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Stuff We Do Not Like To Talk About; But Should

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sometimes this journey is so happy and so full of joy as we move forward that we forget about the pain.

It may come in a snide comment, a giggle or an odd look. Someone may comment on a part of our anatomy and all the good will and all the self esteem we have built up inside of ourselves over the preceding days, weeks and months goes right in the trash can. We over hear people who we thought were our friends make remarks about our weight or our eating habits because I mean if we are overweight we have to be eating like some sort of barn yard animal. We send furtive prayers to heaven and fight to hold the tears back.

No matter how much my wife tells me how proud she is of my progress, no matter how many friends and clients say “wow,” all it takes is one insensitive jerk to send my self esteem crashing down like a paper house. Yes, I am overweight. Yes, I did have poor eating habits. I am changing that.

Why do you take so much joy in making me feel miserable? You are scared. You read correctly Mr. or Ms Insensitive Jerk. You are scared of something you can’t explain and so you comfort yourself by belittling me.

What are you scared of? You are scared you are going to look like me one day and like some ancient sort of voodoo religion you grind me down in front of other people in the hope that it will act as some sort of antidote. I mean, my goodness, what if you gain fifty pounds and lose all your friends?

Oooo, oooo, oooo!!! I got an answer for that one! I joined Sparkpeople in December. I have more friends today than I can count and every day I get a Spark Mail from someone who says “Keep up the good work!!!”

See how foolish prejudice can be?

It doesn’t stop the pain of someone asking me what my due date is. It doesn’t stop the hurt when you get left behind by the people who have judged your value and your worth by your size.

Enough John!!! What do I do? Sit in the cornet like a quivering mass and feel sorry for myself? Nope. If you do that you may never, ever be truly healthy and happy.
Admit you are vulnerable, admit you are weak at times and it becomes so darned overwhelming that you cant deal with it. It happens to me three or four times a week. I get all shaky when someone who really doesn’t know me implies I am “less than” because of my weight. I know if I don’t deal with it in a positive manner – quickly, I will deal with it by binge eating. I will deal with it by throwing my emotional hands up in the air and saying “What’s the use?”

So here are a few things I do to get my equilibrium back where it belongs:

My kids used to say “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.” That person who made that insensitive remark was conditioned to do so at an early age. In my mind it is no different than people who are prejudice against others because of race, gender or national origin. The whole system of fear is wrong. But let me ask you something? Can you look yourself in the eye and tell yourself you have absolutely no prejudices at all? I have no hair. Sometimes I have all sorts of evil thoughts about those men who do. Irrational? You bet!!

When I do coaching work with individual clients, I ask them to make a list of things about themselves that are great and wonderful. I ask them to choose one thing per day for thirty days. Trust me, this is difficult. The first few days are easy, and then it gets really tough, then easy again. Each day I ask them to concentrate on the one great thing they identified in themselves.

At the end of thirty days they have a sizable list. I ask them to review it every morning or when they start feeling a bit shaky. I do. I look at thirty plus wonderful things about me and one tiny imperfection, that I am working on to correct and that insensitive remark seems to vanish.

Finally I am working on not being my own worst critic. Yes, I make mistakes and I stumble and fall, but I ask myself this question every time I feel the walls closing in:

“If all your progress halted today and you never made another step forward could you still love yourself?”

My goal is to make the answer I strong and firm, “YES”

We cant ask the world to accept us until we accept ourselves. We cant break down a wall of fear until we begin working on being transparent.

I couldn’t have done what I have done so far without you.

Don’t ever forget that and neither will I

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKMYWAY47 4/30/2010 5:08PM

    Hi John, thi is so in depth of real emotions, it's absolutely wonderful to come across a blog written like yours, one that makes me stop..and think. Think about things.. Thank you so much for this. I just started my thirty day list. Have a great day. Sincerely, Laura. emoticon

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CMMACIAS 4/23/2010 1:34PM

    I have a boss that everyday would remind me of how "BIG" I was. The other day she said "Wow! I think that your but might actually be smaller than mine now but your stomach is still huge!" I just ignore her because I know that she will be coming to me for advice soon. Very soon! Keep up the great work!

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FEELINCHUNKY38 4/13/2010 11:22PM

  Great message. Just remember- Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.

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SUNSHINEGB 4/10/2010 7:05AM

    Excellent, powerful blog ~ I'm going to hang on to this one.
Thanks for sharing, John.

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    You have the right idea John. If we don't like ourself, it's always going to be a up hill battle. Once you or we come to the conclusion we are doing this as a selfish act....sure, we may be doing this because we want to know our kids as adults or see our grandchildren mature in to young adults, but in the end it is selfish motivation that helps us reach our goals.

The haters of the world are going to keep on hating and there really isn't much we can do about that other than understand they are out there. We have to concentrate on our inner being, the "me" inside every one of us.

Learn to like "me" and all the other stuff bounces off a whole lot easier.

