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JOHNTJ1's Recent Blog Entries

Many Thanks

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A very quick but hopefully sincere note to thank all of you who posted your feelings, reactions and comments on my Friday blog "After Much Thought: My Four Months As A Spark Person."

I usually try to respond to each person individually, because I know how good it makes me feel when I get a response on my Spark page. However........... LOL, as I am writing this blog post 190 of you have taken the time to post comments. I am using this blog as my way of conveying my thanks to all of you who took the to contact me.

I guess I was right, this is the very best group of people I have ever met. Your support and your love is tremendous

Thank you again

Much Love

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNMOONSTAR9 4/21/2010 1:49PM

  emoticon

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JJSSKINNYGIRL 4/19/2010 4:54PM

    emoticon

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AMABILE75 4/19/2010 7:57AM

    No, Thank YOU! emoticon

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WANDAH3 4/19/2010 7:31AM

    The Law of Attraction is at work in your life John!!

Hugs,
Wanda

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DUTCHIEKIWI 4/19/2010 1:34AM

    That's quite alright 'oll fella ;0)

( show off! (0; )

Dutchie
x

Comment edited on: 4/19/2010 1:36:00 AM

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1WALKINGMAN 4/18/2010 10:50PM

    Your welcome John. Is my check in the mail?

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ELIZABETH525 4/18/2010 10:21PM

    wow 190 comments! I want that kind of popularity! I wnat to spread that kind of inspiration!

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TEDYBEAR2838 4/18/2010 9:18PM

    You are doing a great job and you are an inspiration to all of us.

Keep on Sparking!

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JPRICE217 4/18/2010 8:48PM

    emoticon

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DOLLBABE56 4/18/2010 8:10PM

    Thank you too John.

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GREENCAT1 4/18/2010 7:29PM

    Thanks John!

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KIMMERQU 4/18/2010 6:35PM

    John,I nearly cried when I read your Friday blog. You put into words what so many of us feel. I thank you for that. And emoticon on all your success so far. Great job!
Hugs, Kim

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Odds and Ends and Catching Up

Friday, April 16, 2010

I thought I’d write a quick blog on the boring stuff, lol.

Some of you asked about Christa, the fitness instructor at my gym, how “our relationship is proceeding,” so to speak. Let me just say: Not as well as I had hoped it would. She speaks to me but only because one of the other trainers remarked how good I looked and Christa was present at the time. She forced a smile and nodded a bit. I did initiate a conversation with her later on and she talked to me for a few seconds but the look on her face was one of extreme discomfort. I have decided that it’s not me (LOL) or her either. I think she is a very reticent person. I think she is not comfortable talking with people she doesn’t know real well. That is the exact opposite of how I am. One of my daughter-in-laws said a polite way of describing me is “sociable.” In other words if you hold still for ten minutes I’ll talk to you. It doesn’t matter if I know you or not and it doesn’t matter what we talk about. Joan suggested that poor Christa might be a bit overwhelmed by “sociable” me.

My Ab-Blast class is well it’s a blast LOL. The young lady who really does resemble a Barbie doll has been so nice to me. At our second class on Wednesday we had to pair off in teams to do some medicine ball exercises and she walked up to me and said, “Me and you will be partners, okay?” Poor thing, I almost crushed her once when we sat back to back passing a ten pound medicine ball. She high fived me at the end of class and went bouncing away with a smile on her face. I really appreciate her adopting me. My daughters know her from high school and both say she is just a genuinely sweet person. She works at the gym part time and does musical productions at Dollywood and places like that during the summer. The class itself is going well. I am sore but a good kind of sore and even though it has only been two classes I feel a bit more limber.

The instructor told me I should take her yoga classes and that would help me build some resilience and stabilize my core. Another fitness instructor told me I should do weight training because it will build muscles and burn fat even while I am at rest.
This is all sorta interesting to me because three weeks ago these folks didn’t know I existed. All of a sudden people started noticing that I am getting in shape and so now I got all sorts of people wanting to adopt me so to speak. Andy Warhol said we all are entitled to fifteen minutes of fame. I’m enjoying mine because I know some new kid will knock me off sooner or later.

Joan and I are going to Thunder Over Louisville this weekend. It marks the beginning of the Kentucky Derby Festival. It is a huge air show and fireworks display that about a million people attend. Joan loves fireworks and it has been a few years since we attended so we’re leaving tonight and will be back Sunday. I am not taking my lap top but will track my food the old fashioned way, LOL.

Finally, if you get a chance CROBINGO wrote a really good blog this morning on rest, sleep and weight loss. It was a good reminder.

Oh, yeah. Some of you have asked me to post a picture of Joan so you can see what she looks like. She has agreed to do it but says the setting has to be the right one.
See ya Monday, much love to all and have a Spark filled weekend


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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIASTER 4/18/2010 12:56PM

  Your Friday blog is burned into my memory forever. Are you sure you are not a professional writer? You reached out and touched how many hearts and souls ?
So many people are afraid of going to the gym and yet it is full of people that really want to help you be the best that you can be, not people that are thinking oh my gosh how can someone that size even show their face in here. Have you noticed that with each pound lost one becomes more socially acceptable? All of a sudden people actually see you as a person, not averting their eyes and actually engaging you in conversations? I find this both joyful and annoying, but do love meeting new people even though 100# AGO THEY WOULD HAVE JUST PASSED ON BY.
tHANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR BEAUTIFUL BLOGS. kEEP UP THE GREAT WORK.



