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You May Not Know It But I Am Scared

Monday, April 12, 2010

“You can only lead others where you, yourself are prepared to go.”

I am scared. No, let me rephrase that. I am very scared.

A few hours from now I’ll walk onto a gym floor, grab a stability ball and begin one half hour of an Ab-Crunch class, Monday’s and Wednesdays for a month. I’ll bet everyone else is skinny and limber and I got a really funny feeling I may be the only male in the class. Class size was limited and there was “an additional fee required.”
Never mind that six months ago I’d have never dreamed of doing this. Never mind that I feel better than, well I can’t recall when I felt better.

I’m scared.

I’m scared I’ll fall off the stability ball or whack myself below the waist with a medicine ball. (All of this has actually happened to me at one time or another.) I’m afraid everyone will laugh at me and whisper behind my back.

Right about now you are probably thinking “Silly John, he has nothing to be scared of he’ll do fine.”

I know. I’m looking forward to going and trying some new exercises. I’m scared and one thing I’m not scared to do is admit I’m scared. That’s my whole point.
Did you ever go to a seminar or a class where the person leading the class made light of any difficulty? All through the class they told you how” easy it was” and how successful they were and well, I mean, you too should take right to this and if you don’t well would you please go sit in the corner so you won’t be a bad example to everyone else who is pretending to have an easy time of it.

Thirteen years ago when I started my consulting business I sat down and didn’t write all the great things I would do. I wrote down ten things I wouldn’t do. They were ten things that really irritated me when someone like me came to call on me. One of those things was to be real and always honest. If I cant do something for you, you will be the second person to know, right after me. Oh, I’ll try but I’ll tell you it might be difficult.

Being real means that when you are teaching or leading a group you don’t pretend you born sacred and pure and never have need to use the restroom. I am not the brightest person I have ever met. I struggled in school, which means I really had to study. A lot of times I do not understand concepts so you have to draw me a picture or show me a real life example. At age fifty seven the jury is still out on whether or not I have learning disabilities or not. No one has ever been quite sure
I don’t always get things on the very first try and the longer it takes me to do something the more nervous and awkward I feel. But……….. When I finally do get something, when the light bulb finally does ignite I will not forget what I have learned.

I paraphrased a little bit but that is the way I start most of my seminars or training classes. Oh, yeah, the only thing I am an expert on is goofing up, because that’s been happening all my life. Do I have some stuff working in my favor? You bet and BTW so do you!!!

I am very sincere and I genuinely care about everything I do. If I don’t genuinely care about something I won’t get involved. Lord knows, that no matter where you turn or what you do in today’s world there are people who do things solely for their own benefit. I will not be phony. I won’t be involved in something just because it will work in my favor alone.

If I am your friend I am your friend for life; through thick and thin and short of committing an act of physical mayhem on me, I won’t leave your side. You can count on me. But I’m not perfect and I often get scared and as long as you understand that we’ll do ok.

There are many things I do well and so do you, except we sit around all darn day and limit ourselves because we are scared and on top of being scared we are scared to admit we are scared. We don’t put ourselves in situations that challenge us because, as in my case, we are waiting to lose one hundred pounds, tone up and grow a full head of hair. When that day comes then I will start doing all that cool stuff. That’s when I’ll stop being scared. Until then I am getting ready to stop being scared. When the time is right I’ll plunge into whatever it is I’m scared of and conquer it, just not today.

“If I lose weight and get in shape people will pay positive attention to me and I’m not sure how to handle that so maybe its better I stay fat.” We don’t admit that to those who love us but we whisper to ourselves in the dark of night!

“You can only lead others where you, yourself are prepared to go.”

Don’t respond to this blog by telling me I can overcome my fears and I am wonderful and blah blah, blah. Just stick your hand out and I’ll stick mine out and like a brother and sister waiting for the school bus to come on the very first day of class we will hang onto each other really tight and we might shed a tear or two and our knees might knock together and we’ll get all pale but we’ll get by.

At recess we’ll drink our bug juice and laugh about how scared we were and next year we’ll go up and help the new kids when they get off the bus because we know what it’s like to be scared.

“You can only lead others where you, yourself are prepared to go.”

If you don’t go anywhere I can’t follow you, even if you are scared. So am I.
Setting a good example for everyone around us is a tall business and Lord knows we can use some authentic leadership today. It starts with acknowledging we are scared and doing it anyway.

“You can only lead others where you, yourself are prepared to go.”

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROSE5328 4/18/2010 12:19PM

    Here's my hand John! I need a hand to hold on to right now as well.

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KELLCAN 4/17/2010 7:01PM

    John,
I love your honesty and optimism. Your page and blogs have given me a warm fuzzy :) Thank-you for being you.

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DUTCHIEKIWI 4/12/2010 8:43PM

    Being scared...

We talked a little about it before...
Actually, you and I, we don't DO a little talking, we talk A LOT!

and that's great!

I'm scared, but less then I used to be
I'm scared, but this time I'm not going to let it stop me

There's nothing attractive about being scared, but how awesome and rewarding being confident is.

Fear will always be there, but hopefully by the time I get to my goals and I believe the 'best I can be' has arrived it will only be in the back of my mind.

Being careful and cautious is something I will always be. There is too much to live for to not.

Fall of that ball, so what?
At least you're doing it!
Be the clown and make everyone laugh, do they have what it takes to make people laugh??

If there is one talent I greatly appreciate and aspire to have it's making people laugh. What a gift!!

Practice makes perfect, you'll be bloody juggling that ball before you know it, THEN who's laughing??

This journey is so much more then losing weight and by god we're gonna finish it with glory,
Scared and all!

My mum always said, fear is terrible adviser.

We're in the middle of our journey, it's okay to be scared.
It's part of us, for now.

We're gonna kick that habit to the curb! You wait and see.

Right there with ya,

Dutchie

xxx



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OZARKMARY 4/12/2010 4:01PM

    Love your blog! Great to know I have company in the Society of Scardicats!! Have fun!! I look forward to hearing all about your trip to the gym today! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 4/12/2010 3:54PM

    I guess if you can face your fears and be honest about them, I can too. I've been scared to try the classes at my gym for the same reasons as you. I did get brave enough to try a workout DVD and it wasn't as bad as I expected, maybe Zumba will be that way, too. Nothing ventured, nothing gained; here's to new adventures and learning to tackle those fears honestly. Thanks, John!


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GERIKRAGH 4/12/2010 1:04PM

    Gosh, you sound so much like me. But the big difference is, I would be scared and NEVER even give it a chance. Nothing ventured, nothing gained--I don't gain much because I'm too scared to start.

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ANNSTOECKL 4/12/2010 12:58PM

    John, You give me courage to think about going to a gym, someday, maybe. (grins) Meanwhile I keep walking. Thank you for sharing your fear. I hope it is divided amongst all of us. I have no doubt that you will do more than fine. Blessings, Ann

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ANNSTOECKL 4/12/2010 12:57PM

    John, You give me courage to think about going to a gym, someday, maybe. (grins) Meanwhile I keep walking. Thank you for sharing your fear. I hope it is divided amongst all of us. I have no doubt that you will do more than fine. Blessings, Ann

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SUSANNE61 4/12/2010 12:50PM

    Thank you for your well written blog. It's really what I need to hear today as I am now facing a life altering time in my life, and yes I am really, really scared. Your words helped face my fears head on. emoticon emoticon

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WALKNLOVE 4/12/2010 12:38PM

    Holding your hand through this.... emoticonThere are so many times when I have been to the gym and just had to laugh at myself...and yes I was scared.
1. the 1st class i took. It was low impact & I thought, should be fine. I got there and saw lots of folks older than me taking the class & thought I must be in the wrong place...until the class started.Those old ladies kicked my butt.After class one of them approached me and said,"Don't worry honey.You'll catch on." LOL
2. The time my stability ball slipped and I fell on my butt. I looked around quick to see if I had been spotted for the show with the hidden cameras.No one saw, but I got a good laugh at myself.
3. The first Zumba class...was I going to be rhythumless? If I was, we were all in it together. It ended up being the funnest class & now I am hooked.
So, the moral of the story is what you don't want to hear...You will survive! :) Hugs to you my friend.Try to have fun...my struggle today is just getting to the gym...okay butt, get yourself out the door....

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GEINAHG0757 4/12/2010 11:46AM

    Here's holding your hand as you bravely face your new challenge...

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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/12/2010 10:41AM

    Get thee to the gym. LOL. If you get hit in the groin then laugh unless you are on your way to ICU. LOL. I'm a former athlete and found that there will always be opportunities to feel foolish if you allow them. Being vulnerable is not a handicap. It is endearing to others. No one wants to comfort the gold medalist. The masses can empathize with one who isn't always cool. Someone who has goals and wants to improve their life. Don't waste time fearing the buff instructor. He may have been the former 285 pounder who lost 120 pounds - aka my son. emoticon

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STORMTMB 4/12/2010 9:20AM

    I teach an intro to computers class and it typically has a lot of adults in it. Ususally people older than me. Most of them tell me at some point that this is their first college class and/or that they have little or no computer knowledge and don't know how to get started. I always start the semester by telling the story of how terrified I was of my first computer class that I made my guidance counselor promise she'd let me out of it before I failed. I was terrified of ruining my GPA and not getting the scholarships that I needed to be able to go to college. I remember that fear as if it were yesterday and use it to relate to my students each semester. I promise them that together at some point in the semester, the light will come on and I will help them get to that point if they don't give up. It's always a very rewarding experience for me and I hope for them as well.

