JOHNTJ1   68,231
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Rollin' With The Flow

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I wish I could get Spark points for enduring “one of those day.” I keep looking for the category but I can’t seem to find it. You’ve had them to. They are the night in the hotel where you feel like you didn’t sleep a wink. You wake up in the morning and you feel more tired than you went to bed. Your stress level starts to climb because you know the lack of sleep and healthy life styles don’t fit together really well. You are cranky, grumpy and three or four other dwarves all rolled into one.
Maybe you go out for your morning jog and you turn the corner too sharply and you feel a pull in your calf and you know you are done for the day, before you even get started. You rush to a breakfast meeting and the only healthy thing on the menu is water. You have your “me day” planned and one of the kids wakes up sick. The list goes on and on. It’s called life and honest to goodness I think it just sits there waiting until everything is just about perfect and it jumps out and yells “Boo.”

Being overweight doesn’t help us at all does it? Part of who we are as people who have had a lifetime of struggles with that aspect of our health is that our self esteem is very fragile. Throw us a curve ball, let life deviate us from our well thought out plan and we often go into a tail spin. Then we play the blame game and mostly we point that finger at ourselves.

We hear all the old voices; friends, family, co-workers. We imagine the snickers and the comments and we get scared to death that we can’t put the brakes on and in a few short hours we will be on the road back to ruination. Can anyone here say “Yo-Yo Dieter?”

I don’t have a scientific, inspirational answer for it. The is all I got this morning:
“Just Roll’ As in “Just roll with the flow.”

We get in trouble when we fight the current. We over compensate and after awhile we get so tired of over compensating we give up and let the current sweep us down stream. For many of us who are overweight that means we eat, and we eat a lot.

Rolling with the flow means you stick with your plan, you weather the storm and at the end of the day you can smile and put a huge gold star beside your name. You become stronger and you become wiser and you know that next unexpected storm that enters your life will be dealt with in short order and dispensed of. Every time you and I have victories please remember it is a GREAT victory. I don’t believe in small ones and even if it means I do the short version of The Happy Dance, so be it. I weathered the storm.

It is why you and I created a nutrition plan and a exercise plan and why we have a ton of Spark Friends. It means that when we a rolling with the flow, we are staying faithful to our commitments no matter how strong the gusts of wind are in our lives. It means when we are at wits end we post to a message board, write a blog or send a friend a Spark mail asking for support.

Honestly, have you ever known anyone here to turn away from you? Haven’t you and I been showered with a bunch of love when we asked for it? The tools don’t work for me if I don’t use them. I can make all the excuses I want to about being tired and preoccupied and the like. Each morning brings John a series of choices and each series of choices bring with it a consequence. It’s totally in my control to determine whether those consequences are positive or negative. That decision belongs to no one but me.

I know the storm will pass and I know I will be stronger for weathering it. That makes me a winner in more ways than I can count. You are my friend so that makes you a winner also. It makes you one of the people I know I can count on when the going gets tough. That means whether you acknowledge it or not you are very strong.

I didn’t sleep well at all last night. I woke up, showered and looked out the window at the fast food restaurant across the street from my hotel. How easy it would be to schlop in eight hundred calories or so because I just didn’t feel like fooling with being healthy today. I walked into the hotel lobby and sniffed the bacon and sausage and saw the pastries.

I went back to my room, got my now raggedy old cooler and ate my berry medley and whole grain toast I packed for the trip.

I still have a headache. I am still mildly cranky. But deep inside me, like a small flame I can feel this bit of satisfaction because I rolled with it this morning and stayed true to me. It wasn’t easy and I didn’t like it but I did it and I’m glad.

When I look in the mirror there is only one person I can thank or chastise for how I appear and think. That person is me.

If you need to today, get some love and support. We are all here willing to give it to you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GEEMAWEST 4/30/2010 8:37PM

    It's so nice to know that I'm not alone in the way I feel and the struggles I have. More than usual lately, unfortunately. Your blog makes me want to pick myself up and dust myself off and start all over again. Gee, that sounds like it would make a good song, don't you think?

Hugs to you my Sparkfriend.


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DUTCHIEKIWI 4/30/2010 5:54PM

    Here I am,
Haven't been reading many of your blogs lately, not that i didn't want to, but I just don't get the time.

I'm being chased... constantly, the kids have plotted against me and have decided that mama will not get a minute to herself, not even peeing, let alone reading the messages on spark.

You're blog, this one, I picked....
but really it picked me!

I am there, right there... you describe it so well I had tears in my eyes.

I wanna run, I wanna hide....

I'm angry, grumpy, feel 'hard done by' and yes I do know... it's probably not AS bad as I'm feeling it.

The fear has taken me by surprise, I have always got a bit of fear.... This time it's in a large quantity.
what if..? What if I won't make it? What if I fall beck again and am not strong enough to pick myself back up?

I feel like checking into a far away moshav, or kibbutz and have just time for me... to get where I need to go.

But there is no moshav, there is no hotel room to lock myself up alone and get the peace I need right now to get my mind back on track,
so I read your blog.... probably too quick as I am sitting on egg shells of not getting enough time to finish reading it ( and I have already been disturbed twice....)
I find it hard to concentrate, and I'm sorry I haven't been around to read and answer to your blogs, as I love doing it.

My words are a bit all over the place John,

just want you to know, I'm still here, I'm looking forward to getting back to 'normal' when ever that may be.

I'm not gone, I'm just hiding in the shadows.
So if you have a flashlight.... keep an eye out for me.

Thanks my friend, as always for sharing your wonderful art of putting in words how most of us feel.

> emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LUCYJOY 4/29/2010 3:22PM

    I need to borrow your attitude. I'm a major yo yo -diet and in life and I do NOT roll with the flow very well but tend to give up and drown. Probably why I'm still overweight and unhealthy and mad at myself all the time.

Was thinking this morning that I needed people lessons. I broke too many pieces and there isn't enough working parts left.

Great blog.

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TRIPLE_EMME 4/29/2010 12:13PM

    Thank you for another inspirational blog!

I needed to read this today -- thanks!


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STILLPOINT 4/29/2010 9:58AM

    Wow! Thank you for this incredible Blog! Love your Quote, "Just Roll". Congratulations for going back up to your room to eat your healthy food. That's it - step by step, bit by bit, bite by bite - we make the healthiest choices we can in the moment. And at the end of the day, we can congratulate ourselves for making the best decisions possible!

Way to go!

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KAT573 4/29/2010 7:22AM

    We all struggle with our child and our parent in an effort to reach the balanced adult. The child shirks, the parent punishes; these are the winds for discord; the adult just does it, because it is the right thing, above and beyond the self, to do. And when it isn't done, the consequence is fully owned and accepted, and we move forward anyway, no matter if it is a big step, or a little step; you are right, it is a step in the right direction.
Keep on keeping on! emoticon

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CATHERINEL66 4/29/2010 6:15AM

    Work travel is *really* hard and I've often used it as a lazy excuse because it takes SO much extra effort to do the right thing.

And you did it! Congrats to you my friend!

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BESTSUSIEYET 4/28/2010 11:09PM

    Thanks again, John! I'm sure tomorrow will be a good day for you -- whether 'life' cooperates or not! (I had 'one of those days' yesterday, and today was SO much better! PTL!)

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AMYTATH 4/28/2010 9:55PM

    One of my biggest things about when times are crazy and Im running on a physical and emotional tank at "E" my phrase is "Life got in the way" but NEVER give up...we just have to refuel on the healthy things and know that we did our best with what life gave us that day! Way to go on making the right choices for your "refueling" emoticon


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SPARKENISTA 4/28/2010 7:43PM

    You did the right thing, John. I went to a luncheon today and although I didn't totally lose it, I lost it moderately. Not a pretty sight. I don't even know how many calories I ate.

You are definitely walking the walk. You are an inspiration. You thought ahead and followed through! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ROTTLADY 4/28/2010 7:17PM

    emoticon I need to take a look at myself. Was feeling overwhelmed and down and have been fighting that emotional eating need for the past 36 hours. Haven't given in but temptation has been strong. Thanks for the extra will power.

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TNTEACHER2 4/28/2010 6:44PM

    Well, you did not get the 800 calorie meal. Congratulations!


