Wednesday, April 21, 2010
“Okay John, if you are so gosh awfully smart why are you so fat? Isn’t that a lack of discipline, intelligence and any other character flaw you might like to throw in there? I mean, isn’t it? How can you teach the stuff you teach, and say the things you say and still be as one tiny little child called you “El Gordo!”
That’s a good question, one I have asked myself for awhile now. This morning as I lie in bed the answer came to me. It was there all the time; I just hadn’t bothered to look for it in the right place.
I began to become healthier and happier when I stopped thinking and started living. I threw away the surveys, the charts and the graphs and embarked upon a journey to reclaim John. I started believing from my heart. I began to become authentic, in other words, the real John. I became vulnerable.
This journey was accelerated, clarified, use whatever word you like to use by a Spark friend who sent me a link to another web site last week. The gist of what the website said is incorporated in the quote on my Spark Page.
"I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified."
It was a much needed slap in the face. It says if you are gonna talk the talk you better walk the walk and yeah John I led you here for a reason and its not as a dear priest friend of mine once said to “Play patty-cake in the holy water.”
I knew exactly what it meant when I read it. It didn’t scare me, it challenged me. It means I have to be authentic. I have to be John. The three hundred twenty six pound person who began this journey a little over four months ago was as close to being John as the sun was to the moon. He was fat, he was miserable and he had a lifetime supply of tee shirts that read “Denial Is Not Just a River In Egypt.” He refused to acknowledge a number of things in his life. He couldn’t talk about them because he wouldn’t think about them. He was running from himself. Other people had health issues but not John. He stood above all.
I got tired of being fat and in that misery I was led to the journey I am on now. It led me to health but that health came only when I stopped thinking with my head and living with my heart. My resistance was broken down by my misery.
It meant not being afraid to tell people I need them and their wisdom. It meant opening myself up to new ideas and to ideas that came from other people as well as myself. It meant reconnecting with the me I left sitting on a park bench so many years ago who patiently waited for my return.
It means smiling and being proud of what I do. It means being awesomely blown away some mornings that people look at me as a positive example and realizing I have an awesome obligation to live up to. Realizing I have that obligation and actually look forward to fortifying it on a daily basis.
It means opening up to you. It means sharing things and then really worrying all day that I am going to have a ton of people think poorly of because I opened up and then laughing at myself because some days I truly am “a real piece of work.”
You, sitting at your PC, in your office, on your blackberry reading this, are what gives me momentum. I need you. I am not afraid to tell you that. That’s what is written on my heart.
I need to hear about the fifteen pound weight loss and the 5k run and the awesome aerobics class and how you made a new friend. I stand in front of you jumping up and down waving and yelling “me too, me too.”
You make me feel a part of something. I need to read about your triumphs and your adversities because the competitive part of me then joins in and kicks it up a notch.
That’s what you do for me, along with your gentle, loving words.
A Spark friend wrote me last night and said “I am not sure how you can love someone you never met, but I do. I have so many Spark friends I may never meet but love dearly.”
It’s easy my dear friend. It took me fifty seven years to find the answer. You love those people you may never, ever meet because you allow them to love you. If you believe you serve no other purpose in life, believe that you are here to love someone and encourage someone by the beautiful and simple fact that you were created.
Okay, so why are you sitting there?
Let yourself be loved. It’s not as hard as you think.
Just ask me
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
You get to read about me twice in one day......... Lucky You
The people I went to see in Nashville this morning hadn't physically seen me since late December. When they walked into the lobby to greet me there were like OMG!!!
I got to Spread The Spark.
They wanted to know what I was doing and I was pretty sane and rational. I think I only got all gushy once or twice. Okay maybe three or four times. Alright, most of the time I was there!!!
When we sat down for lunch, everyone was watching me. This business is a hotel and so it had its own restaurant. I perused the menu and ordered a club sandwich and a side of fresh fruit. My two lunch mates ordered the same LOL
I drove home, which is about a two hour drive and instead of going home I went straight to the gym. Go me!!! Got my workout in. That is usually a struggle with me after day trips because I just want to sort of collapse. Today I worked out.
This has been a red letter day
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Let me let you in on a little secret you most likely were not aware of:
You are perfect just the way you are.
Yup you read right.
As you sit in front of your computer drinking in every word you read, YOU, the person who believes they are so full of fatal flaws and all that other melodramatic stuff we put ourselves though, that YOU, is perfect just the way they are.
Know what? You don’t believe it any more than I do!!! We read about it write about it, talk about it, pray about it and then discard it to try to be like the person next door or down the block or in the cubicle next to us. We want to be taller, shorter, thinner, brighter more attractive and we invest thousands of hours and hundreds of dollars trying to recreate perfection.
How messed up is that?
You were born with a very unique set of gifts and talents that no one and I mean no one else was given. As soon as you became aware of those gifts and talents you tried to trade them in on another set, someone else’s set. It’s sort of like trying to fit into size five shoes when you are a size eight…. All sorts of issues!!
We become unhappy, so we toss around words like “self discipline,” to correct our perceived wrongs and then we become more unhappy. In my case there was more of me there!!! I got bigger and bigger and blamed it on stress and on bad diet and on the planets not being aligned correctly. Told myself and others I liked to cook, loved to eat and oh well what could I do?
“Uhm John? You could have quit fooling yourself.” No kidding, LOL.
