JOHNTJ1   61,487
60,000-79,999 SparkPoints
JOHNTJ1's Recent Blog Entries

What I Have Learned So Far: Three Months of Spark

Monday, March 15, 2010

As of yesterday I have been a Sparkie for three whole months. I would like to share what I have learned so far.

First, I deserve to be healthy and with that I deserve to be happy. So do you. Health is not something reserved for the bright, the beautiful or the privileged. It is my God given right, if I choose to take advantage of it. By being healthy I open the door to so many possibilities in my life and BTW: very few of them have to do with how I look. They ALL have to do with how I feel about myself. When I feel healthy and pursue happiness in myself I can see it in you. It’s a bit of a balancing act, but the more I see it in me, the more I see it in you.

Second, I am not doing anything but I am becoming a whole lot. I am not on a diet I am in the process of changing how I look at myself and when I do that I start to look at how I see the rest of the world and all the very beautiful and talented people that are in it. I am simply, tastefully and wonderfully becoming myself. The journey I am on is not about doing things it is about becoming the best me I can be.
Third, I have a responsibility to share the insights, the gifts and the talents I have been given. They were given for a reason and that reason is to share what I have learned about life, through my experiences with other people. If I can cause you to smile, to laugh or to simply look in the mirror and appreciate yourself a bit more than I have succeeded. I am learning to be less selfish because the more I give, the more I get.

Fourth, I am learning not to judge. If I refuse to judge me then I can’t judge you. We come in all shapes and sizes with all kinds of recipes and exercise ideas and notions that are very effective for each of us. I have learned we are like a huge field that goes as far as the eye can see and in the field are flowers and plants and trees of different colors and shapes and sizes that make up this amazing tapestry called life. I am learning to be open to learn from you. My youngest Spark friend is nineteen and my oldest is well into their seventies.

Fifth, I have learned that if I can make excuses not to do something I can create a reason to do something. Sitting in front of me in the mirror each morning is a gift from God, that gift is me. With that gift there is an opportunity to do many things, if I choose to do them. I can be tired, cranky, and low on funds. My mother may have been mean or one of my friends cross with me. Those are excuses not to honor my commitments. The reasons for me to do things are simply that I deserve my health and my happiness but in order to cross that bridge there is always a toll. That toll is my commitment to a healthy life. It means I track my food and when I want to eat a bag of cookies, a chocolate cake or an entire pie, I understand I will not be healthy and that as an adult I have a choice. It means I eat the grapes or the apple instead and enjoy it just as much. Yes, it is hard and I get really mad sometimes. It’s a commitment.

It means that I get on the treadmill or bike or elliptical every day for forty minutes whether I really want to or not. I don’t always do it cheerfully but I do it. I have learned to be flexible. It means I work out at five am one day and eight pm the next day because that’s what my schedule permits. In a nutshell it means I am honoring me.

I honor you. I honor you for your guidance, your friendship and your understanding. I stand up and applaud you for the events in your life that have knocked you low and then you have risen up again to continue your journey. When I want to stay home and watch the television rather than work out I think of so many of you that put your heads down and make the effort to be healthy and I begin to feel small. I think of those of you who have persevered through the most trying of situations and I begin anew. Believe me when I say each of you is my prayers on a daily basis.

Saturday afternoon I got an email from the Spark Team. My first reaction was “Oh, oh, what have I done now?”

It read;
“The SparkPeople Community thinks you are a motivation to others!

SparkPeople Members can vote for SparkPages that are motivational, based on Community involvement, personal accomplishments and more. You have received enough votes to become a "SparkPeople Motivator." Congratulations! For recognition, your SparkPage now has a special "SparkPeople Motivator" icon, and your SparkPage will be featured more prominently on the main SparkPages section of the site.

Thank you for inspiring other members through your own hard work and dedication! “

I read it to Joan and I started to cry. To those of you who felt touched in some way by what I have written and thought enough to take the time to recognize me, I thank you. I should say so much more but I simply can’t. If you can imagine what is written on my heart, suffice to say it is extreme gratitude mixed in with a lot of awe.
Finally you will no notice of weight loss mentioned here. If you are interested go to my Spark Page and read the ticker. My concern is health and happiness, both mine and yours. My weight loss is a byproduct of my desire to be a happier and healthier me on all levels and that is what I will continue to work on. I will be honest with myself and others. I will pay the price and grind it out some days when I’d rather not. I’ll link arms with you and walk down that road where we don’t always know where the next turn is but where we can see the sun over the next rise.

A Spark friend wrote a few weeks ago that if we aren’t careful the scale can become Satan. It cabn rule your life if you let it. I choose to let me rule my life.