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DIASTER 4/28/2010 6:14PM

Your blogs are one in a million, have been keeping them in a folder to remind me on those iffy days why I am doing this. You seem to know just what is needed and you put into words what we are thinking. Thank you a million times over.

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DOLLIE6 4/28/2010 5:57PM

    You are a wonder. Thanks for the blog.

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SUNMOONSTAR9 4/28/2010 4:49PM

  So well put. I can def say I've had those days and it really puts things in perspective. great job on rolling with it and making the right choice for you.

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JPRICE217 4/28/2010 4:10PM

    Great blog I look forward to them. It seem like you now what i am thinking. emoticon

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BRENDABUNNY 4/28/2010 3:44PM

    Wonderful Blog...very well put..keep up the great work emoticon

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MAMADONNA57 4/28/2010 2:58PM

    Another great, inspirational blog John. Well done on making the right choices in the hard times, I definitely need improvement in that area. Hope the headache clears and tomorrow is a much better day.

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FANAMAMA 4/28/2010 2:42PM

    Reading your blogs always provokes thoughts. You are forcing me to take a good hard look at myself. I'm going to blog about that when I'm done here, but here is a thought I feel I need to share with you.

When things happen that are beyond my control, I get very cranky. Not sleeping well is often beyond our control - it just happens. John, you took back control by choosing to eat healthy. You took back control by choosing to roll with it. Didn't that make you feel better? A little?

And kudos to you for packing your cooler and having a plan!

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    I had a good laugh from the blog. Especially the dwarfs and the water.

You made great choices and did great!!

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TXNANA_4 4/28/2010 12:52PM

    I love reading your blog everyday. Such a great inspiration! Hope the headache goes away soon!

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WEEZIE1122 4/28/2010 12:47PM

    Dear John,

I wish I had read your blog this morning before I left the house. I have had maybe less than four hours of poor sleep in the last three days. Stress I think. But I submitted to the golden arches and well, they did not help my mood, me physically, or my upset stomach (I have started getting car sick even while driving now).

Today, my goal will be to get me some gold star stickers. I think those will make me feel better than those stupid arches.

Thanks for the blog. I don't know why we don't ask for help. You are right, no one has ever turned us away @ Spark People.
Sometimes we just need a reminder of that little bit of information.


FYI--spell check does not recognized the word "blog" though emoticon

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PASTORLHMAY 4/28/2010 12:25PM

    Great blog and job well done making the healthy choice!

Your blog reminds me of the instructions for getting out of a rip tide, relax don't fight the current swim to the side and then you can make it back to shore. thanks for the reminder that we can choose well even when it is one of those days!


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CROBINGO 4/28/2010 11:44AM

    I think there should be MEGA points for surviving "one of those days"! Traveling and the food pitfalls that naturally come with it is so hard. I hate having meals out of the house because I have to think (yikes) and make choices I don't want to. In the end it feels like suffering!

Be strong. It feels like suffering now but you will be so happy later! You are in my thoughts.

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JJSSKINNYGIRL 4/28/2010 11:21AM

    Another awesome blog John!! Way 2 go for eating the way your suppose to!!! Kudos for writing this blog, even though you where cranky among other feelings!!!

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YOYONOMORE1 4/28/2010 10:54AM

    Great job of packing and eating what's in your cooler. Now if you can just find the dwarf Happy,and kick out those others you'll feel better, lol. Keep on rolling with the flow.


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GREENCAT1 4/28/2010 10:13AM

    Great blog John. I agree with everything you wrote. I think it is important to remember, "It's only a mood, and a mood will pass.". Substitute "day" for "mood" if you like. This has become one of my mantras and really helps get me through "those days"!

Cathy emoticon

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STORMTMB 4/28/2010 10:01AM

    I think "Cranky" should be one of the dwarves. Maybe he's number 8. lol.

Your blog reminds me of a quote... (paraphrased) Whether your situation is good or bad, it's not permanent. As much as we want the bad to end and the good to stay, both will change at some point. I have to remind myself of that a lot.

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CMBELISLE 4/28/2010 9:42AM

    As I was talking to a friend of mine today, she said that she told her mom that she didn't know if she would be able to hang on much longer with the way things are - that she's tired of fighting to keep her head above water, but it's either sink or swim. Her mom said that it might be time to just float a while.

Your blog reminded me of the conversation - even when we float, we still have to do a little work to keep up.

Not every day is a great day, but with a little work we can make it through until the next one without derailing all the work we've done so far.

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GRANDMAAMIE 4/28/2010 9:15AM


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MOMMABOF7 4/28/2010 8:37AM

    Yea for you! You made a Great choice for you! I hope the head ache goes away and it's sunny skies for the rest of your day!

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NJMATTICE 4/28/2010 8:34AM

    Keep on rollin' with the flow. That current is bound to bring you to some wonderful places. Feel better soon.

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TKD_1D 4/28/2010 8:19AM

    love your blog!! i did not sleep well last night myself and i know i will be having a very emotional and stressful day today...i am keeping myself accountable to do my abs video from was wonderful to read this after i blogged myself about this very same thing in some respect... emoticon

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AMABILE75 4/28/2010 8:17AM

    emoticon emoticon

I probably sound like a broken record... but it is days like you described where you could so easily grab that quick meal in place of the healthy one that really lets you see how far you have came. Every single decision we make to live a healthy lifestyle adds up and forms those good healthy habits. Even if we make a few bad choices here and there... it's what we do on a regular basis that counts. I really admire your ability to make such healthy choices so consistently. You are an amazing example for me.

Thank you for being my friend John. I need support and you are always there. emoticon

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DOLLBABE56 4/28/2010 8:14AM

    Back at you John! Good going with the breakfast situation! Hope your headache eases soon. Another good blog!

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Accidental Success

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

One of my favorite movies is The Legend of Bagger Vance. There is a line in that movie you have probably heard before. It goes like this: “Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every now and then.” For the longest time, in my life, you could have said that sentence was going to be on my tomb stone. Really good things would happen to me and wasn’t able to tell you why or how. I would have success and I would attribute it all to luck. I would thank God and my guardian angel for letting fortune smile upon me. I never could quite figure out why it never stuck around. Don’t get me wrong, I’d enjoy my emotional windfall and I was happy I had it. It just never stayed very long. I started calling it “accidental success.”

It took me most of my life to figure out its origin and it will take the rest of my life and a lot of hard work to make sure it stays as far away as possible. Accidental success is the proud child of not knowing what you want and not believing you are good enough to have it. That’s why diets fail.

I know, I know. When you begin any process you set a goal. You work really hard to get there, make all kinds of sacrifices and when you achieve it you throw a large party. Now what? In some cases you are this thin, really good person with no guidance or direction and you revert back to the behavior you always had and in six months you have regained your weight. We decide it’s a fatal character flaw or lack of discipline. It is neither.

Most of us have been overweight for a really long time in our lives. I know I have. I don’t know how to live any other way that “fat.” I dropped two pants sizes and I looked at myself in the mirror this morning as I got dressed and I was marveling at how good I looked. It was like I couldn’t believe it. I should believe it!! It’s the product of over four months of hard work. I deserve it.

What are you going to do when you get there? How are you going to sustain your goal? Diet and exercise are key components, true. What’s going to sustain you spiritually and emotionally? I have discovered that unless there is “something” there very shortly I will start sliding back once I reach my goal.

Enough of the gloom and doom. Here’s the good news: The time to start planning is now!!! Start living the way you want to live when you reach your goal. Remove words like “someday” and eventually” and replace them with “I am in the process of.” Don’t’ look forward, look present and fold all those wonderful goals into your current behavior.

One of the things I enjoy doing is reading everyone’s Spark page. I see all the plans they have, the stuff they are going to do and it challenges me to ask myself. “What are you going to do when you get there?” I need to start looking at those things now because if I am just a skinny version of the fat me I will be the fat me plus all over again.

When I started this journey I told myself I needed to “get in shape” so that I could focus my life on what I really enjoy doing. I enjoy helping good people become better. That takes in a lot of ground and it isn’t just focused on work. I am a good spouse; I want to be a better one. I’m a good dad, but I want to be a better one. The list goes on and on. The time for me to start those things, those goals in motion is today.