We are so busy trying to change US that we never take the opportunity to simply be us!!! We never discovered who we were and what we were capable of doing so how in the name of the good Lord were we supposed to love ourselves?
“Oh, John!!! If you only knew some of the stuff I did in the past you wouldn’t want to hang with me!!!”
Question: “Everybody in the room who has never, ever screwed up royally and majorly please stand up.” I see everyone is sitting down which means you and I have lots of company. Our mistakes in life have their own personal and unique flavor on them but a mistake is a mistake. If God refuses to reject you, if God loves you so tenderly and deeply despite your faults do you think it’s okay for ME to judge you? I doubt it.
Here’s an idea. I floated it to you yesterday. Instead of dwelling on all the screw ups start writing down one thing a day you do well, something that satisfies you and makes you feel like you are part of that perfect world you claim you don’t belong in. In a year you will have done at least three hundred sixty five great things.
It only takes a second and if you think about it you are only writing down what you are doing anyway, right? Of course, right!
You are perfect just the way you are. Don’t fret or stress. We are not conditioned to act that way. When I started applying in my life the things that had been floating around in my head, the stuff I did well, viola, I started getting healthier, started losing weight, making new friends. (Like YOU!!!)
I want to exercise, maybe not always with a smile on my face and song in my heart, but I know I am worth it.
I woke up this morning and as is my custom I lie in bed and start to review all the stuff I need to get done today.
“Ooops, I didn’t say my prayers.” I spent a few seconds berating myself. I mean God has done so much for me and I had forgotten to say good morning.
As I whipped myself spiritually and emotionally my inner voice spoke to me as said, “Why don’t you just lie there and be quiet for awhile. You don’t always have to be doing or saying something. Just be with me.”
So I did.
That’s when it came to me, I am perfect just the way I am, deeply loved and one of the coolest people on earth. Yes I can be smarter and cooler and I can learn much, much more.
Don’t just do something, sit there.
Have a perfect day, perfect people
Sorry, I forgot. The one thing I do well today has become the motto for my business
“I help good people become better.”
Monday, April 19, 2010
I have been dieting most of my adult life. I used to say I had a moderate degree of success until it dawned on me this morning I was looking at things the wrong way. Most of my inspiration comes in the shower. There’s just something nice about a stream of hot water in the morning!
I was thinking back to the time when Joan and I were first married. I weighed one hundred sixty five pounds. The day I began Spark people, I weighed in at three hundred twenty six pounds. In thirty five years I had literally created two of me!!! (While I am always looking on the positive side of things, two of me in that respect wasn’t a good thing at all.)
I could detail every diet I tried but chances are you already know about them. You have “been there and done that” yourself. Chances are you know all too well about the “failure factor” and the internal shame and embarrassment that goes along with it.
“Just something else I failed at.” We mutter to ourselves. “Go away John!!!”
As I stood in front of the mirror grinning at myself I decided to play the word association game.
“Diet’ I said
“Punishment,” was the first word in to my head.
All of a sudden the grin left my face. A lot of us look at a diet as a punishment for being overweight or as the world likes to call it “fat.” When a punishment doesn’t work we punish ourselves more and we succeed less and pretty soon we are right back where we started, feeling crappy about ourselves and adding a new friend called ten to fifteen pounds. Then most of us just give up.
We try different tactics. There is our old friend called self denial and his cousin discipline. They move in for awhile, reek a bit of havoc and move out leaving their best friend known as low self esteem. At the end of the day we believe there is nothing we can do right and we resign ourselves to being overweight.
I think we got it all wrong. We have it all wrong because we work from the outside in, instead of working from the inside out. If Spark people has taught me anything that’s it. The more I concentrate on being a better me, the more I am willing to take care of “all of me.” It’s not a punishment it’s a project. It’s a project I find myself looking forward to.
Yeah, it’s about a food and exercise plan. Yup, you gotta have goals and you better have an action plan. But aren’t you worth it? Fiddlesticks on what mom, dad, an ex a current or all those unenlightened people in your life feel. Aren’t you worth it? Yes, you have, like me, most likely failed in the past. So?
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery and today is a gift.” That’s why it’s called the present! Embrace it!!!
Right now, stop what you are doing, get up and take a good look at yourself in the mirror. I’ll wait for you.
Ok good you are back. You and I need to do that as often as we can. We need to learn to be comfortable with this project we call ourselves. We need to laugh and grin and not be so gosh darned judgmental of ourselves. We need to hold small celebrations every time we notice a positive change in ourselves and when we start feeling ourselves slip find some support.
Most of the time we don’t honor ourselves because we don’t place a lot of value in ourselves. We blame everyone but ourselves. We see ourselves as weak willed, weak minded and weak kneed. We constantly bend to the whims of others and the pit gets deeper and deeper.
Here is a suggestion:
Find one thing, anything at all, to accomplish today. Maybe it’s starting that new exercise program you been putting off, maybe it’s walking an extra ten minutes this morning or this evening. It might be taking a sandwich and fruit to work instead of hitting the fast food joint.
It might be a lotta things………………
Write it down. You don’t need to write War and Peace.
“I made a healthy lunch today.”
“I rode my bike to the bank today instead of driving.”
“I cleaned my office.” (That one was for me guys lol)
Keep a list and look at it every day and all of a sudden one day you gotta block an hour out on your calendar to review all you accomplished. Suddenly you are a success.
Trust me it works. I believe in you, you believe in you. See, there are already two great things that have happened!!!
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
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