That is what I have learned here in the past three months and you, (Yeah YOU!!) I learned a lot it from you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KATJAMN 3/16/2010 12:56PM

    Good for you, John!! You deserve it!! You are very inspiring.
I, for one, have been on the receiving end and I appreciate all that you offer!
Keep up the great work and I am so happy that you made all those discoveries.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BLUEGOOSE2 3/16/2010 8:31AM

Congratulations on your award, my friend!! Thank You , for being such a positive and uplifting person. The warmth and love of you spirit comes through in your writing. My GOD continue to bless you always. I feel it a privilege, to call you a friend.


Report Inappropriate Comment

    The feeling is mutual.

Congrats on the award :)


Report Inappropriate Comment
AMYTATH 3/15/2010 4:22PM

    John, you are always so eloquent with your words. I always read your blogs...what I come out of it is knowledge and...a feeling. This warm fuzzy feeling. Though the feeling is there the words are not. I never know what to say after one of your blogs because I dont want to sound stupid after you so briliantly worded your thoughts. But I felt I needed to comment today...still not sure what to say so I hope two words sum it up...

Thank you.


Report Inappropriate Comment
NEELIXNKES 3/15/2010 1:44PM

    What a great post. Thanks for sharing your story with us! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GIRANIMAL 3/15/2010 1:11PM

    emoticon You deserve it. You certainly have motivated and inspired me daily!

I too am working on not judging. I am not sure why this is so hard for me sometimes, since I generally celebrate people's differences. Ah well, another lesson learned. It's good to know so many of us share similar struggles. Thanks as always for your openness!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANNSTOECKL 3/15/2010 1:02PM

    Thank you for sharing what you've learned. I just "met" you and already you have inspired me. Blessings

Report Inappropriate Comment
CMBELISLE 3/15/2010 12:55PM

    Congrats! You really are a great motivator!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CAROLYN0107 3/15/2010 12:38PM

    Congratulations John for becoming a SparkPeople Motivator!

I appreciated your list of what you have learned in the past three months. It was a good evaluation. I am looking for health... but it would be nice having a bit more weight loss on my part! I'm now trying to lose the weight I gained June-Dec during my six months in the States. You know, pot luck church dinners, all you can eat buffets, etc. Sabotage to the 22 pounds I HAD lost. But I am not giving up. I'm getting healthier every day as I walk more and more.

Have a good day.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TAZZAT2003 3/15/2010 12:04PM

    Congrats, John! I knew it was only a matter of time. You have been such a positive influence on me and my life. I knew I was not alone in thinking "What a motivation you are." An added bonus is this award would sure look good on an application for any radio station. So glad we have met and I look forward to hearing your voice on the radio someday. =)

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOLLIE6 3/15/2010 11:36AM

    Congratulations on being a super person. Isn't that funny when someone is kind or caring we all react so strong. That's what we all should be, there helping others, caring enough to hold out a hand, caring enough to blog and encourage. I followed some of my friends to your page and I really got a blessing this morning. Thanks for sharing and just being you. I will follow your blogs.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARCYNA 3/15/2010 10:19AM

    Oh John, you just deserved it!!!
SP is a special place where people get what they deserve, ain't it great???
I'm too moved to write anything else... emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
YOYONOMORE1 3/15/2010 9:21AM

    emoticon on your award, you are a very good motivator, keep it up.


Report Inappropriate Comment
WANDAH3 3/15/2010 9:17AM

  John, you are one of the Best!

Thank you for being your authentic self and sharing that self with the rest of us.


Report Inappropriate Comment
STORMTMB 3/15/2010 9:04AM

    You are an inspiration, John. Congrats on a well-deserved award! Keep up the great work.

Report Inappropriate Comment
8MYWAYHERE 3/15/2010 8:52AM

    Great blog. I am so glad one of my spark friends had you as a friend so I could follow her link and read your page. You've got a great perspective. I've been here about 2 months - thanks.

emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
NJMATTICE 3/15/2010 8:30AM

    Namaste! emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/15/2010 8:30:31 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
REMODELINGPAT 3/15/2010 8:10AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonMy friend, there aren't enough good emoticons to congratulate you on your progress. I'm glad SP recognized you as a motivator...because YOU ARE! The day I found your page was a RED LETTER day.

Blessings on you in your continued walk toward health. I will enjoy tagging along.


Report Inappropriate Comment
JUSTLYLE 3/15/2010 7:46AM

    Great blog and easy reading. We're so happy you found Sparks.
Skeeter emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
YMATTOCKS 3/15/2010 7:44AM

    I've tried for years to "diet" unsuccessfully. This year I came to the same conclusion. This is a way of life, not to be consumed with food or the scale but to be consumed with living. Thank you for your insight. Your words are truly inspiring.


Report Inappropriate Comment
DOLLBABE56 3/15/2010 7:42AM

    Believe my John that you really are an inspiring motivator, and I am very proud to know you. When I feel myself start to feel blue I read one of your blogs and am lifted up. Sincerely.