I want to write a book………….. Better get started John

I want to do audio and video CD’s and DVD’s…………….. Start the project now dude.

I want to travel the world, speaking to groups of people and giving them hope…….. Stick with your plan!!

All that stuff sustains me and it may mean the difference in me eating the donut or saying to myself it is not worth it.

I lived accidental success for far too long. I am not going back.

What about you? Do you know all the great things you are going to do once you reach your goals? Share them please!!! I love reading about them.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOOKAPHILE 5/1/2010 5:24PM

    My big project right now is hand quilting a quilt for my youngest daughter. It takes months working on it daily. I can't do it for too long at one sitting (which is good because that would be a LOT of sitting!)

I usually have no problem coming up with a new project or goal before the old one is finished. For example, I have a small table to refinish, a room or two to repaint and totally reorganize, a yard and garden to maintain, a new software program to learn, etc, etc...

You mentioned that you could hardly believe you looked that good. The view of self we each carry in our minds is behind the current time! I've been thin and still think I'm fat (my husband says I'm still caught in this mode at the moment.) I've been gaining and still thought of myself as mostly slender until a photo gave me a horrible wake-up call. Seeing yourself as you are now is definitely an acquired skill - I'm still working to master that one. I think if I stay close to the same weight for the rest of my life, my self-view will eventually catch up, don't you? emoticon

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HAWAIILINDA 4/30/2010 2:07PM

    Hi John,

Another great post, I can't tell you how many times I've beaten myself up over the wrong thing! And failed to acknowledge the good I do.

By the way I just loved this sentence, it is sad, intense, and hilarious at the same time. "So there I sat, remnants of ice cream dripping down my psyche."


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MUFFINK9 4/30/2010 4:53AM

    I think you should write a book, you do have the talent. Great blog. emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 4/29/2010 5:46PM

    I am sorta with MORTICIAADDAMS (great name, btw). emoticon

I am about 7 pounds from what I think is going to remain my goal weight, and I have to say -- I thought I'd feel different. But I don't. I am just more conscious about moving this bod and feeding it less but better foods.

And except for being occasionally less winded and noticing recently that despite 36 hours in a car my pants never felt tight or cut into my gut, I don't even physically feel very different. I recognize that this seems crazy! 60 pounds is a lot of difference.

Sometimes I fear this means I am missing some important step! I am always afraid I have not achieved the true lifestyle change I know I need. But then small things throughout my day tell me otherwise.

Hmm, so maybe that indicates the key? It's been gradual and sane enough that I don't really see a screaming difference?

Or is that I just have not dug deep enough into the rest of my life? Much of that sure feels imbalanced and ... unfulfilled.

Oh, John, you always know how to get my brain firing! Thank you! Lots to ponder. Love it.


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PURPLELVR7 4/29/2010 3:06PM

    great blog - such wonderful goals.

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SNORRIS40 4/29/2010 9:03AM

    Remember me on your book signing too! You have a gift of prose that is so relative to so many and gets right to the heart. Bet you didn't realize a few months ago when you only thought about getting into better shape, that you would discover other gifts that would start coming your way or discovering talents that you didn't know you even possessed. emoticon

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BESTSUSIEYET 4/28/2010 11:00PM

    Others have already said it so well -- Great blog! I'm already 'there' but keep wondering 'what's next?' I have no big goals, nothing much I've 'always wanted to do' -- and keep thinking I need something to look forward to. Wonder what God has in store ... Until He shows me, I'll just keep on keeping on ... trying to make good choices and be the Best Me I can each day. Keep reaching toward your goals, and enjoy the journey!

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WEEZIE1122 4/28/2010 12:36PM


I'm not only gonna be 2nd in line to buy your book at your first book signing (WANDAH3 will be first) but I want to be there in Chicago when you make it to the Oprah Show. PLEAZE save me a ticket.



P.S. You know you've made it when your name is opera spelled backwards and Spell Check recognizes it anyways. emoticon

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LEEANNE1980 4/28/2010 9:17AM

    Thank you John! I have been having a bumpy ride the last couple of weeks but I am going to "roll with the flow" today. God bless you on your journey.

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ROTTLADY 4/27/2010 9:21PM

    Great blog. keep up the good work.

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WORKINGSTIFF 4/27/2010 9:18PM

    Wow John. I love this blog.

Just the fact that you are asking people to "name it to claim it." I didn't make that up (maybe Dr. Phil did?), but it sure fits.

I've never really thought about the "once I get there." I just assumed that my life would be like it is now (which is pretty daggone great anyway) only I'd be a smaller size.

Now I have to put on my thinking cap...


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GEEMAWEST 4/27/2010 8:18PM

    I read a quote today by Jim Rohn that really hit home with me. "If you don't like where you are, then change it. You're not a tree!"

I am in the midst of looking for a new job because I am not happy where I'm at right now. Nobody else can change it but me. And it won't change by me sitting around waiting for it to change. I have to take action. It feels really good to finally take action to change where I am.

Again, you inspire me to dig deeper. Thank you for that.

BTW, I want to travel, better get started!


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    I guess I'm unusual because I don't fit the mold. I was never fat until after menopause. I lost almost all my family members in 3 years which threw me immediately into menopause. I had an extended grief period where I made bad choices, mostly in regard to food, and I paid for it. I have always assumed that I would get the weight back off and keep it off so I have no plans for when it happens. No fanfare or celebrations. Just a quiet reentering into being comfortable in my own skin. It will be rather anticlimactic for me compared to some of the important things I have done in my life. Finding my soul mate. Birthing a remarkable son. Saving a lot of peoples lives. No biggie. When I reach my goal it will be business as usual. Leading a healthy life dedicated to taking care of my family and friends.

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TEDYBEAR2838 4/27/2010 7:12PM

    You are so right. I have already started looking into HOW TO keep the weight off, once I get there. I need a plan. I also want to live in the moment. You do it so well.

Thanks for the kick start! emoticon emoticon

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WANDAH3 4/27/2010 6:54PM

    John, I'm first in line to read your could you get started on it soon....standing in line is hard work! lol

Thanks for always being such an inspiration.


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SPARKENISTA 4/27/2010 6:11PM

    You make many excellent points in your blog again today, John. One that I am thinking about is reflective of a comment I read in a terrific book: The quality of getting there is the quality of being there". In other words, if you are stressed and miserable while going for a goal you will be stressed and miserable when you achieve it.

The point you make about planning now and living now the way you want to live when you achieve it was the point of the book. It is applicable to all worthwhile goals, not just weight loss. I believe it is a great guideline for living.

The other point that stuck with me is the one about DESERVING the reward you have earned. That is absolutely true. You have worked hard. You do deserve it. There is nothing incidental or accidental about it.

In any case, great blog. Speak to you again soon.

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SUSIEMILO 4/27/2010 1:31PM

    Fabulous and motivating blog! Thanks for putting that out there. It's something that has been floating around in the back on my mind, and I needed to see this.
They say the definition of insanity is to do the same thing and expect a different result.
And I knew that I didn't want to "start a party" when I reach my goal.
My VERY short-term goal is to allow myself a new pair of pajammas in 5 lbs when I drop under the 200 mark. This means a lot to me, as I almost live in my pajammas on the weekends. Although, with getting out and being active more now days -- that isn't as true as it used to be. But I still want them! LOL
Some of my long-term goals are:
Get back to college, and into a psychology type field where I can help people. I like doing it, and I'm good at it.
I also would like to write a book someday, but I need some grammar classes first (so I don't shame myself)
I'd love to be able to retire (a financial goal there) and then set up shop in Door County, WI as an artist. I enjoy quilting, painting, and all types of creative outlets, and I would like to just be able to work on them. If some of them sell - then that would be cool. But my hope is to be sound enough financially that selling isn't a concern for me.
I want to remain physically active for the rest of my life.
And I want to be married again someday to someone who loves me for who I am, and shares my interests in gardening, woodworking, cooking, discussions, etc. (know anyone? LOL)

Loved the blog, and I'm really glad I found you on this site.
Thanks again,

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GRUBLE 4/27/2010 1:25PM

  Great inspiration John. I told you to write a book!