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DIASTER 4/18/2010 12:56PM

  Your Friday blog is burned into my memory forever. Are you sure you are not a professional writer? You reached out and touched how many hearts and souls ?
So many people are afraid of going to the gym and yet it is full of people that really want to help you be the best that you can be, not people that are thinking oh my gosh how can someone that size even show their face in here. Have you noticed that with each pound lost one becomes more socially acceptable? All of a sudden people actually see you as a person, not averting their eyes and actually engaging you in conversations? I find this both joyful and annoying, but do love meeting new people even though 100# AGO THEY WOULD HAVE JUST PASSED ON BY.
tHANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR BEAUTIFUL BLOGS. kEEP UP THE GREAT WORK.



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DIASTER 4/18/2010 12:56PM

  Your Friday blog is burned into my memory forever. Are you sure you are not a professional writer? You reached out and touched how many hearts and souls ?
So many people are afraid of going to the gym and yet it is full of people that really want to help you be the best that you can be, not people that are thinking oh my gosh how can someone that size even show their face in here. Have you noticed that with each pound lost one becomes more socially acceptable? All of a sudden people actually see you as a person, not averting their eyes and actually engaging you in conversations? I find this both joyful and annoying, but do love meeting new people even though 100# AGO THEY WOULD HAVE JUST PASSED ON BY.
tHANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR BEAUTIFUL BLOGS. kEEP UP THE GREAT WORK.



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TNTEACHER2 4/17/2010 8:14PM

    I hope you had a great weekend, skinny.

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CROBINGO 4/17/2010 9:11AM

    John - thanks for liking my blog enough to mention it! WOW! You just made my morning! (Great way to start a Saturday and it is all because of you my friend...you made a difference in my life today...thanks)

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SPARKENISTA 4/16/2010 9:47PM

    John--If nothing else you are certainly having an adventure. I'm glad that you're having fun and getting fit simultaneously. What could be better than that?

Horses are a passion of mine. I don't know that there will be horses where you are going, but it certainly sounds like fun. I hope that you and Joan have a great time. Can't wait to see her pic.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/16/2010 9:42PM

    You are becoming very popular at the gym. Take these people up on their offers. They know what they are talking about.

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DOLLBABE56 4/16/2010 8:36PM

    Enjoy your weekend! Sounds like fun.

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YOYONOMORE1 4/16/2010 6:55PM

    Sounds like Joan and you have a pretty nice weekend planned. I am sorry, but when you said you almost crushed your partner, I had to giggle, it's good to hear that you are enjoying your class and the attention. Will be looking for that picture of Joan.

Hugs,
Shirl

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TINKERBELL200 4/16/2010 6:28PM

    Glad to see your classes are going well. I can't wait to see Joan's pic. It sounds like you have an awesome weekend planned. It feels good when people adopt you and show you the ropes. I guess you are a bit sociable!!! LOL! My hubby is the same way, that and everywhere we go dinner, shopping etc. someone knows him!!! Enjoy your weekend!
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Lynne

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STORMTMB 4/16/2010 5:22PM

    I'd have to admit that I'd be like Christa. I sort of hate people that I don't know talking to me, like cashiers or people in the grocery store. My Dad talks to everybody and I feel akward just being there when he does... I still say that she'll warm up to you and will be calling you Dude by the end of the year. Just let her watch you from a distance for a while. I need about a year with people (in person) before I trust them and call them friend.

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WANDAH3 4/16/2010 4:35PM

    Some how John, I think you would be very easy to "adopt". Love how much you are enjoying your classes.
I'm off to check on Crobingo's blog, she is an amazing lady and I really appreciate her support and encouragement.

Have a fantastic weekend. Joan, I'm looking forward to the picture!

Hugs,
Wanda

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KAT573 4/16/2010 3:47PM

    enjoyed the update and the experiences shared at the gym; can't wait to see your wife!

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GETFIT2LIVE 4/16/2010 3:46PM

    Good to hear the update, John; I'm glad you're enjoying the Ab-Blast class and that you at least have something figured out with Christa. Funny how someone in a job that requires a ton of personal interaction can be so reserved, isn't it? I suspect that I may come across as 'reticent' in person as well without intending to. I love meeting people but am insecure enough that I'm reluctant to initiate conversations with strangers. Ah well, I digress; thanks for keeping us posted on the progress. As soon as I'm back from vacation, I'm going to get into a class at my gym; you inspire me to give it a try.

I'm glad to see some of my SparkFriends have found your blogs, too, and are your friends as well. I discovered your page through Tara and am so glad I did; you have a way of saying what I need to hear or have been thinking about. Have a wonderful weekend away, I've always wanted to see some of the festivities surrounding the Derby!

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CMBELISLE 4/16/2010 3:30PM

    I had a really great Yoga instructor the first time I started taking Yoga. He'd been doing Yoga since childhood and was way more limber than I ever remember being. I still practice some of my favorite poses when I'm doing some serious stretching and enjoyed how I was taught to use breathing (with some minor movement) as a method of warming up. We didn't do what is commonly known as "Hot Yoga" because the various instructors I had over the years weren't allowed to turn the heat up that much but I never left there without sweating. I even had one instructor that did a variation of Power Yoga that REALLY got you moving, but it was still relaxing.

