JOHNTJ1   66,527
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The Thorn Beneath The Rose

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.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWDESERTLOVER 5/4/2012 8:51AM

    Great blog! We have to take personal responsibility for our actions, but having this wonderful group of people to support us and cheer us on sure helps. Good for you for making your decision and sticking to it. Also, congrats on your seven year anniversary of being smoke free. I myself quit smoking almost 10 years ago and it was the best thing I ever did for myself. Thanks for sharing this.

Cindy emoticon

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KLMINDA 5/3/2012 3:17PM

    "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." I was ready and there you were! Thanks for taking the time to teach your wisdom!

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MICHELLE_391 5/2/2012 10:44PM

    I'm so glad this post was featured in the April newsletter, or I don't think I'd have found it. "You can love me half to death but in the long run I choose what goes in my mouth. " This sentence really resonated with me. Life is all about choices and choosing health over everything only makes life more enjoyable.

I hope your daughter understood, and that she learns from your example. I know I did!

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PATIENTSAM 5/2/2012 9:28PM

    What a wonderful reminder! And what a good choice to have the tea instead of the biscuit! Thanks for sharing!

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_CYNDY55_ 5/2/2012 9:01PM

    emoticon
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CHRISFROMCT 5/2/2012 8:23PM

    Thanks for sharing a terrific example of good choice making; nice job!

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JPANNELL0 5/2/2012 2:17PM

    Well written, thanks so much!

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VIENNA61 5/2/2012 1:47PM

    Thanks for sharing. It is all those decisions, which each seem "little," but aren't.

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HHB4181 5/2/2012 11:34AM

    emoticon

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PAJBOR 5/2/2012 10:38AM

  what a wonderful writer, to make the everyday decisions we must make, sound so courageous

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JIBBIE49 5/2/2012 10:25AM

    emoticonWonderful to see your blog featured in the Spark Mail. WHat an honor.

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BEWITCHING66 5/2/2012 8:49AM

    Its all the little decisions we make everyday that define who we are and what we represent! Good for you!

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WALKNLOVE 5/2/2012 6:27AM

    Congrats John on your "spark" fame as a writer! YOU SOOOOOOO DESERVE THIS!!!! Keep writing and we will keep reading! God has given you an amazing gift as a writer....and one day, I think you are going to write a book! And when you do, please let me know. I'll be one of the first in line to buy it! (Oh, and can I have it autographed? ;) emoticon

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HELOVESME4 4/25/2012 2:33AM

  I love your quote "“I recognize my body as a wondrous machine, and I feel privileged to live in it" and plan to post it to be able to see often!

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SUZIEMAH1 4/24/2012 2:37PM

    I really liked your blog..and you are right, we choose what we put in our mouths..Keep doing what you are doing! emoticon

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NOLAZYBUTT110 4/24/2012 7:45AM

    Lovely Blog and picturesque! I am sure your daughter gleamed some lessons from your share of modeling by helathy actions! GREAT going! Mighty nice of you to share! susana

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FLUTTER-BY)L( 4/24/2012 1:15AM

    Love it and love what you taught your daughter. It is our choice.

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SKINNYBAKERGIRL 4/23/2012 10:46PM

  emoticon

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GOLFLADY11 4/23/2012 2:44PM

    Very well written and meaningful blog; motivational! emoticon emoticon

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SCHNEBL 4/23/2012 2:37PM

    Again......I am inspired by you and will take your words to heart. I AM worth it!

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HIKESHAPPY 4/23/2012 12:09PM

    I navigated here from seeing your One Voice blog on the popular blogs today (I need a bit of inspiration today:-). Thank you for sharing both blogs with us - with me:-) I could so feel the One Voice blog - I grew up in a household where I was to be seen and not heard (no voice) and as an adult, my weight getting higher and higher has taken away what I felt like my right to have a voice. This blog about the Thorn hits home, too, and fits in so well with One Voice. I have the choice of what I eat, even if it's on sale, even if someone else is buying, even if I've already paid for it and know I should throw half of it away. It's so easy to just go along with my low self-esteem (reference One Voice) and give in, because I don't deserve it anyway, do I?

Thank you for helping me to be empowered with my own voice to make my own decisions of what is important to me.

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MELLISOND 4/23/2012 10:04AM

    I kept your blog and copied it so I can refer to it again. Thank you for expressing important truths in such a memorable way.

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KRKNOCKS 4/23/2012 8:40AM

  Great blog. Thanks for sharing.

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MADMARE 4/22/2012 6:53PM

    A very thoughtful and well- written post. Thank you for the inspiration.

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BIGDAKOTA 4/22/2012 12:55PM

    Way to go!! Nice blog also!!

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HEALTHIERKEN 4/22/2012 11:06AM

    Good analogy, good blog, and good on ya for your nimble dodging of the thorn. I like to think I would have made a similar choice, but on a given day, in given circumstances, very likely I would not have been so dedicated . . .
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LADY_DEE_25 4/21/2012 9:49PM

    Can't say I would have done the same. People having the food I love in front of me, is one of my biggest weaknesses. Sometimes I can say no and sometime I can't. I like your post and the rose idea. It is very true, we are accountable to ourselves.

emoticon for the encouragement. emoticon

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CORINA-MOMOF4 4/21/2012 8:24PM

    WTG!