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TXNANA_4 4/27/2010 12:37PM

    I'm taking one day at a time & pat myself on the back for reaching my goal for the day. I always enjoy your blog as it is full of inspiration! emoticon

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GRANDTO4 4/27/2010 11:32AM

  John, if you write a book, your Spark friends would put it on the Bestseller list. I am going to take your statement "...if I am just a skinny version of the fat me, I will be the fat me plus all over again" and put it on a banner in my house!

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GREENCAT1 4/27/2010 11:24AM

    I loved this blog. I keep putting off seeing old friends. I hate pictures of me on facebook. I have decided to post pictures and not worry about it and to see those old friends. Thanks for the challenge.

Cathy emoticon

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JAE_HENNINGTON 4/27/2010 11:03AM

  write the book, yes!!!!! when I read your blogs I see a book in the making. You have a lot to offer others and they need to hear what you have to say....don't put it is day to begin...

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GRANDMAAMIE 4/27/2010 10:28AM

    no matter what I always live my life to the fullest..
thanks for the blog.


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YOYONOMORE1 4/27/2010 9:43AM

    I am just trying to be the best I can be today, when tomorrow gets here I'll do it again, but for right now this is the day I need to focus on. I will always be a work in progress till the day my Father in Heaven calls me home. John, I can defintely see you writing a book and it'd be a good one.


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MARCYNA 4/27/2010 9:40AM

    This is so frigthening, John.
You want me to go from casual winner to planned winner???
This is not just dropping sizes this is totally new. I'll think about this. I've been disappointing myself & others for ages and this is totally new.
But I love challenges.
Keep you informed,
love emoticon
PS When you're ready with the draft of your next book, I'd love to read some of it while you can!!!

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TNTEACHER2 4/27/2010 8:55AM


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BUGGYS 4/27/2010 8:42AM

    I have always lived for the moment, to live my life to the fullest but I am slowly realizing that I need to take more time for put aside doing for others and start carving out some more time to explore my wants and desires. I am feeling good...feeling healthy and strong and I am happy and I know that this lifestyle is rubbing off on others. Losing weight will come because I have confidence in myself to see it through but I am living my life now. Thanks, John for another wonderful blog! emoticon emoticon

Please write that book!!!

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EDWINA172 4/27/2010 8:30AM

    Love the movie also. I too, have had much accidental success. I never had goals before this year. If I did, I was too afraid to say it out loud in case I failed. Fear of failure stopped me from living. Now I know that I'm only a failure if I quit! I love your blogs. I would buy a book that you wrote in a heart beat!

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DOLLBABE56 4/27/2010 8:22AM

    I LOVE that movie also! I first saw it last year. I thought it was wonderful.

Accidental Success is a very fleeting moment that we all (more than likely) have experienced many, many times. For example, I became a lifetime member of weight watchers back in 1989. Once I reached my goal weight, I felt abandoned. Since I didn't need to lose anymore weight the leader wasn't interested in my efforts anymore (or maybe that was just how I perceived it! I was wrong, probably) and I ended up gaining it all back. Big surprise. I didn't have much self confidence. What an excuse.

I talked with my doctor the other day. He helps me to put things/thoughts in perspective. He asked, "Is losing weight going to change who you are? I replied, "No." He always challenges me. He said, "What are you waiting for?. Accept who you are at this moment." I replied, "I will be able to get a good job if I am thin; my life will be better, etc...". He asks, "why should losing weight make your skills be any different?. To which I replied; "It won't." He replied, "losing weight will help you be healthier and feel better, but it won't change who you really are. Accept yourself as you are at this moment. Be happy now. Don't wait until , (you fill in the blanks) because what if it never happens? You will have wasted so much time waiting on things that may never happen". Now these may not be the exact words we used, but the jest of it is - I am a good person right now. At this moment I have talent. I need to have confidence in myself, because I am worth it. Don't rely on situations to change you. Losing this weight will make me healthier. Losing this weight will feel great. Accepting who I am is necessary. Put it all together and I am going to still be Debbie, only healthier and proud of my accomplishments. And that is my main goal. Happiness is a terrific by-product of acceptance. Don't you think?

Now I know that I've rambled on. I may not have made much sense to you, but it makes sense to me. By doc asking these questions helps me to realize that I've been using my weight to hide my insecurities. I am determined to be self confident and like myself. I'm getting there.

My goals:

Accept myself as I am now.
Be confident to lose this weight and be healthy.
Let go of the past.

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LBIMAMMA 4/27/2010 8:14AM

    This post got me thinking again along the lines of what it it I want for myself, weight loss aside? Thanks for the encouragement!

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BAMBAM87 4/27/2010 8:04AM

    I feel a little scared saying i will do this or folding a goal into my way of life, i guess in case i fail, what if i have nothing to strive for? then what ? that little speck of optimism caused by that little ray of a dream or hope might dissapear.

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MOMMABOF7 4/27/2010 8:04AM

    I love reading your blogs everyday! You write that book I'll buy it. As I write goals this year I have been focusing on what I want. I had and epiphany this year. My life has been filled with giving and doing but not always for the right reasons. I was always looking for others to love me and approve of me. Now I am loving myself and it makes it easier to love others unconditionally! Have a great day and start that book emoticon

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JPRICE217 4/27/2010 8:02AM

    I want to live my life like I am already that thin person. I don't want to hold back until. life is to short to wait.

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CMBELISLE 4/27/2010 7:54AM

    The biggest goal I have right now isn't something I'm putting off until I reach my goal weight - I'm working toward it now - I want to be able to live debt free. It's a HUGE goal considering where I am right now, but I'm working on it a little at a time. It's a slow process, just like my weight loss, but I know I'll get there eventually.

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NJMATTICE 4/27/2010 7:53AM

    "Do you know all the great things you are going to do once you reach your goals?"
Sorry John. I need to take issue with your last statement. You had me all the way up until that one sentence. That sentence contains that same faulty thinking. The somewhere down the road thinking. All the great things should be done today. You said it yourself, you should live like you want to live in THIS moment. Not when you have met your goal. I can't do a very good squat thrust yet and I may never be able to do a good squat thrust, but I'm doing my best version of my squat thrust today regardless.
You are welcome for the correction. As you write that book, feel free to use me as an unpaid editor. Glad I could help.

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AMABILE75 4/27/2010 7:46AM

    What you describe so wonderfully is the difference between a diet and lifestyle change. :) If it is truly a lifestyle change that you are working on, then maintaining wont be as difficult as you may think it is right now. Because if you have truly changed your lifestyle you will simply continue doing what you're doing. Sure there are adjustments to be made between losing and maintaining, but the key is being active and making good decisions. You are doing that now. You build on that. :)

What am I going to do when I reach my goals? I'm sure hubby and I will take a vacation some place special and treat ourselves... but more than that I just want to keep living an active life. I'm moving to Phoenix... I want to go hiking and biking in the mountains... I want to run in 5K's and who knows, maybe one day I'll work my way up from there. I want to be active with my family, set a good example for my daughter. I want to continue my active and healthy lifestyle I worked so hard to create. :)


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Putting Back

Monday, April 26, 2010

I had two Spark friends reach their goal weights over the weekend. They were proud of their accomplishments as they should be. I was happy for them , until I allowed that evil twin brother of mine, AKA, my creative sub conscious, to lead me astray. No friends, you are not about to read some lurid tale of me donning a disguise and sneaking into an all night pizzeria to gorge myself on non fat mozzarella!!

I looked at the ticker on my Spark page. I looked at the big gap between where I was and where I wanted to be. I thought of those smiling Spark friends having huge parties to celebrate their accomplishments and I became sad. That gap between my ticker and my goal weight looked like a million miles.

“Woe is me, “ (Or something like that.) I sighed.

My shoulders slumped a bit. I’m going to be honest with you it took me until this morning in the shower to shake the feeling. Intellectually I said all the right stuff to myself. I knew I had done some good things in a short while. I told myself to heed my own advice about being patient. I meditated yesterday, thought about how good I felt during my cardio, all to no avail.

“Lord,” I implored as the water cascaded down my back waking me up. “Give me a bit of guidance, here.”

It came in two quick bursts. The first came in the form of a line another bald headed genius likes to say:

“It’s not all about you!!!” (I wish I got the kind and gentle guidance you see in the movies where God speaks while backed up by the Philadelphia Philharmonic.)

