husband, a teenage son, a son in college and a full time job)...but when someone does even the LITTLEST thing it is SO helpful!! What a kind and loving thing you have done for her! It really does go to show that the smallest of things make a HUGE difference....

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My Two Year Anniversary: Thoughts and The Like

Monday, December 19, 2011

It wasnít until this morning that I realized Iíd been part of Spark for two years. I knew it was in December, just not sure when. So I guess I need to write the obligatory look back/ look ahead and all that other neat stuff.

I began this journey weighing 326 pounds. At one point I was all the way down to 250 pounds and then then everything unraveled. In the spirit of total candor and honesty when the weight started coming back on I freaked. My confidence went in the toilet. I felt ashamed and more than once just thought about deleting my account. I was going to be fat my entire life. There are 1118 reasons I didnít. They are the friends Iíve found here. They are the people who have alternately slapped me and hugged me depending on what Iíve needed. They are the folks who sent a kind word or a Goodie or simply made me laugh hard and forget what I perceived as problems and issues.

I have learned about balance. I learned that no matter how far you run, how fast you run, spin or swim that unless you balance body, mind and spirit, you simply replacing food with exercise as an addiction and as an avoidance mechanism so you donít have to address the issues in your life that derailed you to begin with. Iíve learned that no matter how much karma you pour into it your body is a machine and no machine can push itself forever without breaking down. Donít misunderstand, I believe in a balanced exercise program. I just learned that dragging me out of bed seven days a week at age 58 only gave me back and leg issues.

Iíve suffered a lot of physical pain in the past six months. There are days I could hardly stand up and I only shared this with a few people. I felt totally and completely disconnected from the world around me. I was reminded of something I heard years ago. ďGod creates from nothing and until we are nothing God cannot create.Ē I have seen my physical activity limited to painful walks to the car. I spent money on MRIís, physical therapy, chiropractors, neurologists and the like, only to be told to lose weight and exercise. I looked in the mirror and discovered my pain and my limitations all came from inside of me and that maybe, just maybe if I began getting back to basic activities and started looking for positive outcomes, life would be much better. It is.

I am learning to balance my life and am realizing itís not all about awards, recognitions and the like. Itís about looking deep inside and resurrecting you. Maybe you never really knew you or maybe you just got lost in all the stuff that piles on top of us and makes so terribly unreal. It means balance comes from letting go of people, places and things that gave up on you or took a vacation once you hit a bad patch in your journey. Itís learning to grieve fore that loss, the friends who lost interest when you could no longer, run, jump or cycle to very well.

I have learned it is not about food but my relationship with food and all its come to mean in my life. I learned idolatry is not always an altar with a three headed monster and incense.

Bottom line, if The Spark Dude and all his minions asked me to rate the process after two years, on a scale of one to ten I would have to give it a fifteen. I donít believe Iíd have discovered as much about me as I have.

Long term goals? When I write a year from now I want to be more balanced in my life then I am today. Thatís as good as it gets. Itís a journey and all that rot we pump out but itís also a voyage of discovery that requires an amazing amount of courage. BTW: I have managed to keep off 26.7 pounds in the past two years.

Thank you for being part of my life

ďIím gonna sing till my feet turn blue
Iíll sing loud enough to go through
the mountains to you

Iím gonna dance when the music stops
When soft hearts they canít sit still

Oh wake up the day
Darken the night
Lighten my eyelids cause I donít wanna sleep
While youíre shining so brightĒ
The Wailliní Jennyís

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACEY5280 1/3/2012 10:35AM

    As usual, well said. Balance is a long journey. The important thing is that you choose to continue the journey.

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CATHERINEL66 1/3/2012 5:41AM

    Happy (belated) 2-year spark-versary. Wow, time went by fast!

Congrats on the weight you've lost. I'm choosing to focus on that piece!

I think the challenges, particularly the health issues, are the stuff life throws our way, always, that we have to cope with. And you're coping, and moving forward. There were days in the last year in particular, where a walk back and forth to the mailbox was a feat. Really. And it made me want to cry, because nope, it wasn't something I was getting a blue ribbon for, but dang, I should have!

I think the important thing is to just keep going. Which you are. And to keep learning during the journey -- which is about WAY more than food / counting calories.

You ROCK buddy, and I'm so glad to have connected with you here!

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SILLYHP1953 12/28/2011 5:40PM

    Balance...that really is it, isn't? So simple, but not easy. I'm glad you've been here two years and glad you plan on staying.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 12/24/2011 7:32PM

    I hope the next year is the best yet! Congrats on sticking with it and keeping off those pounds.

