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There Is No Failure In Starting Over

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Like so many others I spend more than a fair amount of time worrying about failure. I douse myself with positive affirmations and energized visualizations; but yet I can’t seem to escape that nagging notion that this time is going to be like all the rest. This time, like every other time will end in failure. For someone who is so used to failing at things you would think I’d be comfortable with the notion, eh? But I am not. I want to be like all of “those people.” I want to be healthy, happy and successful and I want to breeze through life without a care in the world. The universe will be my oyster and by the way, did I mention in this world I have a full head of hair?

Sans the full head of hair you can’t tell me that at some time in your life you haven’t felt like this, discouraged, run down, lost and wondering to that healthy life style you created a few months or a few years ago. Where did your motivation go? Where did the desire to get out there and run, jump or swim? It evaporated and you are at a loss. So you do what’s natural. You can’t locate the source of the problem so you turn inward. You blame yourself. You nitpick every bad decision you ever made, scourge yourself for not having the will power and motivation to be like “all the rest of those people,” and you sink into a vat of despair. You are ashamed and you are embarrassed and you really don’t want to be around those friends of yours, virtual or otherwise who seem so darned successful, racking up awards and the like, running marathons, flying to the moon……….

In my mind, I have left Spark a million times. I’ve rationalized how easy it would be to hit the delete button on my browser and chalk this up to experience. But I don’t. I don’t quit because I know that my latest failure brings me that much closer to me reaching my goal. It’s not always fun, it’s not always productive but simply being here and simply putting one foot in front of the other each morning sustains me through the dry spells, through the weeks and sometimes months where all I can seem to do is be a bit dazed and confused.

It took me fifty-six years to develop all these unhealthy habits, what makes me think they are all going to disappear in two years. I swallowed some bitter pills here but when I dried the tears and all the smoke cleared, ahhhhhhhhhhh, I was so much wiser and I am creating a foundation for tomorrow, for my success. The scale may have groaned a bit the other day but this to shall pass.

A very dear friend, who has been busy with life these past few months, sent me a Goodie yesterday. It made a request “Hi, may I come back?” It was heartfelt and sincere. My response? “In my heart you never left my dear friend.”

Starting over is never a sign of failure. It’s a sign of wisdom and most of all courage. I believe you are who you hang around with. I draw much of my motivation from the success stories here but an equal amount from those of us who keep falling and keep getting up.

Thank you for that my dear friends, thank you.


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 1/25/2012 9:56AM

    I must be VERY wise because I feel like I'm starting over every morning!! And what is it they say about hair...it's for non-perfect heads (something like that).

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JCDROLSHAGEN 1/11/2012 8:41PM

    Yep, been there and done that. I took a years "hiatus" from dieting. Think you expressed what a lot of us feel! Here's to a Happy and successful New Year!

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NASFKAB 1/11/2012 8:41AM

  great post thoughtful

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CINNAMONCAT9 1/10/2012 8:51AM

    Doing some very strong writing these days, friend. emoticon

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DEUSMACHINA 1/9/2012 9:58PM

    Absolutely! Starting over is never a failure! The only failure is refusing to try. Anyway, I hope starting over isn't failure, otherwise I'm munted. ;)

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DUTCHIEKIWI 1/9/2012 5:29PM

    One of your friends called you 'human'... To me you are more than that. Everyone is human, but sometimes we meet people personally in our lives, and I know for a fact not very often at all, they touch us in a way that is beyond human... there is a connection, an understanding, a friendship and a love that surpasses just being human. I am so glad you are one of those people that have connected to me and my psyche like only a few humans we meet in our lives can.... Who cares about hair.... when you've got a heart as big as yours....?!!!


love ya!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DUTCHIEKIWI 1/9/2012 5:25PM

    You got me crying.... how did you get into my head and describe how I feel so spot on???

I feel like leaving .. like running from everyone... start over again and hope the me that I found in 2009 will find me again.

I'm here, I'm back... but I'm not strong yet... The scales showed me the truth this morning, and I have changed my ticker to the hurtful truth...

I'm gutted... totally gutted.....

But like you, I can not delete spark from my life. It's family... you are family. True people here, no backstabbing, no gossip, no losing friends because you are starting to look a bit too good to keep around husbands...

