JOHNTJ1   67,341
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But I Didn't

Friday, January 25, 2013

Tucked away behind a long stretch of highways sits Diane’s Bakery. Diane is a wonderful lady and a most excellent baker. I pass her bakery three mornings each week as I motor out of town. IF Diane knows you, she will take the fresh, almost warm shell of a jelly donut and inject it with the filling of your choice. She will frost it, wrap it a piece of paper and put it in a bag for you. The only real description I have of this creation is “corpulent.” There is no way to eat this donut while you are driving. You have to turn off onto a side street and eat it covertly and then spend the next half hour licking the frosting and filling off of your lips.

I wanted a Diane’s Donut yesterday morning really bad. I had my Cheerios and almond milk for breakfast. (Middle age has brought with it a degree of lactose intolerance.) I packed my back pack and headed to get gasoline. For whatever reason I kept thinking about Diane and her donuts and with each passing moment I was creating all sorts of justifications for pulling into her parking lot and indulging in her forbidden pleasures.

But I didn’t.

I kept driving. It didn’t stop me from wanting the D**n donut but I kept driving. When I made a commitment to mindful eating I am made a commitment to honoring myself. When I break that commitment I suggest I am not worthy of honor. It’s okay to want the donut, that’s a natural feeling. I have to decide if that donut is my best interest and the interest of those who love me.

Oh, I know what you’re going to say; “All things in moderation.”

The average life expectancy for an American, combined male and female, is 77.6 years according to a Harvard Medical School publication. With the alarming surge in childhood obesity, my granddaughter’s average age, as we speak today is 10 years less than mine. That’s scary, so maybe its example time. I beeped at Diane and waved. She won’t have to reduce her staff because I’ve spurned those amazing jelly donuts. Emotionally, I felt better than I have in a while.

I coulda eaten that donut………… But I didn’t. How about you?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RSTENNER 1/28/2013 1:02PM

    Dang donut anyway, who invented them? emoticon

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BBECKER1955 1/26/2013 10:18AM

    You're a better man than I am, Gunga er ah John!

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NASFKAB 1/26/2013 4:44AM

  great job have to decide for yourself what is important

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KATHYM316 1/26/2013 3:46AM

    Way to go!!

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 1/25/2013 11:37PM

    Great job! Keep it up!

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CARTOONB 1/25/2013 10:51PM

    It depends on the day. If it were Saturday, I would have had the donut. If it were any other day, I would put it on my "wish list" for Saturday. If I still wanted it when Saturday rolled around, I would have it. Luckily, very little on my wish list still sounds good on Saturday.

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GEEMAWEST 1/25/2013 10:43PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RACINGSLUG 1/25/2013 5:16PM

    You did the right thing. Those do sound like really good donuts, though.

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KBRADFORD88 1/25/2013 4:44PM

    Today it sleeted here and all my memories of cold snowy weather include food. It took all I had not to run to the store and buy frozen pizzas and half gallons of ice cream, etc...Resistance can build that muscle. I ate instead a slice (1) from Whole foods pizza with mushrooms and spinach. I don;t have to stop having stuff. I just want it on my own terms. emoticon

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TRISTAROSE 1/25/2013 4:09PM


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MARITIMER3 1/25/2013 3:54PM

    Congratulations for not giving in to temptation!

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WORLDSERIES11 1/25/2013 2:15PM

    It's so hard sometimes to make the healthy choice...good for you!! emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 1/25/2013 1:32PM


I, on the other hand, far too easily caved and ate the last piece of my birthday cake. I told myself that although I know I shouldn't have it, if I eat it and just GET RID OF IT, I will no longer have to be tempted and avoid it! In my defense, the cake has been around almost 2 full weeks, and of course my husband has been munching on it too, so the fact that it lasted that long has to say something good for me! emoticon

And had it just been the cake, I would have been able to justify it as moderation and go about my business...but nooooo, that led to immediate and intense cravings for more junk food, so I had a piece of chocolate, about 8 frozen grapes (my lame attempt to "at least have something healthy," and then not one, but two cookies. They were gluten-free orange quinoa cookies -- OK, so they could have been worse for me for sure. And I even was happy to discover they are individually wrapped (convenient portion control), and two medium-sized cookies are a mere 99 calories! Then why the heck did I not *conveniently* stop at 1?!

