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Sometimes Good Things Take Forever; But They Are Worth The Wait

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I don’t read the newspaper very often. I’ll admit it makes me seem grossly uniformed, but if I’m looking to create negativity in my life I can do that without paying someone twenty dollars a month. In the past week our community has experienced an ex-high school principal being granted shock probation for having relations with an underage student, a Catholic priest being indicted and arrested for sexual molestation and a teacher aide/assistant baseball coach fired and arrested for having relations with underage, special needs students. As positive of an outlook as I have on life, these events strained my capacity to look for any goodness, kindness or; well you fill in the blank.


I was waiting for my water to boil this morning when I glanced at the sports headlines. A baseball coach at one of our high schools had turned in his resignation. That in itself wasn’t surprising but his reason was. He wanted to spend more time with his four sons. They were reaching an age where they could be active and he wanted to be there with them ---- all the way. He’d remain a teacher and devote his coaching time to his kids. My generation would have cautioned him. We’d have told him he was letting go of an opportunity to advance, earn more money; you can fill in the blank here.

I don’t know him or his dad, but I’ll bet his dad had the same mindset we all did back in the 70’s. Work as much as you can, make as much as you can and provide your kids with a chance to compete in this world. I worked as much overtime as I could and I believed that was how I showed my love and support. As that generation comes of age, they shake there head a resounding “No.” They are giving their kids what many of us didn’t recognize as pure gold, our time. I didn’t miss everything my kids were into but I missed enough for them and many like them to identify the missing link, the lost piece of the map, you can fill in the blank here with your own experience.

In many ways it’s like getting on the scale on weigh in day and finding the needle hasn’t budged or if it has its budging the wrong way. You do all the right things and you do them consistently but no matter where you turn you run into a wall of frustration, anxiety or; well you fill in the blank.

Something good evolved. It took decades to gain shape and substance but the need to nurture, foster and appreciate the lives of our children pushed the need for material gain to the back. No matter how hard we try sometimes, no matter how frustrated we get, if we stick to what’s right in our minds it bears fruit in the end. One thing usually leads to another, and so this morning my heart is a tad bit lighter. In the midst of all the swill, perversion and negativity there comes a beacon in the form of a coach who put the right things first.

Now, it’s time for us to fill in the blank.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 6/28/2012 2:25PM

    You are right on, again. My mother and step-father did not have time for me, but thank God my grandmother and grandfather did. I don't know what would have happened to me without them. But as I look back I also see how being on my own (today it would be called neglected) developed characteristics that have helped me.

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JAVAGAL47 6/15/2012 10:04PM

    Great comments John and Happy Father's Day!

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LADILADIDA 6/14/2012 9:26AM

    LOVE - "No matter how hard we try sometimes, no matter how frustrated we get, if we stick to what’s right in our minds it bears fruit in the end." So true. Welldone blog, my friend.

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CBRIGGS1956 6/14/2012 8:55AM

    As usual you are absolutely correct about time being golden, I am one of the ones who unfortunately found that out only after my kids are grown. Thanks, for the message.

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VTORIA3 6/14/2012 7:51AM

    Wow, John, your blog is really uplifting. I'm so glad I stopped by to read it today. emoticon

Wishing you a great day!

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SPARKENISTA 6/13/2012 11:48AM

    I don't buy newspapers, either.
The fact that the perverted individuals you mention have been caught is a good thing. You mention the evolution of our society. When you and I were growing up we didn't hear about this stuff b/c it was taboo to mention it. It probably would not have been believed much less prosecuted.

The golden lining in this black cloud is that people who do this are getting caught and, hopefully, punished--or at least removed from society, lose their jobs and will be pariahs for the rest of their miserable lives.

In terms of spending more time with your kids--I just saw a headline that said that on their death beds, most people regret not having spent more time with their loved ones.

I agree that our society is evolving and that people are recognizing the "profit" of spending time with their families. Setting a great example by working hard is something that this father is doing. He doesn't have to worry about that.

Having lost my father at age seven, you know where I weigh in on this, so...

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NASFKAB 6/13/2012 12:41AM

  thanks for your profound & thought provoking comments we do not always see what is really important & MORTICIAADAMS your husband is great

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GEEMAWEST 6/12/2012 11:20PM

    This is so 'right on'! People find it hard to believe that I would rather spend time with my grandchildren than make the 'big bucks'. But that's my choice and I'm proud of it! We are much better grandparents than we were parents. Live and Learn (I hope).

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STEADFASTNSEE 6/12/2012 9:04PM

  Very insightful! HUGS

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CARTOONB 6/12/2012 8:47PM

    What can I say? Fill in the blank...

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LYNMEINDERS 6/12/2012 5:14PM

    Amen...I am so so proud of that coach and it is great to know that some things in this world are changing all be it slowly.....woohoo

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MARITIMER3 6/12/2012 4:00PM

    My children grew up with me pushing myself for a better job, more responsibility, more money... and unfortunately they have picked up some of my bad habits.

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KIMCOLLINGS 6/12/2012 2:41PM

    Terrific blog. Thanks for sharing!

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ANATASHIKI 6/12/2012 2:01PM

    I don't watch news either , no paper , no TV . I don't want to waste all my time working either, no amount of money is worthy of it . everybody looks funny at me when I say it and they probably think I'm crazy . I'm grateful that I have a job , and one of the better paid here but it's too much work. I insist to believe that we should work to live , not live to work.

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HDHAWK 6/12/2012 12:52PM

    My husband and I have had this conversation many times. He can see that he attended classes and trainings to advance in his job. He and their mom divorced 11 yrs. ago and what he missed the most was time with his kids. As they've started their own lives the time together seems harder to find.

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SGRAY478 6/12/2012 12:39PM

    I am so glad that some people still put the right things first in life.
Thanks for sharing this story!!

