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Gettin Rid of My Excuses

Monday, March 22, 2010

I saw a lot of people I hadn’t seen in a long time this weekend. Funerals usually do that to you. I hadn’t seen one of my brother-in-laws since his mother’s funeral and that was almost ten years ago. People read a death notice, see a name and come to the funeral home to show support and to rekindle relationships. It can be a very bittersweet sort of experience.

Most people I talked to commented on my appearance. The usual “Gee you look good.” Or “What are you doing?” or “How much weight have you lost?” While I didn’t think a funeral home was the place to spread the Spark, I basically told them “diet and exercise.” The reaction I got from most of those people went something like this:

They would lean over, grasp my arm and whisper “You know, it’s ok if you let go this weekend. No one would blame you.” One well intentioned person suggested to me that eating was an integral part of the grieving process and I should just go ahead and drown my sorrows, so to speak.

There was a lot of food there. Friday night at the funeral home there were all sorts of meat trays and cheese balls and cookies and coffee cakes, stuff like that. After the wake everyone “went out to eat.” Try convincing forty people that eating at ten o’clock at night isn’t the best thing in the world for you. Saturday was more of the same.

It was a real challenge for me. I had to pick my way through a minefield of dietary disaster and my emotions ran the gamut. I’d get angry that I just couldn’t dig in to a plate of frosted brownies. I would feel a bit of frustration when I looked on a menu and didn’t see much that would support my commitment to being healthy.
I made it though. I stayed within my calorie levels and when we got home Sunday once I unpacked I headed for the gym. I made it for four reasons.

First, I refused to accept excuses for my behavior. Those well intentioned folks who tried to put a burrito in my hands may not be emotional eaters. I am. If I ate the burrito I’d be in rehab for a month. No one controls my thought process but me. That happens because every single day I feel better about myself, my health improves and so I become much stronger. One thing feeds off the other and so I develop this resolve that keeps me from doing things that will slow down or stop my progress.

Think for a moment about a strong belief you have, whether it be religious, social, or political, one that you hold very dear. If you walked into a room full of people who felt the exact opposite of the way you did, would you change your mind about that belief that was part of your core being just because a group of people wanted you to do so?

My journey towards health has become one of my core beliefs. I do what is necessary for me to remain healthy and get healthier. Any other behavior would suggest that I don’t believe I am worth the effort. It would strike right at the core of my self image. It would mean I was a fraud, saying one thing and doing another.

Second, I have a plan. (Thank you Spark Team for that!!) The consistency of my diet and my exercise made it easier for me to navigate the mine field. I believe it’s why we click on the tabs marked nutrition and fitness three or four times a day. It’s a habit and it’s a good habit to develop. When it was time for breakfast I automatically knew there would be some sort of whole grain and fresh fruit involved and “BTW, John, you don’t have to eat until you are full.” Lunch and dinner had chicken or turkey and veggies involved in them. I didn’t get the cardio in but my granddaughter and I took a few walks. At the wake Friday night I didn’t hang around in the “food room.”

Without the plan I would have not had any real direction and then come Sunday afternoon I would have been despondent because I would have wrecked the ship.

Third, I am learning not to take myself seriously. I am not going to become the food police. I am not going to tell people to get that “away from me.”

My granddaughter is four. She and her mom baked some oatmeal cookies for the wake. She was very proud that she got to help and showed me the tray of cookies when we were walking around. I was sitting down later and she brought me a cookie. She reached her hand out and smiled. One of my loving daughters said “Pappy can’t have that!!! He’s on a diet.” She got that look four year olds get.
“Pappy,” I replied. “Can do anything he wants.” I smiled at her and took the cookie. She sat down next to me and told me step by step how she and mom baked the cookies. Then she waited till I tasted it. I told her it was the best oatmeal cookie I had ever eaten; she smiled, hugged me and ran off to feed her cookies to another person.

I have come to believe that if you do not bend once and a while you are going to snap like dry kindling and then all you worked towards goes in the toilet.
Loving yourself is supposed to provide pleasure not pain. If I really believe I am changing the way I live and am not on a diet, then I know I don’t have to reach my goal weight tomorrow. If I became the kind of person who other people didn’t want to be around because I was always preaching, I wouldn’t have a support system.

It brings me to my final point and that is you guys. I felt each of you was right there with me. I felt the prayers; the love and the support and that in itself helped me so much this weekend. Again, thank you so very much.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BECCALYNN75 3/23/2010 1:18PM

    Aaahhh, I love the oatmeal cookie story! I had a lot less stress and a lot worse weekend nutrition wise. I'm hoping to learn from my mistakes and your successes to do better next time.

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HAVALOVER 3/22/2010 7:25PM

    As it usually happens, one stumbles into someone else's page by accident.

By reading some of your blogs, I've found a very strong, sensitive, grounded person and wise man; a great granddaddy, and a supportive husband, who has decided to act like a grown-up, but that still has an innocent sparkle in the way he looks at life.

I'm adding you as a friend. One sure needs friends like you!