You do a great thing in working with your clients by sharing yourself with them, fears and all. Putting yourself on equal footing with them makes the path easy to walk together. Just as you have done with all of us here. Love you, John.

Comment edited on: 4/12/2010 9:22:49 AM

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MARCYNA 4/12/2010 8:41AM

    emoticonI'm scared as well but the more I get scared the more I try, I'm awfully stubborn!!!!!
Anyway I'll come and kick the stupid stability ball in case it doesn't behave correctly with you.
Just tell her. emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/12/2010 8:42:08 AM

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LIZBUCK1 4/12/2010 8:35AM

    Thanks for this post John. I do agree with what you say, the more people tell you it'll be ok, the worse it becomes.
Won't tell you you're wonderful if you don't want us to (!) but will hold out a hand and help you along the way. We may not be able to come into the class with you this afternoon, but the fact that we are thinking of you and willing you along should hopefully help you go into that room with your head held high and if anyone's nasty to you, tell us and we'll sort them out for you!!


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FREDIA2 4/12/2010 8:31AM

    When you fall and es you will just get back on and laugh at yourself. Being afraid is with us all but being able to say it is another
Last year I started zumba. Being the undance (created a new word) person I am I provided the entertainment. When everyone moved right and I went left I just used the excuse I am totally left-handed.
Your blogs are so inspiring and honest. You need to think about writing for real. emoticon emoticon

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YOYONOMORE1 4/12/2010 8:30AM

    emoticon hand in hand, we can travel this road together, all of us, it's not so bad being scared if you've got a buddy(ies) with you. Have a great day John.

Hugs,
Shirl

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AMABILE75 4/12/2010 7:53AM

    I'll admit it too... I'm scared. Scared of failure.

I've always been a firm believer that telling yourself things will be better when something specific happens is a very bad idea, because we can always insert a new item in it's place as soon as that thing happens. It is a vicious cycle.

Great blog my friend! Hope you had a great weekend and enjoyed the game! :)

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WISEONE68 4/12/2010 7:42AM

    John,
WOW--great blog!! It is not only hard to admit you are scared--but to the thousands who will read your blog---BRAVE man you are!!!!! emoticon

I am rooting for you!! I have been scared of going to the gym--because of all those skinny people and muscle-bound "dudes" were wispering behind my back. Well, just to let you know, they DO NOT care a darn thing about you--they are too wrapped up in themselves to care!!!

You will find that after today, it gets easier!! And, with each time you go...it gets easier!!

I would love to attend one of your seminars---heavy or thin--you have something to tell the world. I pray folks listen!!!

Good luck today and always!!

Be well, happy and safe,
Wiseone68 emoticon

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WANDAH3 4/12/2010 7:41AM

    John...thank you. I'm scared more often than I'm not. Life it's self used to terrify the heck out of me. I'm learning though. Thanks to friends like you and others who support and encourage me...I'm learning.

Being Positive takes courage!

Hugs,
Wanda

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HKLULU 4/12/2010 7:32AM

    good luck and I have been scared myself. good post. Most of the time we are scared of the unknown or "what ifs" and when we actually do the class/seminar it is not as bad as our "what ifs".

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SHAWFAN 4/12/2010 7:21AM

    emoticonBlog, and you're not the only one whose scared. I am every day! Scared of who I've become, scared of where I'm going. You're not alone!


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DOLLBABE56 4/12/2010 7:19AM

    I am also scared John. I am still trying to sort the ins and outs of it. This was a good post.

Yes, you will probably fall off the ball - I have. Never mind that I was in the privacy of my home.... lol, but nonetheless I fell. I was frustrated but I did keep it up. Just have fun with it.

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Thank You and Good Night

Friday, April 09, 2010

I want to thank everyone who responded to my blog posting earlier today for all your detailed and well thought out advice on how I can get out of my rut. Believe it or not I have already put some of it into practice.

I am taking a Ab-Blast class for thirty minutes twice per week. I am going to add a one hour power pump to that on Fridays. On those days I won’t be doing my regular cardio. We shall see how that all works out for me. Hopefully adding the weights will break some of the monotony.

A couple of you recommended doing some personal training. I thought that was ironic because that was on my to do list for May, once the Ab-Blast class is over.
A new Spark friend told me something as it relates to food that is right on point: “This is a life style change, not a prison sentence.” I need to lighten up a bit and not act like this is the end of the world.

I am posting this tonight because my sons and I are going to Cincinnati tomorrow to see a baseball game. I’ll be leaving the house around six am and won’t be back until late tomorrow evening.

Mostly what I got out of all your advice was that all of you who responded really care about me and that is over whelming in a good sort of way. Thank you!!!
A few of you kicked me in the butt and I need that about ten times a day, LOL

Have a good Saturday and much love to all of you. If I can ever return the favor please let me know

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DUTCHIEKIWI 4/12/2010 8:16PM

    You're a champion, and you motivate me heaps.

Love ya mate!

;0)

Dutchie

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CMBELISLE 4/12/2010 10:13AM

    Sorry I couldn't add to the suggestions, but I've been lurking around with a head cold and not doing a whole lot of sparking. I read your other blog and skimmed through the suggestions - they are all on target. Sometimes, you just need to shake things up a bit and sometimes we just get blah.

I reached day 100 of my 10-a-day self-challenge and I'm just kinda like, "yea, whatever" thanks to my head cold. Yes, I have continued to exercise and yes, it is a big deal, but I'm just not feeling it. I'll get there though and I'll shake things up a bit again soon - just not until I get over the head cold though.

And like your other friend said, this isn't a prison sentence. Once you know what foods you can't stop eating once you start, yea, you might want to stay away from them. On the other hand, it is OK to have a little treat every now and then. I completely subscribe to the 80/20 plan - I'm working a small piece of cake into my nutrition for the day today. One small piece of cake won't do me in completely and I'll eat healthy the rest of the day (and most of the remainder of the week), staying within my calorie range. If I deprive myself of the tasty treats I sometimes love, I'll go overboard when I have a weak moment.

Well, I'm rambling, so I'll sign off and just hope that all made sense.

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GEINAHG0757 4/10/2010 7:47PM

    Safe travels...

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WANDAH3 4/10/2010 10:27AM

    Enjoy the ballgame. Drive safe and we'll see you when you return.

Hugs,
Wanda

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TNTEACHER2 4/10/2010 9:56AM

    I hope you had a good time at the ballgame.

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GERIKRAGH 4/10/2010 9:25AM

    Of course we care about you. I think that if we didn't care about each other, we wouldn't be on SPeople. Hope you and sons had fun.

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DOLLBABE56 4/10/2010 9:02AM

    Now that's the John I know and love. Good plan, sometimes we just need to shake it up. Hope you have a wonderful time at the ball game!

Until tomorrow,
Debbie

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GETFIT2LIVE 4/10/2010 12:53AM

    John, I'm glad that the advice offered by people was helpful. We do have to mix it up periodically to not get bored and also so our bodies don't get 'used' to a certain level or type of activity. And it IS a lifestyle change, not a prison sentence--we need that reminder from time to time, that it's okay to live. Have a great time at the game; we're headed to Safeco Field here in Seattle on Monday for opening day with the Mariners. I love baseball . . . just have to figure out what's reasonable to have to eat there!

emoticon

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GRANDMAAMIE 4/10/2010 12:03AM

    emoticonENJOY!

AMIE

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KAT573 4/9/2010 11:26PM

    Have fun at the game, John; HOPE it is not a really long travel for you!
and you are welcome; it helped me too, to share, by focusing me more.

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STORMTMB 4/9/2010 10:06PM

    I was a huge, huge Cincinnati Reds fan when I was young. I knew the ball players stats and could quote them to any guy who asked. The Big Red Machine was my obsession and I dreamed of playing ball with them when I was old enough to make the team... Have a great time at the game. Wish I could go with you.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/9/2010 9:35PM

    Enjoy yourself!

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AMABILE75 4/9/2010 9:10PM

    I'm so glad you got some advice that helped. You are such a great friend, indeed so loved.

Have fun at the game!!!

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An Emotional Plateau

Friday, April 09, 2010

I have not felt right for over a week. Oh, I have been going through the motions. I have kept my caloric and exercise commitments. I have blogged and participated in challenges amongst the teams I belong to. I just feel kind of, well, blah. I have, in a word, misplaced the Spark.

If you knew me you would know I am this massive contradiction in terms. On the one hand I am ebullient, (I have waited for a month to use that word.) and outgoing. If you hang around me long enough you will increase the amount of friends you have tenfold. On the other hand, when faced with a dilemma I become very introspective. Lock the doors, turn out the lights, sit in the corner, and stare at the carpet until either my guardian angel or divine providence itself inspires me with an answer.

I couldn’t quite put a finger on it until this morning. I am at an emotional plateau. I am on “automatic.” I eat the same breakfast, fruit, protein and whole grain every morning. Part of the problem, I believe, is that I worked real hard to get to my half way point. When I got there I felt a big letdown. I exercise at roughly the same time with the same people. It’s all just “blah” If I don’t do something soon, the emotional plateau will give way to ambivalence, which will give way to apathy, which will give way to chocolate, lots of chocolate. I do not want to be fat old John again. I cant stop the aging part but I can stop the fat part!!!

I have some ideas about what I am going to do but I would appreciate some input from some of you.