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BAMAJAM 6/12/2012 11:37AM

  Thank you, John, and thank you too, MorticiaAdams---- for wonderful words of wisdom. Words that explain true contentment in life. Having a family of virtue and integrity is the BEST statement about parenting. You have realized this--- and your messages have great merit!

Indeed, the sad news of the day can bring a shadow of gloom. Alabama has shocking news of a triple murder in the college town of Auburn. A "party" got out of hand and a fight happened. And one of the deceased victims had himself killed a family relative last March with a gun. Guns are common weapons. Sad.
We hear the scandal of Catholic priests, the bad ones, but there are so many good priests. A beloved priest in my life became my true hero.

I sometimes joke about retirement years and say: We should turn off the news, and play only happy music!! ----- The news should report more good stuff---

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VONBLACKBIRD 6/12/2012 11:19AM

    O so true...I see one of my granddaughters growing up to know empathy and that it is better to spend time with family and friends than trying to get ahead. She does want a college education but she spends time where it is most appreicated...We as parents went against the flow in doing for our kids. I was raised this way as a child..and I bucked my parents in wanting to put aside my time for our sons...I see our sons not doing as well and sometimes it is heart breaking to see the grandkids wanting their dads there as much as their moms. Thankfully their moms don't work so they give them all lots of quality time.

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DEARTOMYHEART 6/12/2012 10:54AM

  John, thanks again for a very awesome blog. I'm a grandparent and enjoy these previous gifts our beautiful children gave to us. God is great isn't he.. emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/12/2012 10:55:21 AM

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HEALTHIERKEN 6/12/2012 10:44AM

    Great sensitive blog. I rarely watch tv news or listen to radio news or read newspapers. I do a quick overview of a couple of news websites so I have a bit of an idea of what's going in politics and world events and I mostly avoid reading about "man's inhumanity to man" I know it exists in dreadful amounts but I don't need to know details.

On the other note, the thing I like best about being a grandparent is I can unabashedly and unashamedly give my grandchildren every single moment they ask for!

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MAMADWARF 6/12/2012 10:34AM

    Great blog!! Thanks for writing it.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 6/12/2012 10:33AM

    My hubby and I used to watch a lot of news, several times a day in fact, until I read a book by Andrew Weil and it said people need to take a news break from all of the bad news which affects your mood and health, I thought about it and it was true as it caused my hubby to gripe after seeing all the doom and gloom and it bummed me out too.

It's sad that so many people in the past and still today base their value of a person on how much money they make. When my son was little my husband's job was transferred to Canada. At the same time my son was very sick and missed 20 days of kindergarten and 20 days of first grade before he had surgery. I could make more money working as a nurse than my husband could starting over so he stayed home and took care of our son while I worked. Many women were very understanding but my husband took a lot of grief from other men. When we would be in social situations my hubby would explain to me that when one man meets another man they first ask what they do for a living. He said when he told them he was a stay at home dad that the men he was talking to couldn't wait to get away. How sad that some people think the most important job in the world is beneath a "real" man.

Trust me when I say that my hubby is a real man and I will put him for comparison to any man out there without a qualm because he sets the standards for husbands and fathers. He can build a house, fix a car, talk at length intelligently with an entomologist or mycologist or any number of other subjects, can cook, do laundry, and comfort a child as well as any woman. A lot of men would dismiss him as unimportant because he doesn't own a Mercedes or a mansion. His jewels are his son and me. WE are what he treasures. When he meets his maker he will have plenty of "real gold" to show for a life well lived.

Comment edited on: 6/12/2012 10:34:33 AM

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THEFLORIDAFAIRY 6/12/2012 10:00AM

    Thank you for verbalizing these profound statements. Great job!

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To Stand Alone

Friday, June 08, 2012

A few years ago when our son Paul was married I was asked to give the speech and toast at his rehearsal dinner. A number of options floated through my mind as I prepared and I decided to look back at my life with Joan and pull from the wisdom I’d developed over 36 years, at the time. One thing seemed to reoccur over and over and that was an amazing similarity between weddings and funerals. (No it’s not what you think, lol.) In both cases, people are eager to rush forward and offer advice, support and in the case of a death comfort and a willing ear. Both events are surrounded by emotion and seem to pass so quickly that we hardly have time to take them in for what they are. A month or so later we blink our eyes, become infused with a degree of helplessness as we struggle with a new experience. As we look at the landscape all of those well-wishers and those shoulders to lean upon are nowhere in sight. We stand alone, forced to grapple with the changes.

Thirty eight years of marriage have taught me that’s how it should be. The best lesson life has to offer us is the one we experience on our own. That is why we have so many diet books lining the shelves of our book stores. Every one promises us great things, mystical transformations and a fresh outlook on life. “Out with the old and in with the new.” We plunk down our hard earned money, break the speed limit getting home, curl up in a chair and about three chapters in this sinking feeling slowly grips hold of us. Maybe it comes in the form of a little voice that whispers “This isn’t gonna work!!!” We immediately lash ourselves for being weak, uncommitted, oh shoot your pick an adjective!!! It dawns on us after a bit that we are; like the newly wed or the recently bereaved, all alone. There are no landmarks or road signs to direct us.

If this is the point you expect me hail the virtues of Spark Teams and Spark Friends you are mistaken. I love them all dearly and they are an integral part of my life. The operative word is “part.” When the dust settles on my weight loss journey and on my quest for improved fitness and health I know there is only one person staring in the bathroom mirror and that person is me. Only I know when I cheat or when I have those gray, forlorn days. I am learning that no matter how much support I can conjure up for myself when the dust settles on my life there is part of this journey I have to walk alone.