Anyway - have a great weekend in Louisville. I'm glad you're enjoying Ab-Blasting too and I can't wait to see what Joan looks like.

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AMABILE75 4/16/2010 3:22PM

    Thanks for the update on things, it's great to hear how things are going. I hope that you and your wife have a wonderful weekend!!

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MINENA1 4/16/2010 3:09PM

    Glad you're enjoying the class & bein adopted. LoL! Have fun this weekend! :)

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

After Much Thought: My Four Months As A Spark Person

Friday, April 16, 2010

I am not quite sure how you speak from your heart on paper, and have the desired effect. I have started this blog five times, got up in frustration, only to begin again. I decided it was time to just put it out there and let you spend the rest of the day scratching your head and wondering, “What the heck is he trying to say?”

Here’s what he trying to say:

I’ve been a Sparkie for four months and I guess it’s obligatory that I write the “This is what I have learned/done/not done.” I am healthier. I am happier. I weigh less. I didn’t think I could be more handsome, but I have surprised even myself.

I am beating around the bush.

I am joyful. I am joyful because I have many more friends today then I had four months ago. They are people from all over the world, who are individual and unique and so very special to me. They are the very young, the very old and the very in between. The console me, they motivate me and when I need it they love me enough to kick me hard. They are there right next to my wife and kids on the scale of value and importance in my life. They are loved.

I said the “L” word.

See, us fat people don’t often get the concept of real love. We have “issues.” I mean we got husbands and wives and kids and moms and dads bf’s and gf’s. We think they “have to love us.”

I am talking about the rest of the world. It’s the people we sit on park benches and watch with envy as the go by laughing and carrying on and oh my gosh we wish we were them, wearing those clingy clothes that swoosh in the breeze.

We see ourselves as this flawed group of people who are looking for some place to fit in. We cry, we feel sorry for ourselves and we somehow muddle through. We don’t see ourselves as the very fabric of someone else’s life and that along with other very important people we make up this marvelous tapestry that is someone’s life.

That someone is me. If you are reading this you are part of my life. You are a thread in the tapestry that holds it together. You are my friends and you are precious.

When I want to eat an entire birthday cake one of you writes a blog about temptation and resistance and gently encourages me coz, yeah, you two have wanted to eat the whole cake and only you know what that feels like. You know the guilt and the shame. So you write and you encourage me and then I think, “Well if they can do it so can I.”

When I wanna crash in front of the tube with a bag of chips and skip the work out one of you writes about the frustration, the anger, the pain and I find myself getting in the car, pointing it toward the gym and cursing all the way. When I finish my workout I whisper a silent “thank you,” to you that you may never know you got.

I have so many small victories every day that come from your good examples and your words of wisdom. You may be twenty five or seventy five but I listen to them all. I may not always be successful at first, but I get it, eventually. I talk about you like you lived next door to me.

That’s what I’ve learned in four months. I could talk about calories, flexibility and patience, or I could simply say that what I have learned is that I am loved and accepted by the most wonderful collection of people I have ever met. Realize that each of you in some way made a difference in my life.

Yes, I know I’m the one who did it and no I don’t need a self esteem lecture this morning, but you did it too, right along with me. You, the person who may not think you have any great value in this world. You played a part in four months of success and oh wow I am just getting started!!!

And, I play a part in your journey and that is what makes this ever so cool. We are there to care about and to support each other. No judgment, no indictments.

I am not sure how to end this and there is a danger I will run out of space and time.

I guess I can simply say that each of you is so very valuable, important and please, please, even when you get all down and out and feel despondent please recall that this ever shrinking guy in Western KY is jumping up and down shouting encouragement to you.

Coz he loves you.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TENACIOUSTIGER 4/26/2010 10:11AM

    this is an awesome blog, what you write is so true, there is always support here with sparkpeople, I have been sparking for about 4 months when I finally decided no more crash diets and feeling guilty and hating myself, so keep it up your doing a great job, your right there is a lot of love in sparkpeople emoticon

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PIP103 4/24/2010 6:11AM

    Beautifully written, thank you so much for sharing how most of us feel! Good luck with all your goals, you CAN achieve them!

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TXNANA_4 4/22/2010 12:56PM

    Thank you! emoticon

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LINDY2202 4/22/2010 4:16AM

    Your blog made my day and extremely motivated me. You put what I am sure a lot of people are feeling into this blog. THANK YOU. emoticon

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LUCI2010 4/22/2010 12:03AM

  emoticon emoticon

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KRYSALISS 4/21/2010 4:05PM

    Wow, I just stumbled on this blog from the front page. What a wonderful entry! I'm glad you've found such a strong support system here. I don't know you, but thank you for the inspiration. emoticon

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KALIGIRL121 4/21/2010 8:58AM

    I'm relatively new to Sparkpeople and found your blog on the front page. What a day to find your blog! Nicely put and well done. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts this morning. :)

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MISSY6311 4/21/2010 7:24AM

    this made me tear up! thanks for sharing and congrats on this victory... it really is vital for us "fatties" of the world to realize we AREN'T alone though at times we may feel as if we are.... a positive, powerful thought I will keep thinking about for a long time, I am sure!