As you said on your spark page...this isn't a diet. This is a change. You have to condition the mind as much as condition the body in this journey. Until the mind is ready to take all that comes it's way, this is going to be nothing more than going out, getting sweaty, and eating less.

I have always been one to meet a challenge, and in this challenge I have come to the conclusion I am stronger than any hamburger or Oreo cookie ever made.

I have been at this for 2 years now, almost a year here at Spark. I started at 274 lbs and now weigh about 223...and know there is at least another 25 lbs that will come off by doing nothing more than what I am going to do the rest of my life.

Keep it up my friend. This isn't a race. This is our life.

Comment edited on: 4/8/2010 7:52:44 AM

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    What a powerful blog. I found myself relating in a very deep emotional way. I need to start writing down the positives about myself again--just because it helps me see myself in a different light. I've done it before but left it by the wayside. If it works why not do it again. I will. I can do this. Thanks for sharing your feelings and your suggestions. Keep on keeping on.

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EDWINA172 4/7/2010 7:25PM

    What a great blog. This brings so many emotions to the surface for me. You are stronger than you realize. Its a great idea to have your clients write down 30 things about themselves.

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ROCKINFOX 4/7/2010 4:44PM

    I loved this blog!! It's unfortunate that we all have to put up with jerks at some point in our life, but maybe they're there because we need the fire under our butt. Like fire it does hurt, but it makes us want to do something about it. Great blog!!

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    Thank you for this blog, it is well written and couldn't have been said better!

emoticon emoticon

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KATAHDIN24 4/7/2010 1:01PM

  Great post and advice. I started a 30-day list thanks to you. Thanks for sharing your journey.

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SOUP_A_MODEL 4/7/2010 12:38PM

    This is not to put aside anything you said, but the thought I had, and have been realizing, is this:

Some people are just butt-heads. Straight up. Some people are ignorant, but then there are butt-heads. And I really think the butt-heads, when they are done being evil to you, move on to the next human, regardless of what they find flawed about them. It's how they keep THEIR self-esteem (if you can call it that) up.

It helped me to realize it's not ME necessarily (though I have experienced that, as well, and believe there are cases when people do this to others) being focused on...they LIVE this way. It helped me to see that people who are yelling out their car windows would be yelling out their car windows whether it was me or not. If it was a 102 pound model on the street they'd be making some derogatory lustful comment about sometimes I don't think it matters who they violate, the point is they are going to violate, because that's THEIR issue.

Does it make me want to pop their tires less? HECK NO. BUT, I think there is truth in this. I'd love to make the planet idiot free. But I don't have that ability. :)

I hope all this doesn't sound off the wall or cold, it's not meant that ay. It's just another take that might help de-personalize some of the events we may experience in this life.

Thanks for sharing,


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MAMAGRANDY 4/7/2010 12:08PM

    I seriously needed to read this. I have lost 77 bs only to have some old man ask me if I knew what the sex of the baby was, he was guessing boy. I am not pregnant. I was devastated. Swore I was never going to wear that top again, on the verge of tears all day. Thanks for helping me refocus and move forward. Great blog!

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MINENA1 4/7/2010 11:55AM

    WOW!!! What a great blog!! And way to go on staying positive. I recently wrote a blog called "No I'm NOT pregnant! I'm fat!" And for bit I felt down, but decided to beat that! Keep up the great work! YOU ROCK!

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MY-2-GIRLZ 4/7/2010 4:07AM

    Inspirational but a reminder to us all!

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FIT4LIFELYNS 4/6/2010 10:49PM

I always think when people mention other people's weight..I want to say "oh gees thank you, I didn't realize that my body was x amount bigger, I was completely unaware until this exact moment you told me! Wow i'm huge, thank you so much for telling me. I now feel completely comfortable telling you that you're an inconsiderate, aggressive fool who has the social sensitivity of rabid tiger"

Saying that in my head makes me see what those people really are, insecure and insensitive. I also believe they are grossly uneducated if they are family. Dude stand up and be proud of the changes you've made and make your boundaries!

You ARE making it happen, just by being on this page.

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BHOOMI2003 4/6/2010 4:36PM

    What an inspirational post! Thank you - these things are so important to remember and you have a way with words!

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    JOHNTJ1, this whole blog about Stuff We Do Not Like To Talk About, But Should is absolutely awesome. Many great points made that I will keep in mind for a long time and probably pass on to others! But I have to say the 30 Days of (first) Choosing Great and Wonderful Things About Yourself and (then) Focusing on ONE of them Each Day for the next 30 days is an idea I plan to put into practice right away! Wow! Keep up the great work!!! emoticon emoticon

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1TOOMANY 4/6/2010 10:20AM

    WOW! I felt as though you were speaking for me! Thank you for sharing this; it's comforting to know that others can relate to how I feel and can understand the pain of insensitive comments.

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    All I can say is what a wonderful blog and thank you so much for sharing!