I believe God knew this when He created the Universe. In His infinite wisdom He knew there would be points points in our lives when we had to “go it alone.” There would always be the loving and guiding hand of the Divine and yes all the scriptural promises still hold true that we would not be abandoned and we are indeed loved. Yet, I believe He lets us walk the tight rope now and then so that we learn, we grow and we develop. Somewhere in our pain, our indecision and our anxiety we find this glowing truth that surpasses all wisdom and knowledge we’ve learned to date. For that we are stronger and wiser. Yup we feel a bit beat up but we’re fortified and renewed. Maybe battle tested is a better word.

My personal reassurance here comes from Jesus last words as he hung on the cross dying. “My God, My God,” he cried out “Why have you forsaken me?” Crucifixion is one of the worst imaginable deaths and Christians believe that Jesus hung there for three hours to redeem the world. During his ministry he worked miracles, raised people from the dead and followed a preordained path that led him to that moment alone. In despair and with a twinge of fear he cried out those words and then completed his mission, alone. At that one moment of redemption God knew that He had to take a step back and allow Jesus to pass through all on His own. I am reassured by that passage. Hopefully I’ll never be crucified or charged with the task of redeeming the world.

If my choice is health I will stumble, I will fall; I will despair and if I choose get up and continue my journey forward. My friends, my family can love me, encourage me and support me but there is always that moment, sometimes each day, that I step off the path by myself and make choices and decisions all alone, often feeling forsaken, that impact the rest of my journey. Only I know them for what they really are and that’s as it should be.

Be blest today.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 6/28/2012 2:20PM

    Yes, we can have all the support in the world, but we have to do it, not someone else. Support does help, it's sure better than saboteurs, I do that enough myself!

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KAT573 6/19/2012 9:01AM

    JOHN: thank you for sharing this. I, too, believe that I am alone and when I choose, I can 'see' God is also with me; when I don't choose, things look grey and helpless, when I DO choose to meet God halfway or even less, no matter how scared, hurt, sad I feel, I KNOW He is gonna help me through, no matter what; people come and people go; we all do things to/ or receive from, other people, either through actions so focused on self, the trespasses are inadvertent, or purposely, still unaware of what we have done TO another FOR ourselves, or deliberately; in any of those cases, GOD will help us develop ownership, whether it is a strength or a weakness we possess, in order to help us to grow into wholly who we truly are, the light and the dark; but with God, the darkness shall never overcome us.
HUGS emoticon

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GAILSQUEST 6/13/2012 12:03PM

    Yes,I have more diet books than a library and every time I get one it`s like Christmas.I`m not kidding.
Then about 2 or 3 days in,I start to cheat and by the end of the week,the book goes on the shelf with the others to collect dust.
I have to say that the Spark meal plan I use every day.And I`m always looking for recipes to try.
And I have found that I do best when I follow my exercise routine not someone elses.

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SPARKENISTA 6/13/2012 11:39AM

    This is a particularly insightful blog in a sea of insightful blogs.

We come into this life alone, we leave it alone (at least physically if not spiritually) and I have always felt that although a teacher can present material and influence our opinions, most complex learning has to be done alone in a focused way.

Certainly, after a wedding or a funeral, after the social dust clears, it is up the the individual or couple to find their own path.

I think that having others around to share our lives is candy--a sweet treat.


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BELDONDOG1 6/10/2012 7:59PM

    John, I feel that this was one of your best blogs that I have read!! You made a point and the point was well taken. If you can find time and can take a few minutes to read my blog posted 6/10, I think you will understand that your words were like a light that I needed at this point. I also believe that we can have a lot of motivations, ideas and "i did this" kinda of things, but in the end, it is what I do alone. Thanks for the blog!

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SLIMLEAF 6/10/2012 6:44PM

    Maybe I miss your point (probably) but I find this thought of going it alone scary, sad and bleak.

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STEADFASTNSEE 6/10/2012 12:03PM

  Thanks for this John. emoticon

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LISALGB 6/10/2012 11:20AM

    What an encourager you are, John. I am so blessed by reading your blog today. I have been teaching my son that we never walk alone, the Jesus is always with us. I believe He walks with us in everything we do, including our weight loss journey.
I am just amazed at His love!!
I hope you are blessed today, too!!


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TRISTAROSE 6/9/2012 9:48AM

    Thank you for another incredible blog .... emoticon

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NASFKAB 6/9/2012 5:07AM

  You teach so much unforgettable thanks

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LYNMEINDERS 6/9/2012 2:14AM

    you are such a Blessing with your blogs John

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HDHAWK 6/8/2012 10:52PM

    That's the truth John! All those books and friends can help us along the way, but in the end it's up to us to do the work.

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LDMCNIEL 6/8/2012 8:54PM

    You have such words of wisdom. emoticon

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MAUITN 6/8/2012 5:13PM

    I love reading your blog and alway take something away from them which enriches my life.

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DEBRITA01 6/8/2012 3:02PM

    It's all about the power within ourselves...the power we often don't realize we have. At the end of the day, it's up to us to make the choices. God has blessed us with strength, wisdom, courage, and many gifts...what we do with them is up to us.

Loved the blog (as usual) and it's good food for thought... emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 6/8/2012 2:43PM

    We are the masters of our own fate. No matter how much support we have it still is up to us to steer our own ship. When we fail the failure is ours.

Comment edited on: 6/8/2012 2:44:48 PM

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PATTISLIM2 6/8/2012 2:40PM

    John - What an incredible and truly insightful blog! You have gained great wisdom on this path of weight control and wellness. You give hope and encouragement to me and yet, you're right, I am the ONLY master of my ship! I will succeed or fail from MY CHOICES. Thank you for your thoughts that will help me and many others.

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SIMPLY-VICKI 6/8/2012 2:34PM

  Thank you for what you post. It really does help me, whether you realize it or not. emoticon

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TEACHING1ST 6/8/2012 2:24PM

    I always look forward to 'hearing' more insight from you, John. Very well said.