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KNEWMETODAY 4/21/2012 3:14PM

    Well said. I particularly like the analogy!

Kathy emoticon

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SERASARA 4/21/2012 1:54PM

  emoticon

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TDONOVAN41 4/21/2012 11:27AM

    emoticon

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SUPERSYLPH 4/21/2012 10:47AM

    Great blog! I need to do things like this more often! Either "no thank you" or find something small and not as bad for me. lol

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JIBBIE49 4/21/2012 9:38AM

    emoticonWhat an honor to see your blog featured in the Spark Mail. You certainly are an inspiration to others! They will continue to watch you for guidance. emoticon

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ANNESYLVIA 4/21/2012 7:49AM

    Some other choices could have been their fruit and oatmeal, fruit parfait yogurt or small smoothie. Although, we do not go to fast foods places often, WE DO GO! So, I learned to let the family have what they want and I manages with the best healthy choice the fast food place offers, even if it is not that healthy!



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SEAJESS 4/20/2012 2:59PM

    EXCELLENT! Thank you for inspiring me in one of my toughest challenge areas. Yes, it is possible to be kind and considerate of others without abandoning self-care. Keep on shining your light!

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SLUDERCATS 4/20/2012 12:44PM

    Congratulations on sticking to your goals by choosing not to eat the biscuit. Be proud of yourself!!

Gayle

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TUBLADY 4/20/2012 11:45AM

    Great blog. Glad you chose to keep your convictions and decline the sausage biscuit, even though they were only $.59 cents.
I used to in my obese days look for bargains like that. If it was 2 for $3.00 I always bought the 2. Even though I know they would sell me one for $1.50.
The reason I decline to go to fast food places now, it's not that I will totally derail my healthy eating, but it's a start down that slippery slope. I don't need to go there.
Even though the food there has some better choices, I know I would want the fat greasy burger and fries. But I too have made a commintment to eat healthy and if I want a burger I will fix my own, that wey I know what is in it. I have to be accountable to myself.
No one said the path we chose would be easy, but it's so worth it.
Take care, Tisha emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUNETTA2002 4/20/2012 10:59AM

    Good for you. No matter what you eat it shows up some where.

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RSTAPLE 4/20/2012 10:05AM

  Awesome blog!!

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DAUGHTEROFTWIN 4/20/2012 9:47AM

    This was beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes and hits home on several levels. Thank you.. emoticon

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JUDITHANNIE 4/20/2012 9:33AM

    good for you..... emoticon

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POLARPUP 4/20/2012 9:14AM

    Thank you so much for the great reminder of what's really important and that health should always overcome food.

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NHEMBERGER 4/20/2012 8:03AM

    Great blog! Very well said!
emoticon

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PHIREBALL 4/20/2012 6:00AM

    I confess! I ate Popeye's fried chicken last night. One step back, but today will be a regular healthy day.

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MAGGIEROSEBOWL 4/20/2012 12:31AM

    I love sausage biscuits too. And their steak bagels (McDonald's) used to be a favorite too. BK has the croissanwich's--YUM, and they used to have those cheesy tots. I'd get those for breakfast and a frozen coke to go with them, on my way to work. I'd devour the cheesy tots before I got very far down the road though.

I can't even imagine the calories I consumed, unthinking, before. Now I don't put anything in my mouth without thinking about how many calories. I love these Pepperidge Farm cracker chips. I guess they fulfill my need to CRUNCH. You get 27 of them for 140 calories. But once I open a bag, I walk by and grab a few now and then. I got to thinking, each of those little chips is around 5 calories. That adds up FAST. It's better when they're not in the house--tempting me! At least if I don't open the bag, I don't eat them. But they're open now--watch out!

Your daughter is sweet--and you're smart and sweet. You solved the dilemma without hurting her feelings. The kids learn that we're different now. We can't and don't eat like that anymore. I told my kids this Christmas--NO candy in my stocking. Hubby knows NOT to buy candy for me at Valentine's Day any more. I try to cook normal BIG dinners on holidays, but there's also some low fat options available. I try to fill up on those and eat just a little of the other stuff.

We're making BIG changes....we need to learn to respect our bodies...and our families need to learn to respect our wishes. They will learn soon enough as this way of life becomes ingrained in all of us. It WILL happen! We CAN do this!

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SPEEDY143 4/19/2012 10:51PM

    Yeah, it's no wonder why we are obese.... burgers are $.99 & salads are $4.99. I love that you let her buy you an ice tea but stuck to your guns and decided that YOUR health is worth it. I have to learn to say no thank you to offers from loving individuals who just want to treat me. Thanks for the reminder emoticon

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GEEMAWEST 4/19/2012 10:28PM

    This is a battle I fight constantly with my husband. He is always tempting me with things to eat and when I explain why I don't want it he gets his feeling hurt or tries harder to tempt me. It's nice to know that someone else understands how I feel.

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HLANIER4 4/19/2012 8:49PM

    I battle with myself and my family as I walk the line to lose weight. I appreciate your blog, because this is a decision I make a lot in my life. Recently, I was not doing well, but am back after 2 weeks away from SP. You're truly inspirational for those of us that chose the sausage and biscuit...or in my case bagel sandwich.

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JEWITCH 4/19/2012 7:23PM

    Fantastic blog, what great insight in what is really important. Thanks for sharing.