First, I registered for an Ab-Blast class at the gym. It meets Monday and Wednesday morning for a half hour. It’s a core building class and I had to pay an extra twenty four dollars to participate. I like the idea of having to make an extra investment in means I will keep the commitment. It lasts for four weeks and includes exercise bands, stability balls and medicine balls. There is only one day I can’t go and that’s because I have had a doctor’s appointment I made six months ago.

Second, A Spark friend blogged last night about starting a motivational challenge for eight weeks or so. It’s a simple weight loss challenge and the prize is a big smile and congrats for all the participants. It’s something different and I hope it gets my juices flowing again.

Third, my brilliant idea about only weighing every two weeks wasn’t so brilliant. I will weigh tomorrow morning, but I have felt almost lost for the past two weeks.
Those are my two brilliant ideas. Do any of you have anymore? I do not like feeling like this.

Sorry I wasn’t my usual inspirational self this morning, I just sort of feel all “blah”

Help please!!! LOL

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OFEDEOZ 4/12/2010 8:29PM

    Uh oh! well I have no insighted advice for ya so how's about just a lil spark love instead? emoticon emoticon

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DUTCHIEKIWI 4/12/2010 8:10PM

    Mate,

we are so alike it's really scary sometimes.

Maybe if we would meet we would find out we are not alike at all, but anyway.

I too get this,
up down up down....
when I'm up, I'm REHEHEALY up, when I'm down... well, you get my point.

I love people, and I hate people at times too.
I can sing and dance on a stage, and I can hide away and go into hibernation.

That's what makes us US.

But now, what to do??

If it's something physical like flu, or whatever, I know I just have to get through it and hope I don't totally blow all my efforts of the weeks before.

But if it's emotional, which it is more often then not, it used to be only up to me.

I know if I hide nothing good comes out of it.
Everything gets sucked out of me,
creativity, positive outlook, I just don't wanna move and carry on feeling sorry for myself even though sometimes I don't even know why.

Now, I KNOW I have to;

* READ. Inspirational stories, and peoples experiences of how they fought themselves through hardship way worse then mine.
I need that WHISTLE ME BACK to reality...

Wake up!! It's not that bad, YOU are the one making it a lot worse then it really is.

* SING. Put on my favourite cd of that time as it does change, and sing along with all my heart. At this time that would have to be Keith Urban with 'Once in a lifetime' ( just got up and put it on ;0) )

* CUDDLE. The cat, the kids, the husband, or any innocent by passer ;0)

* SPARKFRIENDS. This is very powerful, push that emergency button, come on over, scream yell write everything down you are pissed about. It's okay, I know my true friends understand. It goes both ways.


Keep going John, you're on your way to personal victory and tagging along a lot of very grateful friends.

YOU WILL NEVER GO BACK TO THE OLD JOHN, it won't happen, you and your friends won't let it happen.

Sorry I didn't reply sooner....

love

Dutch
ie

xxxxx

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DUTCHIEKIWI 4/12/2010 7:50PM

    Bloody hell John,

I have to yoogoogle that word first.....

hang on.....

ah ha... joyously unrestrained



Comment edited on: 4/12/2010 7:52:46 PM

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GREENCAT1 4/11/2010 1:34PM

    John - I think what you are going through is "normal" but still unpleasant. The good news is that you get to come out on the other side. All of the advice here has been great. I would like to add that it is important to remember that a mood is a mood, and a mood will pass. The other thing is that sometimes when we are on the verge of something great, we pass through what Carolyn Myss refers to as a "dark night". The thing is this, it is a refiner's fire. You have to hold true and your will come out polished and more beautiful after the fire. Hold fast my friend. You can do this!

Cathy emoticon

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KLEONIKI 4/9/2010 3:58PM

    Dear John!
So many times your experience coincides with mine...that it turns kind of spooky!
Nevertheless it feels reassuring and tastes like affinity!
A minute ago i was ambivalent whether to follow this 8 weeks challenge or not (kind of competitiveness made it not desirable and i have to think about first).!
Well, regarding this plateau thing (which,by the way troubles me too) i have just though of changing - to tell the truth adding not changing- workout type: I have just enrolled in a water aerobics class .
It will boost my motivation and i expect the water to do miracles with my emotional state..It always does.Plus it works wonders in body's recovery from other form of exercise.
Some times it only takes for me to stop going to the same old place, eating the same things to stop feeling bored and long to "return"..
So why don't you just try to "go away" for a while to build the desire to "return"?
Can you pause your gym subscription and begin something new for, let's say , a month?
And please feel free to communicate with all your faces nobody expect from you to be an EVERLASTING SOURCE OF INSPIRATION...!
You need to choose what is interesting and inspiring for you to "converse"
I personally like the way you think and express your thoughts, respect the your linguistic ability, enjoy the wording images you imprint and do not expect from you an always uplifting effect on the contrary: The more human the more friendly!
Good luck, dear
You will find the way out or better down..!
We are far too many co-sparkers involved and interacting in this mutual healing matter that there is scarce place for regression in indifference and apathy...THANK GOD!
Hugs

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KLEONIKI 4/9/2010 3:58PM

    Dear John!
So many times your experience coincides with mine...that it turns kind of spooky!
Nevertheless it feels reassuring and tastes like affinity!
A minute ago i was ambivalent whether to follow this 8 weeks challenge or not (kind of competitiveness made it not desirable and i have to think about first).!
Well, regarding this plateau thing (which,by the way troubles me too) i have just though of changing - to tell the truth adding not changing- workout type: I have just enrolled in a water aerobics class .
It will boost my motivation and i expect the water to do miracles with my emotional state..It always does.Plus it works wonders in body's recovery from other form of exercise.
Some times it only takes for me to stop going to the same old place, eating the same things to stop feeling bored and long to "return"..
So why don't you just try to "go away" for a while to build the desire to "return"?
Can you pause your gym subscription and begin something new for, let's say , a month?
And please feel free to communicate with all your faces nobody expect from you to be an EVERLASTING SOURCE OF INSPIRATION...!
You need to choose what is interesting and inspiring for you to "converse"
I personally like the way you think and express your thoughts, respect the your linguistic ability, enjoy the wording images you imprint and do not expect from you an always uplifting effect on the contrary: The more human the more friendly!
Good luck, dear
You will find the way out or better down..!
We are far too many co-sparkers involved and interacting in this mutual healing matter that there is scarce place for regression in indifference and apathy...THANK GOD!
Hugs

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TRIPLE_EMME 4/9/2010 3:22PM

    I think the two ideas that you have listed are really good ideas.

In addition, maybe you can switch up your nutrition a little bit. Some ideas: challenge yourself to try one new fruit and/or vegetable each week; perhaps try to eat more local, in-season produce; drink an extra glass (or two) of water each day.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/9/2010 1:02PM

    To me you just sound bored from too much sameness and routine, I would suggest that you set some goals and find some new way to satisfy them. Change things up. Eat supper for breakfast. Breakfast for supper. Try a new food. A new recipe. Tweak your diet looking for ways to make it better. Try to eat 30 colors in one day.

Challenge a male friend to a duel. Seriously, you're male. Get out there with some sticks or nerf swords and act stupid. My son and husband love it. You are in need of some fun. Heck, if I were there and better I'd fight you myself and cream you. LOL. Have a pillow fight too.

Comment edited on: 4/9/2010 1:06:10 PM

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WANDAH3 4/9/2010 11:37AM

    John, I'm blaming it on the weather!!! lol . You are not alone, many of us at this time of the year are feeling that emotional let down, the need for something to just change. It's common, it happens. That's when you have to make the conscious choices to live your healthy lifestyle.

It's easy when things are rolling along and everything is new and exciting and the body is coming back to a healthier state. Then suddenly life kicks in and says " okay, let's see if you've really learned these lessons, let's turn up the heat and see what you are really made of, are you all just talk, or have you really made the changes?"

This is when you need to (excuse the expression) Kick-ass! This is when you get tough and just say "I'm in control, and little voice...you are just the child and will learn to have control of your behavior also". Just like parenting...tough love. Someone has to be in control...so why not be that someone!

Keep reminding yourself of all the wonderful choices you are and have made. Finding your positives each day when you are feeling blah is harder, but it is possible.
You are worth it!

Hugs my friend.
Wanda

PS...one of the surest ways that I know of to lift yourself up out of the Blahs...encouraging someone else...in other words...shift your focus to being of service to others.

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TWENKY215 4/9/2010 11:08AM

    emoticon John all the advice here is wonderful. Sometimes we just feel this way but it never lasts for long. You are a motivator! Nothing keeps you down, we fall down but we get back up and this applies to how you are feeling as well. As long as you have the desire to keep going, just keep going. Now please send me the information about the motivational challenge. That sounds like something I can use as well, emoticon emoticon

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PINETREEGIRL 4/9/2010 11:07AM

    You will make it through. You're worth that fight. You're better than the blah's. Never forget that.

I do very well with information, and even though I don't take my daily weight to be the true weight (perhaps I drank water right before bed, etc) I like to weigh myself every day. I guess that helps me see my own trend, and it kind of reminds me of what I'm doing. Even though there is expectation and potential for frustration, I still like the information. And that helps me stay in touch with my goal.

And, there are different numbers to measure. I love to measure my heart rate and blood pressure when in the grocery store--I slip over to the pharmacy and use their cuff monitor! I love watching my heart get stronger. I didn't have a blood pressure issue, but hypertension runs in my family and I like verifying that it is at an appropriate level. Those are what I think of as the 'hidden numbers'.