My condolences to you and your wife. To your granddaughter, let her know that a lady from Panama is sure she makes the best oatmeal cookies in the world! Those that make people feel better.


emoticon from Panama,

Mirie

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1WALKINGMAN 3/22/2010 6:51PM

    Way to Go John. I have been there, done that and got the T- shirt. You can only account for yourself and I think that you handled the situation admirably.

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KLEONIKI 3/22/2010 6:19PM

    I am moved by your words describing the scene with your granddaughter!
I can smell the love and caring and affection and it smell heavenly.Is the smell and taste of family.
Would it be i am heading towards my becoming a grandmother at full speed?
I do not know. But i felt the need to embrace and caress the whole picture of you eating your cookie and her looking and checking your reaction...
I take this picture with me hitting my bed as an amulet for SWEET DREAMS.
YOU ARE A GOOD MAN , dear John!
Good luck to you and your beloved ones!
You deserve to live happy and healthy.

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GETFIT2LIVE 3/22/2010 5:23PM

    Well done, John. I wondered how it went for you over the weekend, and I am glad you wrote about it. You have such a good perspective on things; this is not about a diet to be followed 'perfectly' but about changing the way we live. Life happens, and there are lots of curveballs that are thrown our way; learning how to deal with them is part of the journey. There has to be room for moments like sharing a cookie with a proud granddaughter who baked her first batch; life doesn't go on hold while we work towards our goal weight, and it shouldn't have to.

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GIRANIMAL 3/22/2010 4:39PM

    I've been playing catchup the past few days -- my condolences on your family's loss.

I especially enjoyed the part about your granddaughter and her oatmeal cookies! You have shown that you can be committed to this journey in the healthiest possible way -- by knowing how to incorporate real-life challenges. You made a little girl who is important to you feel very proud while practicing behavior that should make you even prouder of yourself.

I am so glad you made it through an emotionally charged weekend full of triggers...and not just dragging through and somehow escaping despite a few bumps and knicks. You are practically unscathed!

Bravo, John. You're a Sparkie for life!

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SPARKENISTA 3/22/2010 4:32PM

    Good for you, John. I'm sure the feeling of keeping your commitments was worth the momentary taste. Many people mean well. I'm sure those people did. But you really circumvented that trap. You did the right thing eating the cookie, though, for sure.

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WEEZIE1122 3/22/2010 2:44PM

    John,

As always you are such inspiration and a beautiful person.
And The BEST Pappy ever.




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NJMATTICE 3/22/2010 1:22PM

    you're welcome, John. Reading your blog was like a nice walk in the sunshine. I saw the reeds bending in the wind, so as not to break. Building that healthy lifestyle. It's the good work that we are about, eh?
Have a good day.
Love,
Nancy

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KATJAMN 3/22/2010 12:55PM

    If you wouldn't have eaten that oatmeal cookie, I would have scolded you, LOL That cookie was worth a million to that sweet littie girl.
You did great John, I hope I can be as strong should the occasion arise that I am in that situation.
I pray that all is well and that your wife and rest of the family are in the process of healing.

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TKRINER 3/22/2010 11:17AM

    Way to go, John! What a good pappy you are!

I seen alot of people I haven't seen for a long time this weekend. Not a funeral. I had my husband a 40th b-day party. I really felt the love from these people.

Hang in there!!
Hugs, Tami

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TKRINER 3/22/2010 11:12AM

    Way to go, John! What a good pappy you are!

I seen alot of people I haven't seen for a long time this weekend. Not a funeral. I had my husband a 40th b-day party. I really felt the love from these people.

Hang in there!!
Hugs, Tami

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DOLLIE6 3/22/2010 11:00AM

    Hi John,
I really enjoyed your blog. You sound like a "normal" person not a compulsive over eater or any of the other tags we get handed. Sounds like you know what you want, just matter of fact, no biggie, no drama. I love it. I believe I am in that area of my life also and it is so full filling to enjoy life and be proud of myself and praise the Lord, NO DRAMA.
Have a great week.

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TRIPLE_EMME 3/22/2010 10:30AM

    I am so glad to hear that you had a plan and stuck with it for the long weekend.

You are such an inspiration. emoticon

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AMYTATH 3/22/2010 10:05AM

    Great job John!!! Those types of situations are always the hardest to stay on track. Greif is the strongest emotion to lead you to food. You have come a long way and should be very proud of yourself. And I agree with you about the cookie...My theorie is I will not deprive myself of anything. If I want it bad enough I will manage it into my daily allowance and if it doesn't fit and I still want it, I'll work it into tomorrows.

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MARCYNA 3/22/2010 10:00AM

    WoW, awesome, I'm sure an Angel was at your side to keep you from falling, and your granddaughter will feel forever proud, it was so kind of you to accept her cookie, a pure act of love and kindness!!!!
It takes wisdom though and it seems you've acquired it!!!
What a wonderful thing!!!! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/22/2010 10:01:14 AM

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GREENCAT1 3/22/2010 9:38AM

    John - your comments are inspiring as always. What struck me the most today, was that you are so PROactive in your wellness and fitness efforts and not REactive. Such a big difference and one that I plan to think about and incorporate more. I love the story about your granddaughter and the cookies. What a wonderful way to make her feel special! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, even during a difficult family time.

