Thursday, April 26, 2012
If you cant view this video here it is also availible on YouTube @
Monday, April 23, 2012
Thank you Carl. It took twenty years for me to get. Every morning when Iíd walk into your office sitting on your desk, was a simple message. ďBy an inch itís a cinch. By a mile itís a trial.Ē I looked at it every day for two years and its meaning didnít hit me until about a week ago. You were telling us to take it slow and easy and one day weíd all wake up and go ďOMG, I reached my goal!Ē But, like a lot of other people I chose to win the whole game with one swing of the bat.
When I joined Spark two and a half years ago I was heavier than Iíd ever been in my life. I weighed in at 326 pounds. (Yikes!!!) I was ready to change, or so I thought. I jumped in with both feet. I joined a lot of teams, accepted a lot of challenges, went through the obligatory C25K, ran in three 5Kís started spinning and low and behold I lost 79 pounds. I was well on my way to reaching my initial goal of a 100 pound weight loss. I hit the dreaded plateau. I tried everything. Maybe a new Spark team, maybe exercise regimens changes. I hired a personal trainer, got rid of diet soda, gluten and quite frankly ended up being really miserable. The scale never moved. You know what happened next. Many of you have been there. The closet door opened and out popped the monsters. Their nasty little voices told me ďSee, you are never going to make it!!!Ē In a way they were right, itís what I believed. In May of 2011 I hurt my back and my exercise was significantly curtailed. The weight didnít creep back on it roared back on! In early March I thought I had a handle on it, thought Iíd gotten back on track. My dad suddenly died at age 88. Being an emotional eater to begin with this only added insult to injury. I could barely close my pants and began telling myself I knew it was a mistake to get rid of my fat clothes.
An old friend once told me ďGod creates from nothing and until we are nothing God cannot create.Ē Yoo Who, God, I believe I get the point.Ē Iíd regained all but seven pounds. Slowly I began to realize that in my zeal and my hurry to get healthy Iíd taken on way too much. It was like juggling ten balls at once. Itís hard to keep up! It was like I had to make up for a lifetime of poor choices all at once. Thatís when I remembered what Carl said. If you look at it in small increments itís more manageable, isnít it? I want to be healthy. Thatís a milestone. A milestone is like way huger than a goal. Itís like standing at the bottom of a mountain and declaring youíll climb it without ever having climbed a mountain before. You get up the mountain a bit and you are lost. You purchased all the correct gear. Why isnít this working? Itís because you didnít start with the small hills, build up your confidence and then scale Mt. Everest. Our goals lead us to milestones which lead us to major life accomplishments and Iíve realized that my whole notion was slightly skewed. I was swinging for the fences.
I am shelving long term goals for now. Yes, I know it goes against the grain, but for me, weekly goals will keep me better focused and are completely manageable. Each Monday, Iíll set a health related goal for the next week. Each week Iíll build on that accomplishment. This week I am going to work very hard at making the right food choices. Iíll know Iím on target by looking at my tracker and making sure I stay within my limits. Easy you say? I have a question. How many of us who DONíT track our food intake on a regular basis stay healthy and maintain our desired weight? I know I didnít. Next Sunday I will evaluate my progress and add to it. Iím not living beyond next Monday morning.
Like so many other people I tried to do too much at once. Am I bitter, shoot no!!! I am grateful that I see what needs to be done. Yes, it took over two years but for the first time in forever I feel like my focus is clear as well as my intent.
Do me a favor, I need some help. If you have time this week shoot me a Goodie or Spark Mail and ask me how Iím doing? Iím not ashamed to admit it; right now I need some accountability support.
ďBy an inch itís a cinchÖÖĒ
Sunday, April 22, 2012
I was traveling a better part of last week which meant I had to play the food challenge game. This used to really bother me. Iíd get all bent out of shape and mutter nasty invectives about the skinny people who wanted to stop at The All You Can Eat Carb Bar and wash it down with three or four high calorie beers and I just had to sit there. I swear Iíd see my tummy grow the minute we walked in the door.