This might be a bit silly, but have you invested in new clothes? For some reason, looking/feeling good (to me) is a great incentive and gives me the warm fuzzies. And new clothes are one way to further emphasis the work that's been done - anything ranging from soft sweatpants to a fancy new shirt--I know that I've earned it!


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Comment edited on: 4/9/2010 11:07:47 AM

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STORMTMB 4/9/2010 11:04AM

    John,

This too is part of the journey. One of the rougher parts obviously. I guess you've heard the advice to "change it up." I know the strength training will melt the inches off of you and I'm sure that will help your attitude. But, as was also mentioned, the closer you get to your goal, the slower it will be. At least you've picked a good time to change things up because you can do some many more activities outside. Options are always good! My thought is playing with the grandchildren. I'm sure you worked off a ton of calories that day and you were probably worn out too. Hang in there and know that you are doing the right things and this too shall pass. We're all still rooting for you!

Tina

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WALKNLOVE 4/9/2010 10:09AM

    Dear John,(I hate letters that start this way...haha...did I make you laugh?)
Suggestions:
1.Go for a bike ride with your little "ball of fire" :). You would both be glad you did.
2.Do you like to dance? I have been bit by the Zumba bug. I love it & everyone I know who tries it loves it.
3.Find a work out buddy.Someone to keep you accountable and provide encouragement & visa-versa.
4.Walk...find different places to go ..local parks,beaches,trails,neighborhoods.
Switch it up.New scenery always helps.
5.Spark people just wrote something on "boring cardio" and it had lots of good suggestions.One was take a college fitness class.You pay to go and you get a grade so you try harder.Plus, you might make some new friends along the way.
6.Start your own walking club.There is a website that can help you do this,but for the life of me, I can't remember right now...I need coffee! teehee
7.Try some new foods. Try different ethnicities.Take a healthy cooking class with your lovely wife.Could prove to be fun!Not to mention the brownie points you could earn ;)
Well, keep me posted....You will win this round too John!
Oh...and most important...
8.Pray.God knows the desires of your heart and He longs to help you.Truth be told, we can't do anything without HIM! And the Bible says if you pray for wisdom, He will give it to you generously!
Blessings to you my friend.Just said a prayer for you!

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SHANTRA 4/9/2010 10:04AM

    I think you are doing exactly what you should be doing. We are told in our Weight Watchers class that if you get bored with things you need to change it up. You are doing exactly that by adding new things. Try going to the Sparkpeople recipe pages and maybe think about trying new foods. How about an inspirational book? I heard The Spark is GREAT. And did you throw out or give away all of your big clothes? If you didn't you must and you are absolutely forbidden to buy anything in a larger size again!! Keep going!

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DOLLBABE56 4/9/2010 9:58AM

    I agree whoeheartedly with Tara! Every word of it! Remember a couple of weeks ago I was feeling very much the same way as you? Well if it weren't for you and the rest of my Sparkers I don't know where I'd be. It is so good to ask for help. Change it up John. It really does help. Keep tracking your food, even if you do go over. It will keep you accountable. The new class sounds great! Just what you need.

Always your friend,
Debbie

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TNTEACHER2 4/9/2010 9:58AM

    Just think about how surprised that doctor will be when you get to his office! And have a small goal--not another *** pounds in whenever, but five pounds by the end of the class. Of course, it gets harder to lose as you get thinner, so rejoice in smaller amounts.

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DOLLIE6 4/9/2010 9:47AM

    John, I'm sorry you have Spring fever.
My husband and I have it. You are doing all the right things but I really think we have to hold on for a little while and it will pass and we will get another burst of do good. That's just my humble opinion. But the main thing and you are doing it is don't gain anything.

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AMABILE75 4/9/2010 9:43AM

    John,

It looks like you have already been given some truly wonderful advice! :) emoticon

My two cents, for what it's worth...

Remember this is a lifestyle change you are working on, so it is very important that you find ways to introduce new things on a regular basis. Even if that is coming up with a rotation of the same things but you put a few aside for a bit so they seem new again later. Think about YOU and what YOU like. When it comes to exercise, don't forget to find something away from the gym! What do you like? Do you like to walk, run, play ball, ride a bike, swim, golf, etc. Find something that interests you, something that you think you would really enjoy doing for years to come! This introduces a more active lifestyle, a way to get exercise in without it feeling like exercise!!! I'm not saying to do this in place of the gym, but to consider other things you can do so that when you miss a day at the gym you still have an active life. (Definitely mix it up at the gym too!! You shouldn't do the same workout long term, it needs to change.)

I personally find it exciting to look for new healthy things to eat! I don't know if you can do this or if I'm just a nut LOL but you might try it!! I go through phases, sometimes I back off completely. When I do this, I pick a category and search for options within it that are healthy and don't feel like diet food to me. I've done this with veggies, sweets, main dishes, and overall snacks. It is exciting when you find hat new gem that you can eat and feel like you are cheating but in reality it is well within your limits and possibly even *gasp* HEALTHY! :)

Really, the best advice I have though is.... Read The Spark!!! I can't stress enough how much I got from that book!!! I thought I knew all about SparkPeople since I joined back in 2006, but reading The Spark was a true eye opener for me!!! SOOO MOTIVATIONAL!!!
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Thanks for reaching out to us my friend!! I know you'll do great, because that is who you are. :)

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Tara

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1WALKINGMAN 4/9/2010 9:33AM

    Shaking things up a little is always good for us. you can go back to the regular routine, but variety is the spice of life. emoticon

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GEINAHG0757 4/9/2010 9:25AM

    Your idea about the "investment" of a class is excellent! When you get "burned out" on one way of doing something, do something else. My employer offers multiple "challenges" throughout the year. Somehow, having your picture on the "Winner of the Week" plaque outside the cafeteria makes you try harder.
I know I got a little burned out on the constant running when I was training for my most recent marathon. So now I am doing more cycling with some running thrown in. It really helped!
One other idea for you...a few sessions with a personal trainer. Wow, did that have a big impact on my level of fitness. I learned all kinds of new things.
As for weighing, I hear folks say, "Weigh every day." And others say, "Don't use the scale as your guide - weigh monthly." You have to do what works for you.
Hang in there, sir! WE ARE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU!!!

Geinah
(P.S. Everyone is entitled to a "blah" day - and needs it!)

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VTORIA3 4/9/2010 9:21AM

    For me, I get blah when I'm working hard and it does not yield results on the scale or a change in hip or waist measurements. Although I am doing everything right, and my pace is manageable, and overall the weight trend is downward, I am pushing myself to remain consistent. I am disappointed and I am blah. Like you, I am kickin the exercise up a notch, combined with eating less carbs and the lower end of my daily calorie range. But this is hard, hard, hard. And, I am blah. I go through the motions, cheering others on, and that uplifts my spirits. I go back to another basic: reflect on some positives for the day. Particularly, I can at least exercise. There are some sparkers, for health reasons, who only have their daily nutrition to work with. Other sparkers, have some serious food allergies to contend with. Want to feel especially blessed and moved today? Check out this blog: Nanner2121 April 5, 2010.

Keep the faith....this, too, will pass. And when it does, you will be glad you stayed true to yourself. Hang in there. And I tell you the truth John, some days it was only by reading your blogs, that I felt uplifted for the day. While I walked, I would reflect on what you blogged about, silently and profoundly, you shaped my days. You are only human, and I don't expect you to be "on" every day. Why? Because I am your emoticon. That means we support each other through it ALL, good days and bad. I am in your corner today cheering you on from the side lines. The bad days make us appreciate the good ones all the more. It makes us human. And, that is all good. Have a blessed day! emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/9/2010 9:27:02 AM

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JUSTLYLE 4/9/2010 9:14AM

    It's helpful you decided to change up somethings, that's the great thing about being a farmer, my exercise [work] changes everyday, that sure helps in the summer, winter is where I have trouble. Hang in there John and just keep doin! Patience! You WILL MAKE IT!

Skeeter emoticon

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KAT573 4/9/2010 9:14AM

    It sounds like you have gotten to the real part of the challenge! and You seem to know what it is you need to try out to see if it works for you, and in doing that, you will further see what else you may want to try to augment or refine and customize. This is the real work of Lifestyle change. Nitty gritty.

Motivation definitely is the hardest for many of us, and so I tend to read motivational materials, quotes daily, and tend to look for and balance my negs with pozs; Life IS a balancing act. If one motivational recognition does it for you at the end of 8 weeks, that is wonderful; if you find you need more motivation in between times, you will need to do some customized John work to find what that is.