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DEARTOMYHEART 6/8/2012 2:10PM

  Thank you for sharing a awesome blog John. These are the words I need to hear. Some times I just don't want to go it alone, even when I know it truely is choses I make not someone else. emoticon

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DMANN104 6/8/2012 2:02PM

    Very well said - it's sometimes hard to hear that it's all up to us, but so true.

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DOODIE59 6/8/2012 1:06PM

    I find that personal truth very hard ... I am responsible for my choices ... one day I will recognize my (onerous) responsibility for what it really is -- the freeing power to embrace my true self. Not there yet ...

Have a wonderful weekend, John:)
Deirdre

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FINDGME 6/8/2012 12:55PM

    Just the words i needed to hear.. Thank you emoticon

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VONBLACKBIRD 6/8/2012 12:32PM

    Thank you again my friend.

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LDRICHEL 6/8/2012 12:18PM

    This was soooo good. It comes just a couple days after hubby and I have returned from intense faith-based marital counseling (3 entire days). This blog was just so poignant for me in so many ways. Thank you. And, more than that...thank you, Jesus.

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GETFIT2LIVE 6/8/2012 11:34AM

    One of the greatest truths I have learned on this journey, John, is that we alone are responsible for our choices and our actions. Much as I love SparkPeople and my friends and family, no one can do this for us, and we have to find our own way. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa, but we can learn from one another and encourage one another to keep at it. We only truly fail when we refuse to get back up again; stumbles and mistakes and sidetracks may happen along the way, but we do not have to allow them to become permanent. Well said, my friend.

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MISSROCKABILLY 6/8/2012 11:19AM

    Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts, John. They are exactly what I needed to read this morning, and so very true. I've just recently returned to focusing on creating my healthy lifestyle, and it's hard to stick to all the time. I just need to keep picking myself back up and persevering on my own, instead of creating excuses based on others.
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KIMCOLLINGS 6/8/2012 11:18AM

    Very well said. Love your blogs!

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Sometimes Doing What's Right Doesn't Always Seem Fair

Monday, June 04, 2012

My job involves a lot of time in the car. What I value most is the time when all the technology is muted and I am left alone to think, to ponder, and to unravel life’s mysteries. Friday afternoon while driving through a rather uninspiring patch of highway my mind wandered to the story of the prodigal son. Regardless of your faith belief, you have heard the story. The miscreant son demands his inheritance, runs off to the ancient equivalent of Vegas, and blows it all. He heads for home contrite and ready to live as his father’s servant for the rest of time just so he has a roof over his head and a meal in his belly. Dad, seeing him walking up the driveway rejoices and throws a party. His lost son has returned. That leaves us with the “other son.” He is the son largely forgotten in this parable of forgiveness. He is the son who has always done the right thing. He has always been there in a pinch. If anything, he has tried harder to make up for his knucklehead brothers behavior. So there he sits, cleaning the garage when he spies his brother sauntering up the driveway and utters an “Oh shoot,” or a derivative thereof. Dad hugs the younger brother; he forgives his sins and failures, orders the older brother to fire up the Weber grill, and emails all their friends. “My son was lost and now is found.” It’s Miller time. There stands the good son, sweat, and grime pouring down his face, lower back twinging from all the lifting and moving and junior is being fitted for a Brooks Brothers suit. Life does not seem fair. The story is largely one of forgiveness so you do not make too much noise when you find yourself relating to the older brothers anger. Doing what is right just is not sexy. You joined Spark, you followed the process by eating within your calorie level, exercising, getting rest………. All the things you are supposed to do to be healthy. Some days it is no fun. Actually, it is rather boring. The weight slowly drops off, some weeks you can only measure it in ounces but you keep to the program.

There is satisfaction as your pant or dress size diminishes with time, until you read a blog about someone who held up a Cheesecake Factory, saw the light, and dropped thirty pounds in a month. You might sigh for a bit and wonder if it is all worth it. You struggle like everyone else; you just do not make a huge deal about it. You clean out the garage because that is what you are supposed to do. You have been exercising for years, it is what healthy folks do, and you do not always understand why people make a big deal about someone who finally walks a mile.

It is not fair, is it? Oh, you will not verbalize it too very often, will you? I have to be honest with you, I rarely find myself in the good sons shoes. That is a foreign perspective. Usually I am the person trudging up the driveway looking for one more chance to “get it right.”

Take heart dearest ones. Your constancy, your often-overlooked consistency and your will to do the right thing is the backbone of our universe. It gets lost in the shuffle but without you, there are no landmarks for the journey. Doing the right thing isn’t always fair but I’ll hazard a guess that once you reach your goal weight you will stay there.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALIDOSHA 10/21/2012 5:28PM

    emoticon

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TEACHING1ST 6/11/2012 4:19PM

    Great as always, John!

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AHAVAH123 6/10/2012 8:12PM

    Excellent blog!


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PENOWOK 6/10/2012 12:52PM

    Love the analogy!

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SANDEBUE 6/8/2012 2:25PM

    Well said my friend. That was stated exactly correct. I wish I could put my being over weight burden on someone else..... That would be so easy.
Thanks.

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DMANN104 6/8/2012 1:40PM

    Very well said... emoticon

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ROUNDTOWNMOM 6/8/2012 1:20PM

    Love the perspective. As one who has been prodigal many times in this journey, I've finally realized what I should have long ago.............this is a way of life, not a one time crap shoot. Hopefully, I'll end up like the "good son" and keep on doing what's right, grumbling at times about it. I hope NEVER to be the prodigal again!

Thanks!!!!!

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NINAOZZIE 6/8/2012 12:29PM

    emoticon

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CJMCCA51 6/8/2012 10:15AM

  Thanks. I needed that!

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SUNSHINEGB 6/8/2012 9:45AM

    I enjoyed your blog John, thanks for sharing with us!
Sure gives me a lot to think about!
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NEWTINK 6/8/2012 7:50AM

    emoticon

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DURANGOREDDOG 6/7/2012 11:14PM

    Appreciate the insight. Well said.