Report Inappropriate Comment
AMABILE75 3/15/2010 7:33AM

    It is truly amazing how far you came in just 3 months!!! emoticon Such wonderful things you have learned too. I am so happy that I met you on here, you have become one of my most cherished friends. I always look forward to your blogs and responses. You are definitely a motivator and deserve the award for sure!! I am so proud of you, so happy for you! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Thank you for allowing us to learn and grow with you!!


Report Inappropriate Comment

Putting Life Into Neutral

Saturday, March 13, 2010

This will be quick.

I am going to be a "Spark Bum" this weekend. I will keep up with my food, my exercise and all my goals and commitments. I will pray for each of you, hold you in my heart and think good thought about you until Monday morning. That's when I'll be back.

I am taking the weekend off. We are not doing anything very special at all. Grocery shopping, a movie, church, raking out flower beds. I am going to relax and savor life like a fine bottle of wine.

I deserve it and so do you.

Dont miss me too much. I will talk to all of you Monday.

Have a great weekend guys.



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TNTEACHER2 3/15/2010 2:10AM

    See you again Monday.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CRYSELLE 3/14/2010 10:55AM

    I hope you are having an awesome and relaxing weekend!!! :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
WANDAH3 3/13/2010 9:13PM

  A question John...."if you are thinking good thoughts about us until Monday morning, does this mean the thoughts turn ugly after Monday????? emoticon

Have an awesome weekend.


Report Inappropriate Comment
MINDAC20 3/13/2010 8:04PM

    Have a great weekend, John!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUSANNE61 3/13/2010 3:33PM

    Good for you. We all need to take a little "me" time. Congratulations on your nomination as Motivator.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SPARKENISTA 3/13/2010 3:23PM

    Have a great weekend, John!

Report Inappropriate Comment
REMODELINGPAT 3/13/2010 9:29AM

    Have a wonderful weekend! We'll miss your blogs, but everyone should take some personal time occasionally. emoticon

Blessings for you and your wife!


Report Inappropriate Comment
STORMTMB 3/13/2010 9:21AM

    Enjoy your weekend and hug that wonderful wife of yours!

BTW - I don't think you're putting life into "neutral;" I'd call it moving full speed ahead because you're taking time to enjoy your blessings. That's the way life is meant to be lived.


Report Inappropriate Comment
BIBLIOHOLIC57 3/13/2010 9:09AM

    How wonderful for you. Have a great time and make sure you buy your wife some FLOWERS!

Looking forward to reading your blog on Monday.



Report Inappropriate Comment
TEENY_BIKINI 3/13/2010 8:19AM

    Enjoy the wine and the respite. You are worthy :)

emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

"But You Don't Understand....... I'M TIRED"

Friday, March 12, 2010

A friend of mine called the other day. I hadn’t heard from him in awhile. He’s had a rough twelve months or so. His father passed away right before Christmas 2008. He had struggled with diabetes for over twenty five years and was in poor health all that time. Like most other things in life you “get used to” things. His dad died rather suddenly. One day he was laughing and talking the next he was dead. Shortly after that my friend found out he had diabetes. A few weeks ago he found out he had something called celiac disease which comes from intolerance to gluten. It’s been a rough year. He has always rebounded from anything that’s been dished in his path. During the past year I have watched him slowly slip into a depression.

He is one of those people who will talk when he’s ready to talk and in the ten years I have known him it never happens any sooner than that. The good news is once he gets it out he is pretty concise.

“I’m angry with my father,” He began. “He left my mother a financial mess. He knew better than that. Your parents are supposed to be your heroes.”

I had to smile because the damn had burst; he was ready to face his demons so to speak. Was I?

I laid in bed that night thinking about the last part of his statement, “Your parents are supposed to be your heroes.” Joan and I have six great kids. They are not perfect but neither are we. We raised them to be themselves and no one else and we think they are pretty good people. Oh how I wished I had left it there!!
I began to think about all those times I wasn’t a “hero” to my kids. I started reviewing all the mistakes I made. Off in the distance I heard a voice:

“Pity, party of one, your table is available.”

It was going to be a long night. Why did this have to happen now!! Fortunately my inner voice intervened. (TYVM Father, Son and Holy Ghost!!)

“Okay so maybe you weren’t a hero all the time. Why can’t you start being one tomorrow?” It wasn’t this holy, voice from on high. It was sort of a “duh, John” voice. It said “If you are not happy with the way something is, change it.”

“Duh!!!” (Sometimes I wish it would leave off the duh part.)

I have the power to change anything about me I don’t like. No one else does. I can blame mom, dad, Joan, the kids and the fact that one of my favorites got voted off American Idol last night………… It is not going to change who is responsible for what happens to me.

It struck me that it really is all that simple. I am the one who makes it complicated. I throw in all kinds of terms and conditions and then when you don’t live up to them I have a built in excuse not to move on. It’s never, ever me.

While I am responsible for me, if I do not learn from other peoples positive example than I will not be completely successful. I was traveling all day yesterday and I was tired when I got home. I had already decided no cardio today. I was too wore out. I needed a break anyways. My attitude was poor. I had a whole raft of excuses.