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LINDA! 4/19/2012 5:29PM

    Awesome blog. I almost bought a hamburger today, at McDonalds, because I had run errands for a few hours and so hungry. But I remembered that the sodium alone was NOT what I needed. This is a timely blog for me and a reminder to keep working on taking care of my health.

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Fear Strikes Out

Thursday, April 12, 2012


If you cant view it here this video is availible on YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YPQgu4CX
w4

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MANILUS 4/29/2012 9:40AM

    So happy you were able to overcome one of your fears. I lost 187 lbs from 2005-2007 and worked out at a gym 8 hrs a week for 3 years. My dragons came to haunt me because they were not dealt with. I put back on all but 35 lbs. In 2009, I met my husband and started the journey again, seeing the looks of disapproval as I walked into the gym was embarrassing. Just knowing where I used to be was an embarrassment. I faced that dragon and won, I have over 100 lbs off now. Not easy to fight the dragons but, go get um!!

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ME_THE_REMAKE 4/21/2012 11:04AM

  great vlog, thanks so much for posting! I have a list to write and some dragons to slay.....

emoticon

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MYADOG1 4/19/2012 11:27AM

    I'm in!

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LEAN-N-LEXY 4/18/2012 10:12AM

    "Bite the heads off the dragons, one at a time." You said a lot there, John. It's making me realize that I have not really tried to identify my dragons, but instead just make excuses like, "I'm too tired" or "This is sore today." I need to really identify what those dragons are that are keeping me from doing what I need to do to get out there.

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JENNY888 4/16/2012 1:09PM

    Great heart felt post John. Thanks for giving me something to ponder. I need to have confidence to know I can do it. Like you have gained back what I worked so hard to lose. This time it is hard to get the confidence back to know I can do it again and the resolve to make the time to do what I needs to be done. I am with you. Fear should not stop me.

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WONDERFUL2BME 4/14/2012 9:49PM

    Pinky pack!

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MERRYMO1961 4/14/2012 6:45PM

    This vlog cuts right to the quick and resonates with me. Thank you for being honest and for sharing it here. It was what I needed to hear today.
Now excuse me, I've got a dragon or two to go slay...


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RICOCHETBEAR 4/14/2012 1:49PM

    Great blog John! Fortunately my dragons are not in this area, but this is very inspirational for those with these fears. emoticon

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DENISE223 4/14/2012 1:33PM

    Hi John:

I just read your blog, "To Sparkers Old and New", which then led me to clicking on your Vlog, "Fear Strikes Out".
Talk about hitting home!

There are times when I feel paralyzed by fear and most of the time it IS because of silly things.
It has been awhile since I have pushed through some of my fears, so I will make a pinky pack with you for today.

emoticon -- Change that to "WE CAN DO IT"!

I sincerely appreciate your honesty and look forward to reading your past blogs.

Many blessings to you and yours!
Peace, good health & happiness,
Denise

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TRISH261 4/14/2012 1:18AM

    Thank you, John, for that excellent video blog! And I have to say that I have managed to conquer a lot of my fears over the past few months, but there's still some I am still dealing with. And one of my fears is: The treadmill. I know that sounds weird, especially because I love being on one; but I am afraid to get on one in public (and I don't have enough room to own one) because I am afraid people will snicker and laugh at me because I weigh so much that when I walk on it, my feet thud and I'm sure it shakes the machine, and the floor. Every time I think of it, I actually HEAR the thudding sound. And I fear exercising in public; when I do walk, I go at 5 am, when it's still dark or at night after the sun goes down. I want to join a gym; I really think I am ready for it because I love the feeling I have after I walk and exercise, but fear is holding me back. And I WANT to beat that fear into the ground! So, yes, John, I AM ready to take the pinky pact, and when I "strike" my fear out, I will never let it get its grasp on me again! I am so glad I found you on here!!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DELIGHTFULDEBI 4/13/2012 7:45PM

    Wow! Thanks, John! I'm afraid...I'm afraid I will fail at this once again. I have recently lost 35 pounds following another program but I am feeling stuck so I have come to SPARKPEOPLE. I signed up on this site several months ago but I am now taking it seriously, but I'm afraid. I don't really know what to expect and I am leaving a very structured program and going into I don't know what. So, I'm afraid.

Debi emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 4/13/2012 7:05PM

    Darn you for calling me out.

emoticon

Swimming would be excellent for me right now with my own pain issues. Plus it would be a welcome change in my beyond-monotonous cardio routine. It once was true there was no way I could afford a gym membership, but now I almost definitely could squeeze out the money.

But I am afraid.

I am afraid I won't use the darn thing after all and just throw the money away. I'm afraid I'll pick the wrong gym and hate it. I'm afraid I'll look ridiculous next to all those "gym rats" who obviously are fitter and smarter than I am.

And I am absolutely positively terrified of wearing a bathing suit. Period! But in public?! Are you kidding me? I know! I understood before, but now, at 130 pounds? I am sick, man, sick.

I really don't know where I would find the time. (Here I am again, stuck at work this evening until...well, practically indefinitely.) But aside from that part, I really have been thinking about just biting the proverbial bullet. And maybe you just gave me the push I needed!

Oh, and good for you, John! (What?! That's not ALL I said in response!)