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PRETTYKITTY26 4/6/2010 8:18AM

    Thank you so much for posting this. It is something that I needed to see. I had a similar problem over the weekend. You're right, though. It is a prejudice like all others. Hopefully some day, the people who put us down will realize the damage they cause. Sadly, it will probably not happen, so all we can do is ban together and fight the good fight. Together, we can do anything. You'll lose the weight, and you'll love yourself. It's a difficult accomplishment, but we'll all get there.

In the end, thanks again. Reading this kind of made my day (at 8:15am)! You rock!


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DJS-DEBBIE 4/6/2010 7:31AM

    Thank you so much! We all need to remember this. I am sharing with my DD right now.

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    Thanks for sharing your advice, I'm going to write down 30 things today. Its 4 months into spark and I haven't written any goals or got my motivation page finished. You have inspired me to get it done. Keep working on your journey, your worth it, I agree we are often our own worse critics. emoticon emoticon

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KVANCLEAVE 4/6/2010 1:01AM

    Sounds like you have got a good head on your shoulders. We can't control what others think or say. We can only control how we let it effect us. Your 30 days of positives is an awesome tool. Thanks for sharing that with us, and keep up the good work!

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WALKINGDAVE 4/5/2010 10:48PM

    I have believed for many years now in Karma, I've seen it happen over and over, that's why I try to live my life without saying negative things about others. More people should believe it and then maybe it wouldn't happen so often. I loved your blog, I also have heard the snickers and grew up with that prejudice in my own family, they said a lot of stuff over the years and to this day, I am just not that close with them. Words hurt and are very powerful and more people should be aware of that. Keep up the great blogs and your great effort too, you are a awesome person

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URSULA125 4/5/2010 8:35PM

    Excelent and true. Thank you! emoticon

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FRAZZLEDMOMMY97 4/5/2010 6:57PM

  Inspirational! Thank you!

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CHRISSYVB 4/5/2010 12:46PM

    Very insightful blog. You are correct, it is fear and ignorance that make people criticise others. If we are all honest - we have to admit to doing the same thing to someone else at some point in our lives. This journey has taught me more than just weight loss tips... it has given me a lot of insight into the struggles of others. I am more empathic than ever before which is one of those unintended blessings that came from Sparking.

I'm glad you've learned to shake off those comments. I'm going to take your advice and start my list of 30 things today.

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JUSTA123 4/5/2010 11:57AM

    Thanks so much for putting in to words what many of us feel! emoticon

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MAQUESTA 4/5/2010 11:26AM


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ANNE1123 4/5/2010 11:18AM

    This is great blog, genuine, positive and filled with wisdom. Thanks for writing it, may your weight loss contine to go well. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BOOKAPHILE 4/1/2010 12:00AM

    Thank you for a thought provoking blog entry.

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CARTOONB 3/31/2010 11:43PM

    Great blog! (Blame Dutchie for my presence too!) I like the idea of writing one good thing each day. Hmmmm....what would my list include?


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RJFERRARO315 3/31/2010 11:39PM

    Thank you for sharing, John.

Dutchie forwarded your blog to me and I am thankful. You talk about many of the problems I have struggled with too, and I am glad we are on this journey together.


emoticon emoticon

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JUST_TRI_IT 3/31/2010 11:21PM

    Wow John,
I stumbled on your page today (one of the great design features in SP) and I am so glad I did. This is a blog people ought to read. It is powerful not only for us to confront our own prejudices but for us to learn about how to deal with prejudice.

You have touched one more person through you insight and honesty.

Thank you :)

Diane in Oregon

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WEEZIE1122 3/31/2010 10:25PM


You are gonna get voted MOD again. Honey pace yourself. You put too much goodness in your blogs and we have all come to expect the most profound insights from you.

Don't let those ignorant people get to you. Because that is what they are. It would be wise to remember that we all have insecurities. Their cruelty is a reason to give them pity. They will never know the love, kindness, and acceptance that kind people receive.

We love you just the way you are.


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    Your blog needs to be on the top list, wonderfully written love, and you express emotions we all feel regardless of gender, you really touched on the sensitivity that we all feel in our hearts!

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JCDROLSHAGEN 3/31/2010 8:29PM

This post is truly profound. So true about the pettiness of some people. And it is unfortunate that we have conditioned ourselves to mind what those others say. However, in the long run it is the people who love you that matter not some j**k who thinks that he/she is being funny, or giving you constructive criticism. Be proud of who you are, and how far you have come.

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GEEMAWEST 3/31/2010 8:12PM


Another one of Dutchie's friends here. What a wonderful blog. I am so glad that you are able to put your feelings down in a blog. Mirie is right, these people are here to make us stronger, but it often reminds me of high school. Classmates making cruel remarks to me when I was only 10 pounds overweight at that time. You are doing so great on your "journey to be you". Keep up the good work and the blogging.

Cheryl aka G-Ma

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GLOBALKEEWEE 3/31/2010 11:38AM

    Appreciate your perspective, John. Thanks for the pep talk!
(Also thanks to Dutchie for introducing it to me.)