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DIASTER 3/22/2010 9:36AM

  Wonderful! So hope the next time I am tempted I will remember your journey and your determination. Do so understand about going off a plan and coming to 2 months later, next time maybe it will end with one cookie later. Thank you!

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VTORIA3 3/22/2010 9:24AM

    On point and very touching. It was a tough time for you, but YOU did it. You are demonstrate how important commitment and integrity are. And, too, you let us know this journey is also about living, nurturing another's tender little heart. Ah, but this moment shall pass but once.

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STORMTMB 3/22/2010 9:09AM

    Pappy gave his granddaughter the love and attention and reassurance that only a grandfather can provide. How beautiful is that. You didn't say, but I'd speculate that you didn't finish the cookie... Have a great Monday.

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JCDROLSHAGEN 3/22/2010 8:56AM

    emoticon
John, what you say is true...life is a balancing act. Better to taste a cookie than hurt your granddaughter's feelings. You still had the social connection with her; you made her day by sharing the moment. Basically food is an integral part of social behavior. However, it is not necessary to let go even when the occasion is unhappy, unpleasant, or even joyous.

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KAT573 3/22/2010 8:15AM

    What a great number of strategies you have incorporated into your daily journey toward lifestyle change! Loved reading this and loved the paradox that evolved over the passage; Life IS a paradox, and it IS a balancing act!
Keep on keeping ON! emoticon

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AMABILE75 3/22/2010 8:11AM

    I can picture the moment you shared with your granddaughter. How precious! That is a moment you will probably cherish for years to come. :-)

I always wondered why people have the tendency to tell you it's ok to cheat even when you are holding strong!! It doesn't matter if it is family, friends, co-workers or a total stranger... when you stand firm in your conviction "I'm not going to do that." or "I'm not going to eat that." All the sudden they start with "It's just one meal." or "You deserve it." or "You should treat yourself." I know they mean well, and if you had just gave in to temptation it makes much more sense for them to react that way... but when you are still standing strong... a "Good For You!" response is sooo much more supportive. :-)

You are amazing. Your dedication to your plan is exactly what we all need. You are a rock, a solid example of what we need to succeed on this journey.

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Tara

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WALKNLOVE 3/22/2010 8:03AM

    Thanks for being so real with us.Your blogs are always heartfelt! God has blessed you with wisdom and "the gift for gab" :)

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WANDAH3 3/22/2010 7:44AM

    What a wonderful moment you shared with your granddaughter. This is life, somedays it throws you curves that you need to deal with in the healthiest manner possible.
You did awesome, congratulations.

Hugs,
Wa
nda

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NAKIOMA 3/22/2010 7:30AM

    You didn't just accept the cookie - you had a wonderful moment with your granddaughter - beauty in the midst of great sadness is good for the soul - you have developed a great perspective - your thought processes are perfected - you are good to go...........congratulations.......
.......

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Back Home and Wore Out

Sunday, March 21, 2010

We arrived home about forty five minutes ago. Everything went smoothly yesterday. The funeral was both touching and uplifting. There was a lot of inspiration that came from the family members who eulogized Joan's brother.

The amazing thing was the people he worked with at Lowes in Louisville. He had always worn a Hawaiian shirt to work. Yesterday and Friday all the people who knew him and worked with him wore Hawaiian shirts to work. A few of his other brother-in-laws wore them to the funeral. We went to the store after the funeral and they gave his brothers and sisters Lowes hats and tee shirts. It was very moving.

We spent the rest of the day together until 11 at night. Joan and I squeezed church in last night. We went to Mass at the church we were married at and where all the kids were baptized at. We were members there for close to twenty five years until we moved to Owensboro. It was good to see a lot of folks who still remembered us and I think it was good for Joan because she got to grieve a bit with some old friends.

I stayed within my calorie limits both days. I ate a lot of chicken and veggies! I did not get to the gym as planned yesterday. Even though Joan told me to go ahead and go for it I felt it was better I stayed with the family. So.......... I am unpacked and the gym opens in thirty minutes and that's where I shall be.

Thank you again, all of you, for your support and prayers and most importantly your friendship.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CMBELISLE 3/22/2010 10:51AM

    Congrats on staying within your calorie range. I totally understand not making it to your workout too. It does sound like he was respected/loved at his job and I love the Hawaiian shirt theme.

Hope you have a great week!

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MARCYNA 3/22/2010 6:05AM

    It's so moving John...I'm going to wear a hawaian shirt in the summer to honor you & brother in law...He was really loved as I can see and surely he's in heaven.
Congrats on the wise choices, a great sorrow like this could have threatened all the hard work but your endurance made it possible!!!!! emoticon
PS I bought a hawaian shirt last summer now I know why!!!!!