I started reading Spark People blogs and boy-oh-boy did I get a wakeup call.
My good friend AMABILE75 has been put through the ringer the past few days. She has some health issues she’s concerned about and if you read her profile and her blogs, well just let me say this: She is in my top ten of inspirational people…….. of all time. Her blog yesterday talked about exercise, walking up a jillion flights of stairs and then beginning preparation for a 5K run in July. This is while she is living with her medical issues.

“This is the last call for pity, party of one.”

I was humbled. I had a sore neck, a sore back and I was cranky. I changed clothes went to the gym and I have to tell you it was the best work out I have had in two weeks. This morning I feel energized and refocused. (Thanks Tara)

The only person who can change me is me, but if I try to do it alone it won’t ever work. When I need something I turn to those in my life who can help, guide or show me a different perspective. To me that’s the true secret of being a Sparkie.
In three months I have created relationships that God willing will last a life time. But in the end it’s all up to me. I can succeed or fail but it’s my choice.

It’s your choice too.

Knock em’ dead today my friends

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JERIBERI1 3/14/2010 10:35AM

    Great blog, John!! Yes, we are responsible for our own happiness, our own choices, and our own attitudes. Change is not always easy, but it's always necessary. The very definition of life is that it is ever-changing.

Have a fantastic day!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
RAINBOWMF 3/13/2010 7:26PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
ANNSTOECKL 3/13/2010 3:20PM

    Boy, did I need this today! Thank you. Prayers for your friend. Blessings, Ann

Report Inappropriate Comment
GERIKRAGH 3/13/2010 1:54PM

    Amabile is also a friend of mine and a daily inspiration. Your blog reminded me of my favorite quote: If it is to be, it is up to me. Thank you for the reminder that we CAN be responsible.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TNTEACHER2 3/12/2010 11:45PM

    Another great blog, John.

Report Inappropriate Comment
NJMATTICE 3/12/2010 7:49PM

    There's no such thing as a good excuse. There may be a good reason, but no excuses. Have a great evening. Really. Have a great evening. I doesn't matter if you are tired, you can still choose to have a good evening. (that was not for your benefit. I'm just talking to myself.)
John, you have a good evening too.

Report Inappropriate Comment
WANDAH3 3/12/2010 5:02PM

  I see that "duh" voice lives in your head too! lol.

I have a quote that I've started using and it really is the one thing that gets me going on those days when I just want to shut down and do nothing. "Just do it".
I'm the only one that can "just do it" in my life. I detest that "whiny" voice that gives me so many excuses. I have come to realize that the the quickest way to shut it up is to "just do it". I always feel so much better when I have "just done it".

Have an awesome weekend.


Report Inappropriate Comment
STORMTMB 3/12/2010 11:56AM

    To me, parents are heroes because they are human. Kids need to have the love and support of their parents, but they also need to know that sometimes parents (adults) mess up or make a bad decision or have something bad happen.

Kids need a good example of how to rebound from that. They need to see a parent say I'm sorry or figure out how to make it right or how to cope when things just aren't fair. Kids need role models for how to live their lives in the good times and in the bad or difficult. When it's done in an open, loving and supportive way, every adult, parent or not, is a hero.

That's my two cents.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GETFIT2LIVE 3/12/2010 11:53AM

    Well done--as others have said, dads don't have to be perfect (though as parents we sure WANT to be!), they just need to be real, be truthful, and be there for their children, and it sounds like you are all of those.

The turning point for me in beginning to make real life changes was realizing (finally--duh!) that the choice is mine to make. I can choose to continue down the same, destructive path I've been on of eating things that do me no good and getting as little exercise as humanly possible, or I can choose to make the changes that I know I need to make. We have a choice; we are not victims; and we are not alone. Have a GREAT day!

Report Inappropriate Comment
TEEKAY25 3/12/2010 11:10AM

    Thanks for your post, it was a great wake up call. I've been sitting at the pity party table for too long, its time to join this thing called LIFE and live.


Report Inappropriate Comment
TKRINER 3/12/2010 9:41AM

    Thank you for this inspiring blog. Your right, we have to make up our own mind to change. Just wish that wasn't so hard to do.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SANDY5882 3/12/2010 9:32AM

    Thank you - you remind us it's all about our decisions for us and we are the only ones we can control!

Report Inappropriate Comment
COVINGTON69 3/12/2010 9:25AM

    I am a daddy's girl through and through and I KNOW my dad isn't perfect but the important thing is he is still my hero regardless. My parents have always been there for me since I was little and they were broke 30 somethings raising 2 kids. I love them for who they are and how they raised me. I respect them and now they are not only my parents but my friends.

You can change things that you want but one of my favorite quotes is, if it is something you can't change, don't worry about it. I try to use that in my life when people/things get on my nerves.