I have been on here going on four years, and at a plateau for 2 of those; in the meantime, of ups and downs, emotional, physical, etc I have had to work on pinpointing my vulnerabilities and defining my needs into concrete actions. I realized these things:
-I need to learn and define short term, mid term and long term realistic ways of rewarding and affirming positive achievements having not grown up with any. this is my biggest challenge and I intend to work hard on it this spring/summer til I get it where I need it in terms of ACTIONS; this too, can and will change.
-I need to develop an efficient and functional variety of foods that also is balanced
solution: I have been saving and printing out recipes;
challenge: I can get sidetracked, so I need to look more closely at this and it will probably take more work to get it where I want, which means LESS time for friends and fun INITIALLY.
-I need to count my blessings every day
solution: joined the Thanksgiving Team
-I need to make a list of specific actions for the day to come
solution: I sit down and define the goals and then begin building the plan
-I need to check and see what I actually dealt with and move it over and then
solution: think about what is getting in my way or how I myself am, specifically
realization: I had trouble accepting that there are only 24 hours a day; I am not busier than anyone else, I simply would not accept that I had to prioritize and accept reality
--so I dropped teams, reduced friends to a functional, active core and decided to limit the time on the computer
---it is time to adjust in this area again, (and it is never ending because my focus shifts and my paths change, as it should in Life's Journey to become who I am.) and it is not that I don't love everyone, but BECAUSE there is only so much time in a day and we end up having the choice made for us pretty much, who we will touch base with; there is no judgement involved in this; so should you decide you need to narrow your friend base, feel free to drop me without worry! I understand completely.
-- I plan to let folks know WHAT n WHY when I do this, if they are still active; many are not.
I am sure there is more and in fact, I am copying and pasting this to refine it for me, because after all, I am fully responsible for me, not the World, and as paradoxical as that may appear it is an illusion because in fully embracing all of who I am, and what I need in order to BE the most that God intended me to be, I will in turn be doing the best I can for the World as well, and on and on it goes, my friend......this is the song that never ends.
-

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MARENAMOO 4/9/2010 9:11AM

    You have touched an emotional chord with me also. I have reached a plateau in my spark enthusiasm. I feel like in the beginning that I was a witty, daily blogger, was carving out new territory in overeating theory, was making a lot of great friends. Now I seem to be not only blogging less, but also thinking less (but I still am enjoying my friends). I think part of it is the difference between lust and love. I have gotten over the putting my best face forward on those initial dates and I am now in the realization that all I really have is boring old me showing up every day. I have to face the music - will spark still love the real me and will I still love spark and the lifestyle it offers. It all seemed so doable and livable, it held such promise in those early days. Now the realization that slogging to the gym daily and eating well are not going away - this is it baby.

So now I am in the should we get engaged and married stage. Having been married for over 25 years let me tell you that I love my husband but there are stages of stress, boredom, anger, frustration that are coupled with the love, joy, excitement and conviction that it is all worthwhile. So I am going with the idea that I want to make the commitment to Spark and I will endure the down periods because I want to enjoy the good periods - After all until death do we part.

So how to rekindle the flame.

Spice it up - new program is a good idea, so is new recipes, new clothes.

Motivate others - I want to go back a few times a week and encourage first time bloggers - see their fears and hopes and see how far I have come.

Slog it out - sometimes in an old marriage you just sigh and say this too will pass - but I will not lose the commitment or the certainty that I am with the right person.

Comment edited on: 4/9/2010 9:18:49 AM

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JAE_HENNINGTON 4/9/2010 9:08AM

  John, I to have been feeling blah, only my blah has lasted a life time. Most of the time if I am to be honest with myself my blah is a result of my faulty thinking. I have been spending time stop with this happens and change the thought.Not easy to do cause my thoughts are so ingrained and automatic...what can I offer you that might help? Keep doing what you know is the right thing, focus on the positive read your own blogs they are very good reading...and know this, this to shall pass... have a great day John... you can do this, I am sure

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MINENA1 4/9/2010 8:46AM

    John I think you have some great ideas! One, being that you're going to change up your workout routine a little bit by adding Ab-Blast classes. That'll surely get you pumped up again! emoticon Two, joining that 8 week challenge with others supporting you & cheering you on will definitely take that "blah" away. emoticon Three, I was a CONSTANT weigher. I'd weigh myself every single day. But I put myself on a 30 day challenge & I won't be weighing again til the 30th. But do what works for YOU. If weighing in every week is what helps you, then do it. I really hope that blah feeling goes away.
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FOREVERBT 4/9/2010 8:40AM

    oh John I hear you hun, I have been feeling blah and like I am on the verge of failure and I don't want to fail, and the only way to fail is to quit and I don't want to. Sounds like you have a good plan to mix things up a bit, I feel bored with my food too and will have to be better about it.
Even though you are feeling blah you are still an amazing writer!! Thanks for being there for us.
Brenda

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The Me I Be

Thursday, April 08, 2010

When I was in college Mike lived across the hall from me. I always wanted to be like him. He was smart, athletic and was one of those guys who always said and did the right thing. While he was a year older than me, we shared a few classes and I marveled at his insights and his ability to write. Everything about him was perfect.
I lost track of Mike after college. I never did expect to see him again. I had figured he was “headed for the top.” I did run into a mutual friend about fifteen years ago. We played the “What ever happened to…..” game for about an hour and I asked him about Mike. His face, that was animated, did and abrupt turn.

He went on to tell me that Mike hadn’t really faired all that well. He had just ended his third marriage and had problems hanging on to a job. “Really?” I said with my eyes wide. “Really” my friend said.

I remember lying in bed at night and wondering what I had to change to be like Mike and all the other Mike’s I knew. I never got an answer. That’s because there was no answer. I wasn’t Mike. I was John.

Did ya ever notice how we spend so much time trying to change ourselves and when we reach this perceived sort of Nirvana we often are more miserable than when we started? We are always reformulating and reinventing ourselves. Change is a buzz word that is so numbing anymore we aren’t sure what it means, but we know we have to do it or we cant keep up with the pack.

Time for a secret.

You do not have to change anything about you. You are perfect just the way you are. You are loved and capable of loving as much as anyone that ever has been or will be created. Any attempt to alter that unique state into which you were created will produce a person that won’t know how to function in your skin. Sorta like putting a Volkswagen engine into a Chevy or Ford. It just will not work right.

Never, ever change who you are and what you have to offer us. But, (Yeah I know there is always a but) you should improve that already perfect you. Improvement means you find things that work for you and you perfect them. It means being healthier and happier and finding the tools that improve you.

When you want to remodel your house you don’t tear it down. You may replace some windows and doors and the like, add some shrubs and flowers, but you don’t level your home and make a carbon copy of your neighbors. It wouldn’t be your house then, it would be your neighbors.

I hear people say all the time,” I wish I was this or that.” I respond by saying “Then you wouldn’t be you.”

Being authentic and being the perfect you means you accept your faults, your weaknesses, your drawbacks…… whatever you want to call them. You not only accept them you embrace them because they are the stamp that makes you, you.

There is a movie called A Beautiful Mind. It tells the story of a Nobel Prize winning physicist, who was diagnosed as being mentally ill. It seems he saw, and interacted with three people no one else saw. In order to cure him they put him on a ton of medication and the imaginary people went away. The problem was so did his creativity and his ability to work in his field. He stopped taking his pills and told himself that he was just going to have to put up with the fact that there were three people there only he saw. Five years later he won a Nobel Prize.

That movie has always been so powerful to me simply because you and I have those “imaginary people” in our lives. We might call them faults, we may refer to them as bad habits, but they are the very unique stamp that makes us, well it makes me John!!! If I remove any of that I am no longer me.

Yes, I can improve myself. I can learn new techniques. I can find better ways to exercise or to improve my mind but no matter how hard I try I cannot be you, nor you me!! I believe that’s why God made us the way he did, each very different and each offering something to the world no one else can offer.

Don’t compare yourself, don’t judge yourself, but always push yourself to be the better you. Improve, challenge and above all please look in the mirror every morning and know you are special. Know that you are so crucial to some bald, fat guys journey here in Western Kentucky ~~~~ just the way you are!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STEELERCRAZY 4/12/2010 8:05PM

    Oh my! I'm so ridiculously happy that I followed Cheryl over here! This is an awesome blog and I enjoyed each and every word of it. How many times in our lives do we try to reinvent ourselves only to find out those new "shoes" are giving us "blisters?" How many times do we find ourselves saying, "Man, I really wish I was like "So-And-So! She's got it soooo easy!" Nah. Like you, I've finally realized that I'm happy to just be me and that everyone else has their own set of problems. God made me who I am for a reason and the minute that I found peace in my OWN shoes, is the day that I found contentment. And the day that I started to build on a better ME, not make a DIFFERENT me.

Thank you! This was absolutely wonderful!

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GEEMAWEST 4/12/2010 7:44PM

    Another wonderful, meaningful blog! You touch so many people with your words. Please don't ever stop writing your blogs. They're awesome and inspiring.

Cheryl

P.S. My husband has been telling me the same thing for 25 years. Am just now starting to believe it and "come into myself."

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DUTCHIEKIWI 4/12/2010 7:29PM

    Hi there,
(I see I'm a bit behind)

Again, I can feel how you felt as I too have tried my best to become the girls I admired so much for a while.

Slim, well dressed,strong,popular,smart (or so I thought) ,did I mention slim?

I got the 'looks', you wish you were one of us, but you're not.

I went on to loose twenty kilo's this was back in 1998, and low and behold...
I became one of the clan,as all of a sudden they started talking to me, well as you get more attention of the boys... you have to become one them.

Did I like it?

Hell NO!!!

Instead of all the things I thought they were I found out they were superficial, shallow, narrow minded, negative, horribly opinionated about anyone looking slightly off the mark, and not wearing the brand clothing and make up etc

I was disgusted.

The good thing...

I got to show them loud and clear what I actually thought of their group.

Oh how I took back my pride, my power, my belief in myself.

To actually tell them I did not want to be part of their happy little circle.

They did teach me how to swear very colourful, and name those who looked slightly different,words I dare not to repeat now.

facebook can be a funny thing... having a nosy and seeing how they ended up divorced, single with kids, with
'central heating faces' as we call it in dutch.