Comment edited on: 3/22/2010 6:05:14 AM

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TINKERBELL200 3/21/2010 10:02PM

    It sounds like it was amazing! Especially what his coworkers did! He must have made an impact on their lives! I think it was awesome you got to go to the church where you and Joan were married. My hubby and I go back where we were married every few years It was wisdom on your part to skip the gym. At times like this your wife family needed you more!
It's awesome you made good food choices and stayed in your limits! It feels great when you make good choices!
Glad to here you all made it home safely! I bet it feels great to be home too.
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Lynne

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SUBVET688 3/21/2010 9:50PM

    Glad you are back and Kudos to you on staying on plan through all of this.

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DOLLIE6 3/21/2010 4:42PM

    I'm proud you all are back safe and sound. I am also proud you were able to eat healthy. I hope you have a good workout and a good week.

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GERIKRAGH 3/21/2010 4:10PM

    I'm glad everything went well. We have a funeral to attend on Friday and then everyone's coming back to our house for food. I hope it turns out as wonderful as the one you went to.

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KLEONIKI 3/21/2010 4:04PM

    Welcome back on track!

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NJMATTICE 3/21/2010 3:02PM

    emoticon

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STORMTMB 3/21/2010 2:24PM

    Glad you're back home safely and even stayed in the calorie range. Continued prayers for the family as you all try to resume "normal" lives again. I think that's probably even harder. Hugs to you and Joan.

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CAROLYN0107 3/21/2010 2:12PM

    What a nice gesture of the Lowe's workers and others in the family to follow by wearing Hawaiian shirts. Congratulations to you for staying in your calorie range.

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AMABILE75 3/21/2010 1:35PM

    I'm really glad you made it home safe and sound. It is nice to see that you have such a wonderfully supportive family and that even the employees of Lowes were so kind. I know to say that you have had a very difficult week is a huge understatement. But it really says a lot about you and your commitment to a healthier you that you were able to stick within your calorie range considering the week you have had. I'm so proud of you, and more inspired than I could possibly explain.


emoticon emoticon
Tara

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A Quick Update

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A very brief yet heartfelt note to thank all of you for your wishes, prayers and support. I knew I had some friends here at Spark but I didnt realize how many friends I had and just how much they cared.

The wake went well last night. It was mostly family members and so it was somewhat of a reunion. I liked the tone of the whole evening because it was more of a celebration of her brothers life and all the interesting and funny stories that went with it.

Joan was pretty tired and as write she is in the shower. The funeral is at 10:00 AM

I have stayed within my calorie limits. At the funeral home last night they had a veggie tray with some cream cheese dip. I ate a lot of broccoli and carrots and while I didnt feel full I felt satisfied.

The hotel cardio equipment is not functioning. No worries. The gym my son belong to is about a mile away and I can get a one day pass for fifteen dollars. I believe my health is worth fifteen dollars. So sometime this afternoon or early this evening I am going to get my cardio in.

I could write all day about how grateful I am for your support and prayers but I will leave it with the thought that I will pray for all of you this morning at the funeral service.

John

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DBELLE39 3/22/2010 8:08PM

    John so sorry for your loss -- but even in what many would use as an excuse to hit the junkfood - -you have overcame & are still shining that positive attitude. God bless my dear brother.

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SUBVET688 3/21/2010 9:48PM

    You don't know me from Adam, but I crossed your path here on SP and liked your positive page. I came in to read your blog because I knew it would be positive, and it is, even in your grief and stress. I recognize and appreciate that and think it is a great example of someone doing it right. Keep strong as I know you will. My prayers to your family.

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TINKERBELL200 3/20/2010 10:14PM

    John, you and Joan and the family are in my thoughts and prayers! That's the way a wake and funeral should be is a celebration of life.
I think it's awesome that you ate the veggies and went to the gym! You have definitely made some positive lifestyle changes! Keep up the good work.
Take care of yourself and your lovely family.
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Lynne

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PINETREEGIRL 3/20/2010 8:31PM

    For some moments in life there are no words. All my best to you, John.
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KATIEGLEN012 3/20/2010 8:23PM

    I am so very sorry for your loss. That the family is able to come together is wonderful and that the atmosphere is supportive. Take care of those you love, including yourself. You are in my prayers.

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SPARKENISTA 3/20/2010 7:32PM

    John--So sorry for your loss. I have not been getting notification of your blogs and just checked in now. It's easy to space out at times like this and revert to old familiar (and unhealthy) habits. Clearly, these few months have really changed your core.

I hope that the wake and funeral are a good catharsis and that you return home in a bit of a better state of mind.

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GETFIT2LIVE 3/20/2010 3:56PM

    You, your wife, and the family are in my prayers as well during this difficult time. Keep taking care of yourself and your wife; celebrating her brother's life together is one of the best ways to remember and honor him.

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DOLLBABE56 3/20/2010 1:14PM

    It was good that you were able to have a nice evening at such a sad time. My thoughts are with you both.