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BOTZZZ 3/31/2010 7:34AM

    Good read :) Dutchie sent me over to take a gander, I enjoyed the post.

As Ever

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DUTCHIEKIWI 3/31/2010 1:53AM

    Oh and Mirie... I loved your answer too!!!! xxx

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DUTCHIEKIWI 3/31/2010 1:52AM

    Great is he who writes a blog that makes me laugh (barnyard animal) makes me angry, sad and determined at the same time.
You can add another positive thing to your list, 'great blog writer!!!'

Yes I'm prejudice too, though much much less then I used to be...
Now I just seem to have the feeling and desire to want to 'safe' everyone...
Silly ? Yes! But somehow it really helps me to carry on in my journey as well.

The friends I have made here dare I say it, are so worth more then any of the friends in 'real life' that used to make these sly comments, and seem to know it all about what I had to do to in my life to become perfect in THEIR eyes.

God, i could ramble on forever....

write me ?! ;0)



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HAVALOVER 3/31/2010 12:38AM

    Hello sweetie pie,

However hard it might be to believe -specially when we have them in front of us-, I've come to the conclusion that there is a reason for the sad existence of these creeps.

They exist to make us stronger.

Yeap, the morons are alive simply to guarantee that we grow character. Aren't they lovely?

Sooooo, next time one of them says something to you, insinuates something or makes a remark about you to someone else -because, chances are, they are NOT brave, nor straight forward, go to them and say "Thanks". No: give them a hug; tell them I asked you to. Creeps.

This morning, by sheer coincidence, I read the following "“We would never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world, (Helen Keller). How wise.

And to end this never-ending comment, the next time you ask yourself "If all your progress halted today and you never made another step forward, would you still be loved by others? (big paraphrasing, here), hear a resounding "YES" all the way from Central America.

I love you just the way you are, not only by what you write in your blogs, but by the words of encouragement you give others. And I feel extremely lucky to have found you.

That, my friend, is worth the world.

Un abrazo enorme,


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CRANBERRYKITTY 3/30/2010 10:04PM


Thank you for posting about this topic with a positive way to react to it. You set a great example for us all.


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TNTEACHER2 3/30/2010 8:18PM

    I hope that no one has been insensative to you recently.

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KLEONIKI 3/30/2010 5:35PM

It is all about love and let be loved for me.
Love is also contagious and can be emitted and received back again, as long as it exists...
Sometimes desire is taken as love.It is not...
Sometimes anger is taken as love. It is not...
Sometimes ambition is taken as love.It is not...
Sometimes other feelings in disguise are mistakenly named after LOVE.
Well they are not...
Love is meant to be unconditional.
It is the state that expresses itself with : " i do love you even when you are a failure or a success, a loser or a winner, in good and in bad , my love resists.."
Whoever asks for order to love us.....has ANOTHER intense and important maybe be defined....and named.

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DECEMBERBRIDE10 3/30/2010 5:27PM

    I am absolutely the same way--I'm in a constant battle to learn to love myself BEFORE I meet my goal weight! Because weight and appearance isn't everything. We are not going to be magically happier that day the scale reads what we want it to. We have to love the JOURNEY and the strength we discover inside ourselves when we decide to take that journey. Keep it up!

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PINETREEGIRL 3/30/2010 5:08PM

Imagine this in the voice of a curmudgeon-y old whippersnapper/ grandfather type (and, uh, pretend that that baby emoticon is really a bald old man...):

"In my day, we weren't just born thin. We had to work for it. It builds character and makes a person strong in both body and spirit. That's why I know how to not only be thin (why, anyone who works hard, hard, hard can do that) but to be a good person too! I wasn't born with a silver teaspoon of fat free protein powder in my mouth. I had to earn this build! That's why not only am I a svelte old whippersnapper, I know the value of a good friend. All that hard work at the gym and enduring insensitive remarks from insensitive folks is why I can see the beauty of a person from the inside out! Now sonny, get back to your carrot sticks and don't forget - you're working on more than just your body here. You're working hard and making friends and loving who you are."

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DOLLIE6 3/30/2010 3:17PM

    John, How did you get so smart? It's taking me a longggggggg time to come to the same conclusions you have come to and I still don't like people like you are talking about. And I have to tell them wow you really do not know how to encourage people do you? They look at you like something is wrong with you.

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BIBLIOHOLIC57 3/30/2010 1:40PM


It's sad and pathetic that there are people in this world who make themselves feel better/superior by tearing others down.

Once you drop all the weight, these will be the same people (and I use the word loosely) who will be worried that you're too skinny, and you really ought to start eating more. Or, they'll say something positive/passive-aggressive/destruc
tive, "It's great that you're so skinny. But you probably will gain it all back. Most people do. That happened to my friend/sister/boss."

It's good to practice selective deafness when you're around such cretins.

Hang in there, and ignore the jerks.