I feel like I used to have a whole lot more willpower, so these days, I am even MORE impressed with your wonderfully healthy choice to abstain from that delicious-sounding doughnut! I am convinced that dumb cake is what set me off into a spiral -- perhaps the doughnut would have done the same for you.

So, well done! And I especially love, love, love that choosing to honor your value and that of your loved ones is what made you prevail -- calories alone would have been a fine reason, but you did one better. emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/25/2013 1:34:51 PM

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MORTICIAADDAMS 1/25/2013 12:46PM

    I would have passed. Donuts are too rich for me. They almost make me sick. LOL.

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CRYSTALJEM 1/25/2013 12:38PM

    Very proud of you. That does take commitment. I am a moderation believer, but I think in this case you made the right decision. Moderation or not sometimes the answer is still no. Well done.

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SCHNEBL 1/25/2013 10:21AM

    Good for you! I will use that mind set this weekend to eat mindfully even though we are traveling. Thank you for always motivating me!


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MATHMAGICIAN 1/25/2013 10:19AM

    Thanks for the reminder that this is a commitment we make to honor ourselves. That was beautifully said. Interestingly, I find that after eating healthfully for an extended period of time, eating a donut leaves my mouth feeling like its coated in grease. It's like a form of aversion therapy provided by nature. The thought of that after effect is enough to keep me from wanting to eat a donut.

Thank you for caring for yourself and sharing your experience.

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VICKI-BISHOP56 1/25/2013 9:46AM

  WTG John. It shows you're sticking to your plan and working it. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HDHAWK 1/25/2013 9:19AM

    emoticon I had an on track day too! First one in a long time that I didn't have at least a little "treat"! Awesome John!

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BARB5970 1/25/2013 9:01AM

    Excellent!!! Now that's a NSV!!! You have "sparked" a thought in my mind. How many times have I broken that same commitment to myself. To eat something that wasn't going to get me to my goal. I have blown off that commitment and have given into temptation over and over again. I think it's time to honor myself more and follow in your footsteps. Thanks for sharing. It was just what I needed this morning.

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CC3833 1/25/2013 8:58AM

    Wow thats awesome... Go you! I can't say I'm that good but there are times everyday where people offer me things and i just say no. Other times I am not as successful... but in time I'm sure I will get better at it. You should wear a huge smile on your face for such a great choice! Happy Friday!

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SLIMLEAF 1/25/2013 8:55AM

    Talk about a non-scale victory, John - that's got to be one of the best! Well done!
I'm so impressed because I understand just how difficult this must have been for you. What a Star you are!

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REGILIEH 1/25/2013 8:47AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon You didn't let yourself down!


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DOLLY1259 1/25/2013 8:32AM

    I am so proud for you. I have been in the same situation. When I resist the temptation instead of justifying it, I always feel better about myself. It is quite the battle since I am the queen of justification. The battle is definitely in my head!

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IMIN2GENES 1/25/2013 8:24AM

    Kudos to you for resisting the temptation!

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DEBRITA01 1/25/2013 8:14AM

    Great job resisting the donut! Yesterday while on break from work, I stopped in a convenience store to get a snack. After I read all the packages of all my old favorite snacks, I left empty-handed...nothing was worth it. Score one for me! emoticon

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SHERIO5 1/25/2013 8:14AM


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GRACIE4ONE 1/25/2013 8:07AM

    Way To Go, J!

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3 Results

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I was reading a coaching colleagues blog about creating effective marketing strategies yesterday afternoon. She suggested you make a list of 30 benefits your clients would derive from working with you. She went on to challenge us not to dwell on the obvious such as being more productive, getting a raise or a promotion. She asked us to look for the things we over look on a day to day basis.

It got me to thinking.........

I sat down last night and identified 3 benefits of pursuing a healthy life style. Whats different today than it was 3 years ago when I first came to Spark. After I wrote them down I printed them out so I can remind myself how well I am doing and will be doing.

I'm going to share them with you. Could you share them, add your own, and pass it on? I am sure there are benefits I've derived by making the choice to live healthy.