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SIMOFDIM 6/7/2012 9:57PM

    Well said!


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SADOLDGRAY 6/7/2012 9:42PM

    Great perspective! Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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GINGERDOG16 6/7/2012 9:16PM

  Great blog! I needed it today. I worked hard all week exercising and dieting and only lost one pound. Your blog makes me realize not all days are weeks are rewarding,but you have to continue on.

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OPTIMIST1948 6/7/2012 8:08PM

    Heartfelt words. Thank you for voicing something that will continue to echo in the silence of my heart.

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DMARIE1061 6/7/2012 7:20PM

  Thank you for these encouraging words.

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SARAPARK1 6/7/2012 6:58PM

    That feeling of unfairness is an overwhelming one. It can appear in all aspects of my life; my job, my family life, my friends. I work so hard and it feels like no one is appreciating it. This blog gives me a lot of encouragement that I am not alone and I should continue to persevere.

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TPETRIE 6/7/2012 6:54PM

  Great blog. Thanks I really needed this blog. You are so right. emoticon

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DUSTYGIRL25 6/7/2012 5:15PM

    Very well written, and gives a lot to think about. Love It!
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HIKETOHEIGHTS 6/7/2012 4:46PM

    Another good blog, thanks emoticon

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MELISSA5824 6/7/2012 4:19PM

    what a terrific blog! have a fabulous day!

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SANDEBUE 6/7/2012 2:47PM

    Great blog....written well.

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PRSPLACE 6/7/2012 2:47PM

    thanks for posting!!!

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MLMEYER98 6/7/2012 1:30PM

    Great blog! Thanks

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JLPEASE 6/7/2012 1:29PM

    What a great blog. Thanks for sharing!


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SNOWANGELDIVA 6/7/2012 12:41PM

    On this adventure I stake claim to the brat that began to mimick the older brother's ways to true daily success.
Turns out he did know the right way after all...sheesh, siblings are annoying...
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CORYGIRL42 6/7/2012 12:38PM

    This really helped after my morning after giving into peer pressure and eating badly. Thanks!!

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Elizabeth

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TBOGENER 6/7/2012 12:18PM

    I second all these emotions.
when do I count? I am the good son and I am growing weary. Thank you for your comments perhaps later today it will fall into place. emoticon

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ANDRAYAYA 6/7/2012 11:49AM

    Well now THAT was an enjoyable read! And encouraging! Thank you for sharing.

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 6/7/2012 11:49AM

    This is a wonderful blog entry. Thank you so much! I truly needed to read your words today.

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MEH50BEWELL 6/7/2012 11:37AM

    Awesome blog - I love the modern flair of the story! Thank you for sharing.


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BRENDAGAIL9 6/7/2012 11:03AM

    Thank you for your insight.

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SHELLIECAN 6/7/2012 10:58AM

    WoW John,
That was so well written..I was captivated by your interpretation and now just have to go and read more of your blogs......
Thank You for sharing your thoughts.

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NWFL59 6/7/2012 10:35AM

    Sounds like one of the tales of my family life. I'm the unheralded grunt doer rather than the lauded slacker. emoticon

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PYNETREE 6/7/2012 10:27AM

    Yes, that is just the way it goes.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Have a good Week.

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KMMR87 6/7/2012 10:04AM

    It has been awhile since I last heard the prodigal son story. And thanks for the modernization of it. Your story reminds me to unplug technology, open the window and spend time with my thoughts.
Thank you.

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MAMABEE480 6/7/2012 9:44AM

    This is just what I needed to read this morning. I can't thank you enough. emoticon

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SJKENT1 6/7/2012 9:21AM

    Yep emoticon

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GINA180847 6/7/2012 9:01AM

    Thank you John, The son who was cleaning the garage would be one of my many sisters and I would be the one who never showed up again and just had an adventurous life off somewhere.

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LULUBELLE65 6/7/2012 8:48AM

    Thank you so much for this. In the end, those of us who do what we need to do, and lose our weight without the drama will be rewarded as well--although not with a fatted calf, maybe with a veggie platter.

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INGMARIE 6/7/2012 8:42AM

    emoticonNice message there.

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PROVERBS31JULIA 6/7/2012 8:22AM

    I loved the re-interpretation of The Prodigal Son, with the way we do things today! Hilarious!!

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Not only do we need to continue doing the right things, day in and day out, (cleaning out the garage would be something we need to do at our house, too!), but we can't hold grudges against the Prodigal sons and daughters who do repent and return, even if they did lose more weight quicker -- I know I do! The results from lack of forgiveness places a heavy toll on one's own body. That includes forgiving yourself of being bitter towards and about the "unfairness" of some one who seemingly effortlessly loses their excess weight faster than me. It's an ongoing issue that I struggle with, in any case...

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NAYNAY69 6/7/2012 7:39AM

    I'll bet many can relate to this in many ways...

I'm one who trudges on...day in and day out...


Wonderful blog....

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NayNay emoticon

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MAMAWALMART 6/7/2012 7:29AM

    WOW! That's deep. Makes me realize I should thank you to all those before me who have made it easier for me.
Thanks for making me think.
Keep Smiling
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Karen

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GARDENCHRIS 6/7/2012 6:50AM

    don't you just love those quiet times, when we can think and ponder and come up with something so profound?? emoticon

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JEWELLE217 6/7/2012 6:42AM

    Thanks for another incredible blog. Love your messages and your insight!
Deb emoticon

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DWEXCEL 6/7/2012 6:36AM

    That just about sums "everything" up. I'm glad I stopped by for a read. Thank you. emoticon
Donna

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BLUEJEAN99 6/7/2012 1:57AM

    emoticon

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SRHALLIN 6/6/2012 10:18PM

    Great blog. And, yes, doing the "right" thing seems never to go unpunished these days. But, it is still the right thing. And I would hazard to guess that most of us would rather do it and receive little acclaim for our efforts, than not do it, and be hard-pressed to look at ourselves in the mirror the next day.