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BELLAMIMI1 4/21/2010 1:12AM

    I read a blog of yours for the first time earlier this evening, left you a comment, and decided to peruse the others to see what else you had written about because I enjoyed the first one I read so much. I'm so glad I did. And, guess what? You've got a new follower. LOL

Thanks for such heartfelt and attentive blogs. As you can see, they are very much appreciated and you are a wonderful and expressive writer.

In a word like so many of our fellow Sparkers and SparkFriends have used: Thanks.

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PRETTYBLKGYRL 4/20/2010 11:09PM

    *sigh* simply awesome - I can't even think of a suitable response for such an amazing blog emoticon



Comment edited on: 4/20/2010 11:09:24 PM

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KAT-MOMMY-TO-2 4/20/2010 8:14PM

  Awwww. I don't think anyone could have said that as well as you just did. I was encouraged to join sparkpeople by my best friend, Jessica. She was so excited about being apart of this. She went on and on. When she talked about all the great features...the trackers and what not. I thought, "yeah that's pretty neat." But, then she started talking about the "community"...and I wasn't sure that I wanted to get involved in any of that. I don't do the social networking sites. I tried once upon a time...it wasn't for me. People can be mean. And if they aren't mean then they ignore you. And I'm not sure which is worse. I LOVE sparkpeople for that. There is a love here that you can't find anywhere else. Love, understanding, motivation...I have been literally blown away by the strength and kindness of the people on this site. (ok, well not literally...but still.)

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Comment edited on: 4/20/2010 8:15:35 PM

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DOODLEBUG121 4/20/2010 7:13PM

    thank you so much for verbalizing what we've all thought. i hope that everyone can find that same love from sparkpeople that you have. and i'll throw a little extra love your way since I was raised a Kentucky girl. and Lord knows it takes a special kind of soul to be able to lose weight when you're surrounded by southern cooking. you're an inspiration for sure. keep up the great work!!!

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APARKE41 4/20/2010 5:13PM

    And we love you too! You have accomplished so much, and you're right, it's not the calories, or stretches, or exercise, or whatever that's such an important lesson. It's learning that you are unique, one of kind, and extremely important and inspirational to those around you! Thank you for this, it made me remember that I do actually want to go to the gym tonight when I get out of class, even though today is not a scheduled cardio day for me. I'm going anyway, because in doing so, I acknowledge that somebody out there is encouraging me to go beyond what I expect of myself, because I am capable of going beyond that. Thank you!

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SWIM_2_SLIM 4/20/2010 5:11PM

    I haven't known you until this blog. I'm so glad that you feel this way about the people here in Sparkland. It truly is a special place with very special people and we make up one big and happy family. It is so wonderful to be plugged in here and really get to know people here. The vast majority are such fantastic people and you couldn't ask for any better friendships. All the best to you in the future, my friend!!! emoticon

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LINDA6105 4/20/2010 3:31PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ADORAD 4/20/2010 3:03PM

  thank you for sharing

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JENNIBETHR 4/20/2010 2:24PM

  Thanks for sharing!

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NEWFLABULESS 4/20/2010 2:11PM

    Very nice blog. Many insights to what makes this site so much better than others and why friends are so important to us. Thank you so much for pouring your heart out to your friends and strangers who will be future friends.
April

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BRINASMOM35 4/20/2010 1:18PM

    Tears.. I can only hope my journey in 4 months will be half as good as the one that you have described here. I look forward to all the encouragement and new friends, and yes that ever elusive acceptance.
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ADELE66 4/20/2010 1:07PM

    I don't think ANYONE is out here wondering "what the heck is he trying to say"!

You expressed yourself so eloquently - and I'm very glad that you did!

:o)

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QUEENAN1 4/20/2010 12:11PM

    Ok....you made me cry. What a beautiful blog. Thank you for putting it all out there. We love you too! IT feels great to be loved! Thank you.

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LUCKYONE60 4/20/2010 11:06AM

    You are me and I am you and we are all together. Thanks for putting it so well. Nice to know that we are "seen" by the people on SP and don't have to go it alone. Love you too!

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INDYAMYP 4/20/2010 10:29AM

    Thanks for writing what so many of us feel. I am just beginning my journey and I pray that in 4 months, I can feel about the people on this site the way that you feel today.

I look forward to hearing more about your journey and am hoping you will be there to encourage me!

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CANDACE28 4/20/2010 10:27AM

    You have so encouraged me just by writing this blog. Thank you so much!

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ARIDRA1 4/20/2010 10:10AM

    very well written !!

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SPARKLE1908 4/20/2010 10:00AM

    Great blog..very touching and inspirational!!!!

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SPARKLE1908 4/20/2010 9:59AM

    Great blog..very touching and inspirational!!!!

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DOINIT4MEJONES 4/20/2010 9:52AM

    Yes, definite tears here...I have always known that there are several people in the same situation that I am in, but never really thought about it as deeply as I have now. Thank you for this post. It is certainly something I needed to hear.

You are emoticon emoticon

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SHAPNUP 4/20/2010 8:15AM

    Tears for me, too. Beautifully written. I guess I cry because I feel you - I AM you, and I love out new friends, too!

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SPARKANN 4/19/2010 11:59PM

    It's not often that my eyes well up with tears reading SparkBlogs. Thank you for sharing. You really touched my heart.