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A Sincere, Albeit, Quick Word of Thanx!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

To all of you who responded publicly and privately to my request for info on living a vegetarian life style I say emoticon

I was overwhelmed by the response and I now have enough resources to keep me busy for quite some time



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAVALOVER 3/29/2010 11:23PM

    Our pleasure!
emoticon mmmm, tonight I had the yummiest mushrooms....

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NJMATTICE 3/29/2010 9:49PM

    emoticon ( you're welcome )

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    Glad to help.

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GERIKRAGH 3/29/2010 8:54PM

    Busy is good!

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You Can Still Enjoy A Good Meal

Monday, March 29, 2010

I love to eat. I can see a lot of you nodding your heads in silent agreement. Not only am I an emotional eater I am an eater who looks at a meal as something that can be a wonderful life experience. I love to cook, to bake, to grill. I brew my own beer.

One of the reasons I have failed in the past in this journey towards health is I have always felt deprived. I always felt as if something had been taken away from me and I would act , well I'd act like I was five. "I'll show you!!!" Then I'd gain ten pounds. I used to think it wasn't fair, that the world got to sample all of life's pleasures and I was stuck eating cottage cheese.

Thanks to Spark People and thanks to my Spark friends and especially thanks to my daughter-in-law, I no longer believe that.

I am on my way to West Virginia. I usually break the trip in half and drive to Louisville on Sunday afternoon. My daughter-in-law has never cooked for me. she is in culinary school. when I talked to her on the phone she said she was excited about cooking me what she called her "go to" meal. when my son was tied up at work, this is the meal she would cook for herself.

Let me pause for a short frame of reference here. My left leg weighs more than her whole body!!!

I cannot believe meal I had for six hundred calories. if you take away the two ounces of white wine I drank it is even less than that. She cooked, salmon, in a small amount of olive oil, artichokes and asparagus tip sautéed in the same pan. She garnished that with a fresh pineapple-tomato-onion salsa in its own juices. I had with it a serving of wild brown rice.

Who knew!!! (Not me!!!) OMG it was delightful. All that good, wonderful food and it wasn't going to clog my arteries.

My friends, this journey is not a punishment, but rather a discovery of what can be, if we look hard enough. It means that you can still enjoy a really good meal and not feel guilty about it. It means you are not any differant than the rest of the world.

I'm off to WVA. I'll catch up with you this evening



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VTORIA3 3/29/2010 6:51PM

    emoticon Sounds like a fabulous meal! I've got to get me a chef! emoticon
All kidding aside, healthy eating can be really delicious when one takes the time to use fresh ingredients. Which reminds me, I need to make sure I put some herbs in my garden this year...having a few varieties to use when cooking can make an amazing difference over dried.

Enjoy your trip. Safe travels.

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REMODELINGPAT 3/29/2010 6:11PM

    Whoa! What a FEAST! I think when DGD goes home this summer, I will rediscover the kitchen and all the marvelous healthy things that can go on in there. I used to cook a lot, but when I became a working mom, that changed. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WANDAH3 3/29/2010 5:37PM

    Now that's what I call a wonderfully exciting bonus prepared by a DIL that obviously loves you.

Have a safe trip.


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GERIKRAGH 3/29/2010 12:40PM

    I think it's called naked food. Food without all the sauces, etc., that we think it needs. I love to cook naked--the food, that is.

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CMBELISLE 3/29/2010 11:59AM

    Some people eat to live. Others of us live to eat. I'm hoping I'm somewhere in the middle of that, but boy do I LOVE a good meal with lots of flavor, aroma and visual stimulation. Creating meals with the right proportions and healthy substitutions can make for a truly wonderful experience that doesn't pack on the pounds or clog the arteries.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 3/29/2010 11:28AM

    I love healthy food. It can be just as tasty as not so healthy food.

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TWENKY215 3/29/2010 10:25AM

    I hear ya! There is nothing like eating a good, satisfying, delicious meal. If we can get some healthy food in that we enjoy, I say go for it and go for it often. Eating is the only habit that I have as well. I don't smoke or gamble so why not have fun doing something that our bodies need the most of all. Congrads and have a safe trip. emoticon

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GREENCAT1 3/29/2010 9:32AM

    MMMMM..... now I am inspired to cook a really good meal tonight that will stay within my goals! My son goes to WVU. He is home on spring break. His appetite is for healthy food so it is easy to cook for him and still stay grounded in my goals. It is amazing the QUANTITY that a growing young man can down! Have a great trip... emoticon

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STORMTMB 3/29/2010 9:30AM

    Sounds like a wonderful meal - and from your description, I'll bet you could come home and fix it for yourself and Joan. Then you could have that wonderful meal as often as you'd like plus sharing the joy with your lovely wife.

Safe travels to you and enjoy your interactions with your client(s).