The results will come easier for some than for others. That is just a fact. But, they will come for each of us, eventually, if remain true to our courses and diligent in our efforts.

Stay strong, and stay positive, and you *will* reach your goals. :)

Best wishes to you on your journey to good health and personal happiness!

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What's In Your Refrigerator

Monday, May 28, 2012




I am a visual person. You can talk to me all day about good, better and best but until I see a picture, image or example I am often clueless. I paint with words. I relate to images. The irony here is that a close friend, an artist in their own right, “tried” to teach me how to draw. She claimed her professors told her “anyone” could accomplish the task if they worked hard enough. (Thank goodness I am not just anyone.)My claim to fame is stick people. They are gender, race and culturally neutral, guaranteed to offend no one. But I digress.

I was reading an excerpt from a book on change (The Little Book of Letting Go by Hugh Prather) when the author compared our internal life and our self-effectiveness to a refrigerator. He asked “What’s in your refrigerator?” I sat back in my chair, closed my eyes and immediately began to feel emotionally queasy. My “fridge,” so to speak, resembled the above photo – crammed full of all sorts of things that are 100% guaranteed to throw me off track and keep me there. The more frustrated I become the more stuff I cram until a very unpleasant odor emanates from within.

Ever played a guessing game as to what a left over item might have originally been say three weeks ago? I hold mine out at arm’s length and get a disgusted look on my face. It may be an old piece of cheese but allegorically it’s an unhealthy behavior that’s keeping me from stocking healthy habits. There is a whole refrigerator full of them. When I look at the picture I see where I’ve really short changed myself. I’ve hung on to old practices and beliefs and they left no room for newer, healthier ones. Literally I’ve thought of little else the past three days. I “willed” myself to lose weight. Fought all the urges and desires to drop an agreed upon number of pounds. I crossed the finish line, people cheered; I bowed and then headed for Mickey D’s. Slowly the weight came back. I became frustrated. “This stuff doesn’t work!!!” Ahhhhh here the siren song of behavior that never changed. Throwing out old beliefs and ancient practices is difficult. Some we’ve had since birth. Some we acquired and wear as a badge of honor. They define us. We chart calories and exercise and look at our lives through the same smudged glasses.

Hugh Prathers image shook me to my core. I have begged and pleaded for almost two years to try and understand why I lose a certain amount of weight and no more. Why does it all come back? Quite simply I haven’t had the courage to change some things about me that prevent me from being more wonderful then I already am!!! In all honesty, this reality stuff frightens me. It means the definition of whom and what I am, what I REALLY is has to change. The outside is simply a mirror of the inside. It’s easy to be the lovable fat guy who trips over his own initiative, the wordsmith who encourages……. The real change almost causes me to wet myself.

At least I got my answers. I feel fortunate in that respect. I know what you’re thinkin’ “Don’t be too hard on yourself.” It’s not a matter of being hard. It’s getting up every morning and looking at what has to happen to make my life a better. It means starting over one more freakin’ time.

I sat back in my chair and lifted my eyes skyward. “I’m counting on you.” I prayed. A silent voice bounced back. “I’m counting on you too.”

What’s in your refrigerator?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 6/28/2012 2:12PM

    I guess I have another book that I need to acquire now. I love books, so thank you. Learning to let go is major, really big stuff, and very scary. Very, very scary.

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DMANN104 6/8/2012 2:10PM

    Sometimes being "hard on ourselves" is just the tough love we need, the kick in the pants to change things for the better.

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IRP1114 6/6/2012 3:00PM

    Great blog!! So true. I have a blog with pictures of my fridge :-)

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GIRANIMAL 6/6/2012 2:40PM

    This reminds me a little bit of my fellow food-intolerance-saddled friend at my local Whole Foods. Whenever I come through her line with wheat bread and good ol's cow's milk, she begins to scold me: "what are you doing buying that stuff?!" I assure her it's for my BF, and she looks at me askew, as if to say, " Uh-uh. Not in my house. Why would you tempt yourself that way? Can't he just follow your diet?"

It's been hard, but I am happy to say that MOST of my refrigerator is a nutritionally sound powerhouse of offerings, and I am vary rarely tempted beyond my strength/will/new values/whatever by the "other" anymore. And I know better than to remove someone else's temptation (in this case, for my BF, his cookies and chips, not his fairly nutritious milk and bread! LOL) for them -- that's something we all have to do for ourselves.

I marvel that you could afraid of unleashing the real you -- the you who's just slightly held back is awfully wonderfully already! Imagine John without restraints. A thing of pure beauty, I tell you!

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AVANDREA_ 6/2/2012 9:34PM

    My fridge is looking a lot healthier these days, I think because I have decided that I need to make these changes for myself. Not for anyone else, but for me. I don't know if I have the courage so much as the determination to make myself over as a healthier me. My fridge has to have no junk food in it for now, because I still have those cravings and if they are in there, I will eat them, all the while telling myself I should not. Removing those bad foods, limiting my exposure to them to very occasionally is the only way I will get to my goal and then maintain.

It sounds like you are on that same path to recreating yourself to be a healthier you, with both the courage and the determination to keep going, even when you get tripped up along the way. I will be here cheering you on, and hope that you will be there for me when I trip up as well.

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TIKATAKAWITHA 6/2/2012 3:47PM

    I'm pretty sure there are a few science experments in my fridge. I went to look for lettuce the other day and had a veggie soup in my bottom crisper. emoticon

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SPARKLISE 6/2/2012 8:23AM

    My fridge and pantry are actually pretty clean!
I even overheard my daughter tell somebody that she can't eat junk foods at our house because there are none! emoticon

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LADILADIDA 5/30/2012 9:22AM

    Sometimes "being hard on yourself" IS loving yourself. Seeing, then accepting and forgiving, allows forward motion towards transformation. Every day is a day to ask "who am I?" and "who is doing this?" I've come to realize that I am no longer moving to make my life "better" but more in line with who I am at this moment. I think you are on the path to do the same.