I can see some faces.... the ' I knew she'd gain it back' look... the ha ha I knew she couldn't do it look..... the ' if she can't do it, than I don't have to do it either' look....

Thanks John.... from the deepest place of my heart...

Thanks!!

>xoxoxox

Dutchie



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KKINNEA 1/7/2012 4:39PM

    And it's a sign of grit! Keep pushing forward!

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SPARKENISTA 1/7/2012 12:43PM

    John--I am right up there with the comment below mind--you always know what to say and how to say it! Beyond that, your consistency and commitment blow me away!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/7/2012 12:43:55 PM

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MOMONTHERUN1 1/7/2012 11:42AM

    You always know what to say and how to say it.

I am also starting over from a 2 week hiatus and it is ok. There is nothing wrong with jumping back up on the horse again after falling.

Thanks for sharing this with us!!

lianne

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MORTICIAADDAMS 1/6/2012 10:10PM

    John, you are perfect just the way you are. A handsome man whether you have hair or not. LOL. And it helps that you aren't "stuck" on yourself. You're vulnerable and quirky. That's why everyone loves you. You are like us........human.

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TRULYVISIBLE 1/6/2012 9:11PM

  All I can say is that you are a gifted writer and I so enjoy reading your blogs. Even the ones where I have a different opinion. Your talent is rare and glad I am able to experience it.

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WALKNLOVE 1/6/2012 8:52AM

    Hey John, we are all in this together. I too am starting over. I too, could easily get discouraged, but we must press on towards the prize that GOD himself has called us to. He will escort us on our journey and there is nothing we can't do with his help! We must never underestimate "the GOD FACTOR". It gives us great power to do the unimaginable! I will continue to cheer you on! Your friend, Debbie

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NASFKAB 1/6/2012 1:00AM

  You are a great motivator

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GRANDKATZ 1/6/2012 12:31AM

  Even if we start over every day or every other day or every other week, we are now much more aware! I went away for several months, work, physical challenges, and whatever excuse I could find, but more than anything I just became unmotivated and disinterested. I'm back and I'm keeping on, however long it takes.

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WORKINGSTIFF 1/5/2012 8:55AM

    Personally, I draw motivation from people like you, John.

You are one of those people who don't quit. You always have "food for the mind" to share with the rest of us. Please don't discount the importance of what you say, even if you may think you are being negative.

True, we all have those experiences of failing. Of trying or really not trying. But rather than look at it as "blaming" myself, I choose to look at it as accepting responsibility for my actions. Again-other people may do things that I find difficult to deal with, but I have to accept that how I handle the difficult is my responsibility.

I wish you all the best in 2012 and hope to goodness that you hang around! I love to read your blogs!

Helen

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TRAVELGRRL 1/4/2012 9:37PM

    If starting over is a sign of wisdom, then that makes me a brain surgeon! LOL

I've too started over a bunch of times, including just recently. But I too firmly believe as long as you don't give up, you haven't failed. "Fall seven times, get up eight." That's my motto.

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TEDYBEAR2838 1/4/2012 9:12PM

    Oh, My Gosh! You are SO RIGHT ON!

Never give up. I know emoticon !!!

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GEEMAWEST 1/4/2012 8:48PM

    I totally agree with you, John, she never left.
emoticon emoticon

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HDHAWK 1/4/2012 8:46PM

    I couldn't have said it better! I'm in the starting over club too.

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PEPPYPATTI 1/4/2012 8:22PM

    Could not be better stated! emoticon

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BTINTERNET 1/4/2012 8:05PM

    Thanks John. As usual, you say what I'm thinking (well, plus or minus the bit about hair :-) ) *hugs*

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DEE797 1/4/2012 4:40PM

    I love the title "There Is No Failure In Starting Over". I really needed to read this blog today. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

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GIRANIMAL 1/4/2012 3:57PM

    I knew you'd come full circle on your own and note that just keeping at it means you are not really failing at anything. Giving up is the only real failure, of course!