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WEEZIE1122 3/29/2010 8:31AM

    Years ago my sister-in-law were having a delightful discussion on our looove of food and my brother rolled his eyes. He actual said that he ate because he "had to." This statement stopped me in my tracks. I have never looked at eating as a "chore." Food has always held a lot of pleasure for me. I understand that I have an unhealthy relationship with food but could you imagine eating only because you "had to." Sounds boring and sad to me. But then again he is not 100# overweight. emoticon

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DOLLBABE56 3/29/2010 8:17AM

    Yummo! Sounds delish! Have a safe trip to WVA.

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WALKNLOVE 3/29/2010 8:01AM

    Thanks for sharing! I needed to hear this.The old me came out for a few days...gave into temptation, and ate too much. Just have to retrain this mind of mine.It is not me who lives, but Christ that lives within me...HE will help me! Have a great day John!

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NJMATTICE 3/29/2010 7:33AM

    I am enjoying taking my LOVE of food to the healthy place. Your meal sounds beautiful and delicious and healthy all rolled into one. I hear ya buddy. Loud and clear. Can I tell you about the beautiful breakfast I had? MMmmmmm was it good. I will always get excited about food. It is just who I am. I'm built that way.
Have a healthy and safe trip.

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NUTRON3 3/29/2010 7:05AM


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Halfway There

Sunday, March 28, 2010

As of this morning I am slightly more than half way towards my original weight goal. When I began, what has become the seventh best experience in my life, (My wedding day and birth of six kids ranks one through six.) I set a goal of losing one hundred pounds. As I wrote it I was way skeptical. I couldn’t imagine me one hundred pounds lighter.

The Spark was published two weeks after I joined and I devoured it. I was comfortable that no one tried to sell me a drug or a program and I didn’t feel like Chris was pointing a finger in my face and telling me I was some sort of evil nasty person for not always living a healthy life style. I felt like he was welcoming me to participate in a process that would finally give me the confidence to put together in a logical and cogent order all the ideas that had been floating around in my head for so long.

Then there are all of you. So, so many of you that along the way gave me tips, gave me encouragement and gave me the best gift I believe anyone can give anyone else, your friendship. When I get up in the morning and head out the door I look over my shoulder and I see all of you clapping and waving and yelling “Go John.” I mean who couldn’t succeed with friends like you guys?

So for what it’s worth here is what I have learned so far and even some stuff that didn’t work but I learned from:

I decided I was not on a diet. To that end I am only going to weigh myself every two weeks. This happened quite by accident to begin with. I was out of town for a funeral last weekend and Sunday is my weigh in day. I didn’t get home until Monday and I decided to wait until today. But I noticed last week that I was more relaxed not worrying about the Satan called a scale. (I got that phrase of a really good Spark friend) I made good food choices because one day I will reach my goal weight and instead of going OMG, stressing out and eating everything see, I will know how to act and behave. I realize it may take me a little longer than I’d like to get the next fifty pounds off but I need to learn to be comfortable with me. Once it’s gone I have promised myself it isn’t coming back.

Take what the room gives you in relationship to exercise. I darn near put myself in intensive care a month into this experience. I was up to forty minutes a day of cardio, seven days a week and posted a blog that said I was going to go to fifty five minutes a day and then a month later fifty minutes a day. My body wasn’t ready. I am still comfortably doing forty minutes, seven days a week. I am cheering on my younger and more durable Spark friends who are performing at a higher level. I am gaining strength and I am getting healthier so for right now I am staying at forty minutes a day. I do plan on starting to add strength and core training. In two weeks I am beginning a class on developing abs and core on the stability ball and using resistance bands. It meets twice a week for one half hour and it lasts four weeks. When I have completed that course I am going to look into retaining a personal trainer.

I made myself a priority and let everyone I love know I was doing so and why. Mostly we fail because we fail to communicate. I told my wife and my family what I wanted to do and why it was important. They understood. When people know WHY you are doing something they either help you along or get out of the way. I do miss my wing eatin’ beer drinkin’ buddies sometimes but as I am so fond of saying, “You are who you hang around with.”

As I posted yesterday I am starting to explore living healthier by eating less or eventually no meat. I am doing this slowly and I am going to research it completely before I get into it. I want to be successful if I do.

My stress level has decreased because I am reaching goal I have set for myself and so my self esteem is higher. Some people who know me live and in person cant believe I have/had a self esteem issue. But if you have been or are overweight you know what I am talking about. No matter how good you feel there is always that guilt or shame. By reaching small goals I feel better and know I can accomplish more.
I have two affirmations I read over and over:

“They way you see the world is the way you see yourself.”

“If I can find an excuse not to do something, I can find a reason to do it.”

Finally, I really believe that positive energy is the greatest healing tool God gave us. I have been profoundly affected by each of you and am grateful for you.

Have a great day


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Although I have only known you for a short time, I am very, very proud of you.

Thank you for sharing this today.

Best wishes,

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LAWRALOO 3/29/2010 2:53PM

    I am so proud of you :)
You've come a long ways since you joined spark and I have enjoyed being a part of your journey. :)

Thanks for always keeping me positive :) You're made of awesome!