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REDROSE1990 4/13/2012 4:36PM

  I just joined SparkPeople this month and so far it's an eye-opening experience. I begin to realise it's much more than just having a bit more weight. And your questions and insights help me a lot to realise who I am.
This one really hit home. What am I afraid of? A lot. I've never been thin, and since I was twelve my mother always said I had to lose weight. I'm afraid I will disappoint her. I'm afraid I already did, because I already tried so many times and I never make my goalweight. I'm afraid to go to the gym (not the grouplessons that I'm currently taking, but the real gym). I'm afraid of other people's opinions about me. I'm afraid I am too self-conscious and because of that I'll miss some great experiences in my life. I think that's my biggest fear.
I'll gladly make the pinky promise! Thank you.

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AJDOVER1 4/13/2012 4:18PM

    Okay, John. I'm afraid.
I have a lot of really good reasons for being afraid, but they don't matter. There are two groups of people: Those-Who-Move-Beyond-Their-Fears and Those-Who-Don't. It's up to me to decide to which group I want to pay the dues. It's true, there's a cost associated either way. Sometimes it's a big cost for a big reward. Sometimes I think I'm saving myself from the cost, but I lose the payout. Maybe I just need to budget better. Or maybe we can pool our resources so we can both borrow each other's strengths so the cost of the dues doesn't seem so high. There's a big payoff for joining the Those-Who-Move-Beyond-Their-Fears group. I think there's an installment pay plan for the dues. I'm going to borrow a little from you today. Thanks, John.

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MYSTERYROSE74 4/13/2012 4:18PM

    I love you John!! Fear is a HUGE part of my life, and I do let it rule me. I have ataxic cerebral palsy, and am prone to falling. I am deathly afraid of falling. I need to get over it. I've been fighting this fear for way too long. I start to fight it, and the fear just kicks me upside the head. So yes, I am in for your challenge for not being afraid. Your blogs and vlogs always motivate me.

Thanks for all you do.

Terrie emoticon

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AKIMA06 4/13/2012 12:47PM

  Thanks for your inspiration. I am really afraid to go to a gym and don't belong to one right now. I am afraid that if I join one that it will be like all the other times meaning I won't go. I am also afraid to blog. Maybe I will start there. I don't know if I am ready to pinky promise but I will consider it today. Thanks again.

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SNOWANGELDIVA 4/13/2012 11:14AM

    I LOVE when you travel. Hotel vlogs..I feel like I'm stalking the Travelocity Gnome. Tee hee. Fear and I wrestle all the time. Oh DUDE, guess what...honestly.
It really could be anything when I say that.
Guess what!
My fear (this week), was this stupid neuro/pain prob idiocy thing knoecked me on my tooshie and I'm having trouble keeping up with the kiddies homeschooling. They were enrolled into public school.
Today.
It's like the First Day of School Times Three.
Pinky Pack!!! On Kicking Fear to the Curb!
I love this Gang!

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LITTLEBRITCHES7 4/13/2012 10:35AM

    Thanks for the thoughts!!!!!

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CBRIGGS1956 4/13/2012 9:00AM

    Thanks John for sharing.....I'm in.

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HEALTHIERMAMA57 4/13/2012 8:31AM

    Thanks, emoticon

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PAPADADDY1 4/13/2012 7:25AM

    Good video and inspiring message. It took "Sisu" (guts) to do a video instead of just writing a blog. Body language and facial expressions influence your message like no blog can. That in is's self took courage. Thank you and please keep them comin'!

I am feeling quite crappy today. Flu probably. I was going to take the day off from my workout but after watching your video I will do some stretching, a little walking and a short ride on the bike. Whether you know it or not, you are a motivator. Keep on Keepin' on John!

Hey! I'm a poet! emoticon

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NEWTINK 4/13/2012 7:24AM

    If you need a pinky pal feel free to consider me one ... you are truly inspiring ... Have a great day !!!! sorry i was late in replying to this blog


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ONEKIDSMOM 4/13/2012 7:21AM

    Wow! Fear is a powerful motivator. Fear of failing publicly, of looking less than successful is big for many of us. Thanks for your courage and CONGRATS on getting past fear one step at a time! emoticon

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REJ7777 4/13/2012 7:10AM

    Thank you for sharing your struggles (and victories) honestly. I know that I often do not do things I'd like to do because of fear or shame. I'm not sure I'm ready to make a pinky pact, but I will reflect on the challenge... and remember this blog.

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TMW54812 4/13/2012 5:04AM

    Well said!......and done!

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NASFKAB 4/13/2012 12:16AM

  thought provoking

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MYTURN11 4/12/2012 11:13PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonHugs to you, warrior ~ march on :-)

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LADILADIDA 4/12/2012 10:36PM

    Listening to fear and doing something about it. Courage isn't not being afraid, it's being afraid and taking action anyway. I like hanging around courageous and smart people which includes you.

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SEATTLE58 4/12/2012 10:18PM

    Very good and so thoughtful. I can tell that you really put your all into this video and I love that. You can only help someone when you've been there yourself and you have. Thank you for raising thoughts within myself to think more on. I will definitely come to you when I am afraid of something to do with this weight loss journey. You are a good inspiration! Thanks again! emoticon emoticon

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MISSPEACHES3 4/12/2012 9:16PM

    Thanks John. I look forward to being brave against those dumb fears that I also have.