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LIZ40403 4/19/2010 10:43PM

  Wow.....John you certainly touched my heart. How courageous of you to share so much of yourself in a way that offered so much to others. From the looks of it you have reached many people and made a significant contribution to our lives. You are an inspiration!

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PENNIES9 4/19/2010 10:32PM

  wow you brought tears to my eyes. I guess because this sounds alot like me. THANK YOU emoticon

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AISERIE 4/19/2010 10:30PM

  Beautifully put :)

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HONORINGGOD 4/19/2010 10:16PM

    that was great ,thats what is all about.if rise above ourself we see we are not alone ,you are a great encourager,God bless your journey

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WEGENERCS 4/19/2010 10:10PM

    Some pretty great writing here. Not often I pause to reread a passage, but I did here. Powerful stuff.....

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MUGGLE_MOM 4/19/2010 9:33PM

    You brought a few tears to my eyes. What a well written piece that speaks to me without hesitation.

Thanks for sharing so much of yourself with us.

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4HORSEGAL 4/19/2010 9:14PM

    You make me smile. And yep, I'm totally with you on that birthday cake thing. In fact, I don't even have to wait until it's my birthday. I mean, somewhere in the world, it's someone's birthday. Right?

Thanks for the great post.

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DAWNDMOORE40 4/19/2010 8:46PM

    Wow you put a lot of depth into what you write! You seem like a very sincere person with a lot to offer this world! I hope you are accomplishing your goals and living every day to the fullest because you deserve it! Now go out and keep kicking some butt on your way to the next prize! Have a good day!

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ARDELIAC 4/19/2010 8:45PM

    emoticon

Beautifully put!

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CLOVER2 4/19/2010 8:40PM

    I have been reading some of your entries, man can you tell a soul's story! Thank you so much, I will be looking for more of your wisdom and insight!

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WISHICOULDFLY 4/19/2010 8:33PM

    Whoa. Well put friend. You deserve some kind of literary award! emoticon

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MICHY1980 4/19/2010 8:20PM

  Very encouraging. Thanks. And great job on your success thus far.

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SUSANDELOIS 4/19/2010 7:38PM

  emoticon

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SUSANDELOIS 4/19/2010 7:37PM

 
thanks for posting; it gives everyone courage.

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KLHUDSIMS 4/19/2010 7:35PM

  All I can say is wow

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KT-NICHOLS-13 4/19/2010 7:23PM

    Thank you for writing what you are feeling and channeling my thoughts as well. Without those I've found on Sparks, I'm not sure I'd be as happy as I am today.

When I want to eat that piece of Chocolate, I often think of my SP friend on the East Coast and I put it down. When I think I can't run or walk another step I think of my SP friend in Florida and I go just a bit further. Thanks for being the guy in Western KY jumping up and down and encouraging me. When I need to cheer up I log onto SP and read a blog that makes me smile and giggle and when I need to know "I'm not the only one" I turn to those around the world who struggle and achieve just like me.

Thanks John!

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JMLEE509 4/19/2010 7:06PM

    emoticon you took the words from me too!

emoticon You made me laugh and cry too!

emoticon You made my day!

God Bless you and yours!

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DEIDREE808 4/19/2010 6:40PM

  All I can say is.... WOW! That was such an awesome blog, it made me laugh and cry beause I could totally relate. You are such a great writer, not sure why you put it off or got fustrated to write it. But I'm glad you did. Aloha from Hawaii.

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TMBTTLES 4/19/2010 6:37PM

    Thanks for the encouragement! We all need to feel wanted and needed! Have a blessed day!


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TAMMYB523 4/19/2010 6:34PM

    Wow. I love you too.

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Waiting For Change

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Change usually doesn’t happen overnight. I should know. I stare down at my belly every morning and there is actually a part of me that still expects it to have magically disappeared over night. I have to grin because it reminds me of that old patent medicine commercial “Lose weight while you sleep.”

Unfortunately, if we go about it the right way, change comes in a slow and consistent fashion. All you have to do is look into the Grand Canyon to see proof of that. We marvel at this geological wonder and often forget it took thousands of years to create. When we evolve we learn to adjust. I don’t always like adjusting. Why can’t I set a meal plan, decide on a weight goal, choose a cool and spiffy exercise program and then put the whole thing on cruise control?

We toss around words like “motivation” and “self discipline.” We read inspirational books, watch inspirational movies, and I guess we even write inspirational blogs. We do this for a period of time and then we just can’t keep it going. At least that’s the way it seems. In the deepest recesses of our minds and souls we feel as if we betrayed the Spark. I mean we read blogs and articles and see other people crossing eighteen million miles of exercise activity while gaining thirty four million Spark points and we feel inadequate.

I’ll tell you why.

Come in a little closer. You might not want all of creation to hear this:

It is not possible to create enough activity to compensate for inaccurate perceptions.

In other words: No matter how far and fast you run there is just no escaping you. Yes, you should have goals and dreams and all of that. First you have to get a clear picture of where you are at, before you can get a clear picture of where you want to go. Quick fixes are vastly over rated and it’s why most of our New Year’s Resolutions are in the circular file in short order.

There is a danger in slow, circumspect progress. It gives us an excuse to quit. The operative word here is progress. Progress means that we move ahead, that after a prescribed period of time we are better than we were previously. Progress is the best form of morale builder I know. When we see ourselves, inching towards our goals all sorts of good stuff happens inside of us. It encourages us to do more.