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KLEONIKI 3/20/2010 1:13PM

    I like reading through your lines that keeping your commitment to exercise and health is A FIRST PRIORITY so promising and motivating for me!
Good luck1
and YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS 15 USD are nothing for keep on the right track.DO IT!
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AMABILE75 3/20/2010 12:30PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

Thank you for the update my friend. You and your family will continue to be in my prayers, not just during this horrible time, but always. 'm glad to hear you have been taking care of yourself.

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BIBLIOHOLIC57 3/20/2010 10:48AM

    John,

My thoughts and prayes are with you and your family. It's good to know that you have such a supportive family.

$15.00 is worth it for the day at the gym. It's a lot easier to spend $15+ for a meal.

Take care of yourself. Get some rest, too!

Annie emoticon

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DOLLIE6 3/20/2010 10:29AM

    emoticon emoticon

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TAZZIEGIRL 3/20/2010 9:54AM

    You are both in our thoughts.
HUGS

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WANDAH3 3/20/2010 9:37AM

    Give Joan a big hug for us too. I'm glad that you have been able to celebrate your BIL's life.

Hugs,
Wanda

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NJMATTICE 3/20/2010 9:18AM

    emoticon

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STORMTMB 3/20/2010 8:56AM

    Thinking of the you and Joan this weekend. Give her a hug for me.

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CRYSELLE 3/20/2010 8:52AM

    *hugs* John I have been sick and quiet but believe me you are in my thoughts and prayers always!

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Being Out of Balance and Being Mature or How To Survive A Stress Filled Week

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ever feel like you are looking at the world through a bowl full of green Jell-O? Okay you can put your hands down now. Looks like it’s been most of us.
What’s the first thing we usually do? Ok I’ll answer because I am a pro at this. We grab the food of choice. And we grab and we grab and we grab. Then we feel guilty and despondent and then we give up because the almighty cookie, cake or brownie has assumed its control over us once again.

It reminds me of the riddle: Where does a 500 pound gorilla sit in your refrigerator? Any where it wants.

Up until this week my journey into Sparkville has been relatively stress free. Oh I’ve been tempted by that scent of chocolate and the sweet seduction of blackberry cobbler with a pure lard crust has tickled my fancy. I have been strong. I have survived. The past few days I have been looking at the world through Jell-O!

The phone rang at midnight, Wednesday. When the person on the other end begins with “John, this is Joe. (My wife’s twin brother.) I’m afraid I have some bad news……..” You sort of know he wasn’t calling to see how you’re feeling.
In a nutshell Joan’s oldest brother died in his sleep sometime between Monday night and Tuesday night. He had been in poor health for the past year, was single and lived alone. The best guess is he had a heart attack and peacefully slept away. So I hang up the phone. I sleep with one eye open, Joan sleeps like a rock. It would be even money if the second coming would wake her up or not.

So I have to wake her. Now imagine how you feel being woken up from a sound sleep to begin with. Imagine being all groggy and having someone tell you your oldest brother just died. Not a good feeling.

My daughters hear her crying, come in our bedroom and suffice to say we were up until four am. Emotional exhaustion causes us to crash for about three hours or so and then Joan gets busy communicating with her remaining seven brothers and sisters who are flung out across the United States. I am trying to reschedule my appointments until next week and well you know how you feel when you’re looking at the world through a bowl full of green Jell-O.
Somewhere in all of this Joan’s youngest brother calls to say “Guess what? He didn’t have any life insurance and no other money to speak of.” Now grief has a twin, it’s called massive stress. You are sitting there and thinking all sorts of evil thoughts about how someone could not have any life insurance, and then you think about the poor guy all alone. You go back and forth. You wonder who is paying for all this and then you mentally slap yourself for thinking like a butt head. Your wife is wondering the same thing only she must feel ten times worse than you do because it is her brother!!!

Why do I share all this?

In the past I’d head straight for food and rationalize about a five pound gain from the fact that no one should or could blame me for eating. I am under a lot of stress and we just lost a family member and the list goes on and on.

I didn’t. There were a couple times I wanted to but I didn’t.

See, I think I am genuinely maturing. Yeah I reached age twenty one eons ago but now I am maturing. In the lesser moments I told myself it wasn’t worth it and in the most stressful I went down stairs and did some meditation to relax and regain control of myself. I went out and cleaned the garage, picked up junk, picked up the back yard. I have stayed busy. I knew if I didn’t stay busy, I would suffer the consequences.

Anyone here recall how Americans grieve? Yup, it’s with food and lots of it. I’m not talking about wholesome, whole grain dishes with plenty of veggies. I am talking about Mac and Cheese, strawberry shortcake---------- stuff like that. I could throw my hands up in the air and blame the stars, the cosmos and anyone else who crosses my mind or I could have a plan

Slowly adult John took over. I suspect that for the rest of my natural life, when times of supreme stress arrive and I am looking at the world through green Jell-O I will want to eat. Each time I will be faced with a choice and each time I will succeed. In my mind there is no other option. It’s like breathing.
I am packing my own food. If someone throws a hissy, that’s tough. The good news is one of my sister-in-laws is a vegetarian. I will lean on her. My lap top goes with me so I can track my food and yes we are staying at a hotel with a workout room.
My wife needs my support. I will concentrate on that. I am a lot more mature today then I was a few months ago. The temptation is there but I will not give in. I am on the road to success. Just because I am stuck in some green Jell-O right now is no reason to give in.

