Wednesday, April 18, 2012
I honestly do try to respond to all the blog comments, Spark Mails and Goodies I receive from all of you very wonderful people. In all honesty after a bit I get overwhelmed and my responses become a bit mechanical and from rote. If you have added me as your friend: THANK YOU. If you took the time to comment on my blogs: THANK YOU. If you took the time to send a Goodie with an encouraging note: THANK YOU. I am quite capable of writing forever and ever, on how much I appreciate your love and support. I will simply repeat those two words from my heart and spoken sincerely.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Everyone has them. They are trigger foods. Everyone around you can eat as much of it as they want and not gain a single solitary ounce. You and I, we put on five pounds just thinking about how good they taste. Worse yet, they lead us to other “less than positive behaviors.” Those who hold us dear find us hunched up in a corner at three am devouring a chocolate cake and hear a small voice crying “I can’t take it anymore!!!” Yeah I exaggerate and yeah this is often a topic we overweight folks shy away from. It’s the “A” word, addiction. We don’t like being thought of as addicts. It conjures up a picture in our minds that causes us to shake our heads really hard and utter that foolish mantra about moderation. We know that’s an excuse. There are some foods you or I can’t eat. It’s ok to be addicted to your favorite college basketball team, to live and breathe every step they take, every word they utter and every small action. We festoon ourselves in team colors buy books, magazines, apparel and paint our faces. Some of us sit in frigid temperatures at football games, shirtless, with our team colors slathered on our torso. We grin, and shrug our shoulders and say “we are addicted to…….”
When it comes to food, well there is a modicum of shame involved. As I prepared to write today it dawned on me that I wouldn’t suggest a drink every now and then to an alcoholic. Imagine telling someone with an addiction to prescription drugs that a little pain medication every now and then wouldn’t really hurt. It’s unthinkable. But when it comes to food and it comes to us, well we just would rather rationalize and stay in close touch with others who feel the same way. Some of us have that one food that pushes us over the edge. . Yours may be different than mine are but there is a food or foods we just shouldn’t eat if we want to stay healthy. We can’t have a “little bit.” They cause us to come unwound. We struggle to “Just Say No!!”
The food that triggers my massive addiction to a whole host of other foods is French fries. Yeah, you read that right, French fries. I can take or leave mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, even potato chips, but tempt me with a plate of fries and it’s all over. There are others. Diet soda deserves a really wide berth on my radar too. It triggers the proverbial vision of sugar plums. When I first joined Spark I lost close to 80 pounds. Sad to say I’ve put close to 70 pounds back on. I went back and reviewed my food journals and saw what I was eating when I was living healthy. There were no fries, no Cokes, no cookies. Lottsa fruit, lottsa veggies and meat three times per week. Then one day I was in a rush, Mc Donald’s beckoned I ordered some fries with a fish sandwich and the rest of my downhill slide came quickly as I made excuses for everything but the real issue. My appetite slowly evolved back to a lot of bad habits. I stopped listening to some of you. I regained my weight. It’s not rocket science.
So I sit here today a bit wiser. I’ve instituted my own personal “No Fry Zone.” I have a laminated list of foods in my wallet that will get me in trouble. When I get ready to eat I pull them out and review them and compare them against what’s in front of me. Part of my addiction comes from being unable to say “no.” I can create all sorts of excuses why I shouldn’t hurt someone else’s feelings.
In the end, it’s how much I value myself and my health and who I choose to hang around with. This blog may not be popular with some people. I’ve found that when you hit a nerve people recoil and defend. I know I do. As I walk away this morning, headed for work I know one thing
I am worth it
I deserve it
I am who I hang around with
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Our oldest daughter called last night and would I give her a ride to work today? As we drove she asked if I minded stopping at McDonalds. “Its tax relief day and sausage biscuits are only fifty nine cents!!!” I looked over at her for a moment and responded; “…..And about four hundred thirty calories.” She smiled. “Yeah but dad they are only fifty nine cents!!!” There is a line in one of my favorite movies, O Brother Where Art Thou that says “It’s a fool who looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart.” My daughter’s intentions were pure and good. I gave her a ride to work; she was going to buy me breakfast, her way of thanking me. It would have been really easy to accept her logic and later today when I tallied my calories use her as a convenient foil. I mean isn’t making her sure her feelings aren’t hurt much more important than the nutritional value of my breakfast? I am not sure where we draw the line in the sand. I quit smoking seven years ago this week. I promised myself I wouldn’t be “one of those people,” and I’m not. If my health is as important as I claim, then there has to come a point in time where I truly believe I deserve the success that waits around the bend for me because I’m worth the effort I put into myself. Couched in all that sweetness, like a thorn next to a beautiful rose, is the nasty realization that I have to be accountable for my actions. You can love me half to death but in the long run I choose what goes in my mouth.