I do understand though. Sometimes I feel like I'm just dodging bullets -- I've gained back only 3 pounds, but I feel like I have been fairly lax with exercise and just a little too free with my "safe" foods for months. Digestively safe does not mean calorie-free, Angie! LOL And yes, the biking is great, but my body is about as used to it now as it is to breathing.

So I am now on a 2-day streak of 15 morning minutes plus a good stretching session. I need it. My body and its persistent chronic pain tell me so. I win for making it to day 2 after so many months off.

And you win -- big -- for doing ALL that you do in the name of service to others and personal growth every single day, practically before your eyes are even open, I'd wager. Don't lie either! I'll ask Joan. emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/4/2012 3:59:03 PM

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GRANDMA_OF_16 1/4/2012 3:31PM

    Thanks for the motivation in starting again. I to feel like a failure. I have started a healthier way of life many times in the past 10 years. Hopefully this will be the magic year for a lot of people. We are not failures, we can and will start again. Thank you and hold your head high (bald or not)!

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TRACEY5280 1/4/2012 2:13PM

    Did you take that blog out of my head? No, I'm not sure I could have said it as well, but the thought stream is the same. It did take us many years to get to where we are and it will take some time to shift the thinking. I'm glad for Sparkpeople and the people (like you) I've met that remind me that we all struggle. I am not in this alone. We learn from those mistakes. I may have taken some steps back but I'm starting out this time so much further ahead. Good wishes to you, and to me, on our journey.

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LUCYJOY 1/4/2012 1:51PM

    These old habits oh so much easier then these new ones. I can keep it up for a while, then Bam-old habits sneak in.

And that sure does kill motivation. But, I keep getting back up and starting over. Maybe this time, I'll get it right.

Nice blog.

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ANDI571 1/4/2012 1:39PM

    You are so right, there is no failure in starting over. Basically you haven't failed unless you quit. Our weight is a journey with lots of ups and downs. There will be good days and bad. But the main thing is to keep moving forward.

Great blog.

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DEBRITA01 1/4/2012 12:29PM

    Ah, the hills and valleys of life...For me, every day is emoticon. I don't think there is a final destination (skinnier, happier, etc.). We just keep building and shaping our lives as we go along...through victories and perceived failures. My goal is to live a healthier life for as long as I can... Spark is just one of the vehicles to get me there.

A great blog, John. You have such a gift for expressing what so many of us feel and are experiencing. God bless you...

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ANEWLEAF81 1/4/2012 11:58AM

  Amen! You and I are in the same boat. Thank you for this blog!

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KATHRYN1955 1/4/2012 11:31AM

    "I have failed many times and that is why I am a success."
This is a quote from Michael Jordan that I have on my sparkpage.
And I must be very successful!! Seriously, each time I "start over", I am at a different place than previously. I am armed with a little more experience and knowledge. It also depends on your definition of success. I have been really thinking a lot why I would choose unhealthy behaviours over healthy ones. Logically, it does not make any sense, but we are not always sensible creatures. We need to stop "failure" from defining who we are and see it as merely a tool for correction.
Here's to 2012 and supporting each other.
Take care,
Kathy


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HLPRATT 1/4/2012 11:25AM

    Yes I'm not always faithful to Sparkpeople but it's always there for me. I've never considered deleting it but I constantly remind myself to do better. You just keep trudging on.

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ALLISON145 1/4/2012 10:49AM

    We can all do this - we just need to be patient and loving to ourselves. That's probably the toughest part of this whole journey. As one of my good Sparkfriends says - Do the work, then wait. Wow, do I hate waiting. But he's right!

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ZURDTA- 1/4/2012 9:36AM

    emoticon

Very true for me too.

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TINNATEE 1/4/2012 9:31AM

    Thank you. Well said.

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HEALTHYME229 1/4/2012 9:24AM

    Today is the 2nd anniversary of the day I joined SparkPeople. I am having to start over - again - after initial success. Thank you for the encouraging words.
Teri

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7356WILMA 1/4/2012 9:22AM

  Oh my goodness, you said it soooo well. This is so true. Here's to the foundation we are building. And there are plenty of band-aids out here in sparkpeople for when we fall and scuff our knees. Maybe that is why we haven't hit the delete button!