I owe many of you a word of thanks. You are the people who have really supported me and encouraged me and when I needed it kicked me in the rear end. It will be a big help.

Like the James Taylor song says “Aint it good to know you got a friend….”
I will see you all Monday. Be safe and God bless

I want to apologize if I didn’t respond personally to everyone who posted comments on my blogs the past few days. I tried to get to as many of you as I could

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KATJAMN 3/22/2010 12:33PM

    I am so sorry for this loss. I am sure this has been a trying time.
Kudos for the self control.
Being there for the wife way more important.


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MARCYNA 3/22/2010 6:10AM

    So sorry for your brother in law, it must have been awful!
I'm admiring your conquered new attitude and rejoice at it. If you made it in extreme circumstance it's something which is now ingrained in your life...anyway my prayers are with you and yesterday at Mass I offered the Lord all the pain, and asked Him to take care of the whole situation. I'm sure He will!!!
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Comment edited on: 3/22/2010 6:12:10 AM

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SAMGERBINE 3/21/2010 12:54AM

    Your family will be in our prayers.

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PINETREEGIRL 3/20/2010 8:33PM

    emoticon

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GREENCAT1 3/20/2010 3:10PM

    John so sorry for your loss. I am so impressed with the way that you take care of others, but never forget to care for yourself. You inspire me. My condolences to you and your family. emoticon

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TSISQUAUSDI 3/19/2010 10:19PM

    John, I'm proud to have you for a Spark Friend - You are a really good person! Kudos to you making good food decisions - You're going to win this battle!

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WANDAH3 3/19/2010 6:17PM

    I'm sure that Joan is really appreciating your comfort and support through all of this. Congratulations on putting temptation in its place.

Thinking of you all,
Hugs,
Wanda

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TINKERBELL200 3/19/2010 6:14PM

    I'm really sorry to hear about your BIL death. I'm praying for peace for you and your whole family, especially your wife. I only have my 1 sister left in my family, so I know it's hard to lose a sibling or parent.
In spite of all the turmoil I think you are weathering quite well John. It sounds like you are indeed making lifestyle changes. It's easy to fall off the wagon, when stress hits us. Hang on and you will continue to succeed! Life is full of choices, and it sounds like you are getting it and making good choices.
God Bless and don't stress!
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Lynne

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AMYTATH 3/19/2010 5:52PM

    Ok...not to make light of this situation but...there is no reason to blame the Mac-n-Cheese!!! lol Sorry...my all time favorite food! =D

You guys know Im thinking about you and you have come along way not to turn food for comfort.

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TNTEACHER2 3/19/2010 5:37PM

    I wish you a calm, but happy family reunion at this sad time. You will see everyone, talk about the brother, and come home feeling a little better. It is always more difficult when we are not prepared for a death, but it hops right out at us. May God be with you.
Marcy

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DIASTER 3/19/2010 2:03PM

  Even in your pain of losing a family member you are teaching us to plan ahead and keep on the right road. Always with grace and wisdom you are keeping us centered. Bless you and your family.

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TAZZAT2003 3/19/2010 12:18PM

    Oh John,
I am so sorry to hear this horrible news. On the other hand I am glad that you somehow found the strength not to slip. I know it may seem like you can justify taking a pit stop but, especially in light of these unfortunate events I am sure you realize how important your decisions are. I will keep you and you family in my prayers I hope that you can find wisdom and peace during this struggle. God be with you. And know that I am here.

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DOLLIE6 3/19/2010 10:41AM

    John, I'm so sorry for your family's loss. I will keep you in my prayers.
I am proud of you for your maturity on handling your food. It seems like if we can keep a grip on one something like that it makes us stronger, to be able to be there for others. I may not be expressing myself like I should but I have a feeling you understand. Be strong, John. We all are rooting for you.

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YOYONOMORE1 3/19/2010 10:07AM

    Thoughts and prayers are with you and Joan and the family. It sounds like mentally you have prepared for the food issue ahead of time, you know it's going to be there, but with your plan I am sure you'll do just fine. With Joan's family coming from all over I am sure there will be a lot of catching up to do with people, it's hard to eat and talk at the same time. Just take care of Joan and yourself.

Hugs,
Shirl

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TRIPLE_EMME 3/19/2010 10:04AM

    John,

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your BIL. emoticon

You've devised a good plan to combat the food temptations that may try to lure you down a naughty path. Good luck avoiding the green jello haze.

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CMBELISLE 3/19/2010 9:27AM

    I'm sorry to hear about your BIL - you know you and your family will be in my prayers.

Whenever I have to attend family functions that revolve around food like that, I try to follow a few mental rules - find the fresh veggie tray and pile 'em on (there is almost always one), find the fresh plain fruit (if available), the greasier it looks - the smaller the portion I take, and avoid the desert table. In the south, there are usually things like green beans, lima beans and other veggies available, so I get more of them, even if they are cooked with ham or bacon. I do my best to fill up on the foods with the lowest calorie counts.