But some days, to use a highly technical and academic term, progress sucks. It’s slow, it’s hardly measurable, we wake up to find a post card from the warm fuzzy, and it’s gone on vacation and is not sure when, if ever, it will return

I have a good friend who wanted to own a restaurant. At the time I met her she was waiting tables. She had a dream and an ability to cook Italian and Mexican food. She couldn’t see herself owning a restaurant. The thought was overwhelming to her because she didn’t have the tools. She started to collect them by working in a larger restaurant that demanded more skill. She shared her dream with a boss who recommended classes in food and beverage service. As she got closer and gained more knowledge she relied heavily on the small businesses administration. Suddenly her dream didn’t seem so unrealistic. After a few years of learning and mustering up her courage she took the plunge. She opened a small restaurant. To attract customers she allowed local artists to exhibit there paintings and drawings on her walls. Today, fourteen years later, she owns four restaurants in three different cities. Her initial involvement with the art community has landed her on the board of directors of an art museum, in a major U.S. city, a side benefit she had never imagined. She mentors young females who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs. I shortened her story considerably to save space, but watching her journey I can tell you, she suffered more than one of those “gray days.”

Success is measured with a calendar not a stop watch. Without progressive steps forward we eventually lose interest and our goal withers on the vine. You only do something for the first time once!! Once you get over your initial fear and loathing of change and make it work for you, not against you, well its like the sun parting the clouds.

G’Day Mates!!! (That one was for my Spark friends in Australia and New Zealand)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUSIEMILO 4/19/2010 12:47PM

    Success is measured with a calendar - not a stopwatch. Loved it!
Can I borrow that?
Another excellent blog. I'm really glad that you won the most popular blog and that I found you that way.
I enjoy your writing.
Also, congratulations on the +50 lbs lost! Awesome job Dude!
Susie

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JPRICE217 4/19/2010 10:54AM

    emoticon
The grand canyon idea was great. I must learn that it is going to take time. Sure wish their would be an overnight change but it is never going to happen.
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SWOMIC 4/18/2010 11:24AM

    Thank you, emoticon

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SWOMIC 4/18/2010 11:24AM

    Thank you, emoticon

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GEEMAWEST 4/15/2010 8:47PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DUTCHIEKIWI 4/15/2010 4:59PM

    G'day John,

I love it, again your words give me goosebumps and make me think. It's the reality of it that sets me up for the day. 6.50 am in the morning and grateful for your reality check, you whistling me back and reminding me....

Success is measured with a calendar not a stop watch.

I'm gonna use it, I hope you don't mind.

It'll be on my goals and dreams board.

Let's keep it real...
As much as we wish all those super slogans like lose weight while you sleep would be real and effective, we KNOW they are not.

I get down, of course I do, like you and like the best of us.

Just looking at how far I've come already... standing in front of the mirror in my birthday suit, noticing, I have a waist, following the lines of my stomach and realising that a flat and healthy tummy might even be a possibility for me.

It all keeps me going.

If you stumble on anything that motivates you, please do share as I know it WILL motivate me as well.

Rock on, Spark hard!

Right here with ya!

Dutchie xxx

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TEENY_BIKINI 4/15/2010 12:59PM

    ":It is not possible to create enough activity to compensate for inaccurate perceptions." Wow!! Amazing - and so true. It is all in how we "see" things - change the perception and it becomes a whole different game entirely.

Well said, sir. Woot!



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CROBINGO 4/15/2010 7:04AM

    So true. Don't like it but so true. We all know there is no magic pill for Fairy God Mother that will allow us to "poof" wake up thin again. But we wish...

Your blog is true and a testament to put one foot in front of the other, walk the right path to keep moving forward.

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SPARKENISTA 4/14/2010 10:48PM

    I like to think that the slow part is a resting/building bridges place before the big breakthroughs come and you no longer have the luxury of time to contemplate whether to continue. It has something to do with a frog turning into a butterfly.

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TAZZAT2003 4/14/2010 9:30PM

    Glad to see you still have enough wisdom and inspiration to go around. Thanks John!

Hugs
Jessica

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WANDAH3 4/14/2010 6:37PM

    Loved your blog John. Progress...Yep, that's us...we are making progress.

Hugs,
Wanda

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FREDIA2 4/14/2010 1:25PM

    This was quite inspirational. How true that we expect the result overnight not in time. The analogy of the Grand Canyon was very good. emoticon

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CLOTHEDINLOVE 4/14/2010 11:18AM

    "We do this for a period of time and then we just can’t keep it going. At least that’s the way it seems. In the deepest recesses of our minds and souls we feel as if we betrayed the Spark."
Having just come back after a month's hiatus, I felt that way. I felt I needed to explain my absence, but instead, just hopped back into the blogging. No excuses, eh? Ha.

"Once you get over your initial fear and loathing of change and make it work for you, not against you, well its like the sun parting the clouds."
Seriously. That is the best description of the moments we all hope for on our journeys. That moment where it suddenly, if only for a few minutes or days, makes perfect sense and you have nothing but motivation and determination to push yourself just a little further.

Here's to progress. :)
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NICKIJAY96 4/14/2010 10:16AM

    Awesome! Loved it! Especially the comment "It is not possible to create enough activity to compensate for inaccurate perceptions." SOOO What I needed to hear today. Thanks!