Here are mine:

1. I have more friends!!! Instead of sitting around at the end of the day and feeling all sluggish and tired from all the sugar that's in me, I do things, which causes me to meet people, which helps me make new friends.

2. My natural anxiety level has decreased by half. I still freak out but its an event not an occurrence. Regular exercise, meditation and good food have lowered my blood pressure and my penchant to become anxious. You might say I'm confident.

3. I'm exploring new food options. Some of those fresh veggies that have caused me to turn my nose up in the past have worked their way into my diet and............ I am cooking more and trying new things. I got a Wok for X-Mas!!!

Those are 3 benefits I've derived from learning to live healthy. I'd love for you to add to it and then pass it on!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEWMOM20121 1/31/2013 8:58AM

    Can I add my three?
1) No heartburn
2) Stopped snoring
3) Body does not hurt.

There are several more things, but I will stick to these for today.

Great job.

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NASFKAB 1/25/2013 4:32AM

  great blog thanks

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ADELE66 1/25/2013 4:11AM

    Great blog as always. So positive!


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MOBYCARP 1/24/2013 9:42PM

    Hmm, don't use the obvious like avoiding risk factors for atherosclerosis . . .

1. I need less sleep than I did, and my waking time is higher quality.
2. I can see my abs. I never would have thought I'd be vain about my appearance, but I like how I look. That, and visible muscles impress some people.
3. My 26 year old daughter is proud of my fitness level. (Now, if she'd only get motivated to improve her own fitness level . . . )

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MARITIMER3 1/24/2013 6:19PM

    Another very insightful blog, John. Thank you.

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    I learn something new almost every day - things I can add to my toolbox to help me stay healthy.

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CRYSTALJEM 1/24/2013 11:19AM

    Healthy life style changes have made a big difference to me.

emoticon I haven't had an IBS recurrence in I've lost track it's been so long;

emoticon I have more energy and much fewer aches and pains;

emoticon My body looks better and it's stronger.

And that's just the start.

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REGILIEH 1/24/2013 11:18AM

    emoticon IDEA! I have so much more energy so I get so much more done and have more time for something else.

emoticon emoticon

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UPENDA 1/24/2013 11:10AM

    I spend more time with my children. I don't observe them playing, I participate. I'm more confident and outgoing now.
Better sex life (can I say that?)
More positive outlook in general.

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SHERIO5 1/24/2013 10:59AM

    emoticon emoticon

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CC3833 1/24/2013 10:20AM

    Nice I like this blog! So here goes a few for me:

- I am off my medications due to exercise and eating better.
- I feel more in control of my life, I don't wait til I get to the corner to worry about what's around the bend, I plan for it.
- I have become a more positive person and have begun motivating/inspiring others... I think that's my favorite one :-)

Now I have to blog about this :-) I want to spread that knowledge to everyone... Thanks!

You're doing great! Keep pushing on!

Comment edited on: 1/24/2013 10:21:32 AM

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CARTOONB 1/24/2013 9:21AM

    I'm trying new stuff. Wouldn't have hiked Table Rock without being healthy!

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VICKI-BISHOP56 1/24/2013 9:16AM

  Good blog John, as always. I need to think about the pros of my own healthy fitness routine a little more. I know there's more pros than cons. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LOUISE6296 1/24/2013 9:00AM

  I love reading your blogs. No offense intended, but please use the word Christmas, not Xmas. Thank you for tolerating my sensitivities.

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BLUEROSE73 1/24/2013 9:00AM

    Love the idea. Thanks for sharing. I just might have to spend some time, sit down, and do this for myself too.

Have a great day

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DEE797 1/24/2013 8:46AM

    Love your benefits of a healthy lifestyle. I need to think about what I have learned. emoticon emoticon

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Letting Go

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I was driving down the road one day, doing battle with my fears when this quote popped into my head. I used this picture during a recent seminar. Thought I'd share it with you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNMEINDERS 1/23/2013 11:38PM


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ONEKIDSMOM 1/23/2013 7:58PM

    Love it... let go to hang on. Thanks!