OK I rambled, but I am glad I met you as a friend.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TAZZAT2003 3/12/2010 9:18AM

    You remind me of an old friend. I always had excuses. I wanted to learn how to drive..'I do not have a car, my mom won't teach me, I do not have time etc'. No matter what the problem, no matter what the excuse he always would tell me "You can" I would always become defensive and sometimes frustrated. "I just can't" I would say. Without missing a beat "You can! If you want to do it then do it". As frustrating as it was, he was right. It may take a while. It may be really hard. However, if I want it badly enough I can have it...I can do it.
I have since learned to drive. I am learning to live a healthier life and this fall I WILL return to school.

I can, you can, we can! The question is will I? YES I WILL!

Have a great weekend! Thanks again for another inspiring post!

Report Inappropriate Comment
AMABILE75 3/12/2010 8:59AM

    As MARCYNA already said, dad's (parent's) do not have to be perfect or hero's 100% of the time. You are still human, and humans are not perfect. Therefore it is impossible to be perfect 100% of the time and expecting that of yourself is unrealistic and setting yourself up for disappointment.

With that said, if there is an area or aspect of your personality that you wish to change then yes, only you can make this change. You CAN do it though. You are such a strong person, so kind and caring, I know that you have the power within yourself to do anything you decide you want to do. It may not be easy, but we are here for you every step of the way.

Thank you so very much for all of the kind words you wrote about me. I am so happy that I have been able to help. I would go through everything I've been through in life 10 times over if I knew it would somehow help another human. Thank you for letting me know that I have helped you. I can go through the day with a smile on my face and warmth in my heart.

emoticon emoticon

Have a great day!! You are WONDERFUL!

Report Inappropriate Comment
REMODELINGPAT 3/12/2010 8:13AM

    Introspection is always hard, and usually painful. But as we come out the other side, IT IS GOOD! I hate looking inward! There are so many murky, dingy, dusty corners that I don't want to examine too closely. You, my friend, are an example to me. I CAN burrow into the dark and, with God's help I CAN clean up all the murkiness, one corner at a time.

Have a super-colossal, absolutely fantastic day! You're one of MY heroes in this walk toward a healthier life!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOLLBABE56 3/12/2010 7:38AM

    This gives us something to really think about. I always feel better when I exercise. It's remembering that when we are in a funk. Thanks for another great blog. I will now go check out AMABILE75's blog.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARCYNA 3/12/2010 7:36AM

    I can tell you dads don't have to be perfect to be heroes...They have to be just truthful.
And definitely you are. emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MMP526 3/12/2010 7:28AM

    Great, inspirational post!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MMP526 3/12/2010 7:28AM

    Great, inspirational post!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MMP526 3/12/2010 7:28AM

    Great, inspirational post!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MMP526 3/12/2010 7:27AM

    Great, inspirational post!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Rewarding Performance or Do I Have A lot To Learn.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Because i am going to be traveling today I wrote this last night. Hence, the past tense.

While Joan and I were eating dinner tonight the topic of rewards surfaced. We got into a discussion how from childhood on we associate success and accomplishment with food. Look at birthdays---- we have cake. We have son getting married in September, the biggest struggle he and his bride are having is choosing the meal for both the wedding and the rehearsal dinner. We celebrate love on Valentine’s Day with chocolates. It’s no wonder a lot of us waddle instead of walk!!!

I don’t blame society. No one forces me to put anything in my mouth. I choose what goes in and what stays out but how often do I eat things or drink things without even thinking? I think it’s called conditioning.

We talked about this for awhile and then Joan started talking about non edible rewards. Now for a guy who is as smart as I am there are days you have to draw me a picture. She praised me on how well I have doing. My indicator isn’t always the scale it’s the “hug test.” Joan hugs me and then calculates how far she can get her arms around me. So far it’s worked.

Joan has never nagged about my lack of health. She has encouraged, she has told me she was concerned but never has she gotten cross.

Then she dropped a bombshell on me.

“How close are you to your goal weight” she asked me?

“Oh gosh, about 60 pounds,” I answered.

“Well how about when you reach it we get you that Harley you wanted?”


More silence

(Rarely am I without words.)

Me on a Harley, All the cool kids would be jealous. My long mane of hair flying in the breeze. (Okay so I’m bald!!!)

I had planned on vacuuming out the car after dinner. As I did so, I started strategizing. I could double my cardio, reduce my calories to about five hundred a day and in about three weeks I’d be humming “Born To Be Wild.”

Then that gosh darned inner voice of mine cleared its throat. (I sort of figured it would show up.)

“If you use that logic John, the only Harley you’ll have will be the ones you see in a magazine.”

My inner voice is always so darned right. You think just once it could go along with me!!!

“Realistically you couldn’t really get one until next spring, which is about thirteen months away. That’s a little over four pounds a month.”

What struck me was how quickly I was ready to jump back on the merry go round. How quickly I would revert to old behavior, starve myself, crash and burn and blame Joan for enticing me. I have a long way to go, but………………. I have a lot of time to get there and it’s thanks to people like you that all this change will come, no worries.