I thought about that for a few minutes and then into my head came a prayer I learned as a child. I hadn’t said it in years but as I stood there toweling off it rolled through my mind.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon:
where there is doubt, faith ;
where there is despair, hope
where there is darkness, light
where there is sadness, joy

O divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

I believe in karma. Give it any name you desire, what you give to others comes back to you. When you give goodness, love and encouragement especially on the days that you really don’t feel like it, I believe it will come back to you with blessings one hundred fold.

My progress in my march towards health has a lot to do with me, my attitude and my program but it has equally to do with you my friends who have opened your hearts to me and supported and encouraged me. There are days you most likely would have rather pulled the covers over your head than been open and present to others. But you didn’t.

It’s why you are amazing.

I am quite sure when I reach my goal weight I will be really pleased. I should be. It will be quite an accomplishment. In the meantime instead of looking at that gap with a forlorn gaze, I plan on spending the time as the prayers says “not so much seeking to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand.”

Care to join me?

(It dawned on me as I write this that nowhere in my journey have I ever thanked any of the main Spark people for making this forum available to me. I’ll correct that now. “Thank you.”)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANNASPARKY 4/28/2010 10:29PM

    I appreciate your motivating blog posts. Thank you! emoticon

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KATIEGLEN012 4/27/2010 7:00AM

    This prayer is difficult to keep in the forefront. It bears repeating...and repeating...and repeating. We are always thrilled for our friends, but sometimes there's a bit of what about me...I have been working hard...I have been encouraging to my friends. The truth is that the moment is not ours, but faith allows us to know that our moment will come.

Keep doing what you are doing for yourself and for us. I see your moment in the future, you are doing this. emoticon

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FERNASHES 4/27/2010 6:52AM

    Thanks for sharing this!

By the way... I still have a looooong way to go, too. I just adjust my tracker for the current goal, not the end goal. One thing at a time!

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JURI62 4/27/2010 5:58AM

    That St Francis prayer is one of my favorites! You are right where you are supposed to be, and so am I.
Hugs, Judy

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    The main thing is that you still have your eye on the prize and you speak in terms of when and not if. You will make it.

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WANDAH3 4/26/2010 8:09PM

    We all have those same moments John. Woe is me, look at how far I have yet to travel..the trick is to get a hold of that "woe" and turn it around. Which is what you have done. Way to go my friend. Keep on moving, cause it's only when you stop and stand still that nothing happens.


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ELIZABETH525 4/26/2010 7:42PM

    Don't look at how far you have to go...but at far you have come. Think of all the great things you can do now that you could not do 200 pounds ago. Think of how much stronger you are, physically as well as mentally...because you know losing weight is a big mental thing. But it is awesome you over came your emotional slump! You can do it! You know in your heart you can! And we all know you can!

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TEDYBEAR2838 4/26/2010 4:36PM

    WOW, forget the gap between your ticker and WHERE you WANT TO BE, look a how WONDERFUL you have done! Way beyond what many of us would expect for ourselves.

GOD is so THERE for us! WAHOO!

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BUGGYS 4/26/2010 2:32PM

    John, I have barely started and I used to get jealous when someone reached his/her goal, but I realized that everyone has the same journey only at a very different pace...we are all motivated by different things and if we stick to our plan we will all reach our goal...promise me one thing, when you reach your goal, please don't leave SP!!! I need your blogs!!!


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SUSIEMILO 4/26/2010 2:07PM

    I'm joining you. I'm just under my 1/2 way mark, and all kinds of people are making nice noises about how good I look, etc. But when I look at that gap, it seems like it will take forever. And in the past, the 1/2 way point (when visible changes came into play) was when I would celebrate, rest on my laurels, and ease up on my program. Ease up.... right back into putting the weight right back on!
I'm determined not to do that this time. So while it's nice to get the compliments, etc. -- I try not to take them to heart. I don't want to get distracted. I don't want to start the party early.
Even when I earn it - it will be a WHOLE different kind of party that it used to be in the past. It certainly won't revolve around food!
Great blog, and as you can tell from comments -- a similar lament with all of us. I guess that's why we all get along so well: we are all in the same situation, with similar feelings, successes, stumbles, prayers, lessons to be learned, etc.
And we are all blessed by God to have found this site.
You know what I think? I think Chris Downie is storing up some SERIOUS good Karma! (and he certainly deserves it!)
Bless him for founding this site and making it possible for all of us to come together from all corners of the earth like we have.

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DOLLBABE56 4/26/2010 1:53PM

    John, how did you know that I was feeling the exact same thing this morning? It's uncanny. I do believe in Karma - I just have to "remind" myself that I do because I do tend to forget things.

Hope the weather has been good today for travel.

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GREENCAT1 4/26/2010 1:30PM

    Great blog John. I have to admit - I have at times been envious of you! Especially because you don't have to deal with estrogen loss and trying to lose weight. See! I am being ugly now! I am so happy for you (truly!) and I love the way that you say what all of us are thinking!

Cathy emoticon

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GREENCAT1 4/26/2010 1:30PM

    Great blog John. I have to admit - I have at times been envious of you! Especially because you don't have to deal with estrogen loss and trying to lose weight. See! I am being ugly now! I am so happy for you (truly!) and I love the way that you say what all of us are thinking!

Cathy emoticon

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FANAMAMA 4/26/2010 1:26PM

    I'll join you!

It's funny because I was secretly and selfishly hoping that your journey to your goal takes as long for you as it will for me, because I have come to rely on your blogs! I look forward to reading them every day because they ALWAYS help me.

So now let me console you:

Remember that God has created each one of us. We are unique and deeply loved. Your journey is different from your friends', as it should be. It is not yet your time to shine. But that shine will be even brighter for having gone through these days of ups and downs.

It's ok to feel a little jealous - maybe that will SPARK you to do a little more, eat a little less. But the most important thing is that you DIDN'T sabotage your plan. A famous football coach once said - It's not how many times you get knocked down. It's how many times you get back up.

YOU got back up. Good for you! emoticon

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TXNANA_4 4/26/2010 11:07AM

    Thanks John. I have some of the same feelings. This prayer puts everything in perspective. I'm going to put in on my fridge so that I see it every day! Keep up the good work and you will attain your goal! emoticon

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TRIPLE_EMME 4/26/2010 11:03AM

    Thanks for another great blog, John.

Don't sell yourself short, you are doing an amazing job at transforming your life! Lasting changes take time. You are really doing it. Be kind to yourself, my friend.


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CMBELISLE 4/26/2010 11:01AM

    Thanks for the reminder that we all have an evil twin.


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SPARKENISTA 4/26/2010 10:47AM

    John--I just checked your ticker. You have lost 60.4 pounds to date. Own how great you are. That averages out to about 3.5 pounds/week. It's easy to be jealous. But you are negating your own huge accomplishment. On top of that, you are helping numerous others by blogging and supporting them. Give yourself a break!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GERIKRAGH 4/26/2010 10:31AM

    And thank YOU. I have the same problem but I call it jealousy. It's hard to be happy for someone else but at the same time, wish it were you.

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YOYONOMORE1 4/26/2010 10:21AM

    Great blog John, and a neat prayer. When I first joined SP I'd see how fast some people were dropping the weight and compare it to me being much slower, but then I realized we are all different we don't lose at the same rate and that it's ok, then I'd look at the people who were losing at the faster pace and be glad for them that they could do that, I'll get there just in my own time and I'll enjoy the journey and the many friends I've made along the way. Congrats to your two SP friends that reached their goals, someday we'll be able to celebrate that victory.


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FROGGERHKC 4/26/2010 10:07AM

    I often forget that even the little bit of accomplishment I have achieved is just that, an accomplishment! I always see how well other people are doing and wish I was further ahead than where I am and get bummed out. I have to tell myself that what I am doing is good, and I am headed in the right direction, and to stop beating myself up. Thank you for your blog, a great read for me this morning!

emoticon emoticon

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TNTEACHER2 4/26/2010 9:57AM

    Yes, I want to join you--but here at Spark People, everyone wants to join you in having a good attitude, losing weight and becomming healthy. We are here to help each other to these goals, and your blogs help.