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MARITIMER3 1/23/2013 6:32PM

    So true - the things we "hang onto" aren't always the things that we need. Thanks for the reminder. A tiny example of that in our house, we have a utensil rack hanging over the store. I had a certain order for the spatulas, slotted spoon, soup ladle, solid spoon, etc. DH always put them a different way. I always re-hung them. One day I realized it really didn't matter. Not a big deal, but every little change makes for a more cooperative household.

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KATHRYN1955 1/23/2013 6:18PM

    I remember thinking that it is a good thing to learn to let go and "go with the flow", until I heard Sarah Palin say that "only dead fish go with the flow." So perhaps it is somewhere in between; we need to go with the flow, except with a bit of attitude!!
Take care,

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DOLLBABE56 1/23/2013 1:42PM

    Very nice John. You should use this as your book cover. I remember a few months ago you talking about writing a book. How's that going?

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 1/23/2013 1:05PM

    That's awesome!

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PRESBESS 1/23/2013 12:30PM

    emoticon I like that!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 1/23/2013 11:25AM

    I think this message was meant for me right now. It's a great quote and a great picture.

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SLIMLEAF 1/23/2013 10:31AM

    That's profound!

Thanks for sharing it. I'll try to bear it in mind for when there seems no way out.

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SHERIO5 1/23/2013 9:23AM


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VICKI-BISHOP56 1/23/2013 9:22AM


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DR8561 1/23/2013 9:18AM

    Very similar to a devotional I was reading this morning. Maybe Someone is trying to tell me something. emoticon

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REGILIEH 1/23/2013 9:09AM

    AMEN to that!!! emoticon

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CC3833 1/23/2013 8:57AM

    Wow... that one really hit many aspects of my life. Thanks for that!

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HDHAWK 1/23/2013 8:54AM

    Wise advice. Hard to do sometimes! Have a glorious day! emoticon

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Persistence & Its Cousin Perseverance

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Last week at this time I was scratching my head. I'd stayed within calorie limits, exercised, meditated and got enough sleep. I stepped on the scale and the proverbial tale of the tape showed showed a 2.8 pound gain. If you want the gory details you can read the blog.

The good news is I didn't panic. I didn't triple my cardio and subsist on bread and water whilst beating myself about the head and shoulders for being so fat!!! I stayed the course. I believed that if I did the things I should do to remain healthy, the weight would come off.

Still, lol, it bothered me until one of my dearest guardian angels whispered something to my heart. Recently, our insurance has required we fill our prescription via mail. We get a six month supply. One of my hypertension prescriptions was late getting here so I went four days without it. I realized this when it arrived and well to go further is TMI, lol.

"Ahhh," I thought. "Water retention."

I approached the scale this morning with a bit of fear. I hadn't really changed anything so I was a bit anxious. I'll cut to the chase, I had a 4 pound loss this week.

Patience is indeed a virtue.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNMEINDERS 1/23/2013 11:37PM

    Woohoo....go John

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MOBYCARP 1/23/2013 1:10PM

    Alas, the concern about what is a "real" weight gain or loss doesn't go away in maintenance. Weighing daily helps me with this, because it's easier to throw out one day anomalies that way than if the anomaly happened to occur on an official weekly weigh-in day.

And yes, patience is required.

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NASFKAB 1/23/2013 4:52AM

  more than one reason for weight gain thanks for pointing it out

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CARTOONB 1/22/2013 11:12PM

    I love it when I understand what is happening and why. I'm glad you're able to understand at least this one piece!

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MARITIMER3 1/22/2013 2:29PM

    You're right - persistence and perseverance go hand in hand. Congratulations on not getting too discouraged by last week's gain, and congratulations on this week's loss. emoticon

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CC3833 1/22/2013 12:11PM

    Congrats! You make me want to keep trying...

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CATHYHASSPARK 1/22/2013 10:57AM

    I needed to read that,,, I so feel like that alot of the time ecspecially this week, and I get those same panicky thoughts!! I have had a cold since last weds and been on cold meds, ibuprofen etc,, and I know thos attributed to my gain but now im back in good health and no cold meds!!