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SHAFFINATOR 1/4/2012 9:21AM

    Thank you for your blog. As someone who is "starting over" and hoping for the best your blog gave me encouragement and a feeling of looking ahead to my goals instead of behind at my past failures. God Bless! emoticon

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"Between The Years"

Sunday, January 01, 2012

I thought this was meaningful to many of us on lifes journey. I thought I'd share

"I stand between the years. The Light of My Presence is flung across the year to come - the radiance of the Sun of Righteousness. Backward, over the past year, is My Shadow thrown, hiding trouble and sorry and disappointment.

Dwell not on the past - only on the present. Only use the past as the trees use My Sunlight to absorb it, to make from it in after days the warming fire-rays. So store only the blessings from Me, the Light of the World. Encourage yourselves by the thought of these.

Bury every fear of the future, of poverty for those dear to you, of suffering, of loss. Bury all thought of unkindness and bitterness, all your dislikes, your resentments, your sense of failure, your disappointment in others and in yourselves, your gloom, your despondency, and let us leave them all, buried, and go forward to a new and risen life.

Remember that you must not see as the world sees. I hold the year in My Hands - in trust for you. But I shall guide you one day at a time.

Leave the rest with Me. You must not anticipate the gift by fears or thoughts of the days ahead.

And for each day I shall supply the wisdom and the strength." by Two Listeners

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 1/25/2012 9:47AM

    I know you posted this blog on New Year's Day but I'm reading it 25 days later (one of these days I'm going to stay caught up on your blogs, that's a goal). I've not heard of "Two Listeners" but I shall look them up. Anyone you quote is worth reading, I've figured that out.

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NASFKAB 1/3/2012 8:34AM

  AWESOME

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KENDRACARROLL 1/2/2012 2:39PM

    Nice reminder to keep it in the present.
A hard concept to follow for sure.

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EXCUSES-BE-GONE 1/2/2012 1:58PM

    emoticon

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TEDYBEAR2838 1/2/2012 8:15AM

    emoticon

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7356WILMA 1/1/2012 10:26PM

  Thank you for sharing!! Wish everyone could follow this!!

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CARTOONB 1/1/2012 10:06PM

    Fitting.

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CATHERINEL66 1/1/2012 3:20PM

    Beautiful! emoticon

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MKPRINCESS007 1/1/2012 1:35PM

    Beautiful, John! Thanks so much for sharing!

Happy New Year, my kind friend! :)

Karen

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AJDOVER1 1/1/2012 1:17PM

    One day at a time....

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PEPPYPATTI 1/1/2012 12:44PM

    John, that is awesome! Thank you for sharing it!
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TRISTAROSE 1/1/2012 12:23PM

    Great blog ... Happy New Year!

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TIME4AFITME 1/1/2012 10:49AM

    Very nice. Thank you

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DOLLBABE56 1/1/2012 10:36AM

    Thank you for your blog. Very nice.

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AMYISSUCCEEDING 1/1/2012 9:29AM

    Very Nice! Thank you for sharing.
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ANDREWS_MOM 1/1/2012 9:25AM

    Love this!
Thanks for sharing, John! emoticon
What a great mindset to start the New Year!
Wishing you all the best for 2012!!

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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 it’s 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 “what’s in it for me?”

I wonder how I’d 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

    Imagine....

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PEPPYPATTI 12/29/2011 4:11PM

    emoticon

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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 it...you 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

    emoticon

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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 wasn’t very shocked when one of them made the following pronouncement: “Feelings are deceptive and over rated!!” 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 “rethink” your commitment and “play it safe.”

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, wasn’t much of a business person. As a matter of fact he had failed at just about everything he’d attempted. “Better be careful, John.” That was the warning. I passed up the opportunity. “A bird in the hand….” And all those other reassuring phrases. The company struggled at first and then it took off. It’s 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. I’ve had close to twenty years to think about the “why.” It’s really simple: I had little to no faith in my own judgment and acquiesced control of my life to another person. It’s simpler and easier when we can find a feeling to match our indecision. It takes away the personal responsibility.

So moving forward I’ll heed my friends advice as best I can. Sometimes it’s not the situation that changes it’s 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 Amazon.com? 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!

Don

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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

  Good

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NASFKAB 12/29/2011 4:13AM

  Good

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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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