Good luck - it was a really good idea to create a plan in advance.

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CRANBERRYKITTY 3/19/2010 8:50AM

    Good job making a plan that includes bringing healthy food choices and going to the gym at the hotel. Maybe you can get outside and go for a walk in the morning too (if it's a nice location). I'm sure you'll be rock for everyone to lean on in this kind of situation, just don't forget that you deserve someone to lean on too.. we're here for ya :)





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NJMATTICE 3/19/2010 8:37AM

    Be safe. Take care.
Love,
Nancy

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WALKNLOVE 3/19/2010 8:35AM

    John, Sooooo sorry for your family's loss. I hope your brother-in-law was a Christian.If so, he is in a better place...a much better place.I pray for all of your family during this difficult time.God will supply all your needs.
Glad to hear you have matured(LOL)...it takes us many years past 21 to get there!Ha!It is good to see you thinking ahead & planning ahead how you will take care of yourself so you don't fall back into an old pattern of doing things.We all know the old way doesn't work and that is what has brought all of us here.
Most of all thanks for being real! Being real is what makes us vulnerable, but it is also what makes us see we are all in this together and we aren't that different.By sharing with each other, we can learn from our successes as well as our failures! Thanks again for sharing and being a spark motivator to so many of us! emoticon

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STORMTMB 3/19/2010 8:32AM

    John,

My sympathy to you and Joan and to her entire family. Blessings to you as you provide comfort and support your wife and as you endure the temptations of food. You will all be in my thoughts and prayers this weekend.

Tina

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FOXEYES2 3/19/2010 8:23AM

  My condolences to the entire family. I wish you all peace and comfort in the days ahead and for you to have the wisdom on how to best support your wife and the rest of her family as well as the wisdom on how to best take care of yourself during this time. Peace.

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AMABILE75 3/19/2010 8:15AM

    John, I am so very sorry for your family's loss. You and your family will be in my prayers.

You are such an amazing person. So strong and dedicated. Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for helping keep me motivated and for inspiring me. Thank you for showing how dedication really works. Even in the face of such horrible times, you remain dedicated. I am so proud to call you friend. emoticon

You take care of yourself. I know you will be there to support your wife because that is who you are. Just make sure that you take care of YOU too, because if you don't take care of YOU... you can't truly be there for her. emoticon

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Tara

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MOTHERLORI 3/19/2010 8:14AM

    So sorry for your family's loss ~ it's such a difficult time! But I'm so proud of how you've handled it. And I know all about the food during grieving ~ our community loves to shower you with everything to make those bad feelings go away ~ but it just makes you sluggish and nasty feeling. So, it's great to know that you really have found a different way to deal with those horrible feelings. My thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time. Meanwhile, I'll be sending you fruit and veggies in my thoughts as well. emoticon Lori

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Honoring My Commitments or Yeah I Know "Just Do It"

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It’s 4:50 AM. The gym opens in twenty five minutes and I will be there. It simply comes down to the fact that I said I would be there every day for forty minutes. I will be traveling all day to day and by the time I return home, I know I will be tired. I know I won’t change my clothes and head for forty minutes of invigorating cardio!!! So at 4:40 AM I drug myself out of bed and got dressed. It’s cold and I am not quite awake.

Why?

Because I looked myself in the mirror three months ago and said I would. I said I’d honor the commitment I made to myself. It’s not all hearts and flowers and Spark Goodies. They are nice, they are appreciated and they give us a sense of belonging and friendship.

What kind of friend would I be to you if I didn’t honor my commitments? What kind of example of health or motivator do I become if I don’t do what I said I’d do. In that case I’m not even honoring myself.

That’s the most important thing. I could tell Joan and my friends and the kids that I “over slept!” No one would know. I would. I’d know I fudged on a commitment and then I’d start fudging on a lot of other commitments and all of a sudden I am back to where I was three months ago --- lying to myself.

Don’t pin an award on my chest. I’m not walking out the door with a huge grin on my face. A very large part of me would rather be under the bed. I’ll do my work out, shower and head for my first appointment of the morning. I’ll get home late this afternoon. No, this was not in my top ten things to do today.

I can lie to you all day and all night and in a lot of respects you would never know. I cant lie to me anymore. I can be something I’m not or I cant say something I don’t mean. It is the very small things in life that make up the total fabric of a large and beautiful tapestry. It can be very small actions that push us to great victories or by the same token unravel the whole fabric.

Sorry this is short. I have to honor a commitment I made to myself.

Care to join me?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BTINTERNET 8/12/2010 10:41PM

    I know you wrote this a while ago but I'm only up to here in reading the archive, but I had to say something. Honoring that commitment is SO hard for me - thanks for the gentle shove.