Don’t get me wrong. I hope my progress stays as it is and I learn more each day, but I got a good lesson tonight in how far I need to travel.

But you wanna know something? Without you, (Imagine me pointing my finger right at you, right now) I wouldn’t be aware of none of this. (I know double negative!) You guys who read what I write and help guide me are part of my strength.

Yes you have your flaws too. I think we all do but I also think we are all “Wounded Healers” caring for each other as much as we care for ourselves. So thanks guys for help making me aware of who I am and what I need to do to be me. Thank you for your love.

The Harley is not the important thing; it’s just the vehicle that confirmed to me that I know some really cool people and have the most amazing wife in the world.

This is where you stand up and imagine me sitting back in my chair and applauding you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GIRANIMAL 3/11/2010 6:46PM

    Oh, emoticon!

I'm glad to hear your good common sense was not trumped for very long by the incredibly enticing Harley. But that is one sweet reward! Joan seriously rocks.

Here's a thought: Do you already know how to ride? If not, you could spend that 13 months or so perfecting your skills and otherwise preparing by getting your license in order and such. It would mirror the slow and steady "right" way you're reaching your health goals!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CMBELISLE 3/11/2010 5:56PM

    I think our link of food to celebrations goes back to the days when food was scarce. We would have "feasts" associated with weddings, holidays (or holy days), etc eating special foods (meats and sweets) only on those occaisions. Unfortunately, in our society of plenty, we can have those foods any time and in larger quantities. We have had to retrain ourselves to eat more healthfully and in smaller quantities. I still celebrate special occaisions with trips to special restaurants.

As for the Harley, I understand your story - the goal is attainable, but to reach it maintainably is a more serious subject. I also understand your reaction to what your wife told you - it was a LOT like my hubby's when I told him he could get the Corvette we test drove. It all started with me saying, "Let's go to the Corvette place and see what kind of trouble we can get into." He still smiles every time he gets into it, even when it doesn't want to start. While he'd love to have a newer one, he's pretty happy right now.

Report Inappropriate Comment
WANDAH3 3/11/2010 4:46PM

  John, I'm sure you are well aware of just how blessed you are to have a wife like Joan. Bless her heart and all her support. What a wonderful goal and reward to work towards...even if it takes a long time. It's the knowing that you are becoming a healthier person mentally, physically and spiritually that matters.

My meet you and Joan.


Report Inappropriate Comment
KLEONIKI 3/11/2010 4:43PM

    This is it!
Slowly steadily consistently towards the aim...
It is not a matter of one day it is a lifechange we are talking about.Isn't it dear friend?
My sincere congrats for reasoning so clearly and expressing it so accurately to us all!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARCYNA 3/11/2010 2:50PM

    WoW....I really love this post....I'm the one who would starve and crash & all the rest and I think SP has saved my life.
I just love to be a 'Wounded Healer'- I made all possible mistakes so I know better!!!
You can always get a HD but please please please never stop BEING YOURSELF!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRIPLE_EMME 3/11/2010 10:27AM


Joan sounds like one amazing, super-cool, soon-to-be biker chic!!!

I can hear the roar of that future Harley!!!


Report Inappropriate Comment
TAZZAT2003 3/11/2010 10:24AM

    John you are so right(no surprise there). Here in the real world I feel very alone on my journey. My boyfriend is supportive and eats the healthier foods with me. However, eating right is not the only part and not really the hardest part for me. Working out. I want to lose weight. I want to tone the jiggle. However, it is hard to wake up alone, go to the gym alone, and walk,run,lift etc. alone. Anyways, enough moping and groping...the point I am trying to make is with SP I do not feel so alone. I see others who are tackling bigger obstacles then myself. I read uplifting and inspiring blogs everyday. SP is the reason I can see the light at the end of the dark tunnel. The smell of victory is in the air and I am going to capture it. Thanks John. When I get there, my victory will be a piece of your victory. Because I am not sure I would be this far without you and other sparkers!
emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BIBLIOHOLIC57 3/11/2010 9:46AM

    John, give your wife a beauchaeau(sp!) bouquet of flowers. She's terrific!

As you know, it's the journey, not the destination. Whether it's four months or fourteen months, the days will pass, and you'll be getting that Harley. So what if it's later, rather than sooner? What's important is you've done the legwork (literally) as you choose the path of sure and permanent weight loss.

Have a great trip today, by the way.

Awesome blog, per usual, bunkie!!!!


emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
STORMTMB 3/11/2010 9:25AM

    Give your wife a HUGE hug because obviously she's awesome. Of course, that's not a surprise.

I decided back in October to get my Harley and these 6 months of anticipation have been so cool. I did it pretty much as a reward for the stuff I've been going through. One thing I was thinking about is next year getting my jacket in a (much) smaller size and I know I need to get stronger to hold up (or pick up) the bike, another motivator. Keep up your hard work and next year we'll be Wild Hogs together! But promise me you'll wear a helmet.