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NASFKAB 12/23/2011 4:22AM


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HDHAWK 12/22/2011 8:16AM

    I'm sure she feels a huge burden has been lifted. The bigger thing may be that she doesn't feel she's in this alone since she's the closest and has to deal with any immediate needs. I'm sure she appreciates your help more than you know.

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MARCYNA 12/22/2011 3:36AM

    Hi John, glad you've made it!!!!
I am really becoming aware exercising can be my new addiction....I wish I could let it go , and stay in shape, but I am afraid it will not happen!!!!
Let's keep on finding our stability & balance!!!!

Comment edited on: 12/22/2011 3:37:45 AM

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PINETREEGIRL 12/22/2011 1:11AM

    John, I am glad that you are still here. It always makes a difference to me to see you here. You're a part of my fundamental 'just getting going' friends, and seeing you is very important to me! Congrats on the anniversary! May you have many more to come!
warmth and affection,
Pine Tree Girl

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CARTOONB 12/21/2011 11:06PM

    Happy Anniversary. I'm glad you've stuck around.

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HLPRATT 12/21/2011 11:50AM

    great blog I admire your honesty- Just keep plugging away

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CLOVER2 12/20/2011 2:16AM

    I agree with the consensus here, we would all have missed a wonderful opportunity in getting to "know" you! I always check to see if you've left anything for us, I agree that when we take the time to listen we can learn so much from ourselves and each other.

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LYNMEINDERS 12/19/2011 7:37PM

    Awesome as always.....

Congratulations on your anniversary....thats superb emoticon

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SPARKLISE 12/19/2011 5:48PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Cheers to your 2 years and I can't tell you how glad I am you didn't give up on yourself and on us!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RR1_RR1 12/19/2011 4:04PM

    Awesome- happy anniversary! I love the part about God:) your right too, sometimes its not about overdoing it- everything in moderation...go with the flow and learn from the good and bad! emoticon

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MARYMO22 12/19/2011 3:41PM

    so true - it's an amazing journey with all it's ups and downs.... I too have learned alot about myself - enlightening
thanks for sharing

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IRISHBEANERGAL 12/19/2011 1:50PM

    Life is about the journey not the destination.

Glad you are sharing a virtual path with me.


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GETFIT2LIVE 12/19/2011 1:47PM

    John, I too am glad you have stayed; it's not all about the number of pounds lost or the miles run or cycled or whatever else. Those are not nearly as important as the things we learn about ourselves along the way. The times when we are tempted to give up or disappear are the very times we most need to reach out to others and hang on for dear life; we really do need one another.

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GEEMAWEST 12/19/2011 12:48PM

    I am so happy to know you, John. And that wouldn't have been possible if it wasn't for Spark. Let's hang in there together!

Happy Holidays to you and yours, Cheryl

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WORKINGSTIFF 12/19/2011 11:04AM

    Right on, John!

It's been 8 years for me (see my latest blog), and honestly, the greatest part of the journey has been learning about myself, just as you say in your blog.

Take care and know that there are people here who truly care about you and will be there for you on your journey.


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HAPPYSOUL91 12/19/2011 9:48AM

    Spot on John! If we aren't in balance some part of our life will fall apart and it is the part that always fall apart. Glad to read that your insight has opened up a new world for you.

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TEACHING1ST 12/19/2011 8:29AM

    John, every time I read what's on your mind or in your heart, I learn something more about myself! Thank you for staying with have so much insight to life in general and for that....and your 'virtual' friendship, I'm so thankful!

Christmas blessings and happiness throughout the new year. Balance will come!


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NASFKAB 12/19/2011 8:24AM


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GLORY63 12/19/2011 8:18AM

    I think we can all say the same thing about ourselves. Until we look at the reasons why we are doing the things we already know are bad for us, we can only have small victories.

emoticon - here's a little ringing of the bells to a more balanced you in 2012.

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HDHAWK 12/19/2011 8:17AM

    I for one am glad you've stuck around. Sometimes I wonder why I keep my account open when I've managed to do nothing but gain since summer. At least I'm in a holding pattern now. I would miss the friends and support I've made here too much to quit. I know I'll get to a healthy, "balanced" place with nutrition and exercise at some point. It's just taking longer than I'd like. emoticon

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WENDYSPARKS 12/19/2011 7:25AM

    I hope you start to feel better! Stay with Spark and read The Spark has helped me alot. Wishing you a Merry Christmas! Keep Sparking!

Wendy emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MUPPETB 12/19/2011 7:20AM

    I'm glad you stayed to continue using Sparkpeople. Especially when you feel most alone, it is so nice to know there are so many people you can turn to. We all have one thing in common..... love of Spark! Keep on with your journey and I know you will continue losing weight and hopefully feeling better every day. Take care. Ann

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