Oh how lucky I woke up and smelled the coffee!

I love beautiful mind, I own the dvd, not too keen on Russell Crowe, but he was amazing in this film.

I wanna be ME, the BEST I can be.

and you...
you're perfect, just the way you are!


Dutchie

xxx<
BR>

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GETFIT2LIVE 4/8/2010 10:19PM

    John, you do have a way of saying what I need to hear or what I'm thinking about, I'm not sure how you manage that (hmmm, could it be a God thing maybe?). I just wrote in my blog last night about learning to not compare myself to anyone but me. It doesn't matter what someone else has done or is doing; each of us has our own journey that that is as unique as our fingerprints, and learning to celebrate that while never stopping the process of learning and growing and becoming a better 'me' is a major piece to the puzzle we are all trying to figure out for ourselves. We can learn from other people's journeys, but we will never duplicate them, and we should not try. You're a big part of my journey; thanks for sharing so well.

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JURI62 4/8/2010 10:18PM

    I'm trying to stop comparing my "insides" to others "outsides".
I have enough, I do enough, I AM enough!
and so are you!
Hugs, Judy

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GEINAHG0757 4/8/2010 7:27PM

    There was a line in the movie "Private Benjamin" I lived by for years. She was trudging in the rain and hollers out, "I want to wear sandals, I want to go out to lunch, I WANT TO BE NORMAL!" One day I discovered that "normal" was me and only me.
You write the most insightful blogs, sir. Thank you for sharing your world.



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DOLLIE6 4/8/2010 7:26PM

    My husband has for 40 years tried to get me to believe what you just said.

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ANNSTOECKL 4/8/2010 7:06PM

    Tears welling in my eyes, again. I need you in my life, John. Thank you, Ann

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WANDAH3 4/8/2010 6:48PM

    Once again a blog that really touches home, thank you. I used to always want to be "normal". I didn't want to always have to be the responsible one, that one that was considered the "wet blanket" . Wow, what a lot of labels I had for what I didn't want to be and what I thought I wanted to be. Then one day, I came to the realization that all those terms and labels meant something different to each of us. That all the things I considered "not normal" where perfect for me! Those things that I considered words of shame growing up among peers, were actually building blocks to the person that I am today. I am "responsible"...and proud of it, I am a "wet blanket" on things that don't serve me or make someone else's life miserable. I am "normal" and I embrace the "normalcy" that God has blessed me with. Thanks for the reminder.

Hugs,
Wanda

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WEEZIE1122 4/8/2010 5:07PM

    I've never really wanted to "be like" anyone else. I have however wondered what it would be like to "walk in their shoes." Not even famous or beautiful people, but ordinary everyday people. Someone hitch hiking down the street or the mother toting three kids under the age of 5 in the grocery store. Maybe just the old guy sitting on his porch watching the cars go by. This has always helped me keep my life and problems in perspective.
I know that I am lucky. I have a wonderful husband who loves me and three healthy, smart, and lovable kids. Two healthy grand babies now also.


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PSHANKEY 4/8/2010 4:28PM

    Right on! Love the Beautiful Mind connection.

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GREENCAT1 4/8/2010 2:14PM

    What a great message. Thank you John!

Cathy emoticon

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CINDYLUFUS 4/8/2010 12:46PM

    Wow...I love it. Very thought provoking and inspiring :)

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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/8/2010 12:14PM

    I never compare myself to others. I have always competed with myself in order to be the best I can be.

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TRIPLE_EMME 4/8/2010 10:45AM

    Good morning, John.

Thanks for this thought-provoking, well-written blog. Your topic has been in my thoughts for a couple of weeks, actually. (I think you're scanning my brain!) emoticon

It seems that I am on a constant quest to perfect myself. I think change is good. I would get bored if I didn't push myself to try different things, challenge my thinking, and be a better version of me. I accept that I am a work in progress. I also accept that I'll be a work in progress for the remainder of my life; for if I stop pushing myself, I've given up an aspect of my personality that makes me, ME.

FYI: I like you just the way YOU are!


emoticon

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EDWINA172 4/8/2010 9:59AM

    WOW! Another great blog. Don't stop writing. You are helping more people than you realize.

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NOTANORMALMAMA 4/8/2010 9:43AM

    Wow John, thank you so much for this. This is just what I needed to hear today.

I am what I am...and I am improving all the time...

thank you again!

Keep on Sparkin'

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STORMTMB 4/8/2010 9:22AM

    We are a collection of our experiences and feelings. We can't change that nor should we try. As you said, we just need to make the very best person that we can. Well said.

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DEVENIRBELLE 4/8/2010 9:12AM

    Great insights. Introspection is important. It helps us understand who we are. Thanks.

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WALKNLOVE 4/8/2010 9:11AM

    God made each of us uniquely special with our own set of gifts and abilities and none of us are alike, so why try to be something we are not?
I used to look at certain people & think, I want to be like them...they are so gifted/talented/have it all together...news flash:NO THEY DON"T.It might look that way outwardly, but we are all human, and therefore, none of us are perfect! All the more reason to just strive to be the best "ME", because the way I see it...Me is pretty good cause God don't make no junk!

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FREDIA2 4/8/2010 9:07AM

    Your blog touches so much of what we try to do and what we should be thankful for
You really captured the essence of all of us. emoticon

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JUSTLYLE 4/8/2010 9:02AM

    Another GREAT blog John. My niece's son was married this past month, knowing I had been married over 52 years asked for some "words of wisdom" from the Ole Duffer, on short notice I said always let her pick out the Christmas tree and # 2 don't ever try to change her, what you married is what you get. Of course my hope is she won't try to change him either. We are who we are!

Skeeter emoticon

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VTORIA3 4/8/2010 9:01AM

    Each of us was created with our own special talents. It is important to really know oneself and to use those gifts to make our world a better place. It is then, that we understand our real purpose in life. We may never be a scientist or a nobel prize winner, maybe our gift is to be a better human being, offering encouragement where ever we can as a parent, a colleague, a friend, a boss. I only wish I had been this aware when I was in my thirties, as I was trying with such intensity to figure out what I was supposed to be. Years later, I am proud of who I am, not every day and in every moment...for I am and will always be, "a works in progress."

Great blog, John, thanks for sharing it. emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/8/2010 9:02:30 AM

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MARCYNA 4/8/2010 8:56AM

    I just loved it....thanks!!!
You always touch some soft spot in my heart.
Perhaps you've thought of somehow being able to contact Mike, I'm sure you'd both inspire each other emoticon emoticon
PS I met my old school friends and the most 'perfect' girl in my class looks now like my grandma when she was 70 years old...

Comment edited on: 4/8/2010 8:58:31 AM

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JAE_HENNINGTON 4/8/2010 8:29AM

  You most likely don't have any idea how really amazing you are. You have spoke to my heart this morning. I am wrestling with these very issues. Your words give me hope. Thank you for being you and sharing your heart. I can't speak for everyone else but to me, you are a true gift.

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DOLLBABE56 4/8/2010 8:27AM

    Thank you John for yet another inspiring blog! We are all a work in progress. I have had the same "comparison" challenge all my life. Well, until recently. I believe now that the past three years have brought me back to genuine self. I like me now. I found this quote earlier this week. It has become my mantra Here it is:

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. - e.e. cummings

(although, some part of me will never grow up - not if I can help it!)

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JCDROLSHAGEN 4/8/2010 8:26AM

    John,
You have outdone yourself with this blog. It is the best you've written to date. I love the John Forbes analog. I loved that movie...look at how far he made it dealing with his particular challenge. It is a wonderfully inspiring story.
Have a great day.
From one of your many friends here at SP...one (increasingly less) chubby, 50ish Teen Librarian in the Garden State emoticon

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ENJOYINGMYLIFE 4/8/2010 8:15AM

  Well said, as always! If anyone has trouble and needs help incorporating this concept in their lives, I read a book a few years ago that helped me to discover and accept the self that I was made to be. It made me cry and freed me... it's called The Cure for the Common Life by Max Lucado. Sorry for the commercial, but your blog is inspiring and I think it would help people who don't know, how to work in that direction. Again, thanks for sharing! Blessings! Cathy

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CMBELISLE 4/8/2010 8:04AM

    Somewhere along the way, I learned that I could not be friends with someone without being me. Sure, I can put on my work face and be whoever it is I need to be at work, but with friends, true friends, I have to be me.

From the freckle-faced, nasally girl in Georgia to the balding, fat but shrinking guy in Western Kentucky, thank you for accepting me as I am - just me.

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AMABILE75 4/8/2010 8:01AM

    I think John is just wonderful the way he is!!! :-) Sure you are trying to improve yourself, but that desire to improve yourself coupled with the follow through you have, makes you even better!! You are strong, inspiring, funny, thoughtful, kind, (the list goes on and on!) It is sooo easy to see how you are wonderful and shouldn't want to be like somebody else.

Now putting those shoes on myself are a bit more challenging, but I totally agree with everything you said. It is something I'll continue to work on. Thanks once again for a wonderful thought provoking blog. :)

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WARNING: If You Are Looking For Warm and Fuzzy Ya Might Wanna Skip This One

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I learn a lot from my granddaughter every time I am with her. Kids are amazingly honest and they don’t have a lot of inhibitions. They have to grow up and become and wise, sorta like me and you, before they learn the art of being secretive and defensive. Little kids thrive on praise. Give it to them and they do a few cart wheels, a hand stand and throw ya a smile that could block the sun and utter at least three or four dozen” thank you’s.” All of that is usually followed be a hug or if you are lucky a kiss. They smile a lot, laugh a lot and are very honest about how they feel. When they are hungry they want to eat. When they are tired they want to sleep. It’s not rocket science to them. If you hurt their feelings they tell you about it and then very calmly, while looking you square in the eye, they tell you how you are supposed to behave.