With the Harley, you'll be able to tell Snow White that you came on a Hog, not horseback. She'll be seriously impressed.


Report Inappropriate Comment
REMODELINGPAT 3/11/2010 9:06AM

    Our negative thinking/habits are just like all the pounds we are working on shedding: We didn't establish them overnight...they've been with us for a LOOOOOOONG time, and it will take dedication and determination, larded liberally with consistency to get free of them...BUT...WE CAN DO IT!
Great have pinned the Negative Thoughts Monster to the mat, at least for the present. Hang in there. emoticon emoticonI'm so proud of you AND your wife. She's a winner too! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
FOXEYES2 3/11/2010 8:25AM

  Your wife ROCKS! I love the line "I have a long way to go but I have a lot of time to get there". That is so true and that is what I keep on reminding myself. I now am going to figure out how to reward myself when I get to my goal. Maybe a really big and really cool tattoo?! Oh and your wife ROCKS!

Report Inappropriate Comment
AMABILE75 3/11/2010 8:03AM


What an awesome reward and something to look forward to! It is wonderful that you were able to stop yourself in your own tracks and put an end to those bad thoughts before you took action. I think we all have thoughts like that from time to time. I have no doubt that you will continue to put those thoughts out of your mind, because that is who you have become. You are amazing!

Thank you for being my friend. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOLLBABE56 3/11/2010 7:28AM

    Great bouncing back from old habits! It is an a "condition" we all seem to be fighting. And will win. The support that is available here helps in so many ways. Oh, and what a terrific wife Joan is!


Report Inappropriate Comment
KAT573 3/11/2010 7:12AM

    Yahooooooooo for YOU! Crowns for the WIFE! Your blogs and your reciprocity are the best applaud we here can get!
have a wondermost day! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
WANNABTHIN02 3/11/2010 7:03AM

    John, You've started my day out with a chuckle. And since I'm going in to work or into battle, I need a little humor.
Yes, we are all in this together and I have to agree with you. What a wonderful bunch of people to be in a journey with. Have a blessed day.
Helena emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

Creating Enjoyable Goals

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

When I am not blogging or writing I actually do work. I don’t call it work. I call it getting paid to have fun. It was a goal of mine for a long time and about ten years ago it came true. It was the culmination of dreaming and believing in a lot principles and ideas when other people gave me one of those odd sort of looks. The thing about my job that I enjoy the most is guiding people through a process that helps them reach their goals and objectives. It doesn’t matter whether they are personal or professional goals, just as long as they reach them. I believe that when we start reaching our goals it becomes a legal steroid for our self esteem.

Most of our goals are long term goals that require a lot of effort and diligence and all the really great stuff we learn from each other every day here in Sparkville. They are noble and worthy goals and just talk to anyone who has reached one of those goals and they will puff their chests out with pride. But they do require us using an awful lot of our internal resources to reach them. If you are not in a habit of enjoying your successes you can run out of steam in a hurry… just ask me!!! I know from personal experience.

What do you want to do that’s fun? I mean right now, while you are reading this blog. What’s your daydream? (I keep wishing for a full head of hair) Why don’t you do it?

A goal can be something as simple as planning a day of shopping with some friends or going to an athletic event. It is something to look forward to, something to be excited about. I know tracking every last bit of food that goes into my mouth is important but I don’t get up in the morning look at Joan and say “I am so looking forward to tracking my food today, honey. Care to join me?” I look to have some sort of fun to look forward to each day.

A good goal should provide us with stimulation. I had two very crazy short term, fun goals. I wanted to be in the nightly parade at Disneyland and I wanted to have my picture taken with Snow White. I achieved both goals. I have a pin to prove I got to march in the daily parade. (I got to dance with some large bug) There is a picture on my desk of Snow White and I. (The cast member who was portraying her did an excellent job. She asked me where I was from and when I told her Kentucky, she asked me if I had come all that way on horseback!)

Big deal John. I agree. But it was fun planning them and I got to tell my friends and family about them and my children still roll their eyes when I bring them up. They caused me to ask myself what else I could do? It got me in the habit of setting goals, reaching them and in the process feeling better about myself.

I am getting healthy so I can be happy. Losing weight, working out, and smoking cessation are all activities that help us reach our goals. They are a valuable means to a wonderful end. This is the most important lesson I have learned so far in this journey. All of the things I do every single day are activities that will lead me towards my life goals.

That’s why I am in the habit of setting daily and weekly goals that serve no one but me. They are fun things but every day when I flip over a calendar page I have something to look forward to. And I do. Then I put a gold star after my name because I deserve it.