Blessings,
Brenda

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BEARGODDESS 4/12/2012 7:30PM

    Thanks John! My fear is blogging. I don't journal. I'm a private person and I'm scared that I'm just not fascinating enough to "deserve" to blog here! I think I'll start with a sentence or two (1/4 mile) and try to work up from there!



emoticon

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THEFLORIDAFAIRY 4/12/2012 7:07PM

    John - Very thought provoking and inspiring. I don't know that I have any fears that I can think of right now, but will think about it and keep you posted! Thanks John emoticon

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FIFISMOM3 4/12/2012 6:55PM

    Thanks for the words. I am having surgery on my shoulder next month.. I can barely type now.. I will be history then and now I am walking up a storm hope I will be ok with it.. In AZ we roast so with all the crud I will have on my arm I am hoping to get a treadmill.. lol.. emoticon

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

To Sparkers Old and New

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.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRABBIT 4/1/2013 11:34AM

  This inspired me to try to utilize all the features of SparkPeople a lot more.

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BRADIA 6/21/2012 3:24PM

    your acrostics are pretty nice

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BAMAJAM 5/2/2012 5:47PM

  Hey John...

I am just beginning to read your blogs, and I can understand why you have so many "followers"... because you express such wisdom, and you express such encouragement to others. Indeed, you are a smart guy with a kind heart.
( Did you have smart nuns teach you? ) Just curious! haha

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MANILUS 4/29/2012 9:49AM

    It is truly amazing that you have stayed through everything, failure and success, that is dedication, someone who will succeed!

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SUSIEMT 4/20/2012 3:38PM

    Thank you John! Way to go!

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TEALBERI 4/19/2012 8:20AM

    Thank you for posting!

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LADYGSC 4/17/2012 9:48PM

    Very encouraging!! emoticon

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SKINNITA 4/17/2012 4:37PM

    Thanks for this inspirational post!

I'm so glad I've chosen to hang around with all of you Sparkies! Beats Facebook by far! I was feeling so discouraged a few days ago but the blogs, comments, tips all have put my journey into perspective. I want to lose 20kg and a fellow Sparkie made the comment "you don't have far to go". To me it seems a massive amount, but to some people that is a drop in the ocean compared to their journeys. Thanks for putting it all in perspective!

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MYJUNIEMOON 4/17/2012 3:05PM

    Thank you! I really, really needed to hear your words!!!

emoticon

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SUPERSYLPH 4/17/2012 11:48AM

    WooHoo to us!!!

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ALIDOSHA 4/16/2012 3:14PM

    Thanks for pointing at the basics in such a clear way!

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ROJAKHAN 4/16/2012 11:40AM

    emoticon emoticon

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COCOONGIRL 4/15/2012 3:17PM

    Love this so much!!! I needed to read this and remind myself why I am here!! THANK YOU!!!! YOU ARE AWESOME!!

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BUDDYSMYFRIEND 4/15/2012 1:50PM

    emoticon Thank you. This was a wonderful post. So true.


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DURANGOREDDOG 4/15/2012 3:48AM

    emoticon

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MAREANNIE 4/15/2012 3:25AM

    emoticon

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WOLFKITTY 4/15/2012 1:15AM

    Very nice! My favorite was "third and foremost"
:)

Take care,
Jocelyn

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AZJOEC73 4/15/2012 12:27AM

  Thank you John..... This is my first day back and that was exactly what I needed to hear. God Bless

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RUNNINGYOGINIRE 4/14/2012 10:20PM

  emoticon

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EVWINGS 4/14/2012 9:20PM

    John, your blog was sensational! I know one of the best days of my life was when I clicked on "Join" here at Soark.

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COPEMA 4/14/2012 9:19PM

    Great blog! Sometimes I feel selfish taking the time away from taking care of my Mother, but I think I've finally convinced myself that I have to take care of myself or I won't be able to take care of her!!

I hope you get another award! This was a award winning blog, too!

Marsha

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STLOUISWOMAN 4/14/2012 8:42PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MARUKI52 4/14/2012 3:37PM

    This is just what I needed to hear. Thank you so very much.

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SUGARBEACHES 4/14/2012 2:14PM

    emoticon emoticon

Pam

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DENISE223 4/14/2012 12:48PM

    Thank you John, for your inspirational blog post emoticon

I appreciate the reminders that I DO deserve to be successful and that I am worth it!
emoticon

Peace & Happiness,
Denise

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GINA180847 4/14/2012 11:21AM

    Thanks John, if the mentoring program gets going I'd love to be part of it though I would say I do already mentor when people want me to. Like you say it is about US!!!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KANOE10 4/14/2012 9:43AM

    Excellent positive advice. It was very inspirational to read!

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TERRIJ7 4/14/2012 9:24AM

    Wonderful blog--very well said!

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JENNYBAKER247 4/14/2012 8:03AM

    Well put, and thanks for inspiring me!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MAMAWALMART 4/14/2012 12:40AM

    emoticon

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STREO2004 4/13/2012 11:38PM

  emoticon

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DUSTYPRAIRIE 4/13/2012 11:29PM

    It really helps me support my friends when they use the daily status opportunity. I want to be supportive. After I read THE blog of yours I went to my friends list and got in touch with some I had not had contact with for awhile.