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KLEONIKI 4/14/2010 1:58AM

    Enjoyed your blog dear John, enjoyed the comments on it too!
Yes METAMORPHOSIS can be a slow painful and ugly process...as SPARKENISTA said yes you only pass through the STARTING POINT MORE than once...as you said.
It is good we shared this blog together
Good luck!
Have a nice active day!
Kleoniki

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OZARKMARY 4/13/2010 10:35PM

    Another great post! I'm living it, too. Slow but sure...this time! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 4/13/2010 10:07PM

    Thank you for the reminder! I go through times when I'm satisfied with the progress I'm making, and then there are times when I frustrated beyond words because it seems like I'm slogging in quicksand, it's that slow. Slow and steady wins the race . . . but it's generally not all that exciting, I'm afraid. Patience is a virtue that is in short supply in my life much too often!

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IMJUSTDUCKIE 4/13/2010 10:06PM

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this blog. One of my favs that you have written. Thank you so much for this. You speak the truth my friend, and in many ways, we look for you as our inspiration to continue on this path..... What is it that inspires you?!

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KATAHDIN24 4/13/2010 4:52PM

  Thanks for the inspiration.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/13/2010 3:34PM

    I am pretty impatient and have to have pep talks all the time about waiting.

Comment edited on: 4/13/2010 3:34:36 PM

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MINENA1 4/13/2010 3:04PM

    I'm so glad I found you on sparkpeople! I absolutely LOVE your blogs. I really really needed this. Some days it seems like YES I can do it!! And I get so excited. Other days I feel the complete opposite. Thank you soooo much for writing this!

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ANNSTOECKL 4/13/2010 2:50PM

    Amen and amen!

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LOVINGMYSELF101 4/13/2010 12:02PM

    Great blog, it is so hard to be on this journey, it seems so long. All any of us can do is take it one day at a time, breathe deep, and know that one step in the right direction will eventually turn into two, and soon we are on our way.

THANKS for taking the time to write this...

-Rose

Comment edited on: 4/13/2010 12:03:39 PM

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SPARKENISTA 4/13/2010 10:08AM

    Wherever you go--there you are--warts and all. HOWEVER, when you least expect it, the frog turns into the butterfly--or something like that! Metamorphosis can be a slow, painful and ugly process.

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MARCYNA 4/13/2010 9:41AM

    It's all about change....realizing our dreams and learning not to be afraid, whatever the circumstances emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/13/2010 9:42:36 AM

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TRIPLE_EMME 4/13/2010 9:37AM

    Your words resonate with me: the calendar is a much better way to measure success as opposed to a stop watch.



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STORMTMB 4/13/2010 9:19AM

    I want patience - and I want it NOW!! lol!

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CMBELISLE 4/13/2010 9:14AM

    We live in a society of instant gratification. Reaching our goals is far from instant.

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JAE_HENNINGTON 4/13/2010 8:58AM

  very well said and oh so true

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AMABILE75 4/13/2010 8:44AM

    I really needed this today my friend. It's so hard for me to look at the big picture when I feel like I've been grounded. :) But you are right... what is a week or two for my body to heal? That doesn't make it easy, but gives me something to think about. Thank you! I just may have to read this one again.

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DISTAN 4/13/2010 8:16AM

    Right on

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I Should Get This Scared More Often

Monday, April 12, 2010

Thanks to all of you who posted your support for me and in the same breath I am glad that my experience could make some of you look at your own fears and doubts. I think that’s one of the reasons we are here - - to support each other. I can state unequivocally that I feel your support.

Okay so now for the update.

There were eight of us in the class including the instructor. The class was held in the open part of the gym, close to the turn in the walking track. So, in other words I was there in front of God and everyone, huffing, puffing and groaning. (There was a significant amount of groaning.)

As I approached the group the instructor was saying to three of the ladies sitting on the floor with her “….And there is even a boy in this class!!!” I looked at her and said “I believe I am the boy and thanks so much, I haven’t been called a boy in over thirty years.” Everyone laughed. (It’s my natural wit and charm)

Allegedly the instructor went easy on us, at least that what’s she said. We didn’t use any equipment, just did a lot of yoga and Pilates stretches. I found out my body doesn’t move anywhere near the way I thought it would, but I was stretched and limber at the end of the session. Looking at the people in front of me I didn’t do any worse than they did.

There was a young lady next to me who, I’m not kidding about this, looked dead up like a Barbie Doll!!! She was so very nice to me. She talked to me through most of the class, told me she was twenty four and had taken yoga since she was thirteen. She told me not to worry too much. She was sure by the end of the class in May; I would be as limber as she was. Just a frame of reference she probably weighed all of ninety pounds. At the end of the session she turned to me, smiled and said “High Five, you made it all the way through.”

The instructor mused as we caught our breath, how many would be back Wednesday. I’ll be back. I have felt good all day.

One more fear confronted and one more fear put to rest.