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TINKERBELL200 3/18/2010 9:59PM

    John you are awesome! You are exactly right, you would be lying to yourself. And if you can't be honest with yourself, who can you be honest with? Keep on keeping on and you will meet your goals! Your doing emoticon!!!! You know you're committed when you just do it anyway, whether you feel like it or not!!!
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Lynne

Comment edited on: 3/18/2010 10:00:19 PM

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GIRANIMAL 3/18/2010 3:27PM

    Bravo! Sometimes it really is just about nose-to-grindstone getting it done. And you did! emoticon emoticon

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TNTEACHER2 3/18/2010 12:35PM

    AS always, John, it hits the spot!

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WORKINGSTIFF 3/18/2010 11:47AM

    I am not, repeat, not an early A.M. exerciser. Made a decision a long time ago that as long as I get the workout in, I have to make it at least bearable for myself, or I won't commit.

Kudos to you for being there for yourself. You are right-no one but you would know your reasons for not getting there.

Thanks for living as an example for the rest of us.

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DOLLIE6 3/18/2010 11:16AM

    You are right John, just do it. No fan fare, no lies, no whinning, just do it.
Thanks for sharing. I hope you had a good day. emoticon emoticon

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TAZZAT2003 3/18/2010 10:42AM

    I have always told everyone I call friend, Honesty is the most important part of any relationship. I think one thing that slips most people's minds is you have a relationship with yourself. If you lie to yourself you are hurting that relationship and possibly other relationships as well. Glad that you are staying committed to yourself. I will not be at the gym this morning but you can bet your britches I will be there this evening.
Have a great day John!

~Jess

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TRIPLE_EMME 3/18/2010 10:27AM

    Wow! Your blog entry is just the kick in the butt that I need.

Thank you!

Yes, I do care to join you!

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KATJAMN 3/18/2010 10:16AM

    AWWWWWWWWWW JOHN --
It wouldn't count if we loved every minute of it!!! LOL
You are so wonderful with words.
Thanks for being you and honoring your commitment!!

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VTORIA3 3/18/2010 9:15AM

    Great blog. Honesty is good and, in fact, a requirement. I can't rah-rah all the time. Some days are just very hard. It's what you do with that to turn it into a positive that counts. We can create our own results. Kudos to you today for sharing your story.

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BIBLIOHOLIC57 3/18/2010 9:15AM

    John, you rock!

I've learned that the time I'd spend arguing/discussing/coaxing myself to NOT exercise is more of a waste of time than just doing it (oh no, I'm paraphrasing NIKE!). And I feel more energetic, happier when I do.

Good for you, and keep it up.

Have a great day!

Annie

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NJMATTICE 3/18/2010 9:05AM

    Keeping promises to yourself. Way to go.
I'll join you and I'll eat a vegetable/grain and bean combination for ya. With a fruit for dessert!
Love,
Nancy

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STORMTMB 3/18/2010 8:08AM

    You make a great point in that once we start breaking commitments in one area of life, they start to slip in all other areas too. Thanks for a great reminder.

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CMBELISLE 3/18/2010 7:54AM

    No matter how much I want to sleep late and/or hit the snooze button, I somehow manage to drag myself out of the bed, up the stairs, change into my workout clothes, get my coffee and hit the bike or elliptical. Once I've done it, I usually feel better and have more energy to face the day. It doesn't mean I like it or want to do it all the time, it's just what I know I NEED to do it. I can face the day better and even though I often exercise longer since I switched to exercising first, I have found that I can usually make it to work earlier too. Being true to yourself is the biggest priority we all have - it's absolutely amazing how easy that is to forget.

BTW - I was on the bike at 4:45am, so you could say that I already joined you.

Comment edited on: 3/18/2010 7:56:12 AM

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WANDAH3 3/18/2010 7:50AM

    John, Amabile75 said it so well. Yep, we might fight and argue and drag ourselves to do our exercises...but we sure do feel great once they are done. It's the honoring our commitment to change our lifestyle and become a healthier person that gives us such an energy boost.

Have a great day.

Hugs,
Wanda

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KLEONIKI 3/18/2010 7:48AM

    Totally with you!
See ya there! emoticon

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AMABILE75 3/18/2010 7:46AM

    One that that always amazed me is how even on those days you drag your butt kicking and screaming to the gym, the entire time fighting with yourself, trying to force yourself to turn around and skip today.... after you finish your workout you feel so great! Sometimes I feel even better because on those days I not only feel great for getting in a good workout... but for doing it when I really did not want to!! Way to go!!

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DOLLBABE56 3/18/2010 7:21AM

    You'll be glad you did go exercise when you get there. And you will also be proud and confident for the rest of your day. Now, to get myself up and motivated too!

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MARCYNA 3/18/2010 7:11AM

    Join you, join you!!!!...made it to the gym yesterday and ordered my costume for the show.
Me on stage is a committment to SP.
Love, thanks for being an example emoticon emoticon

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KATIEGLEN012 3/18/2010 6:44AM

    You are bound to have a great day...since you got off to such a good start. Being true to yourself is an important part of having a good day!

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JNNANNE 3/18/2010 6:13AM

    I think you've nailed it on the head - we can lie, excuse, explain away almost anything to others, but you can't get away with lying to yourself. Congratulations and keep up the great work!

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