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PIPPAMOUSE 4/13/2012 11:15PM

    You are so right, this is about US, this is about all of US. Thanks for the reminder and the inspiration! emoticon

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FINALLYBEINGME 4/13/2012 11:11PM

    emoticon emoticon

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FOXFIRENDTS 4/13/2012 11:06PM

    emoticon

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SPEEDY143 4/13/2012 10:25PM

    emoticonHere's to US!!!!

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CURVYELVIESAYS 4/13/2012 9:59PM

    Your emoticon emoticon

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SUZZQ4LIFE 4/13/2012 9:02PM

    Very well said. I admire you as an incredible person and writer. I love how you put your thoughts into such spectacular writing. Thank you so much for your encouragement and words of wisdom. Congrats on your award. You deserve it so much. emoticon

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BBLETHMPR 4/13/2012 8:23PM

    Woot! emoticon emoticon

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THEIS58 4/13/2012 8:20PM

    Wonderful! Well said.

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SAM60SUMTHINK 4/13/2012 7:48PM

    Wonderful, insightful sharing of thoughts and wisdom!

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WELLNESSME09 4/13/2012 6:38PM

    Wow...lovely read!!! Very informiative. Reading your blog is such an ispiration!

Thanks so much!! emoticon emoticon

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LADYVOLSFAN1954 4/13/2012 6:31PM

    Love your message. It's so true emoticon

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LANAHAUTH21 4/13/2012 6:15PM

  Thanks for sharing.


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LOVEREDDESERT 4/13/2012 6:14PM

    Thank you so much. I'm new and your blog has really helped!

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TIFFY0906 4/13/2012 5:43PM

    Wow what an AWESOME, AWESOME blog. Thanks so much for sharing it.

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PRAIRIECROCUS 4/13/2012 5:27PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JAMIESADLER 4/13/2012 5:10PM

  Awesome I am a newbie and this is a great blog thanks!

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CROWLEY123 4/13/2012 3:52PM

    You are right...AGAIN. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your concern for others.

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SKINNYMINNIE25 4/13/2012 2:47PM

    You are so right. We can love people until the cows come home but if they don't believe they are worthy, they will NEVER feel it.

skinny

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

It Was Just An Idea..............

Monday, April 09, 2012

Yesterday morning, after breakfast, I was scrolling through my many Spark friends and I noticed a lot of them had not been active here at Spark for over a year in some cases. Their last status update almost read like a cry for help in many cases. The simple “I have to get back on track,” or “Starting over again,” or “I need help and support” were their last communications. None were long term members. They fell by the wayside and I started wondering why.

Then………… lol……………..I had an idea.

What if there was some sort of mentoring program for people who were new to this journey, people who got stuck along the way and people who reached their goals and objectives and were living a new life style that may have been alien to them just a short while ago. It would serve dual purposes. It might be the difference in a new member staying or leaving. Everyone is not like you and I. Everyone doesn’t look for help and guidance and often the shy or reticent person will go away rather than reach out. What if you received a Spark Mail your first week offering a bit of mentoring? Someone that’s been there and done that. I sat and wondered how many people it would have a positive effect on. I know what you may be thinking: Some people are going to leave regardless. But………… some people would stay also.

Tell me what you think. The idea is embryonic at best right now. Is is doable and do you have any suggestions or thoughts that might help it be successful. Please feel free to be honest. If you think the idea sucks big time, let me know.

It was just an idea, lol

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOGOULD 10/14/2012 1:32PM

    Wonderful idea!!! Sorry I just got around to reading this blog. In fact, I was in one of those periods when I missed it, dangerously close to calling it quits after reaching my goal and then slipping backwards after an injury that sidelined me. Fortuitously, I held on by my fingernails for months and have slowly gotten back on track, not quite to where I was, but headed in the right direction and determined to stick with it!

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NASFKAB 6/8/2012 2:18AM

  even on message boards have had nudges sometimes but other groups do not care

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EGR2BEME 5/3/2012 10:15PM

    I love your idea! I have been away for awhile and talked with a friend today about the need to get back. I often start with the blogs too, as someone else mentioned, hoping for the inspiration.

I know there have been times in my SPARK life when it would be very helpful to have someone to be accountable to...someone to reach out to when I am struggling or to shake me and remind me that I am the only one standing in my way!

Ellen

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MANILUS 4/29/2012 9:25PM

    I think that it is difficult on this site to be noticed, in joy or times of need because the people who have been around for awhile are noticed and followed. Even if you have a lot to offer, it is difficult to become a friend or have comments or your blogs.

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HOPEFULONE5 4/20/2012 8:08PM

    John, after 2 years(I can't believe it has been that long) I have found my way back to Spark. I have started to read through blogs and have found yours very inspirational. I love this idea of a mentoring program. I think this would help alot of people. So far, I am just using the food tracker and reading blogs. It is only my third day and I am afraid to eat all the food that is suggested. Do you follow the food plan or enter what you eat on your own? I am not used to counting calories...the last diet I was successful at was Weight Watchers many years ago.