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VICKI-BISHOP56 1/22/2013 9:55AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHERIO5 1/22/2013 9:48AM

    Aha! Mystery solved! emoticon

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SLIMLEAF 1/22/2013 9:42AM

    Hurrah! Good news indeed!

I'll try to take a leaf out of your book about not panicking when the scale number goes up despite me doing all the right things.

Your blog is very encouraging. Thank you.

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BOOKAPHILE 1/22/2013 9:25AM

    It's taken me a loooooong time to just keep to the plan and not panic when the scale doesn't behave the way I think it should. When I do keep to the plan, the weight eventually comes off.
Congratulations on your evidence of success... But you were a success all along for doing the right things.

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    I'm not sure who your insurance company is but they are endangering your life by causing you to go 4 days without your blood pressure meds. Totally unacceptable.

Congrats on the weight loss!

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ANDYINBC 1/22/2013 9:22AM

    Patience tempered with wisdom in this case!

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REGILIEH 1/22/2013 9:18AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANATASHIKI 1/22/2013 9:14AM

    lol, we always need a logic reason emoticon congrats for finding yours. I have a great respect for the water retention fairy. I can gain to 10 pounds in a day without having a clue why. congrats for this week's loss emoticon emoticon

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NUNZIATA43 1/22/2013 9:03AM

    Congrats on the -4 negative swing John. Stay the course - YOU CAN DO IT!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HDHAWK 1/22/2013 9:00AM

    Mystery solved! Way to go! The scale isn't moving much for me either. Probably for reasons caused by me and not meds!

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FUN2BAROUND 1/22/2013 8:55AM

    Good for you! Its too easy to throw in the towel when we think that we're not "in control". Keep up the great work!

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

I received a Spark mail late yesterday. The author said that they really enjoyed my blog about how I spent part of my day they weren’t quite sure what it had to do with weight loss, health or fitness. They took great pains to tell me how well I wrote, how entertaining I am, so I knew their request was a sincere one. So, if one person was wondering maybe more were wondering. Joan often tells me that I live in a world where information is disseminated by osmosis, mostly from my brain to the rest of the world. Truth be told, I am stumped and puzzled when I have to explain things, I mean, don’t you know!!! LOL

So………… Here is my explanation.

All of my detailed activity was simply that, activity. It meant I wasn’t sitting in front of my IPad or TV molting and morphing into an even larger pile of fat. I was engaging all those internal systems that revved up my metabolism. I was active which meant eating didn’t come from boredom or emotion. I was too busy sniffing metaphorical garbage cans.

Activity doesn’t find us, we find it.

Sorry this is brief. The dog is asking to be walked.

Thank you Spark letter writer for pointing that out to me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KATHRYN1955 1/22/2013 9:17AM

    John: I just went back and read that blog, and I must admit, that it would have never occurred to me that it was anything but an enjoyable read. It felt like you have truly mastered the art of "being in the moment", at least for that morning!!
This whole weight thing is simply a symptom of a much bigger (pardon the pun!) issue and learning the art of be totally present will go a long way in affecting a cure.
Take care, and don't change a thing!

Comment edited on: 1/22/2013 9:18:50 AM

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SHERIO5 1/21/2013 10:15AM

    Movement, any movement, is a great thing! It reminds us that we are alive! To do so with minimal pain and discomfort is emoticon

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HLPRATT 1/21/2013 9:59AM

    There's only so much you can write about your activity and your diet. Our lives are much more interesting than that and I always enjoy your blog- as do alot of other people. That person is certainly in the minority.

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AJDOVER1 1/21/2013 8:59AM

    John, I thought your blogs were written just for me. emoticon

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ADARKARA 1/21/2013 8:49AM

    I don't care what it has to do with weight loss. I would get bored on Spark if everyone talked about weight loss constantly.

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CRYSTALJEM 1/21/2013 7:13AM

    You're blogs always have some morsel for me to take away, even if it's nothing more than a smile. It all makes for a better day all around. This journey is about life. Food weight and exercise are only 3 ingredients of many.

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MOBYCARP 1/21/2013 6:58AM

    My sister explains that she writes blogs for herself. If they happen to help other people too, that's great; but the point is she writes to help her own journey.