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MARITIMER3 5/29/2012 10:14PM

    DH and I renewed our wedding vows on Saturday, followed by a party for about 25 people. Unfortunately they didn't eat as much as I thought they would, so we have lots of left-overs. Mostly healthy things, so portion control will be the biggest challenge for the next few days. I'm planning to use luncheon size plates instead of dinner plates, and filling a big part of the plate with salad. Then, once I have more room in the fridge, I'll fill it with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.

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KWAJPODGE 5/29/2012 1:59PM

    Interesting! I figured you actually wanted to know what was in my fridge - don't wanna go there. But it does make me think. I have adopted the motto "Actions speak louder than words." However, this weekend didn't have a bit of my actions only myself enjoying a decadant weekend - didn't journal, didn't hesitate about consuming anything...but that's over now and I will make a better plan for the next holiday weekend.
Thank you for sharing.

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WALKNLOVE 5/29/2012 6:14AM

    ...pressing the "like" button! ;)

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LYNMEINDERS 5/29/2012 5:04AM

    Awesome...am going to get this book and read it...
thankyou for putting som pieces together for me....

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NASFKAB 5/29/2012 3:32AM

  You have to change

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MORTICIAADDAMS 5/28/2012 8:32PM

    My fridge is stuffed to the gills with healthy food - fruits, veggies, low carb milk, nuts, meat, cheese, yogurt, eggs. Obviously my intentions are good but I still can manage to over-eat these healthy foods. LOL.

Comment edited on: 5/28/2012 8:34:58 PM

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CARTOONB 5/28/2012 6:05PM

    We do what we do because, on some level, it works for us. You have to figure out what you're getting from your current habits and decide if it's worth it to keep the habits. THEN yours have to decide that the change is worth it. Gonna be hard, but i know you'll make the choice that works for you.

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LDMCNIEL 5/28/2012 5:04PM

    emoticon

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PANFRIEDTROUT 5/28/2012 3:11PM

    wonderful analogy John!

what i've found on my journey so far is that little changes over time add up and that includes my mindset as well. moving from resentment to actual joy in the process has helped immensely ..... not only in losing weight but keeping it off and overall, being happier with myself.

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DEARTOMYHEART 5/28/2012 1:54PM

  You did it again John. You made think about myself in a different way. What I look like on the outside is a mirror image of what is on the outside. That is very powerful stuff. Then when you asked what is in my refrigerator, I got to thinking about my insides and outsides. Stuff we need and stuff you don't need. What holds us together? Comes done to feeding myself healthy food and healthy food for thought. Do you love yourself enough to feed it healthy as well as what we say to ourselves. Do I love me? Am I a good friend to myself? I may not be able to change every thing about me or around me, but what I put into it I can change. Thanks John for sharing. You always give me so much to think about. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RICOCHETBEAR 5/28/2012 1:52PM

    great blog emoticon

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RONOSOF 5/28/2012 1:28PM

    This definitely is about restarting until habits become permanent, however I think you've hit on something deeper inside some of us who struggle with this issue. I can't quantify it, despite being a behavioral scientist!) but it is related to self worth, self kindness, self love. These values often go back to infancy and early childhood, which is why making the habits permament is so slippery! Thank you for writing this post. My comment is as close to comprehending my own challenge as I've come.

Peace,
Mary in Boston emoticon

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ROSGETSSERIOUS 5/28/2012 1:12PM

    Very thought provoking - thanks for sharing - we are lucky that we get the chance to start over every day - we just have to reach out, grab the ball and run with it!
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DEE797 5/28/2012 1:05PM

    WOW, this is powerful John. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. Good luck on your journey! emoticon

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KENDRACARROLL 5/28/2012 12:42PM

    I love it when you reference books you read. I went ahead and ordered it.
Great blog, as always.
Have a wonderful Memorial Day.
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HDHAWK 5/28/2012 12:34PM

    Thought provoking!

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VONBLACKBIRD 5/28/2012 12:01PM

    Thanks to another great blog. I clear out my refrigerator once a week..I rarely save left overs...our yard dogs have it lucky as they get all the goodies..Now my freezer is a different story..yes I find something and look at it and wonder what in the world did I freeze in that? Which this reminds me my freezers (yes I did say freezers we have 3 not counting the top of the refrigerator...but we garden)....they all need cleaning as our veggies from the garden are coming off. Thanks again.

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VICKI-B--56 5/28/2012 11:58AM

  Another good blog to make me think. Thank you John.

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SPARKENISTA 5/28/2012 11:56AM

    It's easy to "change" for a period of time. It's the long-run that is the problem. We often think that "forever" is a year or even two--the amount of time it takes to lose the weight. In my experience, this is like a rubber band waiting to break. As soon as I reach a set goal weight or I can't hold out any longer and I go back to my old habits--and my old weight.

You have hit the nail on the head. The real change comes from within when we accept that "permanent" changes have to become our reality in order to maintain the change.



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SUNRISE14 5/28/2012 11:39AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SANDRALEET 5/28/2012 11:34AM

    A good start my friend. I joined over eaters anonymous to help me to learn to understand myself and why I do what I do to myself.

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LDRICHEL 5/28/2012 11:12AM

    Wow..this is just great, John. Thanks, as usual, for being so vulnerable and honest. You are amazing, man.

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ISHIIGIRL 5/28/2012 11:07AM

    hhm, I think you have metaphorically nailed it this time. You have to want to change on the inside and you have to be sincere. It isn't easy, it is very hard and once you acheive your gaols it is even harder to maintian. You have to find balance. It is easier to maintain blance than to go all out and make changes you know you will never keep. Get back to basics and make the small changes. Little by little those will become habit. Once those become habit, you can make a few more. Its when you lose those small habits that the war is really lost. Keep it simple and it becomes much easier. It is never easy to maintain a weight loss. Keep that in mind as well. Have a good memorial day!