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SASKANNE 4/19/2012 6:57PM

    To me, this is a phenomenal idea! I was nodding my head reading it as I am that person, RIGHT NOW! I have totally lost all my drive and have only recently started back to reading blogs (which I find the most inspirational). This is such a good idea, it may be all a person would need to get back on track! Good thoughts! Thanks!

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JGRIFF148 4/17/2012 10:28PM

    Great idea!

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JNPRGR8T 4/17/2012 1:04PM

  good idea! I left for about a year and came back on my own but it would have been nice to have someone nudging me to come back sooner.

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1AWANA 4/15/2012 9:57PM

  This is me exactly. So much info that it all sounded good but exactly how to use. Such as: I read articles and would get 3 points if I read it but what to do with the points, etc. I think a personal contact would be great!

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ALIDOSHA 4/15/2012 4:52PM

    God bless you for being so thoughtful for our weaker teamsters!

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BWGIRL36 4/15/2012 1:59PM

    Great idea! I am a shy person until I get to know people better. It took me over a year before I started adding spark friends and it has truly made a difference. There is just so much information on spark people that it can be overwhelming. My journey isn't just about losing weight, it's about learning! Learning how to get the best nutrition into my body, learning how to exercise and the best way to do it, learning how to make friends, learning how to motivate friends, and learning how to be a better person overall.

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VINCENTP2 4/15/2012 12:52PM

  JOHN I'M NOT THAT NEW TO SP,HOWEVER I'M NOT VERY DICIPLENED IN FOLLOWING ALL THE GOOD ADVISE AVAILABLE TO US.

I THINK THTA BY HAVING A MENTOR WILL SERVE AS THAT EXTRA PUSH THAT IS NEEDED SOMETIMES TO REACH UR GOAL.

GREAT IDEA,PLEASE KEEP ME ADVISE.

THANKS.

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ERICASB 4/14/2012 10:10PM

    drop of honey seems to have missed the plot, it is these people especially that need that help. I know i am one of them and the task seems so daunting , i know what i should be doing, my health demands i change my lifestyle, and yet I still wallow here unable to find the way to do it. Maybe those you lead to water dont know that this is the good stuff or how to drink, that is what sparks is supposed to be about.


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MARUKI52 4/14/2012 3:44PM

    As a newbie (a couple of months just like LHAURI) to SparkPeople I think this is a great idea. I can see that it would be very helpful not only to those who have got stuck in their journey but also to the new people here.

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CYBERFEY 4/14/2012 11:16AM

    It's a great idea! I'm one of those that has fallen by the wayside and am so sad that I did. But I'm here again. It would be great to have an accountability friend. Someone to kick my bottom when I need it!

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LUCKYNLOVENEB 4/14/2012 10:55AM

    Well, I'm gonna request a friendship with you because you are just the kind of person I need!

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BELLE_SURFEUSE 4/14/2012 9:27AM

    Brilliant idea!! Although Sparkpeople have lots of tools and a good community it can be intimidating for newbies to know where to start or to put themselves out there! I would definitely sign up and I think it would provide encouragement for those already successful in their weight-loss/healthy journey to keep going too! emoticon

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DROPOFHONEY 4/14/2012 9:15AM

    Great Idea!!
But, in all honesty, those people you say left did so because they weren't willing to commit. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. Right??

I hate asking for help.. But I sought it anyways. Because I had made the commitment to be here.

SP gives you the tools......... MORE then enough tools...... To succeed and the help is there if you only take the time to go out and find it.

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KATTTY 4/13/2012 11:55PM

    emoticon
That is an awesome idea...I joined back in 2007, but only recently came back.... I think that many people would stay if they had a personal contact. So pleased that you thought of this, and put it in your blog. Hopefully it gets used!!!

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CAROL494 4/13/2012 8:32PM

  What a wonderful suggestion! emoticon

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BANDMINC 4/13/2012 1:49PM

    Where do I sign up? I think it's a great idea!
:0)

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LHAURI 4/13/2012 10:58AM

  This is a great idea! I am fairly new to SparkPeople (about 2 months), and I'm one of those "shy" people who may drop off if I don't make the effort to come out of my shell. :)


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DOTTY7267 4/13/2012 10:26AM

    I think it is a great idea. I have a friend that I have met through SparkPeople who continues to motivate me, and checks in on me when she hasn't seen any posts from me and/or any fitness activity in a while. We met through a Spark Team, and were in a walking group, along with others. We often wonder about the other members, who were initially very active but have faded away. We attempt to reach out to them periodically with emails and/or sparkGoodies.

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CPATRICK9 4/13/2012 8:37AM

    Super idea. I try to encourage people who are frustrated and I appreciate it when people do the same for me.

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DMF2012 4/13/2012 8:14AM

    Great idea!

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NEWTINK 4/13/2012 7:12AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SPEEDY143 4/13/2012 3:26AM

    emoticon

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DAWNEDONU 4/13/2012 12:29AM

    I like it. It will also keep "the spark" alive in the seasoned mentor... It's like the 12th step in AA (I work with alcohol and drug addicts) "You have to give it away to keep it!"

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GORGEOUS72305 4/12/2012 11:15PM

    I love this idea!

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DRMISHE 4/12/2012 10:57PM

    I love this idea! Thanks for sharing.