Then they grow up and because they go through some experiences in their lives that shake their confidence instead of taking a deep breath and asking what they learned here, they decide, very much like I decided at one point in my life that its best to keep everyone, not just the jerks, but everyone at arm’s length. It’s really safer that way, right? No chance of exposing your vulnerabilities, right?
Some of us use humor; some of us develop a quick mind followed by a quick tongue to banish anyone who comes close to finding out where we might be weak or fragile.

“We shall never be hurt again.” This time we really mean it. But if you are reading this you are a Spark friend. Just because you do not show up in my cute little roster of friends doesn’t mean you aren’t my Spark friend. We just aint done the formal invite thing, followed by the effusive thanks and all that neat stuff. I digress.
If you are here and reading this you and I share a common bond, we use food as our defense mechanism. Oh, we might describe it more high brow terms or couch it in a bit of sorrow and pity, but as one of my uncles used to say “You can’t BS a BS’er.

Somewhere, someplace, sometime we had a really bad experience in our lives and unlike a young child who cries about it for a period of time and then deals with it, me and you stuffed all those things deep inside of us and dealt with them every time we rolled by the local buffet table. We got bigger and more out of shape and then one day we hung a sign around our neck that said “Have pity on me.”

There are so many people who tried to help. If we close our eyes we see them parade by and we see how we sabotaged those relationships by making them all but impossible for the other person.

“But,” you say. “They don’t understand us.”

No they understand us all too well. They understand that when they get too close we cut and run or throw road blocks in their paths that make it impossible to deal with us or sometimes even love us. That’s so we can go back to our misery.

Don’t misunderstand me. I know people with genuine issues in their lives, some of them have become dear Spark friends. They are struggling with issues that are threatening their very existence. Here I sit worried about who likes me and who don’t and what sorta trophy I am going to win next month for waddling around a track.

We write a kind note, send a Spark Gift and offer “prayers.” Then we toddle on into our own lives and deal with issues mostly of my creating.

“Whoaaa, John. Dude, why so, so, negative?”

I woke up this morning and as I began my day it dawned on me that the best example I can be to someone, to anyone in my life is to be honest, to be healthy and to be loving. It means I will go through some discomfort and I will stumble and I will fail but ultimately I will succeed. I will let you see me and even though I am very scared that you will no longer care for me I will do it anyways because in the end I believe that we need something to hold on to when the waves get a bit too rough.

This journey, if I do it right, does not get easier it gets harder. I need you. I cant do this alone and I am scared.

This journey, if performed correctly, shows me with all my warts so they can be removed, one by one, not to make me perfect, but to make me real. That means I drop the defenses and open myself to REAL health




  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUST_TRI_IT 4/8/2010 10:48PM

    hey John...
Being this honest is another example of how you support others and yourself. Being this honest is a gift to others and yourself. Being this honest brings insight to others and yourself. If it is not food that we hide behind, we hide behind something else that holds people at arm's length. Food for considerable thought.

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KAT573 4/8/2010 8:33PM

    Came into my mind: 3 quotes from M.Scott Peck:

1.“Problems do not go away. They must be worked through or else they remain, forever a barrier to the growth and development of the spirit.”
2. “The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”
3. “Until you value yourself, you won't value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.”

and ultimately, Nelson Mandela noted:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” emoticon

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KLEONIKI 4/8/2010 5:00PM

    Dear john emoticon!
I know very well this "touch me not" sign; was wearing it for years.
And it was not only fear of loosing those around me; it was also fear of loosing my poor hardly gained self respect.
Being open, risking talking about my feelings ,expressing even those REALLY DANGEROUS ones is my very bet at present.
I am challenging myself to theatrical exposure not pretending someone else but bearing fragments of my own TRUTH being always me, up there in front of..
I am practising in not only letting the others see my liquid ,unformed inner parts, my fears and my weaknesses but even invite them to do so as a first movement for disarmament and peace.
It is a better life this life it is like children do .
Υou feel blessed and free and little by little you get all the pliability and elasticity needed to survive bending under the wind than to die broken.
I wish i could give you a real hug my good friend but i will just limit in the virtual one emoticon emoticon

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DAISY443 4/8/2010 2:32PM

    You wrote about me! I know the reasons why I am the way I am, but have trouble letting go of it! How brave you are to honestly share in your blog. Maybe that is the first step to healing!

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WALKNLOVE 4/8/2010 9:02AM

    You speak the truth! Isn't that why we are here...to discover our true self? The thin, healthy(in and outside),beautiful one inside us wanting to break free?We have to expose the good, the bad and the ugly to get healing, to make healthy habits(whether they involve eating, our actions, or how we let other people affect us).And you are so right, we can't do it alone.We need each other! AND most of all, we need the help of our Savior, so he can save us from our own selves and our distructive behaviors that seek to sabbotage everything we are working for.May we all be successful and in doing so, may we bring glory to our Lord Jesus Christ! Because GOD KNOWS we couldn't do this without him!
Blessings to you my dear spark friend,John!

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MARCYNA 4/8/2010 8:45AM

    Honestly, I don't know if I can let go of my defenses. I know they're there and somehow look at people through them. I wish I could let them down, maybe I will one day!!!
Thanks, John, reading your blog I had to reflect on this mechanism and how to cope with it emoticon emoticon

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JURI62 4/8/2010 6:42AM

    Wow! This is a powerful blog. One I could have written myself. I isolate, I play the victim card, I hide behind sarcasm and anger. Our awareness is the first step to change, so we're doing great. One day at a time we are facing our traits that no longer serve us and replacing them with healthy options.
Hugs, Judy

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HAPPY-DESTINY 4/8/2010 12:53AM

    FOR ME: To 'like' someone means to enjoy being around them!

To 'love' someone means unselfish constructive action for the benefit of others...expecting nothing in return!

If I don't 'like' you . . that is about me . . not about you!

It is MY choice and there is nothing you can do to change that!

I can 'love' anyone..anywhere..at any time !

It is MY choice and there is nothing you can do to change that!

If I don't 'like' nor 'love' myself . . No thing nor No one will ever fill the hole nor the whole! Not food . .not alcohol . . not sex . . not gambling . . not anything but self-love and self-acceptance!

I 'like' me . . even if/when you don't!

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LAURIEKRGR 4/7/2010 11:52PM

    Hi John, never read your blogs before, but I have to say I am very touched. Thank you so much for sharing.

I believe that when we share our experiences we can then feel our own strengths and see our hope! When I signed on to this site, I thought long and hard about a program of healthy living for myself and you hit on it very well. Let me share my program with you... To be true to this site and myself. Honesty, perseverance, integrity and sensibility. I have to use all of these tools to keep myself in check, a sort of "hip check" for me on how I am doing daily. I also use "one day at a time" because we are not perfect and that ALLOWS me to be moving towards progress, not perfection! I practice these tools everyday, in every aspect of my life -- they are my life savers.

I love that you are so honest and share. I will be back and please let me share my site with you, take a peek and take what you need.

Love your words, Miss Laurie

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DUTCHIEKIWI 4/7/2010 11:29PM

    We're big, bold, loud, laugh a lot... and are masters at putting a face on.

That together with stuffing our faces protects us... well that's what we thought.

However you want to approach it, I now know, it was and is the wrong thing to do, the wrong way to go.

Keeping people at arms length, stops you from finding that true friendship that really we all long for.

But sometimes in life, I need a bit of that "It's my space and get the bloody hell out of it!!"

To find not long after that I'm wondering why I don't have those deep friendships some people have.

This time, I WANT IT ALL.
This time I"M GOING FOR GOAL!
This time I have got the friendships I need to get on with it,

I will fall down again, for sure, but not for long.

This time, YOU will be there to pick me up and tell me to get my butt back into gear.

It's gonna make all the difference between failure and success.

Scared? Yeah, sometimes I'm sh#tting myself as in the past, I as so many of us have lost it all, and gained it back plus more.

My biggest fear was to gain the weight again...
So why did I let it...????

An answer I have not. Sometimes things happen in life and you will never really find the answer.

That's okay.... realise what happened, dust yourself off and start again.

I am not going to let it happen again, how I can truly say, believe and know this again, I don't know.

It's the tingle in my tummy, it's the determination in my head, it's my attitude towards life that has changed enormously.

I found friends here I trust with my deepest darkest mistakes, with my faults I had and still have, because I KNOW...

This time, YOU will be there, you won't judge me for failure, as I won't judge you.
You will reach out for me, hold my hand and pull me back up as I will always do for you.

We might have baggage, but this time we really learn how to deal with it, to share it and to move on.

To show your fear, to show you're scared is an achievement on it's own.

We have come a long way, and we will go ALL the way,
This time, TOGETHER!

Love Dutchie

xxx

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CRAZYGAGRANNY 4/7/2010 9:55PM

    emoticonI love the way you put every day life into normal every day words!
We are all working toward the same goals and there are no "sugar" coating to the fact we all need support,motivation and love to get us through this journey!

Becoming aware first to the hard truths to ourselves then others is one of the first steps! We must realize like you said...what got us to this point!