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Warriors, Heroes and You (Me 2)

Thursday, May 24, 2012


If you cant view this here you can see it @
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-0KQ9YoX
eQ

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 7/14/2012 4:04PM

    Well, well, well...I just figured out why my trainer at the gym I joined a month ago is doing (besides torture); he's challenging me. Very interesting concept. It's going to put a whole new light on squats and lunges.

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CARTOONB 5/28/2012 12:16AM

    You can make this journey sound like it's worth it. Oh! Wait! That's because it is!! Thanks for the reminder.

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REFFIE1 5/27/2012 6:17PM

    Such a great boost. I am definitely on a plateau but your blog makes me want to continue and not give in. My leg is aching and would make a great excuse not to personally train tomorrow but no excuses allowed. Thanks for expressing so well what those of us are feeling as we struggle to succeed. emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/27/2012 6:18:06 PM

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TRISTAROSE 5/27/2012 7:26AM

    emoticon

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RADAZZLE 5/27/2012 1:35AM

    emoticon emoticon

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LYNMEINDERS 5/26/2012 11:28PM

    Thankyou for sharing this with us John

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SLIMLEAF 5/26/2012 5:16PM

    Just as I'd almost decided to write-off this weekend because I'm feeling so low, I watched your vlog and it has made me determined to do SOMETHING active tomorrow, even if it's only a little. I WILL get out of the house and do something to increase my heart rate and need a shower afterwards. I WILL keep taking these little steps instead of crumpling in a heap and wailing "It's all useless!" (like I did today).

Thank you , my dear Spark Friend.

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CBRIGGS1956 5/25/2012 10:33PM

    Thanks John

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GEEMAWEST 5/25/2012 10:30PM

    John, you really hit a home run with this one. I never thought of it that way. I am frustrated often, but instead of beating myself up I will do my best to remember that I'm doing something. I still care about my health and I will not give up. Thank you!

Love and Hugs, Cheryl

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VICKI-B--56 5/25/2012 6:17PM

  John, You ALWAYS make me think and if I'm having a crappy day ( as I have been the past 2 days), you always make me feel better. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. emoticon

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JACKH35 5/25/2012 3:03PM

    Hey John.....I think you might have "unfrustrated me, in fact I'm sure you have. I don't have as much weight to lose as lots of people I see on SP, and I really admire those who have made big strides getting the weight off and getting themselves in better physical condition. I set out to lose about 30 pounds, go from 200 down to 170, maybe a few more than 30, but 30 at least. After getting to the 180 mark about two months ago, I hit that plateau and have been waffling between 178 and 182 since then. Not much has changed, but I have delayed adding my "Lost 20 Pounds' Trophy until I know I am under 180 for good. This blog was a good kick in the butt. I just need to work a bit harder at it - walk a bit further, stay on the treadmill a bit longer, push the plate away a bit earlier. We all know the drill. Thanks for a good reminder.

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DAHLEEA 5/25/2012 2:41PM

    This is exactly what I needed to hear today. I am new to SparkPeople and have had a lot of trouble motivating myself. I worked out hard yesterday and am a bit sore today. I was thinking of not exercising today, taking it easy. But that would be continuing the cycle of poor habits I have engaged in for half a lifetime. I do need to look at all this as a challenge. There are going to be days that are difficult. But I am so very tired of sitting on the couch mindlessly eating while I watch the world go by.
Thank you so very much for your insightful words.

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DEARTOMYHEART 5/25/2012 1:34PM

  You did it again, John. Gave me a new perspective on things and where I'm at. I hurt all the time but feel so much better mentally then I did before I start. I'm so greatful for your blogs. I look foward to the next one because I know you will help me change something about myself. Thanks so much John.. I'm getting off the couch!!! emoticon emoticon

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JUNIAATROME 5/25/2012 12:48PM

    Ha, ha! I AM out there doing something! I'm great! thank you for the pep talk.

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PEGGY11 5/25/2012 11:21AM

   
As usual, an excellent blog. I can't run, jump or ride a bike. Walking is hard too because of my arthritic knees, but I am off the couch doing the strenth training and walking as far as I can. It is only a quarter to a half mile but it is easier every time. Hey, I am off the couch. Thank you.

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THEFLORIDAFAIRY 5/25/2012 10:45AM

    Awesome blog - I am sharing it with the world!

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LDRICHEL 5/25/2012 9:03AM

    Oh, John. You've done it again. I got chills because I'm preparing a blog right now to help motivate some of my people that are feeling discouraged and you have communicated SO well what I want to say to them. I hope you don't mind if I take a different angle with my blog and then just highly encourage them to watch this vlog if they are feeling down.

Thanks again!!! You are one of my top motivators!


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NASFKAB 5/25/2012 2:20AM

  thanks again & again

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WARMSTRONG2 5/25/2012 12:14AM

  Thanks, again.

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LISAMARIE1313 5/24/2012 10:20PM

    You gave me the boost I needed today. Thank you !

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MOBYCARP 5/24/2012 9:33PM

    Thank you for the alternative perspective on frustration, right when I'm very frustrated by my work life. The whole Spark thing is going okay, but there are more ways to get frustrated than simply not meeting weight or fitness goals!

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/24/2012 8:06PM

    LOVE this blog, John! You are worth every bit of the effort, and I love seeing the insights that you so generously share.

You and I, and all the Spark folks who are up off the couch, are winners already. The struggles, as you say, just show that we're DOING something! Way to go!

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TERRIMMIX 5/24/2012 7:43PM

    I AM a warrior! And I DO believe it! Thanks for taking the time to put a new perspective on frustration. :-)

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