If this were easy ANYONE could do it. You and I aren’t anyone, we are amazing someone’s who mustered up the courage to walk this journey and sometimes fight the fight that is so difficult. I love sausage biscuits!!! Yes, I know one small slip or miss-step wouldn’t have been the end of the world but where is that definitive line in my life I have to draw and begin to get healthy? It’s never easy, you and I know that. But here at Spark we have a support system in place to guide us. It’s up to us to take advantage of the opportunity. Is this an amazing tool I can utilize to help me achieve and maintain a healthy balance in my life or is it a social networking sight for people with weight and health issues? Maybe it is both. I sure do enjoy the love and support I get from many of you and I am closer to some of you than I am some people in my non- virtual life. That’s all well and good, but why do I log in here every morning?
I didn’t eat the sausage biscuit. Instead, I let her buy me a large un -sweet iced tea. Yeah I know it’s got caffeine in it but no more so than a cup of coffee. I took it home and drank it while I ate my yogurt and banana. Everyone was happy. My very dear non-biological younger sister gave me a really cool Christmas present. It is a daily calendar from Hay House. As I sat down to write this morning and I tore off yesterday’s inspiration I was greeted with this message: “I recognize my body as a wondrous machine, and I feel privileged to live in it.”
Yeah, accountability is often that prickly thorn that sticks deep and causes us much pain. Hidden behind the rose of goals and nice ideas it reminds us that this journey can be arduous at times. Take consolation in the fact that you are indeed WORTH every painful decision you have to make, and you DESERVE all the praise you give yourself when you make the best decision for you. That is one decision no one can make for any of us and it sure feels good when we make the right one. Reaching out goals is like building a tower. With each success we reach higher and the building itself gets stronger.
If ya need me……….. I’m here.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
If you cant view it here this video is availible on YouTube
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
I didn’t expect the response I received on my last blog about mentoring new Sparkers. Thank you all so much for your wisdom and your support. I had to chuckle when I woke up this morning and saw it had received A Most Popular Blog Award. A little voice said “Ok, John, what are you going to do now?” In a word, I’m not sure. There are many great teams and many great team leaders out there. Some days it may seem difficult to locate them but they are out there. Some of you commented that you feel like you are on the outside looking in. To those folks I say please hang in there. I went through a similar experience when I injured my back last year. All of a sudden some of my running and spinning friends acted like I hadn’t showered in a month. It was a difficult time for me but I found my true friends and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Whether you have been here three days or three years I’d like to share three things that have kept me going through my tremendous successes and my spectacular failures. Many of you had read these before. I remind myself of them daily.
First of all, you deserve to be successful. Do not let anyone, absolutely no one tell you otherwise. You deserve your spot at the head table as much as anyone else. If you have failed, made huge mistakes, felt that no one would accept you because of the silly stuff you have done in your life please follow me to join a long line of human beings who share all these things with you and I. We have oodles of company. It doesn’t matter that I love you, it matters that you believe in your core that you deserve success. Maybe you didn’t feel that way last night but feel it today and be patient. It takes some time to grow. When you deserve to be successful you engage in behavior that helps you grow. Good food, good exercise and lottsa rest and relaxation. BTW: You do have the time for yourself!!!
Second, you are worth all the effort you put into yourself. Overweight people have an amazing and magical crutch. It stops us dead in our tracks while fortifying our upside down thinking. It goes something like this: “If I devote all this time to myself I am being selfish and self-centered and egotistical. I mean look at me!!! I’m a blob of fat and that’s my lot in life. What about my (fill in the blank)? You are worth the effort, because see reason number one above, you deserve it. When we stop investing our resource in negative behavior we have time to love ourselves and to invest in behavior that shows us we are worth all the sweating and huffing and puffing. This isn’t easy, far from it. I lost and gained two small people in the past three years. I have triumphed and fallen flat on my face but you notice I am still here. Some days I feel so very alone but I’m still here. Why? I deserve it. One day I’ll “get this!!!” The minute I give up, is the minute I tell myself I do not deserve this wonderful life ahead of me. It means I admit defeat. See you are not alone so please don’t go slinking off into some corner feeling like you can’t do this. You can and you will because…………
Third and foremost: You are who you hang around with. Spark People isn’t magic. It requires an effort. It requires you step way outside of your comfort zone and put your well-being ahead of everything else. It means if there are people in your life who weigh you down, who ridicule your effort to get a grip on your health, well, they have to go. I have never known of anyone who drank poison on a regular basis and lived. On the other hand there are many amazing people here who will lift you up and provide you with the amazing feeling that you belong here. Being overweight has an awful stigma attached to it. We feel the stares, the laughs and hear the jokes. We need each other. I can’t be a success without you in my life in some form or fashion. Maybe it’s time we kick down the door, remove convention and destroy our fears.
This isn’t just about me or you. It’s about us.
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