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BECKSTEVENSON 4/12/2012 10:13PM

    Great thought!!! :)

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AUNTFANNYJANE 4/12/2012 9:31PM

    Great idea... I could use a mentor now even though I haven't really left... on the slippery slope

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THINNYGINNY 4/12/2012 9:22PM

    Great idea!!! A personal message every now and then really makes a difference to me, so I think it would for others too. What a good idea.

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SAL2525 4/12/2012 9:00PM

    What an excellent idea!

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MYSTERY4EVER 4/12/2012 8:47PM

    While that would be ideal, I'm not sure it is workable. I agree that support is essential to any weight-loss effort. Where I personally have found support - wonderful, loving, kind, insightful support is in teams. It would seem that a simple questionnaire could be developed to help new members find the teams that would really help them. For example while I love my Mystery Readers team for great book discussions, I have found support through the Toastmasters team and Water Aerobics team. Lately I have been getting solid support and information from the Hip Replacement and Knee/Hip Replacement teams.

Obviously the teams will be personal, but for me it took a very long time to understand teams and then figure out how to join them. That would be helpful to new members.

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CICELY360 4/12/2012 8:22PM

  Good blog.

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JIBBIE49 4/12/2012 7:35PM

    What an honor to be featured in the Spark Mail.

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SKINNITA 4/12/2012 7:08PM

    Exactly what I need! If I had a mentor the first time I joined, I would still be down 20kg instead of up 25kg!

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STARSUB99 4/12/2012 6:53PM

    This is a great idea let me know how I can help you get this organized.

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AMBER461 4/12/2012 6:48PM

  Sound like a great idea. some of us need mentoring. emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/12/2012 6:49:08 PM

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EXERTIGER 4/12/2012 5:42PM

    It's always good to have someone who cares and comments on your blogs, shows you how to do things, etc. I think the spark community is one big mentor, but I also think maybe more of an individualized thing would be a great idea.

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WENDIGAYLE 4/12/2012 5:24PM

  emoticon

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MYSTERY-LADY1 4/12/2012 5:04PM

    Great Idea

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MSCRISPIN 4/12/2012 4:48PM

    emoticon

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SMILEY3826 4/12/2012 4:15PM

    that is a wonderful idea!

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PMBOURQUE 4/12/2012 3:48PM

    Great idea. I would welcome a mentor ANYTIME to help me in this journey. This is my second time joining, and starting over. And it has not been easy at all.
First and foremost, I think a mentor can help you keep your mind on track. That is where I have so much difficulty, as your other blogs show as well. The mind of an overweight person is a hard thing to change.

Thanks for your blogs. They are very helpful.

Paul

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SMILLS9 4/12/2012 3:21PM

    Great Idea!! I could use assistance and don't know who to ask.
Thanks for caring about the Sparks community. emoticon

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LIRAETH 4/12/2012 2:35PM

  This is a great idea

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ST8NLIFE 4/12/2012 2:21PM

  sounds like a neat idea to me.

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SBNORMAL 4/12/2012 2:05PM

  This is good idea.

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Clarifying My April Excercise Goal

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Thanks for all who shared concern about my increase in exercise for April. My stated goal was 45 minutes per day and some of you, rightfully so, sorta said “Whoaaa.” (I am paraphrasing.) Let me clarify, lol. The forty five minutes a day I am spending in exercise involves stretching, walking and swimming in a warm water therapy pool. Some of it incorporates simply floating on my back and contemplating my life. After two days my back and leg muscles are much looser and I feel more energetic. I am a bit sore, from pushing just a bit, but the warm water counteracts the tiny bit of discomfort I am having. I am not running around the block, lol. Thank you for bringing your concerns to my attention. I should have been more detailed in my exercise program. I can see how it would be misinterpreted.

My next step, in a week or so, is to begin using light weight, the treadmill and elliptical. I will incorporate that time into my total of 45 minutes along with the therapy pool.

Thanks for all your love

A soggy John

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NASFKAB 4/5/2012 12:04AM

  wish had access to warm water great idea

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CARTOONB 4/4/2012 10:58PM

    I am glad to hear that you have sense. Tee hee

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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/4/2012 10:02PM

    Sounds great, John. I'm a big fan of hydrotherapy. It keeps me human. LOL.

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GETFIT2LIVE 4/4/2012 6:49PM

    That sounds like a reasonable plan, John. The big thing is listening to your body as you go and making adjustments as needed.

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HDHAWK 4/4/2012 6:26PM

    I think this is a great way to ease back into things!

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DOTTIEJANE1 4/4/2012 10:58AM

    Thanks for the clarification . Wishing you sucesss in 2012 . emoticon

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ANATASHIKI 4/4/2012 9:50AM

    I confess I was one of those who thought"45 minutes daily is a bit too much " emoticon . but I didn't say anything cause a few years ago my daily routine was 2 hours . that ended when I got sick , surgery , again sick , about an year and half and of course I gained almost everything I lost . so my daily goal now is something that I could do even when I was very tired or sick, 20 minutes of running or stationary bike or other cardio form. but I do walk a lot and that's not included in my cardio routine so probably I would be somewhere around your 45 minutes. oh , sorry , it was not about me emoticon, I wanted to say that this sounds good and totally reasonable emoticon emoticon

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LADILADIDA 4/4/2012 9:13AM

    I'm actually glad you include stretching, cardio and weights into your total 45 minutes. That's awesome and completely doable. It feels good!

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