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BECCALYNN75 3/29/2010 2:05PM

    John, almost everytime I read one of your blogs there is a statement that I feel I could have written myself. This time it was:

"Some people who know me live and in person cant believe I have/had a self esteem issue. But if you have been or are overweight you know what I am talking about. No matter how good you feel there is always that guilt or shame"

Just this weekend someone very close to me asked me why I was so insecure about certain things. Because they have never been overweight they never realized the insecurity that causes. It was also a good learning experience for me too, in that I never consider the fact that naturally thin/fit people might not realize that.

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VALERIEMAHA 3/29/2010 1:14PM

    I followed my friend GIRANIMIAL here to see what "halfway" we were talking about! MOST IMPRESSIVE!!!!!! And your attitude through the blog is quite amazing really. Besides the discipline and consistency that you need, the support and compassion of the SparkCommunity is definitely a factor in the ongoing motivation needed to achieve what you have...I quite agree with you!

Spark On!!!
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GIRANIMAL 3/29/2010 1:01PM

    emoticon, John, on reaching your halfway mark! It really feels great doesn't it, especially when you once were skeptical about the feasibility of your original goal. I know that feeling!

Your consistency and self-confidence are inspiring as ever -- and I really need it today, so thanks!

emoticon emoticon

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CMBELISLE 3/29/2010 12:14PM

    Woo Hoo! Time to do the happy dance for John - he's halfway to goal! Way to go!

Best of luck with leaving off meat. I most likely won't be joining you on that journey - as the hubby says, those eye teeth are in there for a reason. emoticon I am however eating smaller portions and increasing the varieties by adding fish more often to my beef, chicken and pork rotation.

Have a great week!

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TWENKY215 3/29/2010 10:31AM

    Congratulations! Amazing is how I know you are feeling right now. emoticon

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OHYESITSME1 3/29/2010 7:25AM

    Congratulations! What an amazing feeling that must be!

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WEEZIE1122 3/28/2010 10:52PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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REMODELINGPAT 3/28/2010 9:27PM

    The halfway point is definitely something to celebrate!
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Comment edited on: 3/28/2010 9:28:49 PM

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PINETREEGIRL 3/28/2010 8:04PM

    John, I'm so happy to have you in my network of supporters. I love your posts. I'm excited that you're working so hard toward what you want!
This is my favorite quote (roughly) from your page:
"Do you want a good reason to be happy? Look in the mirror--that is your reason to be happy."

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FIT2BME2010 3/28/2010 5:17PM

    Great post!! Your doing great! emoticon

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TINKERBELL200 3/28/2010 4:58PM

    Congrats on being 1/2 way there John! I know since I reached my goal I have had so much more confidence in myself. It's great when you wear a new outfit and everyone says Wow you look great! What size are you wearing now? I have a great support system too, my hubby and kids, and church and work! What more could you ask for? Keep on keepin on and you'll get there! emoticon You're doing emoticon!
Just look at it as Phase ll of your journey!

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LUNADRAGON 3/28/2010 3:53PM

    Bravo! Well done! Keep it up!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CRYSELLE 3/28/2010 3:31PM

    Congrats John, you are so totally Awesome :) emoticon

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TEENY_BIKINI 3/28/2010 2:23PM

    Wow!!! That is amazing.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    WooHoo! Half-way! Incredible awesomeness!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TAZZIEGIRL 3/28/2010 1:06PM

    You are doing great. I'm a carnivore so I doubt I will be giving up meat any time soon though.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 3/28/2010 12:46PM

    emoticon You are doing great!! Keep it up!!

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STORMTMB 3/28/2010 12:09PM

    Congrats on being half way there. I'm thinking that your new class will change your body and your metabolism in a great way and give you yet another boost toward your final goal. Keep it up and thanks for sharing the journey, Dude.

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I Need some Assistance, Please

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I am looking for some resources that might help me better understand the benefits of a vegetarian diet. Since I have been a Spark person I realized that I am only eating meat about twice a week and I have only had red meat twice in four months!!

This is something I want to do gradually. I dont want to wake up tomorrow morning and announce "Hey I'm a vegetarian." I also realize there are varying degrees of being vegetarian. I need something to read, watch, etc.

I Googled the word vegetarian and what I got was a lot of people trying to sell me stuff. I need to be educated. Anyone have any advice?

Request number two:

Stir Fry cooking. I want to learn how to do it healthy and the right way. Any suggestions on where I can go to learn?

Thank you guys. I appreciate the help


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAWRALOO 3/29/2010 2:55PM

    Also, please make sure you talk to a health care professional about this choice.
I see a lot of people make this choice for the wrong reasons.
I am not in any way a health care professional, I just want to make sure you're as healthy as you should be :)

Talk to your Dr. before you decide to do this.