Thank you John. Please keep the words of wisdom coming! I do so enjoy them!

Barbara emoticon

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GEEMAWEST 4/7/2010 8:40PM

    John,

I so love your honesty and how you "tell it like it is". You speak for so many of us. I too am scared and find that I am only willing to show a very few select friends all my warts.

As always, you are an inspiration to me. I'm here for you, dude!

Cheryl aka G-Ma

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JUANITAGUERNSEY 4/7/2010 7:49PM

    Gee, John. Thanks for your insight. I wish I had your writing talent. You put me right in the heart of the situation. Keep writing. It's probably helping so many of us whether we choose to admit it or not. If not today, perhaps it will become quite obvious a ways down the road and we will have that "aha moment". I have been there and still am there in so many ways. Developing honesty with self is a true challenge for me. I'll keep working at it. emoticon

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JCDROLSHAGEN 4/7/2010 7:27PM

    John, we are all in this thing together, imperfections and all. Keep up the good work.

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REMODELINGPAT 4/7/2010 4:59PM

    Oh, John! Once again you have nailed us! We DO try to hide from others as well as from ourselves. And it's only when we start digging beneath the disguises and probing the true self that we are able to achieve our goals. For some of us, this will take a whole lot longer than it will for others. But it will be worth it for us all!

Blessings!

Pat

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TULIPCHICK91 4/7/2010 2:34PM

    You have aptly communicated what I have been thinking about all week - the fear, the cutting off of relationships, etc. Thanks for keeping it real!

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DOLLIE6 4/7/2010 2:28PM

    Life is a trip pleasant or unpleasant. It's up to you. Total honesty is so freeing.
We are all trying to find our way on this trip some have better maps that others.
I'm proud you are finding out exciting things on your trip and it is fun to have friends on our journey. I must say your wife must be a special person to love you bumps and all. I have a husband like that that knows me pretty well and he lets me learn about myself and always encourages me. I love reading all the blogs as we have ah ha moments and share. It helps me to look at myself honestly. Peace and love to you and your family.

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GETFIT2LIVE 4/7/2010 12:39PM

    We can learn so much from children--their honesty, trust, and ability to absolutely BE in the moment. Maybe that's why Jesus tells us that we need to become like little children. Until we are able to be honest with ourselves, to stop hiding from the truth of where we are and how we got here, we cannot begin the process of healing and changing that we so desperately need. Thank you for sharing; you always seem to say something I need to hear and think about. I love the way SparkPeople has brought us all together so we can support and encourage and sometimes give a swift kick in the behind to one another; makes me believe we really will all make it together.


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MOMMABOF7 4/7/2010 12:34PM

    I love the honesty! This journey to new health really is calling me to be honest about life and why I make the choices I am making...not just food, but in all aspects. I love your writing!

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CAROLYN0107 4/7/2010 12:04PM

    Thanks John for being Real! Great blog.

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ENJOYINGMYLIFE 4/7/2010 11:45AM

  I subscribed to your blog. You are very good at putting these truths into words! Keep writing! Blessings, Cathy

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AMYTATH 4/7/2010 11:26AM

    John,
I think alot of us are scared and too afraid to admit it. It takes alot to openly admit it and I am proud of you for that. We are here for you...warts and all! lol =D

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KARENE10 4/7/2010 11:19AM

    Great Blog! emoticon

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RONDAJONES 4/7/2010 10:35AM

    Great blog! I know exactly what you mean. Thanks for sharing...and I am adding you as a friend too.

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TNTEACHER2 4/7/2010 10:29AM

    You are correct abouot most things in this blog, John, but why have "prayers" in quotation marks? Some of us do pray for our friends.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/7/2010 10:16AM

    Great blog!!

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JAE_HENNINGTON 4/7/2010 10:08AM

  this is amazing... you say the things that have been going on in my mind for quite few days. I was with my granddaughter yesterday (she is three) We are outside and she found a bug. She was so fascinated that whe watched with so much excitement over that bugs comings and goings... I was in awe of her that she could find so much joy in the smallest of things. It was a sad reminder to me that life has become very dead to me and not much physical and mental energy to do anything about it...I miss that joy that can be found in life
I have hidden my true self from others and even sadder myself.I want to be free of this bondage...pray that I will have the courage...maybe I should have put this a blog

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SAMGERBINE 4/7/2010 9:41AM

    You said it perfectly! I love reading your blogs :)

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NJMATTICE 4/7/2010 9:37AM

    I'm not sure why you felt a warning was required.
Yes. The big fat hurt little girl still resides here. She just has a new adult friend who empowers her to think it through and make her best choices. Just like big John helps little John. Have a good day and don't forget to let little John out to play.
Love,
Nancy

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STORMTMB 4/7/2010 9:27AM

    As I've said before, I like direct. Honesty cuts through all of the warm and fuzzy (crap). True friends are the ones who know you and love you anyway - just as you are. That's why they are rare and precious. I like you more with each blog, dude.

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WORKINGSTIFF 4/7/2010 9:14AM

    John-

So true, your every word. This journey, which may start out about weight loss, turns into something much deeper for those who have the courage to continue.

Being vunerable also means that when revealing one's self to others we show that we have a confidence in who and what we are; we can take the slings and arrows of those who are different than we are or who may turn out to be critical of us. Just the fact that we open up means that we better know our own selves.

I've added you as a friend and I hope you don't mind. I wouldn't want to miss any "non fuzzy" blogs...

Best to you!

Helen

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YOYONOMORE1 4/7/2010 9:05AM

    It's not always easy to be honest with ourselves, if we don't like what we see in ourselves there's that fear that others won't either, but just think of the feedom we'd all have if we'd just be ourselves. Very good blog and thank you for being honest and brave enough to put yourself out there. Have a blessed day.

Hugs,
Shirl

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FOREVERBT 4/7/2010 8:59AM

    you are a great writer and express yourself wonderfully.


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RHIPEA76 4/7/2010 8:50AM

    This is the truth, John. While the positivity and cheerfulness I see on SP is what keeps me coming back here every day, I realize that it's possible that most of us aren't taking the time to deal with the real, non-weight issues. In my case, I keep myself SO BUSY with school and homework and going to the park to run and tracking my food and planning healthy meals, that I have little time to THINK. A therapist once told me, "you HAVE to sit by yourself with your pain, Rhiannon," and I've yet to learn to take that advice. I wouldn't even know where to start.

I guess my point is...sometimes I (we) need the opposite of warm and fuzzy. Because the reality is, when I'm down to 125, I'll still be ME in here (which is a little scary). My mom says, "wherever you go...there you are."

Yikes!

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JUSTLYLE 4/7/2010 8:22AM

    Great blog again John, we all have many of the same feelings. This journey is not a short one but long and steady, we are in the latter. We WILL succeed! It WILL BE DONE!

Skeeter emoticon

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PEABODYPEGGY 4/7/2010 8:19AM

    Thank you John. I see myself in a lot of what you are saying . Your post was deeper than "warm and fuzzy" , it's more like a wave washing over and through. I thank you for your candor.



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Comment edited on: 4/7/2010 8:21:26 AM

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DOLLBABE56 4/7/2010 8:18AM

    You know John, I understand how you feel - although I have a tendency to let people "in" too much at times.This is what happened to me 3 years ago, and it completely unsettled me. I am just now realizing how much. After working at a wonderful store, it closed. They were my second family and I couldn't let them go. I won't go into details right now because it still hurts. I missed everyone terribly. Still do. I am afraid of letting anyone "in". Thank goodness for my Spark friends. You have helped me almost as much as my doctor. Dr. John, that's what I should call you! lol
Have a great day!!!

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MARENAMOO 4/7/2010 7:52AM

    Sometimes I feel like the proverbial onion (although now that I think about it onions probably were not mentioned in Proverbs, but I digress) - peeling back the layers with each blog I read, each emotion that I don't feed with food but try to unravel instead, each mile I log - each day that I am on Spark. I think there are many reasons for overeating - many emotional, many because as a society we just don't apply moderation to food. These are thinking errors and habits that need to be adjusted, re-learned and made healthy. The only way this will work is to be honest - I try and sometimes succeed - I see that your self honesty is well developed - bravo.

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CROBINGO 4/7/2010 7:44AM

    Honesty is a rare commodity. Many times we don't appreciate it when we hear it or we are afraid to give it. As you say, being honest and real as ourselves is a scary prospect because if we REALLY put ourselves out there and then get rejected, it is so hard such a big hurt.

Good for you for taking that step although from what I see, you are a pretty honest person in your feelings, how you portray yourself. So you must have been on this path for a while. Congratulations.

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AMABILE75 4/7/2010 7:43AM

    emoticon Doesn't it feel good to be honest with yourself and others? It may be difficult to do, and yes quite scary... but when you step back in the end you can smile and feel good about what you just did. emoticon

We all need to hear this and accept our own truth. Thank you for bringing this to light to help others begin their process of realizing this as well. Together, we will succeed. Together we will support each other. Together.

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WANDAH3 4/7/2010 7:34AM

    John, one of the biggest things that has drawn me to you in friendship is your willingness to be honest! Thank you my friend.

Hugs,
Wanda

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CICITOO 4/7/2010 7:29AM

    Oh, John, do I ever hear you ! It's as though you were speaking outloud a lot of things I have been thinking.. Thank you for sharing this. emoticon

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HIPPIEFREAK66 4/7/2010 7:25AM

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