Thursday morning, while I was dressing it dawned on me that I was AS important as the people I sat around the table with and I indeed had my own voice. Maybe it was time I used it for my own good. Us overweight people often have self-esteem issues amongst our luggage. We feel lucky just to be allowed in the room, much less participate in the fun and games. So we sit in the corner, hoping no one sees us there. Slowly but surely we lose our voice. You know the voice, right? Itís the one that allows us to move front and center and assure our basic needs are taken care of. When your self-esteem is really bruised and battered you lose your voice. You rationalize that ďyouíre being selfish,Ē or ďyou donít want to make any waves.Ē Iím not talking about an in your face sort of style. Iím talking about a quiet assuredness that knows whatís best for me and you. The more weight we gain , the more false starts we endure, the smaller our voice becomes. We get lost and feel unworthy.
Cold hard fact: No one will look out for you until you begin to look out for yourself. No one will intervene on your behalf but you. Friends, family, co-workers may express concern about your health but no one will intervene. Itís up to me and you. Those thoughts went through my head the other morning as I dressed. I got a bit angry at myself. I am reasonably intelligent. I should have seen this. No worries. I believe God turns a fresh page every morning and because he loves me in a most amazing way he gives me an opportunity to learn from yesterday. I have learned that the best time to begin anything is RIGHT NOW. Itís not next week, next month or next year. Iíve learned that your level of commitment to a new project or behavior will never be stronger than RIGHT NOW.
I met my client in the hotel dining room. He had already hit the omelet bar. His plate was loaded with eggs, three cheeses and every meat known to man. I could hardly see his face from all the steam rising off his plate. No time like the present John. I patiently waited my turn in line and said the following words: ďIíd like an egg white omelet with spinach, tomatoes, green peppers and mushroom. No cheese please and could you cook that in cooking spray rather than butter?Ē He asked if I wanted sausage or bacon. I told him fruit. He told me that would ďcost extra.Ē I told him no worries. I sat down to eat breakfast and my client asked ďNot hungry, John?Ē I could have launched into a speech about healthy eating but instead I just grinned and said ďWell I am going to be teaching today so I want to be light on my feet.Ē He laughed, I laughed and when I went back to my room I did a modified version of the happy dance.
You know how us overweight people bemoan the fact that one bad behavior, one misstep, leads to us sliding down the side of the hill and drowning in a sea of French fries? I do it all the time. Iíll snag a donut on the way out the door and as far as Iím concerned Iíve undone three weeks of good and the rest of the day is a sugar and carb stupor. I might as well give up. You been there? Seems like every fault and flaw pushes front and center and reminds us how big of a failure we really are. Do we look that way on positive behaviors as well? One really healthy decision in the morning leads to a strong foundation for the rest of the day. Fortified with that knowledge, I dusted off my voice and used it for my own benefit at breakfast. I was able to use it confidently the rest of the day. Funny thing though. I had some challenges. Some I navigated successfully, some I didnít. I never blew it but when faced with a bad or worse choice my self-esteem wasnít flushed because of it. I knew the next opportunity offered me a chance to make best choices for me. A chance to use my voice
Practice makes perfect. We all have a voice. Wouldnít it sound amazing your voice and mine, part of a most amazing chorus?
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 ďless than positive behaviors.Ē 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 ďI canít take it anymore!!!Ē Yeah I exaggerate and yeah this is often a topic we overweight folks shy away from. Itís the ďAĒ word, addiction. We donít 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 thatís an excuse. There are some foods you or I canít eat. Itís 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 ďwe are addicted toÖÖ.Ē
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 wouldnít 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 wouldnít really hurt. Itís 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 shouldnít eat if we want to stay healthy. We canít have a ďlittle bit.Ē They cause us to come unwound. We struggle to ďJust Say No!!Ē
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 itís 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 Iíve 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 Donaldís 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. Itís not rocket science.
So I sit here today a bit wiser. Iíve instituted my own personal ďNo Fry Zone.Ē 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 whatís in front of me. Part of my addiction comes from being unable to say ďno.Ē I can create all sorts of excuses why I shouldnít hurt someone elseís feelings.
In the end, itís 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. Iíve 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
Get An Email Alert Each Time JOHNTJ1 Posts