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DOLLIE6 4/26/2010 9:49AM

    Thanks for the reminder. We can reach our goals and when we do we know we are helping others. We are helping them in our struggles also. Have a great week.

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JJSSKINNYGIRL 4/26/2010 9:45AM

    Thank you John for another great Blog!!

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STORMTMB 4/26/2010 9:32AM

    How right you are!!! We need to stay focused on helping and serving others and the Lord will take care of our needs. It's easy to forget. Thanks for the reminder. Have a great week.

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CATHERINEL66 4/26/2010 9:15AM

    It's all a continuum (even if I can't spell it!). I feel like my goal is a million miles away sometimes too. But then, I see other folks who keep up their motivation and have WAY farther to go than me ... and I think, what am I whining about? (not that YOU whine, but I do, mostly in my own head).

One of the things I like best about spark is that regardless of where you are on your journey, there are folks that are all over the spectrum, with all kinds of challenges. That helps me to put things in perspective.

Hang in there, John. From my perspective, you seem to be doing fabulous! A big high five to YOU for embracing such a lifestyle change and keeping it up!

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JAE_HENNINGTON 4/26/2010 9:06AM

  No we should be thanking you, and what you give to us.
I had a similar expierence once when I was about to give talk at church. I was so nervous, I worried over what I was going to wear, did my hair look right, could I please the people with my words. All those things, and all of a sudden I heard this voice say, this is not about you, its about Me and My people. Needless to say everything was put into perspective real fast. It isnt about what we get as it is about what we give...Thanks John wonderful read as always

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JPRICE217 4/26/2010 8:50AM

    As always a great blog!!!!! The prayer is a wonderful way to live. emoticon

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AMABILE75 4/26/2010 8:34AM

    Thank You John. This is something that hits me sometimes also. While I am so incredibly proud of anybody who reaches their goal... I also find myself comparing it to ME and how far I have still to go to reach my goal. It can be a difficult time as we spend some time turning inward, looking for our perspective.

Looks like you found yours. :)

Thanks again!!


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WALKNLOVE 4/26/2010 8:34AM

    Give and it will be given to you...
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you...
....And, as always, thanks for making it real! You are amazing!

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Sunday: Lets Be Happy

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Having fun along the way is a key to balancing our lives. If we dont..... well I heard a story one time about a second grader who passed a not up to her teacher. When the teacher opened the note it read:

"Dear Teacher, if you are happy would you please notify your face!"

I am happy today for many reasons, to numerous to count. For example, I get to help Joan clean out our bedroom closet. Naturally we are concentrating on my clothes, specifically the ones I have built up a relationship with over the years.

Sadly they are in bags headed for the shelter later this afternoon. I hope they learn to forgive me as they will no longer be a part of my life.

But I'm happy.

I was be bopping down the street after church this morning taking my Sunday walk, listening to my cardio music and I wondered if my Spark friends would be interested in knowing what I listen to. If you are under forty you might not recognize some of this. Total time is about fifty minutes and feel free to share yours with me.

I'm a musicaholic

My Cardio Music

Green Grass and High Tide The Outlaws
Dont Stop Believing Journey
Tom Sawyer Rush
Light My Fire (long version) The Doors
How Far Is Heaven? Los Lonely Boys
Ina Gadda Da Vida Iron Butterfly

Hope all of you have a great Sunday

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HARRINGTON5 4/26/2010 11:01AM

    What a great blog. I started my day with a smile and that is contagious. Thank you for sharing. I like your choice of music.

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BUGGYS 4/26/2010 10:34AM

    Me too! I love music and usually have my Ipod going as background music all day long!!! My grandkids, who I watch during the day and are 6,4,2,18 months and 7 months love to dance with me wvery chance they pumps me up to a good mood every time! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CATHERINEL66 4/26/2010 9:18AM

    Some of my favorite running music is Led Zep! I frighten squirrells and fellow fitness buffs by belting out a bit of the lyrics now and then, totally at random, LOL.

Good for you for going through the closet. I totally embrace letting the big clothes go, because you're making it known in the greater Universe that you'll NOT be coming back to them again!

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AMABILE75 4/26/2010 7:33AM

    Well I recognize almost every one of those songs and I'm under 40. :-) When it comes to music I simply love it. There isn't much music I can't appreciate. If its good, and the person/group is talented... then I can enjoy it. I love classical (Used to play classical piano), jazz, pop, rock, OLD country, doo wop, alternative, metal, SOME rap, gospel, blues, nerdcore... it all depends on my mood and the day. Luckily I have a hubby who also enjoys such diverse music you just never know what you might hear us listening too. LOL.

Listening to music is a great way to be happy isn't it? :)


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CARTOONB 4/25/2010 11:15PM

    If I say that I don't recognize any of those tunes, does that mean I can be under 40? emoticon

Of course, I recognize them so must be in the over-40 club. My music includes more current music. I have Pink, Beyonce, My Chemical Romance, Lil Mama and Avril Lavigne, to name a few. I go for upbeat songs that make me go faster!

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MARLA97015 4/25/2010 11:07PM

    I loved your blog and your happiness is so contagious. Have a really blessed week. emoticon

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WANDAH3 4/25/2010 9:11PM

    John, thanks for the great laughs. I love the Note.

Hmmmm, I just might keep that one in never know who the receipent might be! lol

Have an awesome evening,

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JURI62 4/25/2010 8:43PM

    OMG My mother banned Ina Godda DaVida on Sundays!
Thanks for the blast to the past.
Hugs, Judy

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SHAKENMA 4/25/2010 8:34PM

    Made me laugh out loud..."Dear Teacher, if you are happy would you please notify your face!" emoticon

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CMBELISLE 4/25/2010 8:20PM

    John - you may have to come to Atlanta one weekend when our friends play in their band - I think you'd like their music. I don't always recognize song names, but most on this list are familiar, especially those by Rush, Iron Butterfly, The Doors and Journey.

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EDWINA172 4/25/2010 6:07PM

    I love "How Far Is Heaven". Thanks for sharing. Also, thanks for sharing your happiness. Its contagious!

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STORMTMB 4/25/2010 3:50PM

    Few things lift my mood more than music, especially performed live. I love to sing, but no one else wants to hear it! lol. Your clothes will be helping someone else. Yeah for donating them.

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CAROLYN1213 4/25/2010 2:59PM

    I'm right there with you in the forty something crowd!!! I must have my tunes to do my cardio to! It keeps me pumping!

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YOYONOMORE1 4/25/2010 2:45PM

    Being a teenager in the 50's should tell ya what I listen to, mostly oldies but goodies, Fat's, Everly Brother's, Chuck Barry, Elvis, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, I have a pretty nice CD collection. I did recognize a couple of your songs, but that's probably cause I have 4 kids who are all in their 40's, from 41 up to 46. It's a rainy Sunday here, but I am happy. John think about how happy your clothes might make someone else, that ought to bring a smile to your face. I loved that about the note. Have a great week.


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DIASTER 4/25/2010 2:41PM

  Good music choices, I really like to walk to marches,find they are the right beet and just keep my feet moving. Isn't it amazing how much easier it is to walk with music,you certainly don't just stroll along. Thanks for your very upbeat blogs.

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MUFFINK9 4/25/2010 2:04PM

    Your blog is a cheerful spot in my Sunday. I too love music and also love books on tape. I have not purchased an MP3 player yet. Maybe I could make that a reward for May, good thought. emoticon

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NADJAZZ 4/25/2010 2:01PM

    LOL, I recognized all of your music choices except the first one. So I asked my husband to sing it for me, which he promptly did, including the "cool guitar riff".

Thanks for the laughs today!

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TEDYBEAR2838 4/25/2010 1:46PM

    I'm over 40 - WAY over 40 and still don't recognize them, but that is ok. What' works for you is the most important thing.

Keep on Sparking!

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GEEMAWEST 4/25/2010 1:20PM

    Great! Love the music. I enjoyed all of those songs as a teenager.

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    Great music. I'm on board for it!!

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DOLLBABE56 4/25/2010 1:09PM

    I am also a musicaholic! I have over 183 GB of music - all kinds. I have always, and always will be a musicaholic.