Thanks for your help guys, really I mean it

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_MAOMAO_ 4/17/2010 5:27PM

  Way to go, John! May I call you John boy? Hey, it does take a bit extra gumption to dive into an often-female fitness class. Good for you to just do it! You know, I'd probably have been a little scared of Barbie. But she sounds really nice - and she sounds like she'll notice if you skip a class. Good, that'll make it harder to skip! I know, we have no more reason for prejudice against the thin and fit than they have for prejudice against us. So thanks for sharing that story.
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IMJUSTDUCKIE 4/13/2010 10:12PM

    emoticon I've NEVER, EVER attended a gym class of any kind.... not even the machines.... not since I had to in H.S. and that was "oh SO MANY moons ago"!!!! Wish I could get past my fear to go. Maybe one day......

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CMBELISLE 4/13/2010 12:12PM

    Woo Hoo! Glad you enjoyed the class - I do miss my yoga classes, but I still am able to practice some at home, although maybe not quite so limber anymore. I used to get right up in the front of the class and watch the instructor - it was my way of mentally blocking out the rest of the class so I wouldn't feel so embarrassed about being there.

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OHYESITSME1 4/13/2010 7:51AM

    Way to go John! I knew you could do it and do it well!

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MARCYNA 4/13/2010 7:35AM

    Hey, BOY, you made it!!!!! emoticon
I just love the way you thriumped over your fears, maybe I should readdress some of mine!!!!!!
I'm a bit envious of Barbie, anyway I'm glad she's been nice to you!!!!!! emoticon emoticon
PS I am always training with ballet semi-pros and I know the weird feeling.....maybe I should try a Michael Barishnikov NYCB class emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/13/2010 7:36:28 AM

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KATIEGLEN012 4/12/2010 10:51PM

    emoticon Trying something new puts us outside our comfort zone! Good for you!

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BARBARAWEBSTER 4/12/2010 10:47PM

    So proud you faced your fear and did it anyway! Keep it up!

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SPARKENISTA 4/12/2010 10:18PM

    The fear is always worse than the reality!! emoticon emoticon

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DUTCHIEKIWI 4/12/2010 9:23PM

    If anything, little 'oll barbie will get you back to that class won't it??

Having a 24 year old barbie stretching like a satisfied cat next to me would make ME wanna go back too!!
But then again I'm known to be a bit off the rails LOL.

Glad it went well.

Keep it up!

W1 D2 for me in the fastbreak...
so far so good.

Little Barbie... ehhh I mean Baby steps at a time ;0)

Love ya

Dutchie

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OFEDEOZ 4/12/2010 8:31PM

    emoticon See, it's all just in your head! You can do anything!

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PINETREEGIRL 4/12/2010 8:05PM

    Thanks for the inspiration back...I'm now in the mood for yoga.
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GEEMAWEST 4/12/2010 7:48PM

    Woo Hoo!! Good for you, John!

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FOREVERBT 4/12/2010 7:02PM

    Great Job John, I'm so happy and proud of you!!

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DOLLIE6 4/12/2010 6:54PM

    Sounds like you had a great day, thanks for sharing. You make me proud to call you friend. Keep on Sparking no telling what you will do this year.

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WALKNLOVE 4/12/2010 6:53PM

    Oh, and I forgot to tell you about another class I took with weights one time.The class was packed to the nines! (whatever does that mean, anyway?) I was trying to do the "millionth" push up, when I just fell to the floor laughing.I could not do anymore.I looked at the people around me who were also pushing their limits. I just smiled and said out loud,"I am just happy to be here and be a part of it."The whole group around me broke into laughter!Laughter is a good thing...even better if we can learn to laugh at ourselves!

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ANNSTOECKL 4/12/2010 6:43PM

    Hurrah! I knew it'd be like that. Blessings

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LIZBUCK1 4/12/2010 6:24PM

    Glad you enjoyed your class. Well done you should be proud of yourself. emoticon

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MINENA1 4/12/2010 6:13PM

    emoticon Way to go John!!! emoticon

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SAMGERBINE 4/12/2010 6:04PM

    Yeah for you!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/12/2010 5:44PM

    Nothing to fear but fear itself.

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KLEONIKI 4/12/2010 5:38PM

    When i faced for the first time a pilates class some years ago, i was asked to lay on the floor and feel my body's natural curves and try to figure out which of my sides was more tense and to relax, as an exercise to body conscience; i had got a CRUMB...(out of just staying on the floor and relaxing)!!!
In the same room there were all kind of pretty fit creatures both male and female.
The best pilates was performed by a man whom i took for a dancer; he had the most fluid and beautiful movement i had seen( esp in the CAT poses); after half a year i found out that he used to be so deformed because of a problem (hunch) in his back when he first joined that the teacher was very reluctant in including him in her class..
He was a professor in the University in Architecture, and had kept on going to classes every single day for 2 years..
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Every one is scared, shy, not fit,with problems, until he CHANGES that. And you my dear JOHN , you are on the road to a complete not change but rebirth!!!
Keep on the good job
Take care and GET A STRONG CORE!!!
Your friend
Kleoniki
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STORMTMB 4/12/2010 5:08PM

    So cool - you and Barbie to the end, but how many others?!?! Great job.

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WANDAH3 4/12/2010 4:51PM

    Way to go John! So glad you beaten another fear to the ground. You rock!

Hugs,
Wanda

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AMYTATH 4/12/2010 4:30PM

    Great Job John!!! emoticon

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MONTANA_ED 4/12/2010 4:29PM

    Just wanted to say Awesome! Excellent job!

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AMABILE75 4/12/2010 4:20PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I knew you would do great! :)

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