There's nothing wrong with that, and I've loosely followed the same philosophy. I kind of assume (by osmosis, if you like) that most people do the same. So if writing the blog helps you, it's OK if I don't see what the point is. If what helps you is far afield from what's useful to me, I don't have to read your stuff.

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 1/21/2013 6:12AM

I think people should lose their butts...and their buts. (That was really great, BUT.....) emoticon

I think that person misses this point also....there is a LOT of time to kill in this journey we call weight loss!!

You can perseverate over this, wratcheting your stress level up and thus making weight loss even harder (ever heard of cortisol?) or you can...relax (breathe out) and (breathe in)...just (breathe out)....LIVE (breathe in)...LIFE....


Keep sniffing the metaphorical garbage cans...and the real roses! emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/21/2013 6:21:39 AM

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NASFKAB 1/21/2013 5:39AM

  love reading your blogs you are great

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LYNMEINDERS 1/21/2013 3:51AM

    Enjoy walking the dog....your blogs are awesome everytime

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ALLISON145 1/20/2013 5:42PM

    Maybe I'm overly sensitive, but I've seen way more judgement than I like coming from fellow sparkers lately. If they don't like a blog, they should move on. If they can't be supportive or genuinely helpful, they should move on. I've seen some comments (and received a spark mail myself) recently that really grind my gears!!

Write about basket weaving if you choose - this is your space and it is not your job to educate or entertain us... Even though you generally do.:-)


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SLIMLEAF 1/20/2013 4:57PM

    and there was I thinking that your blog HAD been about healthy eating, weight loss, exercise and making good choices!

Perhaps it's all in the way we read it?

Either way, thanks for sharing part of your day with us. I enjoyed it.
Today I went to church at 9am and took part in a snowy but also very muddy cross-country running race. Once I got home from that I locked the door, turned on the central heating and vowed to spend the rest of the day at home in the warm! I've done a Spark exercise video though.

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DEBRITA01 1/20/2013 2:14PM

    Personally, I enjoy the occasional blog that isn't related to fitness/diet. A person's mental state, emotional being, or daily living is just as is laughter. Reading your blogs always tend to make me smile or laugh...and that's aerobic exercise for my inside. Keep blogging about whatever you're's your space and no explanation necessary. emoticon

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_MOBII_ 1/20/2013 1:45PM

    This is your space on the interweb..use it however you want! I love reading your blogs!

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    Our blogs on sparkpeople don't have to be strictly related to weight loss per se. In fact, some of the best ones are those that are humorous. They put us in a good mood, thus relieving stress. Stress reduction aids weight loss. Your blog put me in a good mood yesterday. I found it amusing and I enjoyed it. To be honest, I found it much more helpful than listening to plenty of people whine about gaining a couple of ounces. Sorry, just the truth. My truth. If someone doesn't like it, they can ignore me. That is what I do with blogs I don't like, instead of critiquing them negatively. Give us a funny blog sometimes, John. We need it.

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MARITIMER3 1/20/2013 1:10PM

    Thanks, John. Good blot and good reminder that fitness doesn't find us, we find it.

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SEAWAVE 1/20/2013 1:01PM

    Absolutely agree, plus you've given me a new mantra: Activty doesn't find us; we find it.


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POPSY190 1/20/2013 12:59PM

    Weight loss or gain is all part of daily life, it is not a discrete activity. People make a mistake when they think it is a thing apart.

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ANATASHIKI 1/20/2013 12:37PM

    why does it have to be about fitness and blah blah? best blogs are about every day life , how to keep your sanity and have a good life while doing all these. as long as nobody discovers the secret of instantaneously losing weight I'm very pleased to read yours and the other sparkfriends' blogs about simply living emoticon

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REGILIEH 1/20/2013 12:36PM

    Gosh, none of my blogs have been on weight loss or exercise but I did get feedback that they were liked. I like EVERY single one of your blogs! Keep 'em coming! emoticon emoticon

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VICKI-BISHOP56 1/20/2013 12:36PM

  I enjoy hearing from you, no matter what you write about. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HDHAWK 1/20/2013 11:51AM

    I don't think every blog has to be about fitness, weight loss, etc. It was very entertaining. Enjoy your walk!

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