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MONTANA_ED 4/25/2010 1:08PM

    Thanks for a nice uplifting blog today! Thanks also for your choice of music. Several years ago I spent months moving all of my 400+ CD's into my computer so now I just grab an assortment and go for it. Lately though, for my cardio workouts on the treadmill and elliptical, I have been listening to audio books. I managed to change that up a bit by loading my MP3 player with old radio shows of "The Shadow". It's amazing how time flies when you are wrapped into an audio book or radio show.

Have a wonderful day!


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JJSSKINNYGIRL 4/25/2010 1:08PM

    I love your music choices! Yes, lets all be happy today!! I know I am!! My Girls are singing the National Anthem at a local baseball game today!! Wo-Hoo!!

Now I have the song, "Don't worry, be Happy" in my head. Can't you hear it now?

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DLEE27 4/25/2010 1:02PM

    "...if you are happy would you please notify your face" emoticon Ahahahaha! I love this! Thanks for putting a smile on my face today!

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Weekend Survival

Saturday, April 24, 2010

“You’re bored aren’t you?”

That would be Joan watching me stand in front of the refrigerator, peering inside looking for something to eat.

“No,” I would reply somewhat defensively and with a know it all sniff. “I am just a bit hungry.”

That’s how you get to weigh three hundred twenty six pounds. The weekend shows up. You have survived the rat race. There is grocery shopping, soccer practice, ballet rehearsal and fill in whatever else your family is involved in and now you have some free time on your hands so you are going to sit down and relax, which means to those of us who are overweight we are going to justify over eating. I mean, don’t we deserve it?

I lived like that most of my life and every year a few more pounds crept on. I ate out of boredom and stress. I am changing. Oh, I still get the “craves.” I think I always will. But since I have joined Spark People I have come up with three new strategies that have helped me survive weekends. I’d like to share them.
One, I have learned to plan better. In this busy world we have a lot going on from seven am Monday until five pm Friday. Things we might be getting done during the week, we put off “until the weekend.” The weekend arrives and we have so much activity and our “to do list” is so large that half way through it all we realize we aren’t going to finish. Stress sets in. Can you say “binge eating?”

It’s raining here this morning and it’s supposed to rain all day. That means no gardening or outdoor work. I have to pack to be out of town all of next week and no matter how you cut it, you still have to buy groceries. I knew all this earlier in the week. The lawn got cut on Wednesday, and I asked me son if he’d come over mid week and cut it again. Joan and I went grocery shopping last night. It was a “two-fer.” We got the shopping done and instead of sitting around last night we were active. I really wish Spark People would add a cardio category called “Navigating Wal-Mart on Friday evening.” In other words I try to plan so my weekends aren’t so stress filled. Rest is a really important factor in maintaining a healthy life style. Get your eight and BTW it is true “Nothing good happens after midnight!!!”

Two, Listen to your body!!! Let me repeat that. Listen to your body. As the weather warms up we step out the front door to get the morning paper and we see all the runners, joggers, cyclists and walkers flying by. We get pumped. We get dressed and we fly out the door and come home an hour later standing in a puddle of sweat. By noon we are exhausted and we either pop in a DVD and graze or we take a nap. How do those six am people do it? They do it because they know that’s what works for them. During the week I exercise anywhere from the mid afternoon until the early evening. I usually exercise in one session. On the weekends I usually get up, eat breakfast, wait an hour, (Even though Joan is pacing upstairs right now waiting for my hour to be up!) go an exercise. I usually do a bit more exercise on weekends because I will split it into two sessions. If the weather’s nice we will ride bikes or walk, come home, grocery shop and then head to the gym. That’s what works best for me, because I listen to my body. I have learned not to save all my cardio for the weekends so that I am wore out by mid day. Just because everyone else does it one way doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Listen to what your body tells you. If you take the time to listen it will guide you. Then one day you look in the mirror and you see a healthier you.

Three, I bet you can’t guess this one. Keep telling yourself you are worth it. Even wonderful old me gets down sometimes. I see these hard bodies flying around the track and I see my jingly middle aged belly in the mirror as I walk by and I get down. Losing fifty seven pounds in four months is quite an accomplishment but I start comparing myself to others and then it seems futile.

I have a new affirmation. Well it’s not new. A friend gave it to me years ago, he used it and got amazing results

“Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.”
I am and so are you!!! I can feel it

Off to the gym

Have a good weekend

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JPRICE217 4/25/2010 6:15PM

    i am over 40 way over 40 but i dont remember all of the songs. i do like to walk with music.

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    Another great blog. I agree with you about the navigating Walmart category - that should definitely be out there! :)

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CROBINGO 4/25/2010 9:53AM

    I vote for "navigating Walmart" fitness points!!!

Great blog and spot on as usual. Thanks.

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JUSTFOXXY 4/25/2010 9:00AM

    Spot on! emoticon

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CMBELISLE 4/25/2010 7:37AM

    Thanks to the predicted rain, I had some great plans for this weekend that included cleaning my desk and possibly tackling my dining room table - it's been covered in stuff since the floods here last fall. Well, my plans flew out the window yesterday, but I just might get around to some of it today. I hate cleaning, mostly because I never know what to do with all the stuff that needs to be put away or find a home. It's too much like "work" and I really don't like "working" on weekends.

I treasure my weekends as they are the only time I don't have think too much and I can relax. If I feel like I need to take a nap, I usually will. If I want to read a book, I do (I read a half of one yesterday). The one thing that carries through to the weekend though is the exercise. I always do my cardio (usually a little more than during the week) and when it's not raining and the pollen count is reasonable, I get outside and walk - paying attention to nature - birds chirping and squirrels running around. If I can and it's needed, I do yard work. I look at it as my time to reconnect with myself and the earth.

Oh yea - I agree with your comment on grocery shopping, wandering through any grocery store pushing a grocery basket should definitely be considered some sort of exercise. They recently remodeled the store I go to most and I can't tell you how many times I had to walk from one end of the store to the other every time I went.

Comment edited on: 4/25/2010 7:45:25 AM

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FERNASHES 4/25/2010 2:19AM

    "Keep telling yourself you are worth it." Valuable advice, thank you!

I tend to switch it around... during the week, I'm flying from thing to thing, trying to get everything done. The only reason I eat healthy and go to the gym is because I have specifically planned for those things. On the weekend, I only have myself to please and lose that structure... and then I eat out of boredom. I'm trying to solve it by staying busier than I used to, but not as busy as during the week - balancing acting.

And I'm with you for that Chaotic Shopping category!

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JPRICE217 4/24/2010 8:30PM

    Right on john. as always a great blog. I can make plans but seems as if always changing. emoticon

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AMYTATH 4/24/2010 7:06PM

    Let me say! I have been arguing for a while that "mindlessly wandering grocery store" should be listed as cardio!!! On the listen to your body!!! THANK YOU!!!! I am sick and tired of having to argue with people why I cant get up early and work out...because my body needs the sleep!!! I have always been a "two-three hour before bedtime" workout kinda girl!!! It works for me!! Im still working on the not comparing myself to others, but for kinda works to help keep my motivation...whatever works..Right?!? emoticon

Thanks for this John!!!


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GEEMAWEST 4/24/2010 6:50PM

    As always, a great blog. My weekends are usually busy with grandkids so I don't have a lot of down time, ever. Although I tell my DH often that I just need some quiet "me" time. If I don't take care of myself by getting 8 hours of sleep and some down time I feel like I'm losing my mind and then I tend to over eat. I am really working on trying to take care of myself. It's really a challenge. It's much easier for me to focus on others because then I don't have to take a good look at myself. Whoops, didn't mean to start blogging on your blog. LOL

I have to ask. Why are all the l's in your blog blue? Or is is just looking that way on my computer? Maybe I really am losing my mind.


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VTORIA3 4/24/2010 6:45PM

    John, you sure got this one right. Planning is critical to success. And, those craves...I guess they will be around for a long time, maybe forever, so we just have to learn to deal with them rather than cave in. Enjoy the's an excuse to be reflective rather than busy. (notice I did not say "rather than active"....yep, I am learning, so good for me!) emoticon

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TRIPLE_EMME 4/24/2010 3:37PM

    Thanks for posting this blog, John. I really needed to read it, today.