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KAT573 3/28/2010 1:02PM

    Welp, you got a lotta help there; so go for it! I just get mags on vegetarian cooking and I have several of the Moosehead Restaurant cookbooks. I am not totally veg, and I am not vegan;

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STORMTMB 3/28/2010 11:37AM

    I think I could use some of these resources as well. I'm such a carnivore. It's a huge effort for me to not eat meat. I've read many articles however that say my blood sugar will come down a lot if I stop eating meat, especially red meat. My first step is trying to eat more fruits and vegetables and a smaller portion of meat. You're obviously waaaaayyyyy beyond that. Good for you and good luck with this journey.

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GREENCAT1 3/28/2010 9:10AM

    John - There are a couple of vegetarian spark teams. They should be really helpful. The thing to be careful about when becoming vegetarian and trying to lose weight is if you decide to eat dairy products - watch the fat. That is obvious I guess, but it is easy to forget. A vegan diet does not include any animal products at all. A good source for information on a vegan diet is the PETA website. They even have menus for weight loss there. If you look that over, I would be happy to answer any questions that you have. I have been a vegetarian, vegan and I have a degree in nutrition. Anyhow, those are some good places to start. Oh - Dr. John McDougall too. I think there is a McDougall spark team and he has a website. An EXCELLENT book to read is, "The China Study", By Dr. Colin Campbell.

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TNTEACHER2 3/28/2010 8:51AM

    Just make certain that you take the proper vitamins to make up for deficiencies which vegetarians can develop. Look on the internet at vitamins vegetarians need.

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TRIPLE_EMME 3/28/2010 8:49AM

    I will put together a list for you.
I'll be back in a couple of hours.

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    These urls should help



Stir frying is easy. You just pre-chop the veggies into equal size pieces and fry the veggies separately and quickly at moderately high temps in a small amount of oil until tender crisp.

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JCDROLSHAGEN 3/27/2010 8:00PM

    There are any number of sources about a vegetarian diet. I would start with any book that Vegetarian Times publishes. This is where I learned about vegetarian diets when my daughter decided she wanted to be a vegetarian a few years back. She ultimately decided that it was not for her. However, I am using that knowledge today; I am nearly vegetarian at this point and I have been losing a lot of weight this way. I am currently reading The Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn which discusses a vegan diet (no animal products at all).

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JCDROLSHAGEN 3/27/2010 7:42PM

    There are any number of sources about a vegetarian diet. I would start with any book that Vegetarian Times publishes. This is where I learned about vegetarian diets when my daughter decided she wanted to be a vegetarian a few years back. She ultimately decided that it was not for her. However, I am using that knowledge today; I am nearly vegetarian at this point and I have been losing a lot of weight this way. I am currently reading The Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn which discusses a vegan diet (no animal products at all).
I researched for stir-frying and found this link at About.Com:
y/blstirfrytips.htm It is pretty comprehensive on the subject. I think the amount of oil cited is a little high (I use about a third of what they say). The article also said something about stir fry sauce but no recipe for it. I use soy or a soy-vinegar 50/50 mix. You could also use chicken or veggie broth to moisten the food. Hope this helps.

Comment edited on: 3/27/2010 7:58:57 PM

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GERIKRAGH 3/27/2010 6:09PM

    Go somewhere where they have LOTS of magazines for sale and get a vegeterian one. There are lots. Go to the library and look at veggie cook books. A lot of them have prefaces which explain the eating. Go to a bookstore and look through the books and find one that has what you want. I even think they have "The Idiots Guide to Vegetarianism."
I call myself a flexitarian. I eat as vegetarian as I can but if I get a little meat in, I don't sweat it. I don't like eggs but will eat them in cooking. I don't eat a lot of cheese, but do use it in cooking. As you said, there are lots of degrees of vegetarianism. I don't like to see or eat a chunk of meat but if it's in a sauce or soup (small pieces) I'll eat it. I really don't get much, but my iron is always low. So be careful and good luck.

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HAVALOVER 3/27/2010 5:43PM

    Hi John,

Hope all's well on your end.

I was looking for an article I just read about the benefits of cutting on meat (specially red meat), how it extends your life, and cannot find it... argh...

However, everything I've read lately seems to agree on it.

There is an article on the NY Times about the latest book from Michael Pollan entitled "Rules Worth Following, for Everyone’s Sake". The book is “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual,”, a tiny one, just received it yesterday.

I know that I've also read a couple of good articles in the Website Go there and write "meat" on the search engine.

If you have not taken the real age test, give it a shot. It is really cool and an eye opener.

Hope I've helped some, even if I didn't find the darn article!!!



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NJMATTICE 3/27/2010 5:11PM

    I can help you, sir. Start at Check out any of the PCRM websites There is a "scrolldown" to access any of their sites., I think. It stands for Physicians Council for Responsible Medicine (I think). There is PCRM for diabetes and the like. It's a great resource. Also they had a kickstart vegan month this past March and will be doing it again in September. That program gets you in touch with some great resources like and who have great recipes. But I would start with Dr. Neal Barnard's site( That ought to give you a great wealth of info. I look forward to seeing what you discover!

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