I hope you do to.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCYNA 3/11/2010 6:08AM

    I really like your job.... emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
KATJAMN 3/10/2010 9:56PM

    That is awesome, John.
That is kinda what I was doing when I made the reward to my goal, reteaching myself how to sew.. It is something that I want to do, and it is something useful too. sure I got side tracked with new shoes but hey.. I started the process...LOL
Any ways, you are right, I am going to follow your lead and set weekly goals that are just for me. LOVE IT

Report Inappropriate Comment
STORMTMB 3/10/2010 8:26PM

    BTW - if you check out my pics, you'll see a special one from WDW. I only had to wait about 20 mins for it, but you only get this chance at special ticket events... Me and my men.

Report Inappropriate Comment
WANDAH3 3/10/2010 7:30PM

  I love your goals...I think being in a Disney parade would be so exciting and you just can't top having your picture taken with Snow White! (We had ours taken with Goofy!)
John, I love that you let your inner child out to play and have fun.

Thank you so much for all the wonderful quotes you supplied our team with, they were a big hit.
Now I know who to call on when I need a hand again!


Report Inappropriate Comment
DOLLBABE56 3/10/2010 4:41PM

    The mere idea of a fun goal is exciting. Why haven't I done that? Well, I most certainly will now. lol I mean, most days I make a list of the things I'd like to accomplished that day. As I mark each one of it makes me feel good about myself. The very first items on my list are almost always: 1) SparkPeople, 2) Read Spark for 10 minutes (one of my challenges), 3) Yoga, 4) WiiFii or dvd, 5), Walk Poppet a.m., 6) Walk Poppet p.m. After these I will add the "chores" I need (would like) to take care of that day. I don't always mark off everything, but I do most. And that's okay with me.

Now. I need to think of something fun to add to my list at least once a week, if not everyday.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CMBELISLE 3/10/2010 2:03PM

    Thanks for the reminder. I think I need to go set some fun goals for myself. It's one of those things I often forget during the daily grind.

Report Inappropriate Comment
STORMTMB 3/10/2010 9:39AM

    One of the best "exercises" I ever started (it's still in progress) was a challenge to complete 101 goals in 1001 days. It took about 4 months to come up with something close to 101 goals. I'm nearing the end of the 1001 days now and it's so much fun to look back at what I've accomplished.

One goal was to see a friend perform his own music live (he does all cover songs in his regular job). To accomplish that goal, I flew to Phoenix and back home in one weekend to see his Saturday night concert. We traveled Friday night and Sunday, so I didn't really get to see much in the city other than the concert.

He was amazed that I came, but he was really excited too. When he asked me why I'd take the time and spend the money for that one concert, I told him honestly "It's a goal on my list." I'm so glad that I did it. I may never get that opportunity again. That experience was worth so much more for me than what I spent in cash and it's all because I had set it as a goal. I decided that I wasn't going to miss the opportunity when I had it.

I totally support what you've said here. I'm obviously a huge believer in setting and accomplishing goals, especially the fun ones.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BIBLIOHOLIC57 3/10/2010 9:26AM

    I completely agree with your blog! I love having goals - something to look forward to.

I journal each day and give myself credits for positive things I've accomplished, because they're bringing me closer and closer to certain goals.

Keep up the great work, bunkie!!!


emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
REMODELINGPAT 3/10/2010 8:52AM

    John, you truly have the perfect Spark-itude! Being able to pass that enthusiasm and direction on to others obviously gives you great pleasure.

Abraham Lincoln said, "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." Too many people have, consciously or not, decided not to be happy. We ALL need to recognize that the power to change our lives lies within ourselves.


Report Inappropriate Comment
KLEONIKI 3/10/2010 8:18AM

    Taking pleasure has always been my secret motivation power.
If i want to build a habit it has to involve a certain amount of satisfaction in it.
This is why i feel happy and secure when i started to get pure pleasure from exercising. I now know that i may stick to it for long...
My best wishes
emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
AMABILE75 3/10/2010 7:57AM

    I have really started to see just how important goals are, and your blog really helps support that for me. It was The Spark that opened my eyes and I'm so happy it did.

Thanks for such a wonderful blog! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
NJMATTICE 3/10/2010 7:55AM

    I battle apathy. Sometimes job one is motivation and even before that comes purpose for me. I stick around here because I constantly need reminding that I have a responsibility to care for myself. As I typed that, the phrase had new meaning to it. Care for self has always meant to make responsible choices in grooming or feeding, etc. Reading that phrase today I see that it as meaning not to be apathetic or numb and care about myself. Give a hoot. Hmmmmm.
Thanks John. Your blog has given me new insight. Again, that's why I stick around here.
Have a great day. My fun goal for today is to color some bug pictures. Thanks.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARCYNA 3/10/2010 7:26AM

    emoticon emoticon
I've always thought of setting goals as something boring and perhaps unattainable, but reading your blog, John, I'm changing my & goals is something I'll try experiencing , thanks for's a new blessing.
emoticon emoticon emoticon
PS Love your new pic.

Comment edited on: 3/10/2010 7:28:37 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 Last Page