I'm extremely guilty on not "planning" my weekends. On the weekends, I usually undo all the progress that I've made during the week. I have a really good weekday routine, then I get lazy on the weekends.

My husband and I were talking about this topic just this morning. We vowed that we are going to seriously try and support each other in planning and making healthier efforts in our lifestyle on the weekends.

So far, today is going well -- and that is a GREAT thing!

Your writing was the extra shot of motivation that I needed today.



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STORMTMB 4/24/2010 3:03PM

    Yep, Joan got it right. I eat out of boredom much more than anything. I used to eat out of stress, but once I realized it, I control it a lot better. Actually, it's probably not "boredom" exactly - it's more procrastination (it's not like I don't ever have something to do)... lol. Have a good weekend.

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    Very interesting to see how other people plan their weekends.

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KATIEGLEN012 4/24/2010 2:21PM

    Emotional eating takes a toll, doesn't it? Planning is everything for me. Whether it is planning my activities or my meals...planning is what keeps everything moving forward.

We can learn to do what is good for us. We can.

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BUGGYS 4/24/2010 1:13PM

    You tell it like it is, your blogs because they speak the truth! Rain here too today and I just finished up birthday shopping and errand runs...home for a bit so I can get my food list together and out I go again and then home to get in some more on the weekends is better for me now, because I plan my food and exercise inbetween all the stuff that gets in the way...thanks for your blog!

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SPARKENISTA 4/24/2010 12:15PM

    John--as usual, you bring up a lot of good points. I will begin with the last one. When we compare ourselves to others it's always a losing proposition for us. I am brought to mind the gunslinger comparison. No matter how fast one person is on the draw, there's always someone who will come along who's faster. The same is true of how we look. No matter how great we look, how hard we work, there will always be someone better. The only one we can constructively compare ourselves to or compete with is ourselves.

Think of yourself 50 pounds ago. Who was that guy? Are you better on many levels than he was? You are winning. I joined Spark the same week you did. As of this morning I have lost a grand total of...wait for it...3.4 pounds. I keep gaining and losing the same few pounds, which is a pattern for me. I am starting over...again...

If I compare myself to you I am a loser. However, I am comparing myself to me. That helps me go on. Those people who seem so buff to you are working to improve themselves. They may be motivating but it's not a competition. You are doing great.

As far as the over-extending and multi-tasking issues, one of today's blogs deals with this and explains a lot about trying to do more than two tasks simultaneously. I'm sure you'll read it. Just as they say you can't catch up on lost sleep, so you can't catch up on an activities list that is unrealistic. I struggle with this, too, as I'm sure, does everyone. In Image Consulting school I had a class with a color expert. I think of him every day b/c he preached that the important thing is the editing. That means eliminating all the great colors and shades you love in order to hone in on the one or two that will help people focus on the best for this season. It's murder to do this. But, he's right. I struggle every day to edit my to-do list. I often fail. But I try.

emoticon emoticon

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JJSSKINNYGIRL 4/24/2010 11:20AM

    Thanks again for a great blog John!! I hope to increase my exercise soon. The rain will be here for us today too. :-( I was hoping to take the kids for a walk! Oh well, there will be other days!! Anyway, I do sleep better than most people. You got me thinking though. Can you sleep too much? I seem to sleep about 10 hours a night. That can't be normal. Hmmm....

Love ya John!!


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JAE_HENNINGTON 4/24/2010 11:09AM

  loved it, thanks John for being such a bright spot in Sparks.. have a great day

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WANDAH3 4/24/2010 10:07AM

    Love your three strategies.

Have a great weekend John.


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CHANGEDIN09 4/24/2010 9:53AM

    Yet another wonderful post. Thanks for the motivation. I navigated walmart myself last night. Boredom and stress will kill a healthy lifestyle everytime. Better to keep busy. GREAT JOB, love your blogs..ALWAYS

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DOLLBABE56 4/24/2010 9:18AM

    I bet that we have all been there. Some are still. It is going to be raining here most of the day also. We are under a severe weather alert all day and into the evening. I hope to be able to get in a short walk or two with Poppet, but not holding much hope for that. Mike and I will probably play Wii Sports Resort. Now that will be fun.

I try to avoid Walmart on the weekends. The crowds really are very stressful. In this respect I am very fortunate to not be working at this time so that I can plan my shopping days around peak times.

Ever since "watching" your blog the other day, I have been reminding myself often that I AM worth it. I AM worth more than that. When I want to go to the kitchen to eat ANYTHING other than what I have planned for the day, I remind myself that "I am worth more than that". When I'm in line at the store and see the candy next to me, I remind myself that I am worth more than that. When sitting watching tv in the evening, I remind myself that I am worth more than that. By the way, I rarely do eat anything after 6 p.m. because I have a form of GERD and must not eat anything within 3 hours of bedtime or I (and Mike) will pay dearly for it all night.

You see, your words are helping all of us realize just how special and deserving of a healthy life we are. You are.

Have a wonderful, rainy, safe day John.

Comment edited on: 4/24/2010 9:22:42 AM

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RONDAJONES 4/24/2010 9:09AM

    Totally true...again!!! I love the comment about nothing good happens after midnight. I am such a night owl. I know that I can go to bed at just about anytime after dark, but about 10pm I start getting a 'second wind'. I have always been like that. I have learned that I can wake up and stay up all day if I do it between 4-6 and 8-10...but between 6-8 I will be EXHAUSTED and worthless to anyone! LOL

As for the exercise part of your blog...take it from me. I am a very active person. I have a 13 yo and a 1.5 year old. I bought myself a treadmill in November (saved up all year) and injured myself. I did not know until last Friday that I injured myself really bad starting a workout program. (Have I ever mentioned that I love The Biggest Loser show?) Anyway, when I first started walking, I tore my Achille's Tendon (I did not know that until last Friday) I just kept walking and the pain went away. It wasn't until the same foot literally hurt 24/7 no matter what I was doing or wearing. They BURNED and ITCHED on the bottoms like they were on fire (that stopped after a while too), but then the pain and numbness started. Well, I found out last Friday that I was a almost 40 yo woman who is REALLY inflexible (I have never been a flexible person...mind or body-LOL) but it got a lot worse after my DS was born (well, while I was carrying him...but that is another story). So, to make a long story short...we MUST listen to our bodies. PAIN=PROBLEM unless it is a stretching pain. And if nothing else...start with good stretching exercises BEFORE moving off the couch and into a 5K!!

Thanks John for your blogs. I hope you and Joan had a great workout. Oh, and sorry for the long post!! emoticon

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AKATUJE 4/24/2010 9:07AM

    Thanks John for your blog. As always, really encouraging. Been looking at all the hard bodies fly past this week as i ventured out and was starting to look down at my belly...and yes it is jingly from not working out after my babies.....and your blog is just what i need today......God bless u, and have a fab weekend.

Mega mega congratulations on your loss!!! WOW!!!

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CAROLYN1213 4/24/2010 8:57AM

    Thanks for sharing! Our plans sound similar, although I do get up early on Saturday and do that warrior running thing and run a few errand before I need a nap! I love my Saturday nap!

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ABBY_G 4/24/2010 8:56AM

    Thanks! Inspirational.

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JUSTLYLE 4/24/2010 8:53AM

    Great blog as usual John, I sure enjoy reading about the Life and Times of John!
Have a super weekend.
Skeeter emoticon

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CATHERINEL66 4/24/2010 8:53AM

    Wow, John, I didn't connect the dots and realize you'd lost 57 lbs in 4 months! Holy moly! That is a trumpet-heralding achievement!

I have used my job, which is super demanding, as a reason to "deserve" a lot of food rewards. That's how I gained about 40 lbs since moving to DC 2.5 years ago. Ouch.

I DO believe you are getting better and better every day. And the most important part of getting better and better is figuring out for each of us, what works for this lifestyle change. It's different, as you said, for each of us. And it has to be sustainable.

You are well on your way, and it's so admirable how you've worked your fitness with your spouse in to your weekends! Bravo!

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MARCYNA 4/24/2010 8:44AM

    Thanks John, I get lifted up when I read your blogs.
I was a little demotivated and you're helping me a lot.
What a progress you have made, your life seems to me so full of people, places